For this month, Winnipeg River Arts Council features artist Steve Young, from Lac du Bonnet.
To create his acrylic landscape paintings, he uses photos or paints “en plein air.” This French term means working outdoors to reproduce conditions seen at the time. On his travels, he does five minute pen and ink drawings to augment the photos. He also makes strange furniture, odd looking bird houses, and copper art.
Born in London, educated in Surrey, Young attended Mining School in Cornwall. He came to Canada 27 years ago, hired by Tantalum Mining Corporation, bringing Cornish gravity concentration experience to Manitoba.
The great outdoors and friendships inspire his paintings; they represent shared memories and experiences. He usually gives them away. They hang in private houses, corporate offices, and the Legislature. He says, “My daughter Charlotte has a painting in her law office.”
Although he preferred roaming the countryside, he saw lots of art in London museums and galleries. From five to ten years old, he was taught by Cyril Spackman, a professional artist, sculptor, and architect. Young recalls going to his studio, filled with large easels and canvases, giant nude stone women, and an enormous carved wooden eagle, destined for a casting in an American Embassy.
At school, he learned about water colours, sketching, lino cutting, and other media. Young says, “I even gained an ‘O’ level Certificate for a water colour of a snow storm.”
In his teens, his mother took up oil painting. When she started making and hanging her art at home, the family finally believed in her talent. A colourful local artist, Leo Walmsley, often visited. Young remembers his work – sculptures, pen and inks, funky scenes.
In Manitoba, after retirement, Young attended Artist Emporium acrylic classes. He has entered local art shows: 2013 Eastman Judged Art Exhibition in Pinawa, 2014 Lac du Bonnet Art Wave, 2015 Eastman Judged Art Exhibition in Lac du Bonnet. Last summer, his acrylic painting won a first place in EJAE.
Young says, “I enjoy creativity, developing new ideas and goals. The Group of Seven is enough to make everyone want to put paint to canvas!”