Monday, February 28, 2011

Robert Katz Brings Old World Charm to Canada

Robert Katz was born in Romania in 1952. Shortly after completing his formal education at L'ecole des Beaux Arts he spent several years living and painting in England, France and Italy immigrating to Canada in 1977.

The artist's technique is purely and uniquely his own. Capturing the infiltration of light and the tranquility of nature at her best he paints with a spiritual resolve influenced neither by praise nor officious critique. The artist communicates his impression of subject matter by means of a combination of astute observation with intuitively disciplined cognition. Totally disregarding the inessential he creates exquisite works from the intrinsic nature of his vision. The artist's paintings and sculptures are prized in private collections around the globe.

Robert Katz's landscapes show a harmonious balance between brushstrokes and color, they have a museum quality old-world charm that brings to mind the early European Masters.

To see more of Robert's works, you are invited to check his webpage by clicking here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Canada Post Honours Daphne Odjig

OTTAWA, Feb. 21 /CNW/ - Today, Canada Post issued three new stamps featuring the artwork of Canadian aboriginal artist Daphne Odjig. The stamps feature three of Odjig's acrylic pieces. Each painting, Spiritual Renewal (1984), Pow-wow Dancer (1978), and Pow-wow (1969), is a representation of Odjig's passion for the arts and love of her native heritage.

"Daphne' Odjig's colourful palette evokes strength and power," said Jim Philips, Canada Post's Director of Stamp Services. "Canada Post is proud to add the work of this respected Canadian artist to our Art Canada series. I am also thrilled that Ms. Odjig is scheduled to be present for the unveiling of the stamps in Kelowna on February 26."

Daphne Odjig's art has been influenced by her life experiences. Born in 1919, to a father of native descent and an English war bride mother, Odjig first realized her love of fine arts during her school years on the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve on Manitoulin Island. In 1942, Odjig moved to Toronto where she fed her passion for art by visiting the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

In 1964, a series of ink and pencil sketches of the Cree people of Manitoba gained Odjig critical acclaim. The entire works of this exhibition were later purchased by the Federal Department of Cultural Affairs. From that point, the appreciation for, and popularity of, Odjig's work grew as did her recognition by the art world. Her achievements have been numerous over the years — including being the recipient of the Governor General's Laureate, Visual & Media Arts award in 2007. This award is Canada's highest honour in the field of Visual Arts.

About the stamp

The domestic rate stamps found on the pane of 16 measure 40 mm x 40 mm (square) with 13+ perforations, with P.V.A. gum. The U.S. rate stamps are available in booklets of 6 stamps, measuring 32 mm x 40 mm (vertical) with pressure sensitive gum type. The international rate stamps are available in booklets of 6 stamps, measuring 56 mm x 40 mm (horizontal) with pressure sensitive gum type. Both the U.S. and international stamps have simulated perforations. Lowe-Martin printed 1.5 million domestic rate stamps and 600,000 of each of the U.S. and international rate stamps, 200,000 souvenir sheets of three stamps, and 1,500 uncut press sheets. All stamps were printed using Tullis Russell paper. The domestic rate stamp and souvenir sheet of three panes and uncut press sheets were printed using lithography in nine colours and the U.S. and international booklets were printed using lithography in five colours. All stamps are general tagged on all sides. The official first day cover will be cancelled in Penticton, British Columbia.

