When Pedego Electric Bikes storeowner Murray Pratt decided to seek an art installation to grace the wall of the new shop at Southlands to showcase Boundary Bay, he came across the perfect fit: a local visual artist who routinely enjoys the area on his own electric bike.
That artist is Gary Nay.
Pratt had come across a mural by Nay that the artist had installed recently in Ladner and thought that Nay’s whimsical, bright style would be perfect for the shop.
“Talking together, we came up with an idea,” says Nay, who has lived in the area for more than 30 years. “We came up with the name, ‘Around The Bay’, to characterize Boundary Bay and what life here is all about.”
The result was a massive 8 foot by 14 foot digital rendering now installed on the wall of Pedego depicting Boundary Bay, the mud flats, the nearby trestles, Mount Baker in the background and Vancouver and Burnaby peeking out in the background. Nay painted an E-bike in the foreground, of course.
“We wanted to speak to the experience of what it’s like living in Boundary Bay. “Around The Bay” is a metaphor for living a slower paced, more enjoyable, more natural life that engages the environment.”
Murray Pratt, Pedego Delta Co-owner
Nay has spent plenty of time touring around Boundary Bay, the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island on his E-bike. “That’s also part of the reason that I really wanted to do the image,” he says. “I’m passionate about electric bikes for fun and exercise.”
Painting is somewhat of a misnomer, Nay explains. He produces his art by taking several photos of a subject or location and then “paints” the image or rendering digitally on an iPad.
“This process allows me to create art using a trial and error process,” Nay says. “The concept of putting a blank canvas on an easel and attacking it with paint; it’s hard to do do-overs. But when you do it digitally on an iPad, you’ve got a back button and you can try anything you want and see if it works, and if it doesn’t work, you pitch it, and move on.”
He said observers of his art will see only about one quarter of the work that went into the rendering, the remaining three-quarters were revised out.
Nay struggles to define his style but uses words like whimsical and cartoon-ey. “They have a really simple appearance but when you dig a little deeper, there’s maybe a little bit more happening than is obvious.”
Nay “nailed it”, says Pratt. “When I saw it, ‘I said oh my gosh. That’s exactly the visual that I had in my mind’.”