Distinguished Artist 2023
I was born in Elliot Lake Ontario at the end of the uranium boom that saw many people leave the area in search of new employment, including my parents. We lived in Oakville and Milton, Ontario for a time, eventually moving to St.Catharines. I would spend most of my childhood there apart from living in Beamsville for three years.
My parents were both from Manitoulin Island and our family would vacation there every year. As a child, I would dream of living there someday and that dream was realized when I was fourteen years old. My family moved to Little Current on Manitoulin Island where I still live to this day.
Even at an early age, I had an affinity for the Arts. My earliest work would be done on almost any blank substrate I could find, such as advertising flyers, newspapers, or my older brother’s school notebooks. (All would disappear but for a few scribblings that can still be found on the backs of old family photos!) My inspiration was fed by magazines, comics, and storybooks. I remember lingering over the pictures of works by Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and his son, Andrew. They filled me with a longing and desire to have the ways and means to create works of my own one day.
My desire to make art would be interrupted by life for the most part. “It would be a lofty dream with many risks involved”, is what I came to believe. “There was a mystique about the art world that seemed to make it a place only for the learned and the philosophical. Not something a young man with little more than raw talent and desire to create could take the chance to pursue. Added to this was the fact that art supplies were expensive and not readily available to anyone living in a small northern community.
My outlook changed many years later mostly due to the worldwide web. Information, inspiration, and inclusiveness to the world of art were right there on a screen in front of me, and shopping for supplies was at my fingertips! It was around this time that I had a chance for early retirement and I knew I would need something to do so I began painting as a way to occupy my time with newfound freedom from the regular nine-to-five. It’s a choice I am very grateful for making!
Water is a subject that finds its way into many of my paintings. Its availability to wash my equipment and be used to mix with my mediums could be a couple of reasons I work with acrylic and watercolour paint. That and the fact that I tend to get a little messy and these mediums are easier to clean up.
I love realism and have no problem defending it as a true fine art category. It has always amazed me how someone can take some coloured pigment and arrange it with a few strokes of a brush to convince me I am looking at something real. When you look closely you may see how haphazardly those strokes are and that the artist was merely making a suggestion. It’s up to me to believe I am seeing an apple!
It’s my plan to keep making better “suggestions” in the future by continuing to train my eyes, hands, and mind to make the best art I possibly can.
Artwork to enrich the experience for both, the viewer, and myself.