The first three months were bustling with art sales and opportunities, the second quarter continued to build momentum in and out of my art studio, and the summer of 2016 was pure passion and pay-off. With Yellowknife, Edmonton, and Winnipeg providing inspiration, opportunity, and the chance to connect with the people, artists and art galleries across Canada.
In July: The day before I jetted off to The North, I finished a new painting inspired by my journey across the Canadian landscape over the past six years. A painting that speaks of taking this journey together, and connecting across this vast country.
Canada Day 2016 found me in Yellowknife. Six days on The Edge of The Arctic Circle. Canada's Northern Desert, a place where 'helping your neighbor' really is the first order of business and the only way to survive in this land of extreme weather and extreme living. While in town I visited the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, and artists Jen Walden, Jen Luckay, Fran Hurcomb, Steve Schwarz, and Kyle Thomas. These people have heart and grit and talent beyond whatever expectations I had going in, I love you Yellowknife. The full story of my Yellowknife adventure here.
In August: I received a formal offer to exhibit my ‘Canadianisms’ with the Okotoks Art Gallery (OAG) near the bustling metropolis of Calgary, Alberta in 2017. This Class A gallery is housed in an old CPR Railway station, a fitting location to show my artworks inspired by Canada. Currently the gallery is showing renowned Canadian Photographer, Edward Burtynsky, more can be found on the OAG website here.
Vancouver Island in the summer has a celebratory feel with numerous festivals including the Parksville Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition. Art on the beach, the theme this year was 'Things With Wings' - here is one sculpture that caught my eye.
A new painting is completed: The Getaway, inspired by the off-grid culture in Yellowknife.
A family member passed in August and this passing came with the gift of an Alberta road trip. Anytime you have the chance to drive through the Canadian Rocky Mountains, through Jasper National Park, it is a true privilege. In 2010, my first road trip through these giants on the Canadian landscape birthed a series of paintings inspired by these icons. It was nice to see old friends and stand at their feet once again. A reminder that nature truly owns this planet and the more we connect with its gifts, the more we learn about ourselves and our world.
A dear friend’s birthday celebrations in Arizona offered up many gifts for the eyes, ears and soul. The desert landscapes reminiscent of Georgia O' Keeffe. Our tour included time visiting a classic car museum and collection that Jay Leno would be envious of, Wayne's Toys is a must see while in the area, boasting more than 50 classics housed in a 20,000 sqft facility. This is a 1961 Messerschmitt KR-200 Bubble Car, just one of the quirky little gems in this collection. More here.
IN GORD WE TRUST! The epic cross-Canada farewell tour for the Tragically Hip came to it’s finale in Kingston, Ontario as all of Canada watched the emotional live broadcast concert. Through the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research, founded at the time the lead singer went public with his diagnosis, has now raised over $250,000 for cancer research. It was a beauty day in Canada.
A new painting is birthed, Cottage Royalty. It’s that backyard stage, maybe at the cottage on the lake, maybe by the pool. A loan yellow Adirondack chair framed by led lights. Maybe you are the storyteller, maybe you are strumming the guitar, or maybe your flavour is delivering a great one liner; no matter what your talent, it’s your turn to take the throne and deliver your address to the crowd.
SOLD TO VANCOUVER: this beauty painted on canvas and wood veneer found a new home.
NEW PAINTING: it may be the end of the week, a holiday, or just because; no TV required, just a comfy chair, a friend, a beverage and a view; here’s to Summer days!
September rolls in…
NEW PAINTINGS ON DISPLAY: six new paintings including the one featured below are now on display in Victoria at Victoria Premium Automobiles in the main showroom. The new paintings were well received at an event hosted by the Prodigy Group, emerging business professionals and business owners in Victoria, BC.
Winnipeg bound! Last stop on this journey had me in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, land of the midnight sun and Canada's last frontier. September found me boarding a jet plane for Manitoba; the friendly land of 100,000 lakes and the postage stamp province. While in town I visited the latest architectural and cultural landmark, Canadian Museum for Human Rights. My stops included the historic Fort Garry Hotel, Union Station, The Forks National Historic site where the Red River and The Assiniboine meet and the fur trade provided futures for pioneers. The Manitoba Legislative Assembly, Osbourne Village and the art galleries of the Exchange District. I met with artist Andrew Valko, photojournalist Penny Rogers and enjoyed the solo exhibition by Winnipeg realist painter Karel Funk at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG). Manitoba was made for Van Gogh, Wyeth, Rothko and me...the full recap of my visit to The Peg, here:
BIG NEWS: I received a second formal offer for a solo showing of my ‘Canadianisms’ in 2017, this time with Strathcona County Gallery @501 in Sherwood Park Alberta, just outside the cultural Metropolis of Edmonton. A Class A gallery, my show will be the launch for Canada’s sesquicentennial year. Currently showing the work of aboriginal artist, Jason Carter. More about Gallery @501 here.
As Autumn shines it's golden light and turns leaves crimson, I have come to the completion of a new painting featuring two canoes on a shimmering lake. ‘Complimentary Canoes’ plays with themes of male/female through the use of symbolism, pattern, and vivid colour. With my paintings I want the central image to push forward allowing the viewer to immediately connect with something familiar. As their eyes move across the canvas my hope is they begin to connect to a deeper narrative. Something different to be discovered every time you see the piece.
I am in the studio for a month and then back on the road, this time I will be meeting with artists, galleries and the People of Canada in Eastern Canada. I will be at Art Toronto at the end of October, followed by a side trip to the culturally vivid city of Montreal, finishing up in Canada's Capital of Ottawa and a tour of our National Gallery. An epic year exploring, photographing, and painting Canada leading up to my solo exhibitions in 2017. The invite list begins here - until then, see you on the road!