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De Lank III - Aragonite with Cadmium Red Floating, Oil on Canvas
Studied Plymouth College of Art 1959 - 1965, NDD Painting Special

Elected Plymouth Society of Artists 1964

Elected Executive and Selection Committee Member 1985

Elected St Ives Society of Artists 2005

Elected Chairman 2009

I would consider my painting to be much closer to the natural world than is at first apparent. It is landscape-based, or more precisely the hidden world of landscape revealed by anthropologic activity. However, though landscape is the first point of reference my primary concern is the exploration of colour and texture on the picture plane, heavily dependent on observation of natural colour relationships and of qualities of surface, to the point where these become the subject of the work. Reference to scale is deliberately avoided in order to allow these painterly characteristics to predominate.

De Lank XI - Manganese and Phthalo Blue, Oil on Canvas
Mineralogy and the hidden world to be found in these landscapes-in-miniature have been a theme I have explored for more than a decade, basing the compositions principally on the granite quarry faces of Bodmin Moor. More recently this interest has widened to encompass Welsh slate and limestone quarries and the volcanic 'tuffstein' of south west Germany. Some of these themes are vigorously abstracted, others are more demonstrably figurative but the unifying thread continues to be expression through a use of fully saturated chroma.

I use a technique involving multi-layered lakes and glazes and body colour cut heavily with a medium. These are applied through filters or masks, allowing for the fortuitous and accepting an element of surprise, akin to pulling a proof in printmaking. Though composition is always a first consideration, it rarely subjugates anything impromptu revealed by a mask's removal. It is absorbed into the composition as a consequence of process and no longer thought of as random. I would not wish to over-paint the spontaneous and vital simply because it was not part of the original design: in order to sustain the painting's life it is much better to find a conclusion by other means.
The 'Quarry Series' exemplifies the modern Cornish School's investigation into the hidden structure of landscape. Pursuing the perpetual exploration of landscape as a repository of geological and social history Cann brings venerable tradition up to date with a contemporary relish for intense, saturated colour.

...[the] work speaks unequivocally about the plastic equivalence between the materials of art and the physical processes of landscape evolution.

Peter Davies (2007), St Ives 1975-2005: Art Colony in Transition.
St Ives Printing and Publishing Co.


Two Faces At De Lank - First Variant (Madder), Oil on Canvas
De Lank III -
Aragonite with Cadmium Red Floating

Oil on Canvas
De Lank XI -
Manganese and Phthalo Blue

Oil on Canvas
Two Faces At De Lank -
First Variant (Madder)

Oil on Canvas
Weibern IV -
Oxide Red and Manganese

Oil on Canvas
De Lank XIII -
Indigo with Erythrite Horizontal

Oil on Canvas
Carreg Llwd II -
Phthalo Turquoise Ascending

Oil on Canvas
Minions Moor II -
Oxide Red and Phthalo Blue

Oil on Canvas
Minions Moor III -
Large Sett and Wavellite

Oil on Canvas
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