50 years as an artist

Artist George Hogg hosts show at his home studio in Kimberley this weekend

Artist George Hogg with painting number 1

Artist George Hogg with painting number 1

Kimberley’s George Hogg has been painting professionally for 50 years, and this weekend will open his home studio at 554 Church Street for an art show and sale.

He has amassed an incredible catalogue of works, mainly with Western themes, over the course of his career.

Hogg’s work sells steadily at galleries throughout Canada and the U.S., even overseas, but he has never had the desire to leave the Kootenays.

“I have had gallery owners ask me, ‘why don’t you move closer to the are scene, like Vancouver?,” Hogg said. “But I love the Kootenays. I love the mountains, the animals. I love Vancouver but not as a subject to paint.

“Most of my paintings are from here to Jasper to the Alberta border. That’s my land and I love it.”

Hogg does occasionally paint other settings, such as Mexico or Arizona when he and wife Isobel travel, but he mostly paints what he knows and what he knows is the natural environment of the Kootenays and Rockies.

And at age 83 — 84 next month — he is not slowing down.

“I’ve got to paint. I’ve just got to. There is so much in my head I want to do. I still paint every day, but never on Sunday. And I never pain in July and August. That’s when I go out and hike the hills and get my material. After 50 years, I’m just trying to get better.”

Hogg has a record of every painting he’s ever done, all 1,640 of them. He has taken a photograph of every one of them and Isobel keeps them in a scrap book.

“I can look back at all 1,640 and I can see when my style changes, whether I’m improving.”

Isobel has been an integral part of George’s career since the beginning, he says.

“I go up and paint and she looks after sales, shipping to galleries, cutting matts for watercolours. If I had to do all that myself, I couldn’t have done it.  I am lucky to have a wife devoted to my work. She does a wonderful job.”