This is the last Ford Motor Vehicle in the series entitled “Vehicular Traffic” and it represents the Canadian social behaviour of gambling. I used the popular game of blackjack, which is commonly played in Casinos across Canada and is also known as the card game “21” which most people play as kids. Originating in France, blackjack became popular around the same time as the Model T Ford was distributed (1908 – 1927) The Roaring Twenties; a period of flappers and gangsters with fedora’s, pearls and hats. Three gentleman play in the rear of the vehicle, with one winning the jackpot. In the front section, an aboriginal man helps a Phillipino woman understand the game. The central figures are an experimental element representing an abstract manner in which I depict figures playing cards. In some of my abstract paintings, I combine blind contour drawings with brilliant colour to create a cartoon look. This was done to show the creative process of how paintings are made. I always thought the perfect painting would have evidence of different layers of the painting process, realistic, partially rendered and beginning drawing lines. This is my effort towards that ideal.
Royal Home Side 1
Royal Home Side 1
Humber Valley Side 2
Humber Valley Side 2
Stage Box for Norwood Grove BIZ, Winnipeg, MB
Sponsored by Norwood Grove BIZ. 2014
Stinson/Carter Park Mural
Rockwell’s Dream Continued
Rockwell’s Dream Continued
Mary Margaret Sporting Goods Hospital
Mary Margaret Sporting Goods Hospital, 2013
Gravenhurst Library, 2013
Twin Pad Arena
Twin Pad Arena Mural Proposal, Flamborough 2012
Barton Street Mural Proposal, Hamilton 2012
Queen Street West
Queen Street West Mural Proposal, Toronto 2010
Niagara Aquatics Arena
Niagara Aquatics Arena Mural Proposal 2010
Village of Islington Cooperators
Village of Islington Cooperators Mural Proposal, Toronto 2010
Belmont Village Mural Proposal, Kitchener 2011
Dovercourt and Gerrard
Dovercourt and Gerrard Mural Proposal 2013
Georgetown Mural Proposal 2012.
Waring Monsters, Ferrari Garage
Waring Monsters, Ferrari Garage, Cedar Springs Road, Supercars Canada, Burlington, Ontario, 2013.
Sustainability Mural (Take Pride Winnipeg mural) F …
Hydraulic Resources, latex on wood, 2014, 95 Ravenhill, Winnipeg, MB There are two fence murals which face each other. TheRead more →
Deer Environment, Moray Medical Clinic
Deer Environment, Moray Medical Clinic, 9.5’ x 47’, 3536 Roblin Boulevard, Winnipeg, MB, 2013, artist acrylic (Nova Colour) on cinderRead more →
Midland Park Community Association, A Vision Reali …
A Vision Realized, Midland Park Community Association Mural, 2010, 8’ x 22’, 1197-1217 Ellesmere Rd., (and Oakley Blvd) Scarborough, Ontario,Read more →
Ford Motor Vehicles
Lincoln Continental is a Ford Motor Vehicle which was produced in 1939 to 1948 and again from 1956 to 1980 and from 1981 to 2002. It has been very distinctive, a highly equipped luxury car and it has lasted the test of time. Overlaid onto the top of the car are images of poverty, the reality of homelessness and the efforts of many to overcome it’s devastating effects. Winnipeg Harvest is one such organization which provides food for various shelters and mission organizations in Winnipeg’s downtown core. Springs Inner City and Feed My Lambs Mission are two organizations that I had the pleasure of volunteering with. I was also a recipient of Winnipeg’s food bank after experiencing a divorce. Depicted in this mural are two of my favourite people; Bob and Louise Buchanan who helped me paint murals in Winnipeg, befriending me and promoting me. Giving is a process which is good for the soul. In life, there will always be people who have more than you and those who have less than you. The key is to keep that in balance and always remain grateful. The smiley face of a homeless man reminds me that joy is a state of mind and it can be found in the most devastating circumstances.
Here is the 6th painting in the series of 10 Ford Motor Vehicles spanning a decade in the 100 year history of the Ford Motor Company in Canada. The Oakville plant is now primarily building F150’s. The social behaviour painted onto the shaped canvas is of Praise and Worship, a positive Canadian behaviour. I nicknamed it “Religious Redneck” because that is how people referred to us in Swan River, Manitoba: a small, remote town in northern Manitoba. Most of the musicians are part of Hillsongs Australia: an entire church dedicated to music ministry. This has effected how many “do” church in Canada. They honour God with really cool, funky music and biblical lyrics. It has always been a passion of mine and I think I own most of their CD’s? Over the past 20 years, large mega-churches have sprouted up across our country. Springs Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Koinania Christian Fellowship in Bloomingdale, Ontario are two spirit-contemporary churches. That means their messages are biblically based, poignant, relative and geared to meeting the needs of today’s youth, children and adults. Traditional hymns have been replaced with praise and worship songs, created and sung by contemporary musicians and bands. Many have been rejuvenated as their faith has grown relevant to every day life.
Hockey is a favourite Canadian tradition. This is the seventh painting in the series of 10, illustrating house league hockey at North Wentworth Arena, a local hero Danny Syvret who made it into the NHL, playing for the Edmonton Oilers and Wayne Gretzky, a Canadian icon who was originally from Brantford, Ontario. Gretzky was unstoppable during his career, with exceptional ability he understood the benefit of team-playing which increased his popularity and success. My father, Terry Collard was the convenor of the Flamborough Hockey Association when I was growing up and when my sister Leanne wanted to play hockey, my Dad started the first girls hockey team in Flamborough, recruiting players (such as myself) and coaching. Today the league is independent and strong. Inside Gretzky’s helmet is an image of my son’s Leaf team winning the championship of house league. Several of the images portray him shooting on net and skating. My brother and his son are also long standing hockey players, playing rep and select hockey.
This car represents the positive social behaviour of teaching and learning. My brother Jeff recently started a private high school; Discipleship Christian Secondary School (DCSS), in Bloomingdale, Ontario and these are a few of his students during inception in 2014. My brother is depicted instructing his daughter Emma, son Andrew, Joe Paul, Iris Kim and Ariel Bondy. To the far left is a reference to our Canadian heritage with children running to school in the 1950’s and lining up for the school bus. The pink convertible I remember from several family picnics hosted by Ford. They would gather all the antique cars and trucks outside the Central Office Building for a BBQ and have games and balloons for the kids. I distinctly remember a pale pink Thunderbird. It’s odd what the brain remembers?
The City of Toronto Utility Boxes “Bus Stop”, at Coxwell and O’Conner, 2014, enamel on metal.
Entitled “Subway 2”, it is a colourful depiction of urbanites walking, talking, waiting for the metro. Painted on June 21, 22 in 2014. Even the top is painted for the truck drivers! It was commissioned by StART, Street Art Program, City of Toronto.
This mural was painted on Cloutier Drive, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, otherwise known as the Perimeter Underpass. The following are photos in process and final photographs: the month of September, completed October 3, 2014. Funded by Take Pride Winnipeg, Rivers West, St. Norbert BIZ and organized by Janice Lukes, the trail lady! Entitled “The River Moves Through Us”, it represents a transportation theme which resembles a Trans Canada trail weaving through the area. Janice Lukes led a group who spearheaded a campaign to build a walking and bike path along Cloutier Drive and through this underpass. Since it is located on two intersecting roads, a transportation theme seemed apt. It was a substantial feat to collaborate with the entire community and get input from every source. All influences are featured in this wall and it truly represents who St. Norbert is both historically and currently.