Source: Canada Post, press release. Please click here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Top Ten Works of Art Sold by Heffel in 2010

1. Lawren Harris ~ Bylot Island I
Sold for $2,808,000
2. Lawren Harris ~ Arctic Sketch IX
Sold for $1,521,000
3. Alexander Colville ~ Man on Verandah
Sold for $1,287,000*
4. Jean~Paul Riopelle ~ Sans titre
Sold for $1,111,500
5. Arthur Lismer ~ The Sheep’s Nose, Bon Echo
Sold for $1,111,500*
6. Lawren Harris ~ Winter
Sold for $731,250
7. Bill Reid ~ Killer Whale (Chief of the Undersea World)
Sold for $702,000*
8. Lawren Harris ~ Houses, Winter, City Painting V
Sold for $702,000
9. Jean Paul Lemieux ~ Ti~Gus
Sold for $672,750*
10. Albert Henry Robinson ~ St~Urbain
Sold for $614,250

Picture of Bill Reid's Killer Whale, captured from Please click here to visit the site.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Meet Adam Young

I am a graduate of Mount Allison University's Fine Arts Program where I focused on painting and drawing. After graduating in 2003, I freelanced as an illustrator for newspapers across Canada. I graduated from Crandall University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Education and have been teaching art for the past 3 years. My family and I recently moved to Fogo Island Newfoundland where my fiance was born. I am currently focusing all my time on my art. My work is inspired by the landscape, architecture and people of Fogo Island.

To visit Adam's website, please go to

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Adam Young's Newfoundland Art

I was doing a search for Fogo Island art, when I cam upon this video by Newfoundland artist, Adam Young. It's an intriquing video, which features Adam's uniquely styled works and Mumford and Sons, singing 'Awake My Soul'.

Sit back and enjoy the next four minutes of painting and song.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Paintings damaged in Montreal fire

Montreal firefighters rescued several valuable works of art Sunday night after an accidental fire started in a downtown building housing a gallery.

The blaze broke out at about 5 p.m. Sunday on a floor above the Jean-Pierre Valentin gallery, which houses hundreds of works by artists such as Jean-Paul Riopelle, Marc-Aurèle Fortin, and Jean-Paul Lemieux.

No one was hurt in the fire, which was described as violent, with some 125 firefighers battling the blaze over the course of three hours.

Some paintings in the three-storey building on Sherbrooke Street were damaged by water, but officials said fire crews were able to rescue many other artifacts.

The front of the Jean-Pierre Valentin art gallery in Montreal Monday after firefighters battled a fire for three hours Sunday. (CBC/Sabrina Marandola)The Montreal fire department said although the fire started on the third floor, the first-floor art gallery was quickly threatened.

"We were preoccupied because of the water that was getting through the floors and getting to the first floor, so we decided to take all of the paintings out of the building," said Montreal fire department spokesman Bruno Lachance.

The fire department said the fire was accidental, but the actual cause will take some time to determine because of the sub-zero temperature.

Firefighters initially thought it could be arson, but an investigation by the arson squad concluded the cause was not criminal, and handed the investigation back to the fire department.

Monday morning the bottom floor of the building was boarded up, with windows broken on the top floor, and a sheet of ice with long icicles on the front of the building.

Damages are estimated at $1 million.

Source: CBC
Please click here to see this news article on CBC-Twitter.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jack Humphrey

I came across Jack Humphrey’s work accidentally and was quite taken by his rugged and honest style. I found his work quite captivating. Jack Humphrey was a Canadian Artist who spent time in his early career to master the techniques of watercolour and draughtsmanship. However, it was his oil paintings of people in his native St John that really inspired his generation. His depictions of his hometown during a time of economic depression effectively captured the mood and essence of hardship using a palette of subdued colour and effective compositional designs.

Jack Humphrey Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, 12 January 1901 National Gallery of Canada
Early years as a developing artist
Born in St John, New Brunswick, 12 Jan 1901, Humphrey was a natural artist with a long desire from early childhood to become a good painter. However from an artistic standpoint, Humphrey never really found St John to be an ideal place to learn about art and soon decided to travel south to Boston to endeavour to get a satisfactory artistic education. In the early 1920s, Humphrey studied under Philip Hale at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and then enlisted at the New York National Academy of Design where he studied under Charles Hawthorne. During these years Humphrey managed to get a thorough education in the basics of picture making. I believe Humphrey found Hawthorne to be a good teacher as he took extra tuition at Hawthorne’s Cape Cod School of Art during the summer which spoke volumes to Humphrey’s commitment to become an excellent artist.

