Sue Heathcote

1966-1970 B.A. Honours, Queens (Art History)
1970-1971 B. Ed Queens
1971-1972 Ontario College of Art
1980-1981 University of Calgary

This series of paintings is based on the prairie landscape of Wheatland County, 50kms east of Calgary, AB. The area has been farmed since the advent of the C.P.R. railroad in the mid-19th century. The topography of the area – the result of years of working the land – is what interested me.

First I need to find the places, the sites I wanted to work with. The month of October after the harvest and when the land is lit by the afternoon sun, was the right time to explore and photograph the area.

These painting are large and completed in my studio. The process that I use is time-consuming and demanding. Layers of materials, sand, wax, earth, gesso, and oil, are applied. Between applications these layers are melted, scraped, rubbed off, and drawn through. Slowly the image emerges from the bottom up. The original photographic image, only a starting point, is a memory. That reference is mitigated and transformed by the process. These paintings convey a sense of time passing and the quiet solitude that is characteristic of the prairie landscape.