Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Santa's Sleigh Fundraiser

This Thursday The Second Floor Lounge will be holding be holding A Night of Art, Music, Raffles, Fashion in support of the Santas Sleigh Program put on by The Kawartha-Halibuton Childrens Foundation.

This is the 22nd year of the Santa’s Sleigh program. Until 1999, the Kawartha-Haliburton Children's Aid Society administered the program. Since then the program has been run by the Kawartha-Haliburton Children's Foundation, the fundraising branch of the CAS. The Foundation raises funds for children who are in the care or protection of the CAS. All gifts go to the children who are either Crown Wards of CAS (i.e. the child's legal guardian), children in the care of CAS (living in foster or group homes) or children under the supervision of the CAS (child is at home & CAS is involved with the family). Not all children involved with the CAS will receive gifts from Santa's Sleigh. Only children who are not likely to receive very much at Christmas time (due to the family's situation) are included. CAS social workers submit names of children on their caseloads that they know will benefit from it. They also make the gift suggestions and deliver the gifts.

I have 6 paintings in the show including the brand spanking new one above. Come by and support the kids.

Monday, December 6, 2010

House Show

Local art lover Liz Fennell has opened up her home this weekend to host a makeshift gallery. If you are in the area check it out, should be pretty cool.

The Beheading

Lyall Brownlee.

I tried.

Saturday night mini ramp session. The most fun I've had in a while.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

By the pound - work.

Paintings up in the by the pound show at Sleeping Giant gallery in Toronto now. Another week to check out the show, get to it.

Lyall Brownlee.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Yeah hot yoga

By the pound

Just dropped off my paintings yesterday for the by the pound show. Should be pretty cool. If you are in Toronto next Friday November 26, go to the opening and check it out.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another Painting

Nude Lounging
Lyall Brownlee

Art vs, Illustration

A little while ago I was lurking around the reception of a group show which I had some paintings up in. As per usual I was mainly standing in the vicinity of my own work eavesdropping on stranger’s reactions to it. I like getting that kind of anonymous feedback and I believe criticism is important to growing and improving in any field. I usually don't dwell too much on the negative I take note and move on trying to get better at what I do, but on that particular night I witnessed one young women look at my paintings and with up turned nose state to her friend, "Oh this guy isn't an artist, he's an illustrator."
Negative critiques I can process but I've been stuck on this statement for months now. I'm not an artist, I'm an illustrator. What is that supposed to mean? Do I not deserve the title of artist because I use discernable lines, objects and figures to compose my images? Is my style not loose enough to reflect the stereotypical lofty artist personality? Is drawing no longer considered an appropriate form of artistic expression and when did it fall so out of favor with the artistic elite? This guy isn't a painter. That I could understand as I've never identified myself as a painter but more of an artist that colours in my drawings in with paint. But I don't think it is fair to just dump it in a bucket with BBQ assembly instructions and airline safety cards because of the chosen medium, process and aesthetic without even considering the intentions of its creator?
I take responsibility for what I do. I have an artist statement that clarifies my intentions and the rational behind my paintings. I write proposals for shows explaining my work. I create images to work out and convey my thoughts and opinions via an unexplainable desire to make things as opposed to having commercially driven goals. Isn’t this enough to be considered an artist.
Furthermore, although some illustration may not be considered art (see BBQ assembly instructions) can an illustrator not still be an artist? In most cases are they not one in the same? Can there be a clearly defined line between the two? More and more companies are using established fine artists to brand their products, guerilla ad campaigns are taking cues from the popularity of street art and artists need to take day jobs in graphic and web design to pay the bills.
I suppose I will never have answers to these questions as I didn’t reveal myself and engage her as to why in her world I was just an illustrator. The complicated thing about art is that it is a very subjective field and everybody has their own opinions. That definition exists only in that women’s head and I will probably never see her again. I guess next time I should take that step and initiate conversation instead of just being an anonymous lurker who stews over things then rants about them on a blog.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mr. Wonderful

Another Mr. Wonderful
Lyall Brownlee

Peterborough Election - Fail...

