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Trees | Eleanor Stewart

Showing September 25 to October 2, 2023

"Trees is a series of paintings based on several trees that caught my eye around Guelph. Using acrylic on wood panels, I recreated the moments I first saw them. I approached these paintings very differently than some of my other work. I was interested in expanding a single step from my usual practice: the act of cutting out shapes from the background. Starting with a pink base and a loose sketch, I carefully used a flat brush to cut out the trees and buildings, leaving spaces between them. The sky was left as the pink background, connected to the left outlines. This provides a sense of the time and process behind each of the images.

Taking advantage of the medium, I created textured bark around the trees and loose grass below. This texture creates contrast against the flat blocks of colour which make up the background buildings.

The unrealistic choice of colour was drawn from my illustrative work. I have found that my use of bright colours is key to bringing a sense of whimsy, and sometimes uncomfort, to my work. I wanted to capture everything these unusual trees expressed, so I picked bold unnatural colours. The semi-realism contrasts with the unrealistic colours in a way that is a little unsettling, while there still exists opposing feelings of fun and joy from the use of bright colours.

These paintings were an interesting experiment and I plan to utilize some of theideas again in future projects. Although different from my previous approaches, the act of cutting out shapes with my materials has continued within my illustrative work."

About the Artist

Eleanor Stewart is an emerging artist based in Guelph and Ottawa. While studyingStudio Art and Mathematics at the University of Guelph, she creates bright and boldillustrations. Using paint markers, gouache, coloured pencils, and acrylic paint,Stewart's stylised imagery and ideas aim to produce joy within herself and others. Herwork is full of long limbs, hands, and unusual combinations of subject matter tiedtogether with brilliant colours.

Description of Works

Tree (1), 18”x24”, acrylic on wood panel, 2021, Not For Sale

Tree (2), 18”x24”, acrylic on wood panel, 2022, NFS

Tree (3), 18”x24”, acrylic on wood panel, 2022, NFS

Tree (4), 18”x24”, acrylic on wood panel, 2022, NFS

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