This Mural is but a Whisper!

This Mural is but a Whisper!

My latest mural honouring visionary architect Phyllis Lambert, founder of Heritage Montreal (1975) and the Canadian Centre for Architecture, was unveiled at the corner of Jeanne-Mance and Milton in Milton Park, the heart of the historic district (Oct. 8, 2019).

Her role as an activist and her involvement in safeguarding Montreal’s architectural heritage motivates us all to be better than we are and give back to the community.

This work is part of a collection called ‘Montreal’s great artists.’

The mural, painted on the brick wall of a 19th-century building at the northeast corner of Jeanne-Mance and Milton Sts., draws from pencil sketches on paper of neighbourhood building facades drawn by Heritage Montreal policy director Dinu Bumbaru.

Near the top of the mural is a quotation by Lambert about what defines flourishing cites. Philippe Lupien, a professor of environmental architecture at the Université du Québec à Montréal, did the architectural lettering.

The mural was produced by MU, a charitable organization with a mission to beautify the city by creating mural art anchored in local communities. Speaking about my mural, Elizabeth-Ann Doyle, MU executive director and artistic director, said, “Everything from the choice of sketches to the paint, which has a slight metallic sheen and resembles the pencil lines of Bumbaru’s sketches. The delicate sketches look different at different times of the day, depending on the light. The mural’s size and scale respect the neighbourhood.”

I call it a “whisper”, it’s there, but not overpowering.

The mural honouring Lambert is the 21st in the MU Montreal Great Artists collection, which highlights contributions to the cultural scene of artists who are native to the city or who made it home. I am honoured to be part of this group.

The series, launched in 2010, includes the mural on Crescent St. that pays tribute to Leonard Cohen; one honouring Mordecai Richler on Laurier St. W., near St-Urbain St., where he grew up and set many of his novels; and murals honouring playwright Michel Tremblay and musicians Oscar Peterson, Daisy Peterson Sweeney and Oliver Jones.

https://www.lapresse.ca/arts/arts-visuels/201910/08/01-5244604-une-murale-de-mu-en-lhonneur-de-phyllis-lambert.php

https://montreal.citynews.ca/video/2019/10/08/mural-honouring-phyllis-lambert/

The Guardians

There is a belief in various cultures that cardinals are messengers from someone who has passed. It exists across many cultures and beliefs. Cardinals are often considered the doorway between our earthly world and the spirit world.

All I know is that when a cardinal suddenly appears, I get a feeling of peace and comfort that I cannot explain.

I have a strong connection to this particular painting, of a male and female cardinal, that I call “The Guardians”.

Cardinals give the aura of being strong, confident, self-assured and knowing who they are. Perhaps they also encourage us to slow down, get to know who we truly are and become strong. Cardinals mate for life. They do not migrate. When they have a family, they both care for their young.

If you are lucky enough to be visited by a cardinal, who has come to offer his blessing and his song, take the time to trust it, listen to it and enjoy its message. Feel gratitude for all your blessings and fall in love with who you are, with everything in your life.

The Love of Cats and Dogs

I was very happy to do 2 murals for Vétérinaire LaSalle. It’s where art, design and medicine live. Dr. Bourrellis is the visionary and sole owner of the clinic since 2016.

As if her workload was not big enough, she decided to realize her dream – combining her two passions, art and veterinary medicine.

When she visited a commercial space in Place LaSalle, it was an empty box of 5000 sq. ft. and a 22 ft. high ceiling. She saw a beautiful blank canvas for her project and the future clinic took shape.

Supported by a great team of architect, entrepreneur and foreman, her the ideas were realized. From the murals at reception and in the treatment room, the skylights, the project of recovering old negatoscopes into “portraits”, by way of the kennel space for cats and the indoor bathroom for dogs; Dr. Bourrellis was allowed to give way to creativity and to work with local artisans to promote art and offer you a space out of the ordinary.

Thank you Dr. Bourrellis for trusting me with your “kings” and to Melanie Pittarelli for giving me a shoutout.

Thank you also to Gord Onck for your handsome dog Riley! Thank you also to Suzanna Assaf for your handsome cat Kai!

 

Arctic Beauties

These two arctic beauties are part of a mini series completed for a special collector couple. Painting white birds on a white canvas was something I’ve always wanted to do…did it and want to do it again! Love.
Oils on canvas – 72” x 72”

My Mural @ The Port of Montreal

This is my latest mural.

I’m painting “5 stories up” at the Old Port of Montreal. I chose black-on-black & gold for this piece.

The Port of Montreal is a port and transhipment point on the St. Lawrence River. It’s an international container port that services Toronto, Central Canada, the U.S. Midwest and the U.S. Northeast. It handles more than 2,000 ships and over 28 million tones of material per year. Montreal also welcomes cruise ships.

The Port of Montreal originated in the historic area now known as the Old Port of Montreal and over the years expanded eastward.  In 1978, the Port of Montreal ceded the area of the Old Port to the Old Port Corporation, a public corporation responsible for developing tourism and recreational activities in the area. The site is now a cultural gem and a major tourist attraction. It has  museums, restaurants, shops and water-related activities.

Mad About It!

In the picture I am putting those final touches on my mural for MAD RADISH on Bank Street in the Glebe district of beautiful Ottawa.

