Dan Varnals

West Coast Artist Self Portrait Dan Varnals

A childhood passion for drawing and painting led to the adult realization that this is what I do best. This led me to art school (St. Martin's School of Art, London, England) and the University of British Columbia, where I earned Bachelors and Masters degrees in Art Education. This, in turn, led to a career as a high school teacher where I found that the challenges of teaching left little time or energy to pursue my own art.

Now, having taken early retirement, I am free again to do what I do best.

Recently, I have focused upon my local surroundings in Richmond and particularly, Steveston, with the shapes, patterns and colours are found amongst the fishing boats. The ropes, hoses, chains, nets, floats and fenders as well as the boats themselves, provide marvelous shapes and colours. Add to this the effect of sunlight, cast shadows and light sparkling on and reflecting off the water, providing many sources of images. I love the functional quality of all this stuff. The used look of the boats -the rust stains, the identification numbers and so on -all convey the reality of a working fishing village. I have also been enjoying painting Stanley Park with the play of sunlight through the trees and the wonderful feel of being in the forest.

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