This is a detail of the Metis Sash, voyageur and red river cart. I tried to collage different kinds of renderings in one painting. For example, the red river cart is a simple, child-like painting referencing cubism or modern painting styles. The voyageur is rendered in a more realistic manner providing a contrast or juxtaposition of styles. Contrast is something I use a lot in my gallery work. I do it for fun and to add interest. When people see two opposing ideas in a composition, it makes them think. It makes me think.
See themuralsofwinnipeg.com for more information.
This was a fun, playful utility vehicle painted to take Beaujana’s French Table on the road. By making Beaujana’s mobile, it would allow the couple to travel to outdoor events such as the Winnipeg Folk Festival, selling food from the van. When Randy drove the van to me, I thought it was a white handy-van with tinted windows. After I painted it, it looked like a circus van able to attract children from all over. The owners, Randy and Beaujana wanted to make a big impression by painting it with bright, brilliant colours. I think they attained their goal. I had the commission for the mural but since Take Pride Winnipeg cannot fund the painting of a van, I did this gratis.
The idea was to make the van reflect the restaurant and the new look they would be creating with the wall. The only problem was, I had to paint the van first because they needed it for an event. This proved difficult to do especially since I only did a rough sketch of the main forms and did not do a coloured rendering. When Beaujana came to see how I was doing, she was unhappy with the way it looked but when she showed me a photo of a sylistic image she had in mind, I immediately changed it. She wanted a very simple graphic image and I was doing the trees in detail and painting it to look realistic, not the way she wanted it. Anyhow, I finally understood and made the appropriate changes. Due to the short timeline and my promise, I tried to paint as fast as I could. Unfortunately, as we all know, when we rush, we make mistakes. Well, I ended up falling off my step ladder and landing on my tush. Initially I was fine, but later I discovered difficulty sitting and apparently had a bruised tailbone. Another time, I spilled paint all over the road which was a little obvious and embarrassing. I usually pride myself on my ability to be neat.
For imagery, they wanted it to be an extension of Beaujana’s French Table; featuring their bright colours, signature table and chairs, sign, blue and white awning, and Beaujana’s friendly dog. They had me paint over most of the windows and duplicating their logo, hedges, and address on more than one side. I wanted to put a reflection of them in the window but it ended up looking like a painting on the wall. The perspective is a bit off making it look awkward, but we decided it was passable for their purpose. The flower pots and shrubs worked out exactly how she wanted them and I think they were happy with the results. When it was all finished I had it clear coated with an automotive finish to protect it from dirt and the elements. I was glad when it was finished because that meant I could get started on the wall, which was my ‘baby’!
This was actually a private residence on Campbell street and I got the job while I was painting the zoo mural at the Route 90 underpass. She wanted the window painted onto the stucco wall, extending the space and matching her decor. It also had to resemble their travels to Italy. The view in the window is of Tuscany.
424 Graham Street, Winnipeg, MB, 2007, Graham Outdoor Cafe, Musical themed mural located in an alley way.
This mural was my first mural painted in Winnipeg. I was still teaching at George McDowell school at the time and I took my art students on a mural tour and we stopped at this wall.
Please see themuralsofwinnipeg.com for further details.
Hydraulic Resources, latex on wood, 2014, 95 Ravenhill, Winnipeg, MB
There are two fence murals which face each other. The common theme is the windmill which is found in both designs. The only difference is the imagery which is painted in the three divided areas. The three resources which are native to the Praries are wind, rock and water. The hydraulic windmill moves them all in a cycle, related yet interdependent. The wind is represented in the prairie sky with windmills scattered throughout the fields. Water is in the bottom portion and rock is to the right.
Please see themuralsofwinnipeg.com for further details.
Hydraulic Garden (fence mural #1)
Paint the vision, make it plain! When climate change is needed, it is imperative that the urban plan be communicated consistently and effectively in order for it to be identified in the hearts of all people. It is my desire to be a part of the solution, integrating the interests and desires of others into a city plan which serves, protects and strengthens. It is my belief that great art exists not only in galleries where we can appreciate a Mark Rothko or Michelangelo, but it exists in our urban streets, where we can enjoy a Charlie Johnson or Diego Rivera. A huge hydraulic windmill sits on many prairie farms, extending its arms like a flower, hovering over the fields as a reminder of renewable goals. The slender arms of a windmill form the basis of this elongated design. It is shown initially close up, then meandering into the background, like a pathway. Outlines of the windmill divide the space into sub-sections, creating three smaller areas. Renewable energy is generated by planting trees, parks and gardens. The constant motion of the hydraulic windmill suggests interconnectivity. We are constantly dependant on our environment yet it relies on us for continual growth as we rely on each other. Our actions, movement and cycles are repeated and interwoven. It is a constant flow, winding us into a healthy, growing, sustainable future.
How are these natural resources used to create sustainable living? How are residents taking responsibility for their own environmental footprint? Manitoba has made several strides in considering environmental factors. Farmers and residents are using natural methods for irrigation, pest control and organic gardening. Wheat farmers are dedicated to producing high quality crops with favourable yields. Rivers, lakes and streams are lined with natural rock in an effort to decrease erosion caused by flooding.
A green roof and solar panels are also ventures which some have taken on. They are depicted at the end of this mural, to the right. Assiniboine Park has built a new architectural building near the duck pond which has a green roof. It is covered with grass and is naturally watered by the rain. The mural depicts a small house or cottage with a flower or herb garden planted on top of its roof. Three solar panels scatter the horizon.
Please see themuralsofwinnipeg.com for further details.
Field of Honour Section, Lot 150A
Stevenson attended Kelvin High School and later Wesley College. In 1917 at age 19, he flew for the Royal Flying Corps in England where he began pilot training. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and was decorated with the Belgian and French Croix de Guerre. After the war, Stevenson was on of many Royal Air Force pilots who ferried diplomats and other officials between London and Paris. After this, he began a short stint as a sea pilot in northern Russia. After returning to Canada in 1920, he went back to Winnipeg where he joined the Canadian Aircraft Company. With the company, he flew as part of flying exhibitions at small-town fairs in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In 1926 he moved on to Western Canada Airways and became one of Canada’s first bush pilots, transporting air freight to the North. By the following year, Stevenson was regularly transporting material and equipment from Cache Lake to Fort Churchill on Hudson Bay. On January 5, 1928 during a test flight in the Pas, Manitoba, the engine of his Fokker aircraft failed and his plane went into a spin at a low altitude and fell onto a quiet residential street and he was killed. Captain Frederick Stevenson is buried at Brookside Cemetery, facing southwest toward the airfield that would later be named after him (Stevenson’s Airfield). On May 27, 1928 the City of Winnipeg and the Municipality of St. James opened the new airdrome. Five hundred people attended the opening where Stevenson’s mother unveiled a marble plaque that read: “This airdrome is named Stevenson Airdrome in dedication to the late Captain F. J. Stevenson of Winnipeg, Canada’s Premier Commercial Pilot.” The field eventually became known as Stevenson Field and was later renamed Winnipeg International Airport.