As did many people in the province I went out to cast my vote last night in our municipal election. To my dismay I was unsuccessful. I have never had an issue in the past and I cannot remember a time when it has taken me more then 5 minutes to flash my ID, my registration card and fill out my ballot.
I arrived at city hall around 7pm only to find hoards of people snaking through the hallways and security guards trying to keep everyone in single file against the wall. I was told it was at least an hour wait, I tried to remain patient as people continued to file in and nobody came out. All around me I heard stories of 1 to 2 hour line ups at polling stations across the city all day. After 10 minutes of sweating my balls off in the overcrowded, overheating hallway I left in search of another place to vote, alas all I found was much of the same at Adam Scott and even worse at the Library and as I really wasn't all that passionate about this election I decided it wasn't worth my time and patience so I went home.
For the last several weeks I have been bombarded via the radio with complaints about how poor voter turn out is here in Canada and the candidates urging everyone to get out and exercise their democratic right to elect our own leaders. Alas voter turn out was down almost 3% in Peterborough from the last election and they could not even properly manage the numbers they received. How much of that 3% actually showed up but turned away? How can they expect to get more people to take that initiative when they make it such a miserable experience? What if voter turn out increased? What if everyone did decide to vote? It would have been pandemonium.
In the end Daryl Bennett was elected mayor. A local business man with little to no experience in politics. This fact was used against him extensively by his opponent Paul Ayotte during the race. But after being disappointed by city hall yet again I wonder could it be such a bad thing to have someone in charge that has proven he can run a profitable, successful organization and understands the value of customer service? I guess I’ll have to wait and see how the next four years go but I hope that by the time the next election rolls around in four years some kind of progress is made and municipal services actually start to resemble an effective operation working to serve their shareholders, the public. A man can dream, I guess.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lyall Brownlee.

Self Portrait
Lyall Brownlee

Damn Spam.

I recently signed up for what I though was a legitimate scientific newsletter only to find that it was some quack creationist. Needless to say I was quite disappointed. The ad was on a legitimate science site from which I was reading several interesting articles so when I clicked the link I assumed that I would be receiving more of the same in my email every few days.

It didn't take more then a couple of lines in on the first letter to realize I had been duped, but out of curiosity I continued to read the emails. As I read them day after day my level of irritation grew, not just at the constant berating of Atheists and Agnostics and the obviously low intelligence they must possess for not being able to comprehend the existence of God but the way he tried to incorporate real scientific language and relate twisted portions of real scientific theories into his own pseudo science.

This is the most frustrating kind of religious quack to me because I know there are probably a ton of idiots out there being dazzled by his bullshit. A whole pile of hopelessly faithful people whose views have been trashed by scientist’s findings for years desperate for some kind of scientific sounding “evidence” to throw back at them. I guess if you can't beat it bastardize it and claim it as your own.
I will spare you the pain of reading the entire series and share some snippets of the pure genius that was suppose to be his big EUREKA! moment;

"Every cell in your body contains a message encoded in DNA. It's very simple. Messages, languages, and coded information ONLY come from a mind. Messages, languages and coded information never, ever come from anything else besides a mind. To the person who says that life arose naturally, you need only ask: "Where did the information come from? Show me just ONE example of a language that didn't come from a mind." If books and poems and TV shows come from human intelligence, then all living things inevitably came from a superintelligence. Every word you hear, every sentence you speak, every dog that barks, every song you sing, every email you read, every packet of information that zings across the Internet, is proof of the existence of God. Because information and language always originate in a mind. This riddle is so simple any child can understand; so complex, no atheist can solve."

Maybe it is just my pathetic little atheist brain, but I fail to see how the fact that humans can communicate to each other by creating and sharing information proves that God created DNA and subsequently humans. This is garble and it boggles my mind that this guy believes himself and enough so that he distributes this crap to the masses. This guy doesn't know shit but unfortunately he is and probably always will be convinced that he does. Even more unfortunate is that he will continue to try and convince others that he does and so many people are ignorant enough to fall for it.

Some older ones from that were in the Artspace 50/50 fundraiser in the spring.

Lyall Brownlee.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lost and Found

From the opening night of Lost and Found, at Artspace in Peterborough. A shot of the artists and curator. It was a good night, once I actually got the slideshow for my installation working properly, a lot of wine was consumed.

Lyall Brownlee

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Awkward Teenage Moment, the track pant boner.

