Monday, April 17, 2017


Hamilton’s self-declared dubpoet laureate, Klyde Broox, has invited local poets - of all shapes and sizes - to declare their love of place with an innovative poetry smash - ODE TO MY POSTAL CODE.

I've contributed - insisting that Klyde 'stand and deliver'.  Here's a sample of Klyde's work, and my own submitted piece, about my studio place on Hamilton's beach strip:  L8H 6Y5. 

c. L8H 6Y5 Poem by M.L.Holton, (2017)

Spoken Word Dub Fest 
Hamilton Public Library 
55 York Blvd, downtown Hamilton
Happening: Friday, APRIL 28th, 2-4pm 

By the way, if swinging by, give a listen too, to my sesquicentennial tribute, CANADADA: TAKE TWO
Double the trouble - spoken word AND music! ;)

Plus, check out other MLH published poetry via the great Canpoetry website, hosted by the University of Toronto. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Artist in their Studios: HAL, Spring, 2017

Cover of HAL, Spring, 2017
Delighted to discover that many local Golden Horseshoe artists, myself included, have been included in the latest issue of HAL: Hamilton Arts & Letters on-line magazine, in one of the photographic features, Portfolio II: Artists in their Studios by gifted Hamilton-based photographer, Jeff Tessier.

I was shot by Jeff mid-summer of 2015, on a very hot & humid day, in my lakeside studio on the Hamilton Beach Strip, on Lake Ontario. Not the most flattering portrait, but hey, as an image of an artist ''at work and play" it does dove-tail perfectly into the issue theme:  

- PLAY: Life as a Work of Art ... 

This issue is chock-o-block with tantalizing riffs on the above topic: including incisive reviews, of prose & poetry - as well as new poetry, fascinating video content and new photography by established and emerging personalities. Wonderful to read - and navigate - on-line. Check it out!

Margaret Lindsay Holton in her studio, Hamilton, 2015 by Jeff Tessier.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

TIME WARP - Spring 2017 Exhibit by Margaret Lindsay Holton

Please join me, in the evening, 7-8pm, during Hamilton's April Art Crawl - Friday, April 14th.
Exhibit will be up starting from April 11th & runs until May 7th. 4pm.
A selection of pinhole photography, (with one large photo-collage thrown in ... ) 

M.L.Holton with one of her hand-made pinhole cameras. Photo Credit: M. Sui. 

Showing in the Defacto Gallery, at the famed  
- Mulberry Street Coffee House-
193 James Street North,  
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Swing in for a peek & brew!  

Samples of pinhole cameras made by M.L.Holton, Canada. - Photo Credit: M.L.Holton
Learn more about pinhole photography HERE

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Fame & Infamy, Part 1. The Life & Art Career of M.L.Holton

.... Well, that's kind of nice. I have been nominated for the City of Burlington's 2016 'Arts Person of the Year' award.

(Burlington is situated on the western end of Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes, nestled in the Province of Ontario, in the amazing country of Canada.)

I don't stand a chance - there's such other great talent on deck. Still, it is very flattering to be considered.

Equally as flattering is to be listed as a 'Famous Person' from Burlington.

In the main, an artist's life, no matter where they are situated, is one of DOING. The rest - payment, recognition, accolades - is pure gravy. I have been at it for quite some time now, so again, it IS gratifying to finally be 'seen' by the larger non-arts community.

Next up for me is a pinhole photography show in the Defacto Gallery, at the Mulberry Street Coffee House in Hamilton. It's going up April 10th and will be there until May 7th. Entitled: TIME WARP , I'll be posting more on that shortly ...

Up UP and AWAY!
p.s. They are missing an art type in the above chart 
'naive-surreal-folk-abstractionism-by-canajun-M.L.Holton'  - wink, wink.
Colombine in the Back Field, by M.L.Holton

'Bush Chord', new choral work, by Canadian composer, Tobin Stokes, based on poem by Canadian artist, M.L.Holton

Excited to announce the official premiere of the new choral work based on one of my poems, 'Bush Chord', by Canadian composer, Tobin Stokes, commissioned by Vox Humana Chamber Choir, from British Columbia, Canada.

