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Treeline is a continuation of my visual exploration of the landscape. I painted these works since my last exhibition at the Moore Gallery in 2006, “Riverworks,” and they are a natural progression from the works I exhibited then.  I have continued to reduce the landscape to

its bare essentials, with this collection focused on thinking, imagining, dreaming, observing, and experimenting with the interpretation of trees.

I spend a lot of time highway driving. On these journeys the mind goes into neutral, but the eyes are open and they observe. The trees pass by, continuously and intermittently. They

are in my peripheral vision. Small, big, deciduous, evergreen, red, green, yellow, and leafless trees. They become a combination of observation and memory. Where does one begin and the other end?   I think about them, imagine them, reverse their image, positive, negative, upside down. I see shifting landscapes in the state between sleeping and waking.

There is always a tension between abstraction and representation that manifests itself in

the technique chosen and the resulting drama achieved. One work is more abstract, another more representational. The brush and memory lead me. I discover the essence of trees through the language of paint. The substance of the paint dictates nuances, effects and mood. All the works have a touch of autobiography and personal experience. A number are based

on sketches done from a dock.  In many cases they are about an idealized wilderness experience, of being alone in the landscape. They do not reveal other inhabitants. They are not about reality but our imagined relationship with the Canadian landscape, with exaggerated colours to express emotion and mood. We have all seen fabulous sunsets and natural phenomena in nature that seem exaggerated, too much to be real. This is the experience I want to capture in my work.

Alice Burton

May, 2008

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