Official public opening reception July 16th in Partners Hall at the Algonquin Theatre

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Blue Heron Mural-The Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery

The Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery 2011 Gallery Tour Guide is now out. WOW!!! Way to go Gerry it is awesome!!! I am so proud to have been a part of this project that Gerry Lantaigne has founded and directed. Come and pick one up at North Art Supplies and at other locations around the Muskoka area.

It makes me feel so good to see my version of "Blue Heron" originally by A. J. Casson, being used on the front cover of the gallery guide and in a faint shadow pattern throughout the guide. How cool is that!! What makes me feel even better is I get to pay homage to A.J. Casson whom I met at the tender age of eight. It was an absolute honour to create a version of his painting of a Blue Heron taking flight with the wake of his lift off still present on the water.

It is even more amazing for me because I grew up on the doorstep of Algonquin Park at my parents resort called Timber Trail. It was located on the Oxtongue River right near Ragged Falls. A.J. Casson asked permission of my dad to go down to our beach area to paint the Oxtongue River. I took off like a shot when I found out there was an "artist" painting my backyard. I didn't even know who he was until later, all I wanted to do was be near him to watch him paint. I remember standing there motionless quiet as a mouse until he turned around and looked at me. I mustered the courage to ask him if I could watch him paint. He kind of eyeballed me over and made a hummph sound, paused and then said "Well...I guess it is OK as long as you don't ask me any questions" OHH...I didn't. I just stood there in absolute awe watching him paint. I remember thinking to myself, if he thinks my backyard is worth painting then so do I. I had all ready decided to become an artist but that chance meeting sealed it for me. I could never imagine in my wildest dreams to later be painting a scene I had experienced as a child. It was very common for me to see a Great Blue Heron take off like that on the Oxtongue River. Thanks A.J. for allowing me to watch you paint!

My Group of Seven mural foray started when I was selected to do a mural back in the 2007 Mural Festival to paint A.Y. Jackson's -Night Pine Island. I was thrilled to be able to participate as a local artist and paint a 10'x12' version of his wonderful night scene complete with stars in the sky and reflections in the pool of water. The next one I was selected to paint in 2009 was a real treat, another 10'x12' mural called Winter in the Northern Woods, originally by Lawren Harris. I have a great appreciation for the draughtmanship, skill and technique in his original piece. took a long time to do this one with all the subtle shifts of value and temperature as well as great shadow patterns in the snow. My favourite part was creating the "tree" family of momma , poppa and baby tree in the centre foreground. They were basking in the last warm rays of sunshine on a cold winters day.

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