"I always wanted to paint it. I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but I had no idea."
After a painstaking five-year process,
renowned artist Kevin Dodds has completed a water colour painting of the
Arnprior and District
Dodds, whose works will be available in
calendar format to millions of American shoppers at Target box stores and
Barnes & Nobles bookstores next year, will ask the town to purchase the
painting at an upcoming council meeting.
“I always wanted to paint it,” Dodds said
from his gallery beside Danny Mac’s restaurant on John Street. “I knew it was going to be a
lot of work, but I had no idea.”
Each brick in the former Post Office is
replicated by hand, in freehand style, along with the Rudd buildings, which
appeared on either side in historic photos and postcards Dodds used as his
templates. He included a family on horse and carriage to balance the piece.
“It’s very, very time consuming to do it to
scale,” Dodds said, who has sketched the building numerous times beginning in
his teen years. “I would like the town to have it. I can’t just give it away. I
have to make some money.”
Dodds didn’t say what he thought a fair
price would be, but his paintings have sold for between $7,000 and $14,000 in
He is glad to say images of Arnprior and
other Eastern Ontario locations will be made
available to Americans through the Lang Company, which puts quaint rural images
in the tradition of Norman Rockwell on
everything from calendars and agenda books to coffee mugs to puzzles.
In 2011, Lang will feature Dodds’ work on
the cover and every page of the calendar. He expects it will be available in
Chapters and other outlets that sell Lang products. He will sell calendars at
the Fishing and Outdoors Show at the Carp Fairgrounds on April 9, 10, and 11.
“It has taken 30 years of work to build up
enough painting to be able to do this contract. So it’s a pretty big deal for
me,” he said. “People say my paintings make them feel happy. They like scenes
from the past, and that’s what sells.”
Recently Dodds has begun producing
abstracts. He enjoys examining colour and shapes without the constraints of
order and recognizable figures. He said contemporary styles appeal to young
people, but few have enough money to purchase them. Still, painting abstracts
allows him to explore a realm he never thought he would take an interest in.
“I never used to like abstracts. Then I
realized it was all about colour and shapes, not things,” he said. “My whole
lifelong goal has been to do this painting (former Post Office). And I’m quite
happy with how it turned out. But this is what I’m getting into more of these