Monday, December 26, 2011

Jean Paul Lemieux, 'The Country Club'

Jean Paul Lemieux's works are attracting a lot of attention in Canada's foremost art circles.
His 1910 Revisited hammered home at $2 340 000.00 (premium included) at the most recent Heffel's Auction in Toronto.

This one, 'The Country Club' was brought home at $1 095 000 at Sotheby's most recent sale at Toronto's, Royal Ontario Museum art sale.

To read the article on the CBC's art news page, please click here.

And for the curious - 1910 Revisited, has moved into 8th place in overall value in Canadian art.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Brilliant Art Video by Bret Sheppard (Bshep47)

This a must see video, publicly posted on by You Tube by an art lover known by Bret Sheppard. (his name is given on the credit of another of his group of seven videos). I like its cinemagraphic effects, its music and for the selection of profiled artists. If you wish to visit Bret's  private You Tube channel, please click here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Tangled Garden by JEH MacDonald

You Tube video presented by ngc media

"The Tangled Garden was painted from sketches at MacDonald's place at Thornhill and is essentially a domestic picture as the building in the background which stretched almost the full width of the work, makes clear.  There are no figures but one feels that they are somehow implied.  The luxurious greenery
in the lower half of the painting, however pulls its spirit in the direction of an almost jungle-like wilderness.  The relative flatness of the pictorial space gives the picture a strong feeling of profuseness and rich colour, and a kind of sensual indulgence.

E.R Hunter, MacDonald's first biographer, called these paintings, (The Elements and The Tangled Garden), "The two masterpieces of (his) second period.:  Contradictorily enough, they elicited some of the harshest critisism to which he was ever subjected, including stentorian denunciations from the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Daily Star and Saturday Night.................neither the Tangled Garden nor The Elements sold during MacDonald's lifetime."

pg. 33  
JEH MacDonald; 'New Views of Canadian Artists',
Bruce Whiteman
Quarry Press, Kingston, On.
c 1952

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Search for Meaning in the Peterborough Petroglyphs

I know that Native Petroglyphs are perplexing to most non natives. Who knows, maybe they perplex many natives, too.

When I look at them, my euro-cultured, left hemisphere immediately kicks into gear by asking; "What's going on here?"  What's the artist saying?

Now, the truth is - I  take abstact art for what it is. I know that for most abstract artists, there are no hidden meanings -  you just have to take it as you see it.

Then along comes  the late Harvard professor, Dr. Berry Fells.   For the uninitiated, Fells was one of those unusual archaelogists who thought outside the box.  Some would say that he walked all over the box when he interpreted petrography.

If you follow the link below to The British Israelite's website, you will see an expanded version of the Dr. Fells interpretation of the Peterborough petroglyphs which show the unfolded map of the universe.     Or, if you click on the picture above, it will enlarge for you to get a closer look at.  You will find on the British Israelite site a column written about it in the Ottawa Citizen in 2000.

If you wish to see the map expanded, click here and it will take you to the megaliths website.
Click here to read the Ottawa Citizen article.

And just to throw some gunpowder in the fire, there are those who theorize that some pictoglyphs are representations of vision seen from within vision induced trances.

At the end of the day I am sure that many of our premier native artists are left bemused by our out-there theories.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Patricia Lawton:Working with light and magic

'I Will Follow You Forever' by Patricia Lawton, of Vernon, BC, is another of her signature works.
It has a rather existential quality about it. That could be because Patricia enjoys painting pictures which tell a story. But, the truth is - the viewer has to engage with her pictures and to contribute something of themselves to them. In this sense there is a dialogue between Patricia and the viewers of her work.

On the surface, we see a girl, and a dog, sitting in a garden. But when we look closely it looks like its frozen in time.  The dog sits immobile, looking at a girl whose hair is caught by a gust of wind. The girl's face is turned towards the dog and away from the viewer.

I like the way Patricia works with light. The dog is dark and the girl is light and this combined with her position in front of the dog, makes her the dominant centre of attention.

Patricia, paints the girl ever so gracefully, and ever so simply. There are no superfluous lines, save for those in her blowing hair. Look at the arm which she leans on.  There is an absence of muscle tension and shadowing. Look at the the economy of lines on her slacks. This creates a sense of grace. Notice too, how Patricia has outlined parts of the girl in an illuminating mauve line. Altogether, there is a sense of mystery about the girl. There is a sense that the scene is frozen in time and development. I find myself thinking that its all a dream and that she has emerged out of a place of memory and has returned to life.

