I used to say that I was a self-taught artist. I think it is more accurate to say that my development as an artist has been self-directed, though strongly influenced by many people along the way. My father, Clare Bice, has always been the most important, not only through his technique but also through his attitudes to painting and to the arts in general. I have learned, as well, from every artist that I have met. Historically, my influences range from Giotto, to the Impressionists and the Group of Seven, to Robert Rauschenberg and J. S. Sargent , to photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Alfred Stieglitz, to Canadians like Mary Pratt and David Milne. Finally, an important factor in my growth as an artist has been my students who influenced me during my teaching career for more than thirty years.
Media, Subject Matter and Teaching
I work in oil paint, charcoal, india ink, soft pastel and watercolour. In terms of subject matter, I am interested in anything that connects people to their environment and to their history. I am more interested in the ordinary than in those things which we are generally considered “important” or “significant”. My choice of medium and my approach are determined by the subject matter. I work both outdoors on location and in my studio. I have travelled and painted in France (Normandy, Brittany, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, Paris and Provence), Northern Ireland and Donegal and, as always, Italy with particular recent emphasis on the Veneto (Verona and Venice), Tuscany (Montevarchi, Chianti, Cortona, Florence), Rome and Italy’s northwest.
Although I love travelling and sketching, I often find my most compelling subject matter close to home. The Thames River near my home and, in particular, the historic Blackfriars Bridge have drawn me back many times.
I run workshops for art groups in idea development. For the last thirty years, I have been leading art history and painting tours to France (Provence and Bordeaux) and Italy (Umbria, Abruzzo, Tuscany, the Veneto and the Amalfi Coast.)
Collections and Exhibitions :
My work can be found in the collection of the McIntosh Gallery (U.W.O.), in various corporate and private collections in Canada, the U.S.A. and Europe. For for more than 25 years, I have participated in an annual studio tour which I co-founded.
Studio and Location Painting :
I work in my studio at home in London. I have also worked outdoors on location across Canada, as well as in the U.S., Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Austria, Italy and Spain. Favourite Canadian locations include, Lake O’Hara and Galliano Island ( British Columbia ), Muskoka and the Sault Ste. Marie area ( Ontario ), the St. Lawrence North and South Shore ( Quebec), the New Brunswick south west and northeast, Lunenburg ( Nova Scotia ) and the Avalon Peninsula, Change Islands and Gros Morne (Newfoundland). I have for 35 years been drawn back again and again to Italy for its colour, textures and – I have to admit – for the food. As a tour guide, I have taken groups many times to Italy.