Donald Bird was born in Prince Albert and has lived in Saskatoon for several years. He has been painting for over a decade and remains entirely self-taught.
We first met Donald through the art supplies branch of our business. He has been a regular customer for a number of years, and we have come to know him as a kind and thoughtful person who has faced many challenges but persevered. Art has become a refuge and an alternative means of expression. When we first saw Donald's paintings and drawings, there was something immediately unexpected and beautiful about them. His works present a unique personal vision rendered in gestural brushstrokes, natural and supernatural elements colliding in a painterly mash-up. The subjects are both varied and familiar--landscapes, hockey players, icons of Canada’s wilderness--but the rendering is always unique. As someone who has received no formal art training, Donald’s artistic choices are often surprisingly sophisticated. It would be easy to assume that the works are informed by some knowledge of abstraction or the expressionist tradition, but it is more likely Donald’s innate sense for design and aesthetics. In fact, he doesn’t even work from photographic references; every image comes entirely from his memory and imagination. To look at these paintings and drawings is to understand something of his personal vision, and to see and feel the sheer joy of creative expression through art.
Though his artwork has been relatively unknown until recently, his first solo showing at the gallery in 2016 was a resounding success, with many works finding their way to local collections. His work can also be found in the collection of the Mann Art Gallery in Prince Albert.
2016 - Donald Bird: Paintings & Drawings, The Gallery/art placement inc., Saskatoon
July 27, 2016, Streets to Galleries: Talent from the streets showcased to the World, The Saskatoon Star Phoenix, by Charles Hamilton, online: http://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/homeless-artist-has-showing-at-local-gallery
July 23, 2016, Saskatoon Lighthouse resident featured in local art gallery, CBC News Online, with files from CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend hosted by Shauna Powers, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/saskatoon-self-taught-artist-featured-1.3692467
Mann Art Gallery, Prince Albert
Private collections in Western Canada