Patricia is one of the best there is in her artful use of light. When I look at the girls slacks and sweater I see a certain luminescent quality. Notice how the writing on the girl's sweater has the same mauve has the same mauve hue that Patricia uses to outline the girl's white sweater. There's nothing like the blues to make your whites, whiter then white. And, if you want to see the power of lumiscence - look at the shaded area on the girls' hip.  Here you see the drama of orange-tan tones, white and a blue blend that absolutely radiates light even though its captured in shade.   You are seeing a brilliantly crafted work.

I am drawn too,to the dog's woolly coat with its soft texture carefully defining by its bunches of fur - even into the shadowed areas. And, finally, I like the way she captures highlights and tones of colour in the girls hair in the sunlight.

Although Patricia painted this in acrylic, it has the fluidity of watercolour style. This contributes to the subject's overall simplicity which in turn contributes to the dream like quality of the scene.

Its not hard to see why  Patricia Lawton is high on my personal list of favourite artists.

Artist's Comments

My feeling when I studied  Rachel and Bella (pooch) was how confident Rachel was around this big dog........  and how happy Bella was to be out in the wind and sunshine with a playmate.  After they’d had a good play and run-around,  they settled down to letting me take a lot of photos.  I happily snapped away and I could feel the ‘joy’ in Bella.........  the exuberance and a kind of ‘giddiness’ .........  a desire to break lose and frolic all around the garden again.  But she kept herself under ‘excited control’ because I asked her. 
These feelings came back to me........  and the feel of the sun on my head and face ........  the summery breeze;  all the sensations that I’d originally felt the day of Bella and Rachel posing;   12 years had passed from that day until the day I brought them back to life on my canvas.
Painting Standard Poodles is so very rewarding.  Their sleek bodies seem packed with electric energy and they just quiver with happiness.  Also their beautiful, sensitive faces project their thoughts and desires...........  Just look into their eyes........  If only they could speak....  The intelligence beams forth.
When I paint ‘sunny scenes’ I tend to feel those colours we see behind our closed eyelids on a bright sun-filled day.  The yellows, reds, blues and the mauves, oranges and greens that come with overlapping the transparent paints just lend themselves to the feeling of summer.  As I go along,  the painting dictates to me where it wants to go. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Patricia Lawton, Okanagan Artist.

