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  • Unsettling Nature

    Location: Toronto, ON

    An Exhibition at: The Garage Gallery Benmiller with Artists Jill Price, Leslie Putnam, Morag Webster..
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  • Through the Eyes of a Child

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    Artists Statement: Ed Flanagan My wife had a career as an elementary school..
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  • Exposition solo Lac-Mégantic

    Location: Lac-Mégantic, QC

    L'eau, une mine d'Art du 8 juillet au 8 septembre 2019..
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  • 13th Solo Art Series -

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces its 13th “Solo Art Series”..
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  • Call for Art | 3rd Annual Skies Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 3rd Annual Skies online art competition. For this..
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  • Carousel

    Location: Lethbridge, AB

    Mortar & Brick | Arts and Events July 18th - August 3rd Where..
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  • 9th Annual Online Exhibition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • NUDE - 2nd Avenue Gallery

    Location: Owen Sound, ON

    Laurel Pedersen, Robert Pointer, Gae Trinkwon, Lynn Skinner are featured in an exhibition..
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  • Sustainable Fashion Designer Looking for Studio Space in Mississauga

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    Hi, I'm Amanda, I am an emerging fashion designer starting my business designing..
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  • “Water” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline August 31, 2019

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Water nourishes, cleanses, and renews. A drop of water can save..
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  • Call to ARTIST- Exterior installation

    Location: Montreal, QC

    To highlight the 20th year anniversary of Association for the protection of Angell Woods [APAW] Board..
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  • 9th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • 32 Points- 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace

    Location: Toronto, ON

    32 Points - 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace International Exhibition September 6-27, 2019 Cedar Ridge..
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  • Call for Art | 4th Annual Waterscapes Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 4th Annual Waterscapes online art competition. For this..
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  • Open Call to all Artists: AIRE

    Location: vancouver, BC

    Open Call to all Artists: The Annual International Representational Exhibition September 30 – October..
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  • Navigating Commissions with Kathy Traeger

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Monday 19th August 6.30 PM - 9.00 PM Navigating Commissions - Taking Fear out of..
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  • An Evening with the Sculpture Society of BC

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Monday 22nd July 6.30 PM - 9.00 PM Sculpture Society of British Columbia with David..
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  • Air

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    AIR: A mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and minute amounts of other gases..
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  • Artists Choice 2019

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists Juried members showcase their artworks at the Central..
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  • The Clock Show

    Location: London, ON

    CALL FOR ARTISTS ..
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  • Raw Materials

    Location: Humboldt, SK

    Raw Materials James M. Clow and Bony A. Conly Exhibition runs May 31st through August..
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  • The Yellow Forest

    Location: Calgary, AB

    TRUCK Contemporary Art presents The Yellow Forest by Jessie Rose Vala and Stephen..
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  • Clarington Outdoor Festival 2019: Call for Submissions

    Location: Bowmanville, ON

    Call all artists! The Clarington Outdoor Art Festival (COAF) 2019 is celebrating the..
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  • Beacon Original Art Call for Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Beacon Original Art invites emerging, mid-career and professional artists to participate in our..
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  • 2020 Ducks Unlimited National Portfolio

    Location: Bracebridge, ON

    DUCKS UNLIMITED CANADA – NATIONAL ART PORTFOLIO CALL FOR ENTRIES – DEADLINE JULY 31,..
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  • Walker Industries Juried Art Exhibition

    Location: Niagara on the lake, ON

    Daisy Fresh has been selected as one of 26 finalists in this juried..
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  • Surfaces Exploration and Experience Karen Colville Artist

    Location: New West Minster, BC

    In the Plaskett Gallery @ Massey Theatre Surfaces…Exploration & Experience Artist Karen Colville June 25th..
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  • Race, Ethnicity and belonging

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all artists (over 18) residing in Alberta..
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  • ANIMA MUNDI | VENICE MAY-NOV 2019

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: ANIMA MUNDI | VENICE MAY-NOV 2019 ITSLIQUID International Art Festival ITSLIQUID GROUP,..
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Through the Eyes of Ted Harrison

