This most interesting project sprang from a photo in a farm magazine. The commissioner of this work was so intrigued that he contacted the people involved on the Alberta/Saskatchewan border and obtained many more photographs, after he actually travelled west to meet them. Custom paintings such as this present a challenge and I enjoy them immensely as I work with people to develop an idea.
This decorative piece was designed to fit an above-the-mantel space and is intended to present a view that could occur just outside the window of a cottage in Muskoka. It is somewhat unusual for me to create a painting that is not based on an actual place or places. In this case the entire painting is whimsical and is intended as a visual confection. Each commission presents an entirely new set of demands and I cherish the chance to tackle the concepts. I know many artists do not like commissions but I am not among their numbers.
This painting recalls a customers family history in a Victorian era re-creation. One grandfather had been a greengrocer, while the other had owned a bake shop. My task was to cobble together bits and pieces of Victoriana from family photos and archival material to compose a believable image.
This restored farmhouse near Sunfish Lake west of Waterloo has been featured in a magazine layout. In this view I avoided the new addition and showed the stone building with the pond and the owners dog.
The house is a hidden gem sitting quietly on the small hobby farm with trees obscuring the view from the road. The owner has done a great deal of work to make this house both attractive and practical. It takes a special kind of person to administer the love and attention that a property like this needs. But the rewards are great! I am always happy when I receive a call to paint just such a property. I know that such a person has a well-developed aesthetic sense.
See also Image #2862 Autumn Day at the Farm.
This painting shows my grandfathers old Ford. The hill that was at the front has been flattened and covered with houses, but Im pleased to say the old farmhouse with its bell tower still stands near the intersection of University Avenue and Fischer-Hallman Road.
The Snake River is a major tributary of the Columbia River in the U.S. states of Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Using the commissioners excellent photographs from her journey on this river, I composed this combined view. When I work from somebody elses photographs, I really feel happiest when I have a selection from which to choose. Just as when I do a painting for myself, I find the best results come from selecting pieces of information from various photographs.
The focus of this painting, circa 1920, is the familys dairy wagon. The site was the homestead on the present Ottawa Street, Kitchener. A big-box centre now replaces this farmyard. It was also important to the family that I include their 1917 Auburn near the house. This painting was made very special for me when the wife of the man who received the painting told me this, I have been married to this man for well over 60 years and this is only the second time that I have seen him cry. Clearly this painting brought back many more memories than I could have imagined. I was happy that my piece was so well received as these people have been collectors of my work for over 30 years.