Category Archives: Blog

Christmas Commission

I had the pleasure of creating this charcoal drawing of Bernie Parent for a customer in the United States. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

“Thank you ! They are incredible and my son loves them, there is nothing like something as unique as the Bernie Parent drawing.”

BERNIE PARENT Charcoal Drawing. (SOLD / Commissioned). the hard part about drawing Bernie Parent is that there are only so many photo's to use as a reference that I can only draw him from one side of his mask.

BERNIE PARENT Charcoal Drawing. (SOLD / Commissioned). the hard part about drawing Bernie Parent is that there are only so many photo’s to use as a reference that I can only draw him from one side of his mask.

Assistant Teacher

Since late September Michael Slotwinski has been spending the majority of his time by volunteering as an Assistant Art Teacher at St. Patrick’s Catholic Secondary School. In 2012, Slotwinski earned his second degree from the University of Western Ontario’s Althouse Teachers College and has been putting it to good use. Drawing on his knowledge of the arts and as a practiced artist, Slotwinski is providing the students with a unique opportunity to learn.

NHL Alumni Gala Awards

Once again I had the pleasure of attending the NHL Alumni’s Gala Awards ceremony in Toronto at the Marriot Hotel.


Bryan Trottier received the Keith Magnuson “Man of the Year” award

Walter Gretzky received the Keith McCreary “7th Man” award

Mark Mannarn received the Ace Bailey “Award of Courage” for his efforts in cancer research.

And, each of these stand-up guys received a portrait painting by me.

For the past month I have been a man on a mission – painting at all hours of my spare time though the day and well into the night. Usually it takes me roughly two-plus weeks to complete a painting to my satisfaction… but I only had two to four days to complete each of these paintings while also fulfilling other obligations! Many classic rock albums were listened to, and many TV series were playing in the background to help keep fueled and running as I raced to complete the paintings for the awards ceremony. It was a very tough effort, but it was well worth the lack of sleep. The best part of the whole project was that we planned to keep them a complete secret to the award winners of the nights event.

This was my second time being invited to the NHL Alumni Gala Awards. Unfortunately, I’ve sold all of the paintings that I’ve created over the past year and I had nothing new to bring. To make up for this, I offered to produce the three portraits as a special gift. Wendy McCreary, the nights brilliant organizer, thought it would be a great idea. There is just something ‘special’ about being depicted in a painting.


Once again my “Hockey’s Masked Men” series of iconic goalie mask oil paintings were set up on display at the entrance of the Marriots Grand-Ballroom. As people walked into the Cocktail Reception, waiting to enter into the Ballroom, they would make their way past my artwork. However, this marked the first time that I wasn’t present to talk with people about my artwork. Instead, I was dashed away into the B.C. room to go over a dress rehearsal of for the nights agenda. Tonight, I was given the opportunity to walk in alongside all of the NHL Alumni members and present the portrait paintings to the award winners on stage! What an honour to be in the same room and share the space on stage and be a part of the celebration with these men.

Once the 600 members of the audience took their seats we were lead into the ballroom by a line of bagpipe-pipers and drummers. We all took our positions on stage as one big mass and looked out into the reception. Lights, camera’s, and all of the attention was focused on us. It was thrilling! We would all take our seats and the speeches would begin. I was called to stage by Paul Coffey to present the paintings to Bryan, Walter, and Mark. The food was great too!

We spent the rest of the night walking around the room shaking hands and listening intently to stories of the alumni players from their glory days. Lanny McDonald spoke of celebrating the reunion of his Stanley Cup winning teammates and how they surprised everyone by bringing the Stanley Cup along. He said that it doesn’t matter how old the players are, that they all turned back into school-boys at the sight of the Cup as though they were back in their prime dreaming of it’s glory.

Thank you for everyone that kindly spoke to me and showed their appreciation for my artwork. And, thank you to Wendy McCreary and Deborah Sittler to inviting me back to this great event once again.

NHL Alumni Featured Artist

Once again I have been invited back to the NHL Alumni Gala Awards Ceremony and Dinner at the Marriot Hotel’s Grand Ballroom in Toronto on September 22nd – and the Scotia Bank’s Grapes with the Greats wine tasting event at the Old Bank Hall in Toronto.

This year we have planned an exciting surprise for the Gala Dinner Event. I can’t wait to reveal it here to everyone else in the next few days!


A Message from the NHL Alumni Association:

The NHL Alumni is hosting its annual NHL Alumni Awards Gala Dinner presented by Scotiabank on September 22, 2014 at the Toronto Airport Marriott in Toronto. We are honoring our “Man of the Year” – who is a tremendous ambassador of the game on and off the ice and this year we are delighted to honor BRYAN TROTTIER.  We have had the distinct pleasure of honoring Ted Lindsay, Jean Beliveau, Andy Bathgate, Al Arbour, Johnny Bower, Rod Gilbert, Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe, Guy Lafleur, Lanny McDonald, Brad Park and Pat Quinn in previous years.

