Guest Room

Heidi Wicks
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Four fresh faces pay a visit to the Leyton

The Leyton Gallery of Fine Art has been eyeing certain up-and-coming artists for a while now, and starting Saturday, members of the public can do the same.

Peter Lewis, Sarah Hillock, Jonathan Green and Jonathan O'Dea are the artists featured in this year's "Guests of the Gallery" exhibition, which runs March 28-April 18 at the Leyton Gallery.

"Signal Hill," by Peter Lewis. Submitted photo

The Leyton Gallery of Fine Art has been eyeing certain up-and-coming artists for a while now, and starting Saturday, members of the public can do the same.

Peter Lewis, Sarah Hillock, Jonathan Green and Jonathan O'Dea are the artists featured in this year's "Guests of the Gallery" exhibition, which runs March 28-April 18 at the Leyton Gallery.

The four artists' works are vastly different, yet equally striking.

From landscapes ...

The French impressionist, plein aire (landscape paintings) stylings of Camille Pissarro and post-impressionist Vincent Van Gogh are evident when taking in the passionate globs of paint, vividly optimistic and contrasting colours and loose style of Peter Lewis' interpretations of St. John's.

The artist must have good circulation (and warm clothes), to have sat in the upper Battery one frigid winter's day with palette and easel, to complete "Winter's Day in St. John's," oil on canvas, 3' x 4'.

"I usually drive around and look for an interesting destination, and then once I get there I look for interesting compositions, and go from there," he explained. "I actually stand and put the canvas up on an easel. I recently got back from Arizona, I was there a couple weeks painting."

Lewis said he's attached to Newfound-land; he can put more into the work he's creating. He found himself looking for scenes that are similar to Newfoundland while painting in Arizona and this spring he will travel to Northern Ireland, hoping to find more subject matter he is drawn to.

"The culture, the light, and I guess religious beliefs all come together as one when I'm doing a painting. They're all elements that come from within the artist. I like a strong source of light in my paintings, as you can see."

With a successful exhibition in November 2008 (he sold the majority of 38 large paintings), he hopes to build a new body of work and hold another one in late summer or fall.

"I may have an Irish exhibition when I come back. Or even Arizona. Or a combination perhaps," he said.

... to Arctic explorers

Jonathan Green's dramatic sketches of explorers (in particular, Robert E. Peary) amidst rugged terrain evoke hardship, perseverance, struggle and victory - all qualities he admires and relates to in his own life.

"Arctic explorers and landscape interest me. Their histories, what they went through, why they were going to this far-off place (North Pole). I also convey my own personal issues - whether a breakup, good times - through my work. Robert E. Peary, he was so driven. He almost comes across as sociopathic with his jealousy, revenge - and all these emotions are part of the human condition, but the (North) Pole was this spot on the map that you could never get to. Always fighting against everything; he lost his toes from frostbite but still he kept going," he said, admiring the explorer's tenacity as a quality to strive for in everyday life.

Green graduated from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College last April, and immediately after was granted the St. Michael's Printshop Don Wright Memorial Scholarship, which has allowed him access and use of the facilities. This April he'll head to the Banff Centre for the Arts to complete a residency.

"I'm influenced by so many artists - Ed Pien, Rembrandt, Giacometti and Newfound-land artists like Gerald Squires, David Blackwood - me being from Carbonear is part of that admiration," he said.

... to cows

Cows she meets from around the world inspire Sarah Hillock's work. She has travelled near and far to observe them and drink in their personalities, and is especially grateful to the people at Lester's Farm for letting her sit and photograph their livestock for great amounts of time.

"I was influenced by Wayne Tebo, who is this California artist who uses these incredibly lush, delicious brush strokes," she said. "Also, Lucienne Freud does figurative work, primarily. He works on very sparse backgrounds and it's always really chunky paint as well, which I love. I like the fact that he uses the figure as the central form, which is the same compositional device that Wayne Tebo uses."

Each of Hillock's pieces is a portrait of a different cow, on various brightly coloured plain backgrounds.

But the livestock's surrounding environments also inspire the artist, and being in Newfoundland definitely influences her work, she said.

"I find the colours here really exciting, especially in the spring and fall, of the landscape, and how the foliage tends to come alive when the fog rolls in. It's a weird kind of thing, because I guess the light bouncing off the moisture ... and of course the rowhouses. I'm always looking for the local cows when I travel. The feeling of the place comes into play in the way the colours are composed in each piece," she said.

... to the apple cart

Jonathan O'Dea won an Arts and Letters award this year (while taking time away from his dental practice and running the Tely 10) for a dripping, succulent, mouthwatering pastel of candy apples. His work is composed of incredibly lifelike, dramatically coloured still-lifes.

All artwork will be on sale throughout the "Guests of the Gallery" exhibition, which opens Saturday with a reception from 3-5 p.m. Visit www.theleytongallery.com or call the gallery at 722-7177 for more information.

Organizations: Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Banff Centre

Geographic location: California, Arizona, St. John's Newfoundland Arctic Northern Ireland North Pole Carbonear

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Kelsey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Hello , Our class in school read the book Catch Me Once, Catch Me Twice and we learned about the fire. I will always remember the people that was in the incident and they will be remembered greatly

  • Kelsey
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Hello , Our class in school read the book Catch Me Once, Catch Me Twice and we learned about the fire. I will always remember the people that was in the incident and they will be remembered greatly