Sunday, November 27, 2011

Flavour Artist Series

From skateboarding events to art shows, Flavour has done so many great things for our community. That's why I'm so glad to have gotten the chance to be a part if this artist series collaboration. Go in to the shop to check out all four of the t-shirts yourself.

Also, peep the rest of their latest catalog

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Justice For Children & Youth Fundraiser

I donated a couple of pieces to this fundraiser, an old friend of mine works for this organization, all for a good cause hopefully my paintings sell and help raise them some funds. Check it out.

Photography Show

I organized a photography show at Artspace. Check out all the opening photos on my other blog, the Electric City Art Lodge.

Electric City Art Lodge

Owl Mask

Another mask I painted. This time the photos were taken by Gloria Shapiro in Burnham woods.


Englebert Knopplebottom

Englebert Knopplebottom, my photography alias.

Check out the project;

Deer Masks

I made these deer and deer skull masks for an installation that was put together by Mike Duguay for artsweek and was installed in the Roy Studio Flats on Hunter Street. Mike and I modeled the masks and ran around in Jackson park, while Bradley Boyle took the photos.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

New Triptych

New threesome, finished today. Just needs to be varnished then it will be off to Toronto in November for a show. (Details on that will follow)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cultural Capital

So many people, both voters and those in public office, don’t seem to understand the cultural capital a city gains from having such things as a bustling downtown, an arts scene, sports and recreation programs, heritage preservation and other services. Nor do they actually appreciate the value of this cultural capital due to the fact you can’t easily attach it to a monetary figure.

Over the past couple of years economic downturn has sparked a trend towards a more conservative government across all levels and regions. Putting officials in charge whom are known for their disdain of these expenses, vilifying them in their rhetoric, branding them as frivolous expenditures. Under this rule important programs and services are cut under the guise of running a lean operation yet millions are wasted on ridiculously overpriced, poorly managed projects and white elephants like the G8/G20 and the Olympics that do nothing to benefit the average citizen.

I am absolutely not an idealist, I am a realist. I understand the importance of balancing a budget and that it isn’t easy to make sacrifices. Nobody wants a tax increase. There is only so much revenue generated and you can’t have everything. But the responsibility involved in balancing a government’s budget goes beyond number crunching and requires some intellectual thought on the big picture, the affects on the quality of life of all citizens. Instead of taking the politically easy way of cutting funding to small but important community groups and improvement initiatives justifying it by labeling them as non essentials the government needs to assess spending in their own departments and all partner organizations. They need to improve on the auditing process and make all their associated groups more transparent and accountable. $300,000 spent on a frivolous consulting contract may be cut to 1/10th that to train existing employees rendering them capable of making the decisions and recommendations themselves. The balance could fund an artist run center and after school sports programs in a medium sized city for a year. There would likely still be money left to dump in to a pool for educational grants or small business initiatives.

Any one with some basic math skills can balance a budget, what we need in public office are intellectual people capable of seeing the whole, that can actually balance a budget in a thought full manner and implement regulation to insure proper management of funds thus leading to moderate taxes, lean operations, abundant and functional services and programs with long term sustainability and the capacity to weather financial storms. Leaders that are more interested in actually running a successful operation. An operation committed to providing its shareholders, the citizens, a secure and enjoyable life. Leaders that are not just interested in playing a political game, wowing the masses with rhetoric and out of context attack ads.

It is after all intellectual thought, the arts, culture, sports and all the other “frivolous” quality of life things that set humans apart from the other animals and I think it should be considered an essential investment in our society as opposed to a burden on the economical system.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Design Work In Progress

A little example of some of the design stuff that I am currently working on.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I made these three pieces for the 'Square foot show' at the AWOL gallery in Toronto, they are currently up in Peterborough's Artweek Artswalk at one of the gallery in the house locations.

Small Talk

I have recently come to the long drawn conclusion that people are inherently hardwired to complain about the weather. No matter the season, it seems there is always somebody moaning that, it’s too cold, it’s too hot, there’s been too much rain, there hasn’t been enough rain.