Patricia was born and raised in Powell River B.C. She was an orphan from age 3 weeks and was raised by her paternal grandparents who had no interest or understanding of her desire to draw and paint through her growing years. Patricia was fascinated by people, boats, and the ocean, where she spent many hours playing alone and carving small boats from driftwood; and sketching shells and whatever else the sea washed up. She left Powell River at age 17 and married a commercial fisherman, who she accompanied on trips north along the B.C, coast and up to the Queen Charlotte Islands. This whetted her appetite to draw and paint the totems she found in the small fishing villages and also imbued her with a love for our beautiful coastline.
Patricia raised two children in the Vancouver area and married again, to Peter Lawton. She had a career in Commercial Art, having taught herself by studying the Fashion drawings in The New York Times and other large city publications. She was the first person to teach Fashion Illustration in Vancouver, teaching for The Vancouver School of Art..... (now Emily Carr). She also was the Advertising Manager for Saba's Women's Dept. Store in Vancouver, then Shaino's Leather Wear (38 stores across Canada and the USA) and Ford Fair, Guildford, doing all the artwork and copy for newspaper and magazine ads. Patricia worked in the Art Department of the Vancouver Sun for a short time before accepting a teaching position in Bella Bella as art teacher from grades six to twelve.
In 1970, she was accepted as an active member in the Federation of Canadian Artists.
Patricia and Peter moved to Vernon in 1984 where she volunteered at the Topham Brown Art Gallery and accepted (reluctantly) the position as manager of the small gallery for one year only. At this time she founded the Midsummer Eve of the Arts and each year she has gladly donated two original works.
She taught for OUC for twelve years.
From 1986 Patricia has traveled throughout the province's small towns; Bella Bella, Kitimat, Kemano, Prince Rupert, Powell River, MacKenzie, Prince George, Quesnel, Armstrong, Salmon Arm (Summer School of the Arts) and in May 1009 she will be in Revelstoke; giving workshops and having Art Shows in all of these locations.
She has had over 25 solo shows in Vernon alone....... Two for Winter Carnival. Patricia has participated in group shows in Seattle; Vancouver; Calgary; San Diego, Ajijic, Mexico, as well as Vernon, Armstrong and Salmon Arm. Her works have been accepted and published by the Prestigious "San Diego Watercolour Society" as well as the "US National Watercolor Society".
In 1997 Patricia moved temporarily to Ajijic, Mexico where she had one solo show and entered (upon request) a group show of artists from the area and California, etc. She took the top three awards.
She was invited to enter Foss Tugboat's (Seattle) Calendar Contest (entrants on invitation only) and took Honorable Mention the three years she entered. Her paintings were purchased by the company.
Patricia has had articles in Okanagan Life and she won Best Artist of the Okanagan award in 2000. She has been written up in B.C. Women and in The B.C Cattlemen's magazine and is published in the Okanagan's "Artist's in the Sun".
A number of years ago, Patricia knew the Vernon Jubilee Hospital was needing a CAT Scan and she promoted this and held an Art Auction....... Getting much needed publicity from CHBC and CBC radio as well as all the area's newspapers and radio stations........ A committee was formed and the needed one mil. was raised within the year. Patricia sat on the Board of the hospital's foundation for five years.
She became involved in the major fund-raising for Vernon's Transition House. Also is now fund-raising for Vernon's Hospice House and has been working 'non-stop' on paintings for the past two years towards an exhibition in November of 2009.
Patricia has done hundreds of family commissions including portraits of pets, cattle, horses, boats as well as people in the Okanagan, throughout B.C. and Alberta.
After having a solo show in Salmon Arm for the B.C. Cattlemen's Society, she received a commission from the World's Cattlemen Society to paint the five top Charolais cattle to be presented in 2007 to the World's Champion Charolais.
In 2008 Patricia received a request to purchase her Brahma Bull painting from Blackrock Investors in N.Y.C.
She has paintings hanging in Tachibana University in Kyoto, Japan, in corporations and private collections in Australia, the US, Ireland, England, Mexico, Argentina, Japan and Canada.
Patricia has been on the jury committee every May for the "Okanagan Region Secondary School Scholarship Awards" since the awards began.
Patricia belongs to no Art Societies and has never asked for an Art Grant. She is a very private person and hangs in no galleries at this time. She does not have a webpage. She continues to paint daily in her home studio.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Artist's Comments by Doug Mays

            Thank you for your insight. I’m always curious to know what others see in a painting – good, bad or indifferent. Do they see what I see? Do they feel what I feel? What attracts them to this painting over another?
In this particular ‘plein air’ painting, I had the good fortune to have nestled my easel on or near the very spot that J.E.H. MacDonald painted his famous Tangled Garden. I believe this fact alone brings this painting well beyond being a ‘simple’ landscape since I was seeing, smelling, tasting, touching and hearing the sounds of theTangled Garden the same as J.E.H. did almost a century ago.  
I’m pleased that you were attracted to and picked out the patch of violet flowers in the bottom left quadrant as your initial landing spot and then you moved on to the splash of sunlight in the background, the soft yellow compliment. Next, I’m sure I painted this more intuitively than consciously, but I completed the triangular pattern (shown above) by allowing the dominant vertical tree trunks to take the viewer back to the muted yellow/green foliage in the right foreground. The bold tree trunks also take on a secondary role by acting as ‘edge block’ or as I like to call them - ‘visual speed bumps’. This technique prevents the viewer’s eye from wandering from the ‘sweet spot’ of the painting.
You are accurate in observing a circular pattern, which was achieved with sufficient edge block and by implying muted, abstract shapes of various value and temperature in the less-important pieces outside the ‘Golden Mean’.
And finally, I would be the last one to suggest that my painting should be even mentioned in the same paragraph as that of JEH’s Tangled Garden. That notwithstanding, what a thrill it is to know that our boots shared the same soil from this Hallowed Ground

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Near the Tangled Garden - Hallowed Ground. By Doug Mays

The more I look at this work, the more intrigued I am by what happens within it.  I see a real sense of artistic liberation in this painting.

On the surface it looks like a pretty conventional work.  There is an area of trees, and a sunlit area and an area of violet flowers along the bottom left of the painting.  

If I asked you to point to its focal point, my guess is that your gaze would fix itself upon the area of violet flowers in the bottom left quadrant.  That was my immediate choice.  The violet luminescent hues set it apart from the rest of the work.

Fair enough

But, I want you now to take another look at the work.  Block out of your mind the area of violet hues in the bottom left, and let your eyes scan over the rest of the work. Squint your eyes. What do you see?  

