KW’s Little Shop of Landscapes

Elizabeth McFaul

Paint by Munzy is the passion of Laura Munz, who opened the gallery to showcase the art of her brother Jonathan, a local oil painter, whose bright canvases have captured the eye of many walking along King Street in Uptown Waterloo. The community has been extremely supportive of the gallery which offers cards, prints and original paintings of Jonathan’s work.

The inspirations for many of the pieces come from national parks, especially Killarney and Algonquin.

“At the end of school for the summer, we would pack up the camper and go to Algonquin,” said Laura Munz. “If we weren’t there, we would usually rent a cabin on Tyson Lake in Killarney.”

These experiences are the focus of many of Jonathan’s most popular pieces.

“We travelled all of northern Ontario and the States camping, and we were exposed to a lot of art during the process, and that’s where his influences came from,” she explained.

Jonathan works with oil paint because he is able to blend his own colours.

“He’ll only work with four in each piece, and I think that’s why, with this style, they end up looking so perfect. The colours just work together, because they are made up of a few basic ones,” said Munz. “Some of his oldest pieces, when he was just experimenting [with oil paints], are some of our best reproductions, art cards and canvas prints.”

Opening the gallery was more of a last minute decision. The location in uptown came at the same time as another opportunity.

“I knew it would be a huge undertaking and a lot of on-the-spot learning, but I couldn’t give up the opportunity to be exactly where I wanted to be, in the heart of uptown Waterloo, surrounded by the local businesses I had been going to for years,” said Munz.

Paint by Munzy has been at 32 King St. N in uptown Waterloo for just over a year, and the community has been extremely supportive.

“So many customers who have purchased pieces come back to visit, and see if there’s anything new,” said Munz, “We’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support by everyone.”

Walking into the gallery, it’s clear that Munz has found her own passion in promoting her brother’s work. It’s a bright, inviting space that showcases the scope of his work and his talent.

Munz is able to share the stories behind each piece and bring the art to public life.

“Jonathan isn’t a new artist, he’s been painting forever, but he is an undiscovered artist because of the path that he took with keeping his work to himself,” said Munz.

“When I came home, he had 40 pieces sitting in his apartment. Part of the challenge of promoting his work has been convincing Jonathan that his work was desirable and it was gorgeous. For him, the idea of having someone come in off the street and purchase a piece and order another is unreal.”