Debra Krakow  



I am an artist and architect. Originally from Montreal, I now live and paint on Wolfe Island in the Thousand Islands. My studio overlooks acres of fields and the St. Lawrence Seaway. From this inspiring place, I continue my ongoing quest to create artwork that melds our innate sense of beauty with our modern, urbanized sensibilities.

I work in series with several pieces in progress at a time. My paintings evolve spontaneously and include non-objective works and abstract landscapes. I put a large canvas on the floor and work on it from all sides, pouring, brushing, pushing and pulling the paint until the piece hums with energy, mystery and beauty.

I also work in mixed media, incorporating textiles, handmade paper, drawing media, collage and paint. Beginning with an underpainting of luminous glazes, I build the paintings layer by layer, selectively revealing and obscuring the work below. This creates a richly textured finished piece that is evocative and intriguing, and invites interpretation without imposing an overt meaning.

My latest series of paintings is called "Horizons". The horizon line is sometimes subtle, sometimes overt; with this demarcation, the abstracts become landscapes. People are drawn to wide-open spaces and expansive views, and landscape paintings connect us to these places. The concept of abstract landscape allows me incredible artistic freedom and yet grounds the work in visual experience.

I am continuing to explore the possibilities of acrylic paint as a medium, working with layers and texture to evoke earth and sky. The canvases go back and forth from the floor to the easel several times as they evolve. On the floor I move quickly with very fluid paint and large tools. When the work is on the easel I am slower and more contemplative, using controlled brush strokes and stepping back often to see the work from a distance.

It's the push and pull between these two ways of working that gives the paintings their energy – that delicate balance between fluidity and structure, softness and vibrancy, transparency and solidity, mystery and clarity.

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