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.


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!


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.


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…


that golden snake gal was rock solid!


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.


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!


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.


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!


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.