As the weather happens to be every body’s favorite topic for an easy conversation starter I find myself constantly getting sucked in to it as well as being guilty of indulging myself in it from time to time.

Truth is though; I could really care less. After 32 years I’ve come to accept the fact that I live in a part of the world that is prone to cold winters, hot and humid summers and a rainy spring and fall. To the most miserable among us, we may even only get a handful of truly perfect days every year. I also accept that I don’t want to move anywhere that would have a drastically different climate any time soon.

I actually quite like all the different seasons, the different moods they inspire and how it affects my attitude and work patterns. I am more restless in the summer, allow myself to take time off and like to work on just building stretchers or big wood working pieces that I can do outside. The fall and spring seem to be very creative times where a lot of ideas are sketched out or written down and the winter is when I like to hibernate in the studio, spending long hours concentrating on paintings.

Until I develop the super human power to control nature I’m basically left to cope with what I’m dealt. There are so many other things that I can worry about that I do have the power to change in order to make a positive impact on my life, why waste time thinking or talking about the things I can’t.

So unless of course your lively hood depends on it or it threatens your existence. Just shut up and deal with it. Many of us live and work in climate controlled facilities. Southern Ontario isn’t known for its tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes, etc. Champagne problems. If it’s raining, stay inside. If it’s too hot, go to the beach. Leave the complaining to farmers, roofers and old people.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

AWOL Gallery Square Foot Show

Hey friends, if you are in Toronto check this show out. I've got three new pieces up in it. Opening is tonight, Saturday August 6th. Show runs until the 21st.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day of the dead skull

Painted this quick little day of the dead skull piece on paper for a wedding present, stoked on how it turned out.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Last Show At The Cannery Art Center

Sad news this week that the Cannery Art Center here in Peterborough has closed it's doors. It was good while it lasted though and I am glad I got to be a part of it. Below is a shot of my work hanging in the last group show. Thanks for the good times Mike and Meagh.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Colouring Outside The Lines

Recently I had the opportunity to curate a small group show in the back gallery at Artspace here in Peterborough. This show will be up until June 31, 2011 and runs in conjunction with the skateboard based large scale installation, ‘Wood Push Wood’ by Steve DeBruyn in the main gallery.
The show was titled, ‘Colouring outside the lines.’ The artists I got involved were Wes Loates, Smolik, Ian Hart and Zack Wood. In keeping with the theme these were guys that I had met through or had a connection to skateboarding or street art.
Below is my curatorial essay for the show, some photos, a link to the Artspace write up and a link to some opening night photos on the Electric City Art Lodge site. Check it out;

"The creation of images through the act of drawing and painting has been practiced from almost the beginning of human history. The accessibility of the medium has been key in maintaining its popularity as a fundamental means of expression. In its basic form nothing more then a surface and something capable of making a mark is required. It can be done on a wall in a public space, a found object, paper, and canvas, whatever is available.
Over thousands of years this activity evolved from the simplest means of recording and relaying information to the height of fine art, but in the latter part of the last century it seems to have fallen out of favor with the artistic elite, eclipsed by the rise of more conceptual work and the incorporation of new technologies as a medium.
Masters of the craft have had their work tagged with the label, ‘Lowbrow.’ Figurative painting and drawing has retreated from the spotlight in many publicly funded contemporary galleries but it remains far from becoming a lost art. Though it may have been lurking in the shadows it continues to be re-imagined by outsider artists in various subcultures taking on their subsequent aesthetics. Skateboarding, street art, tattooing and punk rock, many of the followers of these movements have found ways to adapt the trade to express the attitudes of their own adopted lifestyles.
Over the past 30 odd years back alleys, skateboards, record sleeves and skin had all become a new vessel to display art. As these subcultures have grown many have learned to embrace and foster these artistic manifestations selectively borrowing from tradition and giving rise to their own alternative exhibitions outside of the conventional gallery system. It is the DIY attitude that is at the very heart of all these movements which makes this possible. An unrestrained mindset, making those afflicted capable of using whatever is at hand to create and display their craft.
These artists are not deterred by a fringe status only driven by an impulsion to leave their mark. They don't need to question their motivation and their work speaks for itself. They pursue their goals unmediated by the influence of the conventional system, they are not necessarily focusing all their time writing proposals or applying for grants, placing more value on the idea then the output, they are in their studios, on the streets, at the kitchen table working on the finished product. Making marks, creating images, driven merely by the inherent need to share with others their interpretations of the world around them and practicing expression in its purest form.
Coloring outside the lines celebrates these drafters and painters that are committed to their medium, aesthetic and ideas. The artists chosen for this exhibition draw and paint because they have to. They paint what is inside them and not what is dictated by the esteemed institutions to be high art. Art is not their profession it is their way of life."

