Glenn Payan

Glenn's transition from rock climbing, mountaineering and school teacher to a full-time painter came later in life and, as he says, "from left field." Bolstered by the unwavering support of his wife, Sara, and under the artistic guidance of his father - a draughtsman by trade and part-time artist, as well as his art mentor, Agata Teodorowicz (M.A. U of Prague), Glenn's learning curve was particularly steep. Agata remarks that "When Glenn came to me, he simply couldn't paint."

Glenn says, "You may not believe it by looking at my work now, but at first I was fascinated with the work of the Expressionists, van Gogh especially. I still love his work and have a couple of my own copies of his paintings hanging on my wall. They're pretty good, actually. At one point, I became interested in Cubism and also explored the deconstruction of the human form we find in Picasso's work in the early part of the 20th Century."

While Glenn could appreciate the simple and colourful forms of Picasso's art, the reduction of humanity was a vision not compatible with the joy, Glenn found in life. Closer to the mark was the use of these forms in landscapes, mainly through the stylized approaches of Lawren Harris, Emily Carr, AJ Casson, and regionalists Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton.

"I like the idea of my art being a caricature of history. You'll notice my paintings are devoid of people. This is because they are paintings of the past. The people have left and moved on. What remains are homes and yards and lanes filled with memories. There are empty highways that were journeyed and quiet places that were once bustling and vibrant. In the meantime, our minds seem to have a way of characterizing our past, picking out the best moments, the most colourful moments, when the road was that much steeper, the adventure that much more dramatic, and the childhood family vacation; simply the best one in history."