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Posts tagged ‘Art’

Now THAT’s a solid intention

Soooo, I’m on Astoria Blvd. in Queens NYC waiting for the bus to LaGuardia when I notice this bronze plaque cemented into the sidewalk.


“On this site will be erected a monument to Christopher Columbus.

This tablet dedicated on October 12 1937”

 Now THAT’s putting it out there.  We’re gonna do something and we’re going public with it.  Hard to forget about a bronze plaque cemented into a sidewalk beside a busy train station.

Then stuff happened.  Before they could get the statue commissioned, cast, transported and up on his pedestal, they found themselves smack dab in the middle of WWII, there was a shortage of EVERYTHING especially money, man power and metal…that plaque sat in the cement reminding them of the intention.

After the war, in 1945 – SEVEN YEARS LATER, Columbus finally got planted on Astoria Blvd. where he’s still hanging out…looking rather dashing I must say.

It’s easy to make plans, and it’s easy to break them…especially when something gets in the way…like a war.  Get your intentions out there, cast them in Bronze and cement them into the sidewalk where you’re going to be reminded of them every day…or at least stick a note on your mirror.

Tornado Warnings


She’s one of my favourite living artists.  I’ve known Lynne McIlvride for decades and am honoured to own one of her originals.

I was at the opening of her new show last night http://www.davidkayegallery.com/ and once again I’m struck with the beauty of her work.  As always, I start to wonder why. What is it about this art that hits me so profoundly and more importantly, what is it trying to teach me.

Apart from her being one of the best people I know, her work speaks to me of balance and beauty – often in the midst of chaos.  She mixes found objects with fresh painting, her life 0 the good and the bad is recorded in her work with a courageous honesty that I marvel at, but it mixes with metaphor and symbols, whimsy and heartache.

This is what I love the most; she explores her art and her passions with specific and clear emotional detail while using metaphors that make her work universal.

Her latest series, Stormy weather (seriously, check it out) is all about tornadoes.  She’s put them in their sturdy glass doored boxes so we can view them and their destruction from a safe place, and then she tucks in some supplies to help with the healing after.  My favorite is the one pictured.  It’s a nasty little tornado (in spite of its colors) and Lynne’s given us thread to sew it all back together when the tornado’s done its worst.  No Band-Aids, sturdy and colourful thread.  It’s gonna leave a scar, it will never look the same, but we’re gonna hold it altogether. Another piece has the tornado coming through fabric that’s already patched together…here it comes again.

Sometimes life gets ripped apart, if we face it with integrity and creativity, we can make something beautiful.

Thanks again Lynne.

Check out her web site, she’s great.



Her current show runs to August 25th at the David Kaye Gallery – 1092 Queen St. W. Toronto.   http://www.davidkayegallery.com/

Musings on Tea and Japan and Manners and just being aware of other people.

Here’s a slightly different post.


I read this morning that in Japan it is considered impolite to fill your own glass.

Something about this has struck me deeply, I love the idea of a point of etiquette being based on the idea that those eating together must be attune to each other’s needs.  I watch for your cup to empty, or get low, and you watch for me.  Together we all get enough to drink. I’m not quite sure how this works when you’re eating (and drinking) alone…maybe you don’t need to be quite so polite when you’re alone.

My goal this week is to move this into my life.  To try to be attentive to those around me – to see where they need what I have to offer.

I know this blog is about art and personal growth…good manners are an art…so there.

Naked in Florence

I’d been seeing pictures of this naked guy for most of my life.  Now I was finally in Florence and I figured it was time to see if the real thing measured up.

I’m talking about Michelangelo’s David – what were you thinking?

For almost 375 years (1504 – 1873) years he stood outside in the Piazza della Signoria. Then he was moved inside to the Accademia di Belle Arti to protect him . . .  personally I think it was to move him somewhere they could charge tourists to see him.   I guess the Piazza was looking a little lonely, because a few years later, a replica was put in his place.  That’s right, a fake David replaced him.

I have a tendency to exhaust myself on vacation, I want to see and do EVERYTHING.  So by the time I got to Florence, I had already seen Rome, Venice, Assisi, Siena, Pizza, a dozen smaller towns and enough of the stunning Italian countryside to make me dizzier than the Italian wine.

I gazed at the fake David in the Pisa, it’s beautiful; I was tired and broke; for a moment I considered skipping the very long line and the very expensive ticket to the Accademia.  I will never regret slogging my tired tourista butt over to the line and paying the exorbitant price to see a statue that was commissioned and carved to be on public (FREE) display.

The copy is impressive and beautiful, the original is alive.  I know, I know you’ve now decided I’ve lost it and are about to flip over and check out someone else’s blog, but before you do, take a second and go with me.  I’m serious about this, that 17 foot hunk of marble man is breathing.  It’s as though five hundred years ago some seventeen foot naked guy was walking through the Accademia and someone over to his left yelled “Hey Dave” and he looked…he’s still looking.

