By Dan Archer
The Shurniak is featuring another outstanding Canadian artist at their gallery this October. Dawn Banning – a painter inspired by nature – paints in a loose, flowing style, using blurred or dabbed strokes of acrylic or oil to craft dream-like views in understated colours.
Patrons visiting the Shurniak to study Dawn’s efforts might be reminded of the post-impressionistic scenes produced by Tom Thomson of the Group of Seven. Banning said her approach to art could be labelled as post-impressionistic like Thomson’s, but the painter is expressing this style without deliberate intention. Banning’s art praises the Canadian outdoors – there’s no dark urbanity or irony depicted on her canvases.
The scenes in Banning’s paintings are smooth, wistful and reflective. She paints landscapes from all the regions she’s visited or lived in, including Saskatchewan, the Yukon, British Columbia and Ontario. Nature is Banning’s muse.
Landscapes, trees, lakes and forests inspire her to create. She spent much of her youth in the outdoors, as her father was employed as a park conservation officer in Saskatchewan’s provincial parks, so Banning’s work obviously reflects a woodsy upbringing.
During her introductory speech for the gallery patrons, Banning’s father piped-up, saying, “She always had a pencil or a crayon in her hand as a child.”
Aside from being an accomplished painter, Banning is an athlete. She has participated in marathon runs, she’s an avid cyclist and an Ironman participant. Banning has also chosen to assist various charities. For example, Banning is donating the proceeds of a picture she did of a horse towards the Humboldt Broncos – this artwork is currently kept inside a glass cabinet at the gallery. Homecoming by Dawn Banning runs at the Shurniak from October 3 to December 2.
By Dan Archer