Art Making


 Harold Pearse

Knock House and Cobbler’s Shop Studio, Lunenburg NS

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As an artist I have evolved from impressionistic landscapes (early 1960s) to hard edge abstraction (mid 1960s) to conceptual art (late 1960s and early 1970s) to thematically based pointalist influenced mixed media drawings and paintings (1980s to the present). By 1973 my art involved photo documentation of ordinary events and processes, incorporating a conceptually based snapshot aesthetic, kitsch, popular culture references and post cards – especially post cards.  1973 also happened to be the centennial of the founding of the RCMP, and on a trip to Regina Saskatchewan, (Mountie headquarters!) I acquired a stack of Mountie postcards. These postcards, along with other Mountie artifacts and memorabilia, found their way into collages and inspired a series of paintings and drawings. My childhood fascination with Mounties was rekindled. Mounties became a primary subject of my drawings, paintings and collages through the late 1970s and the 1980s to mid-1990s.

At the same time I was exploring archetypal landscape forms of mountains and islands. From August 1995, when a dog was a part of the family household, dogs in general and this dog and subsequent dogs in particular, were my prime subject. I became fascinated by dogs’ appearance and movements. My daily drawings explore and record their constantly changing, (but somehow constant, like dogs are supposed to be) shape, lines, colours, tonality, body language and attitudes.  The Mounties were (and are) still there, but drawing my dog(s) every day is a priority. Since moving to Lunenburg NS in the summer of 2015, my interest in depicting dogs has continued and the Mountie theme has expanded to include other Canadian icons, more specifically Nova Scotian icons, Bluenose II and lighthouses. 

I regard my work as the forum for ongoing conversations among concepts and processes, subject matter and materials. Although the media and the subject matter may change, the working approach involves applying sequential layers of lines and colours, usually with a diagonal stroke to produce a vibrant, active, somewhat ambiguous surface that I strive to make interesting in itself as well as its being a carrier of the image and the concept.

Solo and Two Person Exhibitions

  • Two Dogs and a Cat Every Day for a Year, Anna Leonowens Gallery, NSCAD University, Halifax NS, July 22 – August 3, 2019
  • Musicians in Performance.  A series of drawings (ink on paper) in the exhibition area of the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP). Lunenburg NS Spring 2017 – present
  • Red Serge, AR&S Gallery, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton AB, March 12 – April 2, 2014
  • Dog Park Paintings, The Front Gallery, Edmonton AB, October 2010
  • Sunday Afternoon at the Dog Park, Okotoks Art Gallery, Okotoks AB, April/June 2010
  • New Work: Muybridge Revisited, The Front Gallery, Edmonton AB, February 25 – March 8, 2006
  • Artists’ Dogs, The Works Art & Design Festival, Site # 18, Rigaletto’s, Edmonton AB, June/July 2004
  • Selling Canada: The RCMP as Canadian Icon (Mountie souvenir collection) and On Guard (drawings and paintings), Sir Alexander Galt Museum and Archives, Lethbridge, AB, June/December 2002
  • My Year as a Dog, Anna Leonowens Gallery, NSCAD, Halifax, NS, February 2001
  • Representing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Pilar Shepard Gallery, Charlottetown, PEI, November 1995
  • The Mounties: The Harold Pearse Collection (artifacts and art work), Confederation Centre of the Arts, Art Gallery, Charlottetown, PEI, May/October 1995
  • More of the Mounted, Studio 21, Halifax, NS, February/March 1995
  • Memories/Forgettences (with Lukas Pearse), Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, NS, November 1994
  • We Stand on Guard: Paintings and Drawings by Harold Pearse, Studio 21, Halifax NS, March/April 1990
  • Re-surfacing, (with Nick Webb), Anna Leonowens Gallery, NSCAD, Halifax NS, October 1985
  • A Photo of Lukas Every Day, Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax NS, November 1974
  • Sequences, Mezzanine Gallery, NSCAD, Halifax NS, March 1973
  • Mezzanine Gallery, NSCAD, Halifax NS, November 1971
  • Richmond Art Centre, Richmond BC, November 1967

