Sunday, December 21, 2008

Yellow orchid in bloom

Acrylic polymer emulsion on wrapped canvas, 8 x 8''
Created December 10-17, 2008, #154

I do have a fascination with botanical in general. Five weeks ago, we purchased an Amaryllis bulb at Home Depot to add more festive colors in our home for Christmas. Two weeks later, it had sprouted about 4 inches. It now measures 25'', and has 5 large candy-cane stripped blooms on top at go 360 degrees. It just makes me stop in my tracks to look at it every time I pass near the foyer.

Orchid have the same effect on me. They usually last several weeks and if lucky, even several months. They have a Zen quality that brings balance and harmony to it's surroundings. What appealled to me in this image was the 3-sided view of the blooms - front, side & back. This is my only painting done on canvas this year, and a bit more tricky to paint than on gessoed hardboard.

This painting will be part of the Ability New Brunswick Art Auction held in Fredericton, NB - 
November 2014 - Details to follow. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Reflecting on being Acadian

Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 12''Created Dec. 6-14, 2008, #153

Continuing my author/book series, this one is especially sweet. One of my favorite non-fiction books with the bonus of having one of my favorite artist on the cover.

I read Notes from Exile on being Acadian by Clive Doucet during the summer of 2002, in the wake of painting a piece entitled ''Fort Beauséjour'' that would become part of the permanent collection of Le musée acadien du Québec à Bonventure, Qc. (the Acadian Museum of Quebec) where I was fortunate enough to have a solo exhibition during that fall.

Notes from Exile recalls the journey of the author who was acting as a journalist for CBC radio during ''Les Retrouvailles'', the first World Acadian Congress and reunion that was held in south-eastern region of New Brunswick in 1994. It is an incisive, charming, touching and sometime witty account while he wrestles with the question of his own identity of being a Canadian with an Acadian father and a British mother. It left me with an enlightened sense of pride of my own personal identity and hertiage of being an Acadian. Notes from Exile is listed in the top 100 titles of it's publisher, McClelland and Stewart Inc.

The Acadians were the first French settlers to arrive to the New World back in 1604. The first settlement was established at Saint-Croix Island in the Bay of Fundy located on the New Brunswick / Maine border. A year later they would move to the mainland at Port Royal in Nova Scotia. The Acadians later established themselves in parts of what is now New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, parts of eastern Quebec and the New England seaboard. British colonists captured Acadia in the course of Queen Anne's War (1702–1713), and its conquest was confirmed in the Treaty of Utrecht (1713). The French residents of Acadia were given one year to declare allegiance to Britain or leave N.S. In the meantime, the French signalled their preparedness for future hostilities by beginning the construction of Fortress Louisbourg on Isle Royale, now Cape Breton Island. The British grew increasingly alarmed by the prospect of disloyalty in wartime of the Acadians now under their rule. In the summer of 1755, the British attacked Fort Beauséjour and burned Acadian homes at the outbreak of the French and Indian War between Britain and France, accusing Acadians of disloyalty (for not having taken the oath) and guerrilla action. Those who still refused to swear loyalty to the British crown then suffered what is referred to as the Great Upheaval (la déportation) when, over the next three years, some 6,000–7,000 Acadians were expelled from N.S.and N.B. to Europe or the lower British American colonies. Others fled deeper into Nova Scotia or into French-controlled Canada.

After 1764, many exiled Acadians finally settled in Louisiana and became known as Cajun, which was first used as a pejorative term until its later mainstream acceptance. Britain allowed some Acadians to return to Nova Scotia, but these were forced to settle in small groups and were permitted to reside in their former settlements such as Grand-Pré, Port Royal, and Beaubassin.

