Artist sketches on display in Halifax

Mr. Thomas De Vany Forrestall

An art exhibit opening was held on the top floor of the Maritime Command Museum, show casing (left) Mr. Thomas De Vany Forrestall C.M., O.N.S., B.F.A., LL.D, R.C.A. and the amazing collection of paintings he has contributed to the museum.

The Maritime Command Museum has a new display of sketches by Annapolis Valley-born artist Tom Forrestall.

The sketches are his preliminary work before painting HMCS Assiniboine, a mural-sized image that hangs on a wall in the Wardroom.  

Forrestall was present for the official opening of the display and, with the assistance of RAdm Dave Gardam, unveiled the focal artwork, an egg tempera painting of Assiniboine in battle with German submarine U-210 in August 1942.   

Acting museum curator Rick Sanderson thanked the 76-year-old artist for his contribution of sketches.

“For me as a curator, it’s important to know the history that these sketches represent,” said Sanderson. “When you look at these sketches, there is a beauty to them. I find it a fascinating look into the mind of an artist.”

Each sketch was made in preparation for the mural-sized painting that depicts the painter’s view of a battle at sea.

“You have certainly captured the life of the mariner,” said RAdm Gardam. “Everything from the quality of light to the sea state contributes to the realistic and accurate effects. For those of us who have stood on the bridge [of a ship] you have captured our memories with precision.”  

RAdm Gardam presented Forrestall with a MARLANT Certificate of Appreciation in acknowledgement of his service to the Royal Canadian Navy.

In his remarks, Forrestall thanked LCdr (ret’d) Doug Thomas, who acted as a consultant from 2004-05 during the creation of the painting. He also expressed his appreciation for the navy and their support of his work, and in particular, the Assiniboine mural that was unveiled during Battle of the Atlantic Weekend in 2005.

Virginia Beaton, Trident

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