Someone is documenting the neighbourhood — one “shitty” watercolour painting at a time.
The painter — who goes by the handle @shitty_watercolour_leslieville on Instagram — makes art out of “the beautiful sights of Leslieville in shitty watercolours” and is capturing the hearts and imaginations of Toronto’s east end in the process.
“Whenever I leave work and cross the DVP I let out a big sigh of relief — it really feels like home,” says the artist, who wishes to remain anonymous. “When I got a set of paint for Christmas this year, I thought I’d try to capture those feelings in shitty watercolours.”
Capturing the look of local businesses is the artist’s main focus, although streetscapes, houses and even the now-defunct Coffee Time and Gale’s Snack Bar have been featured on shitty_watercolour_leslieville’s canvas.
“I have a lot of respect for the owners who are taking a risk and are really trying to be a part of our community.”
Despite a self-deprecating opinion of the watercolour paintings adorning Instagram, it’s undeniable that this artist has developed a unique style that's recognizable and has become instantly hyped by fans.
“I feel like I owe my loyal fans more content. I’d like to think my painting will gradually improve over time to become less shitty. I’ve been thinking about maybe doing some portraits of people in the area but that seems a little beyond my skill level at the moment.”
The artist takes request for new pieces through their Instagram account. Follow along for awful updates of the neighbourhood. Once the artist hits 200 followers, they plan to give away a painting.
If you’d like to buy a shitty watercolour painting for yourself, an Etsy store has been setup for all things shitty in Leslieville.