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“Canadian Canoe”
©2019, 20" by 20", Watercolour


After I had completed my painting of a Canadian dime with the Bluenose schooner rendered as real (“Canadian Wish”), I realized that I had enjoyed painting the dime so much that I wanted to do more like it, so it inspired me to undertake my most ambitious painting project yet! I want to do a full set of Canadian coins, all with the image on the front painted to look real. But, I want to take it a step further though, and design it so that the coins are all tied together by the same barnwood background. In addition, I want to have a maple leaf in the middle of the composite that extends out beyond its borders and into some of the other individual paintings so that the only way to see it in its entirety is to assemble all of the images in the correct configuration. When complete, the entire concatenated image will measure over 5 feet by 4 feet!

If I understand my art terminology correctly, the entire assembled image will be a “polyptych” (a painting with multiple parts or panels). 

But enough about this, I want to tell you about the painting of the silver dollar…

When I was growing up, my Great-Grandfather had a tradition where he would give each of his great-grandchildren Canadian silver dollars on an annual basis. I looked forward to it every year, not so that I could spend it mind you, but so that I could admire the unique designs. By far my favourite design was one that was first used back in 1935, and then revisited regularly, that of the voyageur canoe with two paddlers skimming by a wind-swept pine on an island of stone under the Northern Lights.

For me, and possibly because of this silver dollar design, I’ve learned that there are few forms as beautiful as the canoe. It's just so symmetrical. So balanced. So pleasing to the eye. What a pleasure it is to paint. That's perhaps the reason that I keep coming back to it in my paintings.

You may notice that I'm taking a few artistic liberties with the birchbark canoe. First, I’m adding the painted white design on the bow and stern, even though the only thing clear on the coin is the classic circular symbol on the bow. Secondly, tandem canoes like this one, especially those built when the HBC was active in the fur trade, would have likely been built from a single piece of birchbark (it is my understanding that there aren't many contemporary trees large enough to do that anymore) and only the large freighter canoes needed to have the sheets stitched together (that's what the horizontal black tar line is). So a canoe of this size, built during the fur trade, probably wouldn’t have needed to have multiple sheets stitched together. This discussion is a little moot anyhow since I’m basing it on the figure on the coin, and there is a definite horizontal line on it.

Canadian Canoe


Reproductions of my art are available printed either on paper or canvas. Both formats are signed by me, the artist, and are high quality, full-colour prints of a high resolution scan or photograph of the original painting. All prints are inspected to ensure that the colours match the source and created using inks that are guaranteed to resist both fading and UV light.


Paper Reproductions

These are printed on high quality paper to give them the look and feel of the original painting. In terms of the dimensions listed, please keep in mind that they are approximate. Since I custom mat and frame the prints myself, I reproduce them at specific sizes so that when they are matted to standard matting dimensions, the mat-board borders are consistent widths on all sides. It’s because of this that I highly recommend that you upgrade to the matted version (seriously, go do it now).


Now, if you've ordered a print that is not a standard sized when matted, then I highly recommend that you go back and order it in a frame. As described in the sister section Frames, I do all my own framing using reclaimed wood and am affordable.


Stretched Canvases

If you want to avoid matting and framing altogether, then I suggest that you order the canvas option. I stretch the canvases myself using reclaimed wood and, with a profile that is an inch and a half thick, the art will make a strong statement on your wall.

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