A&E » Arts

Anxious trees and butterscotch skies

David Langevin’s latest collection sticks up for the forest underdog



Who: David Langevin — Evening Skies

Where: Adele Campbell Fine Art Gallery

When: Saturday, March 19, 5-9 p.m.

The Adele Campbell Fine Art Gallery welcomes back painter David Langevin this Saturday evening with a new collection of oil and acrylic works compiled under the title Evening Skies.

This year marks the artist’s 10 th anniversary with Adele Campbell. In that time, Whistler gallery gazers have fallen head over heels in love with Langevin.

His rugged wilderness landscapes are popular, but even more so are his world-weary tree portraits on backgrounds as warm as melted butter. In the case of two specific works from Evening Skies – on backgrounds of "caramel", and of "butterscotch."

The world may be sweet but Langevin’s trees can be endearingly sour.

It’s not the proud Ansel Adams-esque poster children that capture the painter’s imagination. Rather it’s the downtrodden of the forest, the droopy-branched, the crooked. Hypothetically represented by Hollywood casting, Langevin’s subjects are more Steve Buscemi than Brad Pitt.

Langevin has delved even further into tree empathy with his latest crop of paintings, capturing his subjects in all their scraggly beauty and giving voice to their concerns through titles such as I think I’m Losing Weight and Do You Still Need Me?

Langevin confirms his tree works are indeed becoming more and more animated. The title has become a handy tool of expression.

"I imagine what it’s feeling or what it’s doing in that situation – if it’s cold or if it’s lost too many branches. If it’s a coniferous tree crowded by deciduous trees and it feels trapped," he said.

"I’m into the underdog. I like to paint trees that have some character to them. The straight tall perfect tree that has even branches on both sides is not that interesting to paint. Usually the trees I end up painting, they’ve had a hard time of it."

A classically trained artist, Langevin left Eastern Canada 12 years ago, venturing west in search of hotter, dryer weather. He couldn’t have done any better in that regard than Kamloops, B.C. where he settled and currently maintains a studio.

Langevin will be in attendance at the reception for Evening Skies taking place in the gallery on Saturday, March 19, 5-9 p.m. The event will feature catering and live acoustic guitar by Whistler’s Josh Suhrheinrich. For more information call 604-938-0887.