Other literary offerings on the plight of the Great Upheaval such as Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, was published in 1847 by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem follows an Acadian girl named Evangeline and her search for her lost love Gabriel, set during the aftermath of the deportation. We had the opportunity to visit the house where Lonfellow grew up in Portland Maine, this past October during a weekend getaway. I also did a book report during my senior year in High School of Pélagie-la-Charette (1979), by Antonine Maillet (who happens to be the aunt of one of a longtime family friend). Narrating the epic journey of the widow Pélagie LeBlanc, who in the late 1770s leads her people back to Grand Pré from the American South. The novel was the first foreign work to receive France's Prix Goncourt . The English translated "Pélagie-the-Cart"  appeared in print in 1982.

The image on the cover is a from one of the most documented paintings by Alex Colville. The French Cross was painted in 1988. The National film board of Canada produced a documentary on the artist, The Splendour of Order back in 1984. During one sequence we follow Mr. Colville walking on a train track leading to the cross. Here, he takes precise measurements and does sketches of the monument. He revisits the cross in another documentary produced in 2002 by CBC, The Life and Times of Alex Colville. It also appears in several of his art books and I've had the opportunity to view it twice during retrospectives of his art held at le musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal (1994) and the National Gallery in Ottawa (2002). The cross was erected in 1924 in Grand-Pré, N.S., only a few kilometers from the artist's residence in Wolfville. It is a memorial monument to the Acadian people who were expropriated from their land. The model is of Chinese descent on her father's side (a professor at Acadia University in Wolfville) and a descendant of the Acadians on her Caucasian mother's side. The unconcerned horse is following the path in front of him. The girl, also moving forward looks back towards the cross and creates a link between the present and the past. Please refer to my posting of August 31 for bio notes on Mr. Colville.

For this composition, I chose to use a Chinese Ball as a prop to a link to the Chinese girl. Also known as Baoding balls, they are used to improve manual dexterity, strenght and for meditation. A particular aspect with these reflective spheres, the closer you bring them to a bright light source, the darker that immediate surface becomes. Using my camera flash not only removed me physically from the image, it created the contrast I needed for the image to work. The ball kind of became a small planet, with a night and a day side. Also forming a type of balance found in a Ying-Yang, a circle of opposing forces. The night side is representative of my studio, where I paint mostly after 10 pm. Pot lights appears as stars around a full moon and there is even a comet-like formation. The bottom side is day and is a flipped-reverse reflection of the cover. The image also becomes a narrative of what the Acadians went through when there own reality was turned upside down as they were being boarded on to ships, families were broken up, husbands from wives, parents from children, deported and dispersed to the Southern United States, England, back to there origins in France and as far as the Falkland Islands. A linear line of lights starts from the top of the ball and continues downwards on the cover of the book. How appropriate that a shimmering light spot appears at the level of the girl's heart, noting a moment of inner enlightenment and creating a blinding spot for the horse as his face disappears underneath. It is one of the very few paintings that I have done that red is not utilized as a feature colour, it does however hides in the darker shades of brown.

I usually don't go deeply on my blog to try to explain what imagery means to me. In this case I chose to do an exception in a very thorough manner of what I felt when I painted it. A moment of introspection of my own experience on being an Acadian, but more importantly to have the insight to move forward and view the larger picture of how fortunate I am to still be living in Acadia, a land without borders.


Friday, December 5, 2008

A monopoly of lollipops

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 16 x 16''
Created Nov. 16- Dec. 5, 2008, #152.

This image has been on the back burner for more than two years. These lollipops were purchased for grab bags to offer trick or treaters on Halloween. Their transparent qualities inspired this playful image that was first meant to be fun and whimsical. Monopoly, the board game has a theme about climbing up the real estate ladder. The object of the game is to own every piece of property and drive the other players into bankruptcy.

If I am ever going to make any social commentary about our current economic state, this might be the time. Another title for this painting could have been, The collapse of the housing market: A monopoly of suckers.

