Finding inspiration in markings as varied as a child’s scribbles and the surface of a city sidewalk, Christopher Griffin’s paintings strive to emulate the randomness and freshness of those chance encounters. Ongoing experiments with color, texture, pattern, and line quality have led Griffin to explore new mediums, like the real asphalt he has begun to incorporate in his oil paintings. By applying a coat of wet asphalt to a patch of sidewalk and collecting its print onto a primed canvas or allowing his daughter to draw directly onto the blank canvas, Griffin gives the initial markings to chance and leaves himself the task of creating a complete image in line with his own ideals. The preciousness of blank canvas, so often a barrier to spontaneous mark making, is removed. Playfulness, curiosity, and impulsiveness become crucial elements to both his approach and the final product.

Christopher Griffin is based in Ontario, Canada, and was the recipient of the Ottawa Urban Design Award of Excellence in 2015.