Bev Rodin Biography
Bev Rodin is well known as one of Canada’s highly respected contemporary landscape painters. Her remarkable large scale canvases are included in Canadian and international collections, including corporate and government collections. Bev’s paintings have been selected for museum shows as well as touring exhibitions.
Bev Rodin was born in Ontario, Canada, of Swedish, French and Scottish heritage and her grandparents were prairie homestead farmers. Her strong dialogue with the natural landscape reflect her experience both as a child and as an adult living in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Denver and her adventures both in North America and Europe.
From an early age, Bev explored creative pursuits in music, dance, drawing, painting and singing. She received her PhD from U of T, an MA from Vermont College and her BA from the U of S. Her academic background is complemented by studies with prominent American and Canadian painters. Bev also benefited from one on one critiques with her friend Renata Realini. This relationship has led Bev to value mentorship in the arts and she is a favoured advisor and mentor.
Bev’s paintings and writing have been published in numerous books on artists and art technique, international art magazines and children’s books . As an inspirational design and painting instructor, Bev’s teaching contracts have included Ryerson University, University of Toronto, OCAD, Brock University and York University.
Bev’s paintings explore the universal and collective experience of natural landscapes. Unusual lighting, mist, transience, fragility, fleeting encounters with dappled light, water movements, atmosphere, transparency and reflections are combined with elegant colour groupings to create paintings that although nature based are illusionary, abstracted, haunting, quiet, sometimes energized and occasionally magical. Her contemporary paintings are spiritual, peaceful and powerful. Rich in scale and accomplished in technique her paintings exude a strong reverence for each moment in time. A signature series, the Forest Light Series are a metaphor for universal human qualities such as patience, majesty and growth.
Bev is honoured to be represented by Canada House Gallery, Banff; West End Gallery, Edmonton and Victoria; Galerie d’art au P’tit Bonheur, La Malbaie, Charlevoix ,Quebec; Gibson Fine Art, Calgary. International representation to be announced soon.
My Studio practice
What happens between the brushstrokes is an intuitive freedom made possible by a solid foundation of painting skills, composition and colour theory. Once a painting has been laid out, I paint in the studio in large blocks of time both during the day and at night, in order to get “into a flow” . To achieve this I maintain a studio journal. The journal has two purposes. The first is to make notes on the painting as it progresses. These notes are very brief and are concerned primarily with composition, the singular theme of the painting and the predominant colour scheme. The second purpose of the journal is to log my studio time . The simple outcome of the time log is that I concentrate on painting, avoid doing dishes and allocate email correspondence and phone calls to non studio time.
I am actually a fairly slow painter. On location, the sketches or plein air work might be quick but the large studio paintings develop slowly using multiple transparent and opaque glazes, negative space, gestural expressive lines, an interplay of abstraction and representational shapes and soft and hard edges. These techniques and methods I use with landscape, florals, interiors and figure work. In my studio there are generally a minimum of half a dozen paintings in progress, all mysteriously evolving at different stages of development . This allows me to let glazes dry thoroughly and to intuitively respond to the glazing effects as the painting progresses. Although I have an end result in mind for each painting, often a painting takes on a life of its own and develops in a direction that is exciting and not at all what I had anticipated. This touch of serendipity is part of the joy of painting. Having several paintings in progress also allows me to work in series, each painting inspiring the next. An important benefit of having several paintings in progress is that no one painting is too precious and if a painting needs a major revision or if I decide the composition is not powerful enough, I discard the canvas and start again. My conviction is that if I had only worked on one painting it would be less easy to start over.
My background in Japanese brush painting, figure drawing, and watercolour add an important dimension to my work on canvas. In order to maintain high quality paintings, I custom order the stretchers and canvas, use only excellent quality artists paints and apply a UV protect varnish to all canvases. Music plays a large role in the studio; Morricone, Bach, Knofler, Clapton and Orbison, anything with a beautiful memorable melody.
Large studio works are based on thousands of photographs and sketches and represent composites of many things I have seen. Inspiration also comes from canoeing, hiking, gardening as well as day to day life. Something as simple as the light through a kitchen window creating pattern on a row of ripening tomatoes can inspire a series of works. If my paintings create an emotional response, a sense of having been there or a sense of timelessness then I am rewarded when clients attend my exhibitions and express how much they enjoy on a daily basis just viewing the painting they have purchased.
I am grateful and humbled by the continued opportunity to paint full time, to be exhibiting in excellent Canadian galleries and to have my paintings collected nationally and internationally. When not painting , you might find me cooking, dancing, reading, playing with the grandchildren or just enjoying the view with my husband.
Please email the studio for a complete CV or The Symbolic Meaning of Forests in my work.