Artist Ron Leclair is shown with one of his paintings in the ND Waterfront Gallery located at 25 Main Street, Unit 3, in Chesterville. Thompson Goddard Photo

ND Waterfront Gallery

CHESTERVILLE – Stepping inside the North Dundas Waterfront Gallery on Main Street in Chesterville, your eyes are treated to a collection of paintings created by Ron Leclair and the opportunity to visit with the artist himself.

A life-long resident of Chesterville, Leclair has a long and successful career as an interior and exterior painter. He has created many signs for clients, perhaps most notably the signage at St. Mary’s of the Presentation Church as well as the Roman Catholic cemetery on the outskirts of Chesterville. These signs demonstrate the artistic abilities of this gentleman.

Opened by Leclair less than 10 years ago, NDWG provides him with a location where he can showcase his paintings as well as a collection of heirloom items amassed over the years. To the rear of the gallery, is the studio where the paintings on display are created.

He explained his artistic abilities were noticed by a primary teacher, who encouraged him to develop his talent. He continued how attention to detail is one of his passions when creating his works of art. This attention to detail is quite apparent in one of his pencil paintings of a group of soldiers at a train station.  When looking at the different poses of soldiers, their uniforms and faces there is a sense of individuality that is the earmark of a talented artist.

He is proficient in the use of oil and acrylic paints, but mentions his favourite medium is pencil or ink.  One of his pencil works is of a cardinal which when looking at it, emerges from the canvas with a 3D quality. When asked, Leclair explained this is accomplished by shading, which adds to the quality of the realism of the work.

When asked about his favourite subjects, Leclair quickly replied he enjoys historical subjects. In the Gallery there are pencil drawings of World War One soldiers waiting at a train station, a pen and ink train engine and a pen and ink depiction of The Last Supper.

One of his proudest moments came when his mural depicting Chesterville firefighters at the fire station in Chesterville (now the Heritage Centre), town policeman Leonard Shane and the 1950s fire engine was hung in the fire station in Chesterville. He commented how it took a lot of time to create the mural but was very happy with the final product. He added that due to the mural being inside the fire station that that would ensure its longevity.

Leclair is looking forward to learning more art techniques and developing different artistic skills. He is spending more time at the Gallery, predominately on the weekends and encourages people to visit when he is there. When asked advice for developing artists, his response was to be patient, seek mentorship from different artists and as it is a slow process try not to get discouraged.

With Bob Lafontaine, Leclair developed the first Art on the Waterfront many years ago. He is pleased with how the event has progressed and mentioned how there is a great amount of talent in the North Dundas area. This year, Art on the Waterfront is being planned for June 4 and 5 and while Leclair is not directly involved in its organization, he commented how it is nice to see local talent highlighted.

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