Critique the Collection vol. 1: Irina Teske

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Tom Thomson’s “White Birches” froze a moment in time, a moment arrested in the memory of a young girl as it flashed by through the window of a speeding car.  Every year of my childhood, sometimes multiple times a year, seems like every long weekend, we would pack up the car and visit family and friends, crisscrossing Canada in every possible direction. Bouncing from one side of the back of the station wagon to the other, I would shift to daydream mode, marveling at the panoramic views. Before I knew who the Group of Seven and their friends were, I was in awe of the same landscape that was their muse. 

Typical northern Ontario scenery, rife with birch trees and marshy ground.  Vertical slashes of bleached bark, uphill diagonals of ochre and moss green earth moving away from the viewer, fading into the background of blurry forms as far as the eye can see, a childhood impression captured, movement suspended, as the landscape zips past and fades, replaced by another vista, more trees, the lake, the bog, but the foreground, halted not only by the upward white brushstrokes but also by the series of cerulean daubs, where the background equals the importance of the foreground, side by side with the trees is the blue of the sky.

Irina Teske, a graduate of the University of Windsor is a painter, printmaker and auto assembler (FCA) currently residing in Tecumseh, Ontario.