Happening June 2nd, 2017 (Ticket info below.)

What was the inspiration behind "the national anthems?" 

From the program notes, by Vox Humana Chamber Choir's musical director, David Lang: 

"Every country has a history – how it came to be, how its wars were won or lost, how strong its people are, or how proud, or how sad. We group ourselves into nations, but it has never really been clear to me what that means, or what we get out of it. Are we grouped together because we believe something together and are proud of associating with others who believe the same way? 

 Or are we grouped together because our ancestors found themselves pushed onto a piece of land by people who didn’t want them on theirs? It seems that all nations have some bright periods and some dark periods in their past. 

Building a national myth out of our bright memories probably creates a different character than if we build one out of the dark.
I had the idea that if I looked carefully at every national anthem I might be able to identify something that everyone in the world could agree on. If I could take just one hopeful sentence from the national anthem of every nation in the world I might be able to make a kind of meta-anthem of the things that we all share. I started combing through the anthems, pulling out from each the sentence that seemed to me the most committed. What I found, to my shock and surprise, was that within almost every anthem is a bloody, war-like, tragic core, in which we cover up our deep fears of losing our freedoms with waves of aggression and bravado.

At first I didn’t know what to do with this text. I didn’t want to make a piece that was aggressive, or angry, or ironic. Instead, I read and re-read the meta-anthem I had made until another thought became clear to me.

Hiding in every national anthem is the recognition that we are insecure about our freedoms, that freedom is fragile, and delicate, and easy to lose. Maybe an anthem is a memory informing a kind of prayer, a heartfelt plea: 'There was a time when we were forced to live in chains. Please don’t make us live in chains again.' " - David Lang.

Am super excited to see what Tobin Stokes will create with my poem - 


pine poplar willow and punk wood
spit and spark
while bone hard elm birch apple and oak
hum harmonious
fine hard woods - good wood to burn
these wonder instruments pressure whistle
chattering, cheering, cackling
crackling within a hesitant cyclone of light
flickering flames
of sublime delight, warming slow, they give us life

parse this minor miracle of mega bio-physics
of holy fire drawn down
from primal sun
through leaves to rugged root shoots far flung
look here now
to this instant, brilliant burn
an intense unrehearsed liquid fire
a sound symphony of sun struck lyres
complete and sacred
a rare but common gift

the honey musk smell of jumbled bush wood
burns deep into primal memory
     (remember those crisp sun-filled fall days
     of cutting, gathering, splitting, stacking,
     carrying, piling, drying, and cursing
     those back breaking loads?)

to get to this
this calm clear moment

to these bush chords
Have seen the preliminary score, but cant wait to HEAR it!
If in British Columbia in June, please do drop in for a unique choral experience! 

**Read more MLH poetry on excellent Canpoetry website**
(hosted by University of Toronto.)

p.s. NICE to be included in such august company!  
...  Margaret Atwood opera, another project by Stokes from three years ago  ... :) 

UPDATE. APRIL 4th, 2017: Just received the first draft of the score for this work ... WOW. 
Samples below ... 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Thunderbird by Canadian Painter, M.L.Holton

... Exploration & experimentation are main-stays of what I do as an artist  ...  Trying new things, especially when painting, means exploring new tools and the unknown to investigate a medley of thoughts and feelings. This particular effort is a bit crude, but, to my eye, it has huge potential. ... Starting with a ruby red undercoat, then applying a layer of metallic paint, then dabbing on coloured dots with the back-end of a paintbrush to outline a suggestive bird-in-flight, then letting strong LIGHT play all over the surface, well, wow, YES, I am liking it. Cumulatively, it creates for me a compelling & evocative untold story: one of quiet power, strength, ephemera, that whispers of Time, both ancient & modern. - All of it inspires me to reach higher, pursue farther, get further ... enjoy.

