Harvie Brydon: An Artist from Birth
by Jennifer Shea
Belleville-based Harvie Brydon was destined to be an artist. When he was born, his father contacted an expert in Kabalarian Philosophy about the baby’s birth path based on the date and time of his birth. The expert determined that the baby would be a creative and artistic person.
Brydon grew up with the understanding that he was creative and artistic, but he did not truly feel like an artist until he graduated from the Ontario College of Art after high school. “I guess after 4 years of art school, I felt I could do it on a whole different level than when I was a kid.”
After graduating, he had a full and varied career in the movie industry, publishing industry (as a book illustrator and designer), and arts industry (as an artist agent). He also owned a design firm and a publishing company. When he became a single father with two young boys, he realized that less time on the road for work was a necessity. He settled into a tenured professorship in advertising design and marketing communications at Loyalist College where he remained until retirement.
As a retiree, Brydon is busier than ever with his creative pursuits. He truly works at his art, whether writing, painting, sketching, or sculpting, every day. “When I go at it, I’m so focused. I don’t set goals for myself, other than I always want to be working. I start my day early and by 4 o’clock, I stop for wine.”
Brydon’s home is full of his work, and the works of other artists he admires. He is also a collector of a variety of items, most of which he picked up because they inspired him to create something. He keeps handwritten notes here and there with a word or a phrase he wants to write about. He has numerous rough sketches, but also completed artworks that he wants to further develop.
“Painting, sculpting, or writing – for me – is more about the process, the experimentation,” he says. “I’m always curious as to the somewhat metamorphic aspect of how painting or sculpture goes through stages of development and transformation, kind of evolving and revealing itself.”
Many of Brydon’s pieces are parts of a series. For example, his patrons’ series of portraits painted in acrylic feature individuals he considers patrons of the arts; behind-the-scenes influencers like Vincent van Gogh’s brother, Theo, who supported Vincent throughout his artistic career (before he was famous).
Brydon is a member of the Vancouver-based Federation of Canadian Artists and frequently displays his work in Vancouver art shows. His work appears in private collections around the world, primarily in the homes of people who know him, but he doesn’t create to make a living. His goal is to follow his inspiration and embrace the creative process … and he’s not finished learning. “I’ve always wanted to learn welding so I could do metal sculpture. I would love to. I’d have to build a space for it.”
It’s hard to know what’s next for Brydon, but you can be sure that whatever it is, he’ll put his heart and soul into it.
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