"Paul's portrait stands surrounded by the c.d. collection of classical music and library books that he loved so much! Friends who have come to view him... stop... and stare... and then tears, lots of them. Everyone cannot believe what you have done. In a sense, Paul has come back... everyone feels it. What a gift you have given me and all of us. To say that I love it, doesn't quite sound right. Can portraits live?" — Adriann
"Thank you for the magnificent portrait you did of me. It is even higher praise when my daughters concur with my assessment - and they do!!" —Gilbert Parent, former Speaker of the House of Commons
"You are a really fine painter in the Sargent style who works with confidence and grace and a true respect for the quality of the paint... Although I did a few self portraits many years ago, yours is certainly the best portrait of me I have ever seen."— Robert Bateman Order of Canada, Artist
"Why, it's more real than I am!" These are the exact words that my father, Willard Cantelon, exclaimed on first viewing his portrait by the masterful English artist David Goatley. In the painting my father sits behind his desk, breaking from his writing, turned towards the visitors chair, a place I was privileged to occupy on many occasions. Less than eighteen months distances the paintings completion and my father's leaving this world. Without moroseness I view the painting, appreciative of the manner David chose to represent the man who was my greatest influence and mentor. By some fortune he brought that one moment to life, to have and take comfort from, again and again. — Lee Cantelon, Olympia, Washington
"Our painting gives us endless pleasure." — Jean Topham, Fine Art Conservator and Restorer, Victoria
"David, the portrait looks great!!! We have enjoyed our association as well! This has been a great experience for our entire family." - Larry Groce, Stockbroker, Montgomery, Alabama
"Thank you for the care and attention you gave us this summer in creating this wonderful portrait. As we have spent countless hours gazing at the young Miranda, we now have a very precious picture of Jemma captured in that summer of her life." — David and Francine Tonkin, Calgary, Alberta
"Your painting of Christina is my most treasured possession, I enjoy looking at it every single day. Your work will continue to bring us pleasure for years!" — Jayne Pullen, Victoria
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I do not believe I have seen anything more beautiful (save Reid, our baby) my two favorite subjects (save Reid) and painted by my now favorite painter!" — Dickie Dixon, West Virginia
"Brilliant! I love it!" —Ted Harrison Order of Canda, Artist
"Just about at the head of the current class...one of our finest portrait painters" —Robert Amos RCA Critic, Times Colonist
One of my favorite portraits of children was created by the Canadian David Goatley. These boys’ fleeting expressions are highly specific to each child and to this moment. Generic smiles these are not. The boy on the left has a gentle warm smile above his blue sports shirt. His oldest brother nurtures the impish youngest one in an embrace.
To me, the very specificity of these boys’ expressions conveys far more understanding of their characters than would a standardized slack gaze. This painting gives me a rich sense not just of who these boys are now, but also of what they may become as they grow up. They are completely “at home in their skins” – a combination of masculine-sports-blue and warm caring for each other. The way these boys are painted gives me a sense that they will grow up to be – well, the kind of men I would want my daughter to marry!
Subject: The Right Honorable Kim Campbell, Prime Minister of Canada
Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (122 x 91cm)
Collection, The Parliament, OttawaS
Samuel Edmund Oppenheim, esteemed instructor in portraiture at New York's Art Students League school, emphasized that "the success of a painting is in the conception." No painting could better illustrate this maxim than this extraordinarily effective portrayal of the Prime Minister of Canada, by artist David Goatley
The Prime Minister sits before a striking assemblage of doctoral robes and a banner, all in a blaze of vivid reds. Her gaze is contemplative and earnest at the same time - the portrait shows the lady to be both thoughtful and strong-willed. The master stroke in this powerful composition is the blue garment thrown casually over the back of the chair, with the crisp white panels balancing the storm of red above, and imparting an unmistakably patriotic color theme.
The artist employs deep, rich darks throughout the painting to stabilize the brilliant colors, and impart solidity and gravity to the over-all effect. This kind of powerful design doesn't "just happen" - it is the product of careful, thoughtful planning by an artist who knows just what he wants to communicate, and how to achieve it.
John Howard Sanden.
The portrait is really wonderful and David captured Ben and his spirit so well. David listened so carefully to not just what Ben said, but to "who Ben is" and his suggestion to capture Ben in his surroundings was then transformed into an "image for the ages." I now think about how staid and "wrong" it would have been to have a dark, formal portrait of Ben and am so pleased that you two took the time to help pull this image forward.
Mrs B Catlin, Sacramento, CA
WOW! I AM SURPRISED -- HAPPILY! Your portrait of me -- my first -- is
right on everything. I LOVE IT. Thank you! This is amazing. I really can't
believe it. Wonderful, terrific. I feel so honored. Everything about it is
so right and perfect. I never thought this day would come . . . and I feel
very good about it -- and you are my clear-sighted portrait artist!
Thank you, David. This is so meaningful to me.
It is late, and I must tell you this very moment that you were the toast
of the evening with the magnificent portrait unveiling of Peter deVaux's
portrait. Pete and Paula were ecstatic, and you received rave reviews for the
masterful and innovative way you handled the portrait for the retiring Chair of
the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library.
Morgan Peyton WV
“As David unveiled his work to our group, sunlight flooded the room, seemingly bringing the painting and the beautiful faces of these little orphaned souls to life; immediately, magically, their songs and laughter, reminiscent of our visits, jumped from the painting and filled our hearts with joy and optimism.”
David’s painting first speaks to his passion for helping others and his sense of responsibility to those who have far less. His efforts and donation have contributed significantly to our community’s efforts, helping to ensure that we had the resources necessary to complete the rebuilding of the orphanage.
Along with his evident compassion for his fellow man, David’s skill and gift has produced a painting of such quality and accuracy that many people seeing a photograph of the painting and the children, thought it was an actual photo of the children.
It has been an honour and a privilege to get to know David and to have him involved in our communities efforts in “Helping the Children of Haiti”.
We are all so pleased with Eleanors portrait! It is at the frame shop now, and we eagerly await seeing it every day at home thank you for making the process so easy and enjoyable. Your painting is now my prize possession- you really got my ladybug
Liz Blaine Charlottesville VA
Today we received Peter's framed portrait back from Harrison Galleries, (they were matching the frame to coordinate with mine). For the first time we hung them together downstairs.
In a word, we are both delighted. I must say that we also feel quite humbled at the experience. We think it both risky and bold to have a painting done of oneself. These are not characteristics with which we would usually describe either one of us! We are very appreciative of your care and talent as a true artist. Our children are very comfortable with the pieces and have expressed more than a passing interest. Comments are all positive. Yahoo!!!!
We want you to know that we were knocked out by how comfortable you made us feel when you were gathering the initial photo impressions. Thank-you so very much for giving us this gift. We look forward to keeping in touch and wish you and your young family all the very best.
With our sincere thanks, Peter and Anne-Marie Kains
My parents had us for dinner on Sunday and we had the portrait unveiling . . . as much as I felt I had a sense of how they were going to look I am not sure that I was fully prepared for the impact of seeing them (US!!!) in person . . . WOW . . . they are truly amazing . . . not just the likeness but the fact that you managed, in such a short time of knowing us, to capture a genuine sense of WHO each of us is. Anyhow I just wanted to tell you how pleased I am that you were able to do our portraits (we love your work) and to thank you for creating really fantastic family treasures . . . I know I will have a hard time parting with the girls and eventually their paintings when the time is right . . . but I know they will appreciate them so much . . . (me too!!!)
Thank you again,