A trip on my brother-in-laws boat through the passages in Georgian Bay near Port Severn was my first exposure to this beautiful landscape. A number of years later I was commissioned to paint a view of this area as a gift for a man who owns a cottage there. I have an extensive file of photographs that I have taken over the years which often serve as the basis for painting. This acrylic painting executed in a transparent watercolour way was well received. Few things are as dear to most people as their cottage and the happy times they have experienced there.
This is an historic recreation of a group of farmers visiting an artificial insemination unit. I was able, with the help of many archival photos, to build a plausible tableau. See also preliminary sketches, First Proof (Study), Image # P0483 and First Proof (Sketch), Image # P0484.
In the early days of the twentieth century in Ontario, hydro wires were installed along several roads but the responsibility to connect the farm to this public utility rested with each farmer. This painting was commissioned by a company that got their start attaching those farms to the hydro lines that bordered the roads.
Commissioned by Gay Lea Foods for their 50th Anniversary. A farmers’ co-operative with over 2,000 members includes about 25% of the dairy farmers in Ontario. Because I remember driving in the truck with my Dad to pick up milk in those distant days when milk was transported in 8 gallon cans, this painting is very close to my heart. I made the truck and its operator along with the farm kids the focus of this piece.
I was commissioned by Toyota to produce a picture to celebrate their plant addition. Since many people from around the world were coming to Cambridge for the opening, it was necessary to compose a piece that had a sense of place or location. Now, years later, much of the country has been converted to industrial lots.
Fifty years in business is a long time for a family company. The Erb Group of Companies asked me to create a painting that talked about its past. All the commission works that I produce contain many personal references to the commissioners past. In this painting, high on the list of must haves was a forceful reference to the International Truck dealer, Theo Dietrich, in St. Agatha. In my experience it is unusual for a customer to pay such a tribute to his supplier from many years ago. I think that Vernons insistence on such a major inclusion says much about the man and the values that he places on personal connections. As we talked, he waxed nostalgic about time spent with the people at the dealership and the difficulties and the successes of those earlier years. It is a pleasure for me not only to picture the past but also to learn from it.
Important as well was the first new car and truck the Erbs owned as they carefully grew to become this large company with 1200 employees. I also painted a double portrait of the co-founders, Vernon and Viola Erb, Image #3077.
Panasonic Canada commissioned me to paint a commemorative piece to celebrate the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of that company coming to Canada. To show the Japanese-Canadian connection, I chose to use the young hockey players as a symbol. The setting is Dundas Street in Toronto as it was in the early years of Panasonic in Canada, which happily for me coincided with my art college years in just that area.
Subscribed Reproduction 7″ x 9″
Pioneers face challenges and reap rewards as they deal with new situations. In this painting I show the entire family on a warm autumn day. The stump fence in the foreground represents the work already accomplished while the ploughing and the gardening speak not only of a passing season but also look forward to a new crop, a new year. I have endeavoured to create a balance of man with his small piece of the world.
I was commissioned by the North Waterloo Farmers Insurance Company to develop a painting for their 125th Anniversary. Part of this piece was painted at the companys booth at the Royal Winter Fair.