Monday, January 18, 2010


Composition # 195 - acrylic, paper, plastic and varathane on canvas -
48" x 72"

Canadian artist Ian MacLeod is one of the artists I have met through my blog. I don't recall who commented on whose page first but I do recall feeling an immediate connection with Ian's work. I believe many of you will have a similar experience.

Ian's work is filled with sun and shadow, rich colors and textures and mysterious spaces and forms. There is a strong reference to landscape but my sense of what I see is that it may or may not be a landscape any of us have actually walked in with mortal feet.

Ian studied fine arts at the University of Manitoba and graphic design at Red River College in Winnipeg. He has worked as an illustrator, graphic designer and art director in Winnipeg, Ottawa and Vancouver before moving to the Sunshine Coast where he now paints full time.

Composition #185 - acrylic, paper and plastic on canvas
20" x 20"


Terry: At what point in your life did you know at your core that you were an artist?

Ian: I wanted to be an artist in elementary school. I felt closer to becoming an artist in high school because of the encouragement I was afforded. I worked towards becoming an artist at University where I studied fine arts. I knew it at my core as student of graphic design, but I drifted away from it as I began working as a graphic designer. illustrator and art director.

Composition #193 - acrylic, paper and plastic on canvas -
18" x 24"

Terry: Do you ever get into an artistic slump and if so, how do you rejuvenate yourself?

Ian: I don't feel like I get in an artistic slump - although I can slip into slumps that, if it not for an artistic outlet I could succumb to depression. I find that because (for me) my painting is a spiritual journey or quest that it is both uplifting and meditative. I have also learned more about me, who I am - who I am not.

Terry: Please describe your studio activity....your work habit.

Ian: I paint every day without a plan or set of rules or time constraints. I am excited about what will happen - the unknown - it's complete freedom. I let the act of painting determine what the piece will become. I feel completely connected to the process (the process of allowing it to be). I work in brief time periods applying paint and other materials to the canvas surface, and longer periods of time watching the puddles of liquid move around and find their own resting place.

Composition #198 - acrylic, paper, plastic and varathane on canvas -
18" x 24"

Terry: When I look at your work, I have a definite feeling of a 'spiritual' content of some type. What is your response to that idea?

Ian: Thank you Terry, I feel that too, but I'm not trying to 'illustrate' or portray it. The intuitive nature of how I paint, the energy of the moment, the deep rooted connection I have with nature, gives me the sense of a spiritual connection that unites us all.

Composition #200 - acrylic, paper, plastic and varathane on canvas -
16" x 16"

Terry: Who are your art heros and why? Antytime period.

Ian: My grade 11 and 12 art teacher Leonard Stone who showed me how important art and all forms of creative thinking were and are.

Frank Mayrs, who was a mentor and friend who stressed the sense that I should create for myself, not to please others.

I love the artists listed below - their innovation and their dedication and the spiritual essence that is their work...

Pollock, de Kooning, Franz Kline, Motherwell, Rothko, Rauschenberg, Twombly, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Jack Bush, Ellsworth Kelly, Adolph Gottlieb, Milton Avery, Helen Frankenthaler, Barnnet Newman, Harold Town, Gathie Falk, Gordon Smith, Michael Snow, Marilyn Kirsch, Charles Arnoldi, Ronnie Landfield, Brice Marden.

Artist Statement

I'm intrigued by patterns found in nature. I paint in an intuitive manner, with sweeping gestures of opaque and transparent layers of paint, to create surface texture and dept - focused on pure abstraction.

Like a spiritual journey my work emerges from my consciousness. As in meditation, I am present in the moment.

The paintings are not titled, but are identified by their composition number - hence the meaning of a title will not affect the viewer's understanding or connection to the work. The intent to transfer your own experience and perception to the work.

In my attempt to discard as little as possible - I use (or re-use) paper, card-board, plastic drop sheets and plastic bags - and apply them directly to the surface of the canvas. I'm interested in the process, how the paint reacts to the surface(s) and how I can let the materials determine the outcome.


Ian has exhibited his work extensively so I have chosen to feature his exhibits for 2010.

Sunshine Coast Arts Centre, Sechelt, BC, "Friends of the Gallery" - group show.
Westwind Gallery - Gibsons, BC, - February, group "abstract" show.
Sopa Fine Arts - Kelowna, BC, - April, group show.
Gumboot - Roberts Creek, BC, - August, solo show.

Links to More Work and Information


  1. Wonderful, Terry, thank you for sharing his work with us!

  2. Gaaa! I love these. Thank you for bringing him to our attention.

  3. I can see Ontario in those textures and colours - particularly the northern part!! you can't get away from what you have seen and absorbed as an artist. LOvely scumbling!!! Elizabeth