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • Size Fits All, Mahone Bay Centre, Mahone Bay NS, Dec 2016/2017/2019
  • Life Drawing, Pop-up Exhibitions by participants in the Sunday morning Life Drawing Sessions, Mahone Bay Centre, Mahone Bay NS May 2016/2017/2018/2019
  • What the Lighthouse “Seas”. Port Medway NS, August, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Get Hold of This Space: A Geography of Conceptual Art in Canada, The Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, France, Feb-April, 2014
  • To Inspire: Visual Art Instructors’ Exhibition, Faculty of Extension Gallery, Enterprise Square, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, September/October, 2013
  • Continental Drift: Konzeptkunzt in Kanada: Die 1960er an 70er Jahre” (2 videos from 1971 in the exhibition). Badischer Kunstverin, Karlsruhe, Germany, April – August, 2013.
  • Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada from 1965 to 1980 (2 videos from 1971), A travelling exhibition that appeared in Toronto (Fall 2011), Halifax (Spring 2011), Edmonton (Art Gallery of Alberta, Summer 2011) and the Vancouver Art Gallery (Fall 2012)
  • Boxn’t T-Shirt Exhibition, The Works Art & Design Festival, Edmonton, AB, June 2010
  • Small, The Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton AB, January 18 – March 24, 2008
  • Images in Scarlet: Remembering the Mounted Police, The James O. Wilson Gallery at Fort Calgary, Calgary AB, July/September 2006
  • Taking Time: Sabbatical Reflections, McMullen Gallery, University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, AB. September – November, 2003
  • Annual Student, Staff, Faculty and Alumni Exhibitions, Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax, NS, December 1998, 1999, 2000
  • Far and Wide: The VANS 20th Anniversary Exhibition, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax NS, September/November 1996; University College of Cape Breton Art Gallery, Sydney, NS, November/February 1996/97
  • Christmas Gold & Silver Show, Studio 21, Halifax, NS, December 1995
  • Collective Viewing: Selections from the Art Bank of Nova Scotia 1975-1995, Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax, NS, May/June 1995
  • The Arts Centre Project: Work by Faculty, Instructors and Staff of NSCAD, The Khyber Second Storey Gallery, Halifax, NS, April 1995
  • Far and Wide: The VANS Biennial Juried Exhibition, Dartmouth Heritage Museum, Dartmouth, NS, November/January, 1994/95
  • Conceptual Art: The NSCAD Connection 1967-1973, Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, NS, November 1994
  • Exhibition of Extremes, Studio 21, Halifax, NS, February/March 1991
  • Visual Facts 86: Visual Arts Nova Scotia, Dalhousie Art Gallery, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS, December 1986
  • Art Education Division Exhibitions, Anna Leonowens Gallery, NSCAD, Halifax NS, February 1981; November 1982; February 1983
  • Release of film, Five Kids and Their Pictures (16mm, colour, sound 20 mins.), Halifax NS, 1979
  • Transparent Things: the Artist’s Use of the Photograph; Works from the Canada Council Art Bank, National Tour, 1978
  • Premiere showing of film Joe Sleep, (16 mm, colour, sound, 28 mins.) Festival of the Arts, Halifax NS, August 1976
  • Set of Three, Vehicule Art Inc., Montreal, PQ, April 1973
  • Faculty Exhibition, Anna Leonowens Art Gallery, NSCAD, Halifax, NS, September 1972
  • Vancouver-Halifax Exchange (video tapes), Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, March 1972
  • Concept, Systems, Process, SGWU Art Gallery and the Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal, PQ, February 1971
  • MA Graduate Show, SGWU Art Gallery, Montreal, PQ, June 1969
  • Ninth Annual Calgary Graphics Exhibition (juried), Calgary, AB, February 1969
  • BC Art Teachers, Vancouver BC, August 1968


  • Private collections in Nova Scotia, Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Edmonton, Calgary
  • Alberta School Boards Association: Dogs are Mounties too: Line, Edmonton, AB, 2005
  • Chili’s Restaurant, Calgary International Airport: Mountie and Dog in the Rocky Mountains, 2004
  • Alberta Foundation for the Arts: Mounties’ Dogs are Brave and Fearless, Oil paint on canvas, April 2004
  • Nova Scotia Art Bank: Line of Mounties, oil paint and sand on canvas, Spring 1994
  • Canada Council Art Bank: Falling on Guard, coloured pencil on paper, Summer 1993
  • Nova Scotia Art Bank; Lighthouse, Oil Pastels on Paper, 1991
  • Photo murals for Post Offices in Mount Uniake and Windsor Junction, NS. Commissioned by Public Works Canada, July 1977
  • Canada Council Art Bank : 12 x 12, Photomontage, 1973
  • Canada Council Art Bank : Polaroid-Litho Accumulation, Lithograph, NSCAD Imp., 1972

 Red Serge AGA Exhibition 2014   RED SERGE: Exhibition of drawings and paintings by Harold Pearse and artifacts and photographs from the University of Alberta Libraries’ Sir Samuel Steele Collection. Curated by Ania Sleczkowska, Art Gallery of Alberta, AR&S Gallery, Edmonton AB, March 21-April 3 2014.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Exhibition-Announcement.png  Exhibition of a year of sketchbook drawings, Two Dogs and a Cat Every Day for a Year, July 2019, Anna Leonowens Gallery, NSCADU, Halifax NS


Harold Pearse’s art work can be viewed, purchased or rented from the Art Rental and Sales Gallery at the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton Alberta or by appointment at his studio in Lunenburg Nova Scotia.