Louis Grant

Louis Grant

Penticton painter calling on steady-handed help

An aging artist needs a hand to complete his final painting

An aging artist needs a hand to complete his final painting.

Louis Grant, a Hungarian immigrant who immigrated to Canada in the 1950s, began sketching a design onto the canvas more than two years ago. It’s now time to apply the paint, and because 87-year-old Grant has arthritis, he’s in need of a steadier hand to stroke the brush.

Similar to Leonardo da Vinci, Grant will be crafting much of the oil painting by using his fingers, so he’s only in need of assistance with the brushing.

He said the shading has been perfected to work as a colour guide, which will be replicated to the original painting 100 per cent.

The subject of the painting is Maria Theresa, the former Queen of Hungary. Grant admires Theresa for keeping the people of Hungary safe during the 1700s while conflict was rampant throughout Europe. She also modernized civil rights within Hungary, such as her decision to outlaw the burning of witches.

Before he could even start sketching it, the image Grant is basing his portrait of Theresa on had to be mailed from a family friend in Hungary, which left Grant waiting two-to-three years.

No matter the scale or pace that it unfolds, Grant enjoys bearing witness to the development of history, whether it’s modern or ancient.

As the Cold War was intensifying following the Second World War, Grant – who identifies as a Freedom Fighter – left Soviet-occupied Hungary for Canada in 1956.

“Freedom Fighting can happen anywhere,” he said, Canada notwithstanding. “You fight for what you believe. And for me it was against slavery.”

He said he made the move across the Atlantic to achieve freedom, but ended up feeling oppressed because he didn’t fit in socially.

“There’s too much brooding in peoples’ minds.”

After facing decades of despair from colleagues who had little tolerance for his thick European accent, Grant’s spirit has been broken and he no longer has the drive to fight for freedom.

However, he still calls Canada home and enjoys the vast beauty found in the wilderness.

But while it’s easy to feel safe living in Canada, Grant said geopolitical problems are all connected.

Consequently, he plans to pay homage to the former leader of his native country and have the portrait delivered to Sándor Palace in Hungary, which is the residence of the country’s president.

“It’s in me. You know when you know.”

Grant said much of his European education wasn’t recognized upon moving to Canada. He had experience as an electrician, plumber and woodsmith, among many other roles. But it was his work as a fashion designer that his career branched onto in Canada. Grant found work designing fur coats for members of the RCMP, and around 10 years ago, he enlisted in Emily Carr College of the Arts to study the arts – though he began work as a painter in 1970.

Grant claims to be a better cook than anyone in Penticton, and can offer his homemade meals to the painter who’s able to help. He can be contacted at 250-490-9607.


Just Posted

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
5-storeys still too tall for Penticton’s downtown, votes city council

Vote against new development leaves one councillor questioning validity of city’s zoning restrictions

Spiritleaf, Penticton’s first cannabis retailer opened in 2019. (Western News File)
Penticton expands cannabis store hours to match liquor stores

Cannabis stores are now allowed to operate until 11 p.m. in Penticton

(Jennifer Smith/Black Press file photo)
Poll: Should Penticton hold Canada Day celebrations this year?

The spotlight on residential schools has caused the rethinking of Canada Day

A committee held its first meeting on June 9 to consider opionions for incorporation of the community of Okanagan Falls. At present, Okanagan Falls is the largest unincorporated community within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. (Contributed)
Study begins for Okanagan Falls incorporation

Committee held first meeting on June 9

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Hot and cold water have different pouring sounds

Your morning start for Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

A fire deliberately set in a washroom facility in Vernon’s transit terminal could cost the city around $25,000 to repair. (City of Vernon)
Vandalism forces Vernon to close public washrooms early

Despite changes made by city, vandalism on the rise at transit loop loos

Fire trucks parked near the McEachern Tobacco Barn on Wednesday, June 16.(Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Fire at heritage tobacco barn in Kelowna doused by residents

McEachern Tobacco Barn is on the city’s heritage register

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

Old growth in the Columbia Valley, in the Kinbasket area. (Photo submitted)
Wildsight: Old-growth forests are being logged in Golden

Wildsight says that Canfor has been logging old growth at the Blaeberry headwaters

The Dixie Fried Hep Katz recorded a promotional video at the Kettle Valley Steam Railway station featuring the railway’s steam locomotive. The young band from Enderby plays Canadian Rockabilly, with Porter Johnson, 20, writing, lead guitarist and vocals; sister Kyndra on drums; and Logan Bannick on bass. The band is using the locomotive to promote their song Spooky Train and help shed light on the Kettle Valley Steam Railway’s drive for donations. (Tom Burley photo)
Donations help with repairs of Summerland steam railway

Kettle Valley Steam Railway put out earlier call for railway ties, tires for locomotive

Most Read