Friday, January 23, 2015

Memories of childhood.


I grew up in a small town in Northern BC near a small lake. One winter when I was young there was a quick freeze. It can get to minus 40 below there, and to be an animal outside in the cold of winter the boundary between life and death must be a thin one.

I was walking outside along the shores of the lake, on the ice. There was a disturbance of colour on the white (it had snowed), and as I approached I realized what must have happened. A swan, trapped by the ice one night would have been a strong fighter for a good period of time before being overcome by cold, fatigue and determined opponents. There was blood and there were feathers, and the mess of both was strong enough language to tell a vicious story. I didn't linger, then. But the elements of that narrative have stayed with me long enough to evolve somewhat with this drawing.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Artist Statement Revisted

I have just applied for an exhibition at the ODD gallery in Dawson City, Yukon. This required a revisiting of my artist statement (every artist's constant work-in-progress) with particular application to the project i wish to show. Here it is...

"  As an artist, I tend to work most in drawing and print-making. And while ultimately this type of production is grounded in a love of storytelling, I remain somewhat conflicted between a belief in the powers of myth and history, a desire for truth, and a distrust of documented 'fact'. While not mutually exclusive, these elements must be woven together with some caution and critical awareness.

However, I remain entranced by the heroes and anti-heroes of our Canadian past and present, the struggle and beauty of life on this land, and the cycles of human endeavor and emotion that recall us to humanity. I often refer to old photographs, nature encyclopaedias, community journals and history books for inspiration and information. These sources, however, allow for much that is unwritten, unphotographed, and untold to be imagined.

Ambiguity then, as well as mystery, history, issues of land, isolation, and the suggestion of a supernatural North are central themes in a scattered attempt to pin down fragments of a collective story, an elusive national mythology. It is my story, but also perhaps it is the story of a uniquely Canadian experience or memory; a journey of sorts toward identity and meaning and culture.  "

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wild Is My Love 
December 5 2013 - January 4th 2014 at Graven Feather

Of course I was late posting this, but here it is now...photos of my show in December. What an intense beautiful experience it was, making and showing this work.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I'm working on the development of a show for December at Graven Feather in Toronto. Essentially a love letter on the subject of identity, identification, and reflection, the pieces will be a mixture of sculptural objects, printmaking, and drawings. There will even be some audio involved.

I'll be documenting some of the process over the next month, starting tonight. The title of the show is My Heart Is A Pinecone. Appropriately, here are some drawings to get things going.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sunday, August 4, 2013

What I should have written.

Dear Ra

BY JOHANNES GĂ–RANSSON
Dear Ra,

There are no more cigarettes in this letter. It's all about spray-paint and traffic jams from here on out. Honk if you're epileptic, honk if it's 2:40 p.m., if you love shells. Honk in the name of freedom and fear of the human body. When I say "human body" I mean the kind that tears like lettuce. And when I say "fear" I mean the kind you feel seconds before crashing into a wall. That's the kind of poem this is. The kind raised on excess television violence.

All that's left are ads for brotherhood and blowjobs. An ad for 2:42 p.m. A wad of hair. This isn't Marx. I'm not trying to bite the hand that feeds me sour candy. Run down the deer. Rain. Wear a red jacket and pumps. Pave the road back from my bed. I don't own a bed, it must've been the trap I've crept in and out of since I learned how to sleep alone. The Count of Monte Cristo's funeral. God's earlobe. An army of lamb can stop a film but not the violence of handbags. Not 2:43 p.m. Two forty-four pee em. Speak from a babble and a switch. Piss in a telephone booth. Grow a tree. Kidnap a car thief. Talk to him as though you want to be slammed in his trunk like a bag full of rocks.

Talk to me in the woods. To my chest. With your fingers.

Even if you kick in the gates, nyc is still nyc. My concussion is still a hotel. The guests are staying lukewarm and I'm picking up the tab. Ask me if I have ever wanted to tear out cables, burn up cradles. Interview my architects about hands. Ask an illegal immigrant how to escape from a political cliche. Does one use hammers? What about the moist area? The brutal caress? The spindle? Where does one learn to speak such a broken language? Are you jealous of films about Vietnam?

This poem is dedicated to Jean-Luc Godard. This poem is dedicated to the man who put a gun in my gullet. This poem is a pay-phone.

