As with my iconography, my close-up Journeying series would be seen by some as more craft then Fine Art. They aren't 'artsy' within the conventional definition of the art world perse. But they are indeed Fine Art, even if they are based on traditional norms and forms. I was first exposed to the art of artsy speak in Banff, but even though I understood it, it just didn’t resonate with me, nor was it appropriate to the work I was doing. Probably because of the nature of my work, I’ve always held to my belief that my art spoke for itself, within its solidity and structure, and from its own passion and love. I’m sure if I was following the path of more interpretive works, then yes, I would need to guide the viewers in how to understand or appreciate what they see. When there is an opportunity to dialog about my work, opinions change (or at least open). The notion of artsy (interpretation) is confined given the focus of the work and honouring the deep traditions of the cultures and the masters. As with photographers, there is a difference between just taking pictures at whim, and that of the thoughtful and artistic choices in selecting a shot (or canvas), with the 'eye' and skills at work. That ‘eye’ and particular set of skills are what separates ones images from other photographers (or painters). Art is all about what comes from within, and the need to create it. Art is also very subjective in how each person responds to it. I may not be seen as a prolific artist, as my pieces are very extensive and require great amounts of time an effort, often a minimum of a month or more. But I am so grateful to be able to create these pieces, even if it means being impoverished. My body of work is my heart and heart. I am also grateful for all artists and their contribution to our world, even though many may not receive accolades within their own lives. Our world would be bleak without it.
The Brown Bear painting has been a 3-part process. It was first interrupted by a commission for 2 icons. When I got back to it, I was having difficulty in that it had been a while since I had painted a piece for the Journeying With The Totems series, and jumping into a 48"x48" was daunting. The larger it gets, the more detail is required.
I decided to hang it on my wall, until I could return to it once again, and felt the need to return to a painting which I had done in 2015, the Raven/Eagle Shield from the Centennial Pole in Alaska. But I was on a tight deadline then, as I was opening my first Solo Show at the Silk Purse Gallery in early February. that year. It went from my easel to the gallery, and was sold, so I didn't have time to process it at the time. And seeing that I had been struggling with the large Brown Bear canvas, I needed to return to that point in time, and start anew. The second painting went in a bit of a different direction, in that it had far more detail then the first painting.
It was challenging, but a great journey. It gave me the time to reconnect with my style and technique. Once the Raven/Eagle was completed, I felt ready to put the Brown Bear back on my easel. I wasn't overwhelmed by it anymore. It felt completely natural once again. But there was one daunting thing though, the fact that the 2018 Sooke Fine Arts Show submission deadline was on June 4th. With a piece of this size, and being a striking image, the art show was the best option.
The submission for both the Raven/Eagle Shield and the Brown Bear has been made this afternoon, and now to wait until June 12th to hear whether either was accepted.
Andre Prevost, began his work in theatre in the late 70s after completing his studies at the Banff School of Fine Arts, and in his iconography in 1980, and having a large body of work in each. He has since been based in Western Canada; North Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and now back on the West Coast.