Blue Bear by Ted Harrison
This month on Dearest Nature, I would like to share an artist whose work is not only inspirational – it is consistently uplifting. The artist is Ted Harrison and his colourful artwork is recognized around the world. Harrison was born in Wingate County in Durham, England in 1926. He created art from a very young age and his passion for it would prove to be a telling sign of his future career.
After serving in the military and traveling extensively, Ted Harrison settled in Yukon, Canada. The artist was inspired by the sheer beauty of the Canadian North, and painted it the way it looked in his mind, lively and vibrant. He developed his signature style using unexpected tonalities, bold sections of colour and clear delineations.
Harrison lived in the Yukon for over twenty years, teaching and painting before moving to Victoria, British Columbia. Here too, he used the beauty of the Pacific Northwest as subject matter for is work – often depicting whales frolicking in their natural habitat.
Harrison enjoys creating art (and in fact has completed thousands of paintings, drawings and illustrations), but unlike other artists, he does not treat the process or the product as sacrosanct. When an avid fan of Harrison brought forth a painting she had purchased decades before, the two reminisced about his imagery. While admiring the piece, Harrison noticed a coffee stain on the snow and proceeded to lick his lunch napkin and dab at the mark to remove it!
It is with this modesty and sense of humour that the artist unknowingly charms all those who meet him. The people who affect him most however, are young children. As a man who taught for many years, he will always hold a soft spot in his heart for young artists. As he once said, “Art breathes humanity. It must be a part of every child’s education.”