February 7, 2020:
The painting has been packed and on its way to its home in Conestoga, Ontario. Another journey of rediscovery, ever guided by the totem.
February 5, 2020:
Kwagiutl Ancestor Tattoo Totem Detail 2020
By Andre J. Prevost
Acrylic on exhibition canvas 24” x 36” x 1.5”
From a Kwagiutl House Post from Quatsino Sound, BC. ,UBC MOA
Carved by Kwakwaka'wakw artist Siwis (George Nelson) around 1906.
January 31, 2020:
It has been a long haul, between life and tackling a complex totem. But I am pleased to say that I will be completed this painting tomorrow and varnishing it at the end of the day.
My son is on standby for taking pictures of it on Sunday.
December 19, 2019:
The latest report on the Ancestor.
There have been a few delays along the way but there has been some progress in any case. I am using a different brand of paint seeing that the one which I had been using, has been discontinued. Along with changing a brand, comes the variations in how colours mix depending on the new paint formulas.
The other factor is the reality of aging, and how you just can't push like when you were younger. The recovery period from a long stretch of commission work and deadlines... the body was saying "Hold on. I need to rest!"
So with the commissioner happy with the progress to date, and Christmas upon us, I can focus on very simple Christmas for my son and I, doing the essential baking of a Tourtiere and a batch of soft gingerbread cookies.
I have a few other icon commissions in the works but my contact who does the specialty cutting for the panels, is recovering from surgery. So it'll be in the New Year when I can proceed with those. The challenge is always the home budget.
November 18, 2019:
Needless to say, I was very fortunate to have two major icon commissions come up as I completed the St. Juan Diego icon: a year's worth of work (and income to help on the home front). So the totems paintings which I had started, were stored in a large packing mirror box for later. *see picture under July 2018.
It is now November 2019, and I get to post another journal entry here given that the past year has been all about icon commissions (see those journal entries).
Having completed the 2 major commissions, and while waiting for funding on the next icon commission to be completed, I was commissioned to paint another KWAGIUTL ANCESTOR TOTEM from the Journeying series. But this one will have more of the image as it will be on a 24x36 canvas instead of 18x36.
It's off to a bit of a slower start as I get back on the bike after over a year. It gradually comes back as I go and rediscover the technique(s) that I had developed over a few years.
In addition to the Ancestor commission, I received word that someone had been inquiring whether I was still painting the Journeying series, being especially interested in the Tlingit Wolf painting. So I drafted another 24x36 canvas and began base coating the undertones for it.
It actually helps having two paintings going, as one informs the other as I move along
Following JD Stevenson Gallery's 2nd Anniversary celebration and reception last Saturday (July 21st), even though I am nearing completion of the St. Juan Diego icon, I first needed to select the next 2 close-up facets, that fit the canvases that I had: one 24"x36"x1.5" and one 12"x36"x1.5". As with all of the series, I leave to the images that call out the loudest. My son had mentioned how he liked the Grizzly Bear Father, which would suit the 24"x36", and there was a complex facet of a museum totem that had the strength for the smaller 12"x36". The drafting and initial blocking in of base under colours always take a few days. I've got them developed enough that I can return to the icon, expecting to complete it in the next day or so. (you can see the separate journal for the icon at
I will update this journal for the two paintings, including the background information for the original totems.
Andre Prevost, began his work in theatre in the late 70s after completing his studies at the Banff School of Fine Arts, and in his iconography in 1980, and having a large body of work in each. He has since been based in Western Canada; North Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and now back on the West Coast.