Ana Gribbons, visual artist
City paintings at Arts on Queen

I was honoured to be invited by Ellen Wagner, the owner of two very well-known sister galleries in Toronto, Arts on King and Arts on Queen, to show my city paintings. Both galleries have a reputation for creating “a platform for high-calibre Canadian artists to show their work for over twenty years.” As well as paintings, the galleries feature glass, ceramics and jewelery, all hand-made by professional artists. For the month of February my city paintings will be at Arts on Queen, at 2198 Queen St. East in the Beaches area of Toronto.

Because I have lived in Toronto for almost 30 years I have a great fondness for this city, enjoying the colourful urban experience. I am drawn to painting aspects of Toronto that were part of my formative years – laneways, funky neighbourhoods, public transit and coffee shops. The paintings in this show feature such scenes. The subject matter could be considered gritty, such as graffiti in an alley, but still, I try for luminosity, polish, and beautiful colour in the scene.

Paintings have layers of meaning which makes them exciting. People can have different reactions and interpretations of even a very “realistic” scene. My Tim Horton painting (Canadian Icon) is not a commercial. I see Timmy’s as a sanctuary for the regular folk as well as the disenfranchised. On a cold blustery Toronto day it is a beacon of warmth and comfort – hot chocolate, coffee, donut, conversation – humanity trying to relax.

I also love the jewel-like colours of city lights at night and that is why I want to capture streetcars at night. Am very fond of streetcars for getting me around and for putting me in touch with all types of fascinating humanity. So the combo of capturing jewel colours, mysterious depths of darkness, and streetcars is irresistible.

So, come in from out of the cold into the lovely ambience of Arts on Queen and enjoy these and other paintings of our city.