Saturday, December 31, 2005

current muse

Paula Weber-Lohmeier, Wendy Bush, Karl Weber, Bob Lefsetz, Misha, Ted, Panda, Emily Carr, Woodcuts

Monday, December 12, 2005

Art Movement or Individual Artist?

Someone on a web board I sometimes frequent asked:

"Are you drawn to one particular movement, or drawn to individual artists?"

Performance Art. Marina and Ulay Abramovic, Bueys, Kaprow, etc. were deeply inspiring to me as a young performance artist. So I guess you could say I favour this "movement."

Regarding more traditional art forms, for me it is mainly European Expressionism and Abstract Expressionism, no question, plus a few others who pushed the limits of traditional art forms.

Individuals whose body of work I admire:

Paterson Ewen (always my favourite)
Marcel Duchamp (brilliant innovator)
Oskar Kokoshcka
John Singer Sargent (watercolours only)
Max Ernst
JMW Turner
Tom Thompson
Eric Fischel
Egon Schiele
Franz Marc
Emily Carr
Andre Durain
August Macke
Marc Chagall
Dave Beckett (pastel)
Stephen Ross
Jim Dine
rb kitaj
Anselm Keifer
Kathe Kollwitz
Joseph Beuys
El greco
Albrecht Altdorfer

Oh there are so many...

Growing up, I was only vaguely aware of a few artists, notably Dali (saw a few in a New Brunswick gallery during a family vacation) and the Pre-Raphaelites via posters on a friend's walls. But later as a first year art history student, I spent a life-changing hour in a gallery with Oscar Kokoschka's "Die Windsbraut." Later that same day, another hour staring at and hallucinating in front of a massive Rothko colour field work, trying to "get" what he was doing; well, I got it! Gave me goosebumps.

Seeing art in the flesh and spending time with it really floats my boat. No slide, poster or book can ever come close. So much art, so little time!

What a great question, though. Has me thinking!

Right or wrong, my compulsively analytic brain is wired to look at artistic innovation/trends/styles/ways of seeing and place it within the artist's current social/political/technological contexts, so I'd say the former is true for me personally. I tend to try to ask "why" the person created what they did, who their contemporaries were, etc. Of course, within that parameter, I have my own subjective "favourites" who I feel did it "best." ;)

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Just back from a music conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Snapped band Sleddogs at Shannon's Irish Pub. These dudes are so sweet and hilarious; they really need to take a filmmaker on the road with them.

Also attending the show was Dave Erickson of the recently major label-signed (Clive Davis' J Records) band Inward Eye. So, being the naughty camera-totin' pixie that I am, I boldly snapped him and his lovely companion, after which we shook hands and I welcomed him to his first taste of paparazzi. Hee hee! It was hysterical.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Six New Feline Works

Completed some felines that have been on the easel for quite a while. I truly enjoyed working on them. These are pure single pigment acrylic impasto on Belgian Linen. Nice, buttery and luscious, I love working with it! The effect is like flowy watercolour meets glossy oils. Next, siamese on black velvet! Any takers? Hee hee hee!!

On iPod: Chet Atkins & Les Paul's "Chester & Lester"
In my teacup: Balvenie 12 yr old

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Fun at the legendary Horseshoe in Toronto with London band Stutter! That's Allan Mamaril from Canadian Music Network at left, and second from right is brilliant mixer / engineer Rich Chycki. Stutter's live show is quite pleasing. ;-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Latest Commission

I truly enjoyed the challenge of this commission: there were so many subjects to render; eleven felines! She emailed me numerous photos to work from, plus I asked for descriptions of each cat’s character, and who they liked to hang with and who they didn’t, so I could come up with a composition that paid tribute to each furkid's special uniqueness.

The title is “Purrfect Moonlight"; it is watercolour, pure pigment, and gold leaf on deliciously heavy and textured Arches 300lb 20” x 30” (full sheet). (It's difficult to capture in a jpg how it glows)

Various stages during the process of its creation are here: (LOTS of images!)

Part 1

Part 2

Major thank yous to Elizabeth and Jack for such a thoroughly satisfying and enchanting project!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Heads up - The Raveonettes had their gear swiped. GRRRRRRRR...

