Leonardo da Vinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

--Leonardo da Vinci

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Marshall House

Grand Marshall
16 x 20
I must admit, the idea of creating a series of paintings that showcased our local historical architecture actually started with The Marshall House. As my favorite house on Officers Row, i have often reveled in it's beauty of amazing lines, detail, and of course the wonderfully placed and signature turret.
The Marshall House was build in 1886 in the style of Queen Anne Victorian and was very popular with many aristocrats of the time. George C. Marshall lived in the house while stationed here as the Commanding Officer of the Vancouver Barracks from 1936-1938.
This type of history right here in our city is why i began this project, and i am so glad that the City of Vancouver saw the importance in restoring these gems of national historical significance for many more people to enjoy, get inspiration from, and learn from this living museum known as......... Officer's Row.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vancouver Train Station Bench

9 x 12
A couple weeks ago i visited the Vancouver Train Station and during that time i discovered a wonderful old bench with an amazing patina. What also helped was the timing of the day's light as the sun streamed in through the windows, placing it's mobile stamp of intense spotlight on the interior of the station. I took some photos as i knew i might be inspired to paint, not so much the interior, but that incredible bench that has obviously been around a while and possesses great lines and stunning architecture in it's own right. Sure enough, last Sunday was the day to bring this settle to life in the Historical Series. Now some may argue that it does not deserve a place next to the likes of St. James Catholic Church, The Marshall House, or The Academy, but i believe it does. Just because it's not boisterous in appearance, and takes a back seat to even the arthitecture of the Train Station itself, i felt it a lovely enough piece that it deserves an advocate.
As i think about the old bench, i am curious as to the thousands of people who shared a moment or many moments with the unassuming support or those who just flew by in a flurry of worry of missing their train and did not even give the welcoming friend a glance, much less a tip of the hat.
What stories the solid feature could tell, if only given the chance and that some one would take the time to listen.So many watchful, hopeful, and empty days and nights has it sat there just waiting and wanted to do what it does best - give you a rest.
The next time you go to Vancouver's Historical Train Station, don't forget to show respect and off a little time and thanks for all the self-less devotion any one bench can possess. I am thankful for the inspiration it touched in me.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Modern Hospital

Building 614
8 x 10
On Saturday i spent the morning with the Post Hospital near the Vancouver Barracks. Built in 1904 as a modern hospital that included drains and pipes for blood to flow, and large windows to allow light in for surgeries and fresh air for patients. Around 1930 the open decks were enclosed that creates a sun room effect on all four sides. The building has been vacant since the 1990's, but there has been much talked about turning it into an art space that would include studios, office spaces, galleries, and possibly even a museum.
The thought of having such a place here in Vancouver is exciting to me. Any way we can push the envelope, expand the arts and create awareness to the public is a great thing and needs to be pursued. There are a great number of talented artists in the Pacific NW that could use a space just like this, and encouragement for our youth must be woven in as well. i see this as another step towards doing just that.
In a society where budget cuts hit the arts hard, the rejuvenation of this great structure would lend itself well to pushing against the tide and get the Post Hospital back to doing what it was intended to do - help people. Maybe not in the purest sense, but definitely it would be a place of growth, re-birth, and inspiration - and i cannot think of a better structure to house such an endeavor.
Since my goal in painting these historical structures is all about creating awareness of the depth and texture of our city, the Post Hospital is a must in this passionate series of paintings.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Before it's too late.....

I-5 Bridge mid-Spring
8 x 10
While the I-5 Bridge is not an historical building, it is an historical structure and before it is replaced by something bigger and better, i wanted to include it in my series of paintings. So, this morning i worked on a Marshall House painting and as the dramatic sky revealed itself this afternoon, i knew i was going out to paint. I went down to the waterfront and carried my supplies across the foot bridge to look at the Fort which wasn't working for me today, so back across the bridge i went and i knew that i was going to have to figure out a composition of the I-5 Bridge. I found my spot, set up, and started in. The wind kicked up a few times, almost taking my umbrella with it, but i only got rained on a couple times. As the light and clouds were constantly changing, i had to work fast and mixed many of the colors directly on the panel, not thinking, just reacting to what i saw. Consequently a lot of energy went into this painting and i am really glad i've got my first I-5 Bridge under my belt, before its gone.