These two works of art compliment each other beautifully.  The painting explores scenic relations between nature, self and our ability to adapt once placed in a certain environment.

Gary Pearson

The Conversation

The small painting The's pretty much that what you see is what it means...however I would say that it fits nicely amongst previous work that depict couples in restaurants and bars who, while not exactly engaged in animated conversation are nevertheless sitting together. In this case the young couple sitting on the ledge are engaged in conversations albeit electronically. So while they're not speaking to each other in the conventional sense they are all the same communicating, whether it's with each other or someone further afield is an open question. – Gary Pearson

Okanagan-based artist Gary Pearson paints a cast of characters and scenes that reflect his interest in the transitional nature of life itself. Using subdued colours that evoke an atmosphere of melancholic nostalgia, his portrayal of the everyday is rooted in his dispassionate and detached observation of contemporary society. Urban spaces such as cafes, bars, hotel lobbies and city parks are presented as generic and unremarkable, apt backdrops for the mundane moments unfolding for the characters on his canvases. Executed in a purposefully crude and repetitive style, his subjects are deliberately unspectacular, and reminiscent of a casual snapshot.

Gary Pearson is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna. He received his M.A. from the University of Saskatchewan and his B.F.A. from the University of Victoria. Pearson is an interdisciplinary artist who works primarily in painting and video. He has been exhibiting internationally since 1983. His work in video includes experimental and documentary genres. He is also an author who has written for several art journals including Border Crossings and Sculpture Magazine. He is the recipient of the International Studio Award at P.S.1/MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) New York and the 1991 VIVA award.

Weather Maker
Katherine Pickering

The painting 'Weather Maker' is from the 'Hinge' series, in which I took walks at night in remote wilderness areas, as a method of visual research. At night our lack of sight prioritizes the body through touch and an altered awareness of time, so by exploring the nightime landscape, I found that I was able to explore the connections between abstraction, vision and darkness.

In her 1997 lecture, 'Framing Abstraction', Susan Stewart suggested an alternative to established narratives for the development of abstract painting in western art. Stewart theorized that if our experience of daytime led to the invention of perspectival realism, then nighttime could be argued to have led to the development of abstraction.

As a painter interested in the shifting dynamics of nighttime darkness, I find Stewart’s thesis compelling. While night’s diminishing darkness has been recently addressed in books such as Paul Bogard’s 'The End of Night', little has been said about the effects of this loss on ways of seeing. Building on Stewart’s alternative narrative for the development of abstraction, 'Hinge' explores three main questions: What do we experience when we look at darkness? What is the connection between looking at darkness and abstract painting? And what is the value of these ways of seeing?

Katherine Pickering is an Okanagan-based artist who is an abstract painter. She currently teaches drawing and two-dimensional studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus. Prior to this she taught painting at Concordia University in Montreal. Since completing graduate school at Concordia University in 2009, she has been attending artist-in-residence programs, in Banff, Turkey, Vermont, Newfoundland, Montreal, and Iceland. Pickering’s work has been shown in Quebec, in British Columbia, and in Turkey.