We are completely devastated. Our gear was stolen on Friday Oct. 7 in Brooklyn, NYC. So much has been lost, but these 4 listed underneath are truly the things that matter to us... like Wagner's Jazzmaster from 1961 that he has lived & travelled with, played & written on for the past 12 years. And Sharin's beloved Gretsch from 1965. If you see or hear anything about these 2 guitars and 2 basses please email us immediately on info@theraveonettesDOTcom and you will be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams.

Yours, Sharin & Sune

• Gretsch
Chet Atkins 6120 1965 Guitar Orange V89V391

• Fender Jazzmaster Guitar, Sunburst 55820

• Fender Precission 1974 Bassguitar L. Tan 317392

• Rickenbacker 4001 1974 Bassguitar OK 7546


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Even More Sedona

Gallery hop: Loved all the gorgeous raku pots I saw in the galleries. Some extremely creative jewelry and glass work, too. I coveted a particular glass jellyfish very much. The painting scene was mainly limited to imitative photorealism in oil; (ubiquitous renderings of Cathedral Rock, women grinding corn, chief on horseback in full regalia, vaguely homoerotic cowboys, etc.)

At Sedona Art Center, however, I found the art in the galleries to be more varied. There’s even a huge live Plein Air Festival later this month – wish I could have participated. Met a neat fibre artist named Barbara who was volunteering at reception that afternoon.

Foodwise, Sedona is really mixed – everything from Indian to Sushi – and certainly lots of Mexican, which is what I go for.

An order of cactus pads at Oaxaca was a novelty! They are rather like okra in texture, (think the Alien movies, with the stringy goo) and taste like they might have peyote in them. The shpines were removed.

Monday, October 10, 2005

More Sedona

Dramatic spires tell time by the millenium. There is life in the rocks – microscopic blue-green algae, in a tiny cosmic balance: little wonder that mythologies develop around this sort of geological phenomena. There are areas where it is strictly forbidden to climb on the rocks, as it will upset the ecological balance of this living “crust.”

Word of the day = Grounded: No way could you ever be concerned about trivial matters when confronted with ancient rocks like these... they were there before you and shall remain there, passively, long after you are gone.

Not to be missed: the Chapel of the Holy Cross, built by Marguerite Staude, a sculptor and Frank Lloyd Wright fan, in 1956. Nestled high in the red rocks, its architecture is mid-century modern perfect. I was incredibly motivated to sketch there. A very special spot not to be missed, regardless of your faith.

Rosy mesas, canyons, striations, jaw dropping sunsets... At one point, I sighed, “That sky is so incredible, yet if I were to paint it thusly, no one will be believe it was really that way!”


Ahhh Sedona... I was first there 23 years ago – man, has it ever grown! But the red rocks are the same. Just remember to look up, not across at the strip mall selling trinkets and time shares. The vibe is more commercial, but head out off the beaten track as I did and you’ll be rewarded.

Coconino National Forest and its spectacular views:
Stare at these vistas long enough and you start to see things...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Sun Lakes, Arizona

I'm working in Sun Lakes, Arizona - it is freaking hot!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

3rd Annual World Wide Paint Out

I am at Niagara Falls, participating in the 3rd Annual World Wide Paint Out. We had sunny weather both days; unlike last year, the mist from the Falls did not wreak too much havoc on my work (which turned out to be a good thing anyway!) After Day One of painting, most of us gathered for a lively pizza party at J. Baldini's cool studio space. Meeting new and seeing old faces from last year was such a kick! On Saturday, a plethora of fine work in various mediums was exhibited at Tu Tu Tango, a lively, colourful space, comprised of a café and bar, with local fine art for sale on every inch of wall. WWPO works were displayed on easels for judging and public viewing. The wonderful staff kept us fed and watered - hors d'oeuvres were delicious.

