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Gary Westlake

NOTE:  I am taking my paintings off hold after pausing sales and shipping due to slowdown (hopefully temporary) with the postal service in both Canada and the USA. I never stopped painting, so I have a pile of paintings to post in future.

I guess I am addicted to making art. Sometimes I get distracted with the hurly burly but I always seem to come back to it and at all times I have my antennas out looking for ideas on how to make it better. I have been painting off and on my whole life and that is a long, long, long time. In the past, I used various mediums in my paintings - mostly acrylic but some watercolour and even a couple of pastels, but the last few years I have worked exclusively with oils which suits the images that I like to make. I tend towards paintings with greater contrast and a more intense range of colours. For the small paintings I work quickly, mostly alla prima. This gives me instant gratification or instant disappointment. Either way it's a faster way to learn. I often use photographs and sometimes manipulate or combine them first on my computer. I also set up still life arrangements in my studio. Although I paint realistically, the most important thing I strive for is an effective composition rather than a likeness. I know that you are supposed to develop your own distinctive style but I would be happier creating something different and hope that the style, if it is really important, will come naturally.

I am attracted to all subject matter but you will find many garden related themes since my wife and I are avid gardeners in Peterborough, Canada. For many years I put food on the table working as a biologist so you also find nature in my work. I did take a few formal courses at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design but frankly, I have learned more from observing other artists on the internet and from trial and error. The only problem with creating a lot of small paintings is that they are starting to pile up. Perhaps you can help me with that.

Here is my DPW Spotlight interview - http://dpwnews.blogspot.ca/2014/05/dpw-spotlight-interview-gary-westlake.html