We also present the “Keith McCreary 7th Man Award” to someone in our hockey family who has made incredible contributions to our game, but has not played in the NHL. This year we are pleased to honor WALTER GRETZKY.

The “Ace Bailey Award of Courage” is being presented to MARK MANNARN, founder of “Minor Hockey Fights Cancer” at 12 years old in 2010.  After losing his grandmother to pancreatic cancer and finding out his mom had breast cancer, he wanted to do something positive to raise funds for the research of cancer.  Since the inception Mark has raised over $800,000!


“Keith Magnuson Man of the Year” – Bryan Trottier

“Keith McCreary 7th Man” – Walter Gretzky

“Ace Bailey Award of Courage” – Mark Mannarn


My trip to Philadelphia for the 2014 NHL Draft was very exciting, and was a great success.




It was a long drive, with an even longer traffic jam to get through before entering the city – but the wait was well worth it. Immediately as we arrive my brother (assistant) and I had the pleasure of catching a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game. It was a perfect night, and we had perfect seats. The people around us were all generously nice and excited to hear about two Canadian boys coming all this way for my show. They were even more excited that we were witnessing our first ever Phillies game. And, since there were so many extra innings on this particular night, we were able to see the park from many different vantage points. It truly is a beautiful park. Many thanks goes out to our friend Gary Matthews. We had a wonderful time – and will hopefully be back in the future to celebrate with you on another joyous occasion. We really appreciate your generosity.

But the night was not over – for after the game there was an amazing fifteen minute display of fireworks. With the Fourth of July coming up, we had a theory that they might celebrate the same show night after night. So we had the opportunity to experience the amazing fireworks three times from the lawn of our hotel just outside of the ball park. Stunning!

The NHL Draft.

We woke up, dressed up, and went to work setting up my display on our given lot. This was the first time that I have allowed my artwork to be showed outdoors – and for obvious reasons. Although the day turned out to be a beauty, we were daunted by thick clouds at the beginning. They quickly blew over and it turned out to be a scorcher of a day. Thankfully, I was placed under a very convenient stretch-tent that became a temple of shade for me and everyone that wanted an up-close look at my artwork.

There was so much to do at this event! Sit on the Zambonies, play mini sticks or take part in a long line of hockey-skilled games. There were blow up floats, live music, and a ton of fun for children and parents to partake in.

As the day wore on the crowds began to move over to the Wells Fargo Center Arena where the NHL Draft was taking part – just across the street from the Fun-Zone where I was. Of course we were given tickets and we quickly dismantled my paintings and headed on over. The inside of their arena was filled with hockey memorabilia, trophies, banners, and – my favourite – globe hockey games for all to play. But we would enjoy those later. We wanted to see the draft! The arena was abuzz with energy and excitement as a full-house of fans crowded into the arena to view the draft. Prospects and their families to one side of the lower deck, teams and management huddled together in secretive seating arrangements, news/telecast programs and TV hosts adding their opinions at the back of the arena and giving interviews on the side – and of course, an amazing display of lighting and videography happening all around the arena to keep the fans up to date on the happenings.

Of course, being Red Wing fans, we had our sights locked on the center table. The men in suits sat around their table, sometimes walking around to other tables, conferring with one another, and busily walking back. When the time came, Gary Bettman would walk on stage to announce the next team. A timer would begin ticking, adding to the excitement, as the scoreboard lit up with a video introduction. The arena would become filled with each particular teams home colours and the team would get up and file on stage once they had made a decision. They announced it over the podium and the players would hug their family as their lives were changed forever. With many handshakes they came down to the stage, pulled a jersey over their heads and were probably the happiest they had ever been in their entire lives. This was their moment. Next they would move to the side for an interview, and later join the team down on the ice-level where more people would come to congratulate them. I’m sure they were treated very well that night.

The celebrations continued into the night as our hotel bar was alive and well.

I woke up very early the next morning to set my display up once more. Now into Day Two of the draft, we were going to do it all over again. It was another stunning day, but this time there was a wind to combat against. Luckily, we were able to tie my display to the tent-poles to keep it grounded. My booth was so popular the first day that I had completely run out of programs I came prepared to hand out. Luckily, with my brother at my side I had him run out to make a few extra hundred prints for me. Once again, they were gone in no-time.

The festive occasion was brought to another level as people crowded into the XFINITY LIVE! Zone’s bar to watch the World Cup of Soccer. Once my day came to a conclusion I was able to catch a few last minutes of the overtime shootout and have some beer in wings.

I also had the opportunity to see the sights of the city. My brother had come to Philadelphia on a business trip two weeks prior, so he knew all of the right spots to show me. We walked around for hours to the Bridge, downtown, city hall, art museum, train station, and along their river. But the long walk was good as we had a long drive home ahead of us the next morning. But of course, we had to make it back to our hotel if we wanted to catch the fireworks again. Which we did.

The ride back was much better than the ride up surprisingly. Thanks Philly for the great time. Hopefully you enjoyed my artwork as well.