"Life is a rainbow road, multicoloured with the most brilliant hues and contrasting with the darkest tones. It is illuminated by the light of success, and rutted by the tracks of failure. Tears of sadness and joy wash its surface while the clouds of doubt and insecurity dapple its course. As we traverse this highway we can reach the highest pinnacles or descend to the darkest valleys.
Finally, when the end of the road is in sight, we may cast our eyes to the distant horizon where everything began; and say with conviction,
"That sure was one hell of a journey."
- Ted Harrison
Ted Harrison was one of Canada’s most beloved artists. His love of the land and people of the Yukon brought him national acclaim and immortalized northern Canadian art. He was best known for his distinctive paintings of Yukon. He began his life in Canada in northern Alberta, before moving to Yukon in 1968. He stayed there until 1993. During that time he discovered the Yukon’s northern lights and the wonderful people and community that he fell in love with.
His style – rendered in bold and simple forms, seeming almost childlike – was immediately recognizable whether in a painting or an illustration. His images appeared in several books, most notably in illustrated volumes of the Robert Service poems The Cremation of Sam McGee and The Shooting of Dan McGrew. Elementary school art teachers might eschew non-traditional colours in landscapes, but children saw in Mr. Harrison one of their own.
Though his style is now readily identified with Canada’s North, the artist was influenced by his time as a globetrotter, when he admired the tropical colours of the Malay Peninsula and the curvilinear folds of Maori art. The great artistic interpreter of the Yukon, who brought the North to the South through his paintings. passed away in January, 2015.