Creating images has always been a part of Brent’s life. As a toddler, bedroom walls, floors and even his baby brother’s bald head became his canvas. As he grew, this natural creativity expressed itself many ways. In his early years, Brent and his brothers and sisters roamed the nearby fields, forests and the shorelines investigating the world around them; a well known tribe of kids full of energy and imagination. Brent showed a strong interest in the visual; he was always drawing and explaining things through his drawing.
In his tenth year his family moved to Ladner, a small farming and fishing community south of Vancouver BC. His father had purchased a grocery store business where Brent and his siblings would work through their adolescent and teenage years. His father was a creative force in his own right. He transformed a ‘food shopping experience’ into pure entertainment and in doing so created a strong retail business. It was a lesson that would serve the young artist well. Everything, at it’s core, is creative!
Brent loved this new rural life in Ladner. His new friends were duck hunters, muskrat trappers and could tear a car or truck apart and put back together by the time they were twelve. Coming from the city it was wonderful contrast from the urban life he knew. The self-reliant independence the country demands gave him a new confidence and approach to the world. Between the family grocery store, working surrounding neighbour’s farms and a tours on Fraser river gill-netters became his playground. Brent was impressed by the rough and tumble world of rural life along with it’s rhythm and beauty.
After grade school he was sent to a boys private school, Vancouver College. Back in the Sixties, wayward Catholic youth were to be disciplined and receive direction at this infamous school. There, he was happiest on a football field, in a gym or flying down mountain slopes. “The school was big on the balance of mind and body. Sports, along with academics, were an important pursuit at Vancouver College. “I came close to expulsion more than once but sports saved me” says Brent. it is this natural physicality and love for the outdoors that will translate later into a passion for painting direct study from life and ‘en plein air’. As strictly an academic high school there was little emphasis on art although Brent became known as an effective graffiti guerrilla and ruthless cartoonists rendering teachers and administrators without mercy. Brent was not the most religious youth but he had an innate fascination with symbol and ritual in the spiritual traditions. Ever since Brent could remember he was at odds with the Catholic Church although he did appreciate the rich visual and literary traditions. He developed a love for allegory and the power of visual storytelling. He was exposed to the works of many artists from Chaucer to Kerouac, Durer to Pollock and Dylan to Bach. He was very much aware of the theological influence on popular culture and art; for example his favourite rock tune of the 60’s was Jimmy Hendrix rendition of ‘All Along the Watchtower’ written by Bob Dylan – a song inspired by Revelation and Ecclesiastes.
“There was a bringing together or pulling apart, depending on your point of view, of minds and attitudes in the 60’s and 70’s. It was an exciting time to be young and I wasn’t one to miss it”, says Lynch.
After high school Brent hit the road in the spirit of a typical war-baby vagabond. He traveled around the globe experiencing new cultures and ways of life. Witnessed first hand the power and vitality of art in society and as a result, his interest in the arts grew. The road led him back to Vancouver where he attended Vancouver School of Art and Design (later the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design) and later Langara College Fine Art Program.
Studies brought him back to England where he spent a year at St. Martin’s School of Fine Art studying printmaking, painting and life drawing. It was an exchange week at the Bath School of Fine Arts where Brent came across the ‘Applied Arts Program’ and realized a creative person does not have to starve….the art world became commercially bigger for him. “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to study and then work with talented people and to immerse myself in a culture of art”, says Brent. The mid 70’s London was an exciting place to be. It was a turbulent time in the world and London was central as international students came from many countries.
His journey in art found him painting and illustrating to earn a living – the beginning of a successful 45 year career.
Lynch had a long association with Ballet BC in the 90’s where he produced many award winning Dance Posters for the company. The paintings were exhibited at his galleries along with many of the studies you see above.
Red Cross Ethiopia Aid 1981 – Salmon Preservation Campaign, BC Fisheries
‘Save the Childrens Fund’ Christmas Poster 1986
Brent spent his early career producing a large body of work from illustrated books to record covers. He was perhaps best known for his artistic event posters for regional, national and international events such as ballet, opera and theatre as well as sporting events including the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games. Over the years, he was honored with many prestigious communication arts awards for illustration and design.
