Our next Artist You Need To Know is Ronald Boaks. He has been creating artwork for over three decades, and has exhibited widely throughout Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Boak works “in a variety of media with a focus on abstraction. The most common elements in my work are pleasure and balance.” (from his site)
Since 2013, Boaks has primarily focused on his Spirit Arise Series. “With this new body of work, I am trying to capture “the lightness of being”, that essence of life, state of grace, of being alive right now. In 2013 two very dear people to me died. Awhile after their passing, I began to feel lighter in “spirit”, as, if they were now free, that it was OK for me to feel that too. This lightness is translated into these paintings as the energy or spirit entity, surrounded by rich colour. The paintings are grounded by the almost drafted line, measured, as it were, like distance markers on a map. X and Y coordinates are usually there, doubling as chromosomes. There are collaged bits, often as the pieces on each side edge that mark my boundaries. Balance and the interplay of opposites is as important as ever. Some of these paintings are serene and sublime while others are happy in their intensity or darkness. These are complex relationships made visible as simply as possible. These works need to be mulled over, absorbed and enjoyed.”
Boaks obtained a Diploma in Creative Art from Sheridan College (Toronto, ON) in 1975. He has exhibited with 13th Street Gallery (St. Catharines, ON), Christine Klassen Gallery (Calgary, AB), Oeno Gallery (Bloomfield, ON), Spazio Dell’Arte (Toronto, ON) and Moore Gallery (Toronto, ON). His work can be found in the collections of 13th Street Winery (St. Catharines, ON), Museum London (London, ON), Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax, NS), Peel Art Gallery (Peel, ON), Canada Bank of Montreal (Toronto, ON), Canada Niagara Parks Commission (Niagara, ON), Minto Corporation (Toronto, ON), Canada Context Development (Toronto, ON) and Canada Price Waterhouse Cooper (Toronto, ON). This is a small sampling of the many private and corporate collections that own Boaks’ work (more of that impressive list can be seen here).
In engaging with Boaks’ works, an idea from the abstract painter Pierre Soulages comes to mind: “If painting doesn’t offer a way to dream and create emotions, then it’s not worth it.” You can enjoy more of Ron Boaks’ works in various media here, at his site. He offers considered commentary on a number of the works, and this gives a greater insight into his ideas and process.