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Artist Profile: Glenn Payan

By Afton Aikens

Our 2015/16 Canmore Map hits streets in February, and we’re excited to share the cover art, a painting titled Three Sisters, Silvertip View, Canmore by Mayne Island, British Columbia-based artist Glenn Payan, whose work can be found in one of Banff’s favourite art galleries, Canada House Gallery.

Canmore map painting

Three Sisters, Silvertip View, Canmore by Glenn Payan

Payan’s path to painting professionally began about 15 years ago. A schoolteacher at the time (his career for 22 years), he began to paint for fun one summer holiday. That led to friends and family encouraging him to get more eyes on his work. In 2007, Payan resigned from teaching to pursue a career as a painter.

Payan has artistic talent in his genes—his father was an artist. He says, “(Mine) is one of those great stories, to be able to resign from my regular job to do what I love. I feel blessed to have had that happen.”

Influenced by the Group of Seven artists as well as Emily Carr, Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, Payan describes his art as stylized and whimsical, adding that he enjoys using lots of colour.

The Canmore Map cover is no exception, depicting the iconic Three Sisters mountains shining under a bright blue sky, with colourful houses in the foreground. Payan got involved in the project when the owner of Canada House Gallery, Barbara Pelham, contacted him about the opportunity.

“(At Canada House), they are so professional and they treat their artists like family,” Payan says. “I had one of my paintings on a brochure in Banff before…(and) it was really well received, so I guess Barb thought of me again.”

Payan, whose paintings are often rooted in memories, knew immediately that he wanted to paint the Three Sisters. He recalls seeing the mountains the first time he drove through Canmore. “Being a climber, you’re drawn to spectacular peaks.”

New Work

From February 28 to March 7, Canada House Gallery will be showing new work from Payan.

“I have 25 or so new pieces, and I’m trying a few new things,” he says. “The piece of Maligne Lake (in Jasper National Park) has bulbous clouds above it—developing that the way I have is new. There will be several pieces with that imagery in it.”

Three Sisters, Silvertip View, Canmore, 60×30, oil on canvas, will also be for sale at Payan’s upcoming Canada House show.

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