Ballet Canada Production ‘A Street Car Named Desire’
The power and energy of his figurative works is due to Brent’s need to draw and compose from life, whether in a studio working with models or in the field plein air painting. This spiritual connection with his subject is the cornerstone of his artwork. “I have always been aware of the spiritual dimension which connects us to everyone and everything. For me, investigating a landscape, portrait or life study transforms my perspective. The process of drawing or painting the subject becomes a wonderful way to acknowledge this relationship”, says Brent.
Official Olympic posters for the Winter Games
Now focusing on painting, Brent is sought after and commissioned to create murals and painted installations for institutions, public buildings and private collections. He was recently awarded the silver medal at the Aims International Art Exhibition. He has become recognized as a powerful landscape and figurative painter, using mood, light, composition and movement to convey his experiences. He works in a range of mediums including watercolor, gouache, oils and French chalk. His dynamic use of color and brushstrokes along with his unique and daring compositional style are trademarks of his work. It is these characteristics which attract students to his workshops which are always an experience. He participates in numerous gallery solo and groups exhibitions nationally and abroad. He is an SFCA in the Canadian Federation of Artists and his work hangs in private and corporate collections worldwide.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Concert poster 1985 – National Watercolor Exhibition 1986
As with many of Canada’s artists, including the Group of Seven, Brent’s career began in the world of illustration and graphic design. His body of creative work from 1976-1995 included editorial cartoons, record album covers, book and magazine illustrations, museum and exhibition installations, corporate logos, art design and marketing and international event posters, including two Olympic Games. In 1979, he formed his own design firm, which for 20 years was internationally recognized and awarded for its cutting-edge imagery and design. Many illustrations were featured in international publications including Rolling Stone, Time and Harper’s magazines. His art has graced the covers of Shakespeare to Kerouac. Large scale installations were featured at Expo 86 Vancouver, the Smithsonian Museum and the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Corporate clients have included IBM, Bank of Montreal, Nike, Solomon International, BMW, Labatt’s Canada, Major League Baseball and NHL and the NFL.
Over time, Brent found the need to leave the corporate arena and begin concentration on his own work. Soon after, his painting ‘August Storm, Hornby Island’ was selected by an international panel of judges to receive the Silver Medal along with a $10,000.00 prize at the ‘Aim for Art Exhibition, 2000’. Brent’s talent as a creative artist are showcased in his present-day work, which ranges from large scale mural installations to intimate portraits.
Introducing Blackcomb ‘Wizard’ and ‘Excalibur’ Pod Chairs 1988
Detail of the figures in Library Mural , inspired by Tiepolo one of my favourite historical artist.
The mural features the four corners of the world with their respective leaders, artist and intellectuals.
Selected Client List Brent worked with to create paintings and illustrations:
IBM North America
Salomon Skiis International, France
Intrawest Development Inc.
Thredbo Kosciusko Ski Corp, Australia
Matilda Cruises, Australia
Labatts Breweries, Canada
European Formula One Racing
MLB Toronto Blue Jays
1988 Calgary Olympics
Foster’s Breweries, Australia
The Mark Anthony Group
Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment
Whistler Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises
K-Peak Ski Corp Vermont
Rocky Mountain Holidays Inc.
Canadian Alpine Ski Team
Mount Tremblant, Quebec
Bank of Montreal
Royal Bank of Canada
Boerings of England
Reebock North America
North Face, USA
Arter’yex International Inc.
NHL Enterprises, New York
Vancouver Canucks, NHL Hockey League
Toronto Blue Jays, MLB League
Douglas & MacIntyre Publishing
Time Magazine Canada
Random House Publishing
Rolling Stone Magazine
Port of Osaka, Japan
Ministry of Tourism, BC
Ministry of Tourism, Ontario
Commonwealth Games Committee
Olympic Games Committee
Peace Arch Hospital, Canada
Save the Children Fund International
Cancer Society of Canada
Red Cross International
Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver
Ballet BC, Vancouver
Pacific Opera Company
Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC
Royal Museum of BC
Saatchii And Saatchi, London England
Wilson & Associates, Dallas TX
HBA/Hirsch Bedner, Atlanta
Hayslip Design Assocl, Dallas/Ft. Worth
Jinnie Kim Design, Brookline MA in assoc. with
Gorman Studios, Vancouver BC
Publications and Magazines
Rolling Stone Magazine
Douglas and MacIntyre Books. Canada
Random House Publishing, Canada
Flying Fish Records, Chicargo
Mushroom Records, Canada
Sony/ATV Music Publishing