(b. 1960)Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1960, Van Ginkel moved with his family to Calgary, Alberta in 1973. In search of change and new stimulation he moved to Vancouver, B.C. in 1996. However, he returned to Calgary in 2001. Prior to earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University in New York, Van Ginkel was educated at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary.
Van Ginkel worked for the Calgary Herald newspaper as an editorial illustrator (as well as a freelance commercial illustrator) for 6 years. Since 1990, he has been a fine art painter. Part of Van Ginkel’s growth as an artist has come from extended painting (and research) trips to major art centers including New York, Italy, Santa Fe, Mexico and Australia. He also continues to travel the globe in search of new artistic stimulation while expanding his vast archive of photographic reference material.
Van Ginkel embraces the challenge of painting many different subjects, however, he specializes in Western themes, specifically equine subjects. Intensely drawn to the beauty, passion, power and history of the horse, Van Ginkel executes a diverse variety of moods and compositions – from a small painting of a single quiet foal to a large canvas of 161 stampeding horses.
Van Ginkel has been honoured with many distinctions and awards. He was a finalist for a 2013 Calgary Stampede Legacy Award and was selected by Fresco Fine Art Publishers (Albuquerque, New Mexico) as one of the top Western artists working today to be included in the book Western Traditions – Contemporary Artists of the American West). He’s also received numerous prestigious commissions including being the first “fine artist” selected to paint the annual Calgary Stampede poster in 2006.
Van Ginkel’s first painting in the annual Stampede Western Art Auction was in 1986 and he continues to be included most years. After receiving the “Best of Show” award at the Stampede auction in 1990, he staged his first of 15 consecutive exhibitions at the Calgary Stampede Western Showcase. At one point Van Ginkel had significant gallery representation in Santa Fe, Scottsdale, Aspen, Jackson Hole and San Antonio. Currently his only US gallery representation is with McLarry Fine Art in Santa Fe.
“I’m committed to a life of creating images. My primary goal is to master the art of painting and develop increasingly the ability to convey my passion for the subjects I explore. These paintings are intended to document my diverse experiences in life and intimately express what inspires me. I expect my painting “style” to continue to evolve as I strive to express how I feel about the subject I’m focused on. I’m never preoccupied with technique, rather I allow the painting’s subject, expression and voice to dictate the type of “visual life” it should have. I feel each painting is a creative expression similar to a piece of music, dance performance or poetry. For me, the symbolic ritual of signing the painting represents the completion of the creation, however, also the beginning of its long journey through an unknown future.”