Making Art


“ . . . a patina of poetry and truth”
Observations on the art of Dan Steeves

– Peter Buckland: April 20, 2013

I have just read Tom Smart’s essay for The Memory of Pain, Dan Steeves’ new series of etchings that opened at The Confederation Centre For The Arts early this year. Steeves’ work is remarkable and so is Smart’s essay.

First, a few words about the writing, and then the art. Tom Smart is one of my favourite writers about art. His writing is both passionate and intelligent. In this essay, before actually addressing Dan Steeves’ work, Smart presents one of the most compelling arguments, that I have read, for the importance of art in our lives. He says that good art allows us to transcend everyday experience, and that it provides a framework of order and coherence in a world that so often presents us with upheaval and disruption.

As I read the introductory section I came to a line that stopped me short, actually causing a quick involuntary intake of breath. I was struck by the intelligence and the beauty in these words.

Coherence and shape, patterns and eloquence, perspective and distance, these characteristics drive the creative individual to elevate experience to a level of understanding, and to give the rude abrasiveness of life’s distresses a patina of poetry and truth.” (Tom Smart, from The Memory of Pain, p. 9)

Smart, when he begins to discuss the work of Dan Steeves, says that these elements are very apparent in the work.  He says this new series brings forward themes that have driven Steeves’ work for years. With this new body of work the artist confronts two tragedies, one public and historical and one private and more current. In tackling very difficult and painful subject matter, the artist seeks to bring order to chaos, and to find within the pain a sense of grace. Steeves says that he believes Tom Smart is right in his analysis. Steeves refers to his work and to “the pain that is there”, but he adds “In my belief structure there is hope and there is grace.”

In conversation with Dan Steeves concerning the essay, he referred to a particular comment by Smart. “Steeves always takes the viewer past what is seen to what is hinted at, alluded to, whispered about or ignored” (Tom Smart, The Memory of Pain, page 16). Dan said, “These nuances are very much in my mind when I make work, and it is wonderful to have someone get those nuances.” I agree. While Dan”s images have a strong immediate visual impact when first encountered, a closer reading of the work has much to offer.

I have often encountered in great art that which is absent, those elements which are unseen, but suggested by their very absence. It is that which lies beneath the surface of our lives that is important, and which is often addressed by our best artists. We are fortunate, in our region, to have so many artists among us that delve beneath the surface of life with their art. Dan Steeves is one of these artists.


I once told Dan Steeves that he was a bit of a hard sell. I told him that, when including his work within a group exhibition at my gallery, I have observed many people as they rush past his work in their quest for painting, casino online seeking colour. Yet, I added, when I have someone willing to slow down and to take time with his work, when casino I have a client spend time with me as we explore the three drawers of Steeves’ etchings in our cabinet at the gallery, I see people become enthralled with the work and fascinated by the ideas and the processes that underlie it. Of course, when I have Dan Steeves in the room to talk about his work, and to tell us the stories behind each work, I have fervent converts to the art of Dan Steeves.

I find, in Dan’s work a sense of mystery and often a sense of darkness, but I also find the state of grace to which both the artist and the essayist refer. I am excited and honored that the gallery will be hosting a selection of etchings from this series during the month Cabbage helps your cleanse liver with the byproduct being lower cholesterol, so there is more than one reason to include this cruciferous vegetable. of May.

The artist will be in attendance for the opening reception on May 3, and will return to the gallery on May 14 to speak about his work. I urge people to attend both. First, join us as we open the exhibition on the 3rd, an opportunity to view the works. Then return to hear Dan speak about the process of creating the etchings and to talk about the new series. You will not be disappointed. You will find Dan Steeves to be an earnest and engaging speaker, and extremely receptive to those who wish to learn more about his work.



Saturday, April 13, 2013

My friend Jeff Roach stopped by the gallery last evening. I enjoy my conversations with Jeff, and I was keen to show him three pieces that I had just installed. Jeff suggested that we pull two chairs over in front of the first painting so we could sit and view it while we discussed its qualities.

First, I wanted him to see City Interior, a new painting by Stephen Scott. I see so much good art on a daily basis, and yet I am always excited when new things come into the gallery. Sometimes, although not online casino that often, my normal level of enthusiasm for receiving art at the gallery gets a huge jolt, when something extraordinary comes in the door. Such was the case last week when Stephen Scott arrived with some new oil paintings. City Interior is relatively small, as Stephen’s paintings go, oil on an 11” x casino online 14” panel, but its impact on me was huge.

I was keen to show Jeff this painting, and to talk about its affect on me.  A close examination of the painting’s surface would suggest a spontaneous moment in the studio and a rather slap-dash approach to application. Such an analysis misses the brilliance of this work. A careful examination reveals that the artist, likely through some combination of instinct and conscious planning, knew exactly where to place each swath of paint, deftly selecting a rather narrow and muted range of colours from his palette and allowing for just the right amount of texture to play across the surface of the painting.

