About the artist



The Toronto Art Directors Club
Merit Award - 1984

The Art Directors Club of Toronto
Gold Award - 1985

The Art Directors Club of Toronto
Merit Award - 1985


Creating life on canvas for over
4 decades

Often dubbed "Rockwell of the North", Gary McLaughlin's talent for painting people is the key to his celebrated style. His dynamic illustration style reflects the influence of internationally known illustrators such as Bernie Fuchs, Bob Peak and Bart Forbes.

McLaughlin graduated from Toronto’s Ontario College of Art in 1978. His first job post graduation was to paint an original canvas for the 50th anniversary of Maple Leaf Gardens. Harold Ballard commissioned the work and personally directed the details of the images in the montage. The original hung in the lobby of the arena for over a decade.

His portrait skills were honed to perfection from years of painting romance novel covers for Harlequin Books and many other esteemed clients. His grit and expertise are evident in what may be his greatest work, Blue Sky White Snow, a 12-by-6-foot oil painting depicting every Toronto Maple Leafs player in the team’s one hundred-year history. In total, 963 portraits grace this remarkable canvas.

Throughout his forty-year career as a freelance illustrator, McLaughlin has painted for international clients, advertising agencies, and numerous sports superstars including Wayne Gretzky, Mats Sundin, Bobby Hull, Bobby Orr, and the legendary Gordie Howe. His incredible talent and authentic technique of rendering the human face makes him an artist’s artist.



Recent Press

The Toronto Sun

SB Nation

The Hanover Post