Colour in movement…

I’m excited. My director of my one woman show Dusty Shoes, Dean Fogal, is having an art show in Vancouver during the first weekend in May (see below).

Dean’s work is full of colour, movement, symbols and is obviously inspired by his skills as a physical theatre professional. Unusual is his medium of felt, paper, and paint. Dive down into caves, walk through forests, fly with birds, let go of expectations, float with landscapes, dance with myths, kiss in a rowboat, run from a bus, worship some shadows… These are just a few of the places you will go when strolling past pieces created by Dean.


I would like to… Continue reading “Colour in movement…”

“Assassinating Thomson”… A Mystery in Canadian Art

“Assassinating Thomson” written and performed by Bruce Horak of Monster Theatre, currently playing at The Firehall Arts Centre until October 19 also performed at the 2013 Edmonton Fringe Festival. Being too busy with my own show, I missed it.

Thank you so much to the Firehall Arts Centre for giving me a second chance to see legally blind painter, actor, playwright, Bruce Horak perform “Assassinating Thomson”, directed by acclaimed Ryan Gladstone.

Because my best buddy, my Dad, Barry Jeeves, is also a painter, and also has a disability I figured I would fall in love with “Assassinating Thomson”. I was hoping I would. Especially now with my Dad’s illness getting worse, and him not being able to paint.  

I did.

What did I love? … Continue reading ““Assassinating Thomson”… A Mystery in Canadian Art”

Trench Gallery Opening…Nicholas Galanin- New Culture

Last week I attended the gallery opening, “New Culture” the works of Nicholas Galanin. Having spoken to Craig Sibley, Trench Gallery owner, prior, I knew something unique was awaiting.

Gallery owner, Craig Sibley with artist Nicholas Galanin
Gallery owner, Craig Sibley with artist Nicholas Galanin

My purpose here is not to critique the work but to give you a taste so you will want to explore the work yourself. There are surprises. Some are disturbing, others, whimsical and impressive.

This exhibition is emerging Trench Gallery’s fourth, and builds on its mission to “present challenging, meaningful, tactile work created with a deep understanding of contemporary art practice”. My hope is that you might get curious enough to meander down to Gastown, where the gallery resides, and witness a creative mix of the traditional and the contemporary.

"Knowledge" - 1400 pages, test from "Under Mt. Saint Elias"
"Knowledge" - 1400 pages, test from "Under Mt. Saint Elias"

The Artist Statement

“I work with concepts, the medium follows. In the business of this “Indian Art World” I have become impatient with the institutional prescription and it’s monolithic attempt to define culture as it unfolds. Native American Art will not be commonly defined as our work moves freely through time. The viewer, collector, or curator’s definition often conveys more about themselves than that of the “Native Artist”.”

“In the past I have struggled with this title, though, now I embrace my position as a contemporary indigenous artist with belief that some forms of resistance often carry equal amounts of persistence. My current collection of work presents visual experiences in hope of inspiring creative dialogue with the viewer. I work with an intention to contribute towards contemporary cultural development. Through education and creative risk taking I hope to progress cultural awareness.”

Ceramic, Hair masks - S,igeika,awu (Ghost Series)
Ceramic, Hair masks - S,igeika,awu (Ghost Series)
Imaginary Indian Series: Non native native art, wood, grass, acrylic, paint, wallpaper
Imaginary Indian Series: Non native native art, wood, grass, acrylic, paint, wallpaper

This is Trench Gallery’s fourth exhibition, and if they are all as exciting as this, I will be in full attendance!

Visit Craig Sibley at 102-148 Alexander Street, Gastown, Vancouver. Exhibit goes to April 9, 2011.

For more information: 604-681-2577

The Trench Gallery on facebook

A Previous Exhibit at the Trench Gallery


Cafés and Art….

I love going to cafés and sipping on a plain ‘ole black coffee, or a soy latte, or, my latest discovery, a soy misto (similar to a latte with the  strong Americano taste of coffee). These warm moments are superbly enhanced by good company, and engaging, stimulating conversation. A good book can be a lovely companion as well… or, even a pen and journal.

Cozy times in Dunderave

Environment is key, though, and some cafes have it, and some… don’t.

What makes a good “hang out”? Well… I guess it depends on your mood, but usually I love a place that offers comfy chairs, good intimate lighting, and some great art on the walls.

