Originally appeared in the July 28th issue of the Klondike Sun.
Dawson City’s John Lodder has a collection of new works on display at the Confluence Members Gallery, ranging from realistic landscapes and portraits to more surreal works inspired by his subconscious. –Megan Graham
MG: In your artist statement, you said that this show is an attempt to see extent of your ability. Now that the show is up, how do you feel about that statement?
JL: I’ve got an awful lot more to learn. You never stop learning. Every picture is a challenge and you’re trying to learn something with every picture, so you always try to stretch yourself. I could never paint the same thing over and over again with the same kind of treatment. There has to be the challenge. I didn’t do any artwork for a long time and I’m sort of trying to catch up. If I had a lot more time, then I could more gradually evolve and explore and learn, but I’m sort of a little pressed for time. That accounts also for the variety. I have to keep interest and so I have a whole variety of subjects because again, I couldn’t paint a series or paint things that are similar. I might come around to something again eventually. I do a landscape, I do a number of other things, I eventually come back to a landscape. But I couldn’t do a succession of landscapes. It’s got to be different.
MG: Does this show have particularly new subjects or techniques?
JL: A lot of these are done in the last couple years, so a lot of the things are new, I’d say. I’d just got into oil paintings and acrylics; I used watercolours before. So a lot of these are new things, but they’re based on photographs, not on real models.
MG: Was there a reason why you wanted to try acrylics?
JL: It was just another medium to explore. I prefer gauche, actually. I started painting with poster paints, which are like gauche, but they didn’t sell them in town here and I can’t find the kind of gauche I want, so I went to acrylics just to try that out and did that for a while, and then I got into oils, which I kind of prefer in some ways. It’s all part of an exploration.
MG: What’s been the most surprising thing in this exploration process or the most fun?
JL: It’s all fun. It’s sometimes frustrating, I guess. Sometimes, you have to work on some of the paintings quite a bit to get them right. I am, in a sense, lacking in technical skills. I’m not the strongest drawer. Because again, that was something you could learn over a number of years, but I don’t have time to take time to do a lot of drawing, so I might make a drawing or trace it on, but I’ve really got to work at it and do a lot of erasing to get what I want. I don’t have time to do a lot of studying, I just get it done and get painting!
MG: Do plan to continue painting after this show?
JL: Yeah, I’m doing some stuff now. I didn’t get much done this summer because of trips out of town, so I want to get producing these things again.
John Lodder’s show of new works is on view at the Confluence Members Gallery (at SOVA, 3rd and Queen) until August 12. Lodder’s works are also available for purchase at the gallery.