It was a delight to be there with so many other plein air artists; I personally found the calibre of the soft pastel work shown was second to none. Absolutely breathtaking! We were a raucous group of artists indeed, and cheered the winners on with loud glee! Daniel Reed gave a spirited speech representing the IPAP Regional Ambassadors. Canadian Regional Editor for Plein Air Magazine John Stuart Price also spoke. A 50/50 draw was held to benefit those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

I wish I had had more time to talk to everyone, Shawn Dell Joyce in particular. It was great seeing Jerry Markham and his wife Leah again - he and I are planning to paint snowscapes next January in the Canadian Rockies when I am out there next. Looking forward to it!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Emily Carr's Surprise

I've been painting down by the lake in my funky little 60s trailer, I bring Gorjuss with me and she snuffles around ecstatically while I work. I'm really getting into the trees and shadows. Emily Carr's autobiography also keeps me company - to be read while my washes are drying. In the book, I was delighted to see a faded photo of her working in a dumpy old trailer like mine! She has a monkey on her shoulder and a shit-eating grin. Hey! I have a deershit-eating white shepherd. ;-)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Campfires and Blue Cats

July 28, 2005 (Happy Birthday, Dad!)

I've been working on 3 commissions and a demo. Looking forward to painting outdoors again once the humidity is gone.

I've been hanging out down by the lake, too. Nothing like a campfire, stars, and a bottle of red Zinfandel to make you content.

on my iTunes as
I type: a Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys anthology!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Canada Day

It is a holiday here at Single Malt Cove. Today, my adopted country turns 138 years old.

Since 1868 in Canada, July 1st has been known as Dominion or Canada Day. We celebrate with a day off for all, eat, drink, party throw concerts, and barbecue, and giggle about some of our countries achievements. Did you know a Canadian invented/discovered insulin, basketball, zippers, garbage bags, Superman, chocolate bars with nuts, the electric light bulb, and the push-up bra? Alexander Graham Bell, a Scot, invented the telephone while living in Canada. (I wish it had never been invented, but oh well LOL.)

I don't often get patriotic, but today I feel a little extra proud to be a Canuck because we have at long last decided not to legislate love. This week, my country made it lawful for gays and lesbians to marry, across the country. This means in every province they can enjoy the rights, satisfactions, and responsibilities of modern marriage, and also receive the benefits of such a legal union, such as spousal health care, pensions, and finally being considered a family member and be permitted in the hospital room if one's partner is dying. We are the third country in the world to allow this, after Belgium and The Netherlands. Spain became the fourth country just yesterday.

Same gender marriages hurt no one. And it is good for the economy. :-)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Thinking of Paula

June 27, 2005 (Happy Birthday, Grandma!)

Been busy writing to my incredibly brave friend P in Italy, the one enduring the bone marrow transplant this week. She finishes her chemo pre-treatments today. Keep your good vibes coming for her, I am grateful!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

North By Northeast

It;'s that time again, the "snakepit of excitement" that is NXNE.Had a great ol time at the EMI rooftop party, where Bobby snapped me with Canadian Idol Kalan Porter for my dear friend Heather, who is nuts about him - hee hee hee! (Hi Head!)

It was damn hot up there. I kept pouring bottled ice water on my head and then shaking like a wet dog, to the delight of Beau Randall. Hi Bo'!

Like my hilarious dress? It's so Wilma Flintstone. It is actually a circa 1981 Guy Laroche sarong from France, with a slit up to there. Font font font, eh?! Collecting and wearing vintage clothing is a passion of mine. Just found a new place to shop, too - Hooked On Vintage. Check it out!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Vermont / Aimee Mann

I am in Vermont on a painting trip! (see allaprima for the results.)

OMG I'm moving to Vermont. (just kidding) but seriously, I adore it there. Overnighted  in Burlington and felt so at home. Everyone was so NICE and interesting! No chain stores! No hideous WalMart!! Every shop is a bike shop or cool sports store or art supply place - dogs welcome everywhere. Restaurants, oh the FOOOD... Gorged myself on Mexican and beer at a waterfront cafe. They made me some REAL, AUTHENTIC lime-marinated ceviche! Gaaa!!

Then there's the countryside. I painted my heart out for one afternoon in the Champlain Islands. Lots of neat bogs and strange plant life. I wanted to paint in the mountains, however, it was drizzling there, and that doesn't bode well for watercolours unless you are painting Niagara Falls and you WANT the happy accidents that the mist in the air produces!

I am going back there as soon as I can, bringing my bike and my white shepherd, Gorjuss, too. The Windjammer Inn and Conference Center encourages guests to bring their dogs. They have 52 acres of dog walking trails on the land. Wowowowowow!!!