When the average person gets a 3,5% wage increase per year, while in some housing markets, the prices of real estate were making gains up to 20%/year, it was just a matter of time until houses would no longer be affordable. Hitting the bandwagon in order to later resell to make a profit, or for the simple desire of owning a home became difficult for many. Others who are able to sustain these mortgage payments are house poor. With an influx of default and bank foreclosures when interest rate climb ever so slightly, this starting a chain of event that created such an impact that it can only be measured on a Ritcher's scale. Shaking the foundation on Wall Street and the global stock and commodity market, when giants cracks of several major US insurance companies and banks were revealed. Whether is was caused by over zealous buyers, sellers, building contractors, Realtors, banks lending to unqualified buyers with sub-prime mortgages or the government.

There are so many possible analogies in the imagery. From the least to the most expensive proprieties: Mediterranean Avenue to Boardwalk. With the lollipops in the colors of red, green and yellow which appears like traffic lights. When passing GO on yellow, it does become a cautionary tale. The Community Chest might not be as full as it once was. In the revised September 2008 edition of the Monopoly board game, the Luxury Tax has gone from $75 to $100 (a sign of the time). None of the lollipops appear perfect. The yellow has a piece missing near the stick, the sticks are not centered on the greens and reds, and the grape flavor on the left has a major crack in it.

During the initial drawing, the colorful grid of the cropped board reminded me of a composition of a Piet Mondrian painting. While I took great care to try to get everything exactly right, it only came to life once I started to apply all of the lighting effects in white paint on top. This was all done freehand, as it is not as important to get everything absolutely right to create the proper effect. It was a lot of fun and a very creative process.
My comments are not meant to point the finger or hurt anyone's feelings, just a reflection on our current situation. On a brighter note, there are 8 lollipops on the board. In Chinese culture, the number eight is considered lucky, meaning ''prosperity'' or ''wealth''.

Update - 2009/07/22 - ''A monopoly of lollipops'' was a finalist in the Still life / floral category of the Artist's Magazine 26th Annual Art Competition. Name to be publish in the Dec. 2009 issue.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cat's eye on a Van Gogh sky

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 4 1/8" x 4 1/8",
Created November 22-29, 2008, # 151.

Between sessions of letting the paint dry on a larger painting that I am working on, I came up with this little piece. It ranks among one the smallest painting I have done to date. The marble is floating on the cover of a Vincent Van Gogh art book, with text by D.M. Field. It was a lot of fun to reproduce brush strokes. In reality, mine have absolutely no surface texture at all, unlike the very thick paint that is a trademark of the genius and tormented artist Vincent Van Gogh.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rainbow on a windowsill

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 10'',
Created November 8-16, 2008, #150.

What appeals to me as a painter is color. In this simple study, It was like going back to the basics of the eight colors found in a Crayola Crayon box. The browns were used sparingly around the neck of the jar and outside the window, while the remaining seven each has their day in the sun (literary). The fact that I was able to produce this painting in a shorter period means that I am in the ''ZONE'' again. The most difficult colors for me to match are found in the palette of blues. Instead of procrastinating on the crystal, I just went for it. It really came out as I was hoping, but to achieve the proper blue, I superimposed three different already mixed combinations plus shades of Prisma violet.

This painting is another commission piece from source material photography I took myself. The mason jar is a flea market find I purchased for 50¢, while the large blue crystal paperweight and the stained glass were collectibles of the clients.

-Private collection

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sun rising behind heirloom glass plate

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 10''
Created - Sept 27 - Nov. 7, 2008, # 149

This is a commission piece. The red glass plate is an heirloom treasure that once belonged to one of their mother's. The object on the right is a blue glass vase that will be featured in a upcoming larger piece. It is pretty much a study of glass on glass, of transparencies and reflections.

Please note- The picture I took of the painting is crisp and detailed. In the process of uploading the image for this Blog, the plate becomes blurry and out of focus while the remaining image appears normal.....a Blog mystery.

