Friday, July 29, 2011

Edward Abela

"Whether in the Island of Malta, my country of birth or in Canada, or in my travels in Europe or America, I have always sought to interpret my environment on paper or canvas. Like the impressionists, I seek to be a ‘painter of light” and look for beauty in light and shadows and in contrasting colours. Most of my landscapes incorporate this to some degree. If the viewer looking at my work finds this to be pleasing and exciting, I feel I would have achieved my purpose."

Edward is a member of the Markham Group of Artists and the Don Valley Art Club.

Mainly self taught, I am always looking for opportunities to widen my artistic horizons. I am currently a member of the Markham Group of Artists and the Don Valley Art Club. He has exhibited his solo and group shows in Canada, England, Germany and Malta and he has received a number of awards.  His paintings can be found in private homes and offices in Canada, US, England, France, Switzerland, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

To visit Edward's website, please click here

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Johannus Boots: Comments on his painting, 'Oneness'.

“Oneness” started out as a representation of all the animals I witnessed close to home in a month’s time. As with most of my paintings, they evolve as they’re being created and when I added my best friend and myself to the painting, it turned into a symbolic view of ones life’s path. We might all walk a similar path but it’s different for everyone by way of perception. With all the distractions of our digital daily lives, we sometimes loose sight of the wonders of our natural world and the oneness, which is just outside our door. Please click here to visit Johannus's website.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Make Art Pop" takes Marketing Awards Best of Show award.

Perfetti Van Melle and Cossette Montreal were a pop sensation at the 2008 Marketing Awards in Toronto last night.
Perfetti and Cossette left last night’s celebration with the Best of Show award for the “Make Art Pop” campaign for Mentos Gum. The campaign, which featured artwork made from Mentos’ bubble packaging, also won a gold in the Integrated Campaign category and two golds in Out-of-Home Non-Standard Format Campaign.

Extracted from Marketing Advertising Media and PR in Canada. To read more, please click here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Napolean Sarony, b. (Canada) 1821 c. (USA) 1899

Oscar Wilde

Napoleon Sarony was born about 1821 in Quebec, Canada, the same year that his namesake Napoleon I died at St. Helena. Information on Sarony's family and early childhood background is sketchy. Historians have reported that his father, a lithographer, had immigrated to Canada from Birmingham, England. Sarony's mother died when he was about ten years old causing the family, which included eight children, to disperse. Napoleon Sarony arrived in New York state in the 1830s and worked as a lithographer with Henry R. Robinson and Nathaniel Currier (of Currier & Ives fame). Sarony eventually established his own firm in partnership with Henry B. Major and in 1846 he married Ellen Major (b. about 1830, possibly a sister to Henry). The 1850 census for Kings, Williamsburg, New York shows Napoleon and Ellen living in the Henry Major household along with the Sarony children Ida, age two and son Otto, age seven months. In 1857, Joseph F. Knapp joined the partnership to form the Sarony, Major & Knapp lithography company. The partnership became one of the country's most successful in the field and later evolved into American Lithographic Company.

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

The above article was extracted from  the Twainquotes website.  This site has some interesting information on Sarony and it features Sarony vs Oscar Wilde over who could claim copyright protection on a celebrity photograph - the celebrity or the photographer?

To view this article and more, please click here. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Johannus Boots Searches for Life meanings in 'Oneness'.

This is another of Johannus's multi level works. If we look carefully at this painting, the path we see looks like a tunnel through the forest, which leads his walker towards a golden glow of mist.

This is the kind of painting which we can each interpret existentially. We live alone, and our experiences are ours alone to interpret and we walk on a well worn path which others have taken before us.

The dog is the caveat in the picture.  The dog playfully relates to the walker and the walker has his/her hand stretched out.  There is a feeling that our journey is not nakedly alone but that we can and do connect with life outside ourselves in a meaningful way.  We are part of a natural scheme of things.  Look closely into the branches and you will see that the dog and walker are not alone. They are surrounded by the presence of phantom people and animals.  

When I look at Johannus's works I find myself wondering if this is an experience which I have shared with the artist,  for I have frequently wondered if I am treading on ancient pathways where native peoples once walked softly in moccassined feet.  The faint outlines of faces in the trees suggest an almost spiritual kinship with these ancient presences.

I like the way message and craft interact and this work.  I am impressed by Johannus's deliberate small brush work. Each leaf is carefully defined and each blade of grass is carefully articulated,  so that what we think we know so clearly, slowly and surely surrenders to the unknowable golden mist before us. The future we journey towards is warm and pleasant and mysterious. 

