LITTLE CURRENT – Artist Ivan Wheale has established a solid reputation as a chronicler of the iconic landscapes of Georgian Bay and each year the opening of the Ivan Wheale collection launches the artistic season. Just before last weekend’s opening, Mr. Wheale received a phone call from a long-time friend and collaborator Robert Heffel of the Heffel Fine Art Auction House in Toronto. (The Heffel galleries can be also found in Montreal and Vancouver.)
Mr. Heffel had some interesting news for Mr. Wheale.
“He told me he had seen one of my works up for auction at an international auction house and that he intended to bid on the work,” Mr. Wheale said. The work was one of the oil on canvas McGregor Bay scenes, ‘Frazer Point,’ Mr. Wheale had created a number of years ago. “He told me he was going to bid up to $13,000.”
In the end Mr. Heffel’s bid fell far short of the mark.
“He called me back later to tell me he didn’t win the auction,” said Mr. Wheale. In the end the winning bid came in just short of $20,000. That came as no surprise to Perivale Gallery owner Shannon McMullan, whose gallery is the official agent for Mr. Wheale’s contemporary works.
“We opened the online sale of Ivan’s work this morning at 7 am,” said Ms. McMullan on Friday. “The phone hasn’t really stopped ringing since the images went online. There have been a number of his paintings sold already today.”
The international gallery featuring Mr. Wheale’s McGregor Bay work is known for auctioning works by the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson—many of those works featuring million-plus dollar reserve bids.
This latest auction sale continues the upward trend for the pricing of Mr. Wheale’s works on the international scene. Asked if he would be jacking the prices of his latest works thanks to the news Mr. Wheale laughs. “I’ll have to think about that,” he chuckles.
The 2021 Ivan Wheale collection can be found online at PerivaleGallery.com—all things considered it might be a good idea to get clicking.