Bruce Henderson was born in the small town of Inverness, Cape Breton, in 1948. Despite not having any access to the arts, he spent a lot of his spare time drawing. His subject matter would range anywhere from his own hands to objects around the house, but he had never tried his hand at painting until one Christmas when he received a small set of oil paints and went about teaching himself how to paint.
Bruce really came to love the act of painting and decided to enroll in a few summer art camps during high school. After graduating, he attended Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB, where he received some formal art training.
In 1976, Bruce and his wife, Barb, moved to Bridgewater, NS, where she had acquired a teaching position. After several years of struggling with his art, Bruce went back to school and spent the next 26 years as a lab technologist, enabling Barb to stay home with their 3 children. During those busy years, he did not give up his art and painted whenever he could.
After working with oils for many years, he decided to try his hand at acrylics and really liked their quick-drying quality. Inspired by artists such as Alex Colville and Tom Forrestall, he even spent some time working with egg tempera, but found this medium far too labor intensive.
In doing watercolour sketches as preliminary studies for his paintings, Bruce discovered that he liked the spontaneity and freedom they offered and, for the next ten years, he concentrated purely on experimenting with watercolours. His subject matter consisted primarily of Nova Scotian landscapes and its small fishing communities.
When his daughter returned home from her first year as a student at NSCAD University in 2005, working mostly in oils and now with a quick-drying aid, Bruce was inspired to return once again to oil painting.