Hidden faces emerge from the abstract, spontaneous compositions by Canadian artist Darin Wood. Find more of his mixed media paintings by visiting his website.
I am an artist hailing from eastern Canada. I’m influenced and inspired by Ryan Hewitt, Lindsey Kustusch, Irina Yermalova and Peter Pharoah. I love how their pieces focus on compositional arrangement of darks and lights, floating light into the shadows and the overall visual excitement created by strong contrast.
There was a shift in my work last year when my friend, a former gallery owner, said that all she could see in my work was a big, grey blur.
I was offended at first. When I calmed down, I realized that she was telling me something I needed to know. I took a hard look at my work and realized that I was missing a clear note and structure to my pieces. The contrast I needed to make it stand out was not evident.
So I continued to listen and observe. I was mesmerized when watching Kustusch and David Leffel create a light halo that escapes at a 90-degree angle to the darkest dark in a painting. I incorporated this into my work.
I was still struggling with the “whys” and “hows” of mark making when I found new inspiration. I had been following Nicholas Wilson of Art2Life and Red Queen Art Creations on Youtube. The Red Queen creates beautiful abstract compositions without reservations. She works with bravura and without trepidation.
Nicholas shows how to refrain from being precious about work and to continue developing pieces by destroying the original composition to make a better whole.
I really benefited from their explicit instruction, growth mindset and spontaneity. This, coupled with Nicholas’ work ethic and relentless pursuit of a better piece, is the inspiration for the new direction in my work.
My goal is to build layers of interest that generate space in the picture plane. I establish depth in my work by adding layers and juxtaposing darks and lights. I like to hide the number “3” or elements of three in my work, and I create pieces that force the viewer to look for a figure that is hidden within the abstract piece.
My work is very high contrast. I fancy myself a colorist and really enjoy pushing the envelope of my painting experience. Sometimes I feel like I am just along for the ride. I start painting and go into a working trance. Then I wake up the next morning and have to look at my easel to see what I’ve done.