Mitchel Fenton’s nostalgic oil paintings, whimsically illustrate the artist’s deep belief that habitat shapes history and that we are all ultimately connected to the land we live in.
Often showcasing a bygone, Canadian era in the mountains, prairies or other distant places of stunning wilderness, Fenton’s work takes viewers to places they would not normally be privy to see; either due to the location’s remoteness or the fact that these idyllic scenes showcase a time long past. Like the master impressionists, Fenton paints with a profound passion for the places he explores, painting ‘en plein air’ eventually returning to a studio to work up small tableaus, created on site, into larger canvases. Fenton artfully captures the spirit of the environment in which he initially creates, maintaining that hiking into locations is an integral part of the creative process. The sharpening of the artist’s focus and the translation of the energy of the places Fenton paints is highly apparent in the vibrancy, joy and calm simplicity of the artist’s work.
"Painting is a part of who I am now. I am inspired by the power and beauty of the Canadian landscape; challenged to capture and share this vision. I have painted in many parts of Canada - the West Coast, the Rockies, the Prairies, Ontario and Eastern Canada.
I paint en plein air with oils on small wood panels while traveling. My set-up is very portable enabling me to hike into many remote areas. Back in the studio, some panels are chosen and worked up into larger canvases.
There has always been a strong tradition of landscape painting in Canada. When I first began painting the Canadian Landscape, I went to Lake O'Hara because of the many paintings I had seen from this area; work by John Singer Sargent, J.E.H. MacDonald, Lauren Harris… just to name a few. Lake O'Hara was spectacular; I have been back 7 times!"