David N. Kitler
Born in Toronto, Ontario, David’s appreciation of nature began in his youth, as he explored the Canadian outdoors. Once he realized that the whole world was only a plane trip away, David embarked on longer reference gathering trips to places such as Kenya, Tanzania, Nepal, India, Brazil, Panama, and Costa Rica, as well as most of the USA and Alaska. In the meantime, David taught himself to draw and paint, experimenting with a variety of media and techniques.
Because of his love of wildlife, David had initially geared his education towards becoming a veterinarian, believing that art could only be treated as a hobby. Still, while growing up, David received support and encouragement from his mother, who sometimes allowed him to stay up late on school nights so he could finish a drawing. David still vividly remembers one of the last things his mother ever said to him: “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you are not an artist.” Unfortunately, soon after, at the age of 17, David lost that source of support in a tragic manner, when David’s mother was killed by his father. This terrible event impacted David’s life, and that of his four younger siblings, in immeasurable ways. Introduced abruptly into the adult world, David had to find ways to support himself and secure his future, so he gave up his dream of attending university, and started work at a local factory.
Soon, however, David’s sketches and paintings, which he continued to work on whenever he had a free moment, began to garner attention, opening a door to a world he had not known existed. It was then that he decided to pursue a degree in art, hoping this would further demonstrate his personal commitment and enhance his credibility. Fending for himself, David overcame incredible odds and eventually graduated with honours from the Ontario College of Art.
David’s paintings have quickly gained recognition and are part of corporate and private collections the world over. David is a member of the prestigious Society of Animal Artists and the Artists for Conservation Foundation (formerly Worldwide Nature Artists Group) and has been invited to exhibit in some of North America’s major art shows, where he has received a number of Best of Show and Excellence Awards.
In 1993, David relocated his studio to Calgary, Alberta. Besides painting, David spends time on research trips and with the many students in his art classes and workshops, with whom he enjoys sharing his passions for nature and art. Furthermore, he has had the opportunity to spend time in the field with some of the world’s top wildlife artists, including Robert Bateman and Carl Brenders.
David’s sister Lea is local resident.
David N. Kitler’s “Otters” is a print from his original acrylic on Baltic Birch and can be seen on the north side wall of 24 Hastings St N.