Charles Ringness


The essence of my work exudes places and visually appealing sites in the areas that I live and look at. My practice is motivated by shared experiences, memories, beauty, the Saskatchewan River, The Bessborough, the landscape and our homes.  The Saskatchewan River and The Bessborough, in particular, are inspiring to me; because of the many experiences I have had with them and what they have come to mean to me.

My first home was one block from the river on 812 University Drive. I would often walk the high path above the river that beautifully overlooked the Delta Bessborough. I was instantly captivated by the river and the hotel. I loved the way the river transformed itself during all of the different seasons we experience in Saskatoon.

Both in my process and practice around these sites and places, they whisper to me like a two-way street. I listen to them and their subtle murmur, while in my participation to use my materials and drawings, building up the relationships between layers, creating positive and negative spaces when finally a concluding piece of art work is formed. Communicating and listening; as I build up the values, texture, magic, experience, and expression that are finally settled on the paper.

Building light in my pieces, when there is an absence of light is a priority to me. I use airbrush and graphite to create these darker grays and values, while in turn I use light on a limited scale to bring luminosity to these areas. Light created in the absence of light was a strategy that was used by painters in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. With the limited use of light, larger passages that were quite dark made the figure or landscape appear to be bathed with light. In these works on paper I use a similar strategy to illuminate the landscapes.

All of the sites I have selected have a special connection to me, as we all bring a shared or diverse history around these sites. However, a similar feeling that everyone is familiar with, is when we drive across one of our bridges and look over to see the landscape along the river. A smile, a pleasant memory, or a pleasing glance at the beauty of the riverbank overcomes us all and we instantly feel at home. These sites and places whisper to us and evoke a sense of joy, community and meaning in us all.