David Collier – Part 1

I had noticed David’s portraits up at the Cannery some time ago and eventually one followed me home. Shortly there after I got in touch with David and he shared some photos of more his work and his artist statement which I’ve attached below.

“My practice is very direct. I create portraits of literary figures, musicians, artists, activists, and other personalities whose accomplishments have inspired or contributed to my own life and work. I collect photos from common sources such as Internet search engines, magazines, or book jackets. Using the photos as a reference, I begin each individual piece with an immediate gesture drawing that simplifies the face into shapes, allowing the ink to determine the features. The weight and expressiveness of the line assembles a loose representation that is complimented by the addition of the soft fluidity of the watercolour. My original source photos are always black and white. The act of controlling the variables, and limiting information encourages me to explore and amplify colour. This method of working permits me to focus on executing an established vocabulary of mark-making while not compromising the subject.
The continual process of collecting and reproducing a community of admired figures has evolved into a personal catalogue chronicling the influences of the last several years of my life. The further I proceed with this project the more I stray from subjects of my own choosing in order to meet the demand of frequent requests. As a result I have been introduced to several inspiring personalities that I may not have been exposed to otherwise. The process of creating these portraits has allowed me to become involved with the life and accomplishments of these people.
This series began in 2007 shortly after graduating from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. The thirty piece series that was on display at The Wired Monk, in Halifax, all sold to independent buyers. This initial success propelled me to continue producing portraits in a similar fashion. I have since donated several pieces to the JazzEast Gala Fundraiser in 2007, as well as the Scotia Festival of Music’s Draw Party, Buffet & Auction in 2008 and 2009. I most recently have participated in two events held during Pop Montreal Music Festival 2009. An art and crafts fair Puces Pop (October 3-4, 2009) where I displayed and sold my portraits, and collected several commissions following the fair. The second was an art event entitled The Happiness Project (September 30-October 4, 2009), inspired by the concept album by Canadian musician Charles Spearin. I took the same approach from my portrait series and applied it to a large scale figurative drawing that was part of a collaborative multi-media installation, alongside several other visual artists. My contribution was one of two pieces selected to travel to Toronto to be installed during the X Avant New Music Festival (October 21-25, 2009) once again accompanying Spearin’s music. These experiences have exposed my work to a wider audience and has broadened my portfolio, which will only continue to grow.”

For contact info and more information on David and his work, visit his website;


About Electric City Art Lodge

The Electric City Art Lodge is based in Peterborough, Ontario and focuses on the coverage of local artists, art and the artistic happenings of our city and beyond.
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