Monday, November 15, 2010

As I mentioned a few days (or was it weeks? ack!) ago, I am involved in another blog. This new blog isn't just "personal stuff" like this blog that your eyes are currently dancing over. The new blog,, is a joint venture. Click this to see my latest entry, though, about my drive to change to a non-toxic art form...

On another, more personal note boy I'm hungry right now! Time for a slice of bread.

That being said, lately I've gotten a membership at the YMCA, have been using the veggies I get in my CSA box well and smartly, and have been enjoying brisk walks to the studio almost daily. Things are going well. I am in two exhibitions right now (well, soon opening) and will be in a craft fair just before Christmas. I'm pet-sitting, too! I love pet-sitting. My cat puts up with the new smells remarkably well.

I am going to try and get my Master's degree in Art Therapy. Yes, indeed. It looks like a long-haul situation, though. I wonder if I woudn't be smarter to "just" get my regular Master's in Fine Art... oh, decisions!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Another Blog...

I am involved with another blog. This one is a Group effort, and it focusses on Verdant Life In The City. Gardening, art, herbalism, cartoons, a beautiful life, food... and much much more will be a part of this... Fleurbain. I will keep this-here blog for more personal ramblings... will also continue to co-post my art reviews and cartoons here! However, I do reccommend checking out, too.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

November Single-Day Workshops: Felt in Montreal

Workshops schedule for November:

Make Your Own Felt Wool Scarf, and Felted Soap Loofah
For ages 15 to Adult, the perfect way to make a couple of deluxe Christmas presents!

In this three-hour course, students will create a felt wool scarf, and also a felted soap loofah. The basics of the wet-felting process will be taught.

Choose one day of: Tuesday November 16, 10am - 1pm; Thursday November 18, 6:30pm - 9:30pm; or Saturday November 20, 10am - 1pm. Cost for one of these courses is $40 (materials included) OR $37 each if you take more than one course...

Make Your Own Felt Pouch/Purse, and Felted Soap Loofah
For ages 15 to Adult, A fun three hour session in which we will create a felt wool pouch or purse, suitable for a camera, cellphone, or just to have a nice little purse! We will also make a felted soap loofah for the bath.

Choose one day of: Tuesday November 23, 10am - 1pm; Thursday November 25, 6:30pm - 9:30pm; or Saturday November 27, 10am - 1pm. Cost for one of these courses is $40 (materials included) OR $37 each if you take more than one course (including the Scarf option, above.

These workshops are just three hours, and you will learn skills to make felt obects at home, if you so choose. Please see: (Link to the right of these words!) for more information.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rick Leong and Michael A. Robinson at Parisian Laundry

Rick Leong and Michael A. Robinson, Parisian Laundry

Show(s) visited Sept 18, 2010

A fellow painter, Rick Leong’s work is something that I can appreciate. Nature is the major inspiration for his large-scale oil on canvas works, but he delves into a fairy-tale, mystic and imagined place. The wonder of seeing is ever-present. Shapes and forms that magically appear amongst the trees, moss, sky, and vegetation are like a brief reverie within the midst of contemplation. I recall seeing his solo exhibit at the Parisian Laundry just over three years ago… they were intriguing paintings, and they performed that delicate dance between memory, observation, expression, and representation. Good painting, I would call it. So when I realised he was exhibiting at the Parisian Laundry again, I decided to stop in.

I went into the ‘Laundry not knowing what to expect, but my hopes were high. The work of Michael A. Robinson greeted me on the main floor. His work is a grand-scale for a commercial gallery space, and it was effective. The content was perhaps simple (for the serious nature of the work) and highly accessible. I liked it. Visually compelling, visceral, the work made links between stark materials (wood, plaster, simple construction-objects) and bomb imagery, warfare, and the techniques of it. Three large sculptures dominated the voluminous space, accompanied by a few drawings.

A big wall-hanging that was comprised of chiselled plaster-covered wood was covered in scratches and worked-upon images of “falling” bombs. This piece must have been about 12 or 15 feet tall, and massively wide. There seemed to be three juncture-points of the lines, three places where the tension of the composition was highest. It formed a pleasing composition, quite classic in form. Perhaps as “dropping bombs” they would be most effective in this formation, too.

