Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

April 14, 2015

A Lifetime of Art in the Canadian Bush


I have some really fun news.  One of the most commonly asked questions I field is about the art in our home - specifically, the paintings by Hubby's Grandpa, Bert Weir, a professional artist who is now in his 90th year.  I've chatted about the pieces we have (in this post and this post), but it has largely remained inaccessible to readers because Bert resides outside of Parry Sound, so to see or purchase his work has meant a trek to McKellar, Ontario.  BUT, until the end of September, his work can be viewed at Evergreen Brickworks Centre for Green Cities in Toronto (which is a little more accessible).  I know some of you live in, or visit, Toronto, so here is all of the info about Brickworks. 


For those who can't make the journey, Bert also has a book of his artwork available for purchase.  We have a copy and I find it inspiring to thumb through because he uses such vibrant and invigorating colours.



I might have some other ways for you to get your hands on some of Bert's art, but first let's take a tour around the Brickworks exhibit.  I tried my best to capture the beautiful paintings on display, but the lighting is a bit dim (and a bit fluorescent) there, so it was tricky.  You can also see his work on his website.

The showstopper is this 32 foot (!!!) painting, called Transitions, painted in 1978.  Hubby's standing in front, for scale.  Incredible, right?

Transitions, 1978

In the same space as Transitions are these four pieces:


I surprised myself by favoring not the blue painting, Winter Balsam (second from the left above)...

Winter Balsam, mid 1970s
Instead, I was mesmerized by a painting with lots of purple (!) - purple isn't really in my roster of favorite colours but this painting, October Red, pulled me in (of course, it doesn't hurt that there's a little aqua layered in there). 

October Red, 1977

This is why I advocate buying a piece of art you love, and pulling colours from it to decorate a room.  Artists just get colour - they have an innate sense of what colours look good together.  Design a room around the painting above and it will look stunning.

Brickworks is a great space and it was such a change to see Bert's art against brick walls with history, but his paintings really belong in the space.

After the Red, 2012
I love this peek of Full Summer as you walk down a set of stairs.

Full Summer, 2012
Unfortunately, two of the my favorites, part of the Wave Series, were moved to a meeting room that doesn't have a lot of character.  The series, which is comprised of twelve large diptychs, was inspired by Bert's burgeoning passion for sailing.  The way in which the wind and water interact is brought to life in these incredible paintings, painted in the late 1980s.


When we went to Brickworks, Hubby and I were told that the conference room which houses the Wave Series was booked, so we weren't allowed entry.  There was no way Hubby and I were going to drive more than 3000km and not see these paintings.  Hubby didn't want to interrupt (he's so polite!), so I steeled myself, prepared for a bit of confrontation and barged right in but, to my surprise, the room was empty.  We were able to take in these paintings in peace and quiet, which was lovely.  Can you imagine having something so beautiful to look at during your next meeting?  Lucky ducks.

Wave Series # 7, 1989
I love how softly Bert layered the colours in #4 of this series.  I took dozens of close up photos and I've been studying them (plus I shared some on Instagram).

Wave Series #4, 1988

I can only imagine how disappointing it will be for everyone who uses this space when Bert's work is removed at the end of September.  Having such beauty in the workplace must make it so much more enjoyable - I imagine it would spark a lot of creativity, too!  Just look at this hallway:


If I remember correctly, The Purples of Fall is down the corridor pictured above.  It's another painting with purple that caught my eye... Hmmm. 

The Purples of Fall, 2010

At the end of the hall is another one of my favorites, New Growth, from the Bush Wall Series.

New Growth, 2010
I thought that our painting in the dining room is from the same series, but it's actually from the Summer Landscape and Summer Grasses Series.  It brings Hubby immense and immeasurable joy to have his Grandfather's art in our home.  For me, it's more about the aesthetics and the energy, but Hubby enjoys a sense of closeness to his Grandpa because our home is filled with his art.  He picked out the piece in the dining room, and we appreciate it for different reasons.  I love how it makes us feel totally ensconced in nature; with huge windows across from it, it feels like another portal into the wilderness, but for Hubby it means something more.  Hubby rarely chimes in about decorating, but much of the art has been chosen by him.  It makes our home feel comfortable and familiar for him because he grew up surrounded by Bert's art!  We're so thankful that Bert has been so generous and has given us so many treasured pieces.



There are many more paintings at Brickworks, so if you have a chance stop by.  If you happen to share a photo on Instagram or Twitter, I'd love if you'd use #BertWeir and tag me so I can see!  I'd be happy to pass on your thoughts and experiences to Bert.

