A chickadee balances on a bamboo stem; a house finch hides in a blackberry bramble; a lone fisherman patiently awaits a nibble; an abandoned ship lists in the Fraser River; a cat naps on the steps of a Mykonos house.
These are some of the images that Surrey artist John Cranswick presents in A Quiet Nature – a survey exhibition of paintings from 1996 to the present – at the Surrey Art Gallery from June 25 to Aug. 21.
Cranswick creates images of a world of contrasts, between the enduring natural realm and the transitory reality of man-made environments. Highly regarded for his close observation of birds and animals, he crafts paintings that evoke quiet and contemplative moods while speaking volumes about current issues of our global environment.
The paintings in this exhibition are drawn from three areas of particular interest to Cranswick: the study of birds, views of local scenes, and images of world travel. Complementing the paintings is a small display of his sketches, colour notes and reference photographs.
Cranswick is a self-taught painter who now works mainly in acrylics, after many years working in watercolour and graphite. Despite a lifelong interest in the visual arts, the desire to paint came at a point in his graphic arts career when the industry moved to computer generated and digitally printed images. A Quiet Nature is his first solo exhibition.
The show is presented concurrently with ARTS 2011, Ellen Moffat: vBox, and From the Land of Five Rivers.
Meet the artist at an opening reception on June 24 at 7-9 p.m. Admission to the opening reception is free. Admission to the exhibition is by donation.
Surrey Art Gallery is located at 13750 88 Ave. Phone 604-501-5566 or check www.surrey.ca/arts for more information.