Archive for November, 2016

Alex Janvier at the National Gallery

Took in the opening night ceremonies for the Alex Janvier show at the National Gallery of Canada on Thursday night, and wow, those folks know how to open an exhibition.  They had the real deal going with the drums, hand drums, and a jingle dress dance, all sounding pretty awesome in the Great Hall.  The place was packed to the rafters!  The man in charge said the only other opening with more people was the Van Gogh deal a few years ago.  So big time Wow Pow!

Alex took the podium and had some very interesting things to say about his experiences in the residential school.

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Of course Alex goes way back in modern First Nations art history and he talked briefly about his place in it.  It was a pleasure to hear him.  And to see him with the hand drummers out front, singing those 2 songs.

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Big scale work.  Far and away from what other First Nations artists were creating at the same time.  Mind you Alex Janvier comes from northern Alberta, a long way from Ojibwe country.

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I’ve only seen Alex Janvier’s work in books!  Let me tell you the real deal, at 60×90 inches and larger, really makes an impression for first time viewers like me.

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Whew!  Of course the gallery was packed so it was tough to spend the time needed with the pieces but the good news is the show is in until April 2017, there will be plenty of time to go back in for an up close.

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Heavy duty!  A great retrospective and not an easy task, so said the organizers, to get the owners to part with their pieces.

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Wow!  Well I made it through the exhibition finding my way to the exit just before they closed the place for the night and who do I run into?  It was Alex coming along with an assistant and so I yelled out:  Hey Man!  Nice work!  He actually stopped, turned around and came back to me, shook my hand and said thanks for coming!  That was really cool.

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November 18th: Great Day!

We’re down here, north of Toronto, in position early and hassle free for tomorrow’s Roncesvalles United Church Xmas art and craft sale, and folks let me tell you we are good to GO!

Beauty day here in Markham, might be the last of the shirt sleeve days until next year.  Yeah man.  It is some beauty out there.  So I took a ride up to Unionville for a snoop and boo through the Varley Art Gallery of Markham.  I was in there earlier in the month with a collector friend and on one side of the gallery they had some pretty slick looking Group of Seven era stuff.

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AJ Casson’s “Sunlit Isle”, 1975, oil on canvas.  Nice work!

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AJ, “Stormy Sunset”, 1935, oil on board.  I look at this and it reminds me of back home!

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JEH MacDonald, “Early Evening, Atlantic Shores”, c. 1922, oil on board.  Nice work.  I think of  Carter’s Bay, the Sand Dunes, back home on the south shore of Manitoulin Island.  Can almost hear it too!

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AJ, “Twilight, Palmer Rapids”, 1959, oil on board.  Reminds me too, of Mindemoya, way back in 1975.

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I had to take part in the art making on my way out!

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Ah but one leaf on one tree…  in Unionville, on a Friday in November.  Great day!  And we’re only at the half way point!

Tomorrow is going to be a lot fun!  I hope to see you in the Roncesvalle village anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  One day only!  Have fun!

 

Ojibwe Woodland Art

hit the brushes after a two month away and came up with this:

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you remember that Halloween Art Battle painting from a week ago Sunday?  we had 20 minutes to create something and you can see the results if you scroll down to that blog entry.  i got to looking at that painting and wondered what it would like tuned up and finished proper.  well!  here it is!

14×18 inches, acrylic on canvas.  painted today, Nov. 7.

a father and his daughter: NGC

Some of us men are lucky men.  We get some of the greatest things imaginable.

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That’s Jazzy Moon outside the National Gallery of Canada.  You see that drink she’s holding?  That flipping thing was SUPER ICE cold.  We had the good fortune on Wednesday of a beauty hot November afternoon but that drink…

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We walked into the National Gallery, first time together in many moons.  I said to Jazzy Moon:  imagine if this was your crib!  And what a crib:  down on the south shore of Manitoulin Island, on limestone beaches and 500 acres…  yes.  I can imagine that!

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Jazz seeing a Van Gogh for the first time.

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Jazz pondering a Picasso.

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Jazz using the almighty!

