When I started my professional life, my only formal training was as an artist. (I studied Fine Arts at McMaster University, graduating with a B.A. in 1980. Since then I completed the Canadian Securities Course as a financial journalist and added a PhD in history in 2015.) Over the years I have executed a number of maps and illustrations for my own books. Champions and A Breed Apart were particularly heavily illustrated by me (I also did the page layout). Yacht Design Explain was a joint effort with Steve Killing (for which I also did the page design). We cooperated on most of the drawings and charts, but a few I drew myself, such as the sandbagger, below. My work has also appeared in a number of magazines, including Sailing World, Cruising World, Cottage Life and The Beaver (now Canada’s History). I have also executed illustrations for books by other authors, including Icewine (2007), Ghost Mountains and Vanished Oceans (2009), Young Mr. Obama (2010), The Hustle (2010), Lunch-Bucket Lives (2015), and A Guest at the Shooters’ Banquet (2015).

Illustrations and cartography

Antares 42 cutaway, drawn (in Photoshop) for PDQ Yachts

Map of historic industrial Hamilton for Lunch-Bucket Lives by Craig Heron, Between the Lines, 2015.

Historic “sandbagger” drawn (in Photoshop) for Yacht Design Explained.

“Keels and whale,” an illustration I executed for my own story for Sailing World about a “superkeel,” with four other yacht keels (and a humpback) used for scale comparison.

Illustration of Beausoleil Island in Georgian Bay Islands National Park

Illustration and page design from Champions. Penguin Canada, 1995

Map of New York area for for my book Half Moon, Bloomsbury Press, 2009

Two illustrations for Ghost Mountains and Vanished Oceans, by John Wilson and Ron Clowes. Key Porter Books, 2009

Illustration for my own story, “The Mystery of Champlain’s Astrolabe.” The Beaver, December 2004/January 2005

When Random House Canada couldn’t come up with a satisfactory cover treatment for God’s Mercies in the spring of 2007, they got in touch with me to see if I had any suggestions. I came up with the treatment on the left in Photoshop, which was used in the catalog while Random House continued to work on their own cover. At right is a variation that I used as the background for promotional materials. It’s a re-imagining of the moment of the Hudson mutiny in June 1611. (The mountains in the background are wrong, as they’re on Baffin Island, but the vessels are true to the time.) My approach was certainly a lot more illustrative and conventional for works of historical non-fiction, but I liked the one Random House came up with.

Bloomsbury Press in New York commissioned two maps of similar style for Ted McClelland’s Young Mr. Obama (left) and Doug Merlino’s The Hustle, both published in 2010.

For my book The Race to the New World (Palgraive Macmillan, 2011; Douglas & McIntyre, 2012), I created a map of the globe on facing pages to illustrate the worlds (New and Old) of Christopher Columbus and John Cabot.

One of two maps of wartime Lithuania for A Guest at the Shooters’ Banquet by Rita Gabis, Bloomsbury USA, 2015.