Unison Colour welcomes Rhonda Abrams as an Associate Artist
The act of painting and drawing is a record of the moment of looking. I paint outside or in front of a person or still life, and this physical connection ties me, and my picture, to a time and place.
I like the immediacy, convenience, and ethereal nature of pastel to create finished work and for making studies for oil paintings. I use Unison pastels because of the soft texture and intensity of colour.
I prefer to paint outdoors. I acknowledge there are many challenges to this way of working, though spending these hours in the natural environment, standing still, and looking, helps to observe certain natural laws and principles of perception. Painting this way allows for flaws and these imperfections reveal other truths.
For years I made art using film and video before switching to my current practice of drawing and painting, now capturing the single frame by hand. I appreciate the physical act of drawing and the immediacy that these classic mediums demand. The narrative, so critical in a time-based medium, is not as prescriptive in the still image. A drawing or painting potentially opens up a space where the story can unfold in the mind..
My other recent ventures include the Durham Art School, that I established in 2010 to teach drawing and painting from life; the R. D. Abrams Gallery, where I exhibit the work of artists I find interesting; and The Art and Gun Club, a group of en plein air painters who meet to paint in remote areas around Ontario, Canada.
Teaching: Ryerson University Durham Art School
Studies: York University, Master of Fine Arts The Banff Centre of Fine Arts, Post Graduate program University of Ottawa, Bachelor of Arts, Honours Studio
Shows and Collections:
John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, 2020 Films and videos are in the collection of the MOMA, The National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, and have been internationally exhibited.