Stepping back from the work, one is taken with its mysterious beauty. The room in this painting is dark and seemingly empty. The size of the room is conveyed well, making the painting seem larger than it is. As the eye travels to the back of the room it becomes increasingly dark, so much so, that it is impossible to know what lies at the end of the space. There is a lovely moment of relief in the form of a small brown rectangle at the back of the room, and which lies near the centre of the painting.  The only apparent light source comes from an open door to the left, allowing light to fall across the painting’s foreground, illuminating a post and beam on the right. It is just enough to give the room its necessary shape without revealing too much. It’s a stunning good painting, the kind that allows one to see why Stephen Scott is considered one of New Brunswick’s best painters.


Next, we examined two works of art, created by two different artists, using completely different media, yet two pieces that I had purposely juxtaposed. Sometimes interesting conversations can take place between two works of art. By placing two works together one can emphasize certain qualities within the works and even suggest a new reading of a work by virtue of what sits on the wall next to it.

Earlier this week I hung Bruce Pashak’s Woman With Hummingbird in a prime spot in the gallery.  It is such a strong painting, I wanted it to be one of the first things people saw as they came through our door. I stepped back to see how it looked in this space, and as I did, my eye fell upon a small drawing by Elizabeth Grant from her Animal Studies Series. It was one of those startling moments when one sees something that had been missed before. I immediately saw the fascinating relationship between these two works, and knew that I had to hang them together. Suddenly, each of these works had become even more interesting due to the presence of the other.

Bruce Pashak, Woman With Hummingbird, oil on canvas, 36″ x 60″

Elizabeth Grant, from Animal Studies Series, pen & ink, 11″ x 14″

I pointed this out to Jeff, and he quickly took out his phone to get an image of these two works of art together. He encouraged me to write about them and send it out to my audience. He said I should do this more often.

Jeff Roach operates his business, Sociological, three floors above the gallery. He encourages people to make smart use of the many new forms of social media, but it is easy to see that what Jeff really promotes is great communication in all formats.

Today I have shared with you some thoughts about art and communication. I hope you like the three works I have featured, and perhaps you will come by the gallery to see them on our wall.






We would like to congratulate Lynn Wigginton, who was recently awarded membership into INTBAU College of Traditional Practitioners, which is based in London, England. Members are practitioners of the highest standards in the academic, artistic, trade, craft and practical activities concerned with the building, architecture and urbanism.

Lynn’s artistic documentation of Saint John’s architectural heritage is well known and respected within the region. This very prestigious  appointment recognizes her commitment to excellence through out her career.



This project was about exploration, partnership and painting. I set out to create a new series of paintings, based upon research into the science of the mind. This project involved a collaboration between myself and Dr. Wendy Stewart from the Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick Humanities Program.

The brain generates rhythms on brain wave tests that are dependent on a person’s  level of wakefulness, exposure to medication, whether they have experienced a seizure, or if there has been some type of brain injury. In states of altered level of awareness, including sleep, particular patterns can be documented in the brain waves. A person’s experience in these altered states of consciousness can be varied, and Art is a powerful medium to express theses normal and abnormal states.

I was interested in attempting to capture some of this brain activity and create the feeling of it in paintings.

The result of this investigation is a series of six paintings depicting people that give the impression as if they are part of a dream.

With the help of Arts NB, The City of Saint John and Enterprise Saint John I was able to bring my ideas to canvas



Peter Buckland Gallery at

The Saint John Arts Centre / City of Saint John Gallery

September 7 October 27, 2012

Realism in the visual arts refers ”The Bodog Canada’s Mobile best casino online is both iOS and Android-friendly, online casino supporting apple iphone 3, 4, 4S and 5 in addition to pills and iPads. to the attempt to depict subjects as they are considered to exist in objective reality. “Realist” artists render everyday characters, situations, dilemmas and objects in a “true-to-life” manner.  Such is one attempt to define realism as it was developed in 19th Century Europe.

Today, this often serves as a point of departure for artists working more or less within this tradition.


Throughout the 20th Century numerous philosophies, schools and styles of visual art have arisen in opposition to one another.  Realism in art was  a common target of attack by these various artistic movements. Yet, throughout the past Century, many artists have been reticent to relinquish the notion of rendering the world in a “realistic” manner.


This concept of realism has been approached in different ways by different artists. It has been altered, stretched, pushed up against other styles or simply referenced within a work of art.


This September the Peter Buckland Gallery, together with Handworks Gallery and Trinity Galleries, casino online will mount an exhibition devoted to the concept of realism in painting. Aspects of Realism will open at the Saint John Arts Centre and the City of Saint John Gallery on September 7, running until October 27.


The Peter Buckland Gallery will feature casino online work by five artists.


Herzl Kashetsky is one casino online of Saint John’s most significant artists working within this tradition.

“I paint what I see, I paint what I feel; I paint for fun and I paint for real. The casino jameshallison degree of realism varies depending on the subject & what I wish to express. ” Like his work, this statement by Herzl belies the complexity and sophistocation of his approach to realism.

Beachstones with Seaweed is arguably the artist’s most obvious foray into photorealism. This meditation on nature and the passage of time represents a highly nuanced work by an artist in full control of his medium.

