I’ve been a fan of artist Gary McGladdery’s work for at least a few years. I came across his work during one of my many Google searches on the Southern Alberta area … my playground I roamed for the 4 years I lived in Calgary, but never to the extent I wanted to. I usually look for photography, but when I came across his art, I was hooked from the first moment. There is something refreshing, innocent and overwhelmingly comforting about his work. I also found his personal story he shared on his bio page inspiring to me. Tonight I decided to check if he was on Twitter, as I was hoping to see he was working on new pieces and wanted to inquire about a possible purchase of his Chief Mountain painting for my mum (our favourite mountain, as well as her dad’s), and it’s then I learned of his passing in 2013. I felt compelled to write something about his work.
Looking at his art takes me back to traveling through these areas as a wee kiddie in the back of the ’74 Oldsmobile 98 Regency with my folks and brother. I also allow myself to wander from time to time about what life would have been like on the prairies and in the mountains many years ago. Would life had been as sweet as is portrayed in some images? That’s the beauty of art – paintings, photography, etc … it never gives us a timeline and we are able to let our minds go wild and imagine the possibilities of times passed and times to come.
Gary’s art touched me in a way most paintings are unable to – perhaps it’s the simple beauty of his work – so I deeply regret I never took the moment to contact him and let him know how much I enjoy his work. I certainly had the time, but never took it. It wasn’t for the lack of caring about his work, but I suppose it’s too easy in today’s world to let things pile up and allow those simple moments pass us by, such as letting someone know how much you enjoy your art. Not contacting Gary is something I cannot undo, but I thought sharing my thoughts about his work might be next best.
Below are some iPad screen captures (I know, I know) I’ve taken from his site so you can have an idea of his vision of the gorgeous Southern Alberta prairies and rocky mountains. Obviously these captures do zero justice to his art, so please take a moment to check out his work. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and as much as I can only imagine he had creating these pieces of art.
I think this has been a good reminder to take a moment out of your busy day to let an artist you might be a fan of know just how much you enjoy their work. I truly believe such a simple gesture could be worth its weight in gold to them.
I’ve since reached out to those responsible for his site in the hopes of purchasing a piece or two in the future and more importantly, to let them know how much I truly appreciated Gary’s work. I’ll update this post if I receive a response.
Thank you, Gary, for the many wonderful stories your art allowed me to imagine. Rest in peace, good sir.
UPDATE: February 2015 – I have yet to hear from anyone running his site and I do not expect to as the site has now been shut down. Sad, but understandable since I do not know what’s happening behind the scenes. I’m just thankful I was able to appreciate Gary’s art whilst he was here on this earth.