Skip to product information
1 of 1



This is a piece that I created of Frederick Banting, one of Canada's most influential scientists. In November 1921, Banting, a medical school professor had to present a lecture to his students about the pancreas. After reading research about ligating the pancreatic duct, Banting starting working on ways to isolate insulin from the pancreas of dogs, pigs and cows. Over a 2-year period, he, and one of his medical students, Charles Best, we able to develop an isolate of insulin and provide it as a treatment for diabetes. 

The portrait depicts Banting in deep thought. I thought a lot about his eyes and glasses. I actually magnified his eye a little bit through the glasses to convey the idea that glasses and magnification are very important in scientific discovery because it allows scientists to detect things at the cellular level. I also chose a somewhat opaque tone to the glasses to illustrate the concept that nothing in science is in plain sight. In the background, I used muted tones, to give the feeling of what it might have been like nearly 100 years ago to try to develop a treatment for a condition that affected millions of patients. I also used a couple of scientific symbols that conveyed the traditional scientific thinking of the times. I decided to add a significant black area because failure is inevitable on the way to scientific progress. I also used green highlights to enhance the aesthetics of the painting itself, because Banting was also, himself, an artist. In fact, Banting was a good friend of AY Jackson's and frequently accompanied him on sketching trips to Georgian Bay and rural Quebec. 

I created a significant part of this work when I was on stage to help support the annual Canadian Crystal event to raise funds for our local school board. 

I decided to call the painting, Ligate, because of the importance of the scientific paper that influenced Banting's thinking. 

Size: 48x60

View full details