Renowned artist paints Ladner
Raymond Chow can't help but burst into laughter as he shows his anachronistic painting of a rescue boat rushing to the aid of the famous sinking of the RMS Titanic.
The concept quite literally tickles him pink, even after all the hours of work the acrylic painting took.
But he grows sober suddenly and shakes his head. He feels the tragedy of the most famous maritime disaster, even 100 years removed from its sinking to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
"The Titanic has always fascinated me," says Chow. "I used to have a studio in Steveston I took over from John Horton, who was a very fine marine artist and was also involved in rescue boats."
The long-time Richmond artist decided to paint Ladner Village Market and donate a portion of the proceeds to the local marine rescue service.
It was 50 years ago that Chow met the famous Leon Johnson Ladner, when he was commissioned to do a watercolour of the family house on Ladner Trunk Road.
He remembers Ladner talking about the early days of the village, over 100 years ago, when the roads were smaller and highwaymen created trouble for police.
His uncle Wilfred Mah Bing still has a farm in Ladner and raises racehorses.
"I love Ladner in the fact that it's still country, not 'citified' like Richmond," says Chow, adding he likes going for a drive through Ladner and it reminds him of what Richmond used to be.
In one painting he depicts the Ladner village entrance awash in the orange hue of all his recent work.
"I love this area of the market, it's so lively," he says, his eyes glancing around the scene. "The people, the vendors, the dogs. There's so much business at the entrance, just an array of colour moving back and forth."
Chow is in an orange period of his work.
"To me it confers brightness, warmth, and life."
He says it's a parody of the duller ochre silk paintings done by Chinese artists. The orange also brings out the heat of Ladner's warm, summer market.
Chow is hoping a corporate sponsor in Ladner will pick up the originals, and he will donate 30 per cent of the proceeds to the Roberts Bank Lifeboat Society.
You can see more of Chow's work at his website, raymondchow.com.