Friday, January 16, 2015

Warmth Video

a midwinter collection curated and produced by Holly Friesen.
40+ Montreal artists, January 8 to January 20th, 2015

Friday, December 19, 2014


Stir it Up by Walt Pascoe

For the past couple of months I have been wearing my curator's hat. Having worked as curator for ArtBomb for 16 months I became acquainted with many Montreal artists and their diverse artworks. I left ArtBomb to pursue my own painting in more depth again but I remained in close contact with many of the artists. This Fall I decided to put out a call to Montreal artists for artwork related to the theme of WARMTH. In the midst of January and directly after the overindulgence of the holidays I felt it might be a good time to reassess the year in a group exhibition revolving around the theme of "Warmth". What makes us feel good from the inside out? I received 200+ submissions and was given the challenging task of selecting a cohesive body of work to illuminate the theme. The result is a show of scintillating warmth and alluring subjects.

"Warmth" promises to be an enticing event. A leisurely afternoon vernissage on Sunday, January 11 from 2 to 4pm with a traveling barista and coffee bar in keeping with the theme. The show will continue until January 20th at the E.K. Voland Art Gallery in the building where my studio is located at 4710 rue St Ambroise in Montreal (St Henri).

If you would like to attend the opening please rsvp HERE for a free ticket which you can bring to the vernissage where you will be entered in a draw for "a warm surprise".

The exhibition will continue until Jan 20 and the hours are 11am to 3pm weekdays or by appointment: 514 713-6583

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Open Studio ~ Friday, November 28, 2014

There is so much great energy in the studio these days that I have decided to open the studio door and welcome in visitors from 3pm to 7pm on Friday.

Lots of new work and a great time to catch up with some of you!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Chaos Breeds Creativity

When I enter the studio I shed all my quotidian duties and enter the realm of the imagination. This is the place where rationality and pragmatism have little worth. My mind is allowed to slip into chaos, where everything is fresh and new and waiting to be born for the first time. In the summer I paint outside but I also take endless photos of everywhere I of colors, textures, shapes. I often leave these piles of photos lying everywhere.

 I have tried to organize the photos but they always end up in piles and boxes littered all over the studio. I use them as reference but not just one, all of them! It is their strewn presence that evokes memories, smells, sights, sounds and even tastes for me as I paint.

Sometimes I sketch from them and have many of these sketch books lying around as well. They are like notes to myself, or notes of a song that has yet to be written. I like having them around me as partially resolved ideas for paintings, nudging their way into my consciousness as I work.

I like the pandemonium of colors and textures surrounding me in the studio. This is how fresh, new relationships between things are made. I let my mind slide into the music and disappear as I begin to work in a dreamy, unfocused state. Looking but not looking too hard. It's more like I am feeling the colors, shapes and textures that are emerging onto the canvas and I am falling into "dreamtime" as I paint. I definitely enter an altered state of consciousness and it is very difficult to articulate what I am doing when I am painting. It is as though language drops away during this state. 

Below is a series I am working on called "Notes from the Road." I am having fun exploring the multiple numinous moments that have occurred during numerous road trips, including a solo one across Canada a couple of years ago. These paintings are available HERE.

Many of these small ones are the preliminaries to larger paintings such as the one just fresh off the easel below:
Blue November / 24" x 30" / acrylic on canvas

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Preparing for the Inhale

Thanksgiving week-end has given me time to reflect on the gratitude I feel for being alive in this moment in this place and with the people who surround me. 

It has been an ever expanding exhale all summer long and even into the autumn months. I have been walking trails, climbing mountains, swimming in lakes and fully immersed in the outdoors as much as possible.


Now it is time to take all that extraverted energy and turn it inward in one long inhale over the winter. All the sights, sounds, smells and textures of the living, breathing earth will find their way into my paintings if I am still enough to hear them.

I can't wait to return to my studio for some quiet, solitary months at the easel processing all the beautiful impressions of the summer and autumn months. 

Every year that goes by my impressions appear to broaden and deepen from within and without. The whole landscape seems numinous to me at times. I often feel as though the natural world is lit up from within and radiating beauty and mystery. The more I paint the more I see and more often than not I feel rich beyond my wildest dreams with all that is there in and around me. Its a mystery I don't even want to know the answer to.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Tribute to the Butterfly Lady

Marsha Stanley first came across my artwork at an exhibition being held at View Arts, Old Forge, NY in the summer of 2013. She purchased a large triptych that was the signature piece of the show before the show opened, before I met her. This is the way Marsha is. She is a woman of Action. She acts on her instincts and I am grateful to have encountered her as she has taught me much. Please read more about our encounter in a great article written by Marsha herself in the Adirondack Almanack entitled "Invite an Artist to Take Up Residence."

After spending some time with Marsha I discovered how appropriate it was for her to be a founding member of AdkAction.Org a non-profit organization that promotes and supports both the Adirondack Wilderness and the Arts. Two causes near and dear to my heart. This year another successful pop-up gallery was organized and I was honored to contribute 20% of the proceeds to this dynamic organization.

