Oil on Board
Donald Rainville’s paintings are created with house oil paints, largely acquired from mis-mixed colors at area paint supply stores and recycle centers. Generally, his paintings are on plywood or house sheathing boards from discard sources and sometimes paints on them as found. Rainville’s intent, via the use of discarded material, is to capture the loss of landscape. This loss is most readily apparent in forests, which, to Rainville, represents a very real human ancestral/instinctual feeling of home and protection. Rainville employs action painting techniques where the dominant features are laid down in a free abstraction of actual place and position. Once the flurry and substance fluidity of an abstract base is present, he allows imagination and the forms that present themselves tell of how the scene will evolve. As increasing shapes of objects, colors and textures play out, Rainville is constantly drawn into an ongoing evolution of place and texture in which he is but an observer. Brushes interrupt this process, rather than allowing the paint to dictate form; Rainville use no brushes, but works with torn shapes of lightweight cardboard, and at times, actual plant material to apply paint. The dynamic nature of the paint, in addition to utilizing organic materials, links him to the textural nature of real and imagined landscapes with a sense of place, volume and depth. Rainville works to create paintings where a viewer feels themselves present within the scene to a point where there is an actual unconscious desire or instinct to use all of one's senses, not just sight. Rainville believes a naturally wild landscape is the greatest form of abstraction, and as such it cannot be truly recreated or transferred as an image; it can only be captured in the emotions it stirs within us.