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© Ed Flanagan Alberta Fall 59

Ed Flanagan



I started painting with watercolours about twenty years ago after a career in business. My work is focused primarily on landscapes and recently on abstract landscapes using the techniques used by children in their art. My work is held in public institutions notably the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Alberta Children’s Hospital) and numerous corporate and private collections. I have shown in both public and many commercial galleries in Alberta and British Columbia. I am known for intense colours which hopefully transcend the work from the ordinary and move from the specific to the universal.

Artist Statement

My wife had a career as an elementary school teacher and principal.  As a result, I have observed children’s art for many years and have found a number of interesting common characteristics. Speaking generally, children use simplified shapes, vivid unmixed colour and compositions that line up subject matter along a horizontal line.  In schools, the subject matter is based on themes related to special events, seasons, and holidays throughout the year. Children’s lack of formal drawing skills often results in an amazing array of unique expressions and interpretations of their world.  In effect, these children become remarkable symbol makers.These techniques have served as inspirations for my work.

Within this framework I have moved away from specific subjects to a more general or universal result: from representation to abstraction and from depiction to design. I have found that applying these methods to almost any subject can result in my own work becoming more expressive, unique, and symbolic in nature. This in turn engages the viewer in interpreting the work in their own subjective manner and suggests they look for a higher meaning than just depiction.