David Zimmerman

artist photo

An avid mountain biker and camper, the contours and wide expanses of Canada’s western landscape have been his space to explore and discover. This sense of discovery through adventure is always with David, whether he is holding a brush, reading a book, or engaged in conversation. David currently lives in Bragg Creek with his wife, Tara, and their four kids.

My art is a collision of inspiration and participation. It begins with a glimpse, a chance detail, a striking image pulled from every day life. I fixate on detail and texture, and often find that ordinary moments produce surprising inspirations. My aim is not a mere reproduction, but a process that reflects and interacts with the beauty that initially sparked my interest, changing it in surprising ways, allowing for unplanned contours and expressions, altering the way we all see the world I paint.

Juxtaposition is important to my work. Context and fragment, rock and bark, brick and moss, city and countryside: the surprising way that the world harmonizes disparate textures comes through in my work. There is a push and pull between worlds, between heaven and earth, and there is so much in-between. This resonates with the conflict and balance of emotion within my work. My paintings evoke thoughts and feelings that are in tension, often creating a discomfort in the viewer. At the same time, they have an aesthetic harmony, a unified beauty that draws all the elements together. Light and dark pallets break into each other, crash over each other, and remain distinct as they come together.

My creative process makes meaning. Initially, my process was a quest to break from my roots in pen and ink, a medium with too much precision and control, and to allow the art to emerge organically from the techniques and materials themselves. I wanted to interact with the medium, not control it. I have found a way to explore and discover as I create, to be surprised by the work, even as I construct it. I use thick, heavy, glossy materials that form their own ridges and textures, reflecting surprising hues and shapes I had not intended. I often set my brushes aside and use my hands and fingers to feel and effect change in the paintings. This interactivity is shared with the viewer. The deep textures of my art invite the viewer to touch. My works are fluid as they are viewed from different angles and under different lighting, with the glossy reflections incorporating the distinctive of viewer and surroundings into each viewing of my work. They blur the boundary between painting and participant, inviting the context into the experience at every level.