Life in Europe
Driven by ambition Humphrey decided that after completing his formal studies in America he would travel to Europe to further his education as an artist. He left for Europe in 1929 going first to Paris to sketch some of the fantastic architecture and visit the many wonderful museums. While in Paris he also took modernist classes from the Cubist painter André Lhote. Humphrey eventually left France and travelled to Munich, where he spent 10 weeks studying modernist techniques under Hans Hofmann. Hofmann was one of the most celebrated artists of the time renowned as a fantastic teacher and modernist abstract expressionist painter. Following his tuition Humphrey spent time travelling around Europe studying some of the old Masters in Italy, Netherlands and Belgium an artistic voyage which many artists have undertaken over history.

Returning back to Canada
Unfortunately when the depression of the 1930s hit Humphrey was forced to return to his native St John due to personal financial concerns. Humphrey’s concerns about the artistic isolation of his hometown where now obsolete as a trained artist he was now a fully capable painter and it was St John that brought out the inspiration and affection that Humphrey needed to create some remarkable work.

St John was hard-hit during the depression with many people homeless and starving in the streets. Employment was a rarity and desperation and poverty was around every corner. Humphrey decided to use these scenes as inspiration for his work making a record of this difficult time in his beloved St John. It was his paintings, especially his portraits of children which are incredibly moving and powerful. In many of his portrait paintings Humphrey was very careful to express the inner emotion and character in his subjects. Many of the people in his paintings fill the frame presenting an almost sculptural presence with his lavish brushwork and expertly modelled features overemphasising the anatomical features to create curves and shapes to meet an underlying abstract design. In many of his paintings Humphrey uses colour contrast putting the subject against a large dominant area of colour.

Jack Humphrey Edith White 1939, National Gallery of Canada (no. 18628)
In addition to his character studies, Humphrey also did some incredible paintings of the local harbour, the streets and people around the city using a rugged honest approach to his work. Because his work was focused in New Brunswick, he soon became an established regional painter. I believe however that it was his approach to painting that soon won him respect among other artistic groups across Canada which included the Montréal Contemporary Art Society and the Canadian Group of Painters. Humphrey was invited to become a member of both of these groups.

National Recognition
In 1933 Humphrey travelled across Canada to many cities including Vancouver, Montréal and Toronto exhibiting with the Canadian Group of Painters. It was at this point where Humphreys work started to become nationally recognised. In the years after 1933 his reputation grew rapidly as he steadily obtained commissions and sold work nationally. Humphrey travelled extensively exhibiting and working internationally returning to Europe during the 1950s where his work took on more of a modernist abstract style.

At the end of his career Humphrey was widely recognised across Canada as one of the best painters of his time. He was a member of the Eastern Group of Painters, Contemporary Art Society, Canadian Group of Painters, Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, Canadian Society of Graphic Arts, and International Association of Plastic Arts. He was also a fellow at the International Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1951 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of New Brunswick.

Jack Humphrey died in St John, New Brunswick, 23 March 1967

After tracing Humphrey’s artistic development and journey, it was his work in the 1930s that struck me most profoundly. His raw depiction of his hometown was what really inspired me and made me think more deeply about the living people in St John during the depression.

Additional information on Jack Humphrey may be found in these sources:
Articles and Reference Sites:-
The Canadian Encyclopaedia

Jack Humphrey’s Obituary

The Grove dictionary of art

Wikipedia |Jack Humphrey

The New Brunswick in all of Fame

Mount Allison University | New Brunswick | War of Atlantic Canada

The center of the Canadian contemporary art | The Renaissance of contemporary Canadian art

