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Thunder Bay landscape painter returns to his source of inspiration

Terry Chandler had no plans of living in Thunder Bay when we headed west to begin his career as a painter - so it's a good thing he didn't fly
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Terry Chandler speaks to guests at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. (Michael Charlebois, tbnewswatch)

THUNDER BAY - Capturing the beauty of Thunder Bay and the region’s landscape is no easy task.

For Terry Chandler to paint it, the beauty of the region had to capture his imagination first.

Originally from Tennessee, Chandler lived in Ottawa in his early days. After working various jobs, he headed to the west coast of Canada to pursue his dream of becoming an artist.

Travelling west along the Trans-Canada Highway, Chandler made a stop in Thunder Bay that changed his life.

“I just fell in love with it,” he said.

After purchasing a farm in Lappe, Chandler spent eight years in Thunder Bay, and began his career as an artist.

It was only appropriate that roughly 40 years later, he displayed 20 original paintings at the mezzanine in the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Saturday.

“I’m a wilderness nut,” he said.

The paintings are inspired by nature around the area, just as they were during his one-man shows at Gallery of Fine Arts on Victoria Avenue over four decades ago.

“We had to reach back to a lot of people, some of these paintings have been handed down over generations.”

A number of fans came with paintings purchased decades ago to show Chandler and see the other paintings.

For Chandler, he was grateful to be back in a place he considers special to him.

“(This area) means a lot to me, and it’s way up on the list of fantastic sceneries to paint. The wilderness character of the land, I respond to that, and it’s the reason I paint.”

Michael Charlebois

About the Author: Michael Charlebois

Michael Charlebois was born and raised in Thunder Bay, where he attended St. Patrick High School and graduated in 2015. He attends Carleton University in Ottawa where he studies journalism.
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