"North of Fort Saskatchewan"
Rod Charlesworth, "North of Fort Saskatchewan," 2004, oil on canvas, 32" x 48".
By Lee Bale
In the world of Rod Charlesworth, vibrant patches of colour and the rugged terrain of the western landscape capture a uniquely Canadian cultural identity. “It really is the landscape that has molded our young culture,” the artist says. This genius loci or ‘spirit of place’ is the pervasive element that runs through the two thematic streams of Charlesworth’s work: bold, richly coloured and textured landscapes and whimsical, wintry scenes of children at play. His vision is both poignant and playful, expressing delight and joy in the promise of this land.
Charlesworth grew up British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, where he continues to live, work and raise a family. By the age of seven, he had demonstrated the powerful fascination for drawing and painting that led him to become one of Canada’s most collected landscape painters. He studied at Okanagan College, initially experimenting with surrealism and then embracing impressionist work. Although acknowledging his education and technical training, Charlesworth still considers himself a self-taught artist, finding the creative slipstream of artistic process to be very personal, emanating from deep in the soul. Charlesworth moves beyond analytical representation and synthesizes the beauty and raw power of the Canadian landscape, trying to evoke feelings and emotions. He uses colour as a structural tool to bring out what is essential in terms of light and dark, cool and warm, laying down oil on canvas in thick, broad, lyrical strokes. Pacific Gallery of Saskatoon presents Canadian Colours, new work by Rod Charlesworth, May 29 to June 15, 2004. Charlesworth is also represented by: Adele Campbell, Whistler; Birchwood Gallery, Yellowknife; Canada House Gallery, Banff; Hampton Gallery, Kamloops; Harrison Galleries, Vancouver; Jenkins Showler, White Rock; Lloyd Gallery, Penticton; Tutt Street Gallery, Kelowna; Wallace Galleries, Calgary, and West End Gallery in Edmonton and Victoria.