Irvin Thomas Amundrud was born August 30, 1950 in Lloydminster Saskatchewan. He grew up on a farm along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River in a countryside of rolling hills, grain fields and poplar bluffs. From an early age he was fascinated by the landscape - its textures, shades, and forms. He remembers his Grade One excitement over a friend's Crayola crayons with their many brilliant colours: gold and silver, bright pink, and lime green. For his twelfth birthday he got real oil paints, and started formal lessons. At fourteen he was awarded two bronze medals in an international art competition. After two years at the University of Saskatchewan he abandoned electrical engineering and continued with a major and minor in fine art - painting.
In 1986 he took up flying, gaining access to a host of new landscapes and a new perspective on the land. In 1990 he quit a college position to work towards becoming a full-time artist.
An admirer of Tom Thomson, his work is reminiscent of the Group of Seven in its focus on the Canadian wilderness and the grandeur and beauty of the land. This interest has taken him from the Rocky Mountains to the Churchill River. Since moving to the West Coast he has focused on the seashore; the interplay of sea, land, and sky; the light on the water. He often works directly in the field, and his dream is to paint the Pacific Northwest with a float plane as his working platform.
He thinks of painting as the language of the artist, and feels with Vincent Van Gogh that the process is spiritual, as described by Paul the Apostle: "Now we have recieved, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God... expressing spiritual truths in spiritual language."
From a note in his diary, while painting watercolours on location in June, 1997: "The pigment is transported upon the water, brought together, separated, strengthened and weakened, burnt by the sun, frozen by the cold, mottled by the rain, abraded by the sand, streaked by the wind; and the one who holds the brush is only a witness to these things."
Irvin's work has been exhibited in public and private galleries and may be found in private and corporate collections.
He and his wife Joanna live in the village of Sooke, at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. They have four sons and a daughter.