Sunday, February 13, 2011

'Edwin Holgate's Ludovine' From an Essay by Christopher Rolfe

"However, as we come to the fourth and last portrait to be discussed, let us relinquish the notion of a Canadian portraiture. Portraits are universal statements, they speak to all mankind – we are back with that basic denotative legibility – and it would be wrong to confine them to a narrow, nationalistic significance. Ludovine, to be seen in the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, was painted in 1930 in a small cod-fishing village called Natashquan on the north bank of the St Lawrence. (Holgate was on his way to the Labrador coast.) The young woman wears black for she is in mourning – her mother had just died – and, as the eldest child, she had been left to care for a numerous family of siblings. Even if we did not know these details, the portrait could not fail to have an effect on us. Holgate places Ludovine uncompromisingly in the middle of the canvas, again square on. Her head is, however, held slightly to one side: the neckline of her dress is off-set. The effect of this is to hint at her vulnerability in a time of grief, and render the
sense of resolution and responsibility all the more poignant and admirable. Her dark eyes look directly into ours, unfalteringly, and yet also seem to be contemplating an unknowable future. Her calm and poise, together with a slight tension, are also
conveyed by her clasped hands. In formal terms, her head to one side, together with crenellated middle of the chair-back (opposed to the smooth curve on the other side) prevent too rigid a symmetry. A harsh light casts a dark shadow which accentuates the somber mood. However, the expanse of light blue counters this to a certain extent (even though it is a cool colour) and perhaps suggests that the promise of youth, despite her grievous loss, is not altogether blighted. This is a hauntingly beautiful portrait. Like Plamondon’s portrait of Soeur Saint-Alphonse, it speaks to us about Canadian/Quebec women. Beyond that, it speaks to us about all women. Beyond that, it shares with us thoughts about the universal spirit, about human loss, grief, vulnerability, and quiet courage."

Christopher Rolfe is University Fellow and Honorary Director of the Centre for Quebec Studies, University of Leicester, UK, and a former President of the British Association for Canadian Studies and of the International Council for Canadian Studies.

Extracted from an online essay: A Canadian Portraiture, Some Thoughts of Edwin Holgate. Please click here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

WO Mitchell

Ok. This blog entry is a mixed bag of reactions to life. First off, thanks to the many kind readers who sent me email notes of encouragement during my most time of convalescence from cancer surgery. Trust me - it all helped, and its really good to be back in the saddle again.

I found this scultpured bust of WO Mitchell, on Al Stinson's website. Please click here to view this and other works by Al.

Al created two busts. One can be seen in Calgary's Max Bell Theatre and the other in the University of Sasktachewan Library. I am moved by this, for I have long considered WO Mitchell one of my favourite Canadian writers.

WO, was from High River, Alberta but he also lived in Calgary and Weyburn Saskatchewan. I recall once sitting in a restaurant in High River and telling a waitress that I was thrilled to visit WO's home town. She looked at me quizically and I repeated..."W.O. Mitchell, the famous Canadian writer."
She shrugged and responded; "Never heard of him."

I wrote it off and a couple of years later in a restaurant in Peterborough I met a Trent University student from High River, Alberta. So, I told her the story and she gave me the same vacant look, and comment, "Sorry, but I have never heard of him either."

I looked at my wife later and asked, "How can a university student grow up in a town and not know such a legendary Canadian author? Did none of the teacher's ever read his works to her? Has the town failed to immortalize the memory of this man?"

Its time for High River, to name a school after W.O., and to erect a statue to WO's memory in the town park.

Anyway, if they are looking for an sculptor to do the job, Al's the man to call.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tony Batten and The Coach House

The Coach House
Location: laneway off Wellesley St. E. Toronto,
media: watercolours

Tony Batten continues to impress me with his art.

Let's take a close look at this work. As I scan my way around it I am struck by how busy a work it is. The sky is almost non existent and there aren't many trees - two classic space fillers for artists. But look at what Tony does with the space he has. We get it all; a house with bricks, windows, window frames, a lane, a fence, and a roof and coach house. Each one demands its own type of exact attention and replication of detail.