-Private collection

Monday, October 20, 2008

Coca-Cola Art Blog

A few pieces of my artwork are currently featured on a Coca-Cola Art blog. I've always had a fascination with all of the memorabilia associated with this product, it's impact on popular culture and that it also appeals to so many. It is a subject matter that will be resurfacing in many more future paintings. Many thanks to the host of the blog for the inclusion. Click HERE to view.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 15 x 11''
Created July 25 - September 19, 2008, #148

This image took me the longest time to figure out. There was so much stuff going on as far as lighting and color nuances were concern. The title pretty much reflects the mood for the painting. When you have champagne on hand, it is usually an occasion to celebrate a special event or moment. In this trio we find: Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin- a premium French Champagne, Aufkellereien - a sweet German white wine and Captain Morgan Deluxe Dark Rum.

Growing up, I use to play minor hockey in Richibucto, New Brunswick. Further down the road from where the arena was located was the Morgan Distillery, then owned by the Seagram Company Ltd. Seagram was the largest distiller of alcoholic beverages in the world with it's headquarters located in Montreal, Qc. Captain Morgan Rum was produced at this plant for the longest time. The plant closed after part of Seagram was sold to Diageo. Morgan Street in Richibucto is the only reminder of a plant that once provided many jobs for the local economy.
-private collection

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Colville House

Yesterday, we visited the Colville House in Sackville, New Brunswick. The former home of reknown Canadian artist, Alex Colville. Along with his wife Rhoda, it is here where they raised their four children while he was a Fine Art professor at Mount Allison University (1946-63). They lived here from the mid 1940's until 1973. It's during this period that his artistic career flourished. His work has been refered to as Magic Realism and he paints in a pointillist technique. More than any other contemporary artist, Colville is considered Canada's Painter Laureate. This is the first summer the house has been open to the public.

The collective bank of imagery he created greatly inspired me be become a painter. Up until 2002, I was very much an Alex Colville devotee. Almost all of my paintings comprised of a figure in a natural setting relating to an ordinary moment of observation. In 2003, when two commercial galleries started to represent my work, a gradual shift occured and I turned to Still Life studies instead. Several of those earlier paintings still resonate within me as some of my best pieces.

Over the years, I've written to him on several occasions; including congratulatory wishes after viewing his retrospective exhibitions at the Musée-des-beaux-arts de Montréal in 1994, and at the National Gallery in Ottawa in 2000. He's always graciously sent me a hand written letter in reply. I finally got to meet him in person in 2002 at the Owen's Art Gallery during an opening reception for one of his shows. I was so surprised that he remembered me from the instant I introduced myself. One of those surreal moments.

Alex Colville most recently celebrated his 88th birthday on August 24. He now resides in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and is still as active as ever. His most recent painting can be viewed on the Mira Godard Gallery web site. Some of his orginial serigraph prints are available through the Fog Forest Gallery. From this Google link you can see many of his paintings.

Happy belated Birthday Mr. Colville!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Potted Geranium

Acrylic on gessoed hardboard,
14 x 18'', 2005, # 90
private collection - Boston, Ma.

Potted Geranium was created three years ago. The subject matter for this painting is indirectly related with my previous posting- Raspberry Cordial with Anne Shirley, so I was tempted to add it to this blog. The setting is from one of the upstairs bedrooms in the Green Gable House in Cavendish. I was fascinated by how the diffused light worked it's way through the petals of the blooms and on the dark wood surface. Luckily, I had brought my camera along during our visit.

I took a bit of artistic licence to change a few things within the composition. Part of the sewing machine is from the Green Gable House and the central part that would include the Singer logo was from a sewing machine that once belonged to my grandmother (b. 1889). The geranium was originally in a large can that had been covered with some Mac-tac that boasted a printed ivy motif. I opted to use a empty Campbell's Soup can - New England Clam Chowder to give a bit of contemporary realist twist, that also made reference to one of my favorite Pop Art artist, Andy Warhol.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Raspberry Cordial with Anne Shirley

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard
14 x 11'', created July 8-23, 2008, #147

Continuing my book and authors series, this one celebrates the work of Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942), and more specifically her novel ''Anne of Green Gables''. The book was originally published in 1908, 100 years ago. It's quintessential Canadiana with a maritime flavor. The story tells the tale of Anne Shirley, an eleven year-old orphan who is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island . The Cuthberts had requested a boy to help with the work around the farm. The outspoken red hair girl with a vivid imagination would soon leave an indelible impression on everyone around her. Anne of Green Gables is the first of a series that includes another seven volume that follows Anne from the age of 11 to 53. These were published between 1909 and 1923.

