S. Gordon Harwood

Artist Statement

Particularly in my abstract work, I consider myself a colourist; possessing a growing appreciation for the relationship between colour, brush stroke, and the emotive energy that can engage the viewer.  The brush and the pallet knife are an extension of my hands to express my emotional state.  More recently, my work is rooted in expressionism and the works of Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Riopelle, and Jack Bush have served as a profound influence on my technique and pursuit.  My technique is often characterized with colours directly from tube to canvas; using the canvas as a pallet to mix, merge, extract, and explore emotive shapes and figures. Abstract work can be entirely impulsive.  This style appeals to my emotional level and it is this premise that I educate others in how to appreciate abstract work.  My refrain is often, “Ask yourself not what it is, ask yourself how it makes you feel. On that basis, you may just find that elusive connection with art”.

Ideas and Inspiration

Much of my recent work is derived and inspired using music as lubricant, whether it is a live classical performance or a robust jazz composition.  The medium of music is meant to affect us in either a physical or emotional condition.  My volunteer contribution in the Canadian prison environment (www.lookingatthestars.net) allows me a unique opportunity to partner with members of the Toronto Symphony, creating art during classical musical performances in correctional institutions in Ontario and Quebec.  My appreciation for the fusion of music and painting as a profound art form was best described by Miles Davis who said, ” A painting is music you can see. Music is a painting you can hear”.

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