He has lived in the Lower Mainland for the majority of his life. Vern attended Windsor Secondary and SFU, graduating with degrees in History and Philosophy. He then went to London, England where continued his studies and earned a PhD. After returning to Vancouver he got a job working for a jazz magazine where he was able to interview and write articles about many famous musicians. Throughout his years of study, art had always made Vern happy. His notebooks and paper drafts were always covered in doodles. Eventually this love of art took over, and he rented a studio space on Pender Street with several other artists. During the summers he set up an easel at Canada Place to draw caricatures on tourists. They were always thrilled with their personal sourvineers. He took art and computer courses at this time as well.
At the age of 36 his life changed when he suffered a brain aneurysm, immediately followed by a stroke. It was a miracle that he survived. The doctors prepared his family for the worst and his entire life was put at a stand still. However, it wasn't long until Vern began communicating by drawing, only now with his left hand, as his right arm was no longer functioning. Eventually he was able to go home and start over. He underwent intensive speech and physio therapy.
Today, 29 years later, Vern is still left with impaired speech and little to no use of one side of his body. Despite his inabilities, he now makes a living selling paintings as life as he sees it - all with vibrant colours, filled with cheerful people. Looking at his work, you would never imagine what Vern has gone through. He uses art as his outlet instead of dwelling on what could have been. Vern has always said his only hope is that his art will bring a smile to someone's face. His creations have been displayed in several venues throughout the lower mainland, and he has even taught some art classes. Regardless of daily struggles, he remains fully independent, living on his own, as well as being an active member of the North Shore Stroke Club.
If you see a piece that you'd like to purchase, please send your inquiry via email. Vern also is regularly commissioned to make custom pieces for businesses, families and so forth and is always willing to try something new. Even if you would just like to share your comments on how Vern's story or art may have brightened your day, feel free to send Vern a note.