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Welland's Murals:
1. Towpaths

About the Mural
Towpaths by Ross Beard, Welland, Ontario. Painted in 1989, at 1030 Niagara Street North (Casa Del Toro Inn), 28' by 34'. The first mural on the Festival of Arts Tour is, fittingly, by local artist Ross Beard. The scene dates from the mid-1800s and portrays the J.G. Worth sailing vessel being pulled through the old Welland Canal by a horse on the towpath.

The Artist's Interpretation
"The scene is rustic and pensive in concept, describing the rural landscape and how the canal is integrated into it. The towpath was used by horse and mule to haul the 'canaler' through the waterway to Lakes Erie and Ontario. The mural was done virtually free-hand, using some gridwork to keep scale and perspective."

Your Virtual Guide's Comments
The painting manages to capture the serenity of the passage of a sailing vessel at dusk. The melding of the sky in the mural with the actual sky above tends to blur the line between artistic reproduction and the real world. This draws us into the scene where we can become part of the peaceful landscape. With neither helmsman on the boat, nor driver for the horse, we experience the essence of the scene, undistracted by human activity. This picture is one of utter tranquility.

About the Artist: Ross Beard, Welland, Ontario
Ross Beard is a well-known local landscape artist who attended Sheridan College of Art. He has been painting professionally for more than 24 years. His passion for painting and drawing goes back to his childhood. He concentrates on creating panoramic scenes that draw the viewers into the paintings. HIs work is refreshingly unique, blending earthy Welland landscapes with his own ethereal symbolism. Ross often bases his paintings on a feeling, triggered by a song or a memory. He will recall a scene or landscape that reflects the feeling and paint it. He likes to use blue and dark hues to "give an easy-on-the-eyes feeling."

Beard is a talented and energetic artist whose brilliant use of colours and painstaking attention to detail have earned him high honours every time he sets to work.

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The Welland Murals site is supported by the Black Lantern Experience.