Debra McEachern-Burton has worn many hats in her private and public life. Painter, educator, writer and researcher, she’s been at the forefront of some very high profile artistic installations. Those living in the metro Toronto area are fortunate indeed to have immediate access to her work on display inside Toronto’sLatitude 44 since June.
However, in this past year alone McEachern-Burton has also staged a solo exhibit in Thorold, was part of a juried exhibition for the Zoomer Show “Timeless” and a key participant in “Art Takes Time Square” in New York City. But this breakneck pace doesn’t unsettle the perennially appealing visual artist. In fact, it inspires her. McEachern-Burton has plied her craft with a meticulous focus onto a diverse canvass of traditional and burgeoning new media. These have enriched and continue to inform her creative perspective.
“In the artist’s life dream life and daily life merge in one’s capacity for imagination,” says McEachern-Burton, “Curiosity is essential to the artist. It is stimulating to find out how things work. The disciplines of earth sciences all provide for my inspiration. When a question is addressed, images spring from it. The more I learn, the more I envision.”
Asked to describe her own creative process, McEachern-Burton is quick to point out that so much of being an artist has to do with thought and reflection.
“Inspiration comes from my admittedly limited understanding of the universe…but the images, often from dreams or meditative states. These are as familiar to me as breathing. Sometimes it’s just a word or simple concept. Ideas spark a flood of images. The rest of the world disappears while I work.”
McEachern-Burton’s most recent artistry employs a heterogeneous palette of digital as well as traditional tools to achieve unparalleled surrealism. Her work envelopes the art lover in a passionate dream-like state of consciousness that is as captivating as it proves intoxicating. Yet, McEachern-Burton is circumspect and quite modest about the impact her art has.
“People often ask me to tell them what a painting is about,” she admits, “Mystery is important to humans, even as we strive to resolve it through logic and science. The universe and our place in it has always been mysterious. But I hope there is an essentialness to my paintings that is readily accessible to all; that each work expresses part of that mystery while providing an artistic metaphor for what many of us feel.”
In her own artist’s journey, McEachern-Burton has travelled many roads. These treks, both real and imagined, have apprised the artist of her place in the grand scheme of life. But they have also made her work cognizant to a much wider audience who will perhaps walk away more galvanized in their own daily pursuits and become emotionally deepened by the experience of viewing her art.
“Great art is all about pushing one’s limitations,” McEachern-Burton reasons, “Attempting the impossible. The versatility gained, gives rise to a more thorough exploration and experimentation where true discovery lies. I believe that my work has a spiritual, transcendent quality that I sincerely hope impacts people on a subconscious level. Creating that journey for someone is most satisfying for me. I have been free to roam through all manner of media and utilize its potential. But I still hold a special fondness for drawing. It trains the eye, keeping the skills sharp. It's immediate and challenging. Every day, despite its horrors and tragedies, but especially because of its exquisite sensitivity and beauty, I consider it my privilege to participate in this amazing ride we call life…because each day is pregnant with possibilities.”
Explore the artist and her craft at: : http://debmceachern.wix.com/burton-fineart
@ Nick Zegarac 2012