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The Four C's of Wayne Westfall

By: the Jaywalker Gadabout

Long before Jaywalker was even a twinkle in the eyes of founders Tony West and Jonathan VanHaaften, a wheeliferous southpaw could be found at Kingston street corners sketching the moments with an eye-catching determination. I wanted to stop and strike up a conversation with him many times, but did not wish to be interloper to the intimate transaction between subject and page.

Years passed by, as did I, always finding that nameless fellow busy, or en route. Then one day, while dropping by the Wellington Boutique for my regular artistic dim sum, I was directed to some recently acquired prints by a local artist. The first of many numbered cards, appropriately number one was of a person in a pose I've come to recognize at some distance - the artist I now know as Wayne Westfall (self-portrait, cover).

At long last, I could actually see the pieces he was working on all those many times. The intersections and coffee shops, the waterfront, the parks. I bought the self-portrait  without  haste; it will grace the office walls when frame finally meets painting. The rich blue in the image would bring to mind the first of the four "C's" of Wayne Westfall - Colour. As I perused the other prints, bright, lively colours leapt from the page, carrying with them a spirituous, positive attitude.  

In little time, we'd arranged to meet at his home studio in a bright, airy apartment attached to a century-old farmhouse in Kingston's "fruit-belt", named for its intersection of Cherry and Plum streets. (Under this nomenclature, however, it would better be named the "fruit-and-nut belt", since Chestnut Street also puts in a small appearance).

Inviting me in with a warm smile and handshake, it was quick work to connect him to the many images I'd found at the Wellington Boutique. Wayne's pleasant demeanor is seen in every stroke of his pen, a caress of the page as much as of the subject. As we entered, an inside-out view of the world unfolded: while a panoramic window framed the calm backyard, a variety of active outdoor scenes lifted from the walls inside. No mistaking it, this former mountain climber clearly loves being outdoors.

"Comfort", the second "C" of Wayne Westfall, appeared all around me. From the fireplace and its soothing heat (that seemed to draw Wayne in like a moth), through to the watercolour of a man enjoying his coffee and newspaper on the patio of Buka's. Comfort appeared vital to Wayne, with serenity and warmth universal to his works, all the way from brushstroke to colour.  

As I took a better look at the paintings individually, I was pleased to be reminded of last month's issue of Jaywalker, which mentioned the importance of interaction in Rembrandt's works. Wayne's self portrait on  this month's front cover delivers the strong and sensitive bond between Wayne and his painting. This sensitive bond, Compassion - the third "C" - shows in Wayne's portrayal of his subjects. Hard lines are rare, and subjects go unjudged, a theme appropriate for this counselor-come-artist.

Finally, one may find Wayne's fourth "C" just below the surface of each artwork. Whether a painting of a family entering church together, or a man reading his newspaper, or Wayne himself working, there is an inescapable sense of Companionship. In nearly every painting, and in many of his hundreds of sketches, you will find some form of inseparable pair. This aspect fittingly reminds me of Wayne and his work, as it took me several years to find these two separated!


Wayne Westfall is developing his

"Art On Wheels" website.


Back to Jaywalker December 2003

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