250 Paintings

I keep a spreadsheet with the details of everything I have painted since I did the mural of Elsie Yanik on the outside wall of my workshop in June 2014.  I've learned from my distant past that if I don't record everything that I do, pieces get lost to memory. That spreadsheet captures essential information about each painting or print that gets sold, donated to charity or given as a gift: title (subject), size, medium, owner, etc.

After last night's quick painting of director George Lucas, I hit 250 original works.  I was a little taken aback to be completely honest, as I thought I was in the 230 range.  However, my formula wasn't quite right.  It means that I've produced one painting every 2.6 days, as an average.

If you were to take all the paintings and mass them together, they would cover 177,762 square inches, or 1,234 square feet. To paint the picture of that: imagine a wall 10-feet high covered in wild colour portraits from floor to ceiling stretching 123-feet.

Throughout the list of paintings are works that helped raise money for worthwhile charities like United Way, Northern Lights Hospital Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society and the Bo Cooper Leukemia Fund.

Several are gifts, done in the spirt of the moment, like the one of Rev. Harry Ploughman, Chaplain of the Fleet for the Canadian Navy during and after WWII, painted on Remembrance Day and gifted to his two daughters.  Another was the portrait of the pugilist (boxer) done this weekend for a colleague at The Redpoll Centre who won a draw for a free painting at our Christmas flock party; the boxer is her father.

In every single case where I've given a painting - to a charity, individual, or family - I've received so much more in return:  touching reactions, smiles, tears, and words of appreciation that I will treasure forever.

One of the questions that gets asked the most is whether or not I have a favourite.  In a way, it's like a parent of many children being asked to make a similar choice.  As I glance through the collage of images, there are some that I feel were really important in terms of my development.  Interestingly, some that I may have been less enamoured with, affected people deeply.  To pick a favourite is absolutely impossible, but I could easily come up with the top 20 or 30.

Paintings have been shipped across Canada to most provinces and south of the border to a handful of states.  Most of the interest in my work is centralized in the Wood Buffalo region, but requests are coming from further and further afield.

I am grateful to so many people who have been supportive and encouraging through this 250 painting journey.  Many are friends and family, most are strangers who are watching and commenting through various social media channels.

The most exciting thing, looking ahead to the next 250, is the sense of mystery as to who I'll paint and how my style and technique will evolve.  I'm committed to honouring the creative process and allowing it to take me where I need to go.  It'll be fun to find out; it'll be fun to watch.


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