Tribe House Blog

Gord Whyte

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Posted : August 2nd, 2012 by

TribeHouse: Which artist do you admire most (and why)?
Gord Whyte: I admire any person that has the desire to express themselves on a canvas. It takes courage to take your your deep feelings & heart and see it manifested on a canvas where anyone who views it either hates it or likes it. There is always the fine line for the artist to walk in rejection if his or her work is rejected or to walk in arrogance if their work is received.
Either way, humility is part of the journey of an artist. I think everyone has latent talent, and it comes forth as soon as you put a pen or paintbrush in their hand. I have two friends that didn’t know they were extremely talented until they accidentally stumbled across their talent at the age of 50.

Gord WhyteTH: What medium do you prefer to work with?
GW: I really like acrylics as the paint dries fast,which accommodates my style of painting. I usually pack around a small camera for spontaneous photos to be used later for paintings. I have also recently been doing mixed medium pieces using copper pipe and cloth. Art is a constant exploration of ideas and colour.

TH: What’s the best (or your favourite) piece you’ve created & why?
GW: I think the word “best” is in the eye of the beholder. The taste in art covers a wide spectrum depending on the individual. For me personally I did an impressionistic piece of “koi“… I liked it a lot. I recently completed a commissioned piece: 3 panels in strong organic colours. I liked that one so much I didn’t want to actually sell it… haha..

TH: What is your artistic legacy?
GW: My Grandfather was an artist, my mother was a ballet dancer, and so the performing arts are a part of my heritage. This free gift of painting has now manifested in several of my grandchildren in the area of painting, drawing, dance and gymnastics. Amazing to me…

TH: What is your voice
GW: As a public speaker, my words mean what they mean and it is an art form to learn how to communicate clearly on any topic one chooses.
My art, similar to music, expresses things that words cannot always describe fully. I get great satisfaction when someone looks at one of my paintings and they feel the passion, discern the prophetic meaning, go “ohhhhh” when they see the combination of color and composition and how it hits something deep inside their emotions and spirit man.

TH: Why does your art matter?
GW: I am not sure if my art matters to anyone out there, but for me it does matter. I feel my art expresses those deep things of our soul that words cannot express. The old expression “that one picture is worth a thousands words” is so true.

TH: What does it mean to make art that matters?
GW: It seems to me that artists of any description, musicians, singers, song writers, painters, sculptors, dancers, actors, are really the “canary” of the environment of any era. Usually the artist is very aware of what is going around them, socially, politically and otherwise. They “catch it” before the majority of the population and as pioneers in many areas of life can be quite misunderstood. But that is part of the package… :)

TH: What is the connection between art & social justice?

GW: Totally connected!!! We all remember the BO oil spill recently in the US. Big news for a few days and then it’s on to some other event. I did a painting called “BP Oil“…. no words… but the painting makes it clear that the issue has to be addressed. After the media finishes their news coverage in a few days, my painting stares you in the face as a constant reminder of that spill and hopefully will have an impact to those that see the painting, acting as a reminder that it is not OK to exploit oil without major safety protocols in order.
I completed another piece that is very symbolic of the nuclear reactor spill in Fujishima last year. The media has already forgotten however the painting will be a reminder that the issue is not over, has contaminated ocean waters, and debris continues to move around the world in global tides.

TH: How does your faith influence your art?
GW: As a follower of Jesus I am awestruck with the creation of God so colour, shapes, form, nature, people, all incredibly created, are exciting to express with a brush. I experience a lot of prophetic dreams and visions personally, and so many of my pieces have prophetic imagery embedded (although, in many instances, it is not very obvious to the onlooker).
Prophetic doesn’t mean religious, so my work is not iconic in any way. However, many people ask “What is the meaning behind your paintings?”. Lots of fun (!!!) when you can discover God in a painting.

TH: What kind of change do you hope to bring through your art?
GW: Perhaps it is too grand an idea that my art can bring change… but painting has changed me. Maybe that is the first step to broaden out the spectrum of being a “change maker”.
Some of my art is in Beijing and Seoul and Hong Kong…. hey… maybe it will change a household wherever that piece is displayed.

Gord Whyte Painting


Gord graduated from the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr School of Art) in 1970 after completing four years of studies, focusing on design. Moving to the Okanagan Valley in 1974, He purchased and operated a successful design business. In 1987 his career took a different direction and he joined the leadership team of a vibrant church community and was ordained in 1990. He served there until his retirement from local church ministry in 2009 in order to respond to an increasing number of invitations to teach and preach internationally. His ministry travels, which have taken him to five continents, have also rekindled a passion to paint. A portion of proceeds from the sale of his artwork will go towards subsidizing travel costs of Healing Gate Ministries International. Gord lives in beautiful Kelowna with his wife Jan, of 43 years, and is the father of two amazing daughters and papa to seven grandchildren and two step grandchildren.


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