Saturday, December 07, 2013

Cloud Over Water

Cloud Over Water, Paterson Ewen 1979.  Acrylic and Metal on gouged plywood 

I visited this painting by Canadian Artist Paterson Ewen (1925 - 2002) again last weekend.   
It is one of my favourites in the Art Gallery of Ontario's permanent collection.
I can imagine what it must have been like to make it.  The three pieces of heavy wood lifted to a surface and then drawn into with a noisy router. Why?
Because those marks had everything to do with the emotional connection from artist to viewer that comes with the sense of touch.
Ewen's muscular methods connect with my own body's haptic memory.  There is a sense of time and labour in this work that somehow,  in addition to the horizon imagery, sets me off.  I go into my own world. 

My sister Nancy came to Manitoulin to see Dad and we met in Toronto first.
Nancy's an artist and has two web sites.  Here and here.


  1. your sister's work is wonderful! thanks for the links

  2. I love it...and her "Night School' piece especially. I'll go look at the other site too. Thanks

  3. Judy, I learn a lot with you. I didn't know the word haptic (not even in my own language - háptico). The science involving the sense of touch.

  4. For me, the marks that Paterson Ewen makes in wood are like stitches. They have more texture than a drawn or painted line. They touch us more.

  5. i love that word!!! and your sister, well, sisters are a gift. i'm one of five sisters!

  6. Seeing the scale of the work, in the last photo, made me go back through the other images and reconsider it. By viewing on screen or on a book pages, we can completely ignore the importance of the sense of scale.

  7. Thanks for noticing that about scale, Margaret. It is why I asked Nancy to pose in front - to show the scale.

    I love being that close to artwork that I cannot touch any edge of. It's like being alone in nature.

  8. Paterson Ewen has always been one of my favourites, and thanks for introducing me to your sister's work.

  9. J, thanks for introducing me to your friends online. The Ewen work was/is astounding, humbling. Your photography does it justice. N

  10. oh patttty.

    he just knows doesn't he?
    or did?


  11. Wow - love this.
    Also- I really thought Auntie Nan was April in that photo. :-)

    Love you

  12. When I was in St. John's at the Textile School, our instructor had us use a router to make a design on plywood as per Ewan. We pulled prints from the board. It led to a quilt design called "Flaymboyant"


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx