Tuesday, December 6, 2016

WAAH's 'Winter's Palette' at The Cotton Factory

Happy to be included in the inaugural WAAH's exhibition at The Cotton Factory, 'Winter's Palette', juried by the Women's Art Association of Hamilton Exhibition Committee. The piece I've submitted was recently posted on this blog, so rather then post it again - I am offering up some visually warming 'iPad pastels by MLH' ... The more I work with this digital application, the greater seem the possibilities. Yes, signature "Serious Fun"stuff! -- Would make fantastic promo posters or decor art, don't you think?

iPad Pastel, Copyright by Canadian Artist, M.L,Holton - Dec 4th, 2016
 'Winter's Palette' 
Open Reception & Christmas Party
This Saturday, Dec 10th: 1-4pm
                   Please Join Us! 

WAAH logo. Established 1946.
 Where? At The Cotton Factory
270 Sherman Street, Hamilton, Ontario
iPad Pastel, Copyright by M.L.Holton - Dec.4th, 2016
Exhibition, on 3rd floor, runs until February 25th.
Come check it out in the 'Co-Work' space!
The Cotton Factory map: 

Friday, December 2, 2016

New 2016 Painting by Canadian Artist, M.L.Holton

'In Flight' by M.L.Holton, 2016, acrylic on primed canvas - with gold highlights
 Not 100% sure about the title yet, but, for now, it's called, 'In Flight'. 
... It looks 'tropical', doesn't it? ...
However, the disappearance of the polar ice in the Arctic 
is an on-going worrisome reality.  I had thought to 
call this piece, somewhat ironically, 'Northwest Passage'... 
The way things are going, I still might.

If interested in purchasing this piece, please 
get in touch for final dimensions & price. 
It's now signed, dated & numbered.
I will be framing it in a black wooden frame soon. - mlh

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Very Special 'One-Time' Christmas Screening of short Canadian film classic, The FROZEN GOOSE!

 (NB: this teaser trailer is NOT available on YouTube, 
I don't know why that 'option' is on this player ...)

Excited to announce a Very Special 'One Time' screening of The Frozen Goose at 3 o'clock, on SUNDAY, December 18th, at Cine Starz Burlington​, located at 460 Brant Street, in downtown Burlington. Superb sound, comfy & intimate theatre! Join Director, Margaret Lindsay Holton​, and a few cast members for this unique theatrical release! First come, first served. AND, there's popcorn!

Plus, just received this nice mini review by James Gike, in Burlington Lifestyle Magazine. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Lawren Harris, Canadian Artist breaks auction record

Mountain Forms, By Lawren Harris, Painted in 1926
The Canadian art world is all a-twitter at the moment with the recent 'price-breaking' sale of this iconic work by Canadian 'Group of 7' founder, Lawren Harris. As the CBC writes, "Mountain Forms, a renowned 1926 painting of Alberta's Mount Ishbel in the Sawback Range of the Rocky Mountains in Banff National Park, sold for $9.5 million at the Heffel Fine Art Auction House in Toronto Wednesday night. Including the 18 per cent buyer's premium, which comes out of the winning bidder's pocket and goes to the auction house, the total price was $11.21 million." A record-breaker.

'Vintage' Canadian painted art is experiencing a bit of an up-tick. Steve Martin, famed comedian, is not only a collector, but a promoter of Lawren Harris's works. He curated a special show of the artist's pieces at the Art Gallery of Ontario in the fall.  Harris has also been the object of several memorable biographies, most noteworthy, Joan Murray's incisive pictorial bio. 

As a practicing artist, long interested & influenced in the Harris's painting subjects and techniques, I am thrilled that the man is receiving the greater international attention his work truly deserves. 

One regret is that I know I will never OWN a Harris. His works are very much out of my price league now. However, I take some comfort that I do have a few 'Harris' of my own ...

You see, I began, some years ago, to embark on a series of 'Paint Poems' (by me) that honor the man, his techniques & his aesthetic sensibilities. I was never trying to slavishly 'copy' him, rather, I 'followed' him, in order to learn more about his sense of composition and how he captured light. The 'sizes', per se, didn't matter to me. It was his colour sense, what he SAW in landscapes,how the works moved me, that, in turn, inspired me.

I KNOW I got very close to his SENSES as a result.
A few of my 'Paint Poems to Lawren Harris' follow.
I love them. I hope you will too. :)

Paint Poem 2: To Lawren Harris, by M.L.Holton
Paint Poem 3: To Lawren Harris, by M.L.Holton

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Hamilton Film Expo, Festival & Canadian Film Market in the Hammer, Nov, 2016

Friendly welcome from local filmmakers & volunteers, Christine Whitlock & Craig Watkins
The 11th Annual Hamilton Film Festival opened this weekend with an open house at Digital Canaries Studio, with the launch of the 72 Hour Film Challenge: where teams get 72 hours to make a 7 min film. They have the run of the studio, (2pm until mid-night), will receive novel props, and have the option of SFX make-up, if they want it. Next weekend, on Saturday, at the Zoetic Cinema, (on the Hamilton mountain), the results will be shown. Awards will be presented by Academy Award winner, Colin Chivers.

Teams assessing the mock two-storey house ..
Simon WInterson, (owner), gave a quick tour of the 'sets\ available, including a 'mock' two-storey house, an operating room, a mock morgue, judging chambers, period & contemporary office space, elevator shafts and a set of the Oval Office. 

Come NEXT WEEKEND to the Zoetic Cinema Theatre, (on the mountain), to see how the teams did under intense time, set and prop restraints. Saturday, 7pm  - WILL BE A HOOT!
Operating Room jitters ...
And, COME ON OUT to the Hamilton Film Festival, running all this week. Nathan Fleet & his team have pulled out all the stops to make this a memorable, exciting, thought-provoking & funny - (gore galore!) - event. 

Simon, ever the obliging ham!
Schedule, listing & prices can be found on the Hamilton Film Festival WEBSITE.

Team players taking stock of the sets
Writers hard at work ... To be or not to be ... Empty or Dressed Sets!!!
Centre - Fearless HFF leader - Nathan Fleet, 2016
Oh, and yes, my newly released short film, The FROZEN GOOSE, a classic Canadian short story post WW1, will be screened to 'Market Badge' holders (only) at the Canadian Film Market on, fittingly, Remembrance Day, Friday, November 11th, at 2:30pm in the Sheraton Hotel, in downtown Hamilton  (in the ADELAIDE Room, 2nd Floor). During that weekend, I will be actively pitching this short Canadian film about World War 1, my next narrative film & my last award-winning novel to prospective producers & buyers. - Serious Fun Stuff! 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Cultural Appropriation, Appreciation or Something Else?

On Oct 23rd, the Ontario Arts Council released this video ...

Within three days, The Globe & Mail published 'What Happens When Indigenous Artists repurpose Hollywood's old tricks' - by Kate Taylor.

Both posit - and then take positions - on 'Cultural Appropriation', defined by the OAC website as "the intentional or unintentional use of a people's culture or cultural expression, traditional knowledge, intellectual property or artifacts".

Lines are being drawn. Again. Lines are being crossed. Again.

Meanwhile, numerous First Nation representatives and sympathizers have gathered over the past few months for what is unquestionably the largest peaceful 'protest' against 'Settler' law & enforcement in North America today. The protest raises many unsettled issues, but primarily, the desire is to protect the waters of the Missouri river from an inevitable pipeline spill.

Fundamentally, this stand by indigenous peoples, and by those who support them, pits Earth 'citizens' against corporate 'profits'. The protest is a vivid manifestation of - and DEMAND for - the 'transition' from fossil fuels to sustainable development.

It is TIME. As the hashtag so succinctly states, #WaterIsLife .

As descendant of 'Settlers' who have been in North America since the early 1700's, I recognize my familial history, but, to be crystal clear, I am not 'guilty' of 'white privilege' just because of that association. I emerged on the planet where I did, when I did, that's just the fact.

When I was a child, raised on a farm in Southern Ontario, during the 1950's, there were moments when I could not find the right words for strong appreciative feelings for the forces of Nature ... The only 'source' were vaguely distilled and often invented 'native teachings'. A certain affinity developed for 'the native way'. Yet, as a child, I did not resonant with 'Turtle Island' anymore then I resonated with certain mythical stories from 'the Bible'.

'The Kill' by MLHolton, Oil on Board
Finding Life's Essence ~ that resonated with my Truth ~ manifest in my first 'formal' painting, painted when I was fourteen. 

It is a stylized and imaginative graphic of an 'Eskimo' (as the Inuit were 'known' back then) killing a seal, with a spear, on an ice floe. It was vivid, brutal and honest. It was not appropriation; rather, it was a 14 year old's 'statement'' recognizing the vital life-giving relationship that flows from humanity - to and from - Nature. 

Entitled 'The Kill', it stands today as my first 'formal' painting.

I had never been to the far North of this continent, but again, certain myths, stories, images and realities from that area resonated with the development of my own sense of Self.   

This occurred in much the same way that, later, I resonated with imagery, myths and religious philosophies from other parts of the world, like Buddhism and/or Fauvism.

Does my re-interpretation of these IDEAS through my own developmental prism make me a 'cultural thief'?  I do not think, or believe, so. We ALL 'borrow'. We ALL 'trade'. We ALL seek the means to express our singularity within the commonality of humanity.

Today, broadly speaking, we all KNOW that 'nationalism', per se, is a 'construct'. 

The larger IMAGE that I HOLD is of us, as humanity, (as one species of many), flying through space on a twirling life-sustaining globe in a seemingly infinite multi-universe. 

To my mind, Creators, plural, exist. Often, I ascribe attributes to these assorted 'gods': they may be male, female, animal, mineral, fish, fowl, mana, Life Force, and/or just 'the Juice'. The adjectives and pronouns vary, but the deep faith and understanding remains. 

We are a part of something Greater, and the planet is our Home.

It is thus heartening for me to now see the similarities in the indigenous Thunderbird image used in the current Standing Rock stand-off, in conjunction with a painting I did in 1991, called 'The Protector'. Both resonant because both express Truth. The similarity is not indicative of 'cultural appropriation', or even cultural appreciation, it is a personal visual creation that RESONANTS with our mutual relationship to the planet. 

No ONE group or individual 'owns' this relationship or connection to the planet.

'Protectors' - MLH Painting, 1991, & Thunderbird Woman Protest Image, 2016. .

So, in response to the rabid and increasingly racial 'Nation-alists', who are springing up from all quarters, know that I stand with - and against - all of you. 

Why? Because I have already solemnly sworn my allegiance to my own mythical nation of 'Canadada'. 

I be 'canajun' in Canadada. 

All the boundaries and borders are within my own mind. And as such, I am both the perpetual 'victim' AND 'victor' ... 

... It works perfectly well for me. 

Peace. Sincerely.

p.s. And now, TVO jumps in, flaming the issue, in part. - Watch, listen and LEARN...

AND - A very important message from a Humanity Elder: Chief Arvol Looking Horse - http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/08/26/important-message-keeper-sacred-white-buffalo-calf-pipe

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Pipelines - Painting by M.L.Holton

'Pipelines' by M.LHolton, 2016, Acrylic on Board
We are in a profound 'transitional' period that will, (if we last that long), be the hallmark of our generation. Were we able to wean ourselves off our dependence on fossil fuels? Did we rise up against the powerful global businesses, banks and puppet governments that promote & subsidize them? OR, did we succumb? Were we overwhelmed? Were we overcome? Were we, in the end, sent into war to fight for their legally protected stock-market vested interests? - ?!? - Did we ALLOW these on-going Rapers of the Earth to continue with their thoughtless defilement of our collective HOME?  

Did we STAND UP - finally - for MOTHER EARTH?

This painting came from a very powerful and vivid dream. Today, I stand in unison with the indigenous people of the planet, the 'canaries in the coal mine', who have - for decades - warned us of our off-kilter and unhealthy relationship with the Creators'  life-sustaining planet. 

EVERY Act we make TODAY determines our collective FUTURE - as just one species of many.
EVERY DAY we can choose to consciously live in harmony with the planet - or not.

Are YOU a Care-taker? - OR - just a taker

Please also consider this short film from Bealtaine Cottage, a vital permaculture residence in Ireland ...

And, this - Stand with the Standing Rock Sioux - Video of Robert Redford's Request.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

164th Rockton Worlds Fair - Thanksgiving Weekend 2016

The Rockton World's Fair, is a super family-friendly agricultural Fall Fair located on the large Rockton fairgrounds just off Hwy 8, between Cambridge & Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

From hamsters to horses, with 'live' judging of well-bred livestock and multiple food competitions (the 'biggest' pumpkin, best pies & pickled preservatives etc.), good-spirited competitive sportsmanship permeates the entire event. The local 4H farming community is heavily involved. Drawing from all around the area, youngsters & oldsters alike, get in on the act.

A small portion of the fair is devoted to a circus-type 'carnival' with typical circus rides, cotton candy & balloon-popping entertainments. Live music comes & goes.

Indoors, through the fair buildings, various displays of antiques, quilts, and unique clothing by the long-standing Woman's Institute entice with their superior skills, radiating with the common-sense of solid home-keeping.

There are also various levels of art & photography displays, ranging from children's concepts to adult executions. I am thrilled to have one of my paintings included in the 'Country Scene' Art Section of the Rockton World's Fair this year. The painting below effectively evokes the stillness of Dusk: when the skies are still & the wind drops down to a whisper, in the slow boat ride home ...

Dusk - by M.L.Holton / oil on board / framed -
Rockton Fair: Section 78, Class 19 - 'Country Scene'
   Come on Out with the Family! Wander the grounds, experience the sights & sounds of a proper country fall fair. (You may even be tempted grab a mustard-relish-smeared foot-long hot dog ...)

Admission prices, map & other vital info are listed below. Best to just pop over to their website for any other particulars.  Hope to see you there!

(I hope to be in attendance on Saturday for 4-5 hours, mid-day to dusk, weather permitting.)

Dress country, of course ... :)   

Come On Over!! 
The Rockton World's Fair LINK.

Rockton Worlds Fair - Between Cambridge & Hamilton, just off Hwy 8, in the village of Rockton.

Dropped off my piece yesterday - fairground is getting 'set up' ...

 Composite - Photography by M.L.Holton

UPDATE: Woohoo! - Won 2nd Prize, 'Open Art Class: Country Scene' 
(Posted a wee 3 min video of the fair on Saturday afternoon, on Facebook)

Plus, here's my ribbon!  woohoo!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


From the WHITE OUT series by M.L.Holton - SOLD
People are always fascinated by my pinhole cameras, and interested to learn about the history and basics of pinhole photography. But sometimes, something else completely catches their eye ... It's always gratifying when a new patron SEES something that I've done from a few years ago, likes it, and then, buys it.

Done in 2012, the above image (30x22.5") is from my 40+ WHITE OUT series. Some prints from that series are now available in an assortment of print sizes (with or without frames as per your preference) via my Fine Art America 'retail' LINK.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Telling Tales Festival 2016, at Westfield Heritage Village

Main Stage Audience at Telling Tales Festival 2016 - Photo by M.L.Holton

I had the good fortune of attending my first Telling Tales Festival (now in it's 8th year) at Westfield Heritage Village this past Sunday. What a joy-filled & brilliant event this is!

The Festival convincingly engages & entertains on multiple levels, all geared towards developing and encouraging interest in literacy for youngsters. The focus is 'story-telling' at its very finest.

A 'Good Book' gives so much, much more then just 'a story'. Converting a child to read in this current age of 'screen dominance' is, seemingly, an up-hill battle. But, as the author, Dr.Daniel Coleman, rightly explains in this video, literacy can OPEN a child's IMAGINATION in ways unimaginable by just vision-based content. It creates complex synaptic associations that build the ground-work for future constructive & creative thinking. It envelops the MIND in worlds outside of one's own experience or knowledge. All told, a Good Book nurtures a profound love of the essential 'code' of language - WORDS. 

What follows are my own impressions from my first visit to this heart-warming Festival. It's like nothing I've ever seen or heard before.  I truly wish 'Telling Tales' would SPREAD nation-wide like wildfire ...

Much credit must go to the Festival founder, Susan Jasper: a woman with a clear & well-developed innate literate VISION ... KUDOS to the WHOLE 'Telling Tales' team!!

And, next year, For Sure, GO with your Children!

Impressions of Telling Tales Festival 2016 from canadada on Vimeo.