Designing home renovations by day, Turnbull uses discarded materials from building sites to inform his artistic practice. Turnbull states: “I’m always looking for the beauty in things that have been discarded.” Thus, cupboard doors, fences, the side of a locker, or the side of an airplane all come to function as canvas for the artist. His preferred medium of painting fuses layers of oil paints in combination with heated beeswax. His pieces resonate a sculptural quality as the artist is able to carve details and intricacies into the fused layers.
Stylistically versatile, Turnbull’s series’ differ dramatically; some evoke a whimsy and innocence while others narrate a complex portrayal of humanity and nature. His subjects range from hockey players, polar bears, condo dwellers to his newest series titled “Highballs and Duct Tape”.
Turnbull has been influenced by folk art tradition and his work reveals the immediacy, honesty, and desire to communicate through sketches. The title “Highballs and Duct Tape” refers to his influences spanning from fine art to comic books and children’s art.
“The work attempts to embrace my unfocused nature by constructing a context in which all of the thoughts and images splashing around in my head can coexist together. A context flexible enough to allow a dialogue to evolve between the various images and structured enough to evoke harmony from dissonance. A kind of visual jazz.”
Born in Vancouver, Bruce Turnbull graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1998 and completed his Masters of Fine Art at the New York Academy of Art, New York. His art can be found in public collections including the National Portrait Gallery of Canada, Colart Collection and private collections in Canada, the US, Europe and Asia. He is a two-time recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Award, a Canadian grant given to emerging artists.