A long time ago I went to an auction. The first auction I had ever been to. I was an estate sale so had a wide variety of items. The one item I bid on, and won, was an old wood box. I did realize until I picked it up that it had something in it. To my surprise, it was full of oil paint, linseed oil, brushes, etc.
I feel certain that God was giving me direction that day.
I brought it home and left it for a while, then one day, when the time was right I got it out. I found a piece of wall panelling in the workshop and used it as my canvas.
I found a photo of my son napping in a sunspot on the sofa. I loved the shadows, the subject and the feeling of contentment that photo gave me, so it became my subject.
To this day it's my favourite painting. I still love the shadows, the subject and the contentment I get from it.
I have recently realized that a fair bit of my artwork is inspired from Ontario’s provincial and national parks. Much of my work has been inspired by Algonquin, Killarney, Pukaskwa and the north shore of Lake Superior.
Nature is always inspirational. I’m inspired by light, colour and mood of landscape, especially northern landscape. My preference is to paint somewhat dreary days or cloudy days when the sun burst’s through the clouds and you have bright light against dark skies. Water is often in my paintings as I love the movement and sparkle of it.
This painting Turtle Island Killarney captures the moment right after a heavy down pour. The air is still heavy with moisture and the colours are vibrant against the dark sky. There’s a tiny gap in the clouds letting the sun barely touch the treetops. The water is smooth as silk and the air has that distinctive after the rain smell. It’s a perfect moment filled with calm, peace, quiet and freshness.
I was interested to learn that Killarney Provincial Park was largely created due to the effort of artists, particularly A.Y. Jackson. He learned that the land around OSA Lake was to be logged so he successfully petitioned the government to have it preserved. The land around the lake was put in trust to the Ontario Society of Artists, and it eventually became a provincial park.