Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Blast from the Past! The Gilded Beaver by Anonymous, Reviewed by V.Cline Barton


To date, I have written three novels: ECONOMIC SEX in 1985,  The Gilded Beaver by Anonymous in 1999 - and my most recent effort, TRILLIUM, released in 2019.

For a quiet Canadian writer working in the boonies, it is a delightful and slightly unnerving experience when a more prolific and socially active American author reviews - and then extols - one's lesser known work.

When that reviewing author then gives that lesser known work  another FIVE star review  - it is hard not to sigh in relief and immense gratitude.

Could any writer ask for more?!?

The reviewing author of my last two novels, Veronica Cline Barton, is a fertile writer of a charming cozy murder series that has her main protagonist, Gemma, bounce back and forth from the States to the United Kingdom. Integral to Gemma's evolving story is Veronica's on-going interest with FAMILY and FORTUNE - but on a royal scale! We intersect on those two points. As #writers, we are both fascinated by the vicisstitudes of FAMILY and FORTUNE in fiction - and real life ... 


Book Review Header on Veronica's Blog
Since the very beginning of human history, family tribes have plotted to not only secure but expand their territories. Growth, let alone survival, has been achieved through numbers. Adding new members to any family invariably increases that family's material wealth and influence. 

The most common method to enhance status and FORTUNE is to 'marry' into a FAMILY of greater means or status than one's own. If family bonds are very thick, the 'ritual' of marriage becomes a strategic move to enhance both wedding parties material wealth and power.

It is only in relatively recent times that LOVE - as a basis for marriage - has gained ground against the plotting traditions of Powerful Families. (Just ask the British Monarchy.)

In Veronica's recent review of my second novel, The Gilded Beaver, she deftly highlights the slow evolution of the willful and creative protagonist, Iris Burdock, as she attempts to navigate the commercial world of FORTUNE. Iris, like so many of her hard-working female contemporaries, operates in the world of commerce without the traditional support of an ambitious or protective FAMILY.

As an independent woman, Iris must evaluate and assess a bachelor who has entered her working realm. It is not as straight-forward a business transaction as she initially thinks.

During her on-going assessment of his tastes and his way of life  - and without the wise or interfering counsel of FAMILY - Iris must chart her own course. She is eventually forced to ask herself what she really wants: is it FORTUNE? - Or is it really LOVE?

Read Veronica's stellar 5 star review of The Gilded Beaver  > 

https://myamericanalmostroyalcousinseries.com/2020/01/15/veronicas-writersdiary-when-reality-enters-the-fiction-zone/

The Gilded Beaver by Anonymous won the Hamilton Arts Council 'Best Fiction' Award in 1999.

TRILLIUM , my latest novel, was a Finalist for the same award in 2019 ...


Monday, January 13, 2020

Exhibition Proposal: CANADADA by MLHolton



MLHolton by Ewout de Gelder

At the start of the New Year and New Decade of the 2020s, I realize that by the end of this decade I will be 75 ... This realization is a bit startling, primarily because I just bumble along doing what I feel I MUST do, creating what I feel I MUST create, somewhat oblivious to the passage of time ...

With this new-found respect for what is increasingly 'a limited time-frame', I have decided to post a project that I have been trying to get off the ground for over four years - but to no avail. 

At this point, it seems unlikely to me that it will happen in my lifetime. So, for the record, I've decided to post the entirety of the 'Exhibition Proposal' entitled:

 CANADADA: 
... The Life & Times of Margaret Lindsay Holton ...

Consider this post my offering to the #FUTURE ... 

It is my sincere hope that in 10, 20, 30 or even 50 or 150 years from now, some soaring cultural hawk who is researching ... #whateverhappenedtoCanada ... will fall upon it. With some study, (no doubt through translation), they will recognize this grassroots contribution for what it is: - the development and manifestation of a thought-filled and curious girl/woman, who, whilst raised within certain pre-existing societal structures, quietly stood outside of those imposed expectations and profoundly understood that this #ONEEARTH - that we can see, touch and feel with our own vital living and breathing #beings - is our most precious & sacred communal #HOME. 

By trying to 'own' everything, we have nearly ruined everything -  including the fresh water, clean air and good soil that daily supports us. Obviously we do so at our own peril.  But even more stupid then our relentless greed is our cruelty to other species. Our consuming presence is ultimately jeopardizing everything else on this finite, living and truly amazing planet. ... Must we BE such a Destructive Species?

So, that's the basic theme, observation - and question ... 

Please note, there are likely better places to 'post' this document, but, frankly, time is getting shorter, and at this point, I'd just rather get it done and out there ... 

If anyone is interested to pursue this Exhibition Proposal in the short term - ie. within the next five years - please print out the following and follow-up with me. After that, please contact my Estate Representatives who will be managing this blog. Also, kindly note, what follows is the Original proposal pitched to the Art Gallery of Burlington in early spring of 2017: it can be easily adapted to other spaces with some curatorial flair.

Thank you very much for your interest in my life's work thus far - and now, into the FUTURE ... Here's to a Bright New Decade! - mlh 

-- - Margaret Lindsay Holton,  Golden Horseshoe Artist & Author

COVER PAGE:  
EXHIBITION PROPOSAL
PART I.  
Working title:  CANADADA  
 
'  'Art Attack' / The Canadada Flag - by MLHolton - (Paws Off! Trademark & Copyright Protected :)
Sub-title:  ... The Life & Times of Margaret Lindsay Holton ...

INDEX
PART 1.
A: Purpose of Exhibit
B: Exhibition, Disciplines & FLOOR PLAN
- includes Exhibition Schematic in 3 ZONES
C: Exhibition Catalogue outline & authors
 ---
PART 11. 
Visuals to Support Exhibition
PART III.
Current C.V. of MLH & Support Material/Press
Prepared  & Posted on-line by MLHolton - January, 2020

--- 

Part 1 - A. Purpose of Exhibit:
 
           - introduce the public to the breadth & depth of the #CanadianMaterialCulture creations by local Southern-Ontario-based #Canadian #artist, Margaret Lindsay Holton.

This retrospective will present more than five decades of #self-taught Margaret Lindsay Holton's paintings,  drawings, as well as samples of her Canadian fine furniture. It will consist of 100 of her most impressive works drawn from public and private collections, featuring her best-known pieces alongside those rarely seen.


Born and raised in rural North Burlington on a small sheep farm, Holton combined local flora & fauna iconography early-on in her Canadian fine furniture pieces made during the early 1980s to late 1990s. Her country roots also manifest her personal 'home-grown aesthetic' in her later photographic pinhole and photo-collage works.  Likewise, her 'grassroots' spiritualism manifests in her paintings produced over a 40 year period. Works on paper, canvas and board faithfully represent the deep roots of her geo-cultural origins.


Today, calling herself the only 'canajun' citizen in her playful - yet pointedly invented - 'nation' of #CANADADA, Holton continues to paint her provocative and signature 'naive-surreal-folk-abstracts' oil and acrylic paintings. Her graceful yet bold contemporary works also include representational imagery that reinforces the ancient paths of all humanity on the planet. 

"All of us are the Children - as well as the Caretakers - of Planet Earth." - mlh


The exhibition celebrates this extraordinary artist’s life work of creativity, perspective and acquired knowledge. It showcases her deep love of the land, flora and fauna, as well as her enduring passion for the vivid and varying water-scapes of the Great Lakes of North America. All of her works are infused with a artistic and quasi-political 'synergy' that places her overall oeuvre among the most notable #Canadianartists of our times.



           "In 2025, I will be a 70 year old artist living & working within the 'national' entity known to others as #Canada. My physical perspective is from the edge of a large lake, known to others as #LakeOntario. This lovely lake is part of a larger body of lakes, called the #GreatLakes. The Great Lakes are situated in the north-eastern part of the continent, known as #NorthAmerica. The lakes are seemingly split in two by what others call the national border between the United States of America and Canada. Only we humans, within the natural world, recognize these invented borders  ... The lake waters flow from shore to shore and know nothing of national boundaries. Birds migrate overhead, seeds float on the breeze and clouds float to and fro. It's a large canvas, constantly changing, constantly new and renewing ... The soft sweet waters drain down towards the salty sea, named the Atlantic Ocean, via a large river, called the St.Lawrence River. From this perch, beside the lake, I scan north, south, east and west, keeping an eye on all things - local, national and global. - My work represents my Point of View."-  mlh



'Naive-Surreal-Folk-Abstracts' MANIFESTO by #MLHolton  follows: 
Page 1 of MLHolton Manifesto / Copyright to MLH Trust

Page  2 of MLHolton Manifesto / Copyright to MLH Trust

Part 1 - B: The Exhibition   

     Disciplines to include:    
                                                                                  
1. Typeface & Book Design -  1980s - Letraset / Acorn Press Canada + others - to current day
2. Canadian Fine Furniture Design -  1980s to 2000 - custom residential Toronto  & int'l dealers 
3. Writing - (Poems/Novels/Screenplay/Journalism) - 1986 to current day
    -  with produced spoken word CDs & DVDs
4. Painting -  1970s  - to current day /  'naive-surreal-folk-abstracts' by MLH
5. Photography (pinhole & photo-collage & white-outs) - 2001 (pinhole) - to current day

   

Proposed Exhibition Location:

Lee Chin Family Gallery -- FLOOR PLAN (rough)


Gallery Schematic: ZONE 1 =  3 'booths' on NORTH WALL. To include: 

 Booth 1. early life & pencil drawings, Booth 2. film reel, Booth 3. photography

ZONE 2 = 2/3 gallery floor space for display of 8 MLH Canadian fine furniture pieces.

ZONE 3 = MLH paintings (x25) on 2/3 East Wall, Full South Wall and 1/2 of West Wall. 


Floor Plan for MLHolton Exhibition Proposal at AGB (2017)

Exhibition Schematic - in 3 ZONES 
(Via Above Floor Plan above:  Zone 1 is on LEFT, Zone 2 FLOOR is CENTRE 
& Zone 3 is on RIGHT)

ZONE 1:   THE EARLY YEARS OF MLH - A Rural World of Wonder, Family & People          
            - Booth 1. South-west corner of gallery - "Place is 100% character defining." 
MLH background - #SELF-TAUGHT - read & looked a great deal - as a kid, student & young adult - discovering Self & others via profound 'SENSE OF PLACE'. PRIMAL ROOTS = Stoneacres Farm in North Burlington & Bekanon, an out-island in Georgian Bay

 " 'Canada' is an IDEA - moreover than a large land mass & political entity."- mlh

           Zone 1.1.A.  WALL DISPLAY (1/2 North & 1/3 West Wall & Centre Booth wall )
        1. ONE photo montage of MLH 'Early Family Life' - 36x24 - to be framed = VISUAL INTRO
        2. Two pencil sketches,  from early 1970s (of artist's easel (1971) & a male nude (1974)
                                  + 10-13 Pencil portraits from 2000 -2008 - All 8x10 inches
       3. Two portraits from 2010s, on Booth wall, Chief Joseph Brant  & 'Saint' Jane Goodall
                      
          Zone 1.1.B.  One Cabinet Display- MLH Typefaces - licensed dry transfer & Letraset catalogue, plus digital conversion samples, as well as two sets of unlicensed work / drawings / + sample 'products' using design with type ephemera  - ie. NickelBrook Brewery label in Burlington  / MLH to assemble 10 paper ephemera
    
"Studying type contours at extreme short range is like perusing a map with a microscope: all is visible but strangely mysterious."  mlh  

                      * Note: Enlarge mlh quote below about SEEING type design as 'shape', affixed to 'floating' wall facing front entrance (see above floor plan schematic )
          
           Zone 1.1.C. Centre Booth  - MLH Filmworks - 
(Centre 1/3 of North Wall - as per schematic drawing above)
  - loop 1 hour short #documentary & art film works, ie. profiles of local characters - Denis Sinclair, Scrimshaw artist, (8 min),  Harold Dickert, guitar maker (14 min), metalworker, Doris Treleaven (10 min)  - all from North Burlington / --- include. 'Artist's Walk' (5 min), Burlington Lakefront / cut with 'MLH home movies' clips from 1950-70 -   MLH to compile ONE DISC for a ONE HOUR loop

                        ( Q: 'Special Screening' of The Frozen Goose (2016) as PROMOTIONAL OPP? )