The inspiration for this painting comes from chapter 16, Diana Is Invited to Tea with Tragic Results. Here we follow Anne serving her best friend Diana what she believes is Raspberry Cordial while recalling stories she had made up in her head. After her third glass, Diana becomes violently ill. Actually, she is drunk. What was on the pantry shelf was not raspberry cordial, but homemade currant wine. The sequence is extremely funny, especially the paragraph when she recalls that it is an uphill battle for Marilla to teach how to cook.

The book, Anne of Green Gables was an instant hit from the get go. Selling nineteen thousand copies in the first five months, and going into it's tenth printings in the first year. It has been translated into 35 languages, and hold the title of being the best selling book by a Canadian author with an estimate 50 million copies. It's popularity known no boundaries. In 1965 it was adapted to musical theater and is the longest running musical in Canada and possibly in the world. It has been adapted for several made-for-TV movies and the highly acclaim 1985 Emmy Award winning 4-hour mini-series featuring Megan Follows in the lead role.

The spirit of Anne is very much alive and well on Prince Edward Island. It remains one of my favorite vacation destination. I've probably visited the Island two dozen times. I only live an hour away by car. The musical stage show continues it's record-run at the Confederation Theater in Charlottetown. The capital city is also known as the birthplace of Canada. In the Cavendish area, the historical house from which the author took inspiration for the setting, attracts 250,000 tourists from around the world annually. The Village of Avonlea located in Cavendish is a must see for any Anne fan. Here, pages from the book comes to life with wonderful actors playing the characters from the fable. You can also visit Lucy Maud Montgomery's home when she lived in Cavendish, her grave site, and her birthplace in nearby New London. A lot of festivities mark the 100th anniversary of the book that includes a set of two stamps issued by Canada Post, and the release of a 25¢ coin by the Royal Canadian Mint.

The book cover illustration featured on this painting was done by Scott McKowen. The talented artist who lives in Ontario, created the drawings for a series of classic books published by Sterling Publishing. The drawing done in scatchboard (an engraving medium) evokes the look of the art during the time these stories were written. Other books in the series includes Oliver Twist, Peter Pan, The Swiss Family Robinson, Gulliver's Travels and many more. McKowen was featured on the blog ''Lines and Colors'' in 2007.

The glass sitting on the book is made by the oldest glass factory in France, La Rochère was founded in 1475. This 8 oz art-glass features their Bee motif.

I most recently spent 5 days on PEI during the month of June, where I did a solo trek of 662 km (411 miles) in 5 days on my hybrid bicycle. Day 2 and 3 included the 270km of rolling hills that stretches from one tip to the other - North Cape to East Point.

I leave you these wonderful words from Anne....''I love bright red drinks, don't you? They taste twice as good as any other color''.
-private collection

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Outside the Jar

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard
12 x 10'', created May 18- July 6, 2008, #146

The painting that attracted the most attention during the opening reception of my solo show at Handworks Gallery last October was ''Shooter marble in the Light''. It was sold even before the painting arrived in the gallery. There were several collectors interested in acquiring it. That evening, I was introduced to several patrons of the gallery and was approached to do a commission of this subject matter. They invited me to their home to do a photo session, where I photographed some jars, marbles and some of their glassware collection and heirlooms. They have an artist's dream house with great natural lighting coming from deep seated windows, and windowsills that become mini stages for still life compositions. I did a photo shoot of about 200 images. This is the first of several paintings that they have commissioned.

