- Alfred G. Villeneuve
Animated for all time.”
Through my creative process I live out the following personal maxim-To capture in each subject the eternal movement of colour; that resides in Nature; and affords us the opportunity to revisit, and discover new fragments of memory and reflection. For me, it is not good enough to replicate a scene, with a view to merely attracting theviewer.
I choose and commit a subject to canvas; based on its ability to convey a thought, or reflection, in relation to what I am experiencing, or have experienced in lifestruggle, joy, love, outrage, peace… Living and working in the same locale where I was born and raised (Madawaska & Ottawa Valleys, Algonquin Park Region), has granted me a familiarity with the land; a painterly intimacy; sensitive to its faintest change or movement.
My Father’s ancestors (Kichisippirini-Algonquin) regarded this area as “Tanakiwin” (homeland), and it still boasts what visitors might call-‘pristine wilderness.’ Forty minutes west of my hometown in the Madawaska Valley, you pass through Whitney Ontario, three kilometres further, the East Gate’s log buildings beckons you into Algonquin Provincial Park’s more than 7,600 square kilometres of forest, including thousands of lakes, rivers and streams; ,and hundreds of kilometres of canoe routes and trails on which to explore the ‘interior’. Travelling these trails and waterways, for more than four decades, I feel guided to continue discovering the aesthetic of this sprawling, Boreal forest, splayed over the Canadian/Pre-Cambrian Shield; and to express the stories of our shared history and
cultures. My personal artistic creed encompasses aesthetic, cultural and historical approaches, as well as an autodidactic approach to the history of Art. This has allowed me to explore a range of philosophies and movements; including the Romantic, Impressionist and Modern Periods. I’ve found inspiration and kinship closer to home, in the lives and work of – Emily Carr, Jean Paul Riopelle, Alex Colville, Norval Morriseau, David Milne and Glen Gould. Journaling my experiences and composing poetry along the trail/ at the easel, has offered another prism from which to examine and focus on the subject at hand.
This cross-pollination of my anthropological cultural ties to both First Nations and Settler
populations; Native- Nature based spirituality; vis a vis; Euro-Christianity; has resulted in a
stylistic divination I call “Algonkin Mosaic”, honouring both the spirit and memory of ‘all
my relations’. I continue to discover new paths on the land, and in my paintings.
Thank you, Megwetch, Merci !
Alfred G. Villeneuve