Local artist showcases paintings for the first time

Cory Hurley
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Neil McLellan sees his surroundings a little differently than most, and his artwork is a radiant portrayal of his perception.

The Corner Brook native, perhaps best known for his sculpting, has returned to painting in recent years — the medium that first piqued his interest to become an artist as a youth.

McLellan said it was the colours of spring that inspired him to return to the brush. He has been focused on exploring acrylic painting through studies of the landscape of the Bay of Islands and the Humber Valley.

It was a drive down the south shore in 2010, peering out over the Bay of Islands, when his vision formed.

“I was looking for inspiration for paintings,” he said. “I started to realize just how much of what you see is looking through a rectangle window, a piece of glass. The rear-view window, another rectangle. The side-view mirror, another square or rectangle.

“If you can imagine driving forward with the bay in front of you, the rear view are the mountains and the trees. I get that contrast. That is what inspired the geometric-based abstractions.”

McLellan is continuing his studies at the fine arts school at Grenfell Campus of Memorial University. He has preferred to work in traditional mediums such as painting, print media and sculpture.

“Often guided by a curiosity in technical processes, his art is dominated by a formal and minimalist aesthetic, with an emphasis on a colour and an image symbolism,” stated Gerri Lynn Mackey, the curator of the exhibit.

McLellan’s first showcase of paintings — “Pine Clad Hills” — opens today at the Arts and Culture Centre in Corner Brook from

5-7 p.m. His work will be exhibited for a month. He has 26 pieces — 19 canvasses and seven small studies.

He is a self-described anxious and stressed individual, so putting himself and his work in the spotlight creates some anxiety for him.

“I am pretending I am going to somebody else’s opening,” he joked. “It is a little bit of a learning curve, and a great learning experience.

“I think I will know most of the people anyway, so I will have that bit of a blinder up and do my thing.”

The Western Star

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Bay of Islands, Humber Valley Western Star

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