The glass shelf on which the jar is lying on was set inside one of these deep seated windows in their kitchen. The marble on the far right has a reverse reflected image of their amazing sunroom.
-Private collection

Monday, July 7, 2008

GROUP SHOW at the Fog Forest Gallery

Dock, 12½ x 12½'', acrylic polymer emulsion
on gessoed hardboard, #61.

I currently have three paintings on display in the summer group show of the Fog Forest Gallery in Sackville, NB, Canada. ''Dock'', ''Just-picked Strawberries'' and ''June Blooms in a Red Glass'' (SOLD) are on exhibit. I will be adding a new painting to that show a bit later on this month. The exhibition runs until the end of July.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Red Spider - Alfa Romeo

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 8½'' x 11"
Created April 14 - May 14, 2008, #145.

The Spider is a roaster produced by the Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo from 1966 to 1993 (190 Spiders were badged as 1994 Commemorative Editions for the North American market). Widely regarded as a design classic, it remained in production for almost three decades with only minor aesthetic and mechanical changes.

This painting is a gallery commission with the client supplying the photographs. I got to choose what would work better for me in keeping with my own artistic and aesthetic vision. It was actually the first time since 1987 that I would paint from an image I did not take myself. All the same, it was pretty much eye candy. The only drawback was I did not get to take a spin in it.
- Commission

Monday, April 14, 2008

Juried Exhibition

I am pleased to announce that, Are we there yet? was selected for the inaugural juried show to be held at the Kamloops Historical Courthouse Center for the Arts in Kamloops, BC. This is also the first time that I get to show my work in beautiful interior British Columbia. The painting will be for sale during the exhibition that opens on April 18, 2008.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 12"Created March 7 - 14, 2008, #144.

The image was taken from a corner in my tiny studio, where I also have two large bookcases. This image just kind of happen by itself. I often drink water in this glass mug and decided to continue my art book series on this piece. POP ART by Tilman Osterwold was published by Taschen as part of a 17 book series for the company's 25th anniversary. The cover image is M-Maybe (A Girl's Picture), 1965 by Roy Lichtenstein. While playing with camera angles, I was able to capture a view of her left eye surfacing on top of the water. Another point of interest was how the books and photo albums behind were all lined up in a reverse order underneath the surface of the water. I usually try to read a little while having breakfast. My wife Suzanne on the other hand is an avid reader. On this self are books from Danielle Steel to Jane Austen, from John Grisham to Arthur Miller, from Ernest Hemingway to Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I had a lot of fun with this piece


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Keeping up with the Joneses

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 12"
Created February 25 - March 5, 2008, #143

The title is based on a popular catchphrase that refers to the desire to be seen as being as good as one's neighbours or contemporaries using the comparative of social standards or accumulation of material stuff. The origin of the phrase is rooted in the once popular comic strip of the same name created by cartoonist Arthur R. "Pop" Momand. The strip debuted in 1913, ran in American newspapers for 28 years, and eventually was adapted into books, films and musical comedies.

In this still life reincarnation, I'm taking elements used in previous paintings and created a new composition. On the right of three of the bottles is a reflection of our fence that has lattice on top. I could have named it, Good fences make good neighbours from the Robert Frost poem, Mending Wall. I'll probably use that title in a future painting.

I first came across Jones Soda Pop in a Starbucks coffee shop during the late 1990's. The beverage came to market in 1994 and originates from western Canada. The images on the labels are submitted by the public, and if your lucky enough, you might end up on a bottle of Orange Cream Soda, Strawberry Lime, Blue Bubble Gum or Green Apple Soda. I'm a sucker for this type of products. It's like Pop Art meets pop culture.
-private collection

Thursday, March 6, 2008

"Art and Critique"

The art critic, Elijah Shifrin is currently doing a series of critical essays of my artwork on his website, Art and Critique. The first of three installments was posted today. This LINK will direct you to his website, where is has also reviewed the artwork of several other artists for us to discover. You can also check out his past critiques on his initial blog before adopting a website format on this LINK.

