by Leanne Shapton
While shopping in a used bookstore, Leanne Shapton happened upon an old edition of the government reference book, The Native Trees of Canada, originally published in 1917 by the Canadian Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources. Most people would simply view the book as a dry cataloguing of a boring subject. Shapton, however, was immediately enchanted by the dusty compilation, saw beauty in the technical details, and was inspired to create her own artistic interpretation of The Native Trees of Canada as a present for her fiance.
Shapton distills each image into its simplest form, using vivid colors in lush gouache paint. She takes the otherwise complex objects of trees and strips them down into bold, almost abstract shapes and colors. Her passion is evident in each painting: the waterbirch is represented as two pulsating red bulbs contrasted against a grey backdrop; the eastern white pine is represented by a close up of its leaves against a radiant summer sky.
Paperback: 104 pages
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly (Oct. 26 2010)
24.1 x 1 x 16 cm