Note how Johannus understates the walker by dressing him in subtle greys. In some respects, the playful black and white dog, is more a dominant presence.  The dog is posed in a sideways position, whereas the person in grey walks with his back towards us and away from us.  I find myself wondering, if I am the person in grey and am I as unresponsive as the walker to the natural order of things in life? Like the great artist that he is, Johannus hands us many questions but few answers and by so doing, he draws us into his work, to make a mental relationship to it.  Taking all in all, its a very spiritual work, painted by one of the best.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Art and Soul - Mary Hynes and Robert Bateman

CBC show: Tapestry
Interview with Robert Bateman
Discussion of art and the soul
Please Click Here

Edward Abela, and the Ontario Plein Air Society's Bridgewater Workshop

Artist Edwrad Abela of Markham, Ontario painting on location at the Ontario Plen Air Society's summer workshop.

"Whether in the Island of Malta, my country of birth or in Canada, or in my travels in Europe or America, I have always sought to interpret my environment on paper or canvas. Like the impressionists, I seek to be a ‘painter of light” and look for beauty in light and shadows and in contrasting colours. Most of my landscapes incorporate this to some degree. If the viewer looking at my work finds this to be pleasing and exciting, I feel I would have achieved my purpose.

Mainly self taught, I am always looking for opportunities to widen my artistic horizons. I am currently a member of the Markham Group of Artists and the Don Valley Art Club.

I have exhibited in solo and group shows in Canada, England, Germany and Malta and have received a number of awards. My paintings can be found in private homes and offices in the Canada, United States, England, France, Switzerland, Malta, Hong Kong and New Zealand."
                                                                                                                                                                                E.. Abela

I had the pleasure of attending the Ontario Plein Air Society Workshop, at Bridgenorth Resort outside the village of Actinolite, Ontario.  The workshop featured artist Edward Abela, from Markham, Ontario and was attended by a group of ten enthusiastic painters.  

I was impressed by Edward's kindly presence and how he found words of encouragement, instruction and praise for each of the participating painters.

This was my first workshop experience so I entered it with both a sense of enthusiasm and some trepidation.  The workshop was led by Keith and Helen Thirgood.

The workshop featured good food, lots of good socializing, and the opportunity to learn from the master's hand.

demonstration session

If you wish to visit the Ontario Plein Air Society's website to learn more about the group and their forthcoming September workshop in the Opeongo Hills, please click here. 

To visit Edward Abela's website, please click here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Canada's History through Art: Rommel Under Attack.

This painting by Lance Russwurm, commemorates this day in history when Canadian Fighter Pilot Charley Fox, is accredited with Rommel's death. To visit Charley's website, please click here. To see more of artist Lance Russwurm's work, please click here,

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Art of Glen Scrimshaw: Part 1

I talked to my brother on the phone today, and he told me that he had a chance meeting with Glen Scrimshaw in North Battleford, Sk. During their conversation, my brother said that he told Glen that I paint. Glen asked, "What media does he paint in." My brother answered, "acrylics". Glen expressed immediate enthusiasm when he heard that.

I checked out Glen's website but couldn't find an option to send him an email to ask for his permission to present him via his you tube videos. So Glen...if you see this note, please send me a line. (my email address is in the right column).

To check out Glens' website, please click here

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

James Moore was given an opportunity today to clarify the Government's position on funding the arts.
The interview conducted by the CBC's Jian Ghomeshi, covered a broad range of topics and may have put to rest a few anxieties felt within the art community. Its a long interview - but interesting

Please click here and scroll down the page.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Abba's, 'The Eagle' with thanks to Rolf Hicker

I was sitting back enjoying a few Abba songs on You Tube, when I came across the above video. 'The Eagle' caught my attention since I am presently reworking one of my paintings (Cabin on a Northern Lake), and painting a bald eagle in flight within it.

To my surprise, that featured 'Portrait' photographer, Rolf Hicker's work features prominently.

Hats of to Rolf for his photgraphic skills.

You are invited to check Rolf's website out by clicking here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Count Berthold Von Imhoff

To listen to the story of Count Von Imhoff, please click here to be taken to the CBC archives.

The small town of St. Walburg, Saskatchewan is an unlikely place to find the grave of a German nobleman, let alone one whose talents make him one of the most accomplished religious painters of the early 20th century.

