My Artwork

* Loading Gallery Images...

Brockton Point - 1986, "Grace's Pearls" (thumbnail) Lions Gate Bridge - 1939 (thumbnail) Chinatown 1960, East Pender St. (thumbnail) Abbotsford - 1922 (thumbnail) Capitol Theatre, Granville S. - 1956; Love me Tender (thumbnail) Theatre Row, Granville St. - 1962 (thumbnail) Stanley Park Junction (thumbnail) Bon Voyage, Vancouver Harbour - 1938 (thumbnail) A Capital Christmas (thumbnail) Wigwam Inn, Indian Arm - 1913 (thumbnail) Theatre Row, Granville St. - 1950 (thumbnail) Marine Building on Hastings  - 1945 (thumbnail) Columbia Street - New Westminster - 1924 (thumbnail) Ten Years of Art (thumbnail) The Sunshine Coast Collection (thumbnail) The Langleys Collection (thumbnail) Canadian Skies Collection (thumbnail) Vancouver Collection (thumbnail) BC Airways at Vancouver Airport - 1928 (thumbnail) Boat and Plane at Pender Harbour (thumbnail) Boat in Boathouse (thumbnail) Cannery Worker's Shack (thumbnail) Egmont Post Office (thumbnail) Final Berth on Fraser (thumbnail) May Queen's Ball, Fort Langley - 1941 (thumbnail) Steveston Collection (thumbnail) Saturday Night at the Langley Hotel (thumbnail) Snug Haven - Finn Slough (thumbnail) Porter's Coffee and Tea House (thumbnail) Molly's Reach (thumbnail) Steveston Quay (thumbnail) Theatre Row, Hastings St. - 1926 (thumbnail) Out to Pasture, Street car # 153 (thumbnail) Pacific Gateway, Vancouver - 1912 (thumbnail) Top of Granville Street - 1912 (thumbnail) Passing Woodwards-1939 (thumbnail) Christmas Windows - Woodwards on Hasting (thumbnail) Lonsdale Quay-1919 (thumbnail) The Old Street Car Barn - 1894 (thumbnail) A Christmas Reunion-1914 (thumbnail) Stanley Park-1900 (thumbnail) Vancouver Exhibition - 1910 (thumbnail) Vancouver Public Market-1908 (thumbnail) Blackburn's Service, Seymour Street-1928 (thumbnail) Theatre Row, Granville Street-1948 (thumbnail) New Westminster BCER Depot - 1926 (thumbnail) Park Row, New Westminster - 1909 (thumbnail) Car #101 on Hastings-1949 (thumbnail) Red Racer Diner, Penticton-1960's (thumbnail) On the Rocks at the Garden Bay Pub (thumbnail) Starfighter Pilot (thumbnail) First Flight in Western Canada (thumbnail) Brookswood Barn (thumbnail) Halfway Between Yesterday and Tomorrow (thumbnail) Christmas in Milner, Langley - 1915 (thumbnail) White Spot No1, Granville Street - 1958 (thumbnail) Granville Street Bridge - 1921 (thumbnail) Christmas Shoppers, Hastings St. - 1913 (thumbnail) North Vancouver Ferry Dock - 1916 (thumbnail) Murrayville Cash Grocery - Christmas (thumbnail) Vancouver Bus Terminal - 1939 (thumbnail) Chilliwack - 1915 (thumbnail) Bathhouse on English Bay - 1931 (thumbnail) Cloverdale - 1913 (thumbnail) Aristocratic Drive-in - 1958 (thumbnail) English Bay, Vancouver, Canada (thumbnail) Granville and Hastings Streets in Vancouver (thumbnail) Crossroads at Langley Prairie - 1928 (thumbnail) White Rock Beach - 1929 (thumbnail) Christmas at Home - 1929 (thumbnail) Open Late, Otter Farmer's Institute, Winter (thumbnail) Otter Co-op (thumbnail) Murrayville Cash Grocery - Christmas Eve (thumbnail) Fort Langley Station (thumbnail) Drive-in Heaven (thumbnail) Danceland on Robson Street on September 7, 1963 with the Ike and Tina Turner Review performing a one night gig. (thumbnail)
A Capital Christmas (large view)
A Capital Christmas
Limited Edition Giclee print on canvas of Victoria Harbour circa 1930.

After many years of painting the history of the Lower Mainland and more recently, Vancouver I am pleased to be able to create my first painting of Vancouver Island. It has been a long time coming and I have many to thank for encouraging me to continue my re-creations of our heritage. Amongst those who have become familiar with my work are many with wonderful ideas for new paintings and I have been hearing a recurring theme from them: You really must paint Victoria!

Having visited Victoria a few times I was always struck by the intimacy of the downtown core and harbour. A walk along the seawall in front of the Empress Hotel leaves one in no doubt that you are right at the center of the City; it was here that I would begin. My usual routine is to scour archives and libraries for information and old photographs to work from. I was rewarded with many historical images and lots of history to read.

It has become something of a trademark in my painting career, to paint a single Christmas scene once a year; that image to be printed as my annual Christmas card. As I worked up my first drawings of Victoria I began the thought process of setting the season, time of day and sun angles. The more I thought the more I was drawn to the idea of rendering the painting as a Christmas scene. This, of course, may seem a rather unlikely idea as Victoria rarely has snow, but in my reading I found several occasions in Victoria’s history where large snowfalls occurred. A second influence in my decision making was reading that Victoria’s Legislative buildings have long been adorned with decorative illuminations. When I coupled all of this with my fondness for painting cosmopolitan night scenes, it meant that I could scarcely do other than a snowy Christmas evening painting; thus, it was very dark blue that formed the thick underlying base colour for this work.

First, I placed a line of convective clouds receding to the southeast having left behind a thick white coat of snow. I then situated the sun, just setting, on the southwestern horizon. This permitted me to employ the last glowing embers of light to cast a warm glow over Victoria, the stylish Empress Hotel and the Olympic Mountains to the south. I intended to create a moment of illuminated transition that it will only last a few minutes; soon it will be night.

As always, my brush strokes were guided by history and only later, after all researched sources were exhausted, did I employ artistic license to achieve a finished work. Thus it was that I made the decision to prune back the obscuring cloak of ivy and paint the Empress structures directly from original drawings and the earliest of photographs. As the painting neared completion, I let my imagination go as I “populated” the scene with cars, streetcars, boats, pedestrians, hotel guests and carolers. Uncharacteristically, I have not given this painting a date although it is undoubtedly in the late 1920’s as evidenced by the traffic driving on the right side of the road and the British Columbia Electric Railway (BCER) Streetcars in red and cream livery.

“A Capital Christmas” is essentially my Christmas gift to all who see it. As you tread beside our forefathers on the snowy sidewalks beside Victoria’s harbour sea wall, listen to the carolers in front of the Empress Hotel and marvel at the lights of the Legislative Buildings, I hope you find, a sense of time, place and tranquility.
Brian Croft
20" H x 32" W
Price: CA $700.00