This is a series I did shortly after moving to Vancouver. Unlike the natural world, the city is a tangle of shapes, structures and grids that become cages. Bus wires that cross and break up the solid rigid shapes as a visual net holding us back from the city behind. I became fascinated with those ridged lines and the simple idea of foreground and background spending a lot of the process with a roll of tape masking off hard straight edges. Almost architectural, I poured over planning and layering.
“Looking Down” was by far the most labour intensive process I have ever put into a painting. It was based on a photo taken by my old flip phone looking down the escalator at the Granville Street Skytrain station. I imported the photo into Photoshop and enlarged it to a 4 foot square image, not allowing it to blend or soften the pixels. I then drew a grid to match on my canvas with 14,884 squares. I painted the top left square first, mixing and painting every square one by one. I worked in equal blocks left to right top to bottom until I got to the last square bottom right. The inaccuracy of the cell phone camera added a softness to the grid that causes the image to fall apart when standing too close to the painting. I find it a hard painting to photograph because it always ends up looking like a crappy cell phone picture. In person, standing close to the painting, the grid rules. It is a quilt of colour. Walking back, the image resolves. You will have to take my word for it or come see it in person.