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Jazz with a Jackson Pollock.  We got into a discussion about where some of my art comes from!

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First time going eye ball to eye ball with a Rothko:  more art history explaining and a solid 15 minutes of look time.  Wow.  We need to go down south and see the other ones.

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Jazz digging “Voice of Fire”, in actual.

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Jazzy grooving a Renoir.  (i told her there were some doozies yet to see!)

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Going 3D:  seriously pondering a Rodin.

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Imagining the tastes and fragrances inside a “Third Class Carriage”.

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Jazzy Moon taking time with a Turner.

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Pondering a work of art that is anywhere between 300 and 500 years old!  Imagine that!

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Me:  Truly and deeply digging a Kent Monkman.  (you know sometimes you can get some not so good advice.  you can take it or leave it and unfortunately for me i was foolish enough to take it.  lucky for us, if Kent ever heard anything like what i did, he just went ahead and did it anyway.  good for him!  and there he is, same age as me, and he’s in the National Gallery of Canada.)

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Jazz stopping next to the ultra MOD German scene and wondering WHAT?!!!

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European West:  I told my sweet Jazzy Moon we have to, at times, forget where we came from.  Sometimes we have to forget everything we’ve been told.

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You can’t have too much art in one day.  I was told this back in art school and I said this to Jazz as we came out to the Great Hall.  Indeed a Great Hall it is!  With the art behind us, all that was left was to walk.

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We can take ourselves to many places in this life time.  I was happy to take my daughter back to one of my personal fave places.

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What a difference a day makes!

Some of us men are lucky.  Some of us get the greatest things imaginable.

Art Battling at Halloween!

i’m in Ottawa and snooping the local art scene.  i’ve been down to the National Gallery of Canada a few times and at the National Art Centre for an event, but closer to the artists at things like Drawing at the Rooster.

i was surprised to get called up at the last minute to join the Halloween Art Battle and you know me and Halloween and art making, i just had to go!  so what happens is this:  they give you an 18×24 inch canvas, a huge selection of colours in the acrylic paint department, and 20 minutes to GET IT DONE!  oh yes.  you bring your own brushes and you can leave the butterflies at home.  unfortunately for me, mine go with whenever there is a crowd like that.

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there is the set up:  the art making station.  that’s me at left doing the Moose Nahmiwan in minimalist Ojibwe Woodland style, and because it’s Halloween, i’m sporting my 2nd place costume:  “the modern Indian Shaman”, or “the well heeled Indian”.  depending of course on what side of the fence you’re standing Doc!

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this gal in the snake deal:  she had a good thing going paint wise and WON the costume contest too.  well deserved.  that Ma doo thing was five by five.

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fun times but i said this to a friend who was there:  it doesn’t matter how well i know the material, it doesn’t matter how well rehearsed it is, and it doesn’t matter how big or small the house is, i ALWAYS get the pre show jitters.  it happened when i was in theatre.  it happened when i played guitar in a rock and roll band.  and it happens for darn sure, when i’m painting with a crowd on hand.  i’m talking the shakes!  my hands were shaking…

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that golden snake gal was rock solid!

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and this gal in the purple was rock solid.  nice work too!  also:  that is the work station and sometimes when you’re in the zone, the paint from another artist can come flying!  i was getting it from both sides!  i didn’t mind though, truth is i kind of liked it.

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that’s it!  20 minutes worth.  18×24 inches.  but like i said:  i had butterflies deluxe.  the shakes.  and i never use an easel at home.  but i LOVE the art battle!  and if they invite me back again sometime, i’ll be sure to go!

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and so there is the work!  each and everyone of them painted using the same brand paint, the same time limit, but coming from vastly different places and there is the beauty of it!  everything is of course up for sale, so you see those sheets there?  folks bid and at the end of the night those pieces are off and gone to someone’s collection.

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i love Halloween.  and this “well heeled artist”, she did nice work as well as was costumed up nicely!  you should have seen the rest of her!

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another well heeled artist: in recline after the show!  and that is what it is:  show business. the art battle is a grand event and it surely is show business, a lot of fun, and if you get a chance, check one out.