When I gave this work a second look, the sun dappled centre of the painting leaped to my attention and when it did, a different vista of thought opened and I saw the painting from an entirely different perspective.

There is a garland of light, that loops down from the top left quadrant, and touches base with the centrally lit area and it wanders off towards the upper right corner (but not completely finishing its journey). And the centrally lit area, looks like a sunlit pathway through the woods. And, there is a  large loosely formed X pattern of light which criss crosses through the sunlit centre.

Convention has it that most artists, use light and lines to direct the eye towards the focal point of their work. But what's happening here?   Do you see how there is no relationship between the flowers at the bottom of the work and the rest of the painting. In fact, they even block the path of the eye into the work. Interesting.

If you are willing to discount our immediate choice for the centre of interest, then an entirely different dimension of thought opens and the painting takes new perspective,

All of this takes me to what I consider to be the real strength of this painting. I would suggest to you that everything revolves like a great circle around the centre and that our vision is telescopically pulled into the work.  At least that's how I see it.  

 If we are willing to see ourselves on a journey into this tangled garden where we can magically stroll along a sunlit path surrounded by vegetation -then I suggest to you that the painter has taken us on a journey within himself.

Now - take a look at the title at the top of this critique.  This one critique which really interests me to see what the artist has to say about his work.

Monday, December 5, 2011

How High are the Visual Arts in Government Priority?

The Ottawa Citizen recently ran an interesting article on the National Gallery's search for major corporate sponsor for our National Art Gallery.  Its not hard to imagine a national competition for a neat statue for the Gallery to commemorate the shift in direction.  A big soft drink can with a straw, which is lit up at night, and can be seen from the Parliament Buildings? Or maybe a nice glossy advertisement filled program?

Please click here to read the article about the National Art Gallery's dilemma.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

How Times Have Changed - Mural Art in Montreal

How's this for a piece of art from Montreal?  Can you believe it, but the name of this work is Notre dame de Grace (Our Lady of Grace).  How times have changed. That aside, its a pretty remarkable work.

The group of five below are the artists who put it together.

Click here to see a set of pictures which show the evolution of this work.

Thanks to reader, Richard Campeau for putting 'The Portrait' onto this one.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Where Love and Art Meet

This touching little statue can be found in Toronto's Mount Pleasant Cemetery. There are no details, not even the name of the sculptor.  All there is the the single name: Tory.

Tory, who were you?   Did you have sisters and brothers?  Did you have a special girl friend with whom you played and entrusted secrets?  Did  your mother or father tuck you into bed at night, and send you off to sleep with a "Now I lay me down to sleep" and a kiss?  Did your laughter bring smiles to your parent's hearts and did your carry your lunch pail off to school with their expectations and hopes for your future? Did you have a brother or a sister with whom you played?  Do the children on the stone tell us that you had a brother with whom you loved to share the magic of books?

I have so many questions, little Tory, but no answers.

I never knew you, but the love your parents have for you was so perfectly expressed.  It will survive the ages as a reminder of how love is so perfectly expressed through art.

This little statue and other works of art can be found by clicking here to be taken to the 'Outdoor Art in Toronto" website. Its a treasure trove.

Appreciation to Mo Bayliss for locating this website for 'The Portrait'.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Doug Mays, Watercolourist

Born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1947 Doug remembers being told early-on that “being left-handed meant he would likely be creative”. Imagine that, your destiny being determined by which hand you pick up a fork, a pencil or a brush. Really, could one’s lot in life be decided in such
a simple way?

Doug came to realize his love of art in the mid 1950’s, a time when psychology hadn’t quite articulated all of the left brain/right brain theories as we know them today. The supposed left brain & creativity link didn’t matter to Doug; all he knew was that he loved to draw. Looking back, he can’t remember a time that he wasn’t holding a pencil, pen, brush or stick of charcoal in his ‘left’ hand to
create something on paper or canvas.

The youngest of six children (four sisters and one brother) Doug grew up in Stoney Creek on the eastern boundary of Hamilton. It was there in Grade 5 where his passion for art crystallized when he won his first art award, a watercolour that he remembers as if it were yesterday. His interest in art carried on through high school and then on to college where he studied Architectural Technology graduating in 1971. A career, crossroad decision in his late teens led him to decide on a business career rather than one as a commercial artist. It was a decision he would never regret because he was able to return to his art to hone his skill and increase his knowledge throughout the next 30 year business career by enrolling in several life drawing and watercolour workshops in Canada and the U.S.A.

