Don McTaggart a WW2 Halifax pilot
holding a Karl Illini custom painting
I walked into Illini Gallery located in Bobcaygeon, just on a whim. Mr. Illini was on the phone at the time and motioned with an arm wave that I could just browse through the gallery.
Because of the diversity of the different artwork, my first impression was that he had a collection of different artists work. So here's me asking him a stupid question - "Are all the paintings from different artists in the Kawarthas'. With a humble smile, and that same arm motion, he softly said -"These are all mine."
I was blown away. Intrigued, I asked questions about his work and he humbly gave an answer. An hour later I walked out of his gallery in awe. A man who has gained a reputation internationally as an artist and is in the Who's Who in Ontario truly inspired me with his humility.
One of the works he told me about was a painting he made for a pilot. The pilot wanted him to illustrate his last night of April 13 1945 a bombing raid on the port city of Kiel Germany. At the time I was just impressed that Karl Illini could make a personalized painting, it was not until later I learned who that pilot was and his story.
The photo is the painting Karl Illini made for this pilot. The pilots story is to come later. In the Karl Illini's Gallery hangs the print.
(After this page was published, I had the opportunity to meet with Karl again. He has allowed me to publish his bio. That is also to come.)
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