.et_pb_text table, .et_pb_text table tr, .et_pb_text table td { border: none!important; }
loader image
© Fred Spina Two by Two

Ferdinando Spina



My influences are diverse. As a child I was brought to art galleries and historical sites by my parents.  By the time I was eight years old I had visited many of the major art galleries and museums in Italy. My parents also brought me to Canadian and North American and Mexican art venues, so in a way I was well educated and experienced in art at a young age. My father was also a painter, so there was always something creative going on in our household.

Later in my earlier teens I began to travel and continued to do so to this day. My initial ability and learning to draw came in the early 1970ies when I followed a street artist around in Amsterdam and learned to do portraits on the street and get paid for it. I set up my chairs and positioned myself outside the Van Gogh Museum and was able to gain a lot of experience as well as some cash doing portraits of tourists.

My major influences ore those I gain trough travel to Asia, South America, Europe and here in Canada working with the Inuit of Nunavut. (I have worked for the Nunavut Government as a Mental Health Consultant and Social Worker for the last twelve years) I sometimes work with Inuit carvers and am influenced greatly by their tradition and artistic sensibilities – they in turn are also influenced by me.

Books by F. Spina:

1) Arctic Notes and Prairie Places
Publisheer: Bayeux Arts Press
Released To Public 2007
2) Perimeter’s Ridge
Publisher: Bayeux Arts Press
Released To Public 2020
© Fred Spina Perimeters Ridge


Artist Statement

My art does not portray subjects at their most prettiest; being pretty is not the point. Being more raw, I like to think they are more authentic, more honest. I try to cultivate a milieu of ambiguity with characters that are in their intentions and motivations vague. Having said the latter sometimes the image is what it purports to be, simple and to the point.

I like to capture that which is between the skin and the soul.

The images in my exhibitions are sometimes more perfunctory, but at the same time carry with them baggage of quirkiness and idiosyncratic meanings and presentation.

My Arctic depiction of towns and hamlets strive to give a sensation of the place rather than a slavish depiction of buildings and roads. In so doing I try and keep the image fresh and subtly changing with times passage. Accurate renditions have the danger of becoming boring with their character of a rigid façade and visage. Images or feelings for the place on the other hand carry with them the possibility of malleability and plasticity, a quality that can maneuver the currents of space-time more successfully than can a” precise reality”.   

My paintings are usually jumping off points to my poetry and short stories. After completion of a painting it often congers up words that develop into stories in their own right. It is important to note that these stories are not written in stone but are my interpretation at a moment in time. I am pleased when my paintings elicit ambiguity. For me if I paint a “duck” it will always be a duck, now and a thousand years from now. With a rigid reality and meaning it loses mystery and some life, with the distinct possibility of becoming boring.  Painting for me needs to engender as much mystery as it can; the more mystery the more alive it becomes now and into the future. It cannot be boring if it continues to be mysterious.

Two By Two
Accompanies top left image

Two by two
Skip to my loo
My darling
Here I am
Waiting for you
Two by two
Skip to my loo
Don’t leave me hanging
My marvelous darling
I’ll wait for you by the shore
To others I’ll look no more
So come to me
I will always be
Forever more
By the shore
Skip to my loo
My Marvelous Darling

© Ferdinando Spina
Calgary 2019

Pierrot the Clown Awakening to a Dream
Accompanies bottom left image

Awakening to a dream from a dream
Pierrot folds in on himself like an origami swan
With multi layered creases and pleats
He is destined to follow each fold to the end
And each end to a new beginning
A new birth
While lesser men are born of women and womb
He is born from dream to dream
He dreams himself from here to there and every where
With each reverie he dreams himself into being
With each being a new sorrow a new joy
One day he will dream himself through the eyes of God
And joy and sorrow will fall away
Leaving golden light and new found sight
Without the plight of wrong or right
Sleep sound
Dream well

© Ferdinando Spina
Calgary 2018

Sleeping Man Awakening
Accompanies bottom right image

I have slept
Now I am awake
I have dreamed in sleep
Now I will dream while awake
In time I will not know the difference
In the end when I die I will not know I am dead
Life and death will merge and I will pass from one to the other

© Ferdinando Spina
Calgary 2019