The second large sculptural piece in this show was a selection of thin, flat, jagged edged plaster pieces, carefully arranged in a circle on the floor. There was a sense of “putting the pieces together”, a feeling of trying to figure something out… The individual plaster pieces looked like they were lifted from the large wall hanging, mentioned above.

Also included in Robinson’s exhibit was a series of drawings that appeared to be studies on bombing, attacks, and warfare. They were clearly drawn with an ink pen, using a ruler. There was a graphic, clear, and somewhat spare formality to them, and they seemed like technical drawings that bordered on illustration. Certainly minimalist, cut back to the basics of the forms that inspired them works… again warfare. There were about five or six of these drawings.

The most captivating piece in the show was, hands down, a huge construct of wooden objects. This seemingly exploding form must have been about 20 feet in diameter. I walked well around it, checking to see if there were any eyes poked out by all the projecting pieces of wood. It was comprised of crutches, easels, ski poles, a distinct absence of hockey sticks, and many simple pieces of wood… the type found leftover on construction sites. It was almost a cartoon drawing of an explosion; the drawing made of wood pieces in a 3-D format. The overall effect was a disassociation from the grit and grime of war.

Overall, the work in Even When Bombs Are Gone spoke more about construction and drafting, layers of building and re-building, and a closeness to materiality than “War“. "War" was a reference point, with pieces of the visual graphics and planning for war utilised in this work. “War” was isolated as a concept, as a source for dislocated, objective subject matter in and of itself.

After seeing the Main Space exhibit, I went down into The Bunker (yes, it is called that) to see Rick Leong’s show, The Roaming Gloam. This is a space accessible through a staircase underground, and many attendees would need to duck while traversing a certain passage (I did). Once you arrive in The Bunker, however, the ceiling opens up to about 20 feet or so. It’s a great space. Dramatic, no windows, no light but the spotlights on the one large painting on display. It was… a pretty good painting. This painting displayed a magical-seeming forest-scene. The tree-forms were impeccably painted, the bark seemed to glow from within, an ethereal light. Little cute polka-dotted mushrooms added a sense of scale in the bottom. For some reason, though, it all left me feeling a little empty. I think that more context, another couple of pieces perhaps upstairs would have… oh wait… there were two pieces of Leong’s upstairs. In the Upstairs (above the Main Space) Leong showed two pencil drawings, of an accessible scale, approximately 3’ x 2’ . These were exquisite renderings of tree-like shapes, with tendrils and doodads dancing about the treetops and trunks. Very lovely. There was a lot of empty space upstairs…. It was elegant and open, and delightful for some odd reason. I felt that Leong’s exhibit really could have used a couple more pieces. One large painting and two exquisite drawings separated two floors apart just wasn’t enough for me. It should be noted that the gallery suggested in a little text handed out that this large painting would converse with some smaller paintings that Leong was showing (in theory concurrently) up the hill at the McClure Gallery. Not complaining about Leong’s works, rather, I wanted MORE of it.

After seeing the two exhibits at the Parisian Laundry, I was inspired to go up the hill (heeding the instructions of the ’Laundry) to see the additional works of Leong at The McClure Gallery. Alas, it appears that that show is actually set for a later date. Upon re-reading the text provided by The ‘Laundry, perhaps Leong’s exhibit at the McClure gallery in concurrent with one in New York later this fall… well, either way, good job Rick Leong! Three major exhibits in one autumn.

Instead of Leong’s work at the McClure, there was an exhibit of large-scale, beautiful paintings by Russell T. Gordon. It was something of a retrospective/celebration of a fine, fine artist. I loved his paintings. However, I would have cut a couple of the smaller pieces from the show, and one or two of the larger ones as well. Two big pieces were competing with one another on a wall that couldn’t accommodate them. The lesser one I’d have bumped. Just a note, not reviewing that show. But Over Easy – Metaphores en series runs ‘til October 2 and it is good painting…

I am glad to have wandered into the gallery today, it’s been too too long. Next gallery I hit up will be the Musee des Beaux Arts. I hear there are some pretty darned stunning pieces down in the contemporary temporary exhibits rooms right NOW…

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Update On Some Stuff!

You know, I just came to a realisation about 15 seconds ago as I was pondering "what to write" here. I don't have a cartoon to post, I am too lazy to find/insert photos or something... I have a dash of a hangover and really just want to noodle around on the keyboard and share something. Something like an "update" on what's going on in my life. No, not everything... THAT's what occurred to me about a minute ago, now. (Back on topic!)

