The battle between slush and cowboy boot was beat by the welcome mat at
the Peter Robertson Gallery where Frank Grisdale is showing his prairie
landscapes and water scenes until December 20. A self- taught city born
photographer, Grisdale has created colorful photographic “watercolor”
scenes using the exacting lens of the camera. In his bio Grisdale
states, “My aim is to peak artistically at around the age 90.” It’s
refreshing to come across someone who’s not in a rush to please.
Image credit: Frank Grisdale "Two Tone Field" 2008. Photography.
The walls of the gallery were awash with vibrant colors juxtaposing
Mother Nature and her apparent love of Edmonton's seven months of winter
grey. Portraits of the summer sun peaking through fields of hazy gold
and refracting the endless reflections from still and shaky waters were
planned out evenly throughout the well-lit gallery. Grisdale’s use of
lens and color make most of the landscape photos dreamlike--as if a
person was walking through a secret path in the forest with a centaur
having a telepathic conversation while admiring the out of focus trees
that fade in and out of reality.
Image credit: Frank Grisdale, "Cowboy Trail Looking West" 2008. Photography.
Focus is usually the key element of photography 101. If anything is out
of focus the photo is ruined and there is no choice to go out and
reshoot; but Grisdale plays with the art of focus. The landscapes are so
sharp in color that you know immediately you are witnessing a field of
wheat under a topaz stormy sky. Upon closer inspection you can see the
wind blowing through the fabric of the wheat playing with the clear
image of the golden fields. Even the paper the photos are printed on
work with the images--making them seem more like a hazy yet crisp
watercolor. Grisdale has surpassed photography 101.
Winter is still here and yet I can’t wait to dip my toes in whatever
lake Grisdale shot from or feel the warm breathe of sunrays heating up
my vitamin D deficiency. Everything Grisdale has created leaves me with
the distinct feeling that those “lazy, hazy days of summer” are just
around the corner. A prairie whisper of hope is all I need to get me
through the next six months.
Peter Robertson Gallery on 123rd and Jasper Avenue
- E.C. Edmonton