For the Love of Biking

This painting is a commissioned piece that a colleague of mine requested as a gift for his partner for her birthday. They are both avid mountain bikers, so this seemed fitting. This painting came from this photograph:


And here is a step-by-step of how it came to life:


And the finished piece:

30"x24" Acrylic on Canvas
30″x24″ Acrylic on Canvas

And lastly, displayed in my living room with my little monsters.


And speaking of commissioned paintings, I am going to take a break from accepting orders for the time being. Between working full time, doing my Master’s full time, and trying to live somewhat of a normal life, it’s just not something I can prioritize. There should still be some paintings making their way onto the blog as I’ve got some in the works for people in my life and hopefully some for my own house too.

Thanks for reading.

How to Ship a Giant Painting

I recently completed my largest painting to date, 6 feet wide by 4 feet tall. It was a commissioned piece for a customer in Florida (recall, I live in Ottawa, Ontario). It was actually a remake of one (this one) that I had done in the past. Here’s a quick overview of the progression of the (new) painting.

From start to finish
From start to finish

So how did I ship this beast?  We decided the best option to ship it was to take it off the stretchers and roll it up into a tube to ship. Not only is the painting better protected this way, but it is also much less expensive to ship. The client just has to have it re-stretched once he/she receives it (which most art stores will do).

Here are the step-by-step procedures:

1. Remove the Staples – Flip the painting over and remove all the staples holding the canvas to the stretcher bars. Be careful not to rip the canvas since it will need to be re-stretched once it arrives to the client. I used a flat-head screwdriver and pliers to get them out easily. There were probably 200 staples in this giant canvas. Not a small feat.



2. Roll up the canvas – ensure the painting is facing to the outside. Keep it nice and loose to prevent the painting from cracking. Also make sure it is very dry before you do this since you don’t want it to stick and ruin the painting. 9c


3. Put it into a tube.  I used a 10 foot PVC pipe that I bought at the Home Depot and had it cut into a 6 foot and 4 foot section (that I discarded). I think the pipe cost about $30 and the cutting service was free. Typically, you could use cardboard tubes that are often used for posters, that you can buy at Staples or the like, but since this painting was so large that wasn’t an option. I wrapped the painting in paper wrapping paper first just in case the inside of the pipe was dirty (which it likely was).



4. Make end caps for the tube. To close off the tube, you will need end caps. I cut these out of cardboard and taped them on tightly on each end. I used painting tape, but I imagine electrical tape would be even better (I didn’t have any available). I also stuffed each end of the tube with paper towels to hold the canvas in place during transportation.

Just me and the massive painting chilling in my backyard.


5. Label and Send. I wrapped a section of the pipe with paper wrapping paper so that I could write the shipping address there. Last step is to go ship this baby!

If you have any other tips and tricks for shipping large paintings, please let me know in the comments below. 

If you’re interested in a commissioned painting, find more information here

Grand Finale and New Beginning

There are certain people who are just meant to be together. Nothing is more obvious when you are in their presence. You can literally feel the love and admiration they have for each other just from the way they look at each other.

I had the opportunity to cross paths with a beautiful couple like this, Margaret and Lorne, about a year ago. Margaret and Lorne have been married just over ten years. Their first date was at the Lac Lehmy Casino in Gatineau, QC watching fireworks. This is how Lorne described the scene for me:

“At the time, the show ended and the crowd got up and left.  As the last few were climbing up the hill to their cars someone turned around and shouted back at us, “Hey, you two.  The show’s over!” and we realized that we were sitting alone in the centre of the parking lot under the umbrella, oblivious to the fact that everyone else had already left.  I think it was at that precise moment I realized that I was in deep trouble!”

This painting was a 10 year wedding anniversary gift from Lorne to Margaret and I couldn’t have been more touched that he trusted me with something so special. The instructions he gave me were basically that description above: fireworks at the casino, sitting on lawn chairs, sharing an umbrella, lost in the moment.

Below is the progression of the painting. (The green line in the first one is just painting tape that I used to make a straight line for the horizon).

Progression of the painting

And the final painting that Lorne gave to Margaret for their 10 year wedding anniversary:

"First Date" or "Grand Finale and New Beginning"
“First Date” or “Grand Finale and New Beginning” – 30″x40″ – Acrylic on Canvas


As an artist, there is no bigger compliment than knowing that something I created truly touched someone emotionally. After receiving this gift from her husband, Margaret made sure to let me know that she was so deeply touched that it evoked happy tears. I don’t like making anyone cry, but in this instance, I couldn’t be happier.

Margaret and Lorne, I wish you two a lifetime of love and happiness <3


Paintings as Wedding Gifts

In my last blog post, I talked about how if I don’t have a deadline, I let things linger and don’t prioritize them. Luckily, the opposite is also true and this painting is the perfect example of how I buckle down under pressure and get things done! I only had about 2 weeks to finish this painting (the client gave me about 1 months notice, but I was away on vacation for 2 of those weeks) and think it came out pretty great.

This particular one was for a lady who wanted a gift for her groom-to-be on their wedding day. Isn’t that cute? I didn’t know that was a thing, but now that I do, I’m really touched that she trusted me with that. She pointed out 3 paintings of mine that she liked, and said “combine these into something amazing but include a bridge with Clark and I on it – the location where he proposed.” This was the montage of photos I got which show the cute couple and the bridge:

Amy and Clark photo montage
Amy and Clark photo montage

Initially, I was leaning towards a colour scheme similar to After Midnight, but on three separate canvases:




Then at about this point, I decided to go for more of a Leonid Afremov inspired colour scheme:




final middle

And in 2 weeks flat, the painting was done, and delivered to the client literally on the eve of her wedding, so that she could give it to her groom-to-be the following morning. Below are some photos the couple sent me of the painting once they hung it up.

Wedding Painting

I’d like to wish them all the best in their new lives together.

Did you know bride/groom wedding gifts were a thing? What did you get your bride/groom ? Leave a comment below, I’m super curious! 

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