           Zone 1.1.D.  Pinhole & Photo-Montage PHOTOGRAPHY Nook
                             - (1/3 North-East Nook - at service entrance portal)

                      1. In north-east nook, 10 image mix of pinhole & digital photo-collages  -
                               - focused on the heritage farm house & North Burlington rural property
                      2.  Cabinet display of mlh books  - including 3 novels: Economic Sex (1985), award-winners The Gilded Beaver by Anonymous, and TRILLIUM - and Artist First Edition photo books  & CD/DVD  display  - inc. early poetry books, later CDs - ie. Summer Haze (free form piano jazz) and spoken-word/garageband antics, CANADADA: TAKE TWO.
                                                                      
                          ( Q: include musical feed of CDs via earphones? )

                                                                                           Sub Total of Objects in ZONE 1 = 35
                                                                                                                  + one hour film reel


ZONE 2.     THE #DISCIPLINE OF #CRAFTSMANSHIP  
                  - (2/3 floor space + 4 drawings on floating walls)

           - 'self taught', (continued) - learned how to 'think' about materials  & processes by primarily watching and imitating my parents -  ie. measurement, construction, building & crafting fine furniture & boats by/with my father, and watching mum paint landscapes and portraits 'en plein air'

   ( Q: samples of both parent's works? small photo display ? to be determined ... ie. furniture templates of dads & Mum watercolour of HER tree at Bekanaon - MLH to source images)
          
           MLH 'Canadian fine furniture'  1986-2000

           2A. Drawings of speculative Canadian fine furniture works: unproduced -.ie. Caribou Table, Nunuvut Sideboard = 4 drawings -- NB: To be pinned on floating walls behind furniture displayed on pedestals/plinths supplied by Gallery

           2B. -  include 5-8 pieces of MLH #Canadianfinefurniture
          1. ONE of 4 'Canadian Fireside Chairs' - #WinterChair on Centre Pedestal / unconfirmed
          2+3. Temagami Pedestals (x 2)  - CONFIRMED - Toronto client - ON FLOOR
          4. Thee Mirror - CONFIRMED - Toronto client / - Mount on floating wall
          5. HEADBOARD (boys' carved-bear headboard) /  CONFIRMED  - Mount on floating wall  
          6 & 7.  Pair of Haida Gwaii Chairs by MLH  -/ Collection of Artist / on Side Plinth
          8. 'Ladies Dresser' by MLH - CONFIRMED - Toronto client / on Side Plinth

                                                                                                            Sub Total of Objects: 12
---

ZONE 3:   FIVE DECADES OF #PAINTINGS by MLH

         - (no floor space, 1/2 wall space: 1/2 East, Full South, 1/2 West Walls) --  1970 to current  
         - include enlarged excerpts from  'CANADADA: A Painter's Nature' - TBD
  
           WALL SURROUND - 25 MLH paintings = 5 from each decade (x 5) 

                                                                                                              Sub Total of Objects: 25
                                                                                                                                        +   misc: 5
                              (To be Confirmed : MLH paper ephemera for TWO cabinet displays = 20 items
                                                             + one hour looping film reel, to loop, compiled by MLH)

**TOTAL NUMBER OF Exhibition OBJECTS: 100**
--- 
 including
          Proposed Paintings: 1970 - 2020 ( 50 years of painting ) - 
          ... 5 paintings chosen from FIVE decades, presented, mostly, chronologically ... 
          ---NB: Items with asterisks have NOT been confirmed yet.

1970s
*1. The Kill - oil / framed - Collection of Artist   / locate & frame
2.   Gone Native - oil  / framed - Estate of Mrs. Bruce Matthews, Ancaster/Toronto - CONFIRMED
3.   MM & LJ in Dad's Boat, Georgian Bay CONFIRMED - to be framed
4.   Sweet Water.Ceremony. - acrylic, pastel, gold paint on stretched canvas.  - CONFIRMED
*5.  Going to the Farm - oil / framed  / locate

1980s - In Collection of Artist
*1.  With Every Breath - Words on Canvas / REVIEW CONDITION
*2.  Self - Portrait - WALL HANGING 6'x4' - to be tacked to wall -/ REVIEW CONