Through my artwork I attempt to explore light on the Canadian Landscape. There is a certain temperature to the light up here, a crispness that is uniquely Canadian. It speaks to me in a harmony of colours. Delicate but savage; rich but not overwhelming – elegant. I hope it comes through in my work.
What began as an inward journey to escape the war ravaged city that I grew up in, has metamorphosed from dark brooding symbolism in my youth, to colourful optimism and a celebration of light today. I still remember bleeding the colours together while the crackle of machine guns and mortar rounds rose above ELP, Pink Floyd and Yes. Nous Sommes Du Soleil. Ha! Those were the dark days.
I paint because I fall in love with a moment. Sometimes I capture it successfully, and other times – too many times – I fail. I am proud to say that my artwork has seeped into private collections from Australia through Europe to North America. I cherish all my collectors and value their choice to own my artwork. In a way, a work of art is not whole until someone owns it. I am grateful for that.
Zan is the recipient of the 2010 Forest Award and the 2009 Lodge Award for plein air painting in Ontario. Zan is the founder and past president of Ontario Plein Air Society, a group of Ontario painters dedicated to painting the Canadian landscape from life.
Artist Zan Barrage