Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sue Coleman: The Transformer

The Transformer captures a certain west coast, Salish mood. I like it, but then again, I respond favourably to impressionistic art.

My left hemisphere wants to nail this down - you know what I mean - this means this and that means that. But does it really matter what it says? In some ways, this is about space and containment and height. The tall pole like structures are jumbled together like a grove of aspens. There is barely any space between them, and you can almost can feel the pressure of coastal rainforest overgrowth, crowding in around you.

But there is more than that. The aspens if they are aspens have carved designs. Are they trees or are they carved poles? Maybe this is the point. There is a kind of naturalness about it if to say that Salish art is not just part of the life of the coastal native people, but it is a product of the environment. And, where does it begin and where does it end? See what I mean? And when answers fail us, all that remains is emotion and the feeling of the human restriction.

Artist's Comments:

I am always fascinated with the perspective of others when they look at my paintings. Sometimes I have no real direction when I start a piece and when I do it quite often it takes off in a totally different direction entirely.
This was one of those pieces that had a mind of it's own. I was trying to hide the spirit if the Raven (Transformer) in with the trees. I wanted to blend him into his habitat to give the feeling that he is all around and watching you when you are out in the woods.

I'm not sure if it worked but I had fun doing it. The colours are not vibrant and it is a rather somber piece but it is very much West Coast especially in the fall or winter.
If you wish to see more of the works in Sue's gallery please click here.


  1. This is a very beautiful painting with wonderful composition and just the right does indeed evoke the sense of being in a Pacific Northwest Forest. I live where I can walk in one every day and the forest has a way of enfolding you in moments so that you almost question the
    existence of any other world in any other place.

  2. I adore the painting. There is something unspoken about it, something hidden behind the trees (or within them?). The poetry of Salish art with all the mysticism and depth barely understandable for us is irresistible. I feel like going for a very long walk to the woods!


Thank you for posting your comments.
ATTENTION SPAMMERS: Comments with links to other websites, will not be accepted.

A message for anonymous posters: Comments will be accepted provided they are thoughtful and articulate.

Reciprocating comments between posters will not be accepted. Sorry - I have no intention of giving readers the opportunity to engage in flame wars. It won't happen.

Fredericks-Artworks Blog, copying policy

The Canadian Copyright act, section 29 reports on fairdealing, that it is not an infringement to reproduce someone else's work for research, study, criticism, review or to report. Which pretty much sums up what this site is about. All content sources, be they artists, printed references, and website url's are respectfully identified on this site. http://http//

Mission Statement
A Portrait of the Visual Arts in Canada, is intended to celebrate the richness of Canada's visual arts, and to promote the arts in Canada.

Statement of Intent
I make every effort to credit the sources of information used in this blog and to obtain the permission and cooperation of all the works presented by living artists. I try, as much as possible to use works from public sources eg. national and provincial collections, of deceased artists. If for any reason, any artist disapproves of anything written about them or their work the artist is encouraged to request withdrawal of the content.