Brent Laycock, RCA
As a boy on our prairie farm in southern Alberta, I was profoundly moved by the forms of land and sky. After various studies, experiments and explorations, I was drawn back to the landscape as a source of endless inspiration.
It is a challenge to see something new in what is already familiar. For me, that search is not really to find something previously overlooked in the landscape itself, but to discover something new emerging from the canvas during the act of painting. The subject matter is merely a starting point with the hope that something dynamic will happen on the canvas. Perhaps a new colour idea, a rhythmic passage or intriguing texture will emerge, capture the viewer’s attention and evoke some feeling.
As a student, I was interested in the abstract qualities of music such as rhythm, repetition, melody, movement, contrast, harmony etc. These principles have their counterparts in visual design and are often useful in creating an abstract visual composition. Even when the subject is recognizable, a painting should possess a successful abstract composition. And, I believe, it is this underlying abstract quality of the work that actually sparks an emotional response.
But whatever technique is used, I hope that the viewer will not only see some trees, hills and water but will be able to become intrigued with sweeping passages of subtle colour, or get involved with a tangle of interwoven texture or a discover a sudden hidden jewel of colour. Creating the painting is an emotional, and I hope that in each work the viewer can experience a personal voyage of discovery.