Thanks to Todd Ford for nominating me, and to all those who took the time to vote for me on the public poll giving me this privilege.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Are we there yet?

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 14 x 20"
Created January 15 - February 24, 2008, #142.

This is my first figure painting in four years. I have to admit that it was somewhat of a struggle. I usually paint hard surfaces and inanimate objects, here I'm dealing with fabrics and flesh tones. The faces became tedious to the extreme. I'd thought that I might never get them right. It turned out to be a grand exercise of patience. At 5 weeks, it's time to call it a wrap.

Featured in this slice of life with Jean-Luc are his two other cousins on my wife side of the family. Isabelle lives in the province of Québec while Céline lives in northern New Brunswick. Gabrielle, the model in "La Balançoire" is Isabelle's sister. The photo study for this painting was taken 3 summers ago, when they were 12, 10 & 7. They have grown so much since then. They always get to spend a week together during the summer vacations.

The comic book is The Adventures of Tintin. Tintin is a globe-trotting, crime solving Belgium journalist/reporter. He was created by Georges Rémi under the pen name Hergé. It first appear as a comic strip in a newspaper in Belgium in 1929. The books have been translated in 50 languages and 200 millions copies have been sold. It remains one of the most popular comic book in Europe, and in French Canada. I am not certain about it's popularity in the rest of the North American continent. This volume is entitled "Tintin au Tibet".
-This painting was selected in the juried FCA show at the Kamloops Historical Courthouse Centre for the Arts, 7 Seymour St. Kamloops, BC, April 18-27, 2008
- Included in my solo show at Handworks Gallery - Oct 16-30, 2009

Saturday, February 2, 2008

International Artist Magazine

One of my painting is currently featured in the February/March issue of International Artist Magazine (#59) on page 59. I've just picked up a copy, and it's an exciting moment in this stage of my artistic career. I was contacted back in 2005 for the possibility of being included in their "Master Painter" section. A painting entitled "Dayliles and Japanese Lantern" done in 2004, had caught their attention. It is definitely a spirit booster, and I am honored by the accolade. View this LINK for details.

Daylilies and Japanese Lantern
Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, 11 x 8.5",#67
Private collection- Moncton, NB

Thursday, January 17, 2008

La Balançoire

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 11 x 15"
Created- August 8-15, 2004, #75.
Private collection- Toronto, Ontario.

I've always found it difficult to paint during the month of January, and this year is no exception. I'm a bit slow getting out of the starters block. Each New Year is like a renewal for life itself; I'm wiping the slate clean and getting another shot at it. I'm not the all-consuming painter and wouldn't pretend to be. Life itself is a window of opportunity, and as much as I like to paint, I also want to expand my horizons in the grander scheme of things. I took a month off from my brushes to spend more time my family, to see a lot of the critically acclaim films that always comes out pre-Oscar time, to do some skiing, to renew my passport, to start planning our family trip to California this spring and to tie loose ends. It's not the easiest thing to juggle a full-time job and a painting career on the side.... your always chasing deadlines.

I've just started my first painting of the new year, and it will be a while before I post it. It's my first figure study since 2004, and a complex one at that. When it takes a few days just to do the drawing, it usually translate in many more days than usual to paint.

I won't be having a solo show in 2008, but I do have several projects planned. I'll be submitting works in juried exhibitions, I have several commissions lined up and will do my best to provide new paintings to the galleries that represents me.

In the meanwhile, I'm posting an older piece of my last figure painting. The model is our niece Gabrielle. I took the photo study on her backyard swing in Québec, and transported her to this farming field on Prince Edward Island. The image was used on the cover of a CD released last year by the Montréal musical duo Christel. We have two other nieces on my wife side of the family who will be featured with our son Jean-Luc in my upcoming painting.