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1979 pencil drawing for business card

 

1987 pencil drawing

1993 watercolour from Europe sketchbook

 

1998 watercolour from Canada sketchbook

Above: 50th birthday topographical study; right: contribution to the Artropolis 2001 Self-Portrait Exhibition



2015, in pencil, soon after a haircut.

I, Michael Kluckner, am a Canadian writer and artist/illustrator. My early books on the history of Canadian cities, heritage, planning issues and art, include Vancouver The Way It Was, Vanishing Vancouver, Paving Paradise, and British Columbia in Watercolour. They received some acclaim, including the Duthie Prize, the Vancouver Book Prize, the Toronto Book Prize (short list), the Hallmark Society (Victoria) Award of Merit, and the Heritage Canada Medal of Achievement. All of them are out of print but can be obtained on used book websites such as abebooks.com, or found in libraries throughout Canada. They are listed on this site on the books page.

Books in the 1990s included Michael Kluckner's Vancouver, a collection of paintings, and The Pullet Surprise: A Year on an Urban Farm, which reflected on our move from the city to the country. My 1998 book, Canada, A Journey of Discovery explored the places and countryside that made up my childhood image of Canada. I followed up The Pullet with a farm-noir sequel, a tale of mind over mutton, entitled Wise Acres, published in 2000. Vanishing British Columbia, which developed on this website, was published by UBC Press in 2005. Vancouver Remembered was published in 2006 by Whitecap Books and completed (I thought at the time) the cycle of books I began on BC more than 20 years earlier.

In 1991 I was the founding president of the Heritage Vancouver Society, and served as president of the Langley Heritage Society from 1993 to 1998. From 1996 until 2001, I was the British Columbia member of the board of governors of the Heritage Canada Foundation, and served as chair from 1998-2000. I chaired the Vancouver Heritage Foundation in 2002-3.

I had an early, brief career in 1979-80 as a newspaper cartoonist.

I lived from 1993 to 2006 on a farm in rural Langley, British Columbia, where I raised sheep and chickens and helped my wife maintain her large garden. My wife, Christine Allen, is the author of Roses for the Pacific Northwest (1999, Steller Press), Gardens of Vancouver (1999, Raincoast Books), and Climbing Up (2002, Steller Press), and regularly contributes to gardening magazines including "BC Home & Garden." Her A Year at Killara Farm, published by Harbour in 2012, includes my illustrations of our years of country living.

In 2006, we moved to Australia. We lived in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney from 2007-9 before returning to live in Sydney. The page of Australia paintings shows some of what I was up to during those three years. My different types of artwork are linked from the artwork index page.

An ongoing interest, more linked to the writing I've done and the small watercolours that illustrated it, is painting and drawing in a sketchbook as I travel: the travel index page links to these wanderings. As I add things to this website, I put them on to a "Newstuff" page – the closest thing to a blog.

In February, 2010, we returned to Canada to live in Vancouver. Vanishing Vancouver: The Last 25 Years, published in April, 2012,  looks back to my earlier period living in Vancouver while recording and analyzing the remarkable changes that have recently transformed the city.

I have returned, in a way, to my cartooning habits of the 1970s with Toshiko, my first graphic novel, published in 2015. A second one, 2050: A Post-Apocalyptic Murder Mystery, came out in 2016.

I am a member of the Vancouver Heritage Commission and have been president of the Vancouver Historical Society since 2015. Additional volunteer time is spent in the neighbourhood on the Grandview Heritage Group. We live in the Grandview area near Commercial Drive.




Killara Farm, Langley, British Columbia, Canada (watercolour for Harrowsmith magazine, 2002), where we lived from 1993 to 2006.



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