For those of you who are as smitten with Bert Weir's art as we are, you can always contact him directly (a studio tour can be arranged by appointment), but Hubby's Mom chatted with me recently about the possibility of selling signed, limited edition prints of his work ($100-200 range) or smaller original paintings.  Because I know that many of you, like me, are on a tight budget, there's also the possibility of notecards with images of his work...the sky is really the limit because Bert's wife is a talented photographer and she has cataloged and documented his extensive body of work.  For anyone who has ever asked about Bert's art, what would interest you?  Prints?  Smaller original paintings?  Notecards?  Something else?  What would be your budget?  Let me know what you think.
SHARE:

28 comments

  1. Big prints or smaller originals. Would love either or both! Recently found your blog and read it from beginning to end. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. Very much enjoy your aesthetic and writing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhh, you'll have to excuse my terrible photos in the beginning!! So happy you have enjoyed the blog :)

      Delete
  2. What a great collection! Prints and notecards would be a great idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And this is just the tip of the iceberg - Bert has been very prolific! It's amazing how much stamina he still has for his art. Good to know that prints and notecards would be well received.

      Delete
  3. Love this artwork. I think small prints in the $20 to $50 range could work for us. Too bad I am in NJ or I would go to the exhibit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, I'm such a tease! I know that readers live all over the world. If there's ever an exhibit closer to you, I'll be sure to let you know :) Thanks for your feedback on prints!

      Delete
  4. Thanks for sharing this Tanya. I love Bert Weir's artworks and will be going to the exhibition. I always prefer originals to prints for collection purpose, so my vote is smaller originals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking about you, because I remembered that you always liked one of our paintings - the one in our living room now. It's actually featured in his book, too! I hope you enjoy the exhibit, and I'll let you know if/when smaller originals will be available online. Although, you're much closer so you're always welcome to chat with him directly and make an appointment to visit his studio.

      Delete
  5. YES YES YES TO PRINTS (that ship across canada???) YES. BIG PRINTS. little prints. ALL THE PRINTS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, so prints? That is good to know there's such enthusiasm! I'm not sure it will definitely happen, or what my role would be, but I'd make sure they would be available to ALL Canadians, at least!

      Delete
  6. Lovely work - with beautiful energy! I would buy prints.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What great art your hubby's grandfather is making! I am smitten for After the red!!!!I loved it. I know even smaller originals wouldn't be affordable to me but even a print or a notecard would be great!Looking forward to seeng what you will have to offer.AriadnefromGreece!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After the Red is gorgeous - so vibrant! Smaller prints and notecards would be easier to ship, too!

      Delete
  8. What a great collection! I will have to try to stop by to see it in person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait to hear what you think! I hope you enjoy them - exploring the 32 foot piece is akin to meditation. I left feeling really peaceful (which was awesome after a two day drive).

      Delete
  9. Wow! These are all truly glorious. I am always interested in originals. Pricing is so hard, because how does one put a value on something so spectacular?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know - I would definitely not want to price them, but I wanted to get a sense of what my readers could afford because I think art should be accessible. I don't want to partake in a project if it ends up being out of reach for everyone, you know? This was just a casual conversation with my Mother in Law about possibilities...

      Delete
  10. Beautiful! I think prints would sell well.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really like Full Summer and #7 of the Wave Series (left one in the boardroom). I think I have actually heard of him over the years which is surprising because I have a horrible memory. What an honor to have such an artist in your family to know and learn from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow - that's so neat that you've heard of him before! The Wave Series is stunning - I think it's one of his best.

      Delete
  12. I would love to be able to purchase one of his ahhh-mazing pieces! My budget would be under $5000. I can't imagine being able to look at something so beautiful every day. Would be something that would just fill your spirit, I'm sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be sure to let you know if/when his art becomes more accessible online. Right now anyone can contact him directly to view/purchase but I know it's tricky for anyone not nearby. I'd love to see his art become more readily available. I'll be sure to pass on your kind words, too. I am sure he will love to hear that his work fills the spirit - that's such a great way to put it.

      Delete
  13. I was never a purple person, but the ones you mentioned stood out to me, too. I had my eye on a vibrant purple rug from Ikea that would go well with a print! Also, I could see this artwork going fantastically well as prints for pillows, etc. But then, my sis-in-law (and co-blogger) is a surface designer, so I have fabric on the brain more than before. How cool for your husband to grow up surrounded by this great art.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm happy to hear I'm not the only non-purple person to be grabbed by those paintings! And I love to hear you mentally designing a room around it - that's what I do too :) I am really keen on your idea to print these pieces on textiles. I've been wanted to make my own abstract pillows - I even bought the medium to make acrylic paint suitable for cloth - but I just haven't gotten around to it. I hadn't even thought to find out if Bert would be amenable to having his work printed on fabrics...hmmm....great idea!!!

      Delete
  14. wow! love his work...such great texture and color. definitely checking out this book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He'll be happy to here that Emily! Thanks so much for leaving a comment :)

      Delete

You've made my day - I love hearing from you! I approve comments only to keep out the spam, so don't worry if your comment doesn't pop up right away.

© Dans le Lakehouse | All rights reserved.
See What Inspires Me on Pinterest