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Winnipeg-trained artist live-painting the Canada Summer Games

Capturing sports is often the exclusive domain of high-speed cameras with long lenses, but the 2017 Canada Summer Games will be recorded in paint.

Energy, pressure and raw emotion are intangible aspects of high stakes live sporting events that one artist will craftily capture by live painting scenes of the Canada Summer Games.

“Each one (painting) will have the flavour of the sport,” said Artist Peter Farmer. “Taking in the atmosphere, the crowd, the buildings, and of course, the athletes.”

The Welsh artist graduated from Red River College’s Graphic Design program and has since found international success, with work appearing in Panama, Costa Rica, and dozens of live paintings completed across Canada.

His four paintings, commissioned by National Leasing, will be auctioned off at the games’ VIP closing ceremonies on August 13 in support of KidSport Manitoba, a non-profit that supports young athletes.

Asked to describe the challenges of live painting, Farmer explained “you have to do as much research as you can before you start, but you kind of have to work on the fly and invent as you go.”

Farmer goes into each live painting with an idea in mind for each piece already, but he said taking in the atmosphere on game day will bring it to life.

For those who have never seen a live painting before, don’t expect a song and dance to accompany the process—Farmer promises only to “try and get out of the way” every once in a while to give people a better look.

Spectators will have about a two-hour window to catch him in the act, but Farmer said he plans to stick around afterwards to talk with people, mostly to share the message behind his painting.

At that time, art aficionados may recognize elements of “fauvism,” a style of painting described by the Metropolitan Museum as featuring “bold, undistinguished brushstrokes and high-keyed vibrant colours directly from the tube.”

Farmer personally describes his style as “futurist fauvism,” something he says is well suited to capturing sports because “it will convey this dynamic effort of sport but also it has the emotion that goes with the spectacle of the games.”

Through his painting, Farmer hopes to “preserve the pride and the energy that goes into these sports.”




Monday, July 31

Canada Games Sport for Life Centre

2 p.m.


Tuesday, August 1

University Stadium

1 p.m.


Tuesday, August 8

Pan Am Pool

6 p.m.

Closing Ceremony VIP Reception

Sunday, August 13

Pinnacle Club at Investors Group Field

12 p.m.

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