Someone has slashed its chords and ripped out its face. This drink is mixed with a plastic fork. This is an invitation to my Halloween party. Come as a key. Come as a metatextuai tear in the metatextual fabric.

Listen to my concert through walls that were built to keep the vermin out of my armpits. Shovel. That's all I ask in return for my sonata on gravel. I mean gravel in a dialectic sense. As in, tomorrow dirt will be glamorous. Asphalt will be categorized as a sound. You will be categorized as an outdated method of psychotherapy. Like confession. Or the couch. Or the chair. I will be classified as a sore loser. Last year's winner must have thrown something hard at my head. Something that shattered like a waltz in a bomb raid. It's almost three o'clock. That makes it exactly several thousand miles since I left your town. I left your mice. I left a confusing note for the exterminators.

I've been confused when I should have been
reborn as a crusade or a hospital of innocents.
I've been bored when I should've been screwed.
I've been a hungry year.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Novel Consorts

 She sings a crooked song......




Sunday, April 7, 2013




Poem in a forest.

My heart is a hard dark seed hidden within the pattern
And the trees are vast 
There are so many...

Count them as you stand in the middle 
And they feel like forever

Giants

But the life of poems is filled to the brim with blaze and beauty 
Only the mountains know how quickly it all burns
They see everything and remain 

When all is gone they might remember 
My green forest will be as black dust 
Bared to the great many toothed maw of the sky
Chilled by clouds of cold and greedy starlight 

And I ... broken open, might be lifted by your breath.




e.e.c.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Maple Leaves and Rainbows


I did some drawings on Canada day this past year (2012) and it happened to also be Gay Pride weekend. Therefore, naturally, maple leaves and rainbows were the order of the day. Have a look (if you can) at the titles below. They tell a story. :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Good Things......!

I started drawing Magpies for my friend Kelly Sheppard's book.
Working on creative projects for a living is absolutely meaningful, challenging, and fun for the most part, but people sometimes forget they require a great deal of time and effort without much in the way of outside feedback. That's why it's all the more EXCITING when you get a little bit of positive public recognition!

My colleague and business partner Pam Lobb and I have been positively glowing lately as a result of some good press our studio Graven Feather has been getting this past month. "In like a lion" they say, and this March lion has been positively roaring with pride. Last Saturday, March 9th, Toronto's Globe & Mail featured a small review of our show in their Twitter Critic section. And last Thursday, we got a great shout out from Blog TO, listing us as #6 on their page of Best DIY Workshops!!

All the more reason to keep updating this blog with work! I'm really going to try and be more consistent with my updates here this year. And I'd like to feature other people that I find inspiring too! So stay tuned!!....and to all of you creative crafters, artists, musicians and work-at-home people....YOU ROCK!! You deserve a star! 4 stars!! Keep it coming and don't look back!

Speaking of which: Check out Danielle Kryssa of Jealous Curator fame, from Vancouver, BC. Her blog is fantastic and inspiring, and she's a cool artist as well. Roa-a-a-a--a-r!!!!!!!!!!!!
bear_barbara_blog

Wednesday, March 13, 2013































I've been digging out old prints and re-working them with new colour and ideas...yay!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Currently working on...

New scene for an old bear.

Currently working on....



Just something i started recently... Any suggestions for what else needs to be found at the bottom of the Pacific?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My French Dad

























These drawings come from memories and stories told to me in my youth. They were done quickly and with a great deal of enjoyment; simply pulled from my head and delivered with a brush to the page.  I hope, if you can, that you'll come to see all the images at Graven Feather Studio & Gallery. It's in Toronto, ON at 906 Queen west (northwest corner of Crawford). They will be up through the month of May, 2012.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Show MAY 3rd-30th at Graven Feather Gallery
























From the series Empty House at Graven Feather Gallery: 906 Queen St. W, Toronto ON, M6K 2V2

I'm having a show in May!
Come see the work at Graven Feather Studio, and if you can make it Thursday May 3rd (5-10pm), you'll hear some amazing stories by writers and performers on the theme of Home (7:30pm). The address is 906 Queen west, Toronto ON, M6K 2V2.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Adieu, Layton...

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.



-- Dylan Thomas