Ian began his artistic journey in elementary school. Around the age of 9 he drew, painted and submitted several original designs to the Calgary Stampede Exhibition and won prizes for two of the paintings. Ian will never forget the battered old running shoe that he took off his foot, placed on the table, drew and painted it using a “kids” water colour set. Nor will Ian forget the prize - a whopping $10 for placing second and third. “Ten-dollars was big money back then and I remember how thrilled I was to have won it” Ian tells us!
Ian’s artistic talent lay dormant until his early 20's when he worked in several architectural offices honing his career as an Architectural Technologist. Ian’s long career in architecture and contract documentation provided him with a solid background in line work, shape, form, spatial relations, juxtaposition, colour and shadow. Throughout his career he was always experimenting and playing around with the creative aspects of art from found objects.
Ian was particularly lucky in that his work place was next door to the National Gallery in Ottawa where he spent practically every lunch hour studying, reading and being totally immersed in the thousands of works by past and modern masters. It was during this time period that Ian developed a love for photography. Little did he know then that the courses in photography and the skills he developed would be an important inspirational source for the continuation of his artistic journey. With retirement in 1998 came the freedom and time to develop his artistic, woodworking and carving skills.
It was also about this time that his new persona emerged - “dustyoldchips©” – this became Ian’s pseudonym and soon after adopting this new persona he used the acronym “DOC©” to identify his work, his art and himself. Ian tells us that his initiation into decorative and fine arts began when he realized that in order to paint his first heirloom rocking horse, he needed to learn how to paint! Noah was crafted from an original design by Anthony Drew entitled Toddler’s Rocking Horse and the painting was based on Betty Caithness’ pattern “Noah’s Rocking Horse”. Ian took several beginner classes with Cheryl Poulin, bought some products and found he was hooked on yet another hobby. One of the first artists he had contact with was Marilyn Harris-Mills who sold him his first jar of Frescolina.
Ian shares the following; “I have learned that while acrylics create a certain dimension, oils provide a greater depth that interest me. I then began a series of instruction with various artists who taught me the fundamentals and techniques required for using oils as a medium. That beginning spoke to me and I realized that oils would be my medium of choice. Since that light bulb moment I have not looked back.”
Ian's favourite artists now include, Derek Wicks, Sherry Nelson and Bob Ross. Learning from these artists, has taken his art an enormous leap forward and he has found that he is most at peace, most creative and inspired artistically using this medium. Since that first beginner class in decorative painting, Ian’s quest for learning has taken him to a myriad of places he never imagined he would explore. A special highlight included a trip to Phyllis Tilford's Florida studio. Ian has studied with Moe Shier, Jacquie Livingstone, Clifford Crabe, Cheryl Poulin, Willow Wolfe and various Bob Ross instructors in both Ottawa and Florida.
Ian is a Certified Bob Ross Instructor, Landscape and Florals receiving his training and certification at the Bob Ross Art Workshop & Gallery in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA.
In addition to his oil painting Ian has explored textures and techniques in acrylics with Rani Kushwaha, and recently, studying with Anne Armitage, the wonderful art of colour pencil painting.
He is currently holding painting workshops in his studio “Studio Thirty Eight” and offering classes in the Bob Ross wet-on-wet technique®