There is a life in the original that is not in the copy, even a stunning copy.

You are an original.  When we live our lives as copies of someone else: trying to live up to someone else’s dreams, expectations or limitations, we lose originality; we lose life . . . NO ONE wins.

Live your life as the original masterpiece it is and everyone around you wins . . . even the people who think you should do it their way.

Pay the extra, go see the original; go the extra mile, be the original.  It’s worth it.

Three me’s

Bryce's Caricature

Bryce’s Caricature

Nadia's Caricature

Nadia’s Caricature

Didi's Caricature

Didi’s Caricature

A few weeks ago some of my students – and former students – were raising money by doing caricatures.  Always being one to support the arts – – – and get a few neato, cool pictures of myself into the bargain, I waited until all of them were free at the same time and got three caricatures done at the same time – how’s that for quality time management.

I LOVE the results.  It’s impossible not to be struck by how different they are.  Three artists drawing the same face at the same time…three totally unique works of art.  Three VERY distinctive impressions of their acting teacher.

EVERYTHING we do is filtered through how we see the world.  No two people are the same and no two perspectives are the same, only you can create the art that’s inside you, you – and your contributions – are irreplaceable.

Check out more art from these awesome artists:

Bryce Jones http://jonesy-orangatangerine.blogspot.com/

Naddya Oluoch-Olunya http://nyargoro.tumblr.com/

Didi, if you can get me your info, I’d love to link to it.

Putting it together, bit by unlikely bit


This stuff is sooooo freakin’ cool. I first saw Leo Sewell’s work at the Galerie Christin in Toronto about six or seven years ago. I recently contacted them about buying a piece, then I looked at the price – – – sigh, one more item for my bucket list — or my Christmas wish list – Santa are you reading this? I’ve been VERY good.

Leo Sewell takes the most unlikely (and I must say extremely cool) objects and combines them into awesome, original and new sculptures.

My take on Sewell’s work – and why I love it: It’s about the integrity of the original pieces and the way they work together to create something beautiful and something none of them could create individually.

I tend to avoid getting involved with organized groups; I generally prefer to work alone. Even when I’m involved with sports (YES I have been involved with sports) it’s always solo sports: swimming, running, cycling etc. I worry I can’t really be me if I get too close to people. Somehow I will have to disappear or adapt to get along with the group.

Sewell and his magnificent Junk Sculptures show me that it’s just not true, the individual doesn’t get in the way of the group, he, she . . . I make the group cool and intriguing.

I think my summer project is going to involve finding a cool group to join…maybe baseball, I like baseball.

Oh – – – and my birthday is in August…hint, hint. You can shop for me here -> http://www.leosewell.net/

What is it with this Painting? or How Mona Got her Buzz Back


Paris is still on my Bucket List, so I have not seen the original, but a lot of my friends have.  Here are the comments I generally get:

– She’s small. (77 x 53 cm)

– The crowds are insane, you can’t get close to her.

– Ummmm What’s the big deal.  After all that wait, and all these crowds, I’m a little underwhelmed.

This last point has caused many people to question their tastes, If she’s the great masterpiece and I’m underwhelmed, then where does that leave me?

Her’s what I think, because I know you’re dying to hear my opinion.

Mona is the Paris Hilton of her day.  Seriously, she’s famous for being famous.  Here are some cool facts:

Leonardo had a reputation for having a GREAT sense of humour – one more reason to like him – – – and feel inadequate beside him.

She’s called La Gioconda roughly translated – the one who laughs.  Look again at this face.Image

She’s NOT LAUGHING – so who’s laughing?

I think Leonardo is.

Leonardo was a superstar celebrity when he painted her.  After she was finished he was know to carry her around with him.  I wonder if people had to set an extra chair at the table. While he was still alive people were already asking “What is it with this painting?” They’re still asking that question.

He created a buzz…and it worked.

Over the years, she fell out of favour – even a Leonardo buzz can only last a couple of centuries.  Eventually she’s hanging on the wall of the Louvre with a lot of other paintings.  One more pretty face in a sea of pretty faces.

THEN —– on August 21, 1911 she was stolen by an Italian Nationalist who thought the French had no right to have her.  He took her to the Uffizi in Florence who promptly returned it to the Louvre – OK not so promptly, they toured her around Italy first.

SUDDENLY Mona’s got her buzz back and she’s famous again.

Let’s take a lesson from one of the great marketing geniuses of all time (one more reason to feel inadequate around Leonardo).  Let’s LOVE the work we create.  Enjoy it and talk about it.  Start your own buzz, blow your own horn, LOVE your own masterpiece.

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