|“If you ever see a painting so truly beautiful that it makes you feel proud and perhaps a little homesick for the Alberta Foothills, it’s probably a Gissing landscape.”
"Many times Roland was asked “How long would it take you to paint a picture like this?” His answer was, “About thirty years.” It did take thirty years or longer to get the effect he wanted in a picture. Seldom was he completely satisfied with any of his paintings. He hoped he would live long enough to finish one picture that would please him. He could always see where improvement could be made in depth, atmosphere or color. In a few cases he would say the foreground or clouds or some other part of a picture came off quite well. He would never say “I can’t improve this picture” . At times a picture would be put away for days, sometimes months before it was finished because it didn’t please him. Then, he would bring it out and set it on an easel to criticize it. Sometimes the picture would be finished, other times discarded as impossible to change or improve.
To him the wild flowers and open country were always a joy to look at. Every day that passed made him aware of the beauties of nature. For more than fifty years he called himself a Canadian and never said he wanted or wished he could go back to England. He never did go back, not even for a visit because he couldn’t bear to miss a spring, fall or winter in Alberta."
- Ester Gissing
Coming to Canada at age 18 in 1913, Roland Gissing became Alberta’s most famous artist by the time he died at age 72. He was truly an artist who was an ambassador for the land he painted and much of the world came to appreciate the foothills and mountains because of him.
Working in oils capturing the beautiful landscapes west of Cochrane at the Ghost Dam where he made his home, it was this medium that created the wheat fields, stooks, and "Gissing Blue Mountains" he is known for.
Today, the Glenbow Museum holds a sizeable collection of Gissings and his works hang in collections around the world.
The Estate of Roland Gissing has created this official website and is proud and honoured to share the legacy of a man who celebrated life in the West.