Harry Hermansz Abbink was born in small town Ontario and has lived the majority of his adult life in Alberta. He received a Fine Arts Certificate (With Distinction) from the University of Alberta in 2017 and has additional coursework at MacEwan University and other facilities. His awards include the Lt. Governor Lois E. Hole and Harriet Winspear Scholarship (2016), Constance McFarland Memorial Art Award (2014) and the Harry Wohlfarth Memorial Award (2013). His work has appeared in a variety of local venues and is represented in private collections across the continent. As a member of the Society of Western Canadian Artists and several other local art groups, he continues to actively participate in the arts community.
Working primarily in dry media and watercolour paint, I enjoy using traditional materials and methods in a realistic to slightly abstracted style. Figurative and landscape art are my preferred genres, both in the studio and from live observation. Whether a figure, portrait or landscape, I look for the natural flow and contour of the subject matter with a view to capturing how it all works so beautifully together. I also try to create a sense of energy or action through the use of colour and composition.
Much of my early figurative work focused not only on the superficial appearance of a subject, but also the inner workings of human nature. I attempted to capture the outward expression of inner emotions and feelings. My graduate show, “Crescendo” showed the struggles of a young pianist attempting to master a difficult musical piece. Her frustrations are evident as is her joy at overcoming the obstacles. An upcoming exhibition called, “E-Motions” will build on this theme as well as representing expressive motion through action sequences inspired by the photographic studies by Eadweard Muybridge in the late 1880’s.
I tend to alternate figurative artwork with landscapes on a seasonal basis. On-site sketching and quick watercolour studies are supplemented by reference photographs. In the studio, I attempt to create larger sustained works that capture the vibrancy of the scene as represented by the motion of the clouds, flow of water and roll of the landscape.