Artspace, Colouring Outside The Lines

Electric City Art Lodge, Colouring Outside The Lines

Monday, May 30, 2011

We are all so much more complicated then we seem.

Little painting I just finished for an upcoming show; We are all so much more complicated then we seem. Acrylic on illustration board, framed.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Demon Seed

Keep your eyes peeled for the Demon Seeds, coming soon to a wall or street sign near you.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Artspace 50/50

This Saturday April 30th is the Artspace 50/50 Fundraiser. I've got four pieces up that will be available in the art draw. There is still time to get your $100 draw tickets so you can come enjoy some drinks and claim a piece of art for yourself.
There is also tons of other great stuff in the draw by Stepenwill, Daryl Vocat, Peter Baron and many more.

Tickets can be purchased at Artspace or on the website;

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hand Eagle Transformation

Modern medical marvels, hand eagle transformation disease.

I'm good thanks.

Now I am fully aware of the idea that, “I’m well” could in fact be the proper response to the question, “How are you?” As opposed to the more commonly used, “I’m good.” Though, like most others I have for as long as I can remember, been in the habit of saying, “I’m good.”
I am also fully aware that many nitpickers out there have chosen this little language discrepancy as their pet peeve. Well grammar snobs, your pet peeve has become my pet peeve. I find it so obnoxious when I respond to the friendly greeting with a perfectly polite, “I’m good thanks, how are you?” Only to receive an, “I’m well.” with an air of disapproval and an incredibly facetious annunciation added to the, well. Or even worse, some smartass remark on my incorrect use of the English language.
This used to make me feel bad and for some time I made an effort to say, “I’m well.” But old habits are hard to break and I kept reverting back to, “I’m good.” After a while, feeling inferior to the grammar gods turned into a certain anger towards the grammar gods and I just began to say, “I’m good.” in knowing defiance as opposed to by ignorance or habit.
Being the total nerd that I am, I did some Google searching today in an attempt better understand the facts behind the argument and low and behold I found my justification.

“Even though good is primarily an adjective, it is OK to say, "I am good": am is a linking verb, and you use adjectives after linking verbs. Most sources say well is reserved to mean “healthy” when it's used in this way. So if you are recovering from a long illness and someone is inquiring about your health, it's appropriate to say, “I am well,” but if you're just describing yourself on a generally good day and nobody's asking specifically about your health, a more appropriate response is, “I am good.”

Now if only I can memorize that last paragraph and recite it to the next pretentious shithead that tries to make me feel stupid for telling them, “I’m good.”

Yahoo Answers

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Works In Progress

Once again it has been a while since my last post. I’ve had quite a bit on my plate and unfortunately blogging sometimes gets shifted down my list of priorities. Amongst many other things I’ve been logging quite a few hours in the studio working on a new series of larger scale paintings. I don’t usually like to post in process photos but as these are going to take a great deal of time to complete and I hate to have an inactive blog I just thought I’d share.
The goal is to mount a show based this series. The concept of which focuses on the antiquated mythologies of a parallel universe. I have been showing quite a bit over the past 6 months but I anticipate withdrawing for about a year to really develop this body of work then shopping around for a venue. It is a bit of a shift from my older work but I feel it has refreshed me and got me excited about drawing again.
I will continue to post photos as things progress.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A letter from Keith Haring

Satisfy yourself. Don't do it for anyone else.