One of Marsha's favorite projects is educating the public about the monarch butterfly and its recent decline in population. Amongst other things Marsha was instrumental in raising the funds necessary to bring the movie Flight of the Butterfly to the panoramic Flammer Theater in the Wild Center. This educational and visually stunning film ran for a full season and educated many of its viewers about the phenomenal annual monarch migration. Marsha also arranged for Dr. Lincoln Brower, a world renowned monarch expert, to come and speak at the Wild Center. You can listen to his fascinating talk HERE. Ms Stanley's tireless commitment and devotion to the monarchs has earned her the affectionate term of "The Butterfly Lady" within her extensive circle of friends and family.

Recently Marsha was to undergo a serious medical procedure. I was staying at her camp on Upper Saranac Lake and preparing to give an artist talk about the use of social media (another project organized by Marsha) when she called me from her hospital bed. She was busy writing yet another article and wanted me to go and check her milkweed for caterpillars and her flower garden for migrating monarchs. Not a single monarch was spotted in the area last year, a reason for serious concern.  I went out to the milkweed patch that Marsha had planted herself and saw nothing. I then went and stood in her prolific garden of flowers and prayed for a monarch to appear. Nothing.

I was feeling very sad when lo and behold a bright orange patch fluttered into my vision and I could feel my heart explode with joy! I couldn't believe it! I ran for my camera! I started to film this beautiful creature and soon another one appeared and then another and another! It was such a delight to see these beauties fluttering throughout Marsha's radiant flower garden. Eventually I saw one with a Monarch Watch tag and was able to get a close enough photo of the number on the tag. I have been reporting any monarch sightings regularly to Journey North a website used by "citizen scientists" to track the monarch migration every Spring and Fall.

I sent these photos and the video to Marsha who immediately send out an email to many friends and family with the images attached. People came to her camp all day long to see and/or photograph the monarchs!

The Wild Center checked to see if the number TGM 482 was one of their tagged butterflies and when they discovered it was not they contacted the Paul Smith VIC Butterfly House and discovered that the butterfly had been released from there on Sept 1. The butterfly had not flown far but was preparing for his long flight south by feeding on Marsha's coneflowers.

The appearance of those monarchs buoyed all our spirits as we took these butterflies to be symbols of hope and rebirth both for our planet and for our dear friend and devoted "Butterfly Lady" Ms Marsha Stanley. 

Small miracles are all around us if we just open our eyes and look.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An Adirondack Love Affair

I have spent most of the summer breathing in the beauty of the Adirondacks and falling more in love with the place every day. I have, painted and hiked and paddled and painted.

I continue to meet interesting and generous people everywhere I go. This year's painting culminated in a grand pop up gallery held in magnificent private home on Upper Saranac Lake. It is so rewarding to have a large body of work (40 paintings) installed in such a gorgeous home environment. This whole story began last July when I had a solo exhbition at View in Old Forge, a wonderful Arts Center with several well designed gallery spaces for exhibitons. I became an accidental artist-in-residence when a certain woman purchased the signature piece from my show. Marsha Stanley has written a delightful article about this experience from her perspective that was recently published in the Adirondack Almanac.

A beautiful preview cocktail party was held for the board members as well as the board of the local Wild Center. Both of these places are dear to my heart and 20% of all sales were donated to for the many wonderful projects they do in the area. I will be giving a talk at the Wild Center on Sept 8, 2014. The talk is entitled "The Wilderness Within" and will give a glimpse into the process of my own artwork as well as discuss the advantages of using social media as an isolated rural artist.

The pop up continued for another two days and many, many people dropped by. I sold eighteen paintings! The gallery curator from the prestigious resort next door called "The Point" came by and selected four paintings for their gallery as well. It was a tremendously successful experience for me on many levels.

It is a lot of work to do a pop up gallery but well worth the effort. The direct contact with the people who come to see and/or purchase my artwork creates new connections and friends that I value dearly. I will be returning this week-end to participate in the Plein Air Arts Festival organized by Artworks of Saranac Lake. I am looking forward to this event as there are so many incredible spots to paint in this sparkling part of the Adirondacks.

 Rock Portal / SOLD

Earth Bones / SOLD

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Explorations in the Wilderness

Surprised by It's Own Unfolding / 30" x 60" / acrylic on canvas     

 I have been exploring the Adirondacks more this summer. Hiking, paddling and listening to this gorgeous, generous landscape. The air sparkles with clarity, the sky sizzles with blue and my heart soars with gratitude for being alive in this wild world.

I have had the privilege of sharing this time with Walt who is on a unique journey of his own which he has written about most articulately HERE. I encourage you to read this insightful piece of writing and follow along with us as we climb and paddle our way through the rest of the summer and into the Autumn.

These are two newly completed paintings that will be exhibited in my upcoming Adirondack Pop-Up exhibition being held at a private "Great Camp". Please contact me if you would like to attend (August 15 & 16).