October 22, 2013

Guelph Studio Tour - Thanks for Coming

Just wanted to thank everyone - all 182 according to our loose tally - that stopped in this weekend for a peek at my studio and work, imbibed with us, and shared a few words.

It was a great weekend that broke many cliches: octogenarians and pre-teens that stumped me with sophisticated questions about art, people who looked like they fixed cars for a living that bought my work, and purchases of pieces I thought would never go - due to their size, subject matter, or experiementalism - at a casual studio tour.

Thank you!  And now back to getting over a bit of hoarseness from all the blabbing I did.


Here's a painting I sold on the weekend out of my home, as part of the Guelph Studio Tour.  

It's 48" x 60" on panel, mixed media.  Lots of people ask me what I mean exactly by mixed media.  Anything beyond standard paint and gesso, basically.  This piece includes a shopping list that would be too long for a small label: regular acrylic paint, acrylic spray paint, paint I made out of rust dust and walnut stain, something called bitumen of Judea, sawdust, bits of archival tissue paper, and collage using quality magazine pages - all applied in a way that will maintain the archival quality of the work.

I called the painting "Interflorescence," a word I made up but suggests a blossoming or flowering in between or behind other things, somewhere unexpected.  (It just dawned on me that the solo show I have scheduled for November-December at Strata Gallery I've titled "Serendipitous Encounters" - it seems I'm all about seizing the unpredictable these days).

I like to keep the figures in my work slightly enigmatic, so with the potential to create stories around them, but if I had to say something about this one I'd say he or she (the gender is ambiguous) has been caught unawares by the sudden light and colour of this most sexy of places, and has paused for a moment to register the action.

The light coming in is odd, something I only noticed after I had finished the piece.  The patchiness hints at a struggle in the sky between the sun and clouds, between lively or appealing and blasé.  Also, it's hard to notice in this shrunken digital reproduction but a subtle ring of light, from the sky to the pavement, arcs around the figure.  That was a happy accident.

October 18, 2013

Guelph Studio Tour this weekend, Oct. 18-20, 2013

If you're stuck for something to do this weekend, our home and my studio in the backyard will be open for the annual Guelph Studio Tour.  I'll have old and new work up, including an experiment or two.  We had a blast last year and are expecting the same for this year.  We're at

117 Johnston Street
Guelph, ON
(See Google Maps)

The tour runs on the following days and times:

Fri 7pm - 9pm
Sat 10am - 6pm
Sun 11am - 5pm

A brochure including a map of all the local artists involved can be downloaded at http://www.guelphstudiotour.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/GuelphStudioTour2013.pdf.

Hope to see you out!

October 13, 2013

Readers' Choice Award

I'm not sure who but someone nominated me for a 2013 Guelph Mercury Readers' Choice Award and I managed to win the bronze award.  Thanks to everyone who voted for me.  And for all of those who didn't, you can expect a visit from Skull, my personal enforcer.

October 11, 2013


On a walking tour of my neighbourhood last year, the guide, a local historian, mentioned a building that is now a condo.  I remember visiting it with my grandmother to buy bits of cloth and yarn.  The guide said it used to employ over a thousand men, and it was just one of the many factories and foundries in the neighbourhood. 

Today you can make out the old structures if you look hard, but it requires a bit of effort.  If you're lucky you'll spot an old timer glancing back at what used to be, full of stories and nostalgia, both good and bad.  Talk to them.

Acrylic mixed media on panel, 18" x 18"