Lyall Brownlee

Media and our Role Models

Every now and then a new commercial or television show comes out that seems to set off a barrage of articles regarding body image and the portrayal of body types in media. Generally these articles express a disapproval of the use of thin beautiful people to sell products, sell pop music or to star in popular television shows and movies.
Recently I heard a discussion on the radio praising a new show in which the lead characters are overweight. I haven't seen the show but from what I understand their weight problem is part of the plot line and they attempt to make light of these issues. Another new show I've noticed becoming quite popular is Man vs. Food, where an overweight American engages in food challenges, gorging on disgusting piles of unhealthy fare while hoards of fans cheer him on. This got me thinking about several other disturbing trends taking place on television and the internet such as food porn and obese teenage boys dancing shirtless on you tube.
Is this becoming some kind of overcompensation for years of the media trying to sell a nearly unattainable idea of beauty? Isn't making light of obesity, making people feel okay about being overweight just as bad if not worse? Approximately three quarters of the population of the US and over half the population of Canada are obese. This is not okay, being overweight and the lifestyle generally associated with it are not healthy. The related health problems and disabilities are not good for the economy and being in Canada my taxes go to the health care system which trys to manage the aftermath of the problem.
I understand that there are many factors that contribute to obesity and in some cases there are genetic and medical conditions that contribute to weight issues and this can be difficult to control, it is not my intention to make these people feel bad about themselves. But the majority of weight problems in the general population I believe can be controlled by the choices people make on how they live their lives.
The use of fit, beautiful people in marketing and pop culture is not going to go away. It is ingrained in our biological make up to be attracted to these genetically blessed humans for breeding purposes. But making it seem okay to be fat or lead an unhealthy lifestyle is not the answer.
I don't have hard abs or a perfect complexion, I have body hair and bad tattoos, but I am a healthy 175lbs for my 6'1 frame and I feel good about myself. This is maintained by excersizing almost every day, a healthy diet and refraining from unproductive activities like watching television or gaming. I'm not perfect, I drink beer and indulge in a bag of chips here and there but these are balanced out by playing sports, excersizing and a positive attitude. This is a healthy attainable lifestyle for any normal busy person but is hardly glorified in popular culture.
The real answer is for the masses to turn off the tv, put down the tabloids and spend some time in reality. Then maybe our society will stop worshiping these manufactured idols and find healthy positive role models. Successful friends, neighbors, professors, colleagues, cultural icons, artists, athletes, etc. Respectable, moral, well balanced people capable of critical thinking and living healthy, this is what everyone should strive to be.
It is a sad state of affairs, I see gangs of kids roaming downtown that want to be Paris Hilton or Eminem, hear countless stories of young women suffering from eating disorders and see overweight people trapped in a cycle of self degrading behavior. When is someone in the mass media going to make it cool to just be a smart, moral, healthy person?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Heart Wants What it Wants

This painting is currently up at the Chuck Akudu gallery in Toronto. Posters of this are available at the Cannery art center for $10.

Lyall Brownlee.

Nesting Instinct Photos

Photos from my installation, Nesting Instinct at Artspace.

Lyall Brownlee

Coping Mechanisms Photos

Photos of my show Coping Mechanisms at the Cannery art center. Still a couple weeks left to check it out in real life.

Lyall Brownlee

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Flavour Fashion

Stoked to be part of this pop up art show sponsored by Shepard Fairey's Obey clothing and Flavour fashions. One night only, tomorrow night, if you are in Peterborough swing by Flavour head office for a beer, check out some art and some Obey product.

Lyall Brownlee

Chuck Akudu Gallery

Last night dropped off work for the inaugural show at the Chuck Akudu gallery in Toronto. The opening is tomorrow and the show will run in conjunction with the Junction arts festival, I won't be at the opening but will swing by on Saturday and hope to take in the rest of the art festivities going on in the neighborhood as well.

Lyall Brownlee

The Cannery Art Center

First off, brand new space opened here in Peterborough, the Cannery art center. Upstairs is a full on gallery space and downstairs sells supplies, original art and has a move-able stage for music and performance. Owners Mike and Meghan have some great ideas and I look forward to whats in store there. I had the pleasure of opening my solo show 'Coping Mechanisms' in the gallery space and doing an installation in the storefront window, in conjunction with the center's grand opening.
The party was on Friday and was a blast, work will be up for the rest of the month so for those of you lucky enough to live in Peterborough go check it out!

