Artistic Development, 1970 - 2008
By the 1970s, I had established a studio in a small house on campus, where the Telus building now stands. The earliest works I made there were a group of striped stained paintings which I titled Striations, inspired by the work of Kenneth Noland. I began to hone my colour, focusing on the contemplative and expressive proportions of one colour against another. The paint surfaces were expanded by applications of thick and thin variations, and transitional modulations, influenced by the paintings of Mark Rothko. The Striation paintings combined spraying, taping and brushing making both loose and hard-edged bands of colour. I held exhibitions of these works at The Edmonton Art Gallery and at the Alberta College of Art Gallery.
By 1973, I had begun to grasp the nature of the practices of Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis, Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock, Larry Poons, and Jules Olitski. I was inspired by their work and I was experimenting, looking for a direction for myself, hoping I would come up with something that I had not done before. Ideally this would contain a full palette of strong colour contrasts like Matisse, Louis, Hofmann and Noland, yet would involve a painting process with the all-over painterliness which I admired in the work of late Monet, Pollock and Poons. I refer to this as my Matisse vs. Monet combination, or as Divisional vs. All-Over Painting. Although I had this notion of what I wanted to do, I had no idea of how I could achieve this but at least I had by now a hypothetical objective.