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Charles Alexander Moffat Retrospective 1997

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Greener Grass : 1997

Ripple #1: The Girl in the Corner : 1997

Ripple #2: A Drop in the Bucket : 1997

Ripple #3: The Love Ripple : 1997

Ripple #4: Raindrops on Roses : 1997

Windsurfing : 1997

For years now people have asked me for more details about my work, poking me with questions about how I made them, why I made them and what the paintings mean. And of course the obvious question, how much?

I don't even try to sell my paintings. Many of my works are rather academic and theoretical. They are not the kind of paintings that you would see in on someone's livingroom wall or at the dentist office. Instead, they are the kind of paintings you might see in a major art gallery.

I do occasionnally do commissions however, as you will see, and I do occasionally sell my paintings as well. I am rather loathe to part with them however.

My popularity is also rather flattering. I have fans all over the world, university students writing essays about my work, regular emails from fans who "oooh and awwwww", I've been mentioned in several documentaries, and even art groupies. I also receive regular hate-mail and threats from people who find my artwork to be somehow offensive or even blasphemous. According to many people, I am going to hell. I do not let my popularity/anti-popularity bother me however. I just find it amusing.

When I look back over the years at my work, I realize how much my work has changed, and also how much it hasn't changed. I still focus more on people, particularly women, and I am still a romantic at heart. My latest works have become more and more controversial.

As you compare different years of my work, you will see repetitive themes, such as the violin paintings. I usually do one violin painting per year. Some years there is no violin painting. Why do I make violin paintings? Because they're difficult to draw, to shade and to paint. They make excellent practice. I've gotten to the point where I can now draw and accurately shade a realistic violin from memory. Perhaps I should find something even more difficult, to give myself a challenge.

Challenges are also an aspect of my work. Some of my paintings were made partly because it was a challenge. Painting a plaid shirt for example, is a very difficult practice. Not all of my paintings are a challenge however. Some are just a compositional formula that I have worked out, and that formula is simply repeated in numerous paintings. Sometimes I tweak the formula and play with it, change it. I actually have several different That formulas that I use, off and on from time to time. These formulas have become iconic of my style.

Stylistically, I also change my style back and forth as well. Some artworks are almost photographic, while others are more abstract or stylized. It varies largely upon the theme of the piece and what particular style I think is suitable for that piece.

Not all of my art pieces are shown online. Many of them have never even been photographed. For example, my metal and wood sculptures are not shown online, because showing sculpture online really does not do the sculpture piece any justice. Many of my photographic works also are not online, as well as many paintings, numerous drawings, commissions, paintings/photographs that were made as a gift to someone, etc.

The works that are shown online tend to be the ones that are more theoretically and academic. I do make landscape paintings, but I don't show them online often. There are some examples of such art pieces, to give people a broader sense of what I do, but otherwise I simply don't bother to show such pieces online.

  • Greener Grass : 1997
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • This painting is an obvious metaphor. It contrasts the green grass with the cacti of the desert, but the highway itself is also a metaphor, representing time, and the mountains in the distance represent destiny.

  • Ripple #1: The Girl in the Corner : 1997
  • Acrylic on Illustration Board
  • The focus of this painting was on depression and physical/emotional abuse. The figure of the girl is deliberately non-descript, so that she could be confused as a male instead.

  • Ripple #2: A Drop in the Bucket : 1997
  • Acrylic on Illustration Board
  • This painting was a comment on dead bodies seen on TV news or in newspapers, combined with the chalk outlines that the police make. The stereotypical dead John Doe. The drop in the bucket represents the quantity of dead people shown in the media. By extrapolating this piece, it also relates to gun violence, gun control, and how society sees things on the media and becomes so used to seeing them that they simply don't care anymore.

  • Ripple #3: The Love Ripple : 1997
  • Acrylic on Paper, mounted on Illustration Board
  • This painting should probably be labelled Ripple #1, because it was the first one made. The ripple series followed by #1 and #2, and finally #4. There is also a 5th ripple painting, which was painted on glass. A preliminary drawing that was used in the process of making this painting was given as a gift to Megan Cassidy, a fellow Canadian artist. Megan Cassidy was the inspiration for the drawing and the painting. The circular image in the background can be the moon or the sun, it doesn't matter. It is meant simply as a romantic lightsource.

  • Ripple #4: Raindrops on Roses : 1997
  • Acrylic on Illustration Board
  • Lost love is the theme of this painting and is related to several poems written about the same time. It goes back to the formula of the Ripple #3, bringing back the horizon and the black sky. Ripple #5, which has ferns in it, is similar to this piece.

  • Windsurfing : 1997
  • Acrylic on Wood
  • This was a commissioned art piece for the Walkerton Sports Bar. It and another piece, Olympic Wrestling, were both painted on large wood panels and then placed at intervals around the bar. Other artists contributed other wood panels of different sports-related themes. The town of Walkerton was the site of the May 2000 E-coli outbreak.
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