Van Klei, Daniel, Hawk One, 48x72", Oil on Canvas
Hawk One depicts an F-86 Sabre Mk5 jet aircraft which was owned by Vintage Wings of Canada and flown by several renown pilots, including Paul Kissman and retired astronaut Chris Hadfield. The actual aircraft was painted in the colours of Canada’s innovative demonstration team the “Golden Hawks” (1959-64). The tail was painted with imagery to celebrate 100 years of powered flight in Canada (2009) and the aircraft recognized Fern Villeneuve as the first squadron leader of the Golden Hawks. The painting is displayed at Ottawa International Airport.
As a young boy I would love going to airshows with my dad who had a commercial pilots licence. I would often make drawings and oil paintings of aircraft and spent many hours in the right seat with dad flying throughout British Columbia. He was one of a handful of very skilled pilots who would fly into narrow, short unforgiving remote airships within the Coastal Mountains of British Columbia. I was filled with the romantic notion of being a pilot. When I was 15, working on my private pilots licence, the moment arrived where it was time to solo. The instructor hopped out of the aircraft. Then he asked how old I was and promptly hopped back in. I had to wait for my16th birthday to fly on my own. Then I patiently waited another two years to reach the age requirement where I could share the view with some of my high school friends and family. As a member or the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, flying gliders was also very memorable. I believe these early teenage experiences of seeing the earth from above, in abstract forms, textures and colour was instrumental in shaping my perceptions and continues to influence how I approach painting.