Friday, December 19, 2014

Two different artists in one day

The other day I got to see some new paintings by two artists who are a big part of my life: Ben Fox and Bill Porteous. They paint very differently; Ben is a landscape painter and Bill does abstracts. But they are both exceptional painters whose work is to my mind just gorgeous.

First, look at Ben's work. He spent the summer and fall up in Haida Gwaii and came back with some beautiful work that captures the serene beauty of these islands off the north coast of BC.

This is Ben standing in front of two paintings of the deep woods. You can see they're quite large paintings and they really reflect the sense of the west coast landscape. I visited the North Island in the early '70s and seeing these paintings was like being transported back to that magical place.

We got to visit his studio (the living room of his apartment) where he had a showing and sold three paintings in one day. Congratulations Ben.

The same evening we attended the opening of Bill's annual show. Bill has been doing abstract paintings for forty years and is quite well known in Victoria. He is also the mentor to those of us in the Wednesday Art Group.  He doesn't bring his paintings to our group so I hadn't seen these works before.  These first three are smaller works 16 inches wide.  

And this one is larger about two by three feet.

Bill's work uses colour in a really gorgeous way. Looking at his paintings makes me want to run back home and start painting. (Although I won't be able to do that until we get back from Mexico in March).

Can you see why I like these paintings so much?

If I'd had time I would have done a separate post for each of these painters because their work is quite different.  But Christmas approaches and I'm not finding much time to blog.  On December 26th we will go into serious departure mode, packing and organizing our house for the dog and house sitter who is arriving on December 30th.


  1. I can understand why you like these artist.
    Very intrigued by Ben's painting of the forest on the (my) left of the photo.
    The abstract are very much to my liking also. I especially like golden first one and the smaller one on the right.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Yes, that deep forest one really pulls you in. It reminds me of Emily Carr. And I agree with you about those two golden ones.

  2. Ben's style appeals to me more, personally.

  3. You know Joanna I have no right sticking my big nose in where it is not wanted but... I am concerned about your plans to go to Mexico.
    Our government in it's stupidly has opened a big new illegal center in Texas just in case for the next wave of 15 year old kids pregnant with babies decide to come. The ones the drug cartel tell to come. The ones from the first wave have all been released to their illegal families here in America. So the next wave is coming soon.
    In Mexico, the mayor, police of Iguala along with the Guerreros Unidos gang killed 43 students.
    Violence is everywhere. Even in the tourist areas.
    I don't know where your going but be careful. I am concerned for you both.

  4. Hi Gayle,
    Thank you for your concern. I had heard about the killings of these students. We are a long way away from that. I am aware of the need to be careful in Mexico. We will be staying in a residential area in Mazatlan with many North Americans and I think we will be ok. Please don't worry.

  5. WOW! Thanks for sharing these images of two artists with whom I was not familiar! Love their work!


I really appreciate your comments.