By Robert Amos March 10, 2003

} Through the Eyes of Ted Harrison an exhibition of new paintings at the Caswell-Lawrence Gallery 1014 Broad Street, Victoria(250-388-9500) until March 16, 2003 Ted Harrison - How does he do it? Ted Harrison's paintings are instantly recognizable: undulating waves, clouds and hills in hot colours of orange and mauve and ultramarine. Inscribed across the fields of colour are little people, frisky dogs and the odd raven. Many include simple drawings of buildings full of character. A flood of paintings, prints, posters, plates, coffee cups, book illustrations - and a million copies by diligent school children from coast to coast - all bear versions of this motif. It seems so simple. A child could do it. But the children's paintings do not sell for thousands of dollars, as Harrison¹s regularly do. What makes his work so appealing? Is it his attractive character? Harrison is a charming fellow, a beguiling chap from the north of England with a twinkle and a chuckle. His anecdotes command attention and bring on gales of mirth from any audience. Fame descended on him unexpectedly in the late 1960's while he was living in the Yukon. He's been a celebrity (of a genial neighborhood sort) ever since, making his home in Victoria for the past ten years. Is it his personality that makes his paintings so popular? Or is it something else? Perhaps the recognizable subject matter he chooses brings the buyers. Anyone with a connection to the Yukon (which he pronounces YEW-kn) must have a Harrison picture. Moreover, he's painted a lot of Canada in his trademark style, and the current show presents images of Victoria¹s Carr House, a Ukrainian church and Mountain Lodge. Yet these renderings are only schematic, recognizable with the simplest symbolic attributes. Harrison is a deceptively effective draughtsman, yet it's not his draughtsmanship that appeals. In the current show, many of the paintings have no iconic building. Simple notations - a schematic whale, a fishboat or an Inuit woman - may give scale to the fantastic landscape he evokes. But it's fairly easy to draw an iceberg. And when it's coloured an uncompromising pink, you know it's not truth to nature that gives his work their appeal. Sometimes Harrison varies his brushwork, depicting a stormy sky with mottled washes. But mostly he lays on the acrylic paint in flat planes. In the beginning he used to outline the elements in black and then fill them in. Now he occasionally outlines shapes with eye-popping complementary colours. More often, he doesn't outline them at all. It may come as a surprise to find that many of Harrison's new paintings have scarcely any subject matter at all. A sun - be it orange or red or purple or blue - shines over those undulating bands of colour. This may signify a landscape in the most basic terms - and that's all. These are effectively abstract paintings, colour field abstractions which depend for their effect on the two basic rules of colour interactivity - gradation of tone and the simultaneous contrast of complementary colours. Working with an extremely limited palette, Harrison sets one colour against another. His hues are intense, and he rarely uses green or brown or grey. Somehow, the resulting juxtapositions of colour glow and sing and vibrate. Believe me, it's not as easy as it looks. And to continue working the same motif, with apparently endless variations, is remarkable. Close study will reveal that Harrison is not just doing the same folksy thing over and over again. When I looked through Harrison's illustrations for The Shooting of Dan McGrew (Tundra Books), it became clear to me - the artist's interest in narrative is slight, his painterliness is modest, his compositions are interesting. It is the colour schemes which are dazzling. Who would have imagined that this charming raconteur, friend of every school child, is actually a potently effective colour field abstract painter? You might make the comparison with the uncompromising hard-edge target painting by Claude Tousignant (which can be viewed two doors down at Winchester Gallery on Broad Street). Each artist achieves a visceral intensity which is warming and energizing. If you, like me, enjoy discerning an artist's influences, you'll enjoy the parallel show at Carr House (207 Government Street, 383-5843), also titled Through the Eyes of Ted Harrison (until March 15). Carr House presents a collection of paintings taken directly from the walls of Ted Harrison's home. He has loaned about twenty pieces which are a constant inspiration to him. Illingworth Kerr is a prairie successor to A. Y. Jackson. In Kerr's painting of the Chinook Arch, you'll notice those rising and falling hills that are such a part of the foreground of Jackson¹s and Harrison's paintings. Boldly abstract artworks by Alex Janvier and Wayne Ngan take pride of place. Of the Ngan oil, Harrison says 'it's a masterpiece of abstraction, wonderful colours.' In contrast is the high realism of a cowpoke's horse painted by Geoffrey Rock. Also included are paintings by Molly Bobak and Toni Onley. Particularly interesting are three sketches from Harrison's early years. Two from Kuching, Sarawak in Malaysia are dated 1958 and an undated watercolour of the Isle of Skye. While evidence of talent, these give little indication of the Harrison style which suddenly developed years later in the Yukon. The paintings can be viewed on line at www.throughtheeyesoftedharrison.com __________________________________________________ Copyright © 2003 Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B. C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com