Vincent Price’s admiration for W.J. Hopkinson

By Mark Skeffington One notable admirer of Canadian artist William John Hopkinson’s paintings was the American actor Vincent Price, best known for starring in dozens of gothic horror movies. Vincent Price (1911-1993) penned a letter to W.J. Hopkinson on the occasion of the Newmarket, Ontario artist’s 80th birthday in 1967. The letter reads: “Dear William Hopkinson. As a long time admirer of your beautiful paintings, may I join the throng in wishing you a very Happy Birthday! … [Read more...]

2017 David Blackwood Guide

By Mark Skeffington Some 2 ½ years ago, FineArtCollector published a story called A Guide to David Blackwood’s Best Prints. Since then, several thousand people have read the blog post. Now is a good time to update this guide. Our first guide shone the spotlight on six David Blackwood prints, selected from more than 150 etchings based on factors such as beauty, majesty, desirability, scarcity and reputation. That list looked like this: Fire Down on the Labrador(1980, etching … [Read more...]

Collecting David Blackwoood

By Mark Skeffington David Blackwood is perhaps Canada’s best known visual storyteller, with an unique and unmistakable body of artwork that spans 50 years. The Newfoundland-born master printmaker’s art hangs in hundreds of homes from coast to coast, as well as in galleries big and small, from the Bonavista North Museum & Gallery in his birth town of Wesleyville to the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. The Port Hope, Ontario-based artist is best known for his limited edition … [Read more...]

Steve Wells: Art Collector, ALS Survivor

By Mark Skeffington Steve Wells’ hospital room walls are covered with Canadian art. Steve, who is North America’s longest living person with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), has made a conscious decision to surround himself with beautiful things that bring him joy as he continues to beat the odds against the terminal disease. "Yes, I have ALS. Yes, I reside in a hospital. SO WHAT! Life is what you make it, so If surrounding myself with art brings me pleasure, why wouldn't I do it,” … [Read more...]

Photographing Your Art Collection

By Mark Skeffington Everyone should photograph their art collection. Taking digital photographs of every valuable art piece you own provides a record of your art collection that can be useful if: 1.       Your art is stolen 2.       Your art is damaged 3.       Your art needs to be valued or appraised 4.       You pass away If, for example, your art was stolen or lost in a fire, what record would you have of what you owned? How would you prove to an insurance agent that you … [Read more...]

CBC Digital Archives Chronicle Canadian Art

By Mark Skeffington The CBC Digital Archives is a treasure trove for anyone interested in Canadian art history. Over the decades, Canada’s national broadcaster has interviewed a Who’s Who of Canadian artists and documented, in radio and TV clips, dozens of fascinating visual arts stories. CBC’s archives are extensive, covering all aspects of Canadian life over the decades. But it is the coverage of Canadian art that is of interest here. As one might expect, the Group of Seven has … [Read more...]

E-books Bring Canadian Art History to Life

By Mark Skeffington An ambitious project is breathing new life into Canadian art history. The project involves publishing a series of e-books on notable Canadian artists, with an emphasis on ground-breaking artists, both historical and contemporary. The Art Canada Institute has already published a dozen titles, with six more scheduled to come out between now and next spring. “The Art Canada Institute's goal is to get Canadians talking about historic art today. We believe that the … [Read more...]

Adrian Dingle: Comic Book Pioneer

By Mark Skeffington Long before Adrian Dingle became an admired Canadian painter, he had already made his mark as a comic book writer and artist. The year was 1941, and Canada was at war with Nazi Germany. Because of the war, Canada had slapped restrictions on imports of non-essential goods from the United States (which was still not fighting in the Second World War). These non-essentials included comic books. That opened the door to Adrian Dingle to start his own company, … [Read more...]

A Guide to Buying Canadian Art Online

By Mark Skeffington Each month in Canada, more than a thousand artworks are sold online. Dozens of online art auctions are held from coast to coast, while Canadian art is also listed for sale on various websites, including FineArtCollector.ca. Still, some people are uncomfortable, even skittish, buying a painting, print or Inuit carving they haven’t seen with their own eyes or held in their hands. That feeling is understandable. After all, a buyer wants to assure himself/herself … [Read more...]

A Guide to David Blackwood’s Best Prints

By Clayton Kenyon and Mark Skeffington David Blackwood is one of Canada’s most celebrated and beloved artists, known for his stunning etchings of Newfoundland life. The master printmaker's ability to tell human stories in an image, combined with his incredible technical skills, gives him a unique place in Canadian art. He is also arguably Newfoundland's most important artist ever, having told the province's story in art so well. (Read his biography here) David Blackwood is a prolific … [Read more...]