Geoff Farnsworth began his art training in Vancouver in classes at the Federation of Canadian Artists, Emily Carr, and Capilano College in the Graphic Design & Illustration Program. He then moved to New York City to study at the Art Students League from 1997 to 2002. Here he trained from the model full time before working in the abstract classes where his style began to synthesize form with colour, process, and experimentation. A post 9-11 environment with tightening visa restrictions finally prompted him to follow his long time urge to move to Toronto where he furthered his studio practice. He currently lives and works in St. Catharines, Ontario.
He has taught at Niagara College in the Graphic Design Program for the last decade, and is very involved in the Niagara art scene with being on the Board at the Niagara Artists Centre, teaching for the Willow Community, and collaborating with artists and musicians in the region.
His paintings have been shown in New York City, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Niagara Falls, Norway, Sweden, and Trinidad.
“My visual art style first began to take shape after training in the realism classes from the live human model at the Art Students League in New York City, where I trained from 1997 to 2002. I then began to work in the abstract painting studios, mostly under Bill Scharf, who had been the protege, studio assistant, and friend of Mark Rothko. This direct line of New York Abstract Expressionism began to meld into my figurative work with a spirit for process, experimentation, and colour exploration.
Being originally from the interior of B.C. and North Vancouver, Canada; this morphed spirit between disrupted realism and abstraction became embedded into a painterly west coast aesthetic of painting.
My paintings explore a relationship between figurative and abstraction in order to meld unconscious probing and stylistic innovation with a meditative figural base. It is important to me that the paintings work well as collections of shape, colour, texture, and energy, while also building a compelling image. Working with people and objects from my personal world, I focus on maintaining a balance between plan and accident, known and unknown, restraint and exuberance. My figures look out as much into mindscape as landscape.”
-Geoff Farnsworth, 2020