Making Sports an Art
May 22 - July 18, 2010
Perhaps best known for his artwork on the Tim Horton’s Winter Mug Collection, Gary McLauglin works exclusively in sports art since 2006, when he began Blue Sky ~ White Snow, a 6 by 12 foot canvas depicting every player for the Toronto Maple Leaf hockey team from 1927 to 2007. This project has expanded into a series dedicated to the Hall of Fame inductees from the six original NHL teams.
Like the athletes and action he captures, McLaughlin’s sports art is full of energy. The paintings are accessible, grounded in classical technique, and purposefully devoid of faddism.
McLaughlin paints in a traditional style, using oils on stretched canvas. Mixing his flesh tones from dozens of colours, his portraits are dynamic and capture the vitality, energy and personality, first in the eyes and then the rest of the face.
“While I draw from photographic reference, my sketches on the canvas are minimal because I prefer to let the brush fill in the detail,” explains McLaughlin. And the details are exquisite, with the hair of one player morphing into the collar or uniform of the next.
McLaughlin draws on over 30 years of experience in commercial illustration. From the time of his graduation from the Ontario College of Art he has worked full-time honing his dynamic style of painting people for Canadian and international clients, art directors, publications, advertising agencies and corporations including the CBC; Harold Ballard (former owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs); Bobby and Brett Hull and Coca-Cola. Illustrations for Canadian Tire are included in the exhibition.
McLaughlin works from a century-old building in Neustadt, West Grey, where The Riversong Gallery displays his art.