Excuses, excuses...

Ah, well when I started this blog I was pretty sure I would be posting like crazy, then I got news of several shows and for the last 6 months or so all I've done is paint, social networking has had to take a back seat. But it is all paying off and after a seriously stress filled couple of weeks deadlines have been met and shows are opening.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Peterborough centric blog does a spotlight on yours truly.

PTBO Canada, Artist Spotlight, Lyall Brownlee

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lost Follow Up

So, apparently I couldn't have been more wrong about my lost theory but really, that whole they were dead the whole time, purgatory, ascend to heaven thing, pretty fucking lame. I am so glad I did not invest six years of my life in to that show. Personally I think they should just call a do over and rewrite the last season based on my idea. If anyone is willing to put up the money for a spin off redo? Give me a call.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Lost Theory

I’m personally not so into television, I may watch an hour or two a week. This apparently makes me an exception to the norm that becomes harshly evident when conversation shifts to last weeks Bachelor, who is going to win Survivor this season, or my personal pet peeve the Lost theories.

So after watching a few episodes at my girlfriends request I came up with my own Lost theory. I think it is pretty good, unfortunately nobody will listen to me because I haven’t invested enough of my life into the show to be taken seriously by the mega Lost fans, so I’m just going to blab about it here.

The most popular belief I have heard so far is that the island is purgatory. This doesn’t really make much sense to me, I’m not an expert on the subject but I’m pretty sure purgatory isn’t known for time travel and secret underground labs.

What makes more sense to me is that the island is surely on earth and the inhabitants of the island are quite alive. The cause of all the anomalies is the Dharma initiative which is in my opinion loosely inspired by the real life Large Hadron Collider, the 27km long underground particle accelerator on the border of France and Switzerland. The LHC is set to carry out physics experiments including those that hope to prove the big bang theory and investigate string theory which proposes that there are other dimensions beyond the known ones of space and time.

There are both opponents and champions with differing opinions of the LHC. I think the dramatization of the differing ideas surrounding this real science create the basis of the different aspects of the show.

First as with any new technological advance you have the dooms day types that believe it is going to destroy the world. These beliefs are exaggerated from the possibility that the LHC would generate huge amounts of energy, microscopic black holes and worm holes inside the device. As the dooms day idea would go these could somehow escape from the LHC. A black hole could destroy the earth. Huge amounts of energy could escape causing disturbances in the atmosphere, maybe crashing planes? Worm holes would create portals making possible travel through space and time.

Then there is CERN, the organization that runs the LHC and happens to be credited with inventing another giant technological phenomenon in current history, the world wide web. CERN is a multinational establishment of thousands of scientists and engineers representing 580 universities and research facilities and 80 nationalities all underground researching nuclear physics. That is great material for a conspiracy theorist and a good model for a secret organization that works in a hole in the ground on an island trying to hold in some mysterious energy source.

Of course there are the old school religious crowds that are a little worried about the scientists proving the big bang theory and unlocking other such mysteries of the world that could disprove their god theory and they are obviously lobbying to have the LHC shut down. But now we have this new breed of “creation scientists” who have realizing that fighting science was a losing battle and are now twisting scientific theory and traditional religious thinking to try and meld the two once opposing forces in an attempt to keep God relevant. I have heard some creation scientists try to work religion into string theory, proposing that heaven and hell exist on the other dimensions that we cannot yet see and if the experiments are successful the LHC may expose these other dimensions and therefore prove that heaven and hell exist. Good and Evil that once existed in unseen separate dimensions uncovered by the Dharma initiative? Sounds to me like the shit that is going on, on that island with these mysterious characters, black vs. white, etc.

Not convinced, whatever, I’m starting to feel like an uber nerd even writing this so I’ll quit. But check out these out;

LHC String Theory

LHC and Religion

LHC Wormholes

LHC Blackholes

LHC on Wikipedia


The Dharma Initiative

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Different Strokes Paintings

Some paintings from different strokes for different folks show at Sleeping Giant gallery

Loving this Toronto centric low budget arts and culture talk show

Late Night In The Bedroom