We may not all make History, but each of us makes his story or her story, your story, my story and ultimately - our story - the ongoing story of humanity.
We all matter to those we love and who love us. Within the circle of family, friends, work and career we each make a unique contribution and no one who connects with us is untouched by that connection. We all make a difference. Each of us matters and we all have a story that deserves to told. So much of that story is in our faces, to be read now and down the generation to come.
This is what portraits seek to capture and that is why I paint them.
David was honoured to attend the unveiling of his official portrait of former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice at the Alberta Legislature. For those not familiar with the Canadian political system, a Premier is the equivalent postion to Governor in the USA. This is David's second official portrait of a Premier.
After choosing David as the official portrait artist, and after initial discussions, Mr. Prentice and David decided the portrait would be painted from life. Unfortunately this was not to be as Mr. Prentice was in a fatal plane crash shortly before his first sitting.
Working with the Prentice family, David worked with government and family photographs, a body double and his own photographs of the famous marbled halls of the Alberta Legislature to create a portrait fulfilling the ideas that had been discussed during telephone conversations with Mr. Prentice.
David Goatley is considered one of North America’s foremost portrait painters. .
He was born in London, England in 1954 and emigrated to Canada’s west coast in 1992.
Goatley studied painting at London’s Camberwell School of Art before embarking on a successful 16 year advertising career. Whilst advertising did not prove creatively satisfying (the need to paint was never far away) it did give him a taste for hard work, imaginative solutions, and the strong sense of design that has helped make his paintings immediately recognizable. Each of his portraits is as distinct as the individuals in them, capturing the personality and life in his subjects with real feeling. To stand in front of one his portraits is to experience meeting the subject.
It is a skill that has led to almost 400 commissions thus far, across Canada, the UK and 24 states of the USA as well as in Israel, Panama, Spain and India. His subjects have included Princes, a Peer, a Prime Minister, Provincial Premiers, five Lt. Governors, First Nations Chiefs and Elders, a Bishop and leaders in Business, Academia, the Arts and the Law as well as numerous families. His work is included in 2 Royal Collections as well as the collections of governments, museums, corporations, institutions and in hundreds of private homes.
David is also a noted muralist and paints the people and places he encounters on his travels for exhibition and sale when his busy schedule of commissions allows.
David currently resides in the Pacific Northwest from where he travels widely to fulfil commissions.
If you are interested in seeing a bit of the process of painting the official portrait of the Maharja of Jaipur this video will give you an idea of what the city of Jaipur is like - the chaos and colour - as well as a brief view of City Palace and the painting in progress.
When I was in the Great Bear Rainforest recently on a commission I was given permission by one of the women I met - Santana - to paint her. I came home and created this oil sketch, taking pictures along the way.
“Knowing the portrait was to hang in The House of Commons for generations to come, I wanted a painting that would give a strong impression of who I am, so that someone looking at it could feel they had met me, rather than a remote political figure. I feel David met that objective perfectly.”
“Thank you for the magnificent portrait you did of me. It is even higher praise when my daughters concur with my assessment... and they do!”
“On behalf of His Highness the Maharajah of Jaipur, I would like to congratulate Mr. Goatley for the excellent portrait he has painted. His eye for detail is truly phenomenal and to reproduce it so intricately calls for an extraordinary talent. His delicate brush strokes and the use of chiaroscuro is positively praiseworthy. It is certainly a portrait painted with feeling.”