Scott Plear, Colorful Abstraction

Veuve Clicquot

Very little has been written about painter Scott Plear. There have been, of course, newspaper articles covering his expositions, principally in Alberta and British Columbia, where he was born in Vancouver in 1952. Yet Plear is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA) since 2004, an important artist who has exhibited solo on the west coast and in Ontario, but also in London and the United States, even in Zambia! And he is a college instructor teaching painting in British Columbia.

Now in his sixties, Plear’s youth was spent bathing in the waters of post figurative painting. It is not unexpected then that he eventually turned to abstract art. “My first experience with painting was with watercolor. This work led me naturally to acrylic paint, which allowed me a wider scale and texture range.” On viewing Plear’s paintings up close, we feel the colours intertwining and overlapping, all the while maintaining a watercolor-like transparency. But heaped on this are piles of acrylic, unspread by mason’s trowels, while elsewhere one observes the grain of the canvas hardly touched by paint. We feel the movement of the artist applying paint; his works are very colorful, very strong, and yet also very cheerful. Plear does not appear to take himself too seriously. He values the perspective of his wife and the critical commentary of his students. With his big round glasses and shaggy hair, Plear takes on the appearance of the bon vivant, but he is also a tireless worker. His painting is not grounded in sociology or politics, and he claims to have no message to convey. For him, art is achieved in the practice of it, as it is for the musician. “Art is experience, not just a figment of the imagination, and it allows us to experience feelings that could not otherwise be felt. The same goes for poetry, architecture, cuisine… it is universal,” ideas he shared with graduate student Alexandra Ghecevici at her thesis examination in 2010. And deconstruction of his paintings is not Plear’s cup of tea either. For Plear his works are charged with meaning that extends beyond words. “How can you put Mozart into words? You can try, but it won’t be Mozart. You won’t experience Mozart, you’ll experience the words. You should instead look at the paintings rather than try to describe them.” What is there to add? Go to the gallery, sit yourself down in front of the canvases and relish the work. You’ll see, it’s quite engaging. I love it.





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