Marty Giles - painting a community champion

Marty Giles and I go back....way, way back to my early radio days here in Fort McMurray.  He was a big radio advertiser back in those days too, and I would often get tapped on the shoulder to do broadcasts from Northstar Ford in Gregoire.  In fact, I recently stumbled across a sheet of mantras that meant something to me from that period of my life; several were from Marty.

"Undivided attention is the best attention"

"You made a call.  But did you make it a smart call?"

"WOW Factor = Customer Satisfaction plus ONE"

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing at the same time every day and expecting a different result"

Marty was an influential character back then, just as he is now.  He has transformed quite a bit in 20 years, taking his passion for business and adding a profound passion for community and giving back. He has also adopted a healthy lifestyle; he looks to be in the best shape of his adult life. His work with the Northern Lights Health Foundation, Keyano Foundation and United Way - among many others - has resulted in positive change in our community and changed lives.


On a personal note, Marty and Dennine asked me to do two different things that significantly helped my art career.  First, they asked me to do a live painting for a big charity poker tournament they were doing down in Calgary.  This birthed a live painting element of what I do that has raised tens of thousands of dollars for charitable groups.  


They also asked me to populate their Motown Lounge in their new dealership with portraits of music icons like Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Lionel Ritchie and many others.  These paintings are seen by hundreds of people who visit Northstar Ford every week and have helped grow my fan base.

Northstar Ford was the site of the 4th Annual Motorcycle Rally and Show and Shine put on by Suncor in support of the United Way's Community Campaign.  I was there representing United Way and decided to make optimal use of my time by painting a portrait of Marty right there on the showroom floor of Northstar Ford.


I got the sense that he was a little embarrassed about it, to be honest.  However, it was done in a spirit of appreciation and respect for all that he has done, and continues to do, for our community and province.  With dealerships in Calgary and Cochrane, his role on the recovery committee, and various other volunteer roles, his influence and reach continues to grow, well beyond the borders of Wood Buffalo.

It was tremendous fun doing this painting in the showroom.  People at the event were very kind and seemed to appreciate watching the portrait come together over the course of three hours.  I did some final touches in the studio later in the afternoon.


Now that Marty is immortalized, I am thinking Dennine needs to be next.  Lord knows her impact in this community has also been extraordinary.

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