Tony Los (1946 – 2017)

Tony Los, the artist behind this website (Masqua’s Art), passed away suddenly on March 28, 2017.

He was loving husband of Diane, proud father of Paul and Fraser (me), and recent grandfather of Fiona and Rosalie. Right up to his 71st year, as always, he was both tough as nails and soft as a teddy bear.

If this was small talk and you asked me what he did for a living before retiring, I’d say he worked at the nuclear power plant near Kincardine, Ontario, where I was born and raised. But that’s not really my Dad. He was an artist more than anything, and he poured his life into that until it ended far too soon.

He was born Antonie “Tony” Hendrikus Los in Holland—a nation still piecing itself together after the war. His mother, Anne, was Dutch, but his father was a Canadian soldier, there to liberate the ravaged country.

Although his mother and step-father, Sidney, moved the family to Listowel, Ontario, when Tony was only seven, those early years made a lasting impression—he always railed against the sins of war, and the politics of fear that led to it. He truly loved and respected Sid, but not knowing his real father would stay with him forever—it often made him feel like an outsider. His first solace from that was art, at least until he met Diane, his hometown sweetheart and true love for the rest his life.

When he painted, it was conceptual, often abstract, but always full of visceral emotion. He carried that on his sleeve, more so when he was full of youthful energy, but right until his last days. It was always there, in his gleaming blue eyes.

As he mellowed with age, Dad slowly transformed into the husband and father we all knew and cherished so much—an intensely loyal, thoughtful and caring man.

That heart he wore on his sleeve was open for all, and when my girlfriend (now wife), Laura, entered our home for the very first time, he read her a poem and played Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon full blast. It embarrassed me a little then, but not at all now.

That was just Dad. He was so full of contrasts—intellectual and sometimes heady, yet physically vibrant and active. He was weathered from a life of moving around and being outdoors: a ranger in his youth; a rodeo helper at the Calgary Stampede; an artist and music-lover in London, Ontario, of the trippy 1960s; and a hand at the airport in Yellowknife, where he had followed his mother with young family in tow.

I didn’t come on the scene until we settled in Kincardine, where Dad developed a serious passion for fishing. He’d be on the water at the crack of dawn, and spent all those afternoons making loads of delicious smoked salmon.

His spirit was dual to the core—on the one hand rational and ordered, on the other artistic and spiritual. He was always chasing life’s underlying meaning, and that’s what drove him. It was the foundation of his deep-seated beliefs, which he defended vehemently over marathon dinner conversations, and the basis for his art.

Through all that searching, he became a teacher and a role model—showing us how to move past rejection in life, past any setbacks or pain, to ultimately focus on what really matters: love and family.

Tony Los was an artist, yes, but his greatest claim to fame, he would have told you I’m sure, was his family. His love for Diane, and for his boys and granddaughters, was beyond words. And here I am trying to do the impossible.

Let’s just say he was my Dad—who taught me how to tie a fishing knot, to listen well and read between the lines, to be strong and open in life, and to follow my heart wherever it leads. I did, and I will always love him.

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13 Responses to Tony Los (1946 – 2017)

  1. Lisbet says:

    So very sorry to hear of Tony’s loss. I loved his art, his blogs of his life and of course Dora too. You all must be very sad but as you have expressed in your story above, but very proud too. Lisbet

  2. I’m so sorry to hear of Tony’s death! He added much joy to many strangers’ lives through his beautiful art and blog. Praying comfort for you.

  3. Mark says:

    I am truly saddened by this, Tony was a gem of a man and a brilliant mind. The world has lost a genuine artist and we have lost a dear friend. He told me over the years how much he loved his Diane and his sons and grand kids, you are all in my thoughts.

  4. Heather koczij says:

    What a beautifully written eulogy for an obviously beautiful man.

  5. Lance says:

    Tony was truly loved by many people around the world. Thank you for for this wonderful eulogy. His art and words will ring forever.

  6. Very nicely written Fraser, thats a successful life, by any definition. I enjoyed Tony’s blogs, especially the variety of them, whether painting or musings or nostalgia. Sorry to hear of his loss

  7. Steve Abbott says:

    My condolences for your loss, I enjoyed your Dad’s art and his blog.

  8. Susan Feniak says:

    A beautiful touching tribute. I will miss his blog.

  9. Deb says:

    Thank you Fraser for a touching tribute to a wonderful man.
    My condolences to his family.

  10. upsidedown12 says:

    I am so sad about this loss of a wonderful person. We chatted on ATS many times. He touched my life.

  11. stevotismx says:

    I am Steve Selpal. Tony and I were best friends at BealArt in London Ontario, from 1967 through 1970, until he moved to Yellowknife with Diane and the baby. We spent hours talking about world art and world cultures. Tony was a special friend who was much older than me (1950) and I looked up to him. We had rediscovered each other through the internet on livejournal.com in 2004 and reacquainted ourselves. Today I found the news of his passing because I made a blue graphic last week to celebrate Autism Awareness Month and holy week and I shared it to his Facebook not knowing he had passed. He was truly on my mind. He was truly very much on my mind.

  12. dweezer19 says:

    I am sorry for your family’s loss but what a magnificent life. Hugs.

  13. Very sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you for sharing such a life

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