Born in Vancouver, B.C., in 1947, of Scottish ancestry, he started painting seriously in high school where an art teacher encouraged him toward a different way of looking at things. He then studied at the Vancouver School of Art Extension School (1967-70); Art Department, Langara College, B.C. (1971-72); Notre Dame University, B.C., for his B.F.A. (1975-1978).
He attended the Emma Lake Workshop in 1979 and the following year he moved with his wife Judy and family to Saskatoon because of the atmosphere in the artistic community of Saskatchewan. There he studied at the University of Saskatchewan for his M.F.A., writing his master's thesis on a personal account of the ways in which the Impressionist painters, Monet and Cezanne, influenced his work. He did his graduate research in London, Paris and New York City.
Describing his work in 1984, Sheila Robertson of the Star Phoenix noted, "Certainly Alexander's works are Impressionistic. Working outdoors, or from sparse sketches and photos in his studio, he applies paint quickly and directly. Details are suggested rather than defined, and he has a horror of overworking a painting, preferring spontaneity. Alexander's large, loose brush strokes, rich autumn colors and this impressionistic approach make energetic paintings. They convey movement and excitement; even the water surfaces appear choppy rather than serene."
In 1992 Christopher Hume, the Toronto Star art critic, noted, "Alexander's latest collection consists of large acrylics and small watercolors whose starting points are the mountains, forests and lakes of western Canada. But where the tourist sees only blue, gray and green, Alexander finds yellows, pinks, purples, oranges and reds. Skies become an occasion for riotous abstract cadenzas: this guy sure knows how to paint. The exhibition is an unapologetic display of sensuousness, and beauty for its own sake. These works are for people who really like painting, who can't kick the habit despite having had to keep it secret for years."
Resides in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
-Colin S. Macdonald, Dictionary of Canadian Artists
Awards and Accomplishments
His awards and grants include:
City of Nelson, B.C. (1976)
Notre Dame Univ. (1978)
Univ. Saskatchewan, Saskatoon (1980-82)
Canada Council (1981)
Saskatchewan Arts Board Individual Assistance (1982)
Saskatchewan Open Competition, Mendel A.G. purchase prize (1982)
Saskatchewan Arts Board: grant (1984)
drawing trip to High Arctic (1988)
drawing trip to Scotland (1990).
Recent Exhibitions and Shows
His solo shows include:
Notre Dame Univ., Nelson, B.C. (1978)
Burnaby Art Gal., Burnaby (1979)
David Thompson Univ., Nelson, B.C. (1979)
Worthington Art Gal., Nelson (1979)
Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Van., B.C. (1980)
Art Placement, Saskatoon (1982) (1984) (1986) (1990)
Virginia Christopher Art Gal., Calg. (1982) (1991)
Kenneth Heffel Art Gal., Van. (1993) (1985) (1987) (1989)
Elea London Art Gal., Mtl. (1983) (1994) (1986) (1988)
Dunlop (Public) Art Gal., Regina (1983)
Waddington & Shiell Gal., Tor. (1985) (1986) (1988)
Mendel Art Gal., Saskatoon (1985 travelling)
Eva Cohon Gal., Chicago, Illinois (1987)
Fehely Arts, Tor. (1988) (1991)
Wallack Galleries, Ott. (1990) (1992)
Scottish Gal., Lond.. Eng. (1991)
Heffel Gal., Van. (1991).
He has participated in over thirty-two group shows.
In British Columbia:
B.C. Lotteries Fdn.; City of Trail, Burnaby Art GO.; First City Trust, Van.; Notre Dame Univ., Nelson.
Shell Resources, Caig.; Pan Oil, Calg.; Edm. Art Gal.; Petro Can.; Husky Oil, Calg.; Nova Corp., Calg.; Univ. Lethbridge.
Mendel Art Gal., Saskatoon; Univ. Saskatchewan. Saskatoon; Norman MacKenzie Art Gal., Regina; Saskatchewan Arts Bd. Coll., Regina; Saskatchewan Telecom., Regina; Dunlop Art Gal., Regina; Balfour & Assoc., Saskatoon; Saskatchewan Potash Corp., Saskatoon.
Univ. Toronto, Tor.; McMaster Univ., Hamilton; Tor. Dom. Bank, Tor.; Armack Chemicals, Tor.; Mclean Hunter Publishers, Tor.; Guaranty Trust, Tor.; McMillan & Binch, Tor.; Suncor Inc., Tor.; Osier, Haskins, Harcourt, Tor.: Can. Council Art Bank, Ott.; Canderel Devel. Corp., Ott.; Dept. External Affairs, Ott.
Concordia Univ., Mti.; Air Canada, Mtl.; Teleglobe Can., Mtl.; Royal Trust, Mtl.; Pratt & Whitney, Mtl.; Leopold Properties, Mtl.; Westburne Industries, Mtl.; Imperial Tobacco, Mtl.
In New Brunswick:
Beaverbrook Art Gal., Fred., N.B.
In the U.S.A.:
Strikeman & Elliott, NYC; Hudson Bay Oil, Colorado, Illinois;
Canadian Consulate, Sydney, and elsewhere.