Collin Reynolds is a Navy Officer and artist living and working in Halifax. Collin is known for his realist style of painting and pastel drawing, focusing on rich tones of colour and the playfulness of light. The skill in traditional technique he developed while growing up in North Bay, Ontario has allowed him to expand and explore his style with each change of location. A first time painter for Art Battle, we can’t wait to see the life and competition Collin will bring to the easel at Art Battle 47!
Do you draw inspiration from the different places you have lived? How has your style of painting evolved with each new location?
As a landscape painter I think you can’t help but be inspired by your environment. It’s not enough to just find a pretty picture on the internet. An artist should feel a connection to their subject matter. So yes I’m inspired by my surroundings. When I first started landscapes living in Northern Ontario, it was all about the trees and fall colours. Now having lived out East for the last 5 years I’ve been drawn to seascapes and water. And because of the very nature of trying to paint water, I’ve found my style has loosened up.
How do you feel growing up in a small town influenced your creativity?
I think growing up in a small town you’re forced to start with the basics more. The art you get exposed to tends to be of the traditional or classical nature. The internet has certainly changed that for the current generation, but I didn’t have that level of exposure to new art forms growing up. But the great thing is when you wander out into the wide world you have this solid grounding of your skills to draw upon. And creativity and imagination feed off each other, so if you’re willing to explore and take chances I think most people are rewarded in the end.
How are you approaching this Battle? Plan or improv?
I would be lying if I said I haven’t thought about what I want to paint. I do have a plan for the first round. I’m still working on a backup to that if I’m lucky enough to make it to the final round. I’ll have to cross my fingers on that one.
What draws you to realism over abstract?
Well while I like the representational aspect of realism, I do quite like abstract. Oddly enough I’ve always felt I was a poor abstract painter when I tried my hand at it (I always try to make it look like something).I do however, feel like you get to hide all these great abstract forms in a good landscape, whether its leaves on a tree or waves at sea. You get close enough to any of my paintings they’re all abstract.
When you first heard about Art Battle, what did you think of the concept?
I thought it was a fantastic idea. I can’t speak for every artist, but part of you always wants to know how you really match up against other artists. And the fact that there’s a live audience just makes the stakes that much higher. Part of me though, finds it a little funny that people want to pay to watch paint dry. All in all I think its a great idea and an amazing way to start conversations about good art.
Collin will be painting at Art Battle 47 at the Bus Stop Theatre in Halifax March 22nd.
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