This week we present to you the first in a series of conversations with our artists. We thought it would be interesting to ask each of them why they do what they do, and why they do it the way that they do. Richard Davis, whose serigraphs we show in the gallery, is the first to answer these questions for us. We hope that you all find his responses enlightening!
So, Richard, why do you do what you do?
Painting or drawing, or, more generally, making things with my hands, has always been who I am. I always knew I would be an artist; the path seemed chosen for me before I was even born. Growing up, I was lucky to live an easy drive from New York City. Many times, through my teenage years, I visited the museums -- and the works of the world's greatest artists. That was it. That’s what I wanted to do. And it’s what I’ve done my entire life.
And why do you do it the way that you do?
I love the way the world looks: its expanse, as well as the minutiae of it all, the way the pieces all fit. I chose to be a realist because it’s a way of sharing some of the delights I get from the way I perceive things. My paintings are built up in layers. The first major layer is generally monochrome in order to establish values and placement of elements. The second layer comprises largely transparent glazes, which give the work a quick feel of colour. The final layers refine it all, using largely opaque colours to create the ultimate effect. My serigraphs use much the same three-layer approach. First, a monochrome under-layer is built up in 10 separate layers, then another 15 or so layers of transparent colours are added. Finally, 20 to 30 opaque layers complete the work.
BREAKING GROUND —THE HOGG'S HOLLOW DISASTER 1960
Parks Canada is to use images of Laurie Swim's Breaking Ground — The Hogg’s Hollow Disaster, 1960 to represent the Hogg’s Hollow Disaster National Historic Event on the Parks Canada website. The 7' x 20' tapestry was completed in 2000 and installed in 2010 at the York Mills subway station in Toronto. "Breaking Ground" commemorates five men in Toronto, Ontario, who died digging a tunnel under dire circumstances. The accident led to improved safety regulations on construction sites throughout Canada.
Read more in an article published in the Toronto Star to announce the projects installation in 2010. https://bit.ly/3Eeng6t