AUDREY GARWOOD 1927–2004
Landscape - exploring exterior patterns
Born in Toronto
Resided in Oakland, California and Toronto

Audrey studied drawing and painting at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. Upon graduating she attended drawing courses at La Grande Chaumiere in Paris, France; a scholarship provided the opportunity for further studies at the Rijks Academie in Amsterdam.

She returned to Toronto, married, raised four children, and taught art for seven years; all while continuing to paint, hold exhibitions, win awards and sell her work to major corporations and public collections.

She was a member of The Royal Canadian Academy, The Ontario Society of Artists and the Women's Caucus of the Arts. Numerous reviews of her work have been published in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and the San Francisco Examiner.

Audrey's painting career addressed several areas of interest. Her early work involved small groups of people who mysteriously and intensely played some nameless game. The paintings were dreamlike and elemental usually influenced by some incident she had seen. Gradually her paintings became more faceted and jewel-like in colour; further musings on the isolation and strength of people.

In the 1970s Audrey moved with her second husband to Berkeley, California where she remained for ten years. During that period her paintings became large simplified abstractions described by a San Francisco critic as "lively, cultivated in feeling, poetic and incidentally decorative." A trip to the Sierras renewed her commitment to landscape, the facets and rhythms of rock strata and the monumentality of mountains.

Returning to Toronto in 1981, Audrey drew inspiration from the Canadian Shield near Georgian Bay and from her travels to Newfoundland, the Rockies and the high Arctic and from canoe trips to British Columbia and the Yukon. Although travel to Spain, Italy and the Orient inspired a number of paintings, the Canadian north is at the center of her vision of landscape.

A return to California in 1991 lead to an exploration of garden imagery and resulted in exuberant paeans to growth and colour, rhythm and movement. This work culminated in the twenty paintings of the rainforest series.

Audrey's response to life remained one of optimism and enthusiasm combined with a vigorous appetite for exploring the geographical environments that inspired her. In the last years of ther life, Audrey divided her time between Oakland and Toronto and continued her love of travel.

In 2001, Audrey joined an Artist's Tour of The Silk Road in China with side trips to Hangchow to meet artists at the Art Academy, Shanghai Art Museum, Beijing and Xian Museum with visits to archeology sites.

An exhibition called "Living Water" was based on sketches of a river in full spate in the Northern California Mountains and was held at Painted City Gallery in Toronto from October 4th to the 27th, 2001

For more information on Audrey Garwood and her paintings, please check out the official site, audreygarwood.com.

BARBARA BICKLE
bbickle@ns.sympatico.ca