May he rest in peace!

Canadian painter Ken Danby dies at 67
Renowned artist Ken Danby, one of Canada’s foremost realist painters, has died at age 67.
Danby died Sunday while canoeing in Algonquin Park, according to Greg McKee, the manager of the Danby Studio in Guelph, Ont.
It’s believed Danby died of a heart attack, but the cause of death will not be known until an autopsy is completed, McKee said.
Danby is best known for his 1972 painting At the Crease, showing a masked hockey player. The egg tempera work hangs in reproduction in countless homes of Canadian hockey lovers.
Danby’s sports paintings are among his best-loved images, among them Lacing Up and Hockey Night in Canada, a tribute to 50 years of CBC coverage of the game.
His famous sports images include The Great Farewell, painted for Wayne Gretzky when he decided to retire from playing hockey.
In the 1980s, he prepared a series of watercolours on the Americas Cup and the Canadian athletes at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
‘Canada’s soul and spirit’
While many Canadians connect Danby with hockey images, he points out they make up only a dozen images in a long painting career.
“I still love the game,” he said in a 2002 interview. “I respond to it, so there’s that appeal. That there has been such a focus on them in Canada shows that I’ve tapped into something that has to do with Canada’s soul and spirit.”
He also has done portraits of Canadian icons such as singer Gordon Lightfoot and former prime minister Pierre Trudeau.
And he is renowned for his landscapes, including the 1997 painting Niagara. A retrospective at the Joseph Carrier Gallery in 2004 featured 60 paintings, many capturing Canadian scenes such as Lake Louise.
“I didn’t set out to try and do that,” he said in a 2007 interview with the Guelph Mercury. “I am Canadian Ö but I just respond to things I experience.”
Danby was born March 6, 1940, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and was interested in drawing from an early age.
He enrolled at the Ontario College of Art in 1958, but quit two years later because of the college’s emphasis on abstract art and spent the next three years working in art-related jobs while exploring various directions in his painting and drawing.
In 1963, he approached gallery owner Walter Moos of Toronto to review his work, a meeting that resulted in his first one-man show at Gallery Moos in 1964.
The show sold out and began a long dealer-artist relationship between Moos and Danby, though Moos is no longer exclusive dealer for Danby’s works.
Attention of collectors
Danby’s realism drew the attention of collectors and he has had sustained commercial success throughout his 43-year career.
Living and working on a sprawling 20-hectare retreat just outside Guelph, a place he called his “sanctuary,” Danby cared less about the sale of the work than the process of painting.
“The fulfilment of that painting is in its completion, not about where it goes. I don’t worry about them selling, I don’t worry about them finding a home,” Danby said.
He took five years to complete a two-metre image called Stampede, based on the annual Calgary rodeo.
“The work has to be given its fullest opportunity to be right. I often set pieces aside for months at a time, come back and see them with fresh eyes,” he said.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the Governor General of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the City of Jerusalem are among the institutions that own Danby works.
He also has been much sought after for commissions, painting both Gordie Howe and Tim Horton, and designing an Olympic coin for the Royal Mint in 1975.
Both his 1968 painting of Trudeau and his 1973 painting of Robert Stanfield graced the covers of Time magazine.
As a painter who combined realism with an abstract edge, Danby has been compared with Christopher Pratt.
But his subject matter wasn’t as rarefied. He painted a seedy room interior in 1971’s Motel, a youngster staring into space in Guelph Carousel and himself, hockey stick in hand, in the 1996 painting Kissing Bridge.
In 2005, a collection of his landscape paintings entitled Earth, Sky & Water showed at the Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in New York City.
Success “is very gratifying,” Danby said. “But that’s not the reason I do it. I don’t recycle a theme just because it has been popular. But it’s gratifying to be able to reach out to an audience. To have an audience is important to every artist.”
Danby was a member of the governing board of the Canada Council from 1985 to 1991, a trustee of the National Gallery of Canada from 1991 to 1995 and was awarded an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Laurentian University in 1997.
Danby was a member of both the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada.
He is survived by his wife, Gillian, and three sons.