Nanaimo Painter Tom Shardlow Exhibits His Work in Ongoing Qualicum Beach Exhibit – Parksville Qualicum Beach News
A long-time gumboot artist and biologist will present a collection of Canadian landscapes at the Qualicum Art Supply and Gallery until the end of March.
Nanaimo’s Tom Shardlow, a member of both the Society of Canadian Artists and the Federation of Canadian Artists, hopes his works will capture the attention and emotion of viewers, just as the original landscapes did.
“Something about evoking an image, a two-dimensional image – you’re evoking a visual story, basically; the beauty and nourishment of the wilderness,” said Shardlow.
As a self-proclaimed contemporary impressionist, he was influenced by the likes of the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson, and favored the style as a means of “carrying on the Canadian tradition”.
Shardlow moved to the island from his hometown of North Vancouver to work at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo after graduating from UBC nearly 40 years ago.
As a field research biologist, or gumboot biologist, he spent a lot of time exploring the great outdoors and was inspired to document what he saw and felt.
“I love the outdoors. So I wanted to get paid to be outside; catching frogs, fish and that kind of stuff.
Prior to UBC, Shardlow studied at the Vancouver School of Art, now known as the Emily Carr School of Art and Design. While working as a biologist, he often wrote and created illustrations for magazines and newspapers as a weekend job to keep his hand in art.
“Just in case things go wrong with my main job,” he said with a chuckle.
Where his illustrations for articles seek realism, his paintings aim to capture a story of emotion and appreciation for nature.
“A lot of artists tell stories with their paintings, but you’ll find characters in them – maybe a person looking at flowers – there’s someone in an activity, and it’s pretty clearly a story. But those- ci (his current collection on display) are stories of shapes and colors.
As a painter, Shardlow favors acrylic and oil paints for their versatility, but has dabbled in watercolor in the past; a medium he considers unforgiving and restrictive.
“It’s so easy to overwork a watercolor. And I change my mind a lot. Where I end up is sometimes far from where I thought I was going to end up. And this is not possible with watercolor, you have to plan and be rigorous. Acrylics and oils give you much more freedom.
With acrylic, Shardlow said he could change his mind as often as he wanted, although pieces that needed a lot of tweaking weren’t usually his favorite and some of the best pieces were those done quickly without too much. of changes. Although, for Shardlow, finishing a painting is more about knowing when to step back and put the brush down.
“I don’t know if they’re finished yet – they’re kind of at some stage of completion. And I think the thing that comes to mind is that if I go any further, I’m going to ruin everything. That’s really what stops me,” he said, adding that the trick is to find balance in your work.
A unique and sometimes noticeable detail of Shardlow’s work is when a section of the floor layer remains visible in the final product. The ground, being the first layer used to prepare a surface to be painted which, depending on the color or the intention of the artist, can affect the chromatic and tonal values of the layers that cover it. In several pieces exhibited at Qualicum Beach, the ground appears as an outline around the subject, but in reality it is emphasized by the absence of an outline.
“It’s a device; it is a way of unifying. So you bring all the different elements together with this unifying color theme that’s underneath,” he said, adding that his floor layers are usually painted red or black.
As a man of many creative talents, Shardlow also dabbled in writing. As a young man, he longed to pursue freelance writing, though he found the competition tough with a strong will to produce and little pity.
He has, however, written two books – Mapping the Wilderness: The David Thompson Story and A trail through the starswhich chronicles David Thompson’s journey using excerpts from Thompson’s own diaries.
“It opened my eyes to the difficulty of being a writer. And painting comes more easily to me, so that’s what I do.
As we to Facebook and to follow we to Twitter
Artsqualicum beachVisual arts