Alison Fleming: Artist

Ali is a good friend of mine who I met when I studied abroad my junior year in Glasgow, Scotland.  She is from Winnipeg, Canada and now resides in Toronto.   I was so happy that we could make the time to visit each other and catch up while I was in Toronto recently.  Her intellect, creative spirit and sense of humor shone brightly just I like I remembered from the time we shared living in the same tenement house and wandering through the streets, pubs and cinemas in Glasgow back in 1996.  It's a real gift to share time with an old friend who you haven't seen in years and years and just pick up from where you left off.

Ali has been an artist from before the time I knew her.  I met her on the front steps of the tenement house that served as student housing within a few days of our arrival.  She had paint brushes holding up her messy hair in a bun instead of barrettes or a rubber band.

I'm featuring six of her paintings here on my blog because I really like her work and I admire her drive to keep making art.  She paints contemporary urban landscapes using oil paint on gessoed wood.  When I first looked at these paintings I couldn't help but think of how she evokes the feel of an Edward Hopper painting.  However, her present day urban landscapes are all her own.  She visits neighborhoods, businesses and buildings that are on the verge of or have suffered from economic collapse.  I find a sad beauty and nostalgia in her work.  Unlike Hopper, her paintings are purely cityscape and there's not one single image of a human figure in these paintings.  This heightens the haunting, lonely feeling that pervades the gritty beauty she creates.  I'm sure that every city in North America has images like these peppering its streets.  Especially during this time of recession, depression, economic downturn... whatever you want to call it.    Ali obviously has a very steady hand and her technique, patience and care show in the way she re-creates the lettering, glass reflections and pealing paint on the buildings she paints.

Visit Alison Fleming on line to see more of her artwork and to contact her if you are so inclined.