DJ Berard - Artist Statement
I work on raw canvas, using the structure of a drawn image to provide a sense of a place while color works to create the feeling of place, color patterns on sunlit spaces, to the deep recessed shadows of protective places. Layered splashes of color provide the essence of what organic spaces can be while drawn in structures with conte or charcoal provide context for that space. My subjects are familiar, the images and scenes that turn my head as I drive past, a shadowed alleyway with unexpected splashes of greens with purple shadows, dumpsters with looming tall oaks that protectively shade parking lots, deep shadows that invite exploration. I use paint sparingly, preferring to communicate the essence of a place without painting in all, working to paint more with less.
The minimalist approach reflects the organic focus of my work and the contrast between forms, loose spontaneous color and the drawn, planned, deliberate structures. It is not the landscape alone that is important, but its context. The relationship of free exploding forms in green, yellow, and purples is all the more striking when seen in contrast to more mundane structures, often only suggested by an outlined curb, sign or dumpster. The color of paint may draw viewers in, but it is the recognition of where the space is that makes the image memorable. Intersections are remembered because of the light filtering thru trees that seems to dance above the asphalt, favorite gas stations, remembered because of the shade of an old oak near the air pumps, a welcome cool, dark shade retreat on a hot bright day. These spaces of unexpected landscapes I appreciate because they are surprises of color and spaces that are unplanned, unexpected and often unseen by others. Landscapes that are ignored or unseen, I see, and I paint.