Hans Arnold – Focus on Local Artists – Issue #129

March 2023

Hans Arnold

For this month, Winnipeg River Arts Council features Hans Arnold, a landscape, nature, and wildlife photographer, and a digital artist. Born in Germany, he lived there the first 10 years of his life.  In 1959, his family moved to Winnipeg, where he still lives. In 1976, he built a cottage in the Lac du Bonnet area, which he owns with his two daughters.

Between nine and fourteen years of age, he took up drawing in pencil, ink, and crayons, and also painting with water colours. A self-taught artist, he loved experimenting with different mediums. At the age of 15, he taught himself how to animate characters and cartoon stories.

He said, “I developed a cartoon family and local newspapers almost syndicated it. Due to family matters, the opportunity slipped away. In 1964, the Walt Disney Company even approached me to work in their animation department. But I was too young to be on my own at their LA headquarters.”

Although Arnold has no formal training, he saw art challenges everywhere. In 1968, he took up photography, to record the beauty around him. In the early 70’s, he started photographing weddings. Constant use of camera and lighting equipment provided the training he needed.

He said, “I love all genres and keep up with photography trends. I’m passionate about creative, wholesome photography, and producing high quality fine art images for wall décor, book publications, marketing, workshops, and presentations. Also, I was inspired to become a digital artist by using software to create painterly impressions of my photography.”

From the 80’s to the present, he’s done presentations to camera clubs.  In the last fifteen years, he’s instructed children in a Manitoba school division, using a curriculum he developed called “The Art of Seeing.”

He said, “I’ve taught over 3500 kids how to see the world around them and how to use a camera to record their memories. I also do workshops for photography enthusiasts, taking them to various parts of the province and teaching them how to take better pictures.”

Over the years, Arnold has participated in tradeshows across Manitoba and Saskatchewan, selling his prints for wall décor and making new contacts. Also, he has published two Canadian bestselling coffee table books – in 2001, “Wish You Were Here, Photographic Images of the Canadian Landscape,” and in 2014, “Up North, Manitoba’s Last Frontier.” These books have sold 10,000 copies across Canada, USA and Europe.

His photographs have been exhibited in numerous galleries in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and entered in prestigious national competitions, earning numerous awards and medals. In the previous month, his work won gold in a Canadian Association for Photographic Art competition, with entries from across Canada.

In June and July, he’ll taking pictures in the Mediterranean, and in August and September, he’ll be going a 10 week trip with his brother, a professional photographer from British Columbia. They’ll travel 12,000 kilometres through Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Alaska to photograph landscape and wildlife, and they hope to capture muskox in the wild, near Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean.

Their daily adventures and photographic technical talk will be broadcast weekly on a YouTube channel. They also plan to create a short documentary film (working title -“The Great Northern Project”) and produce curated exhibitions, live presentations, and (hopefully) publications in various formats, along with works from other projects.

For 45 years, he’s been involved with the photographic community. His partner, Brenda, with her down-to-earth honesty, supports and encourages his work. Also, his artistic daughters, Jennifer and Nancy, inspire him with their talents and often collaborate on projects. During COVID, he kept busy, creating virtual art galleries and engaging in social media.

His inspiring words: “Create your own style by listening to yourself, and don’t let others discourage you. Always keep learning. Be focused, be positive, learn deeply from your mistakes, and have the courage to explore new ideas.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email