Above Photo – an early photo of Stevenson Field in 1928
Photo – F.J Stevenson flies newspapers to Red Lake in 1927. (Churchill is written on side of plane)
Brookside Cemetery – modern photo
Brookside Cemetery Motor Bus – taken in 1915 with owners standing beside.
Native Aboriginal Woman – Hudson Bay Archives
Please see themuralsofwinnipeg.com for further details.
The Red Barn. This was located just North of Logan Avenue on Keewatin Street. Before it was named and painted red. The Red Barn was known throughout the city for its lively times. Several well known country and western performers were seen there including Del Genthon and his popular CJRC Grainbelters, Wilf Carter and Hank Snow, who reputedly rode his horse around the inside stage. The Red Barn in its final years became a three floor Bingo Hall until its demise in 1980s. A license was issued on June 13th 1938 to Mr. B. A. Patterson of Patterson’s Stables to conduct dances on his property at Keewatin and Logan Avenues. At the time a letter to the Manitoba Tax Commission from the Village Administrator stated “ We understand that a charge of 35 cents is made for admission. A good-sized crowd in attendance every Saturday night. Certain conditions had to be made to the building due to its popularity and crowded conditions. In 1947 charges were made of discrimination against a coloured person. There were inevitable fights and brawls that accompany any busy dance serving liquor.
The Brooklands Speedway – scenery 1950s, Brooklands racer on motorcycle
(located to the northwest of Brooklnads off Oak Point Highway,near Selkirk Avenue, was well known in Western Canada. In 1963 one Stock car race meet saw 4,640 spectators.)
Train – in museum, of an early train 1890.
Stevenson Airfield – plane flying above to symbolize Captain Frederick Joseph Stevenson who became one of Canada’s first bush pilots in 1926.
Brooklands Voluntary Fire Department – 1965 faces put onto a photo taken in 1952.
The Red School, (Krawchyk School Today)
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Brooklands
Privy – outhouse is a current photograph, mimicking one in photograph.
In 1957 sanitary sewers and watermains were installed on the remaining streets in Brooklands. Resident water meters were installed for $28.00
Burton Cummings -1960’s – the Early Years
Ferlin Husky – 1964
Beauty Queen on a Ford Thunderbird convertible – carnival in 1970
(Brooklands used to have an annual carnival organised by the Community Club and other groups in the area. At one time it was one of the largest in the Winnipeg area. Carnival Queen Debbie Kohler is shown in 1970)
Residential Houses -Ada Street water pails in 1942 (in the picture, Mr Wowchuck and Mr. Krontiuk are fetching water from a nearby manual water pump staton. There is a wooden bridge on the left side. I will use only the architecture in this photo but not the people.
Mrs. Tataryn and Bill Jr. on Elgin Street (Mom and baby crossing the street)
Canadian Bank of Commerce on Logan – 1906
dancing from 1950’s
Please see themuralsofwinnipeg.com for further details.
Deer Environment, Moray Medical Clinic, 9.5’ x 47’, 3536 Roblin Boulevard, Winnipeg, MB, 2013, artist acrylic (Nova Colour) on cinder block
Sponsors: Councillor Havixbeck, Take Pride Winnipeg and Dr. Paul Walton.
One of the most remarkable topics for conversation about the Charleswood area in Winnipeg are the deer. Anybody who lives there comments on their prolific presence. Deer are everywhere. They very commonly feed from planters, grass, trees and just about any green leafy vegetation in the area. However, they do not understand property lines, so they roam freely from one house to the next, picking and choosing their meal. Recently I stayed with a nice lady, Anne Ruhr in the East St. Paul area and I noticed her evergreens were eaten bare 5 ft up the trunk. She said they were fearless and would come right up to the house, any time of year but were particularly more common now that new houses were built close by, clearing out the abundant bush leaving the deer with no food supply. Charleswood is a residential area in Winnipeg, west of Tuxedo and Assiniboine Park. The infamous park hosts the Assiniboine Park Zoo, The Pavilion holding the permanent collection of Ivan Eyre paintings, the English Gardens, the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden and it is set in a natural treed area with many paths for walking. Just south of the Zoo between Roblin Boulevard and Wilkes Avenue, there stands Assiniboine Forest, a 1,100 acre natural forest marking the beginning of Charleswood and home for numerous aspen-oak trees and white tail deer.
For this Mural, I wanted to depict the deer in their natural environment, remaining sensitive to the locale. That is why I placed the deer in the forest, close to a pathway and water. The body of water is actually the pond found in the Assiniboine Gardens, surrounded by bull rushes and an actual Leo Mol sculpture of a deer. A couple mallard ducks are found in the foreground with peonies, fox gloves, status, lupins and hollyhocks found to the left, suggesting the nearby English Gardens. The tall prairie grasses line the background sky. An angel appeared in the clouds when I was painting it, completely unconsciously. The white tail deer will often live in fields and meadows favouring broad-leaved trees and they will sleep in forests for shade. While mating, or in a rut, the bucks will fight over territory using their antlers in sparring matches. Killing deer during hunting season can be a favoured Manitoba sport. Men rally for the largest racks and mount them in their living rooms as pride trophies. During the creation of this Mural, a friend of mine from the city came by to check on me. After he had returned home and my day was almost up, I noticed a buck slowly peer its head around the corner. It caught me off guard. After an uproarious laugh, I realized it was my friend playing a joke on me. He had gone home, took the rack off his wall and propped it up to trick me. It worked. Recently CBC reported a decapitated deer found in the Charleswood area, one month after I painted this mural (November 25, 2013). They suspect someone wanted it as a trophy, but reminded the public of hefty fines for poaching. Deer are so prevalent in Manitoba that it is considered common place to see them at the edge of a highway, run across the road or unfortunately be found as road kill. Manitoba Public Insurance spends $31 million each year on wildlife collision claims. That is almost the same figure as their drunk driving claims. So if you are in the Charleswood area, be on the look out for deer, but be sure to go see my mural on the side of Moray Medical Clinic at 3536 Roblin Blvd, the corner of Princeton Blvd.
A baby deer or fawn is located in the grass to the right of the composition. They have a reddish-brown coat with white spots that helps them blend in with the forest. White-tailed deer are vegetarians (herbivores), leisurely grazing on most available plant foods such as leaves, twigs, fruits and nuts, grass, corn, alfalfa, and lichens and other fungi. Occasionally venturing out in the daylight hours, white-tailed deer are primarily nocturnal, browsing mainly at dawn and dusk. The other species I wanted to highlight was the mallard ducks, widely known in North America preferring the low lying areas that are calm, undisturbed. Mallards prefer shallow sanctuaries, but can be found in almost any body of freshwater and are commonly found in wetlands. The drake, or male, is the more colourful mate. Its green head sits on a white neckband that sets off a chestnut-coloured chest and grey body. Females are drab brown in colour, but sport iridescent purple- blue wing feathers that are visible as a patch on their sides. There is a buck in the foreground, a doe behind with two fawns. This family of deer are the feature presentation in this Mural and important to this area. They are joined by a buck far off in the distance, above the peonies.
