Nocturnes I & II

Nocturnes I
Paintings of the British Columbia Coast – Evening, Sunset, Night
May 30 and 31, June 1, 2014
Visual Space, Vancouver BC

Nocturnes II
Paintings of the Vancouver and Seattle Harbours
November 6-29, 2014
Gallery 110, Seattle, Washington

view press release below

Press Release

Nocturnes is an arresting new series of acrylic paintings by Vancouver artist David Haughton. The paintings capture scenes from the British Columbia coastline in the evening, at sunset and at night. The majority of views are from the Vancouver area, from locations like Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks, English Bay and the Second Beach pool.

The luminous paintings feature ships in the harbor as seen from the shore, with fantastic mountain backdrops and dramatic skies. The views are often framed by hanging trees or loading cranes in the port. Several titles include the word “crepuscule”, a Middle English word meaning twilight or gloaming – a time of night when there is still enough light to reveal shape and form, and when the evening glow has a feeling of anticipation and excitement.

As Monet once did with cathedrals and haystacks, Haughton often finds himself returning to the same locations to capture changes in lighting and viewpoint at different times of day. As the boats slowly turn in the current, their impenetrable shapes change profile, giving him new and unexpected views of the same subject matter. The heights vary with differences in their sizes and the loads they’re carrying, with red bottoms showing when ships are riding high.

In his paintings, Haughton captures the architectural shapes of the boats, the way they move and rotate in the water, the rust on their sides, and the strings of lights tracing the edges of their silhouettes and reflecting across the water. The intense, exaggerated compositions and inventive, imaginative shapes coupled with the sparkling sea and shimmering mountain peaks give an other-worldly feeling to his twilight scenes. Clouds embrace the tops of the mountains and the ships seem mysterious and intriguing, like incandescent fortresses or monasteries.

Nocturnes I will be shown in Vancouver as a flash exhibition only for three days, from May 30 to June 1, 2014.