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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 Japanese Call it Forest Bathing

The Japanese practice something called forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku. Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses.

This is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.

According to Dr. Qing Li, author of Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness, a “two-hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you. Numerous studies I’ve conducted have shown that shinrin-yoku has real health benefits.

I have been doing a lot of sky gazing lately, more than usual. I’ve always thought that if emotion were to be painted, it would be in the form of a sky.

The colors, the clouds and all that space in between evokes so much feeling in me. Nature is perfect, it doesn’t question, it doesn’t consider, it simply is.

I am my happiest when I am surrounded by nature. It is my sacred place.

Seascape I, 2019
20” x 20”
Oil on canvas

 

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!

 

A Cardinal on Rue Masson

This gorgeous red cardinal is seen all over our Canadian landscape, from the countryside to the urban playgrounds in our cities. I chose this particular bird because of what it represents – according to Spiritual Astrology, Tarot & Metaphysical Studies, the Cardinal represents renewed vitality and the recognition of self-importance.

Another element to my design is the flowers. All flowers have meanings associated with them and are a part of the most important occasions in our lives. They are conspicuously present on birthdays, funerals, graduation, weddings, etc. forming an integral part of our lives. Some flowers have religious significance too. In this case, the flowers I chose pertain to the spirit of Rue Masson – The Daffodil symbolizes regard and chivalry. It is indicative of rebirth, new beginnings and eternal life. A bunch of daffodils indicate joy and happiness. The Iris symbolizes eloquence and is symbolic of wisdom, faith and hope.

All these elements are framed and gathered while not restrained within a triangle. The design of a triangle is meant to guide your eye from left to right and upward. In a more spiritual significance, the triangle here is a symbol of strength and courage, elevating you, sending you upward toward the sky – rising above all!

My Last Painting in Florida ’18

Finished my last painting here in Florida (Feb. 2018).

I took many trips to the east cost driving through the Everglades – the flat landscape and massive open skies that surround you inspire me. Anyone who has taken that drive with me will tell you how I’m constantly being taken away by the birds and skies there.

This painting is something I hope will take you there- visually at least!

My first painting of 2018.

My first painting this year – Black & Gold II, 2018

Also, the first of many in a small collection I’ll be doing for Judith Liegeois Designs in Naples. Florida.

I am beyond happy to be showing with her. I encourage everyone to visit her website at http://www.judithliegeoisdesigns.com and if you are in Naples, Florida, please drop in and visit her gallery. You’ll love it!

 

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”

Wow. I’m in British Vogue Magazine.

This is HUGE!! VOGUE reached out to me for a feature on their Gallery Profile page in the October issue.

I am ecstatic over this…to be noticed by such a high profile magazine such as VOGUE has truly exceeded my wildest expectations. WOW!

My art is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m sure happy it’s theirs!! Straight up EPIC. Thank you British Vogue for this fabulous opportunity.