Viewed from a high point, rural Ireland presents a complicated pattern of eccentrically shaped fields, punctuated with white farm buildings. Through this maze, an ivory-coloured road weaves a path that disappears and then returns to view.
The title, The Golden Staircase, springs from the price tag of the actual stonework which was extensive and expensive. This beautiful home is on the Lake of Bays in the Muskoka area of Ontario. As a surprise, I included the owner of the property sitting on the deck looking out over the lake. It is fun for me to include some unexpected item in a painting. If these people had any objection to my bolt out of the blue, I could have easily painted him out.
This painting was commissioned by the son of this store-keeper, and was designed to show the humanity of this couple who spent many years tending this cigar store. Located near the Kitchener train station at the corner of Water and Victoria streets, the store really was their home and many friends visited them there. Not long after this painting was unveiled, the old man died and this painting was shown by his casket. I was flattered that the family thought it worthy.
In the early part of the Twentieth Century, my grandfather was a well-known breeder of Shorthorn cattle, a dual purpose milk and beef breed imported from Scotland. I show his farm on Fischer-Hallman Road in Waterloo with these prize cattle. Although the farmhouse still exists, the farm is no longer there, and the breed of cattle has all but disappeared. I painted this family history piece for use on my autobiography, “Picture Maker”.
This most personal commission combines several of the commissioners passions into one piecethe antique car, an English canal boat, their dog, and his home village. Each aspect of this piece demanded special attention and presented a very real challenge to weld into a unit.
A woman brought me some photos of a village someplace in Northern England. Having just returned from a vacation there, she wanted something that would capture the romance of this riverside dwelling. I seldom have painted from another persons photos, preferring instead to decide the angles and viewpoint myself on the spot.
I was commissioned by a young woman to create this view of the Harmony Lunch, a local Waterloo landmark. Her grandparents had frequented this restaurant as a young couple and have continued to do so with their grandchildren. The family has generations of fond memories at the Harmony Lunch.