Walk Through the Seasons, (Kit-Kat) Bestway Foods, Great Licks Ice Cream, 21’ x 45’, 967 Wolseley and Ruby Street, Winnipeg, MB, 2012, latex on brick
Sponsors: Take Pride Winnipeg, Hertz Equipment Rentals, Paterson Foundation
Walk Through the Seasons is often a difficult but necessary task when dealing with the loss of a loved one, divorce, separation, relocation, or any number of life changing experiences. This Mural is meant to brighten the neighborhood with its pure colours and also reflect the environment in which so many Wolseley residents live. Often one will see people walking their dogs or going for a walk down the lovely treed area, lined with quaint, older homes. The suggestion is to take the dogs lead, grab the leash and increase this healthy habit by walking your dog, through the seasons, through the spring, summer, fall even winter. The colours range from springtime cool colours such as blue and green to autumn orange, yellow and red. There are a variety of individuals featured in the Mural, from children, students to middle aged. All are found on the streets or sidewalks, cycling or just hanging out.
When I was working on this design last summer, I took photographs of infamous Garfield Street and the streets beside it including Sherburn Street. The original idea was to have recycling boxes lining the streets, promoting the city’s goal of increasing the amount of recycled goods per capita. Soon, the city introduced the tall recycling boxes and distributed them to all households. One of my friends visiting from Florida (Ben) modeled for me, lifting recycled boxes, stacking them and dropping milk jugs into the bins. This may have messed up people’s back lanes but it was great to have a model who looked both aboriginal and white loading and unloading these full recycling boxes. I never did use him in the mural but when it came time to paint the central female figure I tried to make her look like him (but it did not work). The reflections made me think of Terry Farrell, a senior artist who lived in Swan River at one time and whose work I admired. His paintings were always bright and brilliant, using yellow as a base and majoring on reflections, much like the Group of Seven. Dale Wiebach in Swan River would understand because she introduced his work to me. The family on the right is my cousin Rebecca Collard-Paulin and her husband Allan Paulin and their two young children. They just had their photographs taken by Hula Hoop Photography so I borrowed this great shot of them interacting. The house on the left is located at 49 Sherburn St. South, Winnipeg but I changed the colours to reflect our very first home in Swan River, Manitoba. It looked like a Christmas house with a red brick base, a green roof and golden trim which brings the colours of the festive season into the Mural. I included a few cats to balance out the animal kingdom, added the owner’s dog.
What We Build, Hertz Equipment Rental, 12’ x 88’, 1600 Gamble Place, Winnipeg, MB, 2012, latex on raised brick
Sponsor: Take Pride Winnipeg, Hertz Equipment Rental
Dave Mintenko, the manager of Hertz Equipment Rental approached me about a Mural for the side of their building where their staff takes lunch breaks. Initially he wanted all of his staff painted in the Mural, working on machines, or in the buildings but as we progressed we decided a group photo would be better.
The main goal was to feature all of the buildings that their equipment helped build. We began with the Richardson International Airport expansion, the MTS Centre, the Museum of Human Rights, the new Bomber Stadium and Provencher Bridge. I used the road ramp up to the arrivals as the entry point and collaged much of the people and equipment on this section. It proved to be very busy, so I simplified it by omitting the airport, and putting the other four buildings in chronological order from past to present, left to right. The airport underwent its expansion in 2011, the building of the Museum of Human Rights was did not have the glass on in 2011 and the Bomber stadium had the beams up when I began taking photographs. When I took photographs of the Museum of Human Rights, the Esplanade Riel was in the background so I decided to include both in the Mural. The addition of the Salisbury House logo was a last minute detail to honour Earl Barish who owns the property and also owns Salisbury House.
All of their current 2012 staff are in the photograph. Dave Mintenko (the manager) gathered everyone together, got them to wear the new shirt uniform and took a group photo. This worked well as it focused the detail in one area. This was the first time I did a painting limiting the colour palette to cool colours (blues and purples) and contrasting warm colours (orange and yellow) for emphasis. The idea here was to make the equipment stand out against the buildings. All the machines were supposed to be orange and yellow while the buildings were to be blue, receding in the background. Once I was on-site painting, some of the staff felt strongly about the boom lift remaining blue, so I made this change. It did alter the overall effect slightly, but it made everyone happy.
The best part was being able to paint with my son, Manny whom I ‘hired’ as my apprentice. He was only 12 at the time and took a real interest in painting, climbing the scaffolding and saving money. Together, we painted an extra section at the front where we put a Hertz logo. When this was finished, he was able to apply this knowledge of the Hertz Rental sign to the Mural. He is responsible for painting the sign which is located between the MTS Centre and the Museum of Human Rights. I think he did a great job!
A Look at the Nook, The Nook, 13’ x 46’, 43 Sherbrooke Street, Winnipeg, MB, 2011, latex on stucco
Sponsors: West Broadway BIZ, Take Pride Winnipeg, Winnipeg Foundation, Richardson Foundation
This popular breakfast stop is a long standing Winnipeg tradition. It has been a great place to get breakfast, lunch or supper and it has been the resting place for many tired nurses, students, patients, or just about anyone seeking a good meal. Mr. and Mrs Parasidis purchased the restaurant over 25 years ago from the Alba twins (Italian brothers) and have made a go of it ever since. Formerly it used to be a Salisbury house and hosted the typical red bar seats which were recently taken out but the booths remained. Athina had collected several old photographs from patrons which showed the history of the exterior of the building and the many patrons that visited the establishment over the years. Together with a few other photographs from Misericordia Hospital, I came up with a design they loved. I went across the street to an attic in the hospital to find a photo of the original hospital taken in 1937 and the Single Mother’s Birthing Hospital that used to stand beside the Nook in a residential house (where the parking garage now stands). Athina requested that the image of their uniquely designed T-shirts be somewhere in the design. As well, I asked them if they wanted their portraits in the Mural and I took their photos; Bill and Athina arm in arm.
My goal was to recreate the past based on the historical photos. Most were taken around 1940-50 and were excellent depictions of the black and white era. I took one photo and extended its sides and imagined where it would be, dropped the neighborhood beside it, Misericordia Hospital to the right and voila. I filled it with people standing, leaning, laughing in groups or alone to make it look like the patrons of the past. I included Bill and Athina’s father who is standing in front of the door, looking like the Italian-Stallion (Sylvester Stallone). Behind them two figures emerge from the door with an old fashioned Coca-Cola advertisement below. Putting ads on the buildings was a way to pay for the building and was a common practice. In the old snapshots, the outside of their building was covered with Sweet Caporal ads which were elaborately painted. Former owners names such as Bill and Athina, the Alba brothers, Queens Tea Room and Salisbury House were painted on the side of the wall, along with the actual words that used to be painted on the top of the building: ‘refreshments’, ‘soft drinks’, ‘hot meals served’. My favourite part of the wall is the left side where the old birthing hospital stands in colourful detail and two old cars are parked. My Dad used to own a baby blue and red Ford Falcon so I thought of him when choosing the colours. The Alba brothers are posing side by side with the one cheekily stepping on the other’s toes. The Nook was often open late at night and it was a great spot to go after hours when everything else closed. Often private school girls found themselves playing hooky in their seats. It was near several high schools such as Grant Park, St Mary’s, Balmoral Hall, Kelvin and Westgate. On the right a ‘Car Stop’ stands with several boys waiting for the bus. In the window the Parasidis family is sitting down to play cards, with the Uncle (with a broken arm) on the left and Mr and Mrs Parasidis on the right. This scene reminds me of my Scottish Grandmother who often plays cards and my (deceased) Italian Grandfather who would count money on the old table downstairs after a good day at the market.
