DOWN THE AVENUE OF MY IMAGINATION: a painting retrospect of Menlo Macfarlane

a winter's river weaves it's way past a gentle village • for web


Artist Reception: June 6 2014, 6-9:30pm

Menlo Macfarlane is a true aboriginal of the arts and metaphysical landscape. His paintings are like a bridge into your soul if you choose to go in that direction.
— L B Frank Bookmouth

Artist Statement:

I’m a landscape painter by choice and the landscape I’m choosing to paint is the one between my soul and myself.

Painting for me is an invocation of travel. Traveling within. An art adventure. Heading into “the great” unknown. Looking for the personal treasures hidden there. “I’m going into myself dear. Don’t wait up I could be gone a lifetime or even two, maybe three if I’m lucky.”

I’m going somewhere and you can’t come with me. You have your own elsewhere to go and it must be beautiful too.

These paintings can show you where I’ve been and what I’ve seen and maybe where I’m going to go next.

It is the process that I love but not the one we normally think of.

It’s a lot of attention to detail. Often waiting for simplicity. Days and days of laborious bliss, painting schools of fish with popsicle sticks and waiting for the weather to change and the oils to dry. It’s good work.

There is storytelling involved and a real love for the illusive art of the imagination.

Somebody once told me that I had an innate ability with color. That was inspiring and gave me something to run with.

In my earlier years I concentrated on composition and when I travelled I filled my sketchbooks with little storyboards of the things I imagined I saw, heard and thought.

I live in the country these days but earlier on I did spend a lot of time in New York City, Montreal, Barcelona, London, Venice and various other places around our planet.

I come from Vancouver, British Columbia where it’s probably raining as you’re reading this. One of the most beautiful cities in the world for sure.

Life is great in the sense that you can go anywhere with your imagination and you can transform your experiences into something that works for you and continues to keep you working on your art.

The mechanics of putting the painting together are a lot like sailing for me. I like to take the paintings way out into the creative oceans.

Waves of texture, color, the movement of the line, the negative space, the rhythm of making a painting. Everything helps to keep the painting afloat.

One day a long time ago, I got a small part in an Act of God, I was 27 at the time. It was like a mental ferry accident in deep water and I was one of the passengers afraid of drowning in what I thought I knew at the time. Everything changed for me after that and nothing was ever the same again. You go in these directions, further into the unknown and make records of where you’ve been and what you saw. These paintings are part of my LP record collection. LP as in long-playing and made with wax.

When it comes to making a painting I like to work in a way that when I leave the painting it feels alive. It has a life of it’s own and hopefully will go live with someone else.

I love other forms of art and actually worked for many years as a modern dancer, mime, musician and, dare I say, circus performer. And all these things have contributed to the paintings and to the joy of being an artist.

Painting does seem to be a lonely profession, alone in the studio soloing in the art vapors. So thank you for joining us here tonight, hope you enjoy the art.

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