Canadian Icon

Iconic Canadian Painter Alex Colville would have been 96 today. The extensive exhibition of his works at the AGO two years ago was both exhilarating and oppressive. His work is at once unbelievably controlled, yet teeming with deeply unsettling emotional undercurrents. It could just be me though.


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Dog and Priest, 1978 © Alex Colville

I love this painting. So deceptively static and so smooth. The man and the dog almost meld into one, the cloth and the fur so alike at a distance but so detailed up close. The man, anonymous (except for being a priest), maybe lost in thought, maybe gazing at the horizon,  while his companion stays alert and protective. Every hair bristles on that dog, and the suit is impeccable, velvety, rich. You can almost feel the wind, smell this shore, touch that beautiful dog. Amazing.

Yikes! It’s almost back to school time. Woohoo!

You know this commercial with the dad gleefully skipping through the aisles of an office supply store to the tune of “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, while the kids mournfully drag their feet behind him?

That’s how I feel!

Gleeful, that is – but not because I’m happy to get rid of my kids like the commercial implies (I actually love being with my girls, they’re adorable), but because YAY! new pens and markers for less! I’m stocking up! Fresh, pristine erasers and pencils, new packaging smell, stacks of paper … I love this stuff, always have.

Of course, this wonderful time of the year also means actually going BACK TO school. Which may or may not have been one of my most favourite ways to pass the time as a child.


Fall Trees, Acrylic, Tween/Teen Workshops. © Art just for me, 2016

Fall Trees, Acrylic, Tween/Teen Workshops. © Art just for me, 2016

I do have another favourite, lifelong pastime though … or occupation, or obsession – whatever… I love trying out new art materials and techniques. These new creations with black gesso from my tween and teen mixed media classes are a good example of time well spent this summer 🙂

Another reason to love back-to-school time:
it’s also back-to-regular-schedule workshop time!
You can now register for my September workshops online here.
The registration process is now much more streamlined and a lot easier to use. As usual, you can also contact me directly if you’re having any trouble doing it through the website.

Andy Warhol would have loved 2016

Andy Warhol, Pop Art’s enfant terrible, would have loved today’s celebrity-obsessed, selfie-driven, gnat’s-attention-span North American culture – and he would have celebrated its profoundly consumerist heart with twinkling relish. His birthday is on August 6.

By Jack Mitchell, CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0,

By Jack Mitchell, CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0,

Mural at the lesser-known Andy Warhol Museum in Medzilaborce, Slovakia

Everyone knows what this is, right? Fair use,

Everyone knows what this is, right? Fair use,