George Walford, Peer Gallery
Mixed media abstract visual art has been the primary focus of work for the last fifteen years. I enjoy the process involved and believe it to be integral to the non-representational paintings I create.
Chance is one element that makes my work a daily adventure. I approach it without detailed intention or preconception. Each piece is constructed organically and spontaneously with no predetermined image in mind. The combination of materials, textures, washes and glazes of acrylics and oils applied without a preconceived notion of the end result, allows for unforeseen effects. These are encouraged with as little manipulation as possible so as to let each piece evolve. Colours and textures are applied until the paintings achieve what I recognize as a presence or energy of their own.
For many years, I painted a variety of natural and man-made subjects. Gradually, I found my focus shifting as I began to pay more and more attention to texture. Eventually, I found the detachment and isolation of a subject's surface to be a subject in itself. My focus narrowed, as if I was zooming in on small fragments of life so as to expose texture and composition. Whether deliberate or spontaneous, textural pieces have become the focus of my work. I use a variety of mixed media in the creation of each piece, and the weathered, organic feel of my work often makes it appear as if Mother Nature has assisted me in my efforts. No two pieces share identical textures and I do not try to specifically duplicate the textures of real life; I simply find inspiration in the surfaces that surround me. Each textured piece could resemble a fragment taken out of context from a larger subject.
Freedom from predetermined notions of image allows for a creative process that relies on intuition. This process is a journey without a foreseeable end. I leave each piece ‘untitled’ so as to encourage a similar freedom in the relation between viewer and painting. Without the outside influence of an established title, the viewer is able to respond to each piece individually and purely subjectively through the filter of their own emotions, thoughts and memories. Each piece’s lack of title allows for a free and purely personal interaction.
I currently create abstract mixed media paintings in my studio in Port Williams, Nova Scotia Canada. I have worked primarily in abstract formats for the last fifteen years although I regard this as a resurfaced interest from earlier days when I began as an artist in Bedford, England and when I spent time living in Spain.
After receiving my formal art training at the Luton Art College, England I came to Canada in 1969 at the invitation of Mitchell Franklin. I met Mitchell on the Bayswater Road in London where I sold my paintings of British landscapes on the Hyde Park railings. Mitchell encouraged me to come to Canada and commissioned me to paint fall landscapes around his home in St. Martins, New Brunswick. From there I spent a year in Spain exploring abstraction culminating with an exhibition in Alicante. In 1971 Mitchell invited me back to Nova Scotia to paint Nova Scotia landscapes. This second visit convinced me to move to Canada. The Annapolis Valley has been my home ever since.
Inspired by the Canadian landscape, particularly around Blomidon Nova Scotia, I concentrated on realistic images in watercolour and acrylic. Some of these earlier works are included in the website. I had a travelling exhibition circulated by the Art gallery of Nova Scotia entitled Below the Cape. My painting Clam Diggers at Green Bay was included in the Nova Scotia section of the Canadian exhibition at the World Expo in Osaka, Japan. The realism work from this era can be found in collections that include: Imperial Oil, Shell Oil, Acadia University, Nova Scotia Art Bank, and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Exhibitions in the last few years include An Element of Chance, Untitled and Close-Up.