An animal lover who draws both wild and domestic critters in exclusively black and white is showcasing his artwork at the Rollin Art Centre now until July 29.
Artist Don Bergen said he’s always been a bit of a doodler but it was only about four years ago when he quit smoking that his drawing became an everyday hobby.
Focusing mainly on animals because “they don’t talk back and don’t complain,” Bergen will have close to 40 black and white pencil sketches on display during his exhibit.
Bergen uses his passion for animals as an inspiration to give back to those in need. Ten per cent of all proceeds during the first two weeks of the exhibit from any personal pet portraits that Bergen draws, and another 10 per cent from any art sold in the last week will go to the S.P.C.A.
“I hope it’s a success because I’d like to see more donations to the S.P.C.A.,” Bergen said.
Drawing with pencil almost every night in his home office, Bergen looks at pictures online of all types of animals from bears to monkeys to eagles as a reference for his sketches. He said larger pictures can take up to 30 or 40 hours to complete and he’s always looking for new challenges.
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“I’ve got to look for something new and exciting to draw or else it would be boring… I’ll have a couple projects at one time,” he said.
Bergen’s wife, Joyce, said art runs in his family tree and that his mother was a talented painter.
“He just does it to entertain himself,” Joyce said. “His mother did that too all the time, she would watch TV and sketch. Actually the whole family are artists pretty well. His one brother did beautiful paintings of cars and the other one did his art in copper work.”
It was a trip to Walmart and a run in with Crystal Crossman from the Rollin Art Centre who encouraged Bergen to bring his artwork to Rollin for the art administrators to check out.
Bergen said once they saw his art they asked him to be the next artist to hold an exhibit at the centre.
“I hope it goes well because if I sell anything I know I’ll be helping the S.P.C.A. and I really want to do that,” Bergen said.