I was born in Winnipeg, Canada, where my lifelong fascination with drawing and painting started at a very early age, when my Grandmother took me to the Paddle Wheel Restaurant in the Hudson’s Bay Store. The restaurant was set up like a matte movie set designed to take its patrons back to a time when stern wheel paddle boats plied the Red River. The live foreground section of the matte scene was a cross section of a boat’s cabin with a scaled down replica paddle wheel that actually turned in a pool of water. The water was made to appear as if it extended for miles into the distance by virtue of a floor to ceiling mural of the meandering Red River. It was all magic to me! I could follow the river and look up into the giant prairie sky. The clouds in the sky looked so real that I felt I could reach out and touch them. The way they grew smaller and changed colour towards the horizon heightened the illusion of grandeur and depth.
That matte painting and the surrounding murals that I saw that day back in Winnipeg represent everything that I look to achieve in a drawing or painting. I want to tell a story and I want the viewer to be pulled into the story.The scene has to be bigger than life and this is why most of my drawings and paintings are panoramic long shots rather than zoom in close ups. Creating depth and the illusion of distance with proportion, foreshortening, and linear and aerial perspective.
All of my drawings and paintings start from a “Plein Air” or “Outdoor” drawing or painting. Plein Air painting is very popular and I love the feeling of drawing and painting out doors. I like it because I get immersed in the scene. I tend to see and learn more as I go along. I can watch the light and shadows change. I can wait for the tone of the sky or a cloud pattern to change. I can develop a palette of colours for a picture that occurs in nature so I am confident that it will work back in the studio. Another terrific reason to work on site is the people you meet and the stories they tell. Quite often these stories find there way into the narrative of the final drawing or painting.
Water and skies are consistent themes in my work. I live on the British Columbia south coast where the Pacific Ocean and the mighty Fraser River and its tributaries are so much a part of daily life. The Marine Art that you see on this web site is my way of telling the stories of the work and play that characterize the beaches, marinas and lakes and rivers of British Columbia, and other places were I have traveled. Some of these scenes you could go to today and see them as I have laid them out. Some of them, however, have been altered with a fair bit of artistic license. Rocks, mountains or trees moved; all with the intent to improve the composition, draw you in and keep you engaged.
I hope you enjoy the show! Thank you for visiting the web site.