Steven Sabados paints to help deal with the loss of Chris Hyndman

Steven Sabados hadn’t painted in years but took it up again as a way to process the sudden death of his partner and co-host Chris Hyndman, who was found in a laneway near their Toronto home last summer.

'Painting is my therapy,' says Sabados, who is returning to CBC-TV for a new lifestyle series

Television host Steven Sabados has a diploma in fine art from Fanshawe College, in London, Ont., but hadn't painted in years. After the sudden death of his partner and co-host Chris Hyndman, who was found in a laneway near their Toronto home last summer, Sabados began painting again to help him deal with the loss. 

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

This work was done 'alone, late at night with music blaring.'

One of his more recent paintings represents a conversation with Hyndman spoken out loud and recorded in Sharpie. It was done by rotating the canvas from edge to edge so that the sentences blended together to become, mostly, impossible to make out.

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His paintings contain hidden personal messages.

"I don't want people to read the messages and made sure they are unrecognizable. But they are there," Sabados said in an interview with CBC's Heather Hiscox, in Toronto.

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Most of the works are untitled.

The backs of the paintings he keeps at home are inscribed with quotes or phrases, along with his signature and a date. This one, done in lacquered acrylic and ink, hangs on the wall by the front door and has the words Red Raven and the line "I wish my life could be" on the back. 

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

'Painting is my therapy.' 

Sabados doesn't sell his paintings and says when they are finished they usually just "lean against the wall at home."

This one hanging on the wall is a metre-and-a-half tall and was done in acrylic and epoxy. On the back there are two hand prints, one red and the other black, along with a signature and the quote: "Primitive Painters."

The stencilled words are intentionally obscured and at the bottom, flames form faces.

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The angel with the broken wing contains layers of meaning.

This one, done in ink and pencil and finished in the last few months, has a lot of lightness in it along with its dark hues. Sabados described it as "deeply spiritual." 

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Another angel towers over the living room.

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The lacquered skulls were done in 2014.

This painting is from an earlier series. Others, including more recent works, are on display at the Decore Rest showroom, in Woodbridge, Ont. This fall, Sabados is returning to CBC-TV as one of the four hosts of a new lifestyle series.

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

With files from the CBC