Run into Learning, Ecole Marie Anne Gabouray, 31’ x 100’, 50 Hastings Boulevard (corner of Dakota and St Mary’s Rd), Winnipeg, MB, 2011, latex on cinder block
Sponsor: Take Pride Winnipeg
This colourful, vivacious wall is part of the Louis Riel School Divison and is a French immersion school with children learning from grades K-8. It is located in the playground on the upper part of the gym wall below the basketball courts, beside the soccer field and parking lot. Hastings school shares the grounds with Ecole Gabouray and if you are standing in the back of Hastings school, you can get a great view of the mural. Some of the former students of Ecole Marie-Anne Gabouray had painted the wall with a rainbow, the school mascot, parliament building, a bus and teepees but the paint was pealing so it needed to be repainted.
With a change in mascot, the Principal Marc Poirier wanted students to come up with the idea for the mural and include a reference to Louis Riel’s grandmother, Marie-Anne Gabouray. Near the end of the year, some grade 7 and 8 students made a list of words that represented the school; “the power of MAG, respect, safe, fun, sports, educational, leadership, helpful.” A sketch was made of a large book with figures coming out of it. These figures represented the various subjects in the school such as computers, science, math, physical education and some of the activities played on the school yard. The students and principal asked for a mural that would reflect their school beliefs, mainly who they are and what they do. Since the school was a part of the Louis Riel School Division and I previously taught art at George McDowell School, I knew the art curriculum and some of the lessons that Karen Geist, the visual arts consultant had made available to all teachers in the division. A very popular inservice inspired by Norval Morrisseau, an Aboriginal, Woodlands, Canadian artist who paints legends of his people and stories of his Christian beliefs was presented to early years teachers. Students used his characteristic thick, black outlines to create the skeleton of animals and people which were later filled with bright pure colours. The black line was meant to suggest a continuous contour line dividing good from evil or one idea from the next. Even though this school has never had an art specialist, I knew I had to come up with something that was fitting for the school, the students and the division.
“Run into Learning” is an energetic look at some of the activities played on the school grounds and the learning that happens inside the school. Stylistically it suggests Aboriginal paintings or children’s artwork, the imagination of readers and the real life energy of young learners. The soccer field and cloudy sky provides a common background to the composition bringing together the events on the left with the learning on the right. An orange flying book comes to life with every subject from math, language arts, computers, physical education, music to art. A scientific specimen is examined as colours flow from its base, suggesting optics; the basis for colour theory, mixing everything from three primary colours. As the mural progresses so does ones imagination with a fairytale land hiding beneath her chin providing an entrance to another world. The school words are written in the book as a handbook of beliefs. The little girl playing blocks is a reference to the daycare located in the school basement. A portrait of Marie-Anne Gabouray is placed to the right of the new school logo. Two Asian girls were added to give diversity to the kind of activities played on the playground. The children running toward the soccer ball suggest the frequent games played on the field and the energy that many students put into their studies. They have things in common yet are different. The solid black line that shows up so often in Norval Morrisseau’s work and the Woodland Artist’s style indicates an interdependence of relationships. It also breaks up different ideas for example active learning verses traditional learning. The simplicity of colour and line suggests student work which is often bright and brilliant.
Beaujana’s French Table, St. Boniface, 16’ x 40’, 302 Hamel Street, Winnipeg, MB, 2011, latex on rough stucco
Sponsor: Hertz Equipment Rental, Take Pride Winnipeg
This is a bright, bold depiction of an outdoor cafe located in the French district. It serves a Parisian or Riviera bouquet of flavours to match the surprise suppers that chef Randy cooks up. The owners, Randy and Beaujena took over the premises in 2006 and have been cooking up feasts ever since. Open only on Friday or Saturday night (reservation only), the couple prepares and serves authentic French cuisine with at least 5 courses, catered directly for their guests. The wine tasting option creates a relaxing, romantic evening for couples, business associates or families. Tucked away in St. Boniface, on the corner of Hamel and St Jean Baptiste the commercial building will give you a wonderful, luxurious experience in this quiet, bilingual, residential area.
Many know of this building as the Red Barron, as it was formerly known, creating a historical reference to the area. Since the restaurant is Beaujena’s ‘baby,’ she held the vision. She wanted something that echoed what they already had on the front and interior of the building but they wanted to spruce it up a bit and make it brighter. Beaujena suggested an outdoor cafe with a quaint French promenade in the background and agreed to having their portraits somewhere in the mural. It had to have her characteristic table and chairs. From a small fauvist illustration that Beaujena liked and a painting of Van Gogh’s outdoor cafe, I concocted a design that I thought was fitting for the location. She loved it, so it was a go.
The bike was my idea knowing that they are so popular in France. The window where the menu is placed was painted blue to match the blue door. I designed it so the door and window would merge and this worked perfectly as Beaujena came up with the idea to paint its interior. I recall spending much care on the French village ‘wrap around’ because it reminded me of my favourite part of Europe; the enclosed streets with towers of windows and tiny cobblestone footpaths (which cars frequently drove on). I had the thrill of traveling across Europe in 1991 (for 3 months) so I used part of that memory in the mural. It is surprising how those great adventures stay with you. My kids liked climbing the scaffolding, especially my son who was 12 at the time. Often I painted around the clock which was quite enjoyable since it was much quieter and cooler at night. I was determined to finish since I had three murals to paint that summer. As a whole I think it was quite a collaborative effort between myself and the owner. She had a clear idea of what she wanted and I tried to pull her desires and my expertise together. I think it was a good fit because we were all pleased with the results.
Secret Garden, Assiniboine Park, pillars 16 ft tall, mural 12’ x 35’, Route 90 Underpass and Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg, MB, 2010, latex on cement
Sponsors: Richardson Foundation Incorporated, Take Pride Winnipeg, The City of Winnipeg, Hertz Equipment Rentals.
On the other side of this underpass is another mural, Secret Garden which demonstrates the recent developments the city has made to the English Gardens, the sports played in the park and the Leo Mol Sculptures which adorn its pathways. As part of the city’s plans for zoo expansion, they would like to add red panda’s to their animals so I depicted them high in the trees on the pillars. The various pathways meander through the mural, surrounding a manicured pond with a Leo Mol sculpture of wrestling bears. A couple teens grapple to catch a frisbee in the game Ultimate. Cricket is also featured in the bottom right side under the bridge. A close up of a young man striking a cricket ball is on the right pillar with a lovely view of the Assiniboine River flowing behind the edifice.
Polar Bear Splash, Assiniboine Park Zoo, pillars 14 ft tall, mural 12’ x 40’, Route 90 Underpass and Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg, MB, 2010, latex on cement
Sponsors: Richardson Foundation Incorporated, Take Pride Winnipeg, The City of Winnipeg, Hertz Equipment Rentals.
Tom Ethans, is the executive director of Take Pride Winnipeg; a non profit organization focused on graffiti removal and beautifying the city. I first met Tom at a mural luncheon in 2006. Since then, Tom helped me to get the Millers Meats mural which won mural of the year in 2009 and he has commissioned two underpasses, Polar Bear Splash and Secret Garden. I have learned that Tom takes great pride in what he does and is a great support to artists and community members. He arranged for donated paint, scaffolding and most of all the Green Team who tirelessly pressure washed the wall, preparing the surface for priming. Every day Tom was available on his cell and many days he would drop by for a visit. With this wall in particular, he set me up for success. I was able to improve on the existing mural and the conditions were ideal; I could paint when it rained. Most of all, Tom has taught me to trust him; I learned that he really is a good guy and he will do whatever he can to help me. He has a heart of gold and I am very thankful to him for commissioning these murals, for his tireless support and professionalism. He finds money in the most lucrative places and where none else can!
