One thing has marked Victor Alderson’s various careers, and that is creativity. He is now putting that creative eye into use as an artist, after being a professional photographer for over 20 years in the 1980s and 90s. He has opened his own gallery in Grand Bend. “I started painting just over five years ago, and found I really enjoy it,” Alderson said, “I like painting a variety of things in different styles and it wasn’t long before I had a large inventory of paintings built up.”
The Gallery, located on the north end of the plaza on Queen Street, just off Main Street, is across from Huron Shores United Church. With his various oil paintings covering the walls, Alderson’s versatility is evident. There are beautiful Lake Huron sunsets, nature scenes, aurora borealis in the night sky, birch trees, and then a complete change to the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior or the Avro Arrow. Some of his works show a touch of abstract, but most are realism. A few of his works show the influence of Canada’s Group of Seven. Although he has occasionally worked in acrylics, almost all his paintings are in oil.
The Gallery also doubles as an art studio where Alderson paints. Visitors can see him actually creating a work. His easel and paint brushes are always ready and he works quickly when he has a blank canvas. “I paint alla prima style, which means I paint wet-on-wet. In other words, I usually paint in one sitting, starting and finishing a work on the same day,” he explains.
As well as filling the new gallery with his own art, Alderson has photographs for sale. He has some large mounted photos – nature scenes and Grand Bend sunsets are favourites. He sells matted prints, and buyers can select a frame. A framing service is also part of his business. He is well-stocked with a wide variety of frames, or has sample corners from which a shopper can make a selection.
Another unusual art form Alderson enjoys is driftwood. He creates sail boats out of driftwood collected at the local beach. He adds canvas sails to the wood when he can find appropriately shaped pieces of driftwood.
The Gallery’s official grand opening is Sunday, July 12th from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. All matted photographic prints will be 25% off the regular price for the day. “I hope people will just stop by, say hello, and have a look at my work,” Alderson adds, “They might see a painting or photo that would look good here at their cottage, or they might find something to take home to remind them of Grand Bend.”
Parking is available across the street at Huron Shores United Church, for a donation. The church uses the proceeds to benefit the community.
All of Alderson’s works can be seen on his website at www.victoralderson.com where his paintings are categorized by seasons. He also has many beautiful photos of Lake Huron sunsets available for viewing. Both paintings and photos can be ordered online.
As photographers for 20 years, the Aldersons took photos at more than 500 weddings. “I still have all those negatives,” Alderson says, “and I’m happy to sell them for a nominal fee.”
Alderson lived in Lambton Shores (Forest and Grand Bend) for most of his life, but spent the past 11 years in Strathroy. Last month, he and his wife of 36 years, Mary, moved back to Grand Bend. They have two adult children; Chelsey, a social worker in Oshawa, and Thomas, a Toronto-based stage actor.