Marshall Hugh Kaiser
BFA, NSCAD (’89)
Painting occupies all of my time in one way or another. I’m inspired by the everyday scene and how to enhance it so that viewers find it inspiring and compelling. A flat ocean in reality becomes tumultuous waves consuming the shore, a subtle sky is painted blood red to greet morning barges, everyday trees tower over the viewer and emote darkness.
I start by making sketches of a subject and this often includes some background research. I apply a series of undercoats in a fairly loose manner and draw my subject with a brush. I work my painting up through many layers, gradually defining it, often in quite a lot of detail, allowing the paint to develop the work as well as the sketch. All of my work these days is in oil on canvas or board.
I’m based in Victoria but my portfolio also includes paintings of subjects from across the country as I grew up in the Maritimes and have travelled in Canada. I’m an active member of The Canadian Federation of Artists, The Coast Collective, and the Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria. My work can be seen in some of the many shows around town and in my studio in Chinatown’s Dragon Alley.
Kaiser Studios 2-532 ½ Fisgard St. Victoria (Dragon Alley)
Painting for me is an exploration of how I can use colour and technique to pay homage to the subject. I’m not attempting to faithfully represent every detail but rather to communicate the impression I get when I first see a subject.
Very often in my painting, I seem to be involved with a notion of time and its ephemeral quality, the sense of expectancy about it, and the secrets it carries with it. There’s poignancy to that.
My technique has been drawn from self-study of European, American and Canadian impressionists and post impressionists. I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the light touch in that technique.
Over the years my work has evolved to become looser and more interpretive which in turn, I think has brought more beauty and vitality to the pieces.
My process is to start with a wash of oil paint and draw directly on the canvas with a brush. I apply my first coat of colour over the wet wash. I try to complete a painting in about three coats as I find the more coats, the stiffer the image, resulting in a significant loss of energy in the piece.
I suppose I paint because I enjoy the challenge of trying to communicate with a brush and because I’m compelled to share what I find so moving with others.
-Karen Lynn Kaiser
Kaiser Studios 2-532 ½ Fisgard St., Victoria (Dragon Alley)