My dad the artist

When mom and dad moved into their condo earlier this year we had to find a new home for some of dad’s artwork. Jeff relocated the model of the Moai statue dad had created to his home where it now sits happily in the garden. He recently sent me a photo of how well it’s grown with moss and weathering. Seeing the art made me wonder about how it came to be, so I asked him for this story.




Alex had a 4m high Easter Island head outside his Don Mills store; we needed a travel theme for our first store, that’s where the conceptual idea came from. I made a form out of wood, stapled galvanized mesh to it, and pushed concrete into the mesh to form the head. Over that I added topping cement with rock salt. When the cement set, the rock salt came out, leaving an interesting surface.

When the store moved from Broadway to Granville, the Easter Island theme retired and Egypt replaced it.

The Head came home, where we sprayed ground up moss and yogurt on it, and the moss grew. Jeff took it to his condo and helped the moss grow to its present state.

With rainy winters, a work shop, and an understanding Barbara, the Egypt theme developed, with pillars, Bastet the Cat, and the Pharaoh, all made of Styrofoam, coated with sprayed plaster and paint. Andrew L. volunteered to keep the Egypt pieces once the store moved to Broadway.

Other projects included the Rocking Unicorn, inspired by Nikki’s Jobies mascot, wood carving and abstract painting, and with Barbara, in our young and foolish days, a three-year project 28foot cabin cruiser.

John Tilley

One response to “My dad the artist”

  1. Craig McInnes says:

    Great to see this. I love your creativity and energy to carry through on these true works of art.

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