What Is It About Cities?

My father’s career as a civil engineer exposed us to many different environments. As a child, I lived in remote mountain construction sites with no phone or television, in tiny villages like Wabamun, Alberta, small towns like Deer Lake, Newfoundland, and in cities like Halifax, Nova Scotia and La Paz, Bolivia. Today, I live in Montreal, Quebec. I’m very appreciative of nature’s beauty, but I have a definite bias toward the beauty people create as places to live, places to work, places to play. I love architecture. I continue to explore cities in search of inspiration in the beauty of a city’s buildings, vistas and skyline. A city’s personality is unique and it is reflected in the people and the architecture.

Cities fascinate me, growing and evolving to follow the dreams and whims of the residents who come together in a shared experience. They take on a unique personality and thus attracting more people who share similar values and ambitions. This cycle ensures cities take on the personality of the people, and that people feel at home in their city. I love to explore cities like New York, Toronto and Montreal, walking through neighborhoods, my neck craning as I seek building facades, window hood molds, or cornices that catch my eye.

I’m always looking for a unique angle, a flash of light or an interesting juxtaposition. I love discovering hidden gems like tiny historical stone buildings huddling between modern skyscrapers of glass and steel. It is these unexpected combinations that reveal the changing personality successive generations leave behind, layering architectural styles in a collage that slowly transforms to reflect the evolving lifestyles, preoccupations and priorities of its occupants.

I appreciate the beauty, and admire the craftsmanship and artistry necessary to turn utilitarian shelter into a dazzling spectacle. Architectural creations typically outlive both builders and inhabitants, having a lasting influence on the neighborhood, the skyline and the lives around them. When I capture their legacy in my art, I feel that I am continuing their work, sharing the beauty they created and taking the influence of their efforts in a new direction, reaching new people.