Ah… yes… great art. Again, some cafés have it, and some….don’t.

My favourite Sunday café, Cafe Dream (currently in the middle of a name change) in Dunderave, West Vancouver is home to all of the above.

Sean Choi, the owner, used to be a sushi chef and wondered how the role of barista could relate, but after too many Tim Horton coffees, he wanted to embrace the finer world of fresh organic coffee. He has done this well by exchanging his love of  sushi details to the fine art of coffee.

And… he loves art, paintings.

Cafe Dream, in a prior life, launched the artistic career of a good friend of mine, Tom Carter, and soon it will be exposing another artist friend (details later). At present the walls are full with mature, beautiful works of an impressionistic style by Barbara Nirman.

Sean has created a warm atmosphere with classical music that supports both the art of coffee and the art of paintings. A complimentary mix!

Cafe Dream invites you...

If you would like to visit Cafe Dream,  look for the sign that currently says Ariel’s Tea & Coffee, 2436 Marine Drive, Dunderave in West Vancouver. It is open Monday thru Friday 7am to 6pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 6pm

Cafe Dream is in the midst of becoming online friendly and will have a website soon.  In the meantime, follow Cafe Dream on twitter:

“Melanie Made Me Do It”…

I come from an artistic family. I grew up surrounded by pottery and paintings by my father, and fibre artistic works (weaving, knitting, needlework, quilting & more) by my mother. They were always making things. Our cupboards were filled with pottery.  Our floors covered with woven and hooked rugs. I wore handmade sweaters, hats, and scarves, and funky leg warmers (still have them).

Eventually we moved from Banff to Prince Edward Island where my family purchased land, built a house, and made our own shop, which resulted in me learning the world of sales early in life.

I also puttered, dabbled in my parent’s art. I would draw, make pinch pots, slab boxes, pendants, and I would help put on Mom’s warps and sand the bottoms of Dad’s pottery so it was smooth to touch. I tried knitting, but was abysmal. When it came to craft fair time, I would help load & unload the van, and watch my mother skillfully display their work. These observations served me well later in years!

My Dad taught as well. When he taught his drawing and painting classes I would sometimes sit in and partake. I would overhear some of his instruction and try to apply it. I liked it. I would get frustrated, but mostly I liked it. But I preferred drawing so I would do that more frequently by myself.

Free Standing Stone Sculpture
Free Standing Stone Sculpture

But… it’s funny.

My parents were always the artists in my mind. I wasn’t an artist. I didn’t feel I could own that title. They were very good at what they did, and I admired their singled passions.

Finally, years later, I thought I had discovered a similar passion in acting. And, yes… it most certainly is a passion but I still felt I also wanted something where I didn’t need an audience or a team. Writing, yes… a definite possibility, as I used to love doing that when I was a kid, too… And, when I show up to my blog, I am happy.


You know what?

Just last week, I dove back into the world of paint, encouraged by my painter friend, Melanie Kobayashi, and experienced a ripple of surprising excitement. Mel guided me into her studio, offered me paints, a massive piece of heavy paper, and ordered me to “load up your brush and don’t be scared!” I did what I was told, and soon was having a cathartic dance with the paint and canvas.

My inner critic showed up several times just to keep me humble and sweating. “Anyone can do that” “You’re cheating” “That’s doesn’t take talent” “Who do you think you are painting?” “Wow.. bad taste in colour”…I chased away it away many times.


I replaced my inner expulsions to “I’m just having fun”…. And some obscene chasing off remarks, similar to “buzz off”.

I succeeded in keeping going, and not succumbing to a perfectionist attitude. It was hard work in some ways, and on the other side it was deeply satisfying. And, because of the size of the work… oh, boy.. did my thighs ache the following days. But in the best way possible!

Would you like to see it? I hesitated to post my first attempt, my first abstract purge, but, what the heck!

It’s a wild one… I decided to call it “Mel Made Me Do It”….

Recent Abstract
Mel Made Me Do It! (5' x 40")


Detail of "Mel Made Me Do It"

Funny how one seemingly unrelated creative activity can open the doors to others. Some old plans for something have re-emerged since painting but… that’s for another time.

Where do you allow yourself to play, create, and open the channels?