For Doug his art was like an old, loyal, distant friend - always there, awaiting his return. With each successive workshop his focus to develop a uniquely, loose and impressionististic painting style was aided by the encouragement of his instructors and his peers. He later developed a desire to share his talents and the virtues of the watercolour medium with others. Now in his second decade of watercolour instruction Doug has garnered a reputation for being a personable and effective instructor, whose pragmatism and light-hearted approach make all of his workshops fun, enjoyable and entertaining. He feels that his painting style maximizes watercolour's spontaneity and 'expressive freedom' and that his use of bold, vibrant colours is purposely applied to stimulate emotion & pique imagination.

He gets his greatest inspiration from the watercolours of John Singer Sargent, whose colour and compositions epitomize the painting style he wishes to emulate and from the teachings of legendary - Edgar Whitney, whose ability to articulate the importance of the Design Elements and the Principles of Design is a pleasure to follow. Doug feels his success in watercolour can be attributed to 3 aspects – Tools, Process and Attitude. With Tools – “paint with a big brush”; Process – “paint light to dark” and Attitude – “it’s only paper”. He adds the only magic bullet to watercolour proficiency is – practice.

Doug is an elected member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (CSPWC), a past President of the Central Ontario Art Association and a member of the Ontario Plein Air Society. Today Doug continues to live in Stoney Creek with his wife Angela. He has two married daughters and 4 grandchildren all living within 30 minutes of his home.

His active schedule finds him travelling throughout Canada and Europe to mentor watercolour students intent on pursuing a looser painting style. When he’s not instructing you find him in his home studio painting a watercolour or an acrylic.

To contact Doug and to see more of his work go to his website please click here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Toronto's Art Collection

The Endless Bench
Sculptor: Lea Vivot. A memorial to her son Morris
Sick Children's Hospital

I recently read Jenny Yuen's article, in the Toronto Sun, on Toronto's Art Collection. Jenny raised the question - should public money be spent on the city's art collection?

I won't paraphrase the article because that would deny you the pleasure of reading her article and seeing her video.  But, I will add that according to her article, the City of Toronto, owns over 200 pieces of art.

Toronto is presently undergoing some pretty tough budget cuts, as they try to clean up the city's debt problems. It goes almost without saying that such things as libraries and art would fall under the public microscope.

While it may make sense to see Toronto run an economically mean machine it seems to me that there is much more then dollars and cents involved.  Art is a mirror of a city's cultural civility. It reflects how a people see themselves. An abundance of good public art and memorial statues tells of a people who value the visual arts and its interpretive role.

Please click here to see Jenny's online video report.
Click here to read Jenny's article

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Canadian Press on Today's Heffel Sale

Via: The Globe and Mail
A Jean Paul Lemieux classic has sold for a record-breaking price at the Heffel Fine Auction House's fall sale.
Bidding for “Nineteen Ten Remembered” reached $2-million, with the purchaser paying $2.34-million in total after adding a buyer's premium.
A Jean Paul Lemieux classic has sold for a record-breaking price at the Heffel Fine Auction House's fall sale.  Bidding for “Nineteen Ten Remembered” reached $2-million, with the purchaser paying $2.34-million in total after adding a buyer's premium.  The auction house says the painting becomes the most expensive post-war Canadian work, surpassing an untitled Jean-Paul Riopelle that sold for $1,889,000 in 2008. The auction house says the painting becomes the most expensive post-war Canadian work, surpassing an untitled Jean-Paul Riopelle that sold for $1,889,000 in 2008.

To read the complete article, please click here.

Jean Paul Lemieux's Nineteen Ten Remembered Moves into Tenth Place

Jean Paul Lemieux's, Nineteen Ten Remembered has moved into tenth place in the top Canadian valued 
paintings, replacing Tom Thomson's, At Sunset.

Top Sales in Today's Heffel Auction

Top Sales

Jean Paul Lemieux              1910 |Remembered                             2 000 000.00
Jean Paul Lemieux              Les  Voyageurs                                      600 000.00
Jean Paul Lemieux              Homage a la Toscane                             325 000.00
Emily Carr                            War Canoe Alert Bay                           1 500 000.00
James Morrice                     Regates a St. Malo                                 450 000.00
Lawren Harris                     Rocky Mt. Sketch Mt Robson             1 550 000.00
Mark Aurel  Fortin              Vue de i'ile Ste. Helene                          400 000.00

Coming Saturday: Lots of Art Drama on Hefel's "Online Art Auction" from Vancouver


'Jasper, Alberta', oil on canvas, was painted by John William Beatty.  This one and many others go up for auction on Friday, Nov.25th - tomorrow! in an online internet auction.