Mad Radish is a new fast-casual salad concept, created by DAVIDsTEA founder David Segal. Serving chef-driven salads, soups and healthy snacks, they are bringing a new perspective to the salad category, emphasizing food that tastes as great as it makes you feel.

Their first two stores were opened in June 2017 in Ottawa, and they will be supporting them with community involvement, fun events and a donation partnership with Community Food Centres Canada.

I was glad to be part of it all. Thank You Mad Radishes.

Please visit their website, check out their menu, view more pictures of the mural and read the interview I did with them – https://www.madradish.com/blog/about-that-mural/

 

Working along side OMEN – Popsilos

Wicked opportunity to be along side OMEN, a great artist and friend, at the silo in Vankleek Hill ON – part of the Popsilos project 2017.

Murals will be painted on a series of silos in Prescott-Russell. A committee that includes representatives from the tourism industry, agricultural community, the St-Albert Cheese Co-operative, the United Counties of Prescott-Russell and Popsilos co-producers Activar and A’Shop, selected the 5 winning silos among 10. This project is being funded by a $150,000 Canada 150 grant.

OMEN was chosen to complete the silo at The Vankleek Hill Vineyard at 3725 County Road 12 in Vankleek Hill (Hawkesbury East). OMEN will be painting a mural themed “Diversity”.

Marty Kral, owner of the organic winery – Vankleek Hill Vineyard said, “I think Popsilos is very cool and I am happy to be a part of it. It is a wonderful opportunity to share art and culture with those who make up our community at large.”

Marty and Laurie Kral bought farmland in 1991. Their property is a natural habitat that invites eagles, hawks and all types of birds to call it their home. Being an organic winery, an important thing for Marty in creating an ecosystem is for it to create the perfect natural chain that keeps his crop of grapes free from predators. He has snakes and rats and such that are all part of it. He even planted milkweed, which fosters a habitat for the endangered Monarch butterfly species who eat it and who need it for laying their eggs. This milkweed is also a great for pollinators such as bees. Marty and Laurie have a bee yard to call their own and they make their own honey.

They’ve created an absolute oasis of relaxation at the vineyard where you can have a drink of wine outside on their terrace and discover local cheese. They grow colder climate grapes such as Frontenac (red), Frontenac gris (white) and Servengy (red) and do everything from crushing to bottling their organic wines in-house.

Since the late 90′s, OMEN has been blurring the boundaries between graffiti and street art with his singular style of painting, both on and off the streets. Using spray cans as his primary medium, he has been leading the aerosol movement towards a truce with the established art world.

OMEN’s style is immediately recognizable, often cast in stark black and white his murals and canvases have a haunted quality about them. His use of negative space and ephemeral but controlled lines allows one to enter his paintings in a way that few street artists offer their viewers.

OMEN says, “as long as I’m painting with aerosol I hope that I can inspire a younger generation of artists to use the medium to push artistic boundaries and express themselves.”

Sacred Geometry and Raw Pigments

This is a new direction for me.  My latest painting incorporate sacred geometry into a very organic and raw application of pigments.

Sacred geometry refers to the mathematics, patterns and relationships we find everywhere in nature and which we also find recreated in our places of worship, no matter what religion. It is associated with the belief that a god is the geometer of the world.

Sir James Jeans, the famous English physicist, put it succinctly when he said, “The Great Architect of the Universe appears to be a pure mathematician”. Therefore, the world is a veritable machine evolving as it should. Everything and everyone is part of it and has a role to play, a purpose.  Our goal in life is to find our purpose and execute on it.

 

Hommage à Morrisseau

This is my latest mural, an hommage to Norval Morrisseau.

It was produced by @mumtl for @mbamtl special thanks to our partners for making it happen – arrondissement de Ville Marie, Ville de Montréal, Destination Centre- Ville, le Musée des beaux arts de Montréal and to my lovely assistant @corinne_lachance.

MU is a charitable non-profit organization whose mandate is to transform Montreal’s public spaces by creating murals that are rooted in local communities. MU’s projects are designed to promote the democratization of art and local development. Over the past seven years, MU has produced 70 large-scale murals in 15 neighbourhoods of Montreal.

In order to revitalize this heavily vandalized sector, MU initiated the creation of murals on the theme of fine art that have a graffiti or “street art” aesthetic. I was asked to do the first intervention, a stylistically influenced by Norval Morisseau, an artist whose works are held in the Museum of Fine Arts’ permanent collection.

Norval Morrisseau (1932 – 2007) was an Aboriginal Canadian artist. The subjects of his art were the myths and traditions of the Anishnaabe people, the cultural and political tensions between native Canadian and European traditions, his existential struggles, and his deep spirituality and mysticism. His style is characterized by thick black outlines and bright colors.

During his incarceration, he attended a local church where he was struck by the beauty of the images on stained-glass windows. Some of his paintings, like Indian Jesus Christ, imitate that style and represent characters from the Bible with native features.

He was known as the “Picasso of the North”. He founded the Woodlands School of Canadian art and was a prominent member of the “Indian Group of Seven”.

At the age of 19, Morrisseau became very sick. He was taken to a doctor but his health kept deteriorating. Fearing for his life, his mother called a medicine-woman who performed a renaming ceremony: She gave him the new name Copper Thunderbird.

According to Anishnaabe tradition, giving a powerful name to a dying person can give them new energy and save their lives. Morrisseau recovered after the ceremony and from then on always signed his works with his new name using Cree syllabics.