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Gallery 8 Saltspring Island


Monday - Saturday 10am to 5pm
Sundays & Holidays 11am to 4pm

David Goatley, SFCA


David Goatley, SFCA is widely recognized as one of North America’s leading portrait painters. Originally trained in London, England, where he was born, David has completed over 300 portrait commissions all across the continent since arriving here with his family in 1992.

His portraits of Prime Minister Kim Campbell and Speaker Gilbert Parent hang on Parliament Hill, Lt Governors Iona Campagnolo and James Dunsmuir were painted for Government House, his work is in private and corporate collections across Canada and in 21 US states.

His subjects have included official portraits of Prime Minister, The Right Hon. Kim Campbell and Speaker, The Hon. Gilbert Parent for Canada’s House of Commons; The Honourable Steven L. Point, Iona Campagnolo, and James Dunsmuir, Lt. Governors of BC; Premier Gordon Campbell; the Presidents of the Universities of Alberta and Trent, and the Chancellors of Simon Frazer University and the Universities of Victoria and Saskatchewan; philanthropists Michael Degroote, Eric Charman and Jeneece Edroff; business leaders such as Peter DeVaux, former Chairman of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and others making a difference in the fields of commerce and education.

Other sitters have included leading figures in the arts – the painters Robert Bateman and Ted Harrison, internationally acclaimed Tenor Richard Margison, Soprano Valerie Gonzalez, the actor Colin Skinner, dance impresario Constance Darling, Opera Maestro Timothy Vernon, composer Paul Cantelon and the British writer Hanif Kureishi.

Bateman described him as “A truly fine painter in the Sargent style who works with confidence and grace and a true respect for the quality of the paint”

On painting, David says:

” When I think about what I do, every portrait seems like a fresh journey, a voyage of discovery, as I am privileged to explore the uniqueness of others. Portraits have absolutely nothing to do with vanity and everything to do with the value of each and every one of us. Dr. Johnson said: ‘ portrait painting is a reasonable and natural consequence of affection’
I can only agree – and who is not worthy of being recorded in that spirit? ”

Goatley has also painted several large scale works for churches, private homes and public spaces, including the mural ‘Letters from the Front’ on the Post Office in Chemainus, Canada’s world-famous mural town.

Although a busy portrait schedule has limited his time for a gallery career, David has been fortunate to be able to travel fairly widely. He finds the architecture and scenery of different countries is always stimulating but its the people and how they live he is drawn to paint; these pictures make up most of his subjects for galleries.

David’s Solo exhibitions have included ‘Stagestruck’ a series about the backstage world of theatre music and dance, ‘Into the light’ an exploration of contemporary Christian themes, Oil and Water’ an exhibition of portraits and other works, ‘A journey to India’ his response to travels there and ‘My London’ a celebration of his original home. He has been a prize winning participant in many group shows and events.

David was a founding member of the Canadian Institute of Portrait Artists and was elected a senior signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists in 2002.,and awarded their prestigious Early Achievement Award for gaining international recognition in a relatively short time. He is proud to be a ‘Painter at Painters’ and a member of Oil Painters of America.

David teaches many classes and workshops throughout the year, in BC, and for Summer Schools and Art Societies across the country and in the US.

On art, David offers this thought:

” When civilizations collapse, when Empires are gone and the speeches and those who made them are footnotes and the politics are a memory, what is left behind is the art that gave those cultures their identity. Art matters. It is all those who will follow us will have of who we were. “

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