In 1993-94, I lived in a warehouse in Calgary, making music with The Kitchen Boys and TalkLikeJoe, painting, sculpting and making metal sculptural furniture. I spent a lot of time hiking in the backcountry of the Canadian Rockies and it had a huge influence on my painting. I have no background or formal training in art (or music) but I was told my work looked a lot like Lawren Harris, which was very flattering (after I looked up who he was). It was a great time for me creatively, not so much financially. I got a real job and then somehow 20 years had passed.
I kept playing music off and on, but between 1997 and 2011, nothing seriously. I began to realize that there had to be more than just day after day commute and work and sleep and that I was damned unhappy. My work situation is complicated as I run a family business with my parents and I can’t simply walk away. Well I could but… I started playing music a bit more in 2011 and played with Mary Rankin, Scot Morgan and my partner of 19 years Kim Jorgensen for a summer but that didn’t work out.
In 2012, Kim and I began playing with Sparrow Grace and continue to do so on a part time basis. In August of 2012, on the way back from playing a couple of festivals in BC, I had a bit of a revelation. We’d played at Kirtan West in Stanley park, a few house concerts and Wanderlust in Whistler. As we were driving back to Edmonton on the back roads, through Lilooet, BC., the drive through the mountains and out onto the dry foot hills east of Lilooet, triggered something. A pretty much forgotten need to create art. Within a few days of returning I had stretched a canvas and had a basic outline painted.
And then it sat untouched for 14 months as I became absorbed by various crises at work.
However, by late 2013, I realized that work may not change, so I had to. I picked up the brushes again in the fall and by November I had completed my first new painting in almost 20 years.
I call it “Outside Lilooet”. Just don’t go to Lilooet and expect to see anything like this. I try to capture the feeling of a place and not the literal representation.