The early 80s brought me some early recognition from two noteworthy people: the magic Realist painter and author Rudy de Renya and Kenneth Heffel, a charismatic and famous Canadian art dealer in Vancouver.
After mentoring with de Renya for a year I was advised to seek out the best art gallery in my area and show them my work. Being young and somewhat fearless, I asked around and kept hearing the Heffel name so I made an appointment. The Heffel Gallery was, of course, back then very prestigious. Now, it is considered Canada’s leading fine art gallery (for some amazing Canadian art here’s a link to the Heffel Gallery).
I headed down with my wife Sara and five of my best works in our 1967 Ford Falcon. Does not sound like a recipe for success, except for the young and fearless. The Heffel Gallery was definitely upscale. It was a heritage building with all the trimmings: plush leather seats that looked out on the icons of Canadian landscape paintings works by Jackson, Varley, Milne, and Thomson, all of them in quiet rooms or under soft light.
The interview began with the sales managers and the five works were brought out for scrutiny. They were very pleased. In the end, three works were consigned to be sold. Then we were introduced to Kenneth Heffel. His heartwarming smile and sincere handshake sealed the deal.
Image: Landscape by Ron Mulvey