The purple square represents the relative size of the portrait to a 2 metre x 2 metre maximum size allowed.
Home: Stella, Ontario
Media: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 61 x 72 cm
Some say, “If you can’t work with your head, you work with your hands.” This painting is one of a series in which I refute that premise and attempt to show the dignity and richness of the lives of people whose work requires both their bodies and their minds. The farmer in this portrait is dedicated to long hours of strenuous work and the challenges of overseeing a large complex operation. He works outside in all weather, feeling well or not. I like and respect the character of people with that kind of preference. This portrait is more highly realistic than most of my work. I wanted that and the composition to provide the viewer with a personal and intimate connection.
My portrait work in the last several years has focused on people whose work includes physical skills and effort: farmers, artisans, construction workers, artists, and musicians. Having worked in most of these occupations, I feel an affinity for the people who choose these workstyles, where manual skills must be mastered, and their success or failure is there to see or hear at the end of the day. I hope this portrait gives a sense of my respect for this man who works mostly outside and must be adept at many things in the course of his day.