Jane Reagh (BFA NSCAD ’86, MFA Parson’s School of Design ’89) thinks of herself as a “RE-emerging artist”. She coined this term to describe women who take time off their profession to focus on raising their children. When they re-emerge these women have the fresh eyes of a new painter as well as many years of painting behind them.
Reagh recently moved to Corner Brook, NL. The land around Corner Brook has been the focus of her painting for the last three years. She thinks of this land as an organism to be read and understood. Reagh paints “en plein air”. She sets up her easel and gives her attention completely to what is around her. She says, “The land has moods and meaning as complicated as the moods and meaning of friends and relatives. Every place and every time has something different to say. I like to be out painting IN the landscape. My paintings become a record of my time engaging with the land. I can paint in the same spot again and again. Each time I get closer to what is really there. I hear more clearly what the land is trying to say to me.”
This is technology–free painting. Today we need people who will listen to the land unmediated by digital or other media. We need people who are willing to get cold or wet, or to be blown around, or get bitten by flies. These are paintings that are about being out there. “The magic of painting”, says Reagh, “is when you see the paint on the board or canvas, and you can see that it is paint, but you can also see that it is water or hills or clouds. Where the paint and the land meet, you get a landscape painting.”