I was born in Vancouver, BC in1956. My childhood memories revolve around my father, W. Peter Klemm as he followed his artistic passions and dreams. This included supporting his family with his art and much like most artists who make this attempt we lived a nomadic existence and experienced many lean years. Art has always been a constant presence in my life. I grew up in homes that smelled of turpentine because my father always had a painting on the go while I spent many hours with pencil and paper in hand.
My father, who was my mentor, studied art at the Vancouver and the New Caledonia Schools of Art. He became quite successful and well known locally in Vancouver in the '60s. He was fascinated with Edgar Leeteg’s choice of painting on velvet rather than the traditional surface of canvas. He spent hundreds of hours developing his own style of realism with a method of painting on the velvet surface where the oil paint literally became part of the fabric, a gentler method than Leeteg’s heavy hand. After a few years the medium became gauche with badly executed boiler plate paintings of bullfighters and Elvis Presley being sold out of trucks in gas station parking lots. My father never fully recovered from this setback and virtually “hung up” his brushes.
I inherited my father’s passion for art and worked diligently to perfect my craft, in spite of his disillusionment. In his attempt to dissuade me from pursuing such a non-lucrative career, he was overly critical of my work, hoping I would give up but I persisted and continued to draw. He wouldn’t even let me try my hand at painting until I was 19 because “there is no point in using a brush if you can’t use a pencil properly”. With the help of my father’s critique of hundreds of pencil sketches I developed my own creative style.
In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s I became serious with painting on canvas and experimented with numerous genres including nudes, portraits, still life, surrealism and landscapes. Taking my father’s caution to heart, I studied Architectural/Structural/Civil design at VCC and moved to a more financially viable use of my skills by scribing maps and producing renderings of future dams for BC Hydro.
I left BC Hydro to pursue a business in graphic design at a time when Photoshop was still a programmer’s dream. I spent a number of years designing brochures, land development prospecti, and company logos and letterheads.
As I ventured deeper into my career I became involved with computers and mapping and moved into the field of Geographic Information Systems, or intelligent mapping. Commitments to my career and young family became my passion and painting became a pleasant diversion when time permitted.
With my children grown and embarking on their own adventures and my career moving to a close, I am picking up where I left off, a wiser man with a resurgent need to explore what is possible for me and my art.
InsideOUT Art Show and Charity Event
O Canada - Federation of Canadian Artists Juried Exhibition
Crossing Boundaries - Beauty of Canada Federation of Canadian Artists Juried Exhibition
Annual Semiahmoo Arts’ Member Exhibition
Vernon Arts Council
Steve Wilson's charity weekend