Thursday, June 27, 2019


A predominately self-taught painter, Danny Abriel is a professional photographer by trade.  An emerging artist, he has maintained a serious studio practice for the last 10 years.  Danny has been exhibiting with Argyle Fine Art since 2015, debuting as part the Pre-Shrunk exhibition.  His follow up (and first solo) exhibition “Luminous Ways” opened early that summer. Danny has had 2 additional exhibitions since; “Radient Days”, and “Painted Poems” which is currently showing at the gallery until July 9.


Originally from the Musquodobit Valley, Danny embraced art making at an early age, drawing and sketching throughout his youth. He has always been inspired by Nature, and the Scenic Landscapes of Nova Scotia.  As a landscape painter, Danny is drawn to organic shapes, colours, and the natural elements that surround him; Wood, Water, Stone, and Sky are all carefully arranged, the building blocks for each new composition.
Living in the Halifax, Danny makes time to be in Nature.  Access to walking trails and parks are all within reach, and Danny often revisits areas that are familiar to him, and draws his inspiration from the surrounding area.

Danny’s use of bold and flat forms separated by dark outlines is reminiscent of Cloisonnism, a style of early post-impressionistic paintings.  Danny sites Matisse and Gauguin (among others) as early inspirations for his work.

Danny describes his painting practice as having developed out of “catharsis and self-preservation.”  He paints out an urge or compulsion, a longing for a creative form of expression.  His personal philosophy is often influenced by his Martial Arts training, and carries this discipline into his works through highly methodical brushwork, harnessing the conflicting energies of a scene, bringing them into balance and unifying the composition.

Danny is a professional photographer by trade, and often incorporates his formal training into his painting practice.  Danny describes his approach as “Bringing his painting aesthetic into photography, and his photography practice into painting.”  Much of the work is derived from photo based references taken on site while hiking through Nature.  Danny uses photography to document the formal elements of a paintings composition, and uses this process to inspire the works later produced in the studio. 

Referencing the original source material, Danny turns his attention to capturing the “emotional impact” of a scene.  Occasionally working from a study or preparatory drawing, Danny uses the studio to explore how a painting should “feel”.  The colour palette is carefully chosen as part of an emotional response.  Painting serves as a creative outlet, both cathartic in its application and ritualistic in its approach.            
Each painting is built up over many layers, starting with the Sky.  The sky (as Danny points out), determines the tone for the rest of the painting.  Warmer colour combinations are introduced into this new body of work. Saturating the landscape’s color scheme, forces organic forms in the foreground to “pop”, while maintaining the calming fluidity of the sky and water, which Danny describes as a “leniency in (its) interpretation.”  

“Painted Poems” continues to July 9th


Danny Abriel was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and grew up in the Musquodoboit Valley.  Danny attended NSCAD and studied Photography at NSCC.  The Works are informed by the native scenery he was raised in - reflective waters, wind-swept tress, contoured landscapes and seasonal colours.   The paintings are inspired by connection to the gentle beauty and drama of tress and their surroundings.


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