Bob Buchanan, is the web administrator for the murals of winnipeg website, founder of Feed my Lambs Mission and husband to Louise Buchanan (who is a great support to him). The murals of Winnipeg is an active site, with over 300,000 visitors since its inception in 2003. That means that half of all Winnipeg-ers have visited this site. It hosts all the current murals, most of the old ones (in the RIP section), a mapping interface to plan your mural-seeing adventure, artist profiles, links and more. This kind of a site is run from Bob’s home where he tirelessly volunteers, interviewing artists, documenting murals, (taking unwanted photographs), visiting mural sites and planning this annual event. Bob and I share a passion for murals. Painting murals is something that gets in your blood (it’s better than insulin). One of my best memories is on a cold, 30 below morning when he picked me up at my house, stopped at Tim Hortons to fill up our refillable coffee mugs (you save money that way), and painstakingly charted out to find murals that were lost on the radar. Sure enough he found them, one covered over, two alive and well. He took great delight in checking these off until all 500 were accounted for. For me, Bob is my personal steam coach; fueling me in times of need and infuriating me at others. He likes to remind me that I am senile, overprotective and in need of a real job (NOT). Although he can be antagonistic, Bob is my biggest fan. He attended all my art gallery openings, bought “Rockwell’s Dream Continued” (a mural submission I did), helped me cart my paintings across town, gave me his shoulder to cry on, shared contacts with me, sent me calls for submissions, went to conferences with me and became my friend. I love Bob because I can swear with him on Saturday and go to church with him on Sunday. Despite all he does for me and other artists, Bob volunteers for the Transcona Food Bank and Feed My Lambs Mission, handing out food to the hungry and providing breakfast and a movie. A man of his calibre is not easily found and I think Winnipeg is rich because of him. He too suffered a divorce and could relate to much of my emotional trauma.
Some highlights for me on this wall, Polar Bear Splash are the juxtaposition between large and small (innocent toddler in front of the large bear), the caring relationship between the bears, the sense of playfulness and the interactive educational component. The colours and composition of Polar Bear Splash worked well together from the very beginning and it is nice to see it come together, providing a refreshing pause. My kids and I took numerous trips to the park where I accumulated hundreds of photographs for the mural. It took about a year from the time I did the first drawing to the actual painting of the wall. Even though it took awhile, it was worth the wait.
Murals in Winnipeg
Nowhere else in this land can you find
A city with 500, one of a kind
Hand painted, diverse murals.
Whether they are urban scenes or rural
They give Artist’s a voice
Opportunities to create – a choice
Progressively they get better
Anticipated – for what seems to be forever
But once the mural is realized
And the plan unfolds
The mural comes to life
For all to behold.
Winery; Barrel and Vineyard, 568 Ridge Rd, Stoney Creek, Hamilton, Ontario
2012-13, 13’ x 13’, 13’ x 13’, Latex on panel on aluminum siding.
The Italian owner George wanted to change his large winery into a restaurant and golf course, adding on outside washrooms (just like in Italy). He wanted a mural that would communicate the buildings new function as a restaurant. Initially the image was supposed to be much simpler but as it progressed it became much more complex and detailed. The first mural, the Barrel incorporates some of the landscape on his property into the mural such as the rocks, barrel, grasses and trees in the distance. His idea was to have a wine glass on a marble table (communion like) in front of an old fashioned wine cellar, or stone edifice. To the left of the building, lays a hill with limestone rock, creating steps to climb up the mound. These steps are illustrated in the mural with similar colour and texture. It is this exact limestone which lines the cliffs below Ridge Road. His property looks out onto Stoney Creek and is a spectacular view! It was great to sit on the scaffolding and look in awe at the scenery. Installing this mural was done in the snow, with the help of my father, Terry Collard. Despite his lofty goals of retirement I managed to convince him to help. Together, we installed hundreds of rivets into this wall with a hand gun, in order to erect the mural onto aluminum siding. I could not have done it without him, as the rivet gun was physically demanding and a chore even for his muscles.
The second mural to the left of the building is of a man standing in the Vineyard. When George took me on a tour of his property, it was November, much of the vegetation was gone but I took photographs anyways. When I put together the ideas for the mural, I had to imagine what they would look like in the summer, with vines on them. The structure of the pond, road, vine posts, watering hole, well and rocks are exact replicas of his property. The vines grow behind the building, over a hill or two. George wanted the mural to look realistic, capturing the farm but also suggesting Italian food which could be served in the restaurant. Installing this mural was easier since we learned from the first one and put wooden panels in behind the corrugated parts to level it off. We had help from Tom Southon, a former colleague from the University of Waterloo and Ford employee. My father Terry, retired Ford employee and Tom made a great pair. It was nice to have their help and they did an awesome job!
TUDOR BIRCH GROVE, Birch Cliff Mural, Mural Routes Ontario, 2012, 12’ x 25’, 1859 Kingston Rd, Scarborough, ON
This romantic birch grove is an idealistic look at Birch Cliff Village’s past, present and future. The Birch Cliff area is planning to plant silver birch along its populated streets in an effort to bring the natural environment to its doorstep. These noble goals connect with their past as this area was once filled with farmers fields, mature trees and a hunting club. This welcoming design encourages one’s imagination to walk down the gravel road, smell the developing produce and admire the birch trees. The hunting club was very active in this area and often held equestrian events. In the mural, a horse travels along the outer track as if to turn and run up the lane. When the mural is painted, the wall actually dips down a bit in this area (bottom right). The way I designed it, allows for the road to be extended harmoniously. Green and red hues were chosen to resemble the colours of Wimpy’s and to give an antique look. There are many types of birch trees that grow in this area (alders, hazels and hornbeams) many of which are depicted in the mural. Birch Cliff is known for its English tutor styled homes making it a desired area to live in. The airy white background is suggestive of Lake Ontario with the Scarborough bluffs in a distance.
Gas Station Art Centre, 445 River Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, 2013, 19’ x 50’, artist acrylic (Nova Colours) on ceramic.
Sponsored by: Winnipeg Foundation, Osborne Village BIZ, Take Pride Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba
The Gas Station Theatre Mural was a joy for me to design and paint because of the amazing people I have met. The Gas Station Art Centre is a creative haven that brings together different artists from various disciplines under one roof. It was an honour to depict these talented people in an ambitious, fun Mural. I am very thankful to everyone who made it happen.
Who is in the mural? (left to right):
Big Daddy Tazz (comic; record holder 8 hours continuous stand-up at Gas St.); Chantel Marostica (comedian); Adam Cohen (Leonard Cohen’s son) playing guitar; Crumbs (Stephen Sim and Lee White) improv performers (these are the large figures in the centre of the left side); Miranda Mulholland of the Great Lake Swimmers playing violin in the green and white dress (performed at Folk Fest 2012); Outside Joke improv performers (far left, with the piano player and actors on stage); Al Rae (co-founder/ Artistic Director of Winnipeg Comedy Festival) is at the top right of Crumbs; Stephen McIntyre (actor/improvisor/ former staff member); Nafro Dancer (large central figure dividing the left from the right side), Contemporary Dancers; Talia Pura (Aerial Dancer, silk dancing); Sweet Alibi ( a new Manitoban musical trio), Ian Mozden (actor/dancer), University of Manitoba Theatre Department and Todd Drader, GSAC Technical Director (doing a lobotomy on Stephen McIntyre’s brain). Nick Kowalchuk (GSAC Executive Director) and Todd Drader are also in the stage of U of M students near the bottom of the composition but both are sketchy suggestions of form, not recognizable.
