Artist Statement

My work is primarily about shapes and colour, however line making is also a very important element. The connection between the shapes is often a line running between, or giving the illusion of going under or over, sweeping across these various shapes with dark or light, along with other marks, scratches and squiggles. Brush and tool marks are clearly visible, causing the viewer to see whatever he or she wishes.

Painting in large scale gives me the freedom to involve my whole body and invites the viewer to share this experience. I use numerous tools - anything which makes a mark, such as old credit cards, pieces of branches, wood, or a window squeegee. I sometimes put the canvas on the floor, walking around it, viewing it from all angles. What I visualized when I started is not what I ended up with. It is always different. This is the magic of how things just appear. This is how I see part of my world - in shapes and colour and they are sources of inspiration for my work. I have always used line and mark making, often without intention, they just seem to happen.

When I look at my earlier works they are always present and now, under the influence of my mentor, John Leonard RCA - Master Painter, Op Art ideas are presenting themselves, along with numerous other mark-making techniques. Abstract art is the most challenging to paint and the most difficult to understand.

About The Artist

Pauline Clarkson is best described as an Abstract Expressionist Painter, with elements of Hard Edge Op ART Colourist. She studies with John Leonard RCA at Fleming College Haliburton School of Art and Design, where she annually attends Master-level classes. In 2019, she was awarded best in show at the HSAD Convocation Hall "Chroma" exhibition. In December 2020, Pauline was inducted into the Ontario Society of Artists.

The McMichael Canadian Collection has hosted five group exhibitions in which Pauline participated. In 2019, she participated for the fifth time in the Ontario Provincial Touring Exhibition "Progressions VIII".

Born in London England, she now works out of her studio at Fifth Avenue in the Glebe, in Ottawa. Her work is foremost about shapes; working with acrylic, using vibrant saturated colour, sometimes incorporating collage, and always scraping. Line making is visual and can be seen in most of her paintings.

In her earlier years while living and growing up in Knightsbridge, she was provided with hours of gallery opportunities, thereby completely immersing her in a world of fashion and art, which soon became her passion.

After arriving in Canada at the age of 20, she worked in Television Theatre Fashion and Theatrical Makeup. She graduated from the Ottawa School of Art’s Three-Year Diploma Program and received a Fine Arts Diploma from Fleming College in 2004. Subsequently, in 2014 she received a diploma in Studio Process Advancement.

Pauline is passionate about “shapes and colour” and her work has been influenced by the German Expressionist Painters, as well as by the colour palette of the Old Masters. Occasionally, female forms appear in her work.

During her time at Fleming College she was greatly influenced by Denis Cliff and, more recently, John Leonard RCA.

Pauline's paintings hang in the personal collection at the Irish Embassy, The British High Commission and numerous Ottawa law firms.

Her paintings have been referred to as “sophisticated” and “exciting” but also as “having a feeling of peace and calmness”.