When I had started a blog, a few years back (I managed to erase years of writing, serious attempts at Art-Reviews and even Music ones when I erased my Myspace account... oh well...) I knew that I couldn't write about my work-place. I didn't want to lose a job, get sued, any of that stuff. Now, as a self-employed person, I can do that! So... I must say that my boss is very lenient. She lets me take breaks, start, finish my work whenever I feel like it. If I want to research galleries at 2am and call that work, it's ok! The only issue I have with her is the amount of pay she provides. However, with this excellent working environment and tons of perks... I can't complain.

In addition to my self-employment, I am looking for work. Perhaps work that has fewer perks than my self-employment provides... but higher pay! A little above minimum-wage would be fine. Or a lot more. Whatever. Honestly, I would work up to full-time, but am hoping for part-time. I'll keep you posted on what happens in this realm... I have applied for a couple of jobs, have talked to folks at a couple of places.

I am looking for work in the fields of art/design, embroidery, fashion, illustration, photography, costume design, vegetarian food-prep, light house-keeping, daycare, teaching, art instruction, and general office-help. I should find something... I am sure there is much more that I am qualified/able to do, just don't know that these industries/jobs exist. It's a huge world out there!

I taught a couple of sweet children how to make felt, then drew, painted, and sewed with them for a few days last week. The day-camp idea is fun to do. Yes, it can be draining... however it is rewarding to work with children! I like it.

I currently have an exhibition up; I've sold a couple of paintings through it. I am hoping to have a "closing" or "finissage" party, in September for this show. Worst case scenario, we have a party. Best case, one or two more paintings sell!

I am looking for a studio-mate, in order to cut down costs a bit. I have talked to some people, and so far no luck. I do have another coming on Monday, who is a serious artist, and I am hopeful.

I just realised that this is not well-written, or planned, or edited or... well... sorry. Hangover and I really really need to go through my storage-closets, clean and find some things I am missing. This blog-post is a little like that, digging in and finding what's there. Examining it. The trick is to sort this all out, and put it into place.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hockey Game and Art

Well. I live in Montreal. For the last few hours, there has been a lot of excited honking, yelling, happy noises... the Montreal Canadiens just won an "important" hockey game.

I figured out the win, after having spent several hours in my studio prepping for a big open-studio event this weekend. I heard lots of yelling, honking, etc whilst in there... and then a couple of hours after it had all started it was time for me to walk home.

I walked home, almost hit by about five different drunk bicyclists (I guess it's better they were riding rather than driving... but walking would have been even better) and thought to myself, "Yay, Team. Slayer!!! Wooooo". Not really, I just think it's cute people can get together and be happy over something. I am secretly (ok not so secretly) hoping that the current state of semi-eupohoria seeps into the local Art Market... it' be nice to sell some paintings this weekend!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bus Moment Last Night

Last night I took the bus. It was from a place in Westmount towards my humble abode. I wish it was an humble adobe, but alas it is but a condo.

Two interesting things happened while I was on this bus-ride of about fifteen minutes... The first, is that there was a woman talking loudly to herself. No, that isn't unusual or odd to notice, on the bus. What was interesting, though, was that West of St Laurent she spoke to herself in English. Then, when we had crossed that street, she began to talk to herself in French. Lucky woman, she`s bilingual! St Laurent Street is the border between East and West in Montreal. Very roughly speaking, the West tends to be English-speaking, and the East is more French. I just took note of her ability to alter her speech as we traversed the little un-official border-line...

Shortly after having crossed that street, a young man stood up to get off the bus. He paused in front of the man sitting in front of me; and offered him a bag of crackers, and a piece of something-wrapped-in-tinfoil. Looked like cake. The older man gratefully accepted, and not a word was said between the two.

The crackers looked quite delicious. It was one of those odd, heart-warming Montreal Moments.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Workshop Schedule...

Hey folks! I am teaching some workshops over the summer, fall, and into the winter. Here is the link to the schedule. There is stuff for kids, adults, and teens too! If you have any requests or ideas please feed me some of that feedback. Thanks everyone!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Studio... Courses Offered Soon!!!

I just went by my soon-to-be-new-studio today. Saw the friendly land-lady again, paid the rest of May's rent... and got the keys!!! I didn't think I'd have access 'til May, but Landlady is nice. Happy happy!