There are two items which were not mentioned which should be: 1. Esso Gas Station – why is it in the window? That is a historical photo of the original gas station which used to be located on that exact lot. The reason it is in the window is to signify its past. 2. The theatre cat is located beside Ian Mozden on the far right hand corner of the mural.
What is it about?
There are two parts to the Mural; the left side is mostly comedy and improv and the right side is mostly dance and drama. I wanted the left side to be portraits that could be recognized as fans line up at the door. The right side can be viewed from the street and I wanted this image to relate to the contemporary dancers who come from the United Church located in that general vicinity. My goal was to depict what the art centre is currently all about and where it is going in the future. They changed their name from “Gas Station Theatre” to the “Gas Station Arts Centre”. This name change suggests a shift in focus to include several arts communities. There are many different arts organizations that use the facility on a regular basis and they want their new name to reflect this interdependence upon them. For example, the nafro dancers meet out of the United Church which is located across the street. They also use the stage at the Gas Station Arts Centre. Nick Kowalchuk, executive director of the Arts Centre wants to expand the facilities to include artist studios, they are going to build out and up, to become a place where artists, dancers, actors, performers come to work and play. It will be a home away from home for many.
Duration and who helped?
It took one month to design this Mural and one month to paint. I did it all by myself with the exception of my children who helped me in the drawing stage for 4 days and a street person who volunteered one morning. The theatre hired Gary, the gardener to help me assemble and disassemble scaffolding every day. I worked 12 hours days for six days a week for thirty-one days. It was labour intensive definitely. It had extensive portrait work in it and since they were real people, I worked hard at making sure there was a likeness. It was a very fun Mural because all the people I painted came by the wall and got their pictures taken. I was also able to attend at least one of their performances to increase my understanding of their characters. Ian Modzden is one of my favourite actors as he is a very controversial fringe performer and takes risks I would never even dream of. Ian and Tanja, both dancers practiced every afternoon while I was painting the Mural. They were practicing for a new dance. The neat thing about that was, both Tanja and Ian were my life models for a series of drawings I did in 2008. Crumbs I was able to see twice during the Fringe festival in July. That was really neat because I grew in my admiration of improv; which emerges out of a random story told by someone in the crowd. Big Daddy Tazz and Chantelle Marastico, (stand up comedians) I saw during the Fringe festival and I laughed the entire time. I was immediately drawn to Al Rae because of his dry, sense of humour, similarity in marital status, wit and charm. I watched him and other comedians at Jeffries, a club in North Kildonan. I think my experience of interacting with the actors and performers helped me gain an appreciation for each person and their role in the Centre. It also made it fun.
Miller’s Meat Market, “European Market Square”, 591 St. Mary’s Road, Winnipeg, MB. 2009. 16’ x 88’. latex on brick
People wander through the open air market, chat with others, walk their dog, look for quality foods and begin to line up at the most popular store around; Miller’s Super Valu, formerly known as Miller’s Meats, established in 1971, a fresh Winnipeg meat market. They congregate in the Piazza (meeting place) guarded by the Golden Boy; a magnificently gilded figure, a proud Manitoban symbol. Embodying the spirit of enterprise and eternal youth, he is poised atop the dome of the parliament building in Winnipeg or Vatican City, Rome. Nestled behind is an architectural suggestion of the market square in Brussels, Belgium and a narrow European street to its left. The Italian piazza encloses fresh fruit and vegetable stands manned by store owners. A Red River Cart stops in busy traffic near the outdoor café and Super Valu. On the far left a delicious French bakery displays treats in its store front window manned by a historical shop owner. When one looks closely “Dolce Dia” is written on a sign in the bottom of the bakery window, it is a spanish saying that means “Have a Good Day”. The shop owner watches over the square from Fortune’s Block, a former Winnipeg fruit and vegetable store that once doubled as M. Fortune’s Land Office. Joanne Dyck, Winnipeg resident stopped by the wall one day and informed me that her relatives were Fortunes and the store still exists downtown, located on Main Street, between York and St. Mary’s Avenue, on the West side. Her relative was quite wealthy but died on the Titanic, money and all.
On the far right, two Jewish businessmen lean against their building that used to be Hollman’s, a former meat market. In the mural it represents Top Hat Florist, a business that is well established in Winnipeg. Colours are reminiscent of a Tuscan countryside, bringing attention to a newly renovated storefront.
The figures lining up to get into Millers were taken from snapshots taken at St. Norbert open air market. The owner’s son, Shawn Miller is seen skateboarding behind the fountain in the market square.
Crown Victoria, Acrylic on shaped board, 36” x 78”, 2012
The Crown Victoria was known in the 1990s as a police car all across Canada. Ford had that contract for years and just recently released it to another company. It had a very smooth drive but was very powerful. Packed in these police cars would be teenagers, delinquents who have been caught drinking and driving, or doing illicit drugs. Raves or parties are a common treat for the young at heart and they fill this canvas in a colourful way.
Market Memory, Acrylic on shaped board, 36” x 78”, 2012
This 1956 Ford Fairlane characterized this fun era. It was a time when fast food drive inn’s became a delicious option, replacing the home-style meals which so many were accustomed to. A positive social behaviour is to eat a healthy diet, filled with fruits and vegetables. My grandfather was a vendor on the Hamilton Farmer’s Market and the images painted on top of this car are taken from the Hamilton Public Archives and show my families stand. A vegetarian lifestyle has become a preferred meal plan for many.
Mustang Sally, Acrylic on shaped board, 36” x 78”, 2012
This 1968 Ford Mustang represents the positive social habit of creating music. Musicians represent performers at the Winnipeg Folk Festival 2011 held in Birds Hill Park, Manitoba. When asked “How do you get your needs met?” many would respond by listening or playing music. From left to right; Spiro, Jeff Tweedy, Caracol, David Wax Museum, Stephen Fearing, Andy White, Scott Nolan, Rogues Gallery Band Drummer, Dan Mangan, David Wax Museum sax player.
Crown Victoria, Acrylic on shaped board, 36” x 78”, 2012
The Crown Victoria was known in the 1990s as a police car all across Canada. Ford had that contract for years and just recently released it to another company. The Crown Vic was a very smooth drive and was very powerful. Packed in these police cars are painted images of teenagers, delinquents who have been caught drinking and driving or doing drugs. This is a negative social behaviour which is NOT encouraged in Canada.
Old Acoustic, Acrylic on Canvas, dyptich, 72” x 36”, 72” x 36”
When I was taking photographs in St. John’s music store, I snapped one of this older gentleman perched on a stool, trying out one of the guitars. Later I merged it with another image, to create Old Acoustic. It got rejected from the Burlington Art Centre’s juried art show and I could not understand why? I was new and did not know the ropes. I was so mad, I thought of spraying “WANTED” on top of the entire thing, like a graffiti tag. It has not been shown since.
