Snatching the Fleeting by Bruce Pearson -reviewed

Bruce has done it again; kept the whole room captivated and transfixed as he took us with him back to Antarctica to see once more the minke whales and penguins and to Norfolk to glimpse a hen harrier. He stressed time and again that art is an abstraction. It’s not about reproducing a photographic-style image, it’s rather about capturing the soul of the beast, letting the brush strokes reflect the movement of nature as though the brushes themselves are a physical part of what you are painting.

His demonstrations exemplified his words, bold brush strokes recreating forms deeply ingrained in his mind’s eye, the shape and angle of fin or wing, with a looser pastiche of background to provide the setting. As his pictures took shape so his words tailed off, words morphing seamlessly into the unfolding landscape. It was enthralling to watch Bruce at work and see the scene take shape before one’s eyes; he truly did make something more permanent from the fleeting.