But yet there is more. Anyone who has grown up in an older urban centre in Canada, can recognize elements of this residential theme. It bears a certain sense of nostalgia, of times long past; a time of graceful living and community elegance.
Now, lets follow the visual pathway up the laneway. To the left we find the back porch which has a white upright post and this is followed by a grey telephone pole, which along with the back garden fence, constricts our visual pathway. The dark, shadowed house on the right side completes the blocking. And in the end, we are led along the lane, through the coach house where we are left to wonder what is beyond that.

As a painter, I find myself impressed by Tony's control, design and methodical work. I can't help but wonder how long such a picture would take to paint. More then all that, I am impressed by his skill as a watercolourist. Splendid painting Tony.

Artist's Commments:

"l have tackled this scene several times over the years and am drawn back to it again and again. Its appeal certainly lies in the three main fields of depth ie the two bracketing residences that sit on each side of the foreground, then the coach house with the central void that is the driveway and that leading the eye even further to a row of garages and sheds. What is presented is one of the most basic perspective views of a group of structures .. a central vanishing point. Usually one of the least attractive views! However l do think that given the variety of surface materials and the myriad textures that this rather static view does have considerable appeal to both the artist and the viewer. One of my concerns is always to attempt to light or illuminate my compositions in a way that adds drama and interest and this work was no exception. l worked out the lighting system with a number of preliminary sketches and took some liberties with cast shadows attempting to create dramatic diagonal lines that would run counter to the dominant central vanishing point.

All the of the several versions of this scene that l have produced have been acquired by collectors so they presumably saw something in the work that appealed to them and that is most satisfying.

l recently passed the buildings and again saw in my mind's eye yet another painting however the next one may be painted a different medium, maybe acrylics."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Meet Barry Penton - A Fogo Islander

Barry was born and raised in the fishing village of Fogo, Fogo Island on Newfoundland’s Northeast Coast. At the age of 27, Barry is a newcomer to the growing world of Newfoundland Artists. Prior to taking his artwork seriously, Barry just sketched and done some minor painting with craft Acrylics. In December 2008 , Barry had attempted a painting of a winter-night scene of Outport Newfoundland. Barry had shown his work to Internationally Renown Newfoundland Artist; Ed Roche.

Ed’s comments were “ Not bad, but it’s too flat, we need some dimension to the painting.” With those Comments and Ed Roche’s commitment to ensuring Barry improved on the basics, Barry’s Art Career was Born in February 2009. Barry’s primary medium is Acrylic on Canvas, but is looking to explore the use of watercolor later.

While painting with other students, Barry became known as the master or painting fishing and rowing boats. Several which are featured in paintings. To date Barry has completed several paintings which primarily focus on his native home of Fogo. His work has been selling steadily across the province and country and is available in several galleries in St. John’s. In 2010, Barry along with 30 + artist will be working on a collection of Paintings entitled: Newfoundland and Labrador- Through the Centuries.

Today Barry works as a Recreation Therapist with Eastern Health in St. John’s Newfoundland and resides with his wife Wanda in Mount Pearl, NL

Barry’s work can be viewed and purchased online at:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Doodling by Lee Atkinson

This is the time of year when Canadians begin to dream about the return of the warm sun and pleasant spring weather.

Sunbirth is another of Lee's whimsical doodles which have taken on a life of their own. Imagine the possibilties; a bedspread, a postage stamp for a Caribbean country, a label on a fish can. See what doodling does to the head? It leads us down uncharted pathways.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Art Arises Out of Ruin

The following article, which was published in Toronto's Globe and Mail, tells of one of Canada's prestigious buildings stripping its exterior of its expensive coat of Italian carrara marble.

When it seemed that what may be the world's most beautiful marble, was lost along comes art comes to the rescue.

Susan Krashinsky, writes:

The upside of losing all your marbles

It has been a long while since the Tuscan rock face of Canada's tallest office tower actually sparkled.

