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Meet the Artist




I grew up in Toronto’s east end in a “Happy Days” setting of the 50's and 60's.  I attended Danforth Technical Institute in Toronto, Ontario where I specialized in welding and drafting. I enjoyed all of the varied subjects throughout high school and found that this technical training would help me significantly, later in life. I developed the ability to figure things out quickly and I could look at a painting and immediately analyse how it was executed.

When I graduated from Danforth Tech., I was offered a job with a Trust Company in downtown Toronto as a draftsman. Drafting would be a force throughout my life but I haven’t picked up a welding torch since my school days.

After working as a draftsman for a few years, I decided that I needed some adventure in my life.  I put in an application to the City of North York and the City of Toronto to be trained as a fire fighter and to my surprise I was in the training program within the month. What a thrill, eating smoke and playing with water hoses.  It reminded me of when I was a kid building fires in the backyard and squirting them with a water pistol.


After 12 years I decided that the romance of the fire service was not nurturing my creativity so I quit my fire fighting career and moved to Edmonton, Alberta.  I started my own business creating model representations of buildings and architectural complexes.  Back to my drafting roots as such!  An Architect client asked me if I could supply him with an artist’s concept of a building so of course I took up the challenge and that was the start of my watercolour career.  I absolutely loved the medium and was hooked

  the back lane

When I returned to Toronto in 1983, I spent all of my time painting.  My love for the architectural aspect was definitely apparent. I attended art classes atCentral Technical Institute in Toronto where I met a great teacher who forced me to use painting techniques in the proper way.  I am sorry that I have forgotten his name as I owe him a great deal. 

My art career started in Toronto in the early 1980’s, painting Toronto street scenes and old houses and exhibiting my work at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition at Toronto City Hall. I am fortunate to have three of my earlier paintings on display as part of the City of Toronto’s Market Gallery Archive Art Collection. If you click here, one of my paintings is at the top left of their page. The painting below used to hang behind the clerk's counter on the main floor of Toronto City Hall.

marham st

In the mid 1980’s I made the decision to move to Muskoka as a full time artist and become a member of Muskoka’s art community. I began combining my unique styles, the use of strong colour and high detail with my architectural drafting background. The result is highly detailed and vibrant landscape paintings, portraits of cottages and antique boats.

Over the past 20 years I have become well known for my historical Muskoka paintings, landscapes and Muskoka scenes. With numerous awards and over 25 limited edition prints to my credit, I have become one of Muskoka’s premier artists.

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Joel Rendall & John Murden
& Updated by John Murden

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