The auction features 52 Canadian paintings by such well known artists as, John William Beatty, Maurice Cullen, Nicholas Grandmaison, |Sorel Etrog, Barker Fairley, Henriette Fauxteux-Masse, Marc  Aurelle Fortin, Lawren Harris, Ted Harrison, Edwin Holgate, A.Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, John Johstone,  John Little, William McElcheran, David |Milne, Daphne Odjig, Robert Pilot, Jean-Paul Riopelle, William Roberts,Tony Scherman, Jack Shadbolt, Frederick Varley, William Weston, David Bierk, Emily Carr, Yehouda Chaki, Frederick Coburn, Stanley Cosgrove, and Chris Cran.

The above painting and the description of the online auction and how it works has been extracted from the Heffel Online website.

November 2011 - 3rd SessionOnline Auction closes in:
ds. hr. min. sec.
anticipated closing time:Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 10:00:00 AM Pacific TimeThere is an automatic 3 minute bidding extension, for the entire auction session, if a bid is submitted on any lot within the last 3 minutes on the bidding clock. These auction session time extensions will continue to occur until there is a 3 minute period during which no bidding takes place on any lot in the current session. Our online auction experience now fully emulates our live ballroom auction excitement.
To see the above picture and information, please click here.

Live Streaming of Hefel's Auction - Today!

This is your opportunity to enjoy watching some dynamic paintings going under the gavel. You have to have the latest Windows Media Player,there is a link here for you to download the most recent player.  Please click here for instructions on how to see the auction.

The Canadian Wire Services reports:
  • Jean Paul Lemieux's Nineteen Ten Remembered, considered the artist's most influential piece and among the most recognizable Canadian works of all times.
  • Seven works by Jean-Paul Riopelle including the stunning Grande fête (Great Feast) that is estimated to fetch between $900,000 and $1.2 million.
  • Works by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, Tom Thomson and Emily Carr.
  • Two works by artist Albert Henry Robinson which were recently discovered in a barn by curious owners who 'Googled' the artist's name.
  • The François Dupré Collection, which once hung proudly at Montreal's Ritz-Carlton Hotel, has been released after being hidden in storage in an Old Montreal bank vault for 24 years.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Here's the Big One At Heffel's Auction Tomorrow

                                 Jean Paul Lemieux's , 'Nineteen Ten Remembered'
                                                Sold For $2 Million 
as art historian François-Marc Gagnon pointed out in an interview and in a short essay he wrote for the Heffel catalogue. Lemieux wanted to be known as a painter of the “north,” not as a painter of a certain locale, and was exhilarated by the recognition he won in Moscow and Prague when his paintings were exhibited there in 1974. It proved to Lemieux that his art was universal, Gagnon said.
To read the complete article, from the Montreal Gazette, please click here.

Top Ten Canadian Paintings in Financial Value

1. Paul Kane                                   Scene in the Northwest                            $5,062,500
2. Lawren Harris                             The Old Stump                                        $3,510,000                  
3. Lawren Harris                             Pine Tree and Red House, Winter            $2,875,000
4. Lawren Harris                             Houses, St. Patrick St.                                $2,808,000
5. Lawren Harris                             Bylot Island                                              $2,808,000
6. Tom Thomson                            Early Spring, Canoe Lake                         $2,749,000
7. Lawren Harris                             Baffin Island                                             $2,427,500
8. Emily Carr                                  Wind in the Tree Tops                              $2,164,500
9. Lawren Harris                              Nerke, Greenland                                     $2,072,500
10. Tom Thomson                          Trees at Sunset                                          $1,957,500
Source: Heffel
Please Click here

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Heffel's Art Auction Week

Thursday, Nov. 24th
Heffel Canadian Auction House
Canadian Post War and Contemporary Art
7pm Eastern Time
Park Hyatt Hotel, Queen's Park Ballroom

Got your Christmas Wish List ready. This sale is loaded with treats for every serious art lover.
To see the collection, please click here.

