Jim Houston is a native Torontonian who has been drawing since he was five years old. He is a former Jesuit, a long-time community worker and special project coordinator, a community centre director and since retirement priest in the Anglican diocese of Toronto, where he takes on interim assignments.
For the past forty years his drawing and designing has been mostly posters, flyers, newsletters, illustrations and programmes for a wide range of community, non-profit and church organizations.
He has portfolios and sketchbooks full of a life-time of drawings of people and places, and of designs for buildings, monuments, sculptures, woodworking, pottery, stained glass, and preliminary sketches for paintings that never got painted.
He calls his pen his “instamatic” and loves sketching people on the fly, or capturing everyone sitting around a meeting table, but he can also put hours into detailed drawings of the woods and careful pen portraits of friends. He especially enjoys creating “lifetraits”, collages that trace a subject’s history from a life-time of photographs.
He has designed stained glass pieces and has now taken up building them himself, rather than entrust that task to others.
Cartooning, including political satire, and architectural rendering are other loves.
He has been experimenting with computer “painting” and has recently turned again to watercolour.
He has enjoys modelling with plastecine and clay, producing whimsical groupings of families, or wedding cake toppings.
He’s delighted to be invited to create miniature three-dimensional “living places” for inclusion in the Northern Gallery appearance at the AGO.