Dulled and greying from 35 years of exposure, dangerously warped by the temperature swings, moisture and pollution of a Toronto climate, the Carrara marble of First Canadian Place is not exactly known for its beauty. Lately, its fame owes more to the $100-million that owner Brookfield Properties Corp., is spending to shed it from the building's exterior.

But stripped from the heart of the financial district, the slabs' damaged edges shorn away, little bits of the skyscraper are beginning to be turned into pieces of art. Repurposed as Willow in Winter by Canadian sculptor Francisco Castro Lostalo, the marble glitters like clean snow.

“It's so important that we use what we have,” Mr. Lostalo said, cradling a curved branch he has plucked from the top of his willow tree – each section is carved from the flat panels using a grinder with a diamond blade, and assembled to form a three-dimensional whole. “It's dug out of the earth, and it shouldn't be just thrown away.”

Indeed, the renovation of First Canadian Place has a heavy byproduct: 45,000 marble slabs weighing 4,000 tons that Brookfield has no use for any more. The company decided to recycle the marble, requiring the firm it has contracted for the project to sell it and donate the proceeds to charity.

The best pieces are kept whole for use in architectural projects; the ones that are more warped are broken up into tiles; and the most heavily damaged are ground up to be used as the base product under roads or even potentially in cosmetics.

But a pile of the best slabs are being set aside for a local group of artists, including Mr. Lostalo, who wants to return them to the function they had before skyscrapers ever existed: Michelangelo used Carrara marble to carve his David, and Toronto Art Visions will now use the discarded face of the skyscraper to once again make sculptures.

“[First Canadian Place] is this iconic structure on the skyline … it's been part of Toronto for so long and it's a great opportunity to allow artists to repurpose that,” said Brookfield spokesman Matt Cherry.

Mr. Lostalo is currently showing a small amount of sculptures at the Leonardo Galleries in Toronto, but the bulk of the work is yet to come: since the re-cladding is top-down work, only the most weathered stone has been liberated so far. Less than 25 per cent of the marble is still in pristine condition, and most of that is better shielded, on lower floors.

“This white marble is so soft. That's what makes it advantageous for sculpture work,” said Sam Trigila, vice-president of Clifford Restoration Ltd., which is in charge of the project and of selling the marble. “It's a great material. It wasn't really a good material to put on the outside of a building, but, well!”

Mr. Lostalo does not have a permanent studio, so Mr. Trigila's team has also donated a corner of their yard in Scarborough to store the marble – each panel measures a little more than two feet by four feet – and as a workspace.

The first bits of sculpture were put on display this summer outside of the First Canadian Place parkette as part of a symposium of artists' work that Toronto Art Visions held on the theme “Our fragile planet.” In 2012, the group will invite 18 sculptors from around the world to use the marble for their work and will hold a larger show.

Even at the early stages, the project has been noticed in the country Mr. Lostalo left 21 years ago to come to Canada. The Bank of Costa Rica, which is currently renovating its building in the capital, San Jose, has asked about donating its black marble for other art projects.

In the gallery, Mr. Lostalo lifts a polar bear the size of a shoebox. As higher quality slabs come in, he hopes the group will sculpt larger pieces, “the size of a real polar bear.”

The creature has brownish seams running across its white face where Mr. Lostalo laminated the slabs firmly together with special glue, to create a traditional sculptor's block for carving.

“[The marks are] part of the beauty, because it shows the recycling,” he said.

“A lot of the things Francisco has done so far represent Canada more than Costa Rica,” teased Tony Magee, one of Mr. Lostalo's partners at Toronto Art Visions. Mr. Lostalo smiles, placing the polar bear gently back on its feet.

“Yes. I'm going to have to make a palm tree.”

Source: Globe and Mail: Published Friday, Dec. 31, 2010

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fogo Island Arts Corporation Revisited

The Fogo Island Arts Corporation, continues its forward drive to create a world class, art school on Fogo Island, Newfoundland.

