arts scene – new edinburgh news – december 2013

New Edinburgh News | December 2013

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Then one rainy Sunday afternoon in October Gordon Harrison held an opening at his studio on John Street. It was years ago when his work was first mentioned here and my memory is of brightly, almost de trop, coloured canvases.

Well, let me tell you that his artist has now come into his own. Or, perhaps, look what a summer in Charlevoix can do for you? He showed twenty-seven oils on canvas and WOW!!!

I don’t know if there was something in the water, but Harrison has found the subject matter with which to match his technical ability. There were views locally of Gatineau Parc, St. Pierre de Wakefield, and PEI and Newfoundland. Seven works had flown off the walls within an hour of my being there and the phone was ringing with buyers bidding on the line. An artist’s dream.

So what was the big fuss? For one thing, his skies were amazing. Any aficionado of J.M. W. Turner and The Fighting Temeraire, (1839), will know what I mean. Harrison’s skies settled upon the upper frames of his canvases with billowing and bluster. They capped the waters of the Gaspesie, and hovered atop the roofs of fishing villages and church spires. And his painting of water was well done too.

Harrison has mastered one of the more difficult aspects of presenting landscapes because, after all, they are all totally reductive and therein lies the problem. How can one twenty-four inc painting ever hope to suggest the vastness of water or sky? Perhaps for someone like Harrison, trained as a landscape architect, he can approach this subject from several points. All of this for another column. This is an artist going places. Bravo Gordon.