This page comprises the biography of Gerrit V.L.Verstraete, AOCA, BFA, MA, MTH, DCA

(Last updated, September 2016)

Gerrit Vincent Leonard Verstraete, AOCA, BFA, MA, MTH, DCA, was born in 1945. He began his fine art studies as a child in the Netherlands, his country of birth. After completing high school in Wallaceburg, Ontario, he enrolled in 1964 at the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD University) in Toronto. He graduated with honours in 1968, and is an Associate of the Ontario College of Art & Design (AOCA). In 1968, he founded and owned a design studio that soon grew into a nationally accredited advertising agency. During the late sixties he began to develop his writing skills in addition to his visual arts talents. In addition to AOCA, he has a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree from Thompson Rivers University. He also completed a Master of Arts in Communication and Technology at the University of Alberta, a Master of Theology at St.Stephen's College (University of Alberta), and he hold a Doctorate degree from CLU, Christian Leadership University (DCA, Doctor of Christian Arts).

In 1993, he and Alice and their six children moved to Gabriola Island, British Columbia. There he built the family home including a spacious studio. Today he spends full time drawing, painting and writing in his Masterpeace Fine Art Studio. Gerrit Verstraete is the founder of the Drawing Society of Canada, and curator of the society’s three online galleries. He is an adjunct faculty member of the European Academy for Culture and Arts. In 2005, he began an online educational initiative, the Canadian Academy of Drawing, which teaches the fine art of drawing in the classical traditions to students around the world. He is known as one of Canada’s foremost figurative artists with the added distinction of being Canada’s premiere metal point artist, including silverpoint, copper, and gold point drawing.  He is the author of 6 novels, 2 works of non-fiction, including the "Noah King, Ghostwriter" series. As a poet he holds the distinction of having written “Cerulean Odyssey: Journey of a Long Distance Voyager,” the longest epic poem in Canadian literary history comprising 10 volumes. In 2021 he won second place in the Adult Creative Writing Contest of 2019 of the Poetry Institute of Canada. Currently, he is writing "The Remnant," the 3rd book in The Stone Trilogy," (first book, "The Quest," second book, "Survivor")

He is known and respected as a spiritual teacher and counselor, a pastor and friend, whose discipleship and mentoring have touched many. After an extensive sabbatical to complete graduate studies at the young age of 71, he has returned to his studio practices to begin the next series of drawings and paintings, draft the next novel, and engage in ministry practices of teaching and discipleship as well as storytelling and memory making.

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