Artists, curators and film-makers invited to take part in our Residency Program 2010 – 2012:
Short term research residencies to be followed by a longer production period:Siddhartha Das – designer/photographer (India)

Oliver Lutz – artist (US)
Andreas Siqueland – artist (Norway)
Silke Otto-Knapp – artist (Germany/UK)
Zin Taylor – artist (Canada/Belgium)
Kevin Schmidt artist – (Canada)
Selma Makela – (UK/Ireland)
Janice Kerbel – artist (Canada/UK)
Geoffrey Farmer – artist (Canada)
Keren Cytter – artist (Israel/UK)
Willem de Rooij – artist (Netherlands)

Results from an Open call for applications for 2011:
Robin Simpson – curator (Canada)
Johan Lundh – curator (Sweden)
Aileen Burns – curator (Canada)

Patrick Staff – artist (Britain)
Hannah Rickards – artist (Britain)
David Kelley – artist/film-maker (US)
Rory Middleton – artist/film-maker (Scotland)
Yulene Olaizola – film-maker (Mexico)

Monique MacIntosh, co-ordinator of the Fogo Island Arts Corporation, writes:
ArchDaily's Building of the Year Award is now on it's final selection process. The Long Studio on Fogo Island by Saunders Architecture is one of the five finalists for the Cultural category. Until February 13, the community will vote, and on February 15 the winners for each category will be announced.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Miller Brittain

Miller Brittain (November 12, 1914 – January 21, 1968) was a Canadian artist from New Brunswick.[1]

He was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. Brittian studied art with Elizabeth Russell Holt in Saint John and Harry Wickey in New York City. In 1932, he returned to Saint John, where he worked at clerical and construction jobs and opened an art studio on the waterfront. During this period, he captured realistic scenes of everyday life in the city which incorporated social commentary. Brittain fought with the Canadian Air Force during World War II and served two years as a war artist. He was a founding member of the Federation of Canadian Artists in 1941. After the war, his paintings took on a more surreal aspect, taking as their subject biblical topics[1], abstract figures, nudes and flowers.[2] Brittain had married Connie Starr in 1951; he was devastated by her death from cancer seven years later and was treated several times for alcoholism in his later life.[3] Brittain died in St. John at the age of 54.[1]

The National Film Board of Canada produced a film based on his life in 1981. The film was awarded Best Overall Entry at the Atlantic Film Festival in 1982.[4]

Brittain's work is held in private collections and a number of art galleries in Canada including the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian War Museum and retrospectives of his work have appeared in various Canadian galleries including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the National Gallery of Canada.

Source: Wikipedia. Please click here.

See: Painting, 'Night Target Germany' Portrait blog entry. Please click here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Brett Davis and the Buxton Liberty Bell

For every newcomer to the tiny community of Buxton, a heavy brass bell would ring out from high atop the church steeple.

And the rest of the settlement, near Chatham, would know that the Underground Railroad was delivering – more men, women and children had found freedom in Canada.

Brett Davis, is a sculptor renown. His graceful works appear in parks and gardens and he is rapidly shaping his own destiny.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Miller Brittain, presented by Tom Smart, director of the McMichael Gallery

I chanced upon this You Tube, produced by Stephen Weir and it opened a new page in our country's art history, for me.

Fredericks-Artworks Blog, copying policy

The Canadian Copyright act, section 29 reports on fairdealing, that it is not an infringement to reproduce someone else's work for research, study, criticism, review or to report. Which pretty much sums up what this site is about. All content sources, be they artists, printed references, and website url's are respectfully identified on this site. http://http//

Mission Statement
A Portrait of the Visual Arts in Canada, is intended to celebrate the richness of Canada's visual arts, and to promote the arts in Canada.

Statement of Intent
I make every effort to credit the sources of information used in this blog and to obtain the permission and cooperation of all the works presented by living artists. I try, as much as possible to use works from public sources eg. national and provincial collections, of deceased artists. If for any reason, any artist disapproves of anything written about them or their work the artist is encouraged to request withdrawal of the content.