Here is a small gallery of some of my paintings. All images are copyright 2002 David Okum. Unauthorized use of these images in any way violates the copyright.


I was putting together an art show in 1995 when a friend of mine commented that when she saw all of the paintings together their meaning changed somehow. She described the process of looking at the paintings as if she were walking through the ruins of an immense castle. Every now and then she would stumble upon a vignette or some scene of this castle. The change of any one painting told another story in the history of this castle. After this, I would visualize the journey down the sprawling corridors and turn a new corner to encounter the scene that would become my next painting.

Knights and Dog, 1990, Acrylic on Canvas.
This is the first painting I did that had the new theme of knights and dogs. I had no idea what would follow. It was the final painting that I did for my fourth year honours thesis in painting. It had nothing to do with my other paintings and it felt different from anything else that I had painted. I would explore this theme for many years to come.

Diana, 1992, Pencil Crayon on Paper
OK, ok, this is actually a pencil-crayon drawing, but I did it at the same time as I did White Fox. It has some of the same ideas and themes that I was working on at the time.

Click on the name for a detail of DIANA.

White Fox, 1992, Acrylic on Canvas.
This painting of a Norman knight was an initial attempt to return to a theme I had developed in my thesis year at The University of Waterloo: Knights and Dogs. It is unique because I played with the negative space depicting the white fox.

Gabriel Hound, 1992, Acrylic on Canvas
Gabriel Hounds are from Celtic mythology. It is believed that the sound of migrating geese at night made people think that dogs were flying in the sky. They were heralds of ill-fortune in some stories. This was to be part of a series of myths and legends interpreted in a logo-like series of images.

Night's Bestiary, 1994, Pencil Crayon on Paper
Another pencil crayon drawing, but this one is 2 feet by 3 feet. What was I thinking? This drawing took forever to complete. Every spare waking moment was spent trying to get this puppy done for an art show.

Click here for another view
Yet another image of Night's Bestiary.I told you, this thing took me forever to complete, there might as well be lots of pictures of it somewhere.

King Arthur,Acrylic on Canvas,1995
This painting of Arthur was created at the same time as the painting of Merlin. At this point, I had been painting images of statues of knights and dogs for five years. I felt it was time that I address my interpretation of the Arthurian legends.

I painted Arthur as a powerful Celtic chieftan. He is accompanied by two hunting hounds and a copper bronze plaque of three dogs intertwined encircles his head like a halo. I was greatly inspired by the "Heroic Realism" of Bolshevik posters when I created these images.
Merlin,Acrylic on Canvas,1995
I really think that Sean Connery would make a cool Merlin in a movie. I really wanted my Merlin to look like a tough guy. He needed to be powerful physically as well as magically.

Eclipse, 1996, Acrylic on Canvas
This was an attempt to revive the idea of myth logos. I completed this painting in three hours one night. I had no job prospects for the next teaching year and this was to be the first in a new series that would be for sale. I was called by a principal and accepted a job as I was putting the finishing touches on this painting. I didn't finish the series. I've been busy teaching.

Allegory, 1997, Acrylic on Canvas
In retrospect, I felt that I could have improved Eclipse with a few more hours of effort. A year later I sat down and created Allegory. It was an attempt to express the same idea in a more complex and polished way. The differences in the two paintings really reveal the psychological states in which they were created.

Newgrange, 1998, Acrylic on Canvas
This image was created as the "last" in the knights and dog series. I am not convinced that it will be the last in the series.

Angel of Industry, 1999, Acrylic on Canvas
So it wasn't the last... the idea of a new series was too hard to ignore. This painting and the next are set in an industrial area someplace near the castle I keep painting. This angel seems really put out about something... free trade maybe?

Soldier of Industry, 1999, Acrylic on Canvas
I don't know why this soldier is guarding this factory. The smokestacks are pumping filth into the twilight and the place is a wreck.

Princessa, 1999, Acrylic on Canvas
This woman is named after the book "The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women" by Harriet Rubin. I imagine that she is pondering something very important.

Arthur 99, 1999, Acrylic on Canvas
I always vowed that the original Arthur painting would never be for sale. Interest in purchasing this painting has always been highest, of course. It is the forbidden fruit syndrome. "No, you can't buy that particular painting." Well, I went and painted another one. And then I sold it! (update August 2002!!) What a sell-out.

The Watcher, 1999, Acrylic on Canvas
This painting just seemed to come to life as I painted it. The spirals were a reference back to the painting "Newgrange" from last June. Check out the details here.

The Sleep of Reason, 1999, Acrylic on Canvas
The title is a reference to the etching by Goya "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters". The woman is leaning on a lion's head (symbol of a guardian) and the shield behind her is emblazoned with a Celtic dragon (another form of guardian, but also the archetype of a questing beast or monster). I like the paradox. View a detail here. Click here for another view

I created Forest Angel in 2000 for a University of Waterloo Miniature Art Show and Sale. It was sold to raise funds for the Fine Art Department. 2000, Digital and Pencil. 8.5"x11".

Morgan Le Fay, 2002, Acrylic on Canvas
Just when I thought the series was over and done with I had someone ask me to paint Morgan. I couldn't resist. Morgan was sold along with Arthur and Merlin. They were meant to be together, I guess.