So in the next couple of days, I will be heading over there with tape-measure and papers and pen in hand. Like any time that I start in on a new space (for example, back in 2002 when I bought my home in Courtenay, BC) I like to make a little "dream-map" of what I imagine things could be like there. I want to set this place up well, so that I utilise the space to its best. Shelving, extra lighting... things that will make it all the better.

I will be teaching courses in this space for kids, teens, and adults. The courses will be administered through the Salamander Arts Centre, but people can contact me directly, too. There will be courses in felt-making, painting, and mixed media stuff. The kids' courses will run mostly in the summer, and the teens/adults right through 'til Christmas. When I have the exact dates and times worked out, I'll provide a link to the lists. In the adult courses, we will make things like felt scarves, felt coasters, felt purses, felt beads, felt cat-toys...

The painting course for adults that I will offer is one that I had designed a few years back, and offered in the Comox Valley... however there was never enough interest in it then. I am hoping that in all of Montreal I will find 4-8 people who would like to "Add Depth To Painting"! It will be a fun course, despite the dry name. Depth is a good, good thing!

Anyhow, I must get on to packing things around the home that will be transferred over there, now. Soon I'll get movers to come and haul furniture and etc for me, so I need to get a-boxin' up. I'll also need to shift stuff from my old, shared studio space to home in the next couple of weeks...

Busy, happy, exciting time! Really, living the dream.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I am not really a blogger

I am not really a blogger... Just looked at "last published" and it was over four months ago. WELL!!! I HAVE been working one day a week, so am waaaaay too busy for writing! Ok, not really.

To make a long, rambling story a tiny bit more succinct, I am going to be renting a studio of my own, starting in May. I will be offering classes and workshops for kids, teens, and grownups in felt-making as well as painting. Some of the kids' summer programmes will be mixed-media creations... should be fun!!!

When I'm not teaching over these next few months, I am planning to work on paintings. The new line o' paintings will be based on the format of music... here, to absolutely bore you, is my proposal that I just sent out for a grant recently:

"In this project, I will produce a new group of paintings that are based on the structure of musical forms. In the recent past I have made works that are based on the structure of poetic forms, namely the Sonnet and the Ghazal. I intend to give some musical forms a similar treatment in paint.

Rhythm, line, form, pattern, texture, body, repetition… many art-terms are also musical ones. What could happen if some of the strict rules of format are taken from one realm (music) and applied to another (painting)?

I will research forms of music, then assign codes and indications for myself as to how to represent the specific rules of music formats in a visual sense. Some examples of musical genres I am thinking of… Classical, Hip-Hop, Maritime and Quebecois Folk/Traditional. I will narrow down and specify which particular musical formats I will use during the research stage.

When I paint these new pieces, I will apply a sense of landscape to them. This sense of landscape would be inspired by the musical genres, themselves… as well as being a situation that the viewer of the work could imagine themselves as inhabiting. I hope to give the viewers of this work a unique experience; a point of reflection and contemplation.

For six months of work, I anticipate to make about 12-15 major pieces… large-scale paintings. I will also make a number of smaller studies, sketches and small paintings. The large-scale works would be about 5’x5’."

OK. So if anyone's made it through that, you win a prize!!! A pat on the back.

If I do (and, if I don't) get that grant, the next series of works will be based on an old, old, old proposal (well, about four years old) that I had made to create "Impossible Views"... paintings that are based on mirrors, corners, and... stuff. Hard to explain. You've already had way too much reading. Later, later. You'll get a pat on the back for that one, too.

Things are going well, in general.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Some Good Old Fashioned Resolve

It's time for the annual list of hopes, plans, and things I'd like to accomplish/put into gear this year. I drew out a general timeline for the stuff I want to get done, and then boiled it down to some generic things. Then I made some sub-lists and stuff... it's a long and drawn-out, complicated process. A recipe for my next year, in a way.

But you'll get the short version and here it is:


-slice the potatoes
-put them in the oven with some olive oil
-make a packet of gravy
-buy some cheesecurds.

When the potatoes are all done in the oven, put the gravy and cheesecurds on top. Enjoy!


Haha, just kidding. Here's my short version of this year's resolves and stuff:

-have more art exhibitions
-do more vounteer work
-do more teaching of art
-apply for grad school

Yay! That is all do-able. I'll try to not have poutine so often, too.