Anthony Alexander @ Victoria International Airport

9 August – 21 October 2022

Victoria International Airport Satellite Gallery

Departures side, next to Tim Hortons

“Colour is energy made visible.” – John Russell

I received my formal art instruction at the Ontario College of Art, where the focus was on an academic interpretation of the human figure. The idea was that you had to learn the fundamental rules of academic drawing and painting in order to understand how to break them. For over 35 years I’ve worked in the digital medium as an art director, with Photoshop being my primary image creation tool. I also explored this medium and how it could be applied to fine art but, a few years ago I realized that I wasn’t satisfied with the process. Something was missing, and that something was working with traditional organic materials and reflected light, as opposed to projected light. I shifted my method of creating art back to using acrylic paint on canvas and to drawing every opportunity that I could. I just love the subtle vibrations you feel in your fingertips as you drag graphite over textured paper or your brush over a freshly primed canvas and it was organic sensations like these that I was missing

I use acrylics because of the many vibrant colours available and unlike oils, their quick drying time and the ability to use water as a mixing medium. Another advantage to acrylics is that in addition to being opaque paint they can also be treated as a transparent medium. In this application they are similar to watercolours but I still enjoy the spontaneity of watercolours and paint with them often for more non-representational subject matter and as a means to “stay loose.”

The paintings I have created for this show are all done with acrylic on canvas and emphasize strong primary colours, which I build up gradually by using wash glazes and abundant under-painting for the desired effect. The many layers of paint used to get at the desired colour, increases the overall density of the finished artwork. I have also chosen flowers and sea creatures as subject matter because I am passionate about biomorphic shapes and equally fascinated by the “Fibonacci sequence” and ideal proportion that is so prevalent in nature. It is easy to see why so many artists derive inspiration from the variety of abstract shapes and colours found with these subjects.
Colour is so important to me because its colour (coupled with subject matter), that gets the most emotional response when looking at a painting. Only colour however, has the ability to engage the observer in a subjective experience entirely on its own, and it is this type of experience that I am striving to attain. I hope that with these paintings I have succeeded in doing that.