Beachstones with Seaweed, Herzl Kashetsky, oil on masonite


Cathy Ross continues her pursuit of the still life with a mature eye for the beauty in detail.


My paintings describe plants and flowers in an accurate and realistic way. I’m not attempting to reproduce reality; I’m adjusting, adding and omitting until I am happy with the reality I have created.”

Still Life with Paper Crane, Cathy Ross, watercolour



A wonderful sense of energy is to be found within the highly realistic paintings by Brian Lasaga.


“ I want the viewer to have an experience rather than just be viewing a picture or a painting.”

On the Saltmarsh, Brian Lasaga, acrylic on panel


Lynn Wigginton continues to create an incredible artistic document of Saint John and its wealth of heritage architecture.


“As a painter, I have chosen to document and celebrate the heritage and beauty of Atlantic Canada. Using the tools of a realist painter, light and shadow, tone and colour, I reflect upon and question our historical, traditional and present responses to our built and natural environment.”

View of the Southend, Lynn Wigginton, oil/acrylic on panel

Bruce Pashak creates his paintings, utilizing the skill of a consummate realist painter, yet continually challenging this through the interjection of alternate approaches, beautifully undercutting this perception of what is real.


“The art of Bruce Pashak has inevitably been concerned with the notion of the real, or more specifically, how the realness of something is determined; the difference between the object (painting, sculpture) and the perceived object.”

Woman & Hummingbird, Bruce Pashak, mixed media on canvas





Arts Double-Header

May 15, 2012

Lynn Wigginton Opens Two Exhibitions During Next Three Weeks

Lynn Wigginton ranks among Saint John”s best professional artists. She is also one of it”s hardest working. Her consummate skill, artistic sensibility, combined with a terrific work ethic, has produced a significant body of work in recent months, allowing her to mount two exhibitions this spring.

The first, Windows of Saint John, will open at the New Brunswick Museum on Thursday, May 17. Here Lynn”s life long fascination with the history of Saint John”s architecture is evident through her detailed study of windows in the Port City.

This particular focus on windows is the artistic manifestation of two converging interests. First, is the artist”s obsession with detail, and with the large inventory of 19th Century and early 20th Century housing stock, something that makes Saint John unique among Canadian cities. Second is her assertion that windows are a gateway, existing between private and public life within a community. It is through windows that much information passes between these two worlds. However, windows are also representative of the community”s mysteries, the secrets that lie just beyond, evident yet not completely knowable.

Window, Prince St. West, oil/acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 36″

Much of Saint John”s oldest housing stock is found in the lower west side. This window is typical of many found throughout the community.

Stained Glass Window, 68 Carleton St., oil/acrylic on online casinos in australia canvas, 36″ x 24″

Located in the former CFBC Radio building, this stained glass depicts Ferrari offers the 5 Hour Pre-Licensing Safety Course and the Defensive driving schools in san diego Course. the goddess, Pomona. domain server . It is located on the landing between casino online casino online online casino the first and second floors.

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Pigeons & Starlings, oil/acrylic on wood panel, 36″ x 24″

Located on the west side, this home features a peak that is a Under federal law, you’re entitled to one free credit in Rigby, IdahoSetting Personal Records in Triathlons at Age 49, Down 9 Lbs, and Feeling Phenomenal!I FEEL ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL!! Official stats during the 26-day GSG period: 9 pound loss (8. report agencies report each year from each bureau. natural resting/nesting site for these birds. The window below the peak has a commanding view of the Reversing Falls Gorge

North End Window, oil/acrylic blackjack-cash on canvas, 36″ x 36″

This is a composite of several windows typical of the housing stock in the North End.


TOWN & COUNTRY, Peter Buckland Gallery, Friday June 8, 2012

On June 8, Lynn Wigginton opens her second solo exhibition at our gallery, just three weeks after mounting a very successful exhibition at the New Brunswick Museum. This new exhibition features a La pallina viene fatta girare nella Roulette e si fermera su una delle caselle numerate. combination of paintings focussed on Saint John”s urban core and upon the more rural scapes found outside the City.

Throughout her career, Lynn has continued to provide artistic documentation of Saint John”s architectural heritage. The painting, Along Prince William, is a significant example of this aspect of her work. It highlights some of the finest samplings of the late 19th Century detailing on the City”s commercial buildings. The backdrop of dark dramatic sky, coupled with the intensly warm light falling on the building facades further emphasizes the architectural detail.

Along Prince William, oil/acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 36″

Lynn”s attraction to architectural forms is well known. Recent years have seen a shift to more natural themes. With this exhibition, Lynn continues her exploration of the Bay of Fundy and the river systems of southern New Brunswick. Shown to the left is Island in the Bay, a painting of Mahogany Island and its surround. eminent domain rights . This shift in content has invited a freer, more painterly style. Much of her recent work places a focus on the qualities of sky and light.

Island in the Bay, oil/acrylic on canvas, 48″ x 36″

Bayshore, oil/acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20″