Grant Waddell

Grant Waddell

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Grant Waddell began his artistic career at a very early age. Whether it was mud, finger paints, crayons, or toothpicks, popsicles sticks and glue, he would create almost every day. Ever since he could remember, he had a mind that has needed to create. To build things, compose and develop ideas.

Growing up, he was surrounded by art. His parents had numerous paintings, sketches and sculptures around the house and although his father wasn't artistic, his grandfather was, and several of his paintings hung on walls of importance within the home, but one piece stood out above them all.

"There was one painting by Gus Kenderdine." Waddell recalls. "Gus was a celebrated Canadian painter who depicted the Saskatchewan landscape. It was a fall painting of the Qu'apelle Valley and this piece had a profound affect on my developing creative mind. As a matter of fact, it was Gus who taught my grandfather to paint! It brought it all home for me."

His talents were recognized at an early age by the principal at his elementary school, but most importantly by his uncle. Grant had written him a letter, or more accurately written him a story about Snoopy and the Red Baron, complete with an illustration, which his uncle had framed and hung on the wall of his study.

"I didn't see this until I was in my early twenties" Waddell thinks back, "this fascinated me, as I had forgotten that this was something that I had created. That my uncle had recognized something in this pretty crude drawing and took the time time to frame it and hang it on the wall of his study. For the first time I was an exhibiting artist!"

In his early teens, Waddell was drawing and painting regularly, and it ...

Grant Waddell began his artistic career at a very early age. Whether it was mud, finger paints, crayons, or toothpicks, popsicles sticks and glue, he would create almost every day. Ever since he could remember, he had a mind that has needed to create. To build things, compose and develop ideas.

Growing up, he was surrounded by art. His parents had numerous paintings, sketches and sculptures around the house and although his father wasn't artistic, his grandfather was, and several of his paintings hung on walls of importance within the home, but one piece stood out above them all.

"There was one painting by Gus Kenderdine." Waddell recalls. "Gus was a celebrated Canadian painter who depicted the Saskatchewan landscape. It was a fall painting of the Qu'apelle Valley and this piece had a profound affect on my developing creative mind. As a matter of fact, it was Gus who taught my grandfather to paint! It brought it all home for me."

His talents were recognized at an early age by the principal at his elementary school, but most importantly by his uncle. Grant had written him a letter, or more accurately written him a story about Snoopy and the Red Baron, complete with an illustration, which his uncle had framed and hung on the wall of his study.

"I didn't see this until I was in my early twenties" Waddell thinks back, "this fascinated me, as I had forgotten that this was something that I had created. That my uncle had recognized something in this pretty crude drawing and took the time time to frame it and hang it on the wall of his study. For the first time I was an exhibiting artist!"

In his early teens, Waddell was drawing and painting regularly, and it was about this time that he was given his first camera, a Voightlander VitoB, and with this, he began running about the neighbourhood, shooting the goings-on and processing and printing his own film.

Although he didn't know it, these two interests would dominate the rest of his life. Photography and painting became the backbone of his creative expression and he constantly painted, and snapped his way through his teens until finishing high school. He took a year off working construction, and during this time decided that he needed to take this passion seriously. He enrolled in The Alberta College of Art with an interest in becoming a painting major.

It was in his second year that he made a pivotal decision. The pressures of making a living at his chosen craft began to weigh on him and it was then that he decided to switch majors and shift to commercial photography.

He didn't lay paint to canvas for the next 28 years.

After graduating, he moved to Vancouver with a friend from school and launched an assistants company that eventually landed him in the biggest commercial studio in the city. He stayed there for six years gaining valuable experience and this gave him the courage to start Grant Waddell Photography. A successful venture lasting nine years. During the last of these years, the desire to own a house and move closer to family became his focus and in 2005 he and his family moved to Calgary, bought a house and he started a studio with the belief that the Calgary market would be as lucrative and filled with the same opportunities as Vancouver. He discovered this was not the case. Not to say that it wasn't a success, but it was a struggle in comparison to life in Vancouver.

This period marked the beginning of a deep fundamental change in his life. It wasn't until he approached 50 and experienced some personal tragedies that he began to sense this shift in direction; having a near death experience from West Nile Virus, closing his commercial studio, and experiencing the death of his father and step mother, both within a month of each other.

"I never really understood the profound changes that were happening. Once you move into the next chapter of your life, and look back, you start to question every decision you've ever made and you realize that your time here is very important. It became apparent that some changes needed to happen and that some of the neglected areas of who I was needed nurturing"

With the realization that he had ignored his basic passion, Waddell signed up for a weekend painting retreat and produced his first painting in 28 years. Three others followed that weekend and it hasn't stopped since. He also has decided to start paying more attention to the fine art aspects of his photography, rather than the commercial.

"I have always had a love of nature, and this is why I've chosen to paint the landscape." He says.

On the photography side, his work is far more open to experimentation. Given his skills as a digital artist, Grant has constructed some very complex photographic images for advertising as well as personal expression.

"I just thought it was sometimes easier to create with many images what was attempting to be said with one. This gives me an enormous amount of creative freedom and control, and works well on the commercial side of my work. Now I'm going to evolve this method and style of photography into a more artistic direction"

Grants new focus on fine art, and giving himself permission to play in this new playground has taken a long time and at some personal cost. But we're confident that the results will be well worth it.

At Magog Lake
At Magog Lake
  • 11 x 13 in
Falls at Gog Lake
Falls at Gog Lake
  • 9 x 12 in
A Familiar Road
A Familiar Road
  • 15 x 18 in
Carpenter Creek - Sandon
Carpenter Creek - Sandon
  • 9 x 12 in
Fall Days
Fall Days
  • 13 x 16 in
Widow Maker
Widow Maker
  • 9 x 12 in
Bales
Bales
  • 22 x 14 in
Passing Storm
Passing Storm
Cuban Storm
Cuban Storm
Aspen Grove
Aspen Grove
  • 20 in
Foggy Pond
Foggy Pond
  • 9.5 x 14 in
Sunflower Study 2
Sunflower Study 2
  • 14 x 9.5 in
Sunflower Study 1
Sunflower Study 1
  • 14 x 9.5 in
Innocence
Innocence
  • 8.5 x 14 in
The Marsh
The Marsh
  • 7 x 14 in
Summer Fallow
Summer Fallow
  • 9 x 14 in
Smith-Dorrien
Smith-Dorrien
  • 8.5 x 14 in
The Long Winter
The Long Winter
  • 13.5 x 20 in
Prairie Shower
Prairie Shower
  • 8.5 x 20 in
Winters Grove
Winters Grove
  • 20 x 15 in
Prairie Ghost
Prairie Ghost
  • 9 x 14 in
Shadow Hill
Shadow Hill
  • 30 x 40 in
Two Ewes
Two Ewes
  • 22 x 22 in
The Wisdom of Solitude
The Wisdom of Solitude
  • 37 x 60 in
Turners Tree
Turners Tree
  • 36 x 36 in