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  • 10:57 am on January 2, 2014

    Cross Country Skiing 

    © Copyright 2014 Cantra Limited. Please contact us for permission to use any of the images.

    X-Country Skiing in a Sunny Winter Day, 66 x 81 cm, oil on canvas, 1992, Landscapes

    I thought this an appropriate painting to share as this is exactly how we spent our New Year’s Day.  For the first day of the year, we spent much of it lazing around inside the house but the outside beckoned and we strapped on our cross country skis for the first time in a long time and went for a family ski. I remember as kids, my parents would take us cross country skiing and we would hate it because it was so much work! At least, that’s what it felt like to a 12-year old.  But yesterday it was a lot of fun.  We didn’t go on any groomed paths. We just went behind our house, through a former corn field (just stubs of the stalks left) and through the woods.  For a while we followed a snowmobile track but for the most part, we made our own track, over broken limbs (fallen from the ice storm) and around stumps and trees.  We saw many animal tracks: squirrel, mice, chipmunk, wild turkey and we think a coyote.  It was a lovely day. I find this painting interesting because it may be called “X-Country Skiing…” but you have to look really hard to find the people actually skiing!  They are nearly hidden by the trees and could almost be a part of the trees.  The main focus of the painting is the sun.  It is definitely a “Sunny Day”.  You can imagine exactly this kind of a day: where the sun is shining so brightly that it reflects off the snow, you have to squint to see and the heat is so intense it has you sweating under your jacket and hat.  It’s the kind of day that you just can’t help being aware of the sun at all times.  This painting reflects the almost overwhelming effect the sun can have, even on a cold wintry day.  In a way, this painting is also about hope.  Even on the longest winter day with the cold and snow, the sun can be out shining and warming things up.  The sun is always there, even if obscured by clouds, just like hope is always there.  And it’s sunny days that remind us of that hope.  So here is hoping for a great 2014.  Happy New Year! J

    Posted by: admin
    Tags: 1992, , landscapes, oil on canvas, sunny, winter, x-country skiing  
  • 10:51 am on December 13, 2013

    Caught in a Snow Storm 

    © Copyright 2013 Cantra Limited. Please contact us for permission to use any of the images.

    Caught in a Storm, 66 x 81cm, oil on canvas, 1979

    In honour of all the snow that is happening/about to happen (hello?  Snow for the first time in about 100 years in Cairo and the heaviest snow in 50 years in Jerusalem!), I thought I would share one of my favourite paintings.

    I remember seeing this painting when we visited Hong Kong in 1996 in (I think) the Art Gallery of Hong Kong.  I remember racing around the gallery with my cousins and brother looking for it and then when I found it, just staring at it.  I remember being fascinated with how well it captures the feeling of being caught in a snowstorm, where you can barely see in front of you, you’re trying to shield your face from all the blowing snow and you keep hoping you’re heading in the right direction.  The swirling white paint perfectly evokes the mass of snow and how disorienting it is.  I love how he uses more than just white to create the snowstorm.  Yes, white is the predominant colour but if you look closely, you can also see yellows and blues within the snow.  I love how you can barely see the people, making you feel like you’re in the storm with those people.  I remember wanting those poor people to get to where they were going quickly!

    So here’s hoping no one is caught in a snowstorm like this anytime soon….


    Posted by: admin
    Tags: 1979, , oil on canvas, , scenes  
  • 12:30 pm on November 11, 2013


    © Copyright 2013 Cantra Limited. Please contact us for permission to use any of the images.

    Doves, 92 x 73 cm, oil on canvas, 1953

    Doves, 92 x 73 cm, oil on canvas, 1953 (186) [B37-53] © Copyright 2013 Cantra Limited

    November 11, 2013

    Remembrance Day is celebrated on the 11th month of the 11th day on the 11th hour in Canada.  Although my grandfather never painted anything in relation to Remembrance Day or any of the Wars.  I felt it was appropriate to share this painting.  I know Remembrance Day is a sombre day of remembering the men and women who have died fighting for the peace we know and for the men and women who still fight for the peace that they believe in.  But as my grandfather said, “I have never depicted only the dark side of life.  I love to express optimism and hope in my pictures”  So in remembrance of my grandfather, I wanted to post this painting of his which depicts joy and optimism and the hope for peace.

    For me, this isn’t a time to fight over whether you believe in war or not.  It is a time to honour those who have fought for what they believed in (and even those who didn’t even want to fight but still did it).  It is a time to be thankful for what we have in North America, the freedoms and privileges we have.  It is a time to remember all those who died, soldiers and civilians, young and old, and for all of those who were in Concentration Camps.  It is a time to reflect on why we continue to fight wars and how we can work towards peace.

    Posted by: admin
    Tags: 1953, 92x73, oil on canvas,  
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