Janice Mason Steeves "Silence Red 2 (1246)"
Janice Mason Steeves "Silence Red 2 (1246)" oil on panel50” x 50”
Please join us Saturday, Sept 15th from 2-4pm for the opening reception of “Speaking of Silence” by Janice Mason Steeves.
The exhibition continues through September 27th.
I am interested in exploring silence. Silence is a word that encompasses more than the absence of sound. I recently read A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland. She is a Scottish writer who took to a remote cabin in the Scottish Hebrides for 40 days and nights to experience the power of silence. She then sought silence in the Sinai Desert, hill-walking in England and in monasteries and libraries. I decided to explore silence wordlessly through my art.
I approach the painting surface in an entirely intuitive way. I mix oil paint and cold wax medium, then apply the paint right onto my latex gloves and pat it onto the surface in very thin layers. The process becomes a very physical, tactile one. I apply layer over layer, letting the colour of the under layers visually mix with the layers over top. I work on a wooden panel, laying it flat on my table as I work, turning it around as I apply the layers. Then I set it up on an easel to work more on the composition. I set it aside to allow it dry for a day or two before adding more layers. The process has it's own pace.
I am also influenced by the aesthetic, solitary lifestyles and paintings of artists such as the American Abstract Expressionist painter, Agnes Martin, with her quiet paintings of grids, as well as the Italian painter Giorgio Morandi and his intimate paintings of vessels. Their paintings spoke of silence. Living and working in solitude, I am investigating my own inner landscape of silence.