Top Ten Canadian Artists Based on Sales

  1.  Lawren  Harris                                                                                      $85,208,576
  2.  Jean-Paul Riopelle                                                                                 $76,651,109
  3.  AY Jackson                                                                                           $38,424,789
  4. Emily Carr                                                                                              $37.234,789
  5. Tom Thomson                                                                                        $35,742,045
  6. Cornellus Kreighoff                                                                                $26.212,395
  7. David Milne                                                                                            $20,323,592
  8. AJ Casson                                                                                               $18,824,512
  9. JEH  MacDonald                                                                                     $14,992,484
  10. EJ Hugh                                                                                                  $13,863,398

Source: Heffel Art Auction House.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rob Sacchetto - an Artist who Has Found his Place in the World of Zombies

I've heard of portrait artists, landscape artists, still life artists, floral artists, nature artists.......but Zombie Artists? If this is a new one for you, then its time for you to meet Rob Sacchetto.

Rob was born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario and is a lifelong artist and is for the most part, self taught. When it comes down to it, I cannot really imagine Rob graduating from an art college with a specialist degree in drawing and painting Zombies.

Rob says that he came to Zombieism, through the regular art route; production work, portraiture, commissioned work and eventually - he found himself working on several versions of his own comic book. (which is going into production next year).  Rob is single and he laughingly says that his default setting for life is to draw, draw, draw - and while doing so, figure out other ways to make a living with pencils.

Rob writes that he started an  online service in 2006,in which he handed paint people as the living dead, called Zombie Portraits. People would send him a J-peg of themselves or a loved one and he would illustrate them as zombies using traditional means with no computer photo-shopping involved.

The customer  then received a high res J-peg and has the original mailed to them.

Get this - he has so far, zombified over 2000 people all over the world!

As if that wasn't enough, it led to him  starting the  Zombie Daily, a blog where he posts a new original zombie drawing or painting every day! This site was started in 2008 and so far there are over 900 posts and counting. Not just that, Rob updates it with new content on a daily basis.

The formation of Zombie Daily led the publishing company Ulysses press to offer Rob two book deals, one for, "The Zombie Handbook:How to Identify the Living Dead and Survive the Coming Zombie Apocalypse", and for his next book, "Zombiewood:The Celebrity Dead Exposed".

Not only that, but his  Zombie Portrait service also caught the attention of noted zombie author Jonathan Maberry, which led him to include me as a named character in his book "Rot and Ruin".

Rob also created the chase card illustrations for that book and his follow-up "Dust and Decay",and he is featured in the documentary "Zombiemania" and provided the morphing zombie portrait drawings for himself and the other noted zombie experts who were interviewed, including George Romero, Tom Savini, Max Brooks and Greg Nicotero.

And talk about an expanding business. Get this.  His zombie art has been licensed for use on everything from puzzles to skateboard decks and many other products.

Rob invites readers to peruse his and websites and be prepared to face your fears!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Alfred Hitchock by Robert Sacchetto

When Oliver Cromwell's portrait was painted he made his famous quote; " Paint me warts and all".
I can't help but wonder, if Alfred Hitchcock made the same comment.

But, all that aside this picture has an intriguing story to tell.  Artist Robert Sacchetto sent this picture to 'The Portrait' a few hours after being interviewed by CBC's Rita Celli.  Robert revealled that he painted it for Rue Morgue's tribute to Alfred Hitchcock issue.

Please click here to visit the Rue Morgue magazine's website.
And for good measure, click here to visit Robert Sacchetto's website.
To hear Rob's interview, please click here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bill Tomlinson on Figurative Drawing

This picture seems to me to point the way to where I would like to take my work generally, whether in charcoal, pastel, or paint. 

I’m interested in the tension between the medium on the one hand -- in this case charcoal and pastel on paper --  and the representational image on the other; so here the fading of the image into mere paper on the right side, or the seemingly capricious patch of red at the bottom, or the minimal treatment of the feet in contrast with the more developed arm and slip; all emphasize the tension between the kneeling figure and the colours, textures and lines that give her form. It’s as if this figure might dissolve at any moment into its constituent elements, and that, to me, is a fascinating and effective metaphor for a corresponding tension between being and non-being, our central spiritual issue as mature human beings.

Having said all that, I have to add simply that I love arrangements of lines, colours, textures and so on for their own expressive sake, and would spend time looking at them and making them even if they didn’t (as they often don’t in wonderful pieces by other artists) add up to a recognizable representation of something.

To view Bill's website, please click here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

May We Never Forget the Price that Was Paid

Vimy Ridge,  painted by Stephen Snider.
The Canadian Legion magazine

Dear old Governor,This is Good Friday, and I am spending the day girding myself for action. For our Easter Sunday, with peace on earth and good will towards men, I take part in the greatest battle in Canada’s history and perhaps in the history of the world. So this is to say farewell in case I go down. 

