Welcome to About Masterpeace

About Masterpeace was created in 2014, as an online resource for inquiry into the creative worlds of Gerrit Verstraete including drawings, paintings, fiction, poetry, biography, and scholarly writings.


Masterpeace is the name given to the studio Gerrit Verstraete built in 1993, on Gabriola Island. British Columbia, Canada.

"Masterpeace is a hybrid word I introduced to reflect the nature of my creative journey comprising two inspirational sources. One, 'walking in the footsteps of masters,' especially the drawings of Renaissance masters, and Second: 'walking in the footsteps of the Master,' who is the Christ and my peace."  Both sources also employ the craft of storytelling and memory making

 This website is up and running together with the original website www.gverstraete.com  

Pictured below left is a collection of hand-bound leather books, a tribute to my father Chris Verstraete (1920-2003), who was a master bookbinder. Left bottom: "Cerulean Odyssey," the epic poem about Cerulean, the long distance voyager, begun in 2004. Right: Gerrit Verstraete (r) and his older brother Beert (l), Netherlands, 1950.

"Blast from the Past."
(below) My college jacket, purchased September 1964, in blue corduroy with red plaid lining.  An archive artifact with frayed edges and many memories.


Zwolle, Netherlands, the city of my birth, circa 1949. I could have been the little boy standing on the corner (bottom right). I lived on the Enkstraat, first street on the right by the tall hydro pole.

My brother Dr. Beert Verstraete, held a book celebration evening in January 2016, to celebrate new books published in 2015. "Creative Wolds" is my book.

Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada, George Elliott Clarke and I, November 7, 2017. Not only did he name me a "brother-in-ink," but was delighted we both wore leather jackets, hence "fellow epic-arians in black." A most inspirational visit and conversation at UBC. 

All content and images are copyright protected © Gerrit V.L.Verstraete, with an inherent trust, that awareness of this artist's journey will inspire all those who aspire to walk "in the footsteps of masters," as has Gerrit Verstraete since first attending art college in 1964. 

Left (below): the artist at work on a fine art drawing. Right: the artist in front of one of many abstract paintings.

Site last updated: January 2016 / copyright protected

Copyright © 2015, Gerrit Verstraete Archives. All photographs copyright, Gerrit Verstraete.

Thank you for your patience as I work towards completing my archive.

(Below): My "other" studio in the wide expanse of nature - Long Beach, Vancouver island.

Left: At work on a canvas in the studio.

Below: An example of one of my Classical Figure Drawings

Below (left): An example of one of my Silverpoint Figure Drawings

Below: The 1968 OCA Medal for Proficiency in Advertising.
This honour was followed by the award of the 1968 Standard of Proficiency Certification of the Advertising & Sales Club of Toronto.

In addition (pictured left): In 1968, the Society of Graphic Designers and the National Design Council, mounted a retrospective touring exhibition titled: “1966-1968, Graphic Design Canada,” which included the publishing of a book to accompany the exhibition ( Methuen Publications, Toronto ).

The exhibition toured Canada and Europe, and included the 1968 OCA Yearbook, as examples of student design. This unique yearbook, comprising a series of posters - so typical of the times, was designed by Gerrit Verstraete during his graduate year. He also served as its creative director and project manager. In addition to the yearbook , which was rolled up into a mailing tube, individual posters from the yearbook were exhibited, including the poster for the faculty of Advertising by Gerrit Verstraete.

Below (and below left): The official flag and commemorative cast bronze plaque for the Village of Point Edward, Ontario. The design of the official crest was created by Gerrit Verstraete and adopted by an order of council in 1978. The event was marked by a village celebration in 1978.

Remembering the Sweet Bitter Spring of 1945

 April 15, 2015 - Gerrit Verstraete lays daffodils at Gabriola’s cenotaph in remembrance of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, who liberated Zwolle, his Dutch city of birth on April 14, 1945. He was born the next day on a sunny Sunday afternoon. During liberation celebrations that Sunday, two Canadian soldiers visited the place of his birth in a makeshift bomb shelter in the old city centre. His father Christian and mother Cornelia promptly decided to name Gerrit in honour of the two soldiers, who were Vincent Southrow from Halifax and Leonard Clampitt from Vancouver. Hence, his full name Gerrit Vincent Leonard Verstraete. He just celebrated his 70th birthday. To commemorate the event and its unusual Gabriola connection, he wrote “Sweet Bitter Spring,” a novel of WWII, in honour of the men and women who liberated the Netherlands during that sweet bitter spring of 1945. The book is based on real people and real events. It is available at Amazon in print and Kindle editions.


A New Heirloom (below): My youngest son Matthew decided to give me a sword for my 70th birthday on April 15, 2015. It's a 3 1/2 feet forged steel broadsword handcrafted in the United States accompanied by a Dutch flag: (faintly) visible on the blade is an engraving of the Verstraete family-coat-of-arms and the inscription Cerulean Odyssey which is the epic poetry I write featuring my literary persona of Cerulean, the long distance voyager, and symbolic of my creative and spiritual journey. I was totally surprised with this awesome gift. A new family heirloom is born.

An image from my small sketchbooks. Mount Arrowsmith, West Face.

Dance Committee of the Wallaceburg District Secondary School, 1963. 

I am top row, third from the right. Sweet memories


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