Each year, we lose some good outdoor art in Winnipeg. For the year indicated, here's a last look at, a last goodbye to some of the artwork that has disappeared that year.

Displaying Locations 321-325 of 509



460 Portage Avenue   

This unsigned nature scene was composed and painted by Mike Valcourt in 1999 for United Surplus store, with sponsorship by Take Pride Winnipeg and Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. The building was demolished in March of 2009, and the Mural was still in good shape on its very last day when this last wall came down in April, 2009.

Original notes follow:

Mike Valcourt: "This is the first Mural I had pretty much free reign of; I could do pretty much anything I wanted. I did up one sketch, pretty much exactly what is there now, and it was approved! I love painting nature, and this was a good chance get back to doing that. All the other Murals I had done up to this point were for other people, other peoples ideas and agenda. So this one was just me, my heart coming out. It just flowed out of me onto the wall. This time, I did have my sketch as a reference. I painted furiously and quickly and I got a lot accomplished in very short time. It all just came out of me again, and in 12-15 days it was done. That's what I like about it: I got back to my roots of painting and the fun of it."

"This was a June Mural, not too hot yet, plus I had shade in the mornings. The first thing I painted was a waterfall. I had a lot of fun putting little things onto this wall that passers-by will see up close, but not if you're whipping by in a car. I painted each individual blade of grass and strand of straw, and branches and roots and dirt. I drew cracks in the rock and the waters as it creeps through the rocks such as what happens in rapids so you get that white water effect. I painted mud and moss on the rocks. That's what I like the most-the attention to detail I put in here. Then, through sheer chance, I was doing blending with the water, and poof! There were rocks! The blending that I had done made it look exactly the way submerged rocks look in water. And so I went with it! Pretty soon I had a whole bunch of submerged rocks in the stream. I also added some reflections in the water. Just for fun, I threw in a porcupine, sitting on a branch hanging over the waterfall. Nobody really notices him until you walk up close to it."

"There's a School of Beauty across the street and they would look out the window and see this all day long. All the women would come out on their break and tell me how much they enjoyed the wall and how much better a view they had now with this entire nature scene."

"On the right is a tent. That's the only real stipulation that Army Surplus had was to include the tent in the outdoor scene. I took one of their brochures and painted it."

"At the time I painted this wall, you didn't have Muralists putting nature scenes on the walls here in Winnipeg. Instead it was pictures of people or automobiles or horse and buggy. I believe the nature scene is closer to pure art and I would like to see a lot more of it here in Winnipeg. I've long been inspired by Robert Bateman and that's who I tried to emulate as a kid when I was trying to paint and so a lot of that came out in me. I look very closely at his work and see the techniques that he used and how it got to a certain place. It was through learning all of that that I learned how to paint myself: how to layer things; how to use quick brushstrokes to get an impression of things. That's the way he used to paint He comes from impressionistic background and that's really evident in the rapids and the quickness of strokes in the water and trees."

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