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.
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?
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.