Born in Mannheim, German in 1868, Imhoff showed great artistic talents from an early age. He studied at many prestigious European schools, sometimes studying and working as foreman on major projects simultaneously. After marrying the daughter of one of his art instructors, he immigrated to North America in 1892 where he worked in Ohio and Philadelphia before finally setting up shop in Reading, Pennsylvania where his studio employed a staff of five full time artists. During his time in Reading, he decorated over 100 churches and private homes but still found the time to travel to Europe where he continued studies and improved his technique.

In 1913, Imhoff and his family immigrated to north western Saskatchewan where he could continue his work in an area of peace and tranquillity, just outside of the town of St. Walburg. Here that he completed the paintings for a major commission: the Cathedral in Reading, Pennsylvania, which some consider his greatest work. Saskatchewan also afforded him an opportunity to pursue his second great love, hunting. Apart from his talents as a painter, Imhoff was also an expert marksman and had won trophies in hunting competitions in the United States before coming to Canada.

Imhoff's output of work was immense, but the parishes who commissioned him were very poor and Imhoff often worked more for the love of his art than for any financial gain. For his talent, hard work and dedication to the faith, he was awarded a Knighthood in the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Pius XI in 1937. When he died in 1939, he was far from wealthy, but his work lives on and can be seen at the Barr Colony Museum in Lloydminster, his original studio outside St. Walburg, and many churches of all denominations throughout the area. Count Berthold and his wife Matilde are buried in the Catholic cemetery within the town of St. Walburg.

Some analysts have passed Imhoff's work off as mere decoration, but that categorisation is both unfair and inaccurate. Even though his themes are classical in nature, a closer examination of his characterisations and background elements reveal an artist who was not only a superb technical painter, but also quite aware of the artistic movements of the time.

In 1998, the community of St. Walburg honoured Imhoff by erecting a statue in his memory. The life sized equestrian sculpture, by St. Walburg artist Susan Velder, can be seen as you enter the town from the south. His beautiful north light studio, constructed in 1920-25 is open to the public for viewing from the May long weekend until Labour Day. The Imhoff Heritage Society is currently fund raising for the conservation of the studio and its exterior frescos. The photo below shows the studio as it appeared in 1996.

To see this article on the University of Calgary website, please click here.

The copy of the painting was extracted from Virtual Please click here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Joseph and Marie Louise by Sarah Robertson, 1930.

“Joseph and Marie-Louise” by Sarah Robertson, from about 1930

I enjoy impressionistic art. Impressionists take the things I see and pull them like taffy into exaggerated propotions, while retaining and respecting the emotional integrity of a work.

I found 'Joseph and Marie Louise' while drifting through 'The Dali Book', blog the other day. It would be an understatement to say that it caught my eye. Far from it. I stumbled when I saw it.

The picture rolls. The fields roll. The people are rounded and the sky is warped.

The only thing that stands firm is a nondescript building in the background (you have to look for it), and the cross.

There is no doubt that the cross is the central object in the painting and in the lives of the people who erected it.

Take a look at the people. Robertson paints the woman to look stooped and pregnant. And in case her posture suggests her imprisonment, the man isn't much better off. There are only two raised man made elements in this work - the cross and the rake which weighs on his shoulders. Is Robertson suggesting that both are instruments which suppress rural Quebecers? Its a pretty gutsy painting when you consider that it was painted in 1930 when the church was a dominant force in a nearly feudal,rural Quebec society.

The picture was taken from The Dali House, and its article on the Beaver Hall Group.
Please click here.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Geese Don't Wear Ribbons

How many remember, the story of artist Michael Snow and Flight Stop from 1981. This magnificent flock of fibreglass Canada Geese hangs in Toronto's Eaton Centre.

Wikipedia Reports:

One of the most prominent sights in the shopping mall is the group of fibreglass Canada Geese hanging from the ceiling. This sculpture, named Flight Stop, is the work of artist Michael Snow. It was also the subject of an important intellectual property court ruling. One year, the management of the centre decided to decorate the geese with red ribbons for Christmas, without consulting Snow. Snow objected arguing that the ribbons made his naturalistic work "ridiculous" and harmed his reputation as an artist. Snow sued and in Snow v. The Eaton Centre Ltd., the court ruled that even though the Centre owned the sculpture, the ribbons had infringed Snow's moral rights. The ribbons were ordered removed.

To view the article at source, please click here.

To view the Wikipedia article: Snow v Eaton Centre Ltd, please click here.

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.