G Guitar, dye, acrylic, ink, paper, charcoal, conte on paper, 40” x 48”
This is also an up close shot of my friend Garth’s guitar. He made it from scratch, sanding and finishing it like it was his “baby”. It was very well done and you can see the engraved ivy on the stem. I have two of these which hang above my bed but I created five in total. The long narrow one sold to the Winnipeg Folk Festival Organization on Bannatyne.
Sean Ashby, Acrylic on canvas, dyptich, 36” x 72”, 36” x 72”
Garage Cafe had a musician play in their venue several times. He had played for Sarah McLachlan and was branching out on his own, much like me at the time. I took several photographs of him, then designed a very long diptych for Garage Cafe’s entrance way. The painting has several photographs of Sean and his band. I think there are three of his guitars in it and four images of him playing. This sold to a patron.
Drum Trio – tall, Acrylic on canvas, 36” x 24”
I cropped a drum set and put three canvas’s together to paint this series of three. Two of the three sold. One was donated. The thing I like about these abstracted instruments is they have a subject matter but are broad enough to be placed in any space.
Golden French Horn, Acrylic on Canvas, 40” x 48”
One time I went into St. John’s music store on Portage Avenue and took several photographs of musical instruments. After, I cropped them and made paintings of sections which caught my eye. This one is a very colourful application of paint and glaze. It sold quickly from the Cre8ery Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Duck, Acrylic on Canvas, 24” x 24”
The rusty saxophone peaks out of the blue sky, peering ahead. Just like a goose-neck duck wandering through the reeds, this saxophone bellows a great call. I took photographs of my son’s tenor saxophone and placed it on the edge to look phallic. It is also an example of how I like to blend sexual imagery into musical instruments. This painting was part of the United Nations Year of the Forest Juried Exhibition held at the Burlington Art Centre and was adjudicated by my old professor, Art Green.
Baby Grand, Acrylic on Canvas, 48” x 48”
As part of a series of acrylic paintings depicting musical instruments, I transformed this baby grand piano into a colourful, harmonic diptych. Playing with glaze, she layered complementary hues to create shadow and depth. Just like the Italian masters, the musical song was a hit! It won an honourable mention in the Burlington Juried Art Association Spring Exhibition at the Burlington Art Centre. There was absolutely no black used in this painting, only the opposite hues layered.
A Vision Realized, Midland Park Community Association Mural, 2010, 8’ x 22’, 1197-1217 Ellesmere Rd., (and Oakley Blvd) Scarborough, Ontario, Latex on Alupanel, Coated.
ARTIST STATEMENT – “The Vision Realized”
One of the greatest thrills for an architect is to see their original goals realized through the words of residents living in the space. The original architect of Midland Park; Ted Ross, was influenced by Bauhaus and inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water. Part of this modernist philosophy was to mix the natural environment with industrial materials in a harmonious, pleasing manner. Under the direction of Paul T Hellyer, owner of Curran Hall, Midland Park Community was designed; incorporating the natural hills, contours, trees and ravine into the designs. A strong, bold look using diagonals and simplified shapes created a modern, architectural paradise. Many residents have commented on the spacious, trendy ambiance, natural beauty of hills, gardens and Birkdale ravine.
What made this housing development unique was that it came furnished with designer made accessories and paintings. It created an entire modern experience. Although these houses were humbly priced ($12,000) in 1960, the buyers received the most value for their money. Winnipeg architect and furniture designer; A.J. Donahue designed sleek, contoured tables, chairs and dressors. Toronto’s Abstract artist R. York Wilson was a colorist, blending abstract and realism into his paintings. Some examples of his paintings are below. They can be found on the walls throughout these unique homes.
The colors I chose in the proposal, reflect Wilson’s paintings and the natural surroundings of the Birkdale Ravine. I went back to the basic premise of what the architect Mr. Ross must have been thinking; converge natural beauty with modern abstract. Thus, “The Vision Realized” shows award winning homes surrounded by rocks, water and trees. This harmonious combination is done in a loose manner where images are superimposed onto one another, yet reveal a realistic sense of the scene. The colour palette uses blue, brown and purple with orange accents to tie in Pizza Pizza. The words “the vision realized” completes the circle, fulfilling modernist intent.
Just as Ross and Donahue spent many years in Winnipeg, I have too. Just as Wilson was a muralist, I am too. Just as Ross loved Falling Water, I do too. After many attempts at illustrating your committee’s wonderful ideas of a postcard montage, I went back to the drawing board and came up with something very different. I wanted something that reflected the great success of the neighborhood and made it attractive to all. This colourful landscape is what Midland Park Community represents; a modern place to live with natural beauty in its backyard. By showing its success, we celebrate the achievements of Ross and Hellyer. It would be a privilege and great delight to paint this mural for you.
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, Utility Boxes
Most of these utility boxes were commissioned over a period of time from 2007 – 2009 when I first began to paint murals in Winnipeg. It was great because they were small, manageable and very creative. All of them were made of metal so I used an enamel paint, a specialized graphic sign paint; One Shot Lettering Enamel. The write ups for each of these boxes may be found at this excellent site when you scroll to the bottom of the page and click “here” to view more of Sarah’s murals in Winnipeg: http://tinyurl.com/
“Ride Through Town”, 239 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB
“Past and Present”, MTS Centre, 295 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB
“Achieving Harmony”, 250 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB
“Band Box”, Norwood Grove BIZ, Winnpeg, MB, 2014, enamel on metal.
People from our Past, 19′ x 31′, latex on panel, 4884 Dundas St. West, Toronto, ON, 2008
“People from Our Past”
Site 1: 4884 Dundas St. West
How often do the glamorous, exotic aspects of our society gain precedence while the real, day to day living seems overlooked? Beauty is in the simple things. It is the pride of a job well done, laborious hours working together for a common goal to find the reward at the end well worth the time and effort. The Bingham Family Orchards is an example of receiving the fruit of one’s labour as the packers look on to the bountiful harvest. The Village Shoemaker; an integral part of the community is found proudly mending and building shoes. These men are eagerly working, enjoying every aspect of their trade. The Appleby family showcases Islington’s first car, a privilege and novelty. Going for a ride at mid-day or for a Sunday stroll was an enjoyed activity, a community connection, a prize well deserved. “Sunday Afternoon” is a slice of life, an ordinary event in the life of a 1940’s family. The Moorhouse family verandah is filled with all generations gathering to enjoy the nice weather, each enthralled with individual activities. The children nestle on mother’s lap to read a book, leaving the building blocks aside. The eldest girl listens from afar while her father reads the local newspaper. An orchard picker is seen in the background. People from our Past is a mural that exhibits several artistic renderings of historical photographs borrowed from Etobicoke archives.
There will be four impressionistic paintings mounted and framed on the side of the wall, incorporating the colour of the walls around it (blue, green, red and white) and professionally finished with colored molding which will make the paintings look finished, suggesting the inside a local gallery.
Mini Mural #1 – The Bingham Family Orchard
Mini Mural #2 – The Moorhouse Family Verandah
Mini Mural #3 – The Appleby Family, Islington’s First Car
Mini Mural #4 – The Village Shoemaker
The gallery of mini murals will feature the artist’s original style, quality fine art that resembles creativity and accuracy in a colourful impression of the past.
restored in 2014