Monday, June 15, 2009

Canadian Artsist:: Christopher Cann

Part of my series: Contemporary artist from around the world.

I saw this work on an on-line competition called Art & Design. I was struck by the flowing element similar to early Japaneses painting. I was also struck by the pureness of the simple wood, something I used to do.

You can see more of his work on his website

The artist contact is currently living in the Yukon. (Northern Canada) Best way to get a hold of him is via e-mail

Artist statement

I do what I do because I have an itch that needs to be scratched. If I am not creating, I feel like I have forgotten something - and it nags at me until I fulfill its need. It’s the same feeling you get when you leave the house, and get to where it is you were going and are not sure if you turned the stove off or not. I enjoy painting, but am ultimately compelled to do it, as it needs to be done. I hope one day to satisfy the itch and not need to scratch so often - but I know this will never happen. So I think by creating work I am happy with on a semi regular basis will keep the crabs at bay.

I learned how to paint through experimentation. Art school was a whole lot of dead ends for me. I was so turned off by the whole experience I finished as quickly as I could and went traveling. During these travels, I discovered that I am art. I am the subject of the most important documentary I will ever see. When I realized this, I saw that we are all in the same boat. I started to paint caricatures of everyday situations in my life, and before long these paintings took over the majority of what I chose to paint. Although I do quick gestures of my ideas, most decisions are made while I am sitting painting the image. My process is spontaneous and intuitive. Besides the gestures, they are mostly done from memory, and the way the situation that I am conveying made me feel.

I am currently painting on wooden panels. This allows me to use the natural patterns in the wood grain as part of the image. I often use the wood grain itself as a jumping off point. I also use a dremel to engrave images back into the wood panel, or use it to uncover layers underneath the paint; producing a flowing pin stripe effect. I am still painting with a stylized cartoon technique that I initiated in art school, which is inspired by Japanese animation, and graffiti. I use bold black out lines with varying weights. I feel that cartoons speak to the viewer’s inner child. By doing this, I hope to make my images accessible. I am no longer forcing myself to fill the entire panel with paint. Where my past work has not had much focus, my current body of work is a collection of moments that take place in my everyday life. Spontaneous ideas, everyday occurrences and daydreams are all a part of what motivates me to create. Although my inspirations are broad, my body of work is now focused. It reads like a photo album with an underling narrative which ultimately tells the story of the painter. Looking at another person’s photo album without context can make it difficult to make a connection. On the other hand, I think we can all relate to the collecting of special moments in ones life, as all of our lives are a series of these moments. I am trying to capture these moments on the panel when they are fresh. The hardest part is being aware of when they are happening and opening myself to experience them fully. To grow as a painter, I have to grow as a human being, by experiencing life and making mistakes. I hope by continuing to paint and producing images that are unique and accessible I will make a connection with the viewer.

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