The first inspiration for new work is sometimes simply seeing things that looks like they would be a joy to paint. Such was the case with this series, started in 2004 and finished in 2013, of paintings set in the basement of my 115 year old home in Nova Scotia. The aged surfaces on the things found down there—the stone foundation, storm doors, table, chunks of wood, buoys, potted plants, old glass and mirrors—almost cried out to be painted.
During the process of working up an idea then painting, however, the subject begins to communicate. I discover things. There is something fundamental, even important, about a basement—the raw sub-structure (the foundation) of a building, with its plumbing, electrical wiring, heat system and more—but it’s usually hidden away, deliberately out of sight.
A feeling of timelessness resides in the Basement. Mostly a feeling of the past, with a bit of the present, but somehow not the future.
Doing this series has been a great joy. I hope that joy comes through to you, the viewer, along with a sense of that timeless, raw mystery. - Richard