Christine Gollner presents: Connecting with the Land
Sept 22 - Oct 19, 2019. Opening Friday Sept 20 5-7pm. Artist’s Talk at 5:30pm.
Gallery Hours: Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday 10am-2pm. Artist in Attendance on Saturdays.
Looking at West Coast Maples by Christine Gollner takes you into the heart of the forest. We appear to be looking through branches on a high knoll. There is warmth and visual harmony in this contemplative artwork. The central tree form recedes gently into the distance beckoning us forward. The distance recedes into a blue/green vista. Tonal shifts in small areas move our eyes around the composition. Maple leaves in cheerful autumn colours dot the top third of the canvas. We feel at home In this protected place - connected to the natural world.
“Connecting with the Land” is the name of Christine Gollner’s solo show at the Chapel Gallery. Curator Jill Ehlert praises the strength and serenity of Gollner’s paintings. “We are hopeful that Christine’s paintings will spark a deeper relationship with creation,” says Ehlert, “and a desire to protect our fragile planet.” The Chapel Gallery at St Matthias Anglican Church presents six exhibitions a year, as part of their community outreach ministry. Each show has a seasonal theme. Gollner’s Sept/Oct show falls in the Season of Creation.
Christine Gollner spent her early childhood in Metchosin, well-acquainted with the land. She ran freely on her family’s property bordering Witty’s Lagoon. Sixty acres to roam and a horse to ride. Today, Gollner paints what she knows from personal experience. She’s in tune with the rugged shorelines and towering west coast trees. “Standing alone in a forest,” she says, “I feel larger than myself.” She also feels grounded and supported by the rock formations and trees.
Gollner’s west coast landscapes may be familiar to gallery guests. She often takes part in Oak Bay Studio Tours. The artist has painted for 27 years with the Victoria Sketch Club. Her paintings are popular at their annual show at Glenlyon Norfolk school. Each season the Sketch Club heads out to a wilderness location to paint en plein air. For several days they paint on location, gathering in the evenings to socialize. Gollner spends many hours observing and sketching her surroundings. She tries to capture the essential details of the scene. “Its the spirit of the place that inspires my painting,” she says.
“I love being outdoors,” Gollner says, “but my artworks develop in the studio.” Gollner's painting skills come from many years of practice with a variety of mediums and methods. She has worked in watercolours, oils and mixed media, showing her work at juried art shows and galleries. Myfanwy Pavelic’s collection holds one of Gollner’s mixed media works. Pavelic noted the rhythmic quality in Gollner’s artwork - something she was working on herself at the time.
Gollner’s concise palette gives a cohesive colour range to each painting. Her acrylics paints are Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue and Hansa Middle Yellow. Mixing them together gives her darks; mixing them with white produces all other hues. Cadmiums and cobalts supply accent colours. The artist’s colour choices are intuitive, helping to set tone, mood and atmosphere. Before beginning, the artists sketches out her composition on the canvas with acrylic. “A good painting is one that balances colour, form, line and composition,” she says.
While raising her family, Gollner moved often, following the military postings of her husband in Canada and abroad. Whenever possible she took courses and classes in each new location. With children launched, she studied art history at the University of Manitoba. Gollner was impressed by Emily Carr and the Group of Seven painters, especially Lawren Harris.“The inner radiance or Lawren’s majestic blue and white landscapes touched me,” she says. Gollner understood these artists. They were, like her, driven to paint.
Portfolio in hand, Gollner entered Emily Carr Art College in Vancouver (now University of Art and Design). “I worked very hard doing abstractions,” she says, “I enjoyed the swooping freedom of large brushes and luscious colours.” Gollner was an innovative student, not much concerned with the status quo. When she tired of the tedious task of stretching canvases, she decided to “drape” them instead. The results are uniquely textural with richly coloured folds. Gollner received a scholarship to attend the Art College of Ottawa for her fourth year.
Between 1990-1993, Gollner had two successful solo shows at the Arctic Art Gallery in Yellowknife and one in their Banff location. (Correct?) Inspired by the beauty of this extraordinary land, often viewed from the air, Gollner captured the north in a variety of images. She used her keen observation and drawing skills to perfect the shaggy, horned muskoxen. This stalwart survivor of climate changes and extreme weather, is a genetically unique animal. They are a protected species in their only known habitat - the Canadian tundra. As well as shaggy beasts, the artist produced delicate images of local flora and fauna which delighted collectors. She also painted the iconic stone statues of the Inuit called inuksuit. Gollner used watercolours to capture the ethereal glow of Northern lights.
Christine Gollner welcomes your interest in her artwork, and can be reached at: email@example.com