Victory for Egypt?

Not long after news broke that Hosni Mubarak was going to step down after 30 years as the president of Egypt my Facebook and Twitter pages lit up with status updates touting victory for the Egyptian protestors. Major change brought on by the power of the people. A dictator dethroned through the banded might of the nations oppressed citizens.

Though it all sounds so very romantic, my inner realist prevails. The fact of the matter is that the protesters succeeded in instigating a military coup and currently it seems a religious fundamentalist group with extremist ties is the only major player poised to take control if the country were to proceed to democratic elections. Pardon my negativity but I’d say the Egyptians are pretty far from claiming victory just yet.

Don’t get me wrong, this could work out. It is just that I am a bit leery of the process. Sure, in some cases an angry mob is the only way to incite change. My concern is that that angry mob does not bring with it a clear and concise plan outlining how to move forward in a manner that will suit the needs of the people, and work cohesively with the rest of the area and the world. The crowd disperses leaving few to pick up the pieces.

I just hope that the interim rulers are prepared and choose the right path because in the already highly unstable middle-east a failure here may be catastrophic. Not just for Egypt but the global community.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wanda's dream

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Peterborough, up and coming.

I've said it for some time now, Peterborough isn't a half bad place to be. You can be downtown Toronto in about an hour and a half yet we are far enough away that we have our own identity.

Check out this article Yahoo posted about Canada's top 5 up and coming cities. Five up and coming Canadian Cities

"Peterborough, O.N.

If you ask the multitudes of touring Canadian bands which urban hubs have surprised them the most along the road, Peterborough is likely to come up consistently. The city has in fact grown to become its own uncanny, modest basin of culture. Home to a folk festival, Trent University, a multitude of galleries and recent audio gem The Burning Hell, Peterborough would certainly make an easy, relaxing escape for those feeling stuffy on Toronto’s congested scene."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Unrequited love is the pits.

Just finished all my paintings for the Valentines day show. Here's a sneak peak. Come to gallery in the house in Peterborough in a couple of weeks to see more.

Lyall Brownlee.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Valentines Day Show

I guess the first Gallery in the house show worked out because Liz is going to hold another. Check it out, I'm working on some brand new pieces for it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stuckism & Conceptual Art Rant

If you are not familiar with Stuckism check it out. In brief it is an art movement founded by Billy Childish and Charles Thompson to oppose conceptual art and promote figurative painting.

Wikipedia Stuckism

Stuckism Website

Although I may not agree with the manifesto in its entirety, as someone who’s primary artistic expression manifests itself in the form of painting pictures, I tend to lean towards a lot of their ideals.

I can appreciate conceptual arts place in art history and I have respect for people like Marcel Duchamp and the Dadaists who pioneered the movement and others who have made substantial innovations to it. But personally, I feel that in the last 90 plus years, conceptual art has oversaturated the high brow fine art world, grown stale and relegated master painters, people with talent like Todd Schorr and Robert Williams in to this fringe ‘low brow’ scene.

Education, social status and the ability to bullshit a proposal, now trumps any semblance of artistic skill. It seems that if you fit the bill you can get away with anything. You could pile dirty clothes in the middle of a gallery floor and call it a representation of the vanity of our culture or hang a blank canvass to question our assumptions about what art is. Sure, these are important philosophical topics and questions but, go write a paper on it. While I think concept is a very important part of the process, I still believe the output should stand for something. I feel that this is overcompensation in an attempt to make artists more accountable for why they do, what they do. To the point the why has become more important then the what. The art that I hold in high regard is a combination of both concept and product.