On Sunday night, snapped Aimee Mann at South Burlington's Higher Ground. This is a fabulous venue - if you get a chance, see a show or 3 there. They pour heavy if you order a nice Scotch. ;-))) I can also highly recommend the friendly take-out pizza stand at Marco's (? I'll have to check the name) a couple doors down.

I have seen Aimee before, but this was the first time I truly connected with her work at a live performance. It was magical, honest, personal and unhurried, and she was in a pretty good mood, able to laugh with the audience about having lost her luggage earlier that day. I think she felt pretty comfortable in Burlington, and the audience was very appreciative.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Raveonettes

In Montreal at the Fairmont Queen-E for various work-related activity. Quebec is a whole 'nother world, with wonderful old buildings, amazing culture, and real CROISSANTS!!! But the best part was tonight's Cafe Campus show, with my favourite band in thewholewideworld, The Raveonettes. They were incredible, and I was, as always when I see them, a very happy Pinkie. Snapped a few shots. Afterwards, it was Jagermeisters for all, single malt for yours truly, (and a lime wedgie for the bassist...) and a hang-out at the Copacabana on St. Laurent. These are really nice, super talented people, please support them. Sharon is a very cool, stylin' kitten, (check the shoes!), Jakob is a sweetheart, and Sune is a freaking genius, drawing on musical elements that are legendary riff and vocal-wise, combining them with his own brilliance, and making em even better. I know, it sounds like I am gushing, but I really am a fan, even with all the music in my daily life - these cats stand out.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Tegan and Sara

Yeah!!! Tonight it was Tegan & Sara with The Killers. T & S were fabulous, their voices in top shape. "So Jealous" should have been recorded live that day, it was that good. Backstage was a scene, complete with cute, sweaty boys in make-up carrying teddie bears. Don't ask.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


My friend Rafael Alfandary has passed away after a long battle with bone cancer, and I am off to the wake this afternoon in Toronto. Raf is the person who made all that big, artsy "Rafael Canada" jewelry that I have collected since the 1980s. Those who know me may recall the huge rings and dramatic chokers, and the wild clocks in my home. I will wear some today, too. A special piece - a huuuge sterling silver ankh from the 60s, that he re-signed for me in 2000.

We became fast friends when he contaced me out of the blue a few years ago after having seen my little ol web site devoted to his art. He had just arrived in Toronto after having lived in an ashram in India for many years, out of the public eye. After having designed jewelry for countless celebrities in the 60s and 70s (Liberace, Liz Taylor, Maggie Trudeau, etc.,) no one knew where he was or if he was even still living! I had tried to find out info about him for years
and NOTHING! Imagine my shock at having received an email from him, very excited and ALL CAPS... he had just discovered the net, a technology he was soon to embrace with gusto.

His wife Eriko is also a jewelry artist, and a lovely, kind person. You wouldn't believe what a good cook she is, too. Can whip up Japanese delicacies with her eyes closed. Every trip to their home was an incredible adventure in culinary delights. I feel so sad for her, as she and Raf were bonded at the soul. I plan to invite her up here to SMC if she needs a getaway.

He was a real character, brilliant and extroverted. Being in the room with him was like being in the presence of Picasso, with similar masculine enthusiasm and passion for life, business, and art, but with less misogyny. He'll be missed.

Fly high, Raf!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Leon Russell

April 22, 2005 (Happy Birthday, Jill!) Saw legendary songwriter Leon Russell at a beautifully restored theatre in Belleville tonight. There he was, all charismatic and mysterious behind his shades and flowing white hair. He is a male Rapunzel; that hair is something else. His band was terrific, and his gorgeous daughter Sugaree sang and played percussion.

Listening as I type to: Leon's twangy easygoin' version of "Wild Horses." Yanno, if you ever hear a country record by Hank Wilson, well that is really Leon. :-)

Sunday, March 20, 2005


Vernal Equinox. Snow is melting. I love winter, but am freaking ready to see a crocus bloom, as my friend Holly says.

