This website recognizes the silverpoint art of Canadian drawing master, Gerrit Verstraete. He began incorporating this traditional Renaissance medium into his art styles in the early 1990’s. He is one of very few in Canada, who have explored this fine drawing medium, and today he is the only Canadian artist who continues to investigate silverpoint’s many properties such as oxidation (he calls it “maturing”) and the effects of all metalpoint drawing including: platinum, gold, silver, copper, and brass.
Regrettably, there is no awareness of silverpoint drawing in Canada, and it remains persona non grata among Canada’s curators in most public and private galleries. However, the awareness of silverpoint drawing continues to flourish in Europe and the United States among artists and galleries that have demonstrated critical interest in this Renaissance art form. In fact, silverpoint has experienced a revival in the United States among a few artists who over the decades have grown into a vibrant silverpoint community of over two hundred, with regular exhibitions at galleries and art museums.
In 1954. Cennino d’Andrea Cennini published “Il Libro dell’ Arte,” (Transl. “The Craftsman’s Handbook” by Daniel V. Thompson. Jr. (Dover Publications. NY), followed in 1957, by James Watrous’ publication “The Craft of Old Master Drawings” (University of Wisconsin Press), which include the fine art and techniques of silverpoint drawing. Gerrit Verstraete has exhibited with fellow silverpoint artists in Savannah, Georgia; Evansville, Indiana; Boise, Idaho, and New York. In addition, he has exhibited his work in Vancouver, British Columbia; Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and in his hometown of Gabriola Island, British Columbia.
He is recognized as “having helped create greater awareness of the diversity and quality of metalpoint drawing in the United States and Canada as well as globally,” in the landmark 2015 publication, “Drawing in Silver and Gold: from Leonardo to Jasper Johns,” (Princeton University Press), a stellar 314 page art book by Hugo Chapman and Stacey Sell, that accompanied the successful silverpoint exhibitions from May to December 2015, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and The British Museum, in London, UK.