February 26, 2016

A Saturday afternoon outing to the 2016 Toronto Artist Project (TAP) got unexpected prizes and surprises. A late-afternoon Art Quiz had TAP visitors test their art IQ and knowledge of art trivia. Hosted by Mark Challen, the quiz covered a range of topics from art collectors, galleries & museums, artist best friends and art & cinema. In the end, I won a snazzy stainless steel watering can. Pretty cool! Pictured below is trivia-master Mark handing me the trivia prize. When asked how I felt, I thought for a moment and jokingly said: “Well, ten years of art training is finally paying off!”

Toronto Artist Project

November 2, 2015

Happy November! Halloween fell on a Saturday night this year and I felt like getting a thrill by re-watching the 1968 psychological thriller, Rosemary’s Baby.

I was watching the movie as the clocks fell back an hour at 2:00 AM. A few moments later was a POV shot of a 1965 November calendar–half a century ago. The first Monday of November ’65 is ominously labelled “Blood”.

Rosemary's Calendar

Rosemary’s Calendar

September 23, 2015

Last week was a tough one. The news of two people passing came unexpectedly.

Mike Star (1951-2015), was an independent purveyor of vinyl records in Oshawa since 1974. He’ll be greatly missed. See 2011 post on Star Records follow: https://curatorbyday.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/for-the-record/

Mike and Me (2011). Photo: Allan Frank

Mike and Me (2011). Photo: Allan Frank

Wallace “Wally” Brighton (1940-2015) served as Head of Art at Oshawa’s O’Neill CVI and local artist represented in the Station Gallery permanent collection. His work “Flying Figure Pines” (1980) continues to be an inspiration for younger artists in gallery programming. See obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/ottawacitizen/obituary.aspx?pid=175849736

Wallace Brighton FLYING FIGURE-PINES, 1980 5/10 linoleumcut on paper 26 x 20 in., 66 x 50.8 cm.

Wallace Brighton
linoleumcut on paper
26 x 20 in., 66 x 50.8 cm.

June 26, 2015

It’s official–the theme of this year’s annual members’ exhibition, as chosen by you–“Secret World”!

Secret World Wins!

Secret World Wins!

This juried exhibition will run at Station Gallery from November 28, 2015, to January 10, 2016.

It’s a fine theme that’s open-ended and versatile. Artists will be invited to present works that respond to this year’s theme in the coming months. Thanks to everyone for voting. Stay tuned to Station Gallery’s website for submission guidelines and details for the year-end Secret World exhibition…

June 19, 2015

It’s that time again… As things heat up, we request your say on the theme of the annual members’ show theme for when things will cool down later this year.

Between November 28, 2015 to January 10, 2016, Station Gallery will host its 23rd annual juried exhibition.

The choice is yours. Which title and theme do you think best suits this year’s show? Stay tuned for the results on June 26.

June 3, 2015

I’m honoured to have a recent drawing featured on the June/July 2015 cover of Slate Art Guide!

Slate Art Guide, June/July 2015

Slate Art Guide, June/July 2015

This latest drawing is a departure from my usual practice in both form and content.

In preparation for a solo exhibition at the Peel Art Gallery, Museum & Archives (PAMA), I’m creating a triptych related to the history of cinema in Brampton and the historic visit of actress Sarah Churchill to the city in 1949. The images were sourced from the Peel Archives, from which I composed three collages and created a trio of large drawings. I’m putting the finishing touches on the third and final piece…

If you’re in the area, please join me for the opening reception at PAMA on Sunday, June 14 between 2 and 4pm.

On Sundays, June 21 and June 28, I’ll be presenting a Synchronicities: Art & Cinema marathon of art talks starting at 2pm at PAMA in Brampton.

For more details see: http://www.pama.peelregion.ca/en/index.asp 

April 23, 2015

After months and months of searching record stores far and wide, I finally found a copy of the 1976 Stills Young Band “Long May You Run” album at the Courtice Flea Market. What a find–sounds great on vinyl!


The visuals are as evocative as the music. The album cover art shows an expressive sketch of stampeding bison. I looked closer to decipher the signature. By searching the surname Borein, I discovered Edward Borein‘s art. This turn-of-the-century American artist captured the vanishing spirit of the wild west in his drawings and prints. He was labelled as a “cowpuncher artist”, but his image continues to run long…

April 7, 2015

This time of the year comes filled with memory. As we move toward warmer days, we recall the frigid, snowy winter that’s just passed. Here I recall a 1971 album cover by Bruce Cockburn, titled “High Winds White Sky“. The stark black and white photo captures the spirit of the Canadian singer’s musical journey. I’d recently learned that a Toronto Island bridge inspired the cover.

Bruce Cockburn album cover

Bruce Cockburn 1971 album cover

Many Toronto landmarks appear in the 1964 National Film Board feature “Nobody Waved Good-bye” starring Peter Kastner. In an early scene, a young couple relax on Ward’s Island and canoe toward the bridge leading to Algonquin Island. The same bridge pictured on Cockburn’s record can be seen in the background. A bridge for all seasons.

Screen shot from "Nobody Waved Good-bye", 1964

Screen Shot from “Nobody Waved Good-bye”, 1964

March 18, 2015

This year will mark the 22nd anniversary of Station Gallery’s signature fundraiser–Drawing for Art.

I’d like to donate one of my latest drawings. One features the young French film star, Alain Delon next to a mythological sculpture. The other is of Catherine Spaak walking to a window. Which one should I donate to this year’s fundraiser?



Girl with Glasses

Girl with Glasses


January 27, 2015

I’ve been to the antique shop in Orono several times. On Sunday, I had a particular feeling of déjà vu. “Where have I just seen this picture?” I thought. It was Fredrick H. Varley’s “Stormy Weather, Georgian Bay” painted in a characteristically Group of Seven style back in 1920. Bold, vivid and breath-taking.

Stormy Weather in Orono Shoppe

Stormy Weather in Orono Shoppe

In Fred Varley’s “Stormy Weather, Georgian Bay” we see a windswept tree clinging to a steep island of rock. White capped waters echo the turbulence of the sky, as swirling patterns of blue and green paint create a feeling of restlessness. Varley’s energetic brushstrokes convey the force of the wind and ever-changing vitality of nature–as well, perhaps, something of the artist’s own spirited personality.

The night before, Kubrick’s 1980 horror masterpiece “The Shining” was screened at the Bell Lightbox. Much of the film was edited and marketed as the “International Version”. Some of the Canadian art references such as Colville’s “Horse & Train” and Morrisseau’s “Flock of Loons” unfortunately fell out of this version.

The “a-ha” moment clicked in. Finally, another Canadian art reference in “The Shining” to add to the list. A chance discovery! Varley’s picture can be seen next to the maze model in the Colorado Lounge. Jack Torrence (played by Nicholson) stands above a tabletop model of a topiary maze located on the grounds of the Overlook Hotel. Fred Varley’s tumultuous image overlooking Georgian Bay can be seen in the background…

Varley in "The Shining"!

Varley in “The Shining”!