An Artist’s Bookshelf Review. Peter Doig.

I’ve had a long love of books, and some of my most prized books are art books. This is a review of books from my collection that can be found on shelves in my studio. I will provide links when possible.

Peter Doig.

Peter Doig.

Peter Doig is an artist that may not be well known in Canada, but in my opinion should to be considered a Canadian painter. He was born in Scotland in 1959, and in 1962 he and his family moved to Trinidad, and then in 1966 moved to Canada. In 1979 he went to study in London, and in the mid-1980s he lived and worked in Montreal. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1994. Doig’s painting White Canoe sold at Sotheby’s in 2007 for $11.3 million, and at the time it was a record for a living European artist. He currently lives in Trinidad.

Phaidon has included him in their contemporary artist series, and it is an interesting and beautiful book with essays by Adrian Searle, Kitty Scott, and Catherine Grenier.

I consider Doig to be a Canadian artist partly because the influence of Canada runs strong in his work. I see Canadian influences in his subject matter and in the way he handles paint. The Canadian painter David Milne and the Group of Seven are obvious influences, and so is the Canadian landscape, both urban and rural. Many of his paintings include snow, and the canoe is a recurring motif.

David Milne.

David Milne.

Peter Doig.

Peter Doig.

If you are interested in the work of Peter Doig this publication would be a great addition to your library. It’s an in depth record of his work, and influences and has numerous colour illustrations that give a good sense of his use of line, colour and composition.

A Wednesday List of Ten Things I Like.

Doc & Pat

This is not a top ten list, but rather a totally random list of things I like. listed in alphabetical order of course, and complete with links where possible.

1. Canada Day. Every July 1st a bunch of people in a country that is far too big and sparsely populated for its own good get together and celebrate the founding of the country. Usually fireworks, music, and beer are involved in the celebration, and everyone at the end goes home to recover for work the next day. My best Canada Day memory was the first time I saw the fireworks at Victoria Park. The fireworks are going to be there again this year for the first time in a long while and this is a good thing.

2. Club soda. We drink a lot of this stuff in our house. Oddly we never put it in the fridge and we drink it warm. Sometimes we get a little crazy and add lemon.

3. Foam paint brushes. I like to use foam brushes for many things. They are great for spreading glue, gesso, ink, and paint. I find that I tend to use cheaper brushes when working on abstract paintings. I don’t have to clean them as often and can toss them out when I’m done.

4. Phaidon Press. I really like this publishers art books and they have an extensive line of art books on many subjects. I especially like their contemporary artist series, and one of my favorites is their publication about Peter Doig. I think I’ll review this book soon.

5. Pull tabs. It’s not so much that I like pull tabs but rather I like the wonderful things that pull tabs are attached to, such as club soda or beer even. Considering that I grew up in a province where canned beverages were banned for many years, my liking of pull tabs is actually a new phenomenon.

6. Sand. I had better like it considering how much sand the kids drag home from the playground.

7. Speedball’s super black India ink 16 oz bottle. I use a lot of ink, and I use it in many ways. I draw with it, and I use it for washes, and sometimes I like to slash it across a painting. I find Speedball’s super black India ink in a 16 oz bottle to be an economical way of buying ink. I find it to be a colour-fast, rich black.

8. Swings. There is nothing better than a nice playground full of swings. The best ones have swings for big and little kids. Hours of stomach-churning fun!

9. Trains. There haven’t been trains on Prince Edward Island since the late 1980s but sometimes if the wind is right I imagine I can still hear that old whistle blow. We took the kids on a rainy day adventure to the Elmira Railway Museum on the weekend and took a ride on a miniature train through the woods.

10. Twitter. I’m surprised by just how much I’m enjoying Twitter. Mostly I follow artists, and I’m really enjoying making connections and finding out what others are working on. I tend to use Twitter as a global rather than a local social media platform.