Abstract Artist: Gwen Duda
Medium: Acrylic, Mixed Media, Oil
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gwen-Duda-fine-artist-illustrator/113664095322165
Being land locked in Toronto my spirit yearns for the open skies of the Canadian prairies where woodlands mingled with grasslands stretch as far as the eye can see. As a child I remember swimming in clear running streams where crayfish scuttled underneath and minnows deftly side stepped me while cows grazing in a meadow looked on calmly. Nature was my playground and where I felt I belonged without division.
Yet those days are now gone along with some of those places. And now, transplanted in a foreign landscape here in Toronto, made mostly of concrete and uninspired functional architectural design, my parched heart soars when I look down and see by the sidewalk a blue-eyed grass break through the new growth of spring. There is no escape; I must paint what my heart desires, what my mind wraps itself around and merges with – the natural world and that which drives it’s heart beat. My paintings are odes to it.
Even though I started out in realism, I now have grown into abstract expressionism to capture what I see and feel. I find acrylics to be a great medium to convey the energy, immediacy and spontaneity of the moods that are invoked by nature be it a gloomy eve or a radiant summer day, quiet in the air or the rushing of waves. Oils also have their place in capturing evocative and luminescent scenes and subjects. So both mediums help me to describe the moment that I am capturing or trying to express in a tangible, physical, haunting form.
Some paintings are lonely and melancholy, like a loon call in the fading light of a late summer’s evening, or as pristine, beautiful and refreshing as a beach wave breaking over your overheated body. I want to capture that moment, that truth, and experience it while I am executing the painting, or rather, while it is using me to create itself. This merging with that which is, that which is the underlying life force of nature and myself to create, that is the driving impetus of my work.
Gwen Duda is a contemporary abstract expressionist painter currently living and working in Toronto, Canada. Originally from the Canadian prairies, she received her Advertising Art diploma majoring in illustration from Red River College in Winnipeg, Manitoba, went on to work in several advertising agencies and then as art director for Global Television in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan while continuing to work as a fine artist. She has participated in solo and group shows in Canada and the United States. Her paintings are in acrylics and oils – her acrylics being more free-form and immediate, organic, evocative and vivid in hue and expressively tactile whereas her oils are more dreamy, sumptuous and luminescent. In all her work the essence of nature, and her relationship with it, is the driving force.