Lucy Adams and Alexander Pernat

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Alexander Pernat – Waiting Oil and acrylic on canvas

Often, people say to me, you are right in the spot you are supposed to be, implying that even if you have a rough day, you may be learning something from it and it’s part of your life lesson to work your way out of it; or it’s up to you to stop getting yourself into difficulty.

So today, when things went sideways, I tried to go with the flow.

In the early afternoon, I attended a friend’s mother’s Celebration of Life and was glad to have the company of another friend from our writers’ group. I was back home by three thirty, in time for a retiree’s nap.

I was going to need it because I was going out to a lecture in the evening, driving for a considerable distance and I needed to be alert for the driving.

Mrs. Stepford next door suggested I leave at five thirty because at this hour, the traffic might be quite busy and there were likely to be three or four ferry waits at the soon to be discontinued Albion Ferry.

The lecture was Doris Auxier, Painter, Head of hte Art Department at Trinity Western University, speaking on the shift from modernism to postmoderninsm and connecting this to socio/political meaning. I know little about modernism and postmodernism so I was looking forward learing more about it and as a result, putting some of today’s art practice into a context that would have some greater meaning to it for me.

After a long drive to Lucy Adam’s Studio in Langley, I parked the car in her driveway, somewhat surprised to find mine the only visiting car. Lucy, whom I had not met before, came out to greet me.

The lecture had been cancelled. After five ferry waits and this long drive, I was naturally disappointed, but instead of wasting the opportunity, I asked Lucy if it would inconvenience her if I looked at her work.

Her studio is in a  rural area with homes on large acreage parcels. Hers has a  manicured field in front of it, and then the house is up on a rock outcropping that is covered in alder trees. The studio is set back from the house  a little further up the hill.

Lucy is doing some very interesting work painting right onto glass. This method of painting results in a very curious and beautiful surface quality that is shiny and luminous.  The painting has to be done backwards, of course, with the paints being applied in reverse of what one would normally do. It’s no mean feat!

She is preparing her solo show for the Fort Gallery a little later this year and she is experimenting with a new concept – but I won’t spoil it by divulging it here.  Watch for the Fort Gallery’s upcoming shows and come see it yourselves.

There was nothing for it but to drive back home. Lucy was very apologetic about not having been able to notify me, but it wasn’t her fault. Looping back to that first comment I made, I think I was just in the right place at the right time.

Had I come to the lecture and the building had been filled with people, I would not have had the opportunity to meet Lucy personally and get to know her, nor would I have had the luxury of being able to closely examine her paintings.

I was glad to be making my way home in dusk conditions. I could see where I was going, and since it was my first time on that road, I was reassured. I had partially lost my way coming; I was happy to have early evening light to wend my way back home.

Of course,  I had to pass by The Fort Gallery and the lights were on. I wasn’t sure if it was an opening or a private party, so I stopped by,  just in case I would get to see some more art work.

As luck had it, Alexander Pernat’s show opening was this evening.  There were only seven paintings, although one, to be fair, was four-panneled and it took up most of one wall. It’s the one  at the very top of this post. A large fish stares right out at you, waiting.  Despite the stillness of the fish, there is tension in the image. It is painted so beautifully that you can imagine the fish is just waiting for a meal to swim by, or if you approach one step closer, it will dart away or scuttle under the mud in perfect camoflage. In the meantime, this fish is just waiting.

It’s perfectly painted. It has precision in the eyes where it’s needed, and it’s painterly and loose every-elsewhere. The composition works quite meditatively – it has the stillness that the waiting requires – and yet there is movement in the school of fish in the lower right.

The painting could be quite cool with all that cerulean blue but there is plenty of warmth provided in the fish’s face and in the lower right.

Alexander Pernat besides being an artist, is a craftsman. He understands colour and uses it subtly. My photographs don’t do his work justice. They were taken under less than optimal conditions. In this next image, Crescent Dusk, ( three foot by three foot, to give you an idea of scale)  Pernat has beautiful control of his colours. First of all, there is the grey cloud which, curiously enough, shows well in this poor photo here, rich with warm and cool greys.

But all the finesse Pernat has put into the water and the shoreline disappears in this photo. My apologies, but at least you can get a good idea of his work.

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The brush strokes in the wave are crisp and clear and yet applied with great freedom. There is not just one colour of azure but at least seven in the range from light to dark. There are touches of warmth in them too, although the wave is pale azure blue. There is a real feeling of transparency in the wave, and then the fshore is opaque. In the foreground, there is a full range of various dark colours but they  are completely lost in this photo, unfortunately.  It’s a rich, painterly painting.

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Pernat’s  painting of Amber Pale, in the tradition of photo realism, shows that his talents with colour mixing range both through the light colours and through the dark and somber. Yet this painting is full of light. Lovely, really.

True to all Fort Gallery openings, wine was available, and a bit of munchies. I had a bit of both, took my photos, had a wee conversation with Alexander Pernat who has just retired from his day job and will be relocating in another area of the province. This is a farewell show,  in Fort Langley.

Come to see it if you are in the area. You won’t be disappointed.

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One Response to “Lucy Adams and Alexander Pernat”

  1. Alex Pernat Says:

    Thank you for the wonderful surprise of finding “Waiting” and “AzurePale at2:30a.m.” …and to find it in Nov. 2013l very cool!

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