Artist Statement of Carolyn Pack

As a developing figurative painter my art is an expressive realism, my portraits of realism.

I was educated at the Toronto School of Art, graduating in 1986. I found my life as a painter through a range of mediums and techniques. Oils facilitate my layering, blending, glazing and brush techniques and love of colour harmonies.

In my early years as a practicing artist I began a parallel career teaching art classes in the Beaches area of Toronto. I've continued to instruct the process of oil technique and artistic expression.

My work is primarily influenced by the romantic painter J. M.W. Turner, the texture and detail of Andrew Wyeth, the brushstrokes and colour of Vincent Van Gogh, the compositions of Toulouse Lautrec, the beauty of Vermeer, the portraiture of Rembrandt and the collage of Romare Bearden.

Early paintings originated through the creative process of collage. In 1991 I exhibited twelve oil paintings based on original collage at the Justina Barnicke Gallery, Hart House, University of Toronto. Through the project “Harlequin" a self portrait I used a multimedia process to create a collage for two oil portraits. Recently I revisited the source photograph to paint a third painting of Harlequin. Collage and my photography has remained inherent to my art process as an image source and structure of my work.

Through the camera lens, in drawings and paintings from life my works are of a moment in time from realism to the abstracted, figurative form. They celebrate beauty, light and colour from nature, architecture and the faces of the human condition. I've painted the spatial layers of gardens, the synthesis of structure and of the natural world. Some of the work relates to global changes as seen in the painting, “The Edge.” Through the expression of realism I push the boundaries of meaning and contrast.

I paint portrait commissions from the photograph and from life. I've taken an alternate direction from 2016 to paint portraiture commissions in my principle medium, oil on canvas. I continue to paint from my photography.

As the daughter of professional classical musicians I perform in classical choral concerts. Music is a part of my experience as an inherent link to visual art.