"I've been engrossed with creating art since I was ten
year's old - since I first decided that I would be an
artist. I've been obsessed by it in the years since, as
I've worked at it full time, and as the adage applies -
the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know".
- Ken Danby
1940 - 2007
TORONTO - Ken Danby, recognized as one of the world's
foremost realist artists and best-known in Canada for his
iconic hockey painting, "At The Crease," has died at the age
of 67 while canoeing in Algonquin Park on Sunday, September
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my watercolours are completed within a few days or weeks
at most. This one became something special, so I kept it
available for an occasional fresh look over six months,
and just picked away at it now and then. I’m glad I did.
The model is our granddaughter, Cheyne Reid, and the
setting is at the end of our millrace, where it joins
the river. The title for this work is self-evident and
yet it also reflects a certain ironic twist, which
tickles my fancy. Cheyne was born in London England (in
1987), and began her life with her parents, Julie and
Don, in residence on a famous London street named
just graduated from University the year this edition was
"The idea for this painting resulted from my return to playing
recreational hockey, after not doing so for a few years in the
mid sixties. During that time away from the game, the mask had
become a part of the goalie's equipment. After an afternoon's
scrimmage on the river ice, I kept recalling my experience of
being confronted by the young net minder wearing a mask. It was
an image that gradually intensified in my mind over the
following three years until I finally had to explore it, and
recruited a goalie to pose. The painting was never intended to
represent a particular player but simply the personification of
Ken Danby's "At the Crease", one of
the most famous and iconic images of sport, has now been republished
in a new state-of-the-art reproduction print. Rather than simply
reprinting from the previous proofs, this new edition has been
created from the original painting for the first time since it was
originally published 33 years ago. Utilizing the latest print
technology under the artists' personal supervision, the resulting
prints represent an amazing testimony to the richness and fidelity
of this renowned work of art.
To order or info call
Danby is one of only a few contemporary artists who have created
paintings that make the transition from artwork to cultural
icon. While the popularity of his work and his contributions to
the arts make him a celebrity in Canada, it is his outstanding
timeless images that have earned him international recognition
as one of the foremost realist artists.
Many public institutions hold Ken Danby's originals in their
collections, including The Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn
Museum in New York, The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa,
The Art Institute of Chicago, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts,
Oklahoma Art Centre, Vancouver Art Gallery, University of
California Art Gallery, City of Jerusalem, Israel and the
Bradford City Art Gallery in England.
For more than forty years Ken Danby has been devoted to
creating art inspired by his personal experiences. Periodically
it has included hockey, reflecting his life-long love of the
game both on and off the ice. The works illustrated below
represent some of his most well-known hockey images. When At the
Crease, possibly his most famous painting, began its tour of the
U.S.A. in 1981 at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington,
Danby was a special guest of President Ronald Reagan at the
Ken Danby has been acquainted with Wayne for many years. As a
special celebrity guest at the 1984 NHL Awards Dinner, Ken
presented Wayne with the Hart Trophy.
The artist and his historic mill home
and studio buildings
At The Crease
THE GREAT FAREWELL
The Great Farewell is destined to become the
symbol of a Great hockey era. The limited edition print
and book are certain to be ranked among the top
collectibles of our time.
Bobby Orr - Garden Of Dreams
click on the image
The Conestoga River winds through the village of
Hawkesville, about a half-hour's drive from my studio. On a brisk January
afternoon, I drove across the bridge upriver, and noticed a group of boys
playing hockey on the ice below. I stopped and walked back to watch. Within
seconds, I spotted a couple of horses and buggies parked on the adjacent
field and realized that these were Mennonite boys. But, if I hadn't noticed
their mode of transportation, I wouldn't have known.
- Ken Danby
Limited Edition Giclée on paper
Handsigned by the artist
" I began with the unique concept of Bobby on
the ice - in repose. After all, he retired from the game years ago. I also
wanted to include the image of his famous 1970 Stanley Cup winning goal in
overtime. The challenge was in combining these two images, but I was able to
do it by setting the painting in historic Boston Garden where Bobby scored
that famous goal and where he posed for me, on the ice. I think it works
well. It was certainly a memorable experience, and I'm pleased that this
portrait offered me an opportunity to honour an old friend - one of the
great legends of hockey."
— Ken Danby
Limited Edition Giclée on paper
Hand signed by
" In late summer, the shadows lengthen
dramatically at the end of the day. Just before sunset the light can appear
to fuse within the air itself, casting a soft hazy glow over its reach. It's
a moment of calm and reflection, when one's thoughts tend to travel well
beyond the present."
" This study has an energy and spontaneity that
is more apparent than in the completed painting. It was the mask that first
intrigued me, not just this particular one, but the whole experience of
skating in on a goalie wearing a mask, which wasn't part of the game when I
played as a youth. Years later, this study still remains a vibrant reminder
of my original inspiration."
" With this painting I was focusing on
space, light and reflection to create a kind of pause in time. The quiet
repose of the model required no more than the simplicity of the rolling
waves breaking along the sand to convey a feeling of timeless solitude. The
idea for this painting was conceived on a beach in Bali. "
" I'd been doing some sketches of this old
popcorn machine at the local market, during the week. When I returned to it
early Saturday morning, I encountered the young attendant. She was basking
in the warmth of the freshly popped corn and seemed dreamily lost in
thought, obviously reflecting the early hour. At that moment, I knew that I
had my subject."
" It's difficult to portray the sheer enormity
of the ocean in a painting. I tried to capture something of this in
'Breakers' through the scale and perspective of the work. The figures kept
getting smaller as the painting progressed. This setting is on the east
coast of Barbados."
" Gillian and I were staying with friends at
their residence in Acapulco. Each day, we'd enjoy a little 'pool time', of
course. I became intrigued with the geometry created by the figure together
with the shadow from the diving board, as well as the luminosity of the
water. The sensuality of a tranquil moment in the sun combined with the
visual symmetry to inspire this work."
'Trail 2000' was an exciting event that I was
thrilled to respond to with my work. My challenge in creating this image
involved combining the high drama and action of range-running horses with
the grandeur of the Alberta ranchlands. And I'm delighted to have
participated in a project that simultaneously benefits so many worthy groups
the Calgary Stampede, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rotary
Clubs of Calgary and the many people of Calgary who support their admirable
" Each day, after their workout, the horse and
groom would come to the beach to cool off. I was enthralled by the
experience of being right there in the water with them. In the heat of the
afternoon the sea offered a great calming effect on the horse, and
ultimately provided me with a fascinating subject."
"High on a cliff overlooking the water, enjoying
the sun and a morning coffee, my wife, Gillian, was absorbed by a sailboat
approaching in the distance. The intricate play of light and shadow on her
back complimented the absolute serenity of the setting."
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