Featured Artist Wesley Lowe

Canadian artist Wesley Lowe tells stories through his detailed oil paintings of landscapes, figurative and historical scenes. More of his work may be seen by visiting his website.


oil painting of ships loading tea at Foochow Harbour by Wesley Lowe

“Loading Tea at Foochow Harbour” oil on canvas, 36” x 24”


I have always had a passion for art and have been creating art long before my early teens, though I’m sure that my earlier work showed little skill. My early period artwork consisted of drawings and a few paintings. At the age of nineteen, I enrolled in a graphic arts program. By the end of the second year, I had assembled a portfolio.


oil painting of Chester by Wesley Lowe

“Chester” oil on canvas, 30” x 24”


I was now ready to begin applying for positions in design studios around my home city of Toronto, Canada. It took me about six months to land a junior position and another two years to hone my skills as a designer. All this time, I continued to draw and paint as it was my first love.


oil painting of a woman reading at an outdoor cafe by Wesley Lowe

“Woman Reading” oil on canvas, 16” x 24”


The studio I worked for subscribed to some great graphic arts magazines. I would go through them looking for the section on illustration. This period in my career was such an eye opener. I began seeing great artwork used for ads, packaging and magazine articles. It raised the bar of what good artwork should look like, and what I needed to accomplish in my work.


oil painting of Boston's T Wharf by Wesley Lowe

“Boston T Wharf” oil on canvas, 30” x 22”


Around the same time, I learned of an evening course being offered at the Ontario College of Art. It was taught by a top professional illustrator named Will Davies. Enrolling in this course was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It helped to further my art career in the direction I loved.


oil painting of ships unloading their catch by Wesley Lowe

“Unloading the Catch” oil on canvas, 22” x 30”


Over the next four years, I worked at developing my artistic skills every free moment I had. The design firm recognized my abilities as an artist and began receiving illustration projects, which they assigned to me. Sometimes I had to work on these on my own time.


oil painting of a pond with water lilies by Wesley Lowe

“Tranquility” oil on canvas, 16” x 12”


After nearly eight years working for a design studio, I felt I was prepared to give up the steady pay cheque for the world of freelance illustration. Work came in slowly in the beginning, but picked up by the second year and increased further with interesting projects from my new rep in New York.


oil painting of LeHave Trading Company by Wesley Lowe

“LeHave Trading Company” oil on canvas, 36” x 24”


It was during my career as an illustrator that I saw my biggest growth as an artist. I learned to work under deadlines and manage my time effectively. Finally, I chose to turn my attention away from freelance illustration, and now I paint for myself full-time. What I learned and the approach I used has had a strong influence on how I approach my own work now.


oil painting of Lunenburg by Wesley Lowe

“Lunenburg” oil on canvas, 36” x 24”


I have a collection of good art books and study them to continue my growth as an artist. My choices for subjects to paint are wide and varied—from people and landscapes to historical subjects.


oil painting of planes over the Somme by Wesley Lowe

“Over the Somme” oil on canvas, 30” x 24”


My chosen medium is traditional oil paint on canvas that I stretch and prime myself. I love the versatility of this paint, as there is so much I can do with it, from washes to impasto effects and anywhere in between.


photo of artist Wesley Lowe at work on his painting "French Cafe"

Artist Wesley Lowe at work on “French Café” oil on canvas, 24” x 28”


I’m now experimenting with my chosen subject matter to connect events or a story to the painting. It is a form of visual storytelling. I wish to lead the viewer’s eye with visual clues. Hopefully, they will experience a connection with what attracted me to the subject and they too will experience joy or delight.


Artist Wesley Lowe invites you to follow him on Facebook.


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