My Story


My Story is the description of my artistic journey, from early self-taught fumblings to formal training to independent work. To facilitate reading my story, I’ve divided it up into sections that you can access below. Each section is followed by a Go To Top capability.

Early Days / Issues / Formal Training / Move To Pastel / Hiatus & Return To Painting / Today / Exhibitions & Competitions

Early Days

I can’t remember when I started, but it seems I’ve been drawing my whole life.  The earliest drawings I remember doing were copies of faces and figures from the Sears catalogue.

In my formative years art was not considered a possible life’s work; art was a hobby at best and one should pursue something practical as a career.  So, while continuing to draw, I thought of it as a mere pastime, and did not retain any of my work.

The first piece I kept was a pen and ink drawing of my hand, done at 16 years of age.

My Story - Hand
Figure 1 – Hand – Pen & Ink

I continued to pursue painting and drawing on my own in a leisurely fashion, doing copies mostly.  This one is a ballpoint pen copy of a painting by a Dutch or German painter (I can’t remember).

Old Master Copy
Figure 2 – Old Master Copy – Pen & Ink

I used myself as a model, and coerced the odd friend to pose for me.

Nude-Self-Portrait 1
Nude-Self-Portrait 2
Nude-Self-Portrait 3

Figure 3 – Self-Portrait Drawings – Carbon Pencil

Portrait of J
Figure 4 – Portrait of J – Contè

I made copies to help me develop my skills in oil.

Rudolph Nureyev
Firgure 5 – Rudolph Nureyev – Oil

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My self-explorations of mediums were not always successful.  This portrait of a friend was done on cardboard, that I had not prepared correctly, and the paint eventually peeled off the surface.

My Story - Portrait of A
Figure 6 – Portrait of A – Oil

I painted these oils of Einstein and Orson Welles while travelling.  To transport them I put them face-to-face and as the paint had not totally dried they melded together and were lost.  I know – I needed help.

Orson Welles

Figure 7 – Einstein & Orson Welles – Oil

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Formal Training

My story took a turn in the early 80’s when I enrolled at Three Schools, an art school that employed full time artists to teach.  I took an oil painting class with Telford Fenton, and then an egg tempera class with John Angel (a protégé of Italian master Pietro Annigoni).

I very much liked and felt an affinity for egg tempera.  I loved being part of a tradition of painting that stretched back to the quattrocento and before.  The mechanics of creating the tempera medium and panels appealed to the analytical part of my creative drive.  Again, I used copies to learn.

My Story - Degas Copy
After van Oost

Figure 8 – Copies after Degas & Van Oost – Egg Tempera

I also tried my hand at portraiture in tempera, as in this picture of my father, and these commissions.

Portrait of D
Figure 9 – Portrait of D – Egg Tempera
My Story - Commissioned Portrait 1
Commissioned Portrait 2

Figure 10 – Commissioned Portraits – Egg Tempera

I apprenticed with John Angel in his studio for the summer following that first tempera course.  I eventually taught egg tempera and anatomy at his National Portrait Academy.  I also studied oil painting with him, and executed a number of self-portraits, and commissions.

My Story - Self-Portrait 1
My Story - Self-Portrait 2
My Story - Self-Portrait 3

Figure 11 – Self-Portraits – Oil

Commissioned Portrait - S
Commissioned Portrait
M's Dad

Figure 12 – Commissioned Portraits – Oil

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The Move To Pastel

At about this time my children came along and the space available in our apartment for me to paint kept shrinking. That and the time I had to devote to painting. As a result, I moved from oil and tempera to soft pastels. Pastel has a quick setup time – no colour mixing is required; you just pick up the correct colour and start in. I loved drawing with colour. I took to it immediately.

Once again I copied to learn, focusing on my all-time favourite artist, Degas.

My Story - Degas 1
My Story - Degas 2

Figure 13 – Degas copies – Pastel

I also copied from photographs.

My Story - Guitar
Cindy Lauper
Nude 1
Nude 2

Figure 14 – Guitarist; Cindy Lauper; Nude Studies – Pastel

And of course, I painted my kids.

Portrait of S 1
Portrait of S 2
Portrait of S 3
Portrait of M

Figure 15 – Portraits of S & M – Pastel

Eventually, I felt comfortable enough with the medium to take a commission.

Commissioned Portrait 2
Figure 16 – Commissioned Portrait – Pastel

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Hiatus & Return To Painting

For various reasons in the mid- to late-nineties I moved away from painting to photography.

I did not return to painting until 2014.

I came right back to pastel, and flexed my artistic muscles by executing a number of works from photos.  For example,

My Story - Head of a Man
Figure 17 – Head of a Man – Pastel

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My Story Today

In 2019 I moved to Lindsay, Ontario.  I joined the Kawartha Arts Network (KAN).  As part of that cooperative I am participating in various shows in the Kawartha Lakes area, and I occasionally teach classes as part of KAN’s curriculum available to the public.  I subsequently joined the Kawartha Lakes Arts Council (KLAC) and Art in Canada (AiC).

As you have seen from this history, I’ve always leaned toward representational painting.  Not surprisingly, my favourite painters are Degas, Velázquez, Whistler, Van Dyke and modern masters like Robert Liberace and Daniel E. Greene.

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Exhibitions & Competitions

  • 2023 – Solo Exhibition of Landscapes at Thrive, Lindsay
  • 2023 – Dakota Art Pastels 2nd Quarter Juried Art Competition
  • 2023 – Made in Kawartha Lakes, Bobcaygeon; part of KAN (Kawartha Arts Network) group show
  • 2022 – Jackson’s Art Supplies Juried Art Competition
  • 2022 – Dakota Art Pastels 1st Quarter Juried Art Competition
  • 2021 – PAC (Pastel Artists Canada) 30th Annual Open Juried Exhibition – Honourable Mention (‘Palmas’)
  • 2021 – Dakota Art Pastels 2nd Quarter Juried Art Competition
  • 2020 – Pastel 100 Open Juried Competition
  • 2019 – MIKL (Made In Kawartha Lakes), Fenelon Falls; part of KAN (Kawartha Arts Network) group show
  • 2019 – KAN (Kawartha Arts Network) Exhibition at Academy Theatre, Lindsay
  • 2018 – PAC (Pastel Artists Canada) 27th Annual Open Juried Exhibition

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