Friday, July 29, 2011

The Right Call

At present, 10:30 pm, there is thunder and lightning and it is raining cats and dogs.

The weather looked iffy in the morning and then cleared. It was clear for most of the evening and I'm sure people were saying that the BIG ART PARTY could have gone ahead.

But not really.

Imagine the scramble half an hour before the end of the soiree, musicians wildly trying to protect their instruments and gear, dancers in wet dancing shoes, and patrons of the arts, dashing for their vehicles, splashing as they skipped lightly over the cobble stones in the sculpture garden.

The right call, really.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

If WAR breaks out, can PEACE be far behind?

Get ready for WAR at Patrick John Mills Gallery, vernissage, August 4/11 at 286 Hinchey Ave. 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. or Thursday through Saturday, noon to 5:00 p.m. or by appointment.

Come and see what battles ensue and how resolution is possible if we embrace peace.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dale Smith Announces the Closing of Dale Smith Gallery

Dale Smith, whose gallery is on Beechwood St. in Ottawa's North end, formally announced today that she will be closing her gallery at the end of August 2011. While it may not be a gallery you or I have been part of, there is a regret that Art has not been able to triumph and our art community is therefore diminished by this closing.

Here, in part, is what Ms. Smith said in an email sent to her mailing list this evening:

Art is my passion. Words don't easily convey what this Gallery and the artists it was created to represent mean to me. I will always treasure the relationships we have cultivated, as well as the many people who we have all had the privilege of meeting over the years. Speaking for myself, I have made friendships that I know will be lasting ones and my life has been enriched in ways that I find impossible to describe in email. Though the last opening took place two weeks ago, the Gallery walls continue to reverberate with the sounds of eight years of enlightening and challenging conversations about art.


Thank-you, Dale Smith, for giving it your best.

Video Works for Promotion

The April show this past year, Porn is Not Art, begged all sorts of questions. If porn isn't art, what _is_ art? How to convey art and porn in one image. Can this be handled with humour?
I thought so as I created a straw hat festooned with decorated condoms.

That is, until my aunt innocently asked, "Are those baby bottle nipples on your hat?"
Endless explanation ensued.
Needless to say, I did not refer her to the video. That would have been too much information.

Colourful condoms on pink straw hat.

If you are an artist, or indeed, anyone interested in telling the world something about yourself, do consider creating a short video.

Going for the Promotional Shot at PJM Gallery

Yup, this could work if it were my work behind me.

The photo to the right, musician and patron of the arts, Jerry Golland and me, could have worked but is that my work behind us? 

And below, chatting with featured artist for the WAR show that opens on August 4/11. That's his work on the left but neither of our work on the right, except for the tiny orange Quirky B. which is mine.

So what does one do when one's work is miniscule by comparison?

See below. One goes for the zoomed-in, down 'n dirty close-up.

What are others doing? Time for show 'n tell, boys and girls. 

                  Photo by Giovanni

About Immortality, Excerpt from The Painter's Keys


Dear Artist,

The great art salesman Joseph Duveen used to tell his customers that buying art would give them immortality. Henry Frick, William Randolph Hearst, J.P. Morgan, Andrew Mellon, John D. Rockefeller and others did indeed achieve immortality through the public museums they endowed to house the art he sold them.

Duveen's success was famously attributed to his noticing that "Europe has a great deal of art, and America has a great deal of money."


What is of issue is that art often languishes for several generations before it becomes once again of interest. That's why it's so important to use permanent supports and enduring materials in art which depicts our times and current sentiments. "Art," said Marshall McLuhan, "is a rear vision mirror." By this he meant that we have to get past something to see it properly. Note the current enthusiasm for "belle epoch" portraits loaded with period clues and costume drama.

As artists, our obligation is to work to the best of our ability and to leave only our top stuff behind. When you're getting ready to go to the big studio in the sky, make sure you first shred your sins. You really don't want those baddies lying around. You never know how much forgiveness there's going to be up there. And the Duveens of tomorrow will be looking once again for quality.

Please read entire article here:

 The Painter's Keys is an on-line publication to which anyone can subscribe. Robert Genn to be a good writer and usually, he has something insightful to say about art from an artist's perspective.

In his most recent treatise entitled, Immortality, I was personally struck by his comment on permanent supports and enduring materials because as a pop artist working with a variety of materials, the majority of which are expected to adhere to a computer keyboard, my experimentation with fixatives, sealants, paint and, yes, adherents, is an ongoing trial.

As I continue, the learning curve becomes less of a hairpin as an even and more experienced hand takes control.

Monday, July 25, 2011

When War Becomes a Motif

The Fallen
We have let this happen, our country.

The theme of you vs. me, us vs. them, armament sales, governments that fail, and youth desperate to earn and learn.

Meme of the memoryless.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

War Painting and War Poem , by Patrick John Mills

This painting is titled: Foreign Policy). oil on canvas. 6 1/2 x 12 feet. Dec 2006. $25,000.

The painting was completed on location. It was painted at night over two week ends. The location was downtown Ottawa. Across the street from the US Embassy, facing the Canadian Peace Tower. It was winter. It was about -18 degrees while painting.

Here is a poem that I also wrote that I wished to share.

Titled: Under Yellow

a man with one arm and
no legs sits in a wheel chair

in the corner of the room
under a yellow lamp

the T.V. is on mute - images
flash across the night sky

bombs and guns
in his head explode

he was not a suicide bomber
that walked into that restaurant

he was not fighting for peace
and these are not suicidal thoughts

those were not his legs
arms, head, organs

that was not his sister that
lay in pieces on the street

that was not red blood
that burned like gasoline

the war is over
over and over again

the man continues to try
to fall asleep.

Written March - May 2005