©2019, Watercolour, 14” by 11”
The Canadian dime has always had a special place in my heart, and not just because it reminds me that I live in a country that celebrates one of our most famous ships, not because she won glory in battle, but because she caught a lot of fish and went really, really fast.
No, the reason that it has always been special to me was because, when I was very young, I went to a birthday party for one of my classmates, and found one in my cake. If this surprises you, then you’re likely very young and should know that it was common practice at the time to put coins inside birthday cakes—back when kids still got excited over being given something as small as a coin. Still, even though everyone did it, my friend’s Mom went one step further by giving out little poems with each denomination. When I pulled a dime out of my piece of cake, she got very excited and proceeded to recite a lovely poem about how the image on the dime was a sailing ship called the Bluenose, and that for the rest of my life, whenever I had problems, all I had to do to feel better was to look at a dime and make a wish that the wind would blow these problems away in the hold of this tiny ship.
It was quite a concept for my young mind (not the least of which because I had no idea what kind of problems a person could ever have), and it stuck with me. Naturally, over the years, every time I held a dime, I thought of that poem, and every time I needed to feel better, I’d follow her instructions and wish my problems away on a dime.
That’s why it was such a thrill to paint such a dime and bring that story full circle, especially at a time in my life when financial concerns over being a full-time artist compete for attention in a brain that’s reveling in being able to follow my bliss. As I painted the tiny ship, I kept imagining all of the current concerns in my life being blown away.
If you’re wondering, the idea behind this painting was to render the Bluenose as if it's real, and then make the rest of the coin look like it’s a weathered old coin from 1937 (the first year that the ship appeared on that denomination) that’s been in lots of pockets over the years. I decided to put the coin on a barnwood background with the hopes that the grains and the knots in the wood might add some scale to the image.
Not long after I finished this painting, I decided to do more Canadian coins and arrange them in a polyptych.
The Canadian Coin Polyptych
In case you’re unaware, a polyptych is a painting with multiple parts or panels. The most common form of this being the “triptych,” a painting with three parts arranged in close proximity on a wall.
My polyptych will include nine paintings (check out the plan included as one of the preview images on this page), eight of which will portray a Canadian coin with the image on its back painted to look like it’s real (are you surprised to learn that the side of the coin without the head of state is the “back” of the coin? Well, you’ve just learned something new today (two things if you didn’t know what a polyptych was (three if you didn’t know you could nest parentheses three sets deep))).
The individual paintings will be tied together by the common barnwood background as well as a large red maple leaf, parts of which will extend into some of the other individual paintings. As such, the only way to see the polyptych in its entirety is to assemble all of the nine parts in the correct configuration. When complete, the concatenated image will measure over 5 feet by 4 feet!
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.
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.
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.