Silver Studio Art Show


Silver Studio is the name of the art classroom and studio of Karla Silver at the Halifax Grammar School (HGS) in Halifax, Canada. There is where I was encouraged to examine story in visual art, to explore a range of traditional media, to refine my technical studies, and most of all to pursue my passion: to create art of wildlife. Of the ten-to-twelve pieces entered in the 2007 International Baccalaureate art show, some were graphic pencil, coloured pencil, oil paint, acrylic paint, pastel, wood-blocking, wood-burning and so on. Karla (Mrs. Silver) was the one who recognized a theme in those early works—a theme that carried into my sketches of my husky. She shared with me the art of Robert Bateman. My career and my life was given direction. Thanks for the footsteps to follow and find my way.

White Rhino (c) Dane Aleksander, 2007

White Rhino (2007) | Oil painting [30″ x 10″]

The story behind White Rhino revolves around a detailed study of wildlife. The offset focus allows the aged rhino to provide perspective; gaining representation of hope and purpose from the calf, while the blazing sky is meant to illustrate the context of their endangered state. To my grampa Alan.

Rhino at N'gorongoro (c) Dane Aleksander, 2007

Robert Bateman’s Rhinoceros at Ngoro Ngoro oil painting served as reference. The concept art, above, was an early example of my attention to light and shadow, and passion for wildlife in artwork at the time. To my fine-art teacher Karla Silver.

Aquila (c) Dane Aleksander, 2006

Aquila (2006)

Oil painting [40″ x 29″]

Aquila was my first oil painting. Timidity kept the eagles to a moderate scale and the surrounding environment became a study of the medium. The constellations on display are those that appear over British Columbia in spring; the bright diamond in the upper-left is of ‘Aquila’ the eagle. The piece also alludes to Haida settlement, and the serenity of the time.
Snake on a Pencil

Snake on a Pencil (2006)

Graphic pencil [8.5″ x 11″]

M.C. Escher had me in awe long before I realized art was my passion. As my ability developed, my style was naturally infused with glimpses of Escher concepts. ‘Snake on a Pencil’ was sold at the art show; everyone’s support was appreciated.

Red Foxes (c) Dane Aleksander, 2007

Red Foxes (2007) | Graphic and coloured pencil [Compilation]

The red foxes were presented as a character study. They were in part a portfolio submission requirement for university art programs as well as a character study of my beloved husky. The two action poses were presented to my high school headmaster Matthew Moffat and his wife Laura Brock for their positive influence.

Three Chimps (c) Dane Aleksander, 2007

Chimpanzee Storyboard (2007) | Graphic pencil (3x)[4″ x 6″]

Chimps are marvellous creatures; when art program submissions request characters I cannot think of any more enjoyably expressive. My approach is realistic as opposed to abstract or cartoon, however, after researching mannerisms of chimpanzees I establish my own poses and expressions for storytelling. These three have been clipped from a greater storyboard.
Gloves (c) Dane Aleksander, 2013

Gloves (2006)

Graphic pencil on canvas [20″ x 16″]

The idea came simply from a desire to capture the material of a pair of soft-leather gloves. If I learned one thing from my International Baccalaureate fine-art program, it was an appreciation for the effect of light across a variety of materials. In Gloves I play with unique perspective, a contrast of hard and soft edges, and a variety of textures.
Hephalumps (c) Dane Aleksander, 2006

Hephalumps (2006)

Coloured pencil on canvas [20″ x 16″]

The desert scene on the right followed my discovery of the versatility of graphite over canvas. Using reference from a variety of google images, I utilized the abstract blending of coloured pencil to depict, as I imagine, an elephant’s deserted migration across the barren African Savannah.

Visual Art (c) Dane Aleksander, 2005

Visual Art (2004)

Wood block

Here’s an attempt at Wood Blocking, a Japanese form of print. The process entails carefully carving an image out of a flat block of wood, so that the remaining surface can be applied wet paint and stamp a series of prints on paper. In terms of imagery, I kept the design simple and the idea too did not stray far from simple themes of the medium itself. I found the Imperial Japanese flag quite intrinsic despite its war-torn affiliation, and researched the Japanese symbols for “Visual Art” to place within the Red Sun.
Haida Sticks (c) Dane Aleksander, 2005

Haida Sticks (2005)

Wood burning

The series of wood burnt gambling sticks were based on a game rather than the medium. This was a traditional form of Haida art resembling miniature totem-poles in which I wood-burned fourteen original designs. The imagery was in the style of the interpretations of natural elements within the Haida culture, featuring prominently fish and whales, bald eagles, stylized faces, and unique shapes.
Tiger Eye (c) Dane Aleksander, 2005

Tiger Eye (2004)

Mixed media

This project derived from an unwavering admiration of big cats, and a bit of research. I stumbled upon a gem, literally, called Tiger Eye. Like most minerals it’s beautiful in of itself, however, it also gave me an idea for a piece of art featuring a tiger eye gem as the pupil of a tiger eye. The gem was too expensive to meet the scale of my ambition, nevertheless I created a section of a white tiger’s eye out of a wooden platform, metal gauze to shape the eye ball, and plaster to secured it in place à la papier-macher. I then used pastel on the wood for a soft fur texture, molded clay for the matte around the eye, and painted a snow-covered plain in acrylic directly on the Tiger eye. It’s not quite intended to be a reflection, but perhaps a glimmer of a habitat that a tiger might have wandered though once upon a time. Representing a sun in the scene as well as the pupil within the eye is the Tiger Eye gem.

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