“This body of work began when I revisited the work of several Canadian artists who are widely considered to be iconic historical figures. In the course of this exercise, I found that I was drawn to Tom Thomson and Emily Carr in a particularly compelling way. My current body of work investigates photographic stock images of these artists. Through a process of painterly reinvention I attempt to reinterpret these images and give them a different perspective. Through the transformative use of paint and materials - in the variety of ways that they can be applied, I endeavour to pose a dialogue and coalescing synergy between myself and these artists of the past.
The seemingly cryptic title of my show, “Smoke and Gasoline”, references the creative setting and modus operandi of these artists. Smoke refers to the wilderness campfires of their milieu, and gasoline, to that readily available substance with which Emily Carr thinned her oil paints.” - John MacDonald