Been perusing the seed and bulb catalogues, too. I wonder what is already out there in my yard? No idea as I came here in late autumn. Hopefully tiger lilies! I do know there is a hedge of purple lilacs. Can't wait to get out there and paint that!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Canadian Music Week

Just back from Canadian Music Week 2005, a conference that I look forward to every year, extroverted schmoozer that I am. Unfortunately I got very ill and spent most of it watching the ceiling spin in my lovely room at the top of the Fairmont Royal York, and lovingly tweaking my iTunes library while listening to others' music on their computers via the hotel ethernet. So cool. It is interesting to see what folks have on their playlists. One obvious Dad had a whole section of Barney songs for kids beside his folder of Slayer tunes. I didn't listen to those, but to ones in his library I had never heard of; a novel way to discover new ear candy. Thank you, unknown hotel dj, and thank you, Steve Jobs!!

However ill, I did get to snap Manitoba's Driver on the Friday night, and talented BC singer/songwriterChristineEvans on Monday at her First Canadian Place show. Chris is so sweet and genuine!

Also took a series of pics of Erin and her charming bandmates in A Girl Called Eddy. I really connected with their live show. Considering the music-heavy weekend it followed, 'was great to see a good turnout at her Soundscapes in-store and Horseshoe concert.

I really regret not being able to see Japan's Guitar Wolf on the Saturday, and I missed Limblifter, too. *sulk*

Arun of Driver is gonna be a huge star. He has charisma charisma charisma!

Monday, February 28, 2005


E's painting is finished! Off to the gallery for framing it goes.

On iTunes: The wonderful Ditty Bops. Tegan Quin introduced us to them, what a gorgeous sounding band.

Sunday, February 27, 2005


Here I am, spoiled brat Birthday Girl with "Happy Birthday Kitten" cake, and a wand and tiara compliments of Paul & Matt. To my left is one of our dear friends John Punter, who showed up for a surprise brunch thrown by Bobby at the Waring House. I am so lucky!

Wicked birthday. :-)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Working on Elizabeth D.'s painting, commissioned by her friend Claire. I have the most wicked new brush to try... a Davinci Maestro Number 18 from Germany! ***Homer Simpson drool***

:-) Sorry, no links yet... she has to be surprised!

On iPod: Tom Verlaine "Storm", into "Mockingbirds" by Grant Lee Buffalo, and some Madviolet is in the mix. I snapped them last week at the Mod Club, wth Ember Swift. Grrrrrreat bands, interesting, talented people! Brenley and Lisa are off to Australia to tour and record (and surf) for several weeks. Wheeee!!

Friday, February 04, 2005


I now have flamingo pink hair, thanks to Stephen! (Don't let the fancy schmancy web site fool you, he is pretty damn down to earth. Who designs this stuff?)

Early birthday present. This should be fun. Hee hee hee...

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

New Works Up

New work from Lake Louise is up at

Now playing on my iTunes as I type: Devo "Snowball", segueing into Tegan & Sara "City Girl"

In my glass: Carmen 2002 Reserve (Chilean Cab)

Monday, January 24, 2005

Blue Canadian Rockieees

Snowshoeing on my mind. Wistful song in my head is Wilf Carter's Blue Canadian Rockies. Busy documenting the works I completed at Lake Louise, they'll be online soon. Wishing I had picked up the arc'teryx softshell at Monod's. Rats! Like someone else I know, ;-) I do worship at the shrine of arc'teryx. It is timeless and lasts forever. Made in Canada. And paint splotches look good on it.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Live at Lake Louise!

Just returned from a trip to Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada to snowshoe and paint en plein air winterscapes for a week.

Dear to my heart, Lake Louise is where I had my epiphany to become a full time painter. After having ecstatically snowshoed my way to 7000 feet to reach the Lady Agnes MacDonald Tea House, (which was closed for the winter,) and its exquisite moraine lake, I have been back to my beloved, magical mountains every January for the past three years. Encouraged safely onward by our trusted guides, naturalist Bruce Bembridge and author Wendy Bush, my companion Paula and I, sometimes gasping from hypoxia! have seen, felt, tasted, smelled and listened to much of what the area has to offer. Some of the activities we enjoyed were organized by the fabulous Charlene Prickett, who along with the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, offers a Winter High Adventure package that is awesome. Charlene maintains an online Gallery where my photographic work from past adventures can be seen.