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Bob Hainstock
July 13th, 2019

Stubborn Art is mainly about an artist's work that in hindsight seemed almost reluctant to come into two-dimensional existence; art ideas that fought the limited technical abilities of the artist and initially won; or, artwork that forced reconsideration of dull habits, weak palettes and ho-hum textures.

Stubborn Art is about recovering successful work from old prints that were originally labelled as failures. Whether for reasons of poor inking, poor choice of paper or improper roller pressure, the pieces in the Stubborn Art show had initially been judged as unacceptable for their respective editions and consigned to a special section of file drawers where all "bad prints" are hidden.

The exhibition is about successful landscape art emerging with strength of color and light, evoking that special Fundy region character - a gallery story with many happy endings.

Stubborn Art is also a bit about an artist's early uncertainty on bending respected rules and traditions of printmaking. Perhaps the show could also be titled, "Stubborn Artist" as he has created an estimated 400-500 printmaking plates over his career, and each plate has had the usual share of stubborn prints.

You do the math.

This exhibition confirms a commitment to rescue 30-40 of those "failures" each year. They may have started life as woodblock prints, mono prints, collagraph prints, or rust prints, but have been subjected to the "mixed media" studio practices of soft pastel, oil pastel, acrylic washes, drawing inks, collage, or, over-printing. As a result, day time images are often turned into night. Sometimes ground-level perspectives are turned into aerial views. And so on, and so on …

Once the old prints have been reinvented, they're mounted on wood panels or plywood panels; then given several coats of varnish for surface protection and color/contrast enhancement. The final phase of Stubborn Art is based on another stubborn belief that viewers of traditional art prints are sometimes denied a full appreciation of print textures and colors because of that barrier glass.

No more glass.

Bob Hainstock is a Nova Scotia printmaker and painter. His studio is located along the southern lip of the North Mountain; that high ridge of Jurassic basalt that separates the Atlantic Ocean's powerful Bay of Fundy from the beautiful and historic Annapolis Valley. Bob has worked in Atlantic and Western Canada for more than 50 years as a journalist, photographer and visual artist, with the past decade exclusively devoted to printmaking and painting.

He graduated from Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and has taught art at various public and private institutions, including; Acadia University, Ross Creek Centre for the Arts, Harvest Gallery, and various provincial schools. He also consults/collaborates with other professional artists in the creation and production of their print editions.

Having grown up in farm communities of Western Canada, his work explores the potentials of color and texture in fictional landscape; examining the frictions and contrasts between man-made and natural places, and between rural and urban cultures. Bob most often works with collagraph techniques, but also explores woodblock, mono print, mixed media and unique hand made Fundy seaweed papers. His experimental pieces utilize the unpredictable beauty of rust/oxidation as a new process for prints and mixed media. This work is believed to be the only work of its kind in the printmaking world.

Bob's exploration of rust is an extension of his interest in the cycles of rural culture and materials - something he began 30 years ago during research of abandoned farms, a project that eventually became an award-winning, best-selling book on cultural and climatic influences on early farm architecture in Western Canada.

Bob Hainstock's work has been shown and collected nationally and internationally.
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