This letter was written by Lieutenant Gregory Clark to his father, before going into battle at Vimy Ridge.    
At three minutes past zero hour, Clark rose from the trench, shouting, “Come on, boys,” even though most of his words were lost in the cacophony of explosions. His platoon followed his lead, along with dozens of others within sight, and hundreds of others along the ridge. 
To see this article by Tim Cook, and Stephen's painting. Please click here to be taken to March 1st, 2007 issue of the Legion Magazine.

To view more of Stephen's works please click here to be taken to his website.

Lest We Forget

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ottawa's War Memorial - and All in the Family Sculptors

Vernon March of Farnborough, Kent, in England, was selected for his concept of "the Great Response of Canada" represented by twenty-two members of the main forces in uniform passing through a granite arch under the guidance of allegorical figures of Peace and Freedom. Delayed for many years by problems of site selection and preparation, as well as by the death of the sculptor (his six brothers and one sister completed the work), the memorial was not officially dedicated until 1939, less than four months before the start of World War II.

from: We Will Remember, War Memorials in Canada. World Wide Web Site.

To read the complete text and to see other pictures of Canada's War Memorial, please click here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Artist Shirley Bear Recipient of The Order of Canada

Announced today, Shirley Bear is one of 50 new recipients of the Order of Canada. Her educational, artistic, and activist work has been instrumental in progressive arts circles in the country, so this is well-deserved and a long time coming. 

Shirley Bear is an artist, writer and First Nation elder. Born on the Tobique First Nation, she has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada, the United States and in Europe.

She has curated numerous exhibitions related to First Nations issues and was the recipient of the Excellence in the Arts Award from the New Brunswick Arts Board in 2002.

While living in British Columbia for 10 years, she served as cultural advisor to the British Columbia Institute of Technology, First Nations education advisor at Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design and resident elder for First Nations House of Learning at the University of British Columbia.

The picture and above text was extracted from the Centre for Innovation and Culture in the Arts in Canada. To read the above on their website and to see Shirley's bio,  at Thomson Rivers University, please click here

Photo by Chris Wattie/Reuters News, extracted from Please click here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Another turn in the Boys of Malvern Memorial Statue Story.

Emmanuel Hahn would likely turn over in his grave if possible. The recent news of his Boys of Malvern memorial statue, took a new twist today when a former student, named Jim McKnight  stepped forward and confessed to having vandalized the statue, over 40 years ago.

McKnight was a 17 year old youth at the time.  He is a United Church Minister now.  When McKnight heard the recent stories of the desecration of the memorial he decided to go public with the hope that his story would provide an important lesson for the most recent youths who trivialized the statue with tape.

McKnight told of a Malvern teacher meeting with him after he committed the act,  and explaining its importance. The teacher's brothers name was on the statue - for he had given his life as one of the Boys of Malvern.

Picture: Emmanuel Otto Hahn
Article News Source: CBC, 'The National'. November 10.2011

Emmanuel Hahn's Malvern Statue is Vandalized - Another Episode in the Boys of Malvern Story

Emmanuel Hahn would likely turn over in his grave if possible. The recent news of his Boys of Malvern memorial statue, took a new twist today when a former student, named Jim McKnight  stepped forward and confessed to having vandalized the statue, over 40 years ago.

McKnight was a 17 year old youth at the time.  He is a United Church Minister now.  When McKnight heard the recent stories of the desecration of the memorial he decided to go public with the hope that his story would provide an important lesson for the most recent youths who trivialized the statue with tape.

McKnight told of a Malvern teacher meeting with him after he committed the act,  and explaining its importance. The teacher's brothers name was on the statue - for he had given his life as one of the Boys of Malvern.

Picture: Emmanuel Otto Hahn
Article News Source: CBC, 'The National'. November 10.2011

Hardly a day passed before Malvern Collegiate's statue has been vandalized - again. For what its worth, the event was captured on a CTV surveillance video.

I am unable to separate the event from the feelings of love and respect which surrounded its creation, to immortalize the Boys of Malvern who gave their lives in WW1.

The desecration of memorials, be they created by formidable artists, or not - is at best, a profoundly anti social action.

To see the CTV news article, please click here.  

CTV Toronto - Surveillance video captures Toronto war memorial vandals - CTV News

Edited photo taken by the Toronto School Board

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