My inspiration to paint comes from three sources. Perhaps most significantly, as a child I suffered from a physical condition which greatly hindered my ability to walk and run. My condition led to a fascination with all types of action and, as a child of the prairies, it was only natural that my eye would focus on things such as galloping horses and the grace and power of an outdoor hockey game.
In addition, with my home environment of the Canadian prairies cold for six months of the year, I grew up loving the wintertime, both its shining beauty and its starkness.
It was within this environment of action and arctic weather that my brothers -- Bob and Don -- emerged as my role models, my heroes per se. I was mesmerized, watching as they cut down the ice, swooped in on the puck like a bird of prey, banked away sharply, then glided like a great eagle on an updraft. In later years, Bob even went on to star in the American Hockey League with the New York Rovers - farm team of the NHL's New York Rangers. My brothers brought to life the power and poetry of hockey. I was a classic worshipper with Bob and Don as my idols.
This feeling was further emphasized when, in 1940 with Canada at war, they both went off to become pilots in the RCAF, with Don ferrying bombers all the way to India. Comparing them to myself left me in awe. They were strong, handsome, leading lives of high adventure in far away places. I was a kid with a gimpy leg sitting on a train-station platform in Saskatchewan. I was dazzled by them! Moreover, their lives gave me the hope and inspiration to dream that my life could also be something special.
Meanwhile, the quiet heroes were my parents, Roy and Vivian. They were always in the corners of my life – out of focus, always there, but overshadowed by my dynamic brothers. It wasn't until I grew older that I began to truly appreciate their nurturing and support, for it was that which made everything possible for me.
From these familial roots I ventured into the world of art. I graduated from the Alberta College of Art (Calgary, AB., Canada) in 1957. Following that I was a professional graphic designer for some 30 years, finishing my career as Art Director in one the city's top advertising firms: Francis, Williams and Johnson. During that time I received a Canada Council Grant in 1975 to paint the vanishing railroad architecture of the Prairies and that series of original paintings was widely exhibited. As well, in 1981 I received a commission from the Calgary Winter Olympic Development Association to render a series of serigraphs depicting the games' events. There were later used as part of Calgary's winning bid for the 1988 Winter Olympics.
Since 1988 I have had over 15 individual shows, most of which have sold out, and my paintings are presently available in three different Canadian galleries. The U.S. Olympic Centre in Colorado has purchased several pieces. I've been exhibited in Toronto's Hockey Hall of Fame. Added to this are the many corporations, NHL hockey teams, NHL players, and hundreds of individuals who collect my art. Furthermore, I've appeared inside and on the front page of daily newspapers across the country, in magazines, and on CBC Radio and CBC TV including Newsworld.
In 1995 I left advertising so I could dedicate myself exclusively to painting. Since then I have also become a writer and illustrator of my own series of best-selling children's books.
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