Thunderbird, composite,  by Canadian artist, M.L.Holton
If interested in purchase, kindly contact the artist direclty for size & price. Currently, it is unframed.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

SPRING-A-LING! on Lake Ontario, by M.L.Holton

... the weather is erratic these days, to be sure, BUT there is solid warmth in that Sun now, even if the temperature is still hovering below freezing ... Courage Comrades! It's a comin'!!!
Lake Ontario Beach Strip by M.LHolton
UPDATE, April 2nd: Amazing what difference 10 days can make ... It's LOVELY out now. But there is still a whiff of winter weather in the air ... In the meantime, ENJOYing this SUN!

Snow Fence on the Beach by M.L.Holton
Natural Sculpture on the Lake Front by M.L.Holton

Lunar Beach, Photo by M.L.Holton
Lake Ontario, Photo by M.L.Holton
Snow Fence 2*, Photo Credit: M.L.Holton
*The temptation with this final shot was to 'blow it out' as much as possible to force a high-contrast with the stark shadows. I've done some of that here, but I think it could be cranked up a bit more ...and might, in the end, be better, in colour. See below ...

Snow Fence 2B. Photo Credit: MLHolton

Saturday, February 25, 2017

CANADADA: TAKE TWO - CD Album, Spoken Word & Garageband Antics by Canadian Artist, M.L.Holton

Canadian Artist, MLHolton - Spoken Word & Garageband Antics

35 Tracks of Potent MLH Poetry fused with her Electropop Jive!
Yup, 65 minutes of SERIOUS FUN!

 Limited Sesqui-Centennial Release - ONLY 75 Copies! 

(You can pick up a copy over there too. And even become a VIP member!)  

RELEASED NOON, March 15th, 2017.

UPDATE: April 2nd, 2017 - "A rich musical adventure" that 'tickles' the ear"! - 
Super Review of the musical aspects of the CD,
 via Glen Brown, Founder & Editor of Greater Hamilton Musician

The LAST FIVE YEARS: New Paintings by M.L.Holton - BOOK

Please to announce the release of a new book publication: 
The LAST FIVE YEARS: New Paintings, by Canadian Artist, M.L.Holton
Double page spread sample 1.
Double page spread sample 2.
 The LAST FIVE YEARS: New Paintings 
by Canadian Artist, M.L.Holton
Just under 100 new images, in a lovely 9x11 hardcover book. 
Published by MLH Productions/Acorn Press Canada
Accepting Orders NOW!

Thanks for supporting my work!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New Series: Mountain Studies - New Paintings by M.L.Holton

I've been thinking a lot about mountains lately, as a natural 'form': how they tower above us, yet draw their vitality from below (like volcanoes, or mountain ridges that are the result of massive shifting geo-plates).

Mountain Study - HOPE - by M.L.Holton / acrylic on board / FOR SALE
Humans engage with these 'forms' in a variety of different emotional ways, either with veneration (appealing to hope and lofty sentiments of aspiring majesty etc,) or with fear (of a greater unknown, an object forbidding and insurmountable, of threatening power etc.)

I want and need to explore this further ...

I'll be drawing on my past experiences of time spent in & around the 'new' mountains of British Columbia and Alberta, first as a teen and then as an older woman. And I'll be considering too the 'older' mountains of Quebec & Ontario, those old rollers who lack the sharp edges of the West.

Mountains BECKON ... they draw us to them.

Mountain Study - Prospecting - by M.L.Holton / acrylic on board - FOR SALE
My preferred tool for this exploration is a trowel, or painter's spatula - with a very sharp flat edge to 'carve' and 'excavate'  paint. Inherent is this idea is the notion of 'prospecting' - or hunting - for minerals, gold, or food and water - hunting for nourishment - literal and metaphysical ...

(If interested in the above works, let me know.
For now, I'm not framing anything.)

UPDATE, March 27th. 
Have finished the triptych - with a gold leaf 'vein' running through all 3 boards.
I will be framing only the centre board ... 

Triptych - Mountain Core - Acrylic with gold leaf, by M.L.Holton, 2017
Centre panel - Triptych - Mountain Core, by Canadian painter, M.L.Holton