One of the great pleasures of my job is to revisit places of significance in my memory with my art. As a child, my family and I would travel up to Manitoulin Island, camper in tow, staying a few memorable weeks at the Providence Bay Campground. Magically, over all those years, the sites, sounds and landmarks of this place remain much the same. Creating artwork from this place for me is as much an act of drawing upon memory as it is drawing upon the present day visuals encountered during recent visits.
With the coming of spring, the ferry will once again be making its run to the island from the mainland. It's always my wish to be onboard and once again reconnect with one of my most powerful muses! Watch here for more additions to this collection of paintings in the months ahead!
Holidays are long past, commissions are wrapped up, winter has arrived, and that nasty covid virus is still stubbornly hanging around, so the right time to paint, paint , paint!
Here is a quick peek at some of the new work, proper pics and details soon to come, as well as more new art, stay tuned!
Over the past summer there was much to do getting my new gallery up and running as well as moving ahead with the long awaited re opening and recovery. In addition to these at times mundane realities that are part of a gallery owner and artists' day to day, new art must be coming along, always!
A good bit of this creating time was directed to the planning, execution and finishing off, (varnishing, framing etc) of 2 new large works, both showcasing the much admired splendor that is Georgian Bay's eastern shoreline, all set in the glorious season of autumn.
With projects like these and the very considerable time that goes into each, I tend to work away at each for a few days or even a solid week, then typically put it aside for some reflection or away time, redirecting my focus onto something else for a while before coming back to it. The separation allows me to reignite the initial enthusiasm for the project and see past the many challenges of getting things to my liking with the artwork.
While working at both of these pieces, I imagined myself crawling up and over each of the landscapes depicted, becoming intimately connected with the intricate and varied terrain and all the elements contained within and upon it. My goal was to create paintings that presented themselves as almost sculptural, fabricating the illusion of 3 dimensions from 2.
These sweeping depictions of the Canadian landscape, manufactured with brush, paint, and a lot of care are now available for repeated hikes and explorations of the mind, even as they hang on some wall; a clear reminder of the rugged, captivating beauty that exists just a short journey from home.
Here they are situated in the Kilby Gallery. Professionally copied images will follow soon, allowing for a closer, more revealing presentation of each.
Very excited to announce my participation in this year's Online Artisan Market held by the McMicheal Volunteer Committee. I have seen this show in person years ago and vowed I would do whatever I could to one day be part of it. The quality of the artists and their contributions is very high and it is quite an honour to be selected to participate. I have 5 pieces listed, and would be more than happy to share the spoils with this wonderful gallery if I am fortunate enough to make a sale, or 2!
See the post below for details and please give it a visit online. The McMicheal Gallery in Kleinburg Ontario is a wonderful place in a fantastic setting, always worth a visit to find a little inspiration!
It's always a pleasure to see where my artwork lands in the homes and offices of my customers. Here is a couple smaller paintings situated inside the well appointed rooms of the lovely Collingwood residence they now call home!
Always exciting (and a relief!) to get some new art wrapped up and ready to share. Below are 5 new pieces I'm looking forward to showing around, each is totally unique. The next batch is already underway and will be more diversified than ever, I promise!
Georgian Bay is an artists' dream, and the fall is a time it really comes alive with drama and colour! The vibrant hues of the courageous little red oak, constantly pushed around by the west wind, as well as the rich sumac lying in the underbrush, challenged my painting abilities as well as the paints I use to create them. Truly one of those 'take you there' pieces!
First automotive themed painting for me in a while, this early 50's Buick Special is oozing style and cool! While working on this piece, I imagined what it would be like to drive a set of wheels like this, how different from the sanitized, competent yet soulless offerings that fill the roadways these days. A real work of Art!
On a Sunday morning hike I found myself following a little creek that wound through the countryside not far from home. Being late spring, the water was flowing and the new green grass was vibrant and contrasted last years so nicely. As I worked on the piece, I reflected on the news from a friend that a black bear had been around locally and I decided to include one here, seem quite appropriate. I'm quite happy with the way the composition leads you gradually to the bear, and its discovery feels reminiscent to spotting one in real life, keep those eyes open people!
With so much of the Great Lakes shoreline tamed and occupied, it was a real treat to experience the raw beauty of an unmolested beach like this one, Mystic Beach. Between the bone chilling water, and the thick black mass of bush, lay the jewel like blanket of clean luxurious sand, free of human foot prints and discarded coffee cups, I only hope my painting shares some of this natural wonder!
I like my paintings to trigger a memory of something I have experienced before, and this painting reminds me of countless paddles in the Ontario wilderness studying the edges of waterways and the forests that line them. I'm especially drawn to a scene that includes the vibrant real colours found in nature, but also the extremely limited palette that often accompanies them!
As a professional painter, I have developed a reputation as an artist who doesn't repeat himself. Building on my training as an Illustrator, capable of creating artwork featuring a vast range of subjects and scenes, I am constantly challenging myself with something new and different for my next painting.
In spite of this, there have been a few themes that have surfaced in my body of work. One of those would be the Red bike, which has been featured in a number of paintings, as seen below. The bike was found at one of the unique and picturesque homes located in Eden Mills, a lovely village that was my home before moving up to The Blue Mountains. For some reason, its mix of age, style and patina seemed to fit in a number of my paintings. There certainly are other cool bikes out there and maybe one day I will paint one of those, but for now this vintage red lady's bike has served me well as an artistic muse!
Here is a short note sent to me regarding on of my new paintings at the Kilby Gallery. It's a treat to hear how another reads and reacts to something I made, very gratifying!
I had to reach out to comment on After the Fire. The painting really speaks to me! The foreboding sky in the distance that is so ominous. However the sunlight around the fire pit creates a warmth that feels fleeting. I am cold and warm at the same time as I stare at it. I find myself worrying about the approaching night fall and being stuck outside yet knowing I can retreat to a cabin. Not sure if you have to be one with Georgian Bay to feel this but I certainly do. I love it.
One of the more satisfying moments in the process of creating a new painting is applying a couple sealing coats of varnish. Not only does this signal the point of no more adjustments and tinkering with the artwork, but it also unleashes the rich vibrancy of the colours in the piece. Additionally, the product I use, while pricey, is carefully matched to the paints by their manufacturer, and ensures a long, trouble free life ahead for the painting.
Of course, there still is a frame to come, custom made by yours truly, but we'll save that is for another post!
Very happy to post this interview I recently participated in with my good friend Joanne Poluch of Remarque Art Consulting (remarqueartconsulting.ca). Joanne is in the business of connecting art collectors and interested parties with artists and their work. On her regular arts program seen on Rogers T.V., as well as an active and lively presence on social media, Joanne speaks with a rich and diversified range of creative people, revealing their stories and their art through engaging interviews such as this one here. Many thanks to Joanne and her husband Orest, the man behind the camera, for their wonderful feature of my new gallery and my story as well.