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Welland's Murals:
13. Upbound at Midnight

About the Mural
Upbound at Midnight by Ross Beard, Welland, Ontario. Painted in 1988 at 228 East Main Street (The Tribune Building), 30' x 10'. Using various shades of blue, this night scene features lights reflecting softly on the water as a ship proceeds south, at Mile 19, along the Welland Canal. The bridges and lights of Port Colborne can be seen in the distance.

As the scene demanded attention to lighting detail, Beard decided to paint it in bright sunlight, the harshest light. "It's a little harder on you, but it's worth it - you get things looking right in this type of light. If it looks good in sunlight, it will look good in any light," he explained.

The Artist's Interpretation
"The romantic scene illustrates a nocturnal view of the current Welland Canal from Welland's most southerly point. The freighter 'Erindale' peacefully slips along to the waiting locks in Port Colborne and on to Lake Erie. The scene is from 1975. This mural was the first one completed for the Festival of Arts. Hot! Hot! Hot! The wall faced south and phew: we were hot!"

Your Virtual Guide's Comments
This is a beautiful example of what might be called "painterly realism." While not impressionism, the scene has added touches by the painter that elevates it beyond photographic realism. The result is a painting that captures the mystery and serene beauty of "ships that pass in the night." 

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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