I have an intense and deep appreciation for the Canadian landscape. It has inspired my work for my earliest days as an artist. I paint predominately plein air as the energy of my surroundings has always played an important role in my work. I find a great deal of solace and happiness in creating but coincidentally, my introduction to art was born from a place of anger. In my youth, I was grounded to my room and the only outlet I had which hadn’t been banned, was a book on animals, paper, and pencil. I spent hours drawing animals from that book, and ultimately found that my anger had disappeared and my love for art was born.
I have spent the last 40 years since my introduction to art, painting both small scale and large scale. I started my career as a mural artist, painting murals at Howl at the Moon, Louis’ Lodge, Bluevale H.S, and other local establishments, including murals that I donated to the Grand River Hospital and The Children’s Museum (now TheMusuem). This transitioned in web design, starting during the internet’s earliest incarnation through present. Whether creating online graphics or large murals, my true calling lay in small-scale works in acrylic, oil, and watercolour. In 2015, I made the decision to become a full-time artist and commit myself to my one and true passion, creating landscapes and abstracts through watercolour, ink, or acrylic. I opened Wallhalla Art Studio the same year, and established studio space at Globe Studios in Kitchener.
Energy has always played a pertinent role in my body of work. I am inspired by my surroundings, be it the woods or a distant skyline. When I create, it is my ardent desire that those who view my work feel the energy of the surroundings in which the work was created. My watercolour paintings require a delicate hand, and because I often paint in plein air, I will use the water of the natural environment in the dilution of my paint. My acrylic landscapes and abstracts require a palette knife or brush, and allow me to convey the natural environment in an impressionistic manner. The transience and impermanence of the natural environment not only inspires my work but also compels me to experiment and explore new mediums and techniques. It is my hope that my love for the natural environment, the energy therein, and the freedom of creation is impressed upon the public through my works.
About the Artist
– by Anna Fleet
Great arts asks more questions than it answers—such is true in life and art for Ralf Wall. His rugged appearance suggests that there’s always more than meets the eye. Take a closer look and you’ll find that his serene watercolours beckon viewers into the darkest crevices of the wilderness, urging them over hills and into lush valleys beyond until they find themselves in a place that tugs at familiar heartstrings, and lets them experience their very own window of untamed paradise.
As an artist, Ralf has learned that what you see is hardly ever what you get by walking in the footsteps of impressionistic legends like the Group of Seven and taking inspiration from old Masters such as Monet, Van Gogh, and J.M.W. Turner. Akin to the masters, Ralf’s watercolour and acrylic works offer viewers a perception into the wild—but he takes his audience far beyond pure snapshots of Canadian landscapes.
The subject of untamed nature has always spoken to Ralf. Once trapped in the corporate world, the contrast between human beings and nature was never lost on him, “People live their lives as controlled as possible—waking up at a certain time, going to work at a certain time, dressing a certain way, and acting in a certain way. But nature, uncontrolled and wild, does whatever it wants. I like to remind my audience, that like nature, we don’t need to be so controlled all the time.”
Whether he’s putting ink to paper, with a bamboo pen, in hidden nooks in and around his hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, or using water from a lake in Algonquin to apply a watercolour wash, the emotional realism alive in each brush stroke brings a piece of the wilderness home to the viewer—so much so that it’s mirrored in his lakes, and dances in shadows across the snow in his austere birch forests.
Ralf placed second at the Museum’s Brush Off in January 2015 & 2016 and then first at the Button Factory Arts Brush Off in July 2015. He is also a returning artist five-years running in the K-W Central Art Walk. When not painting outdoors, you can find Raflar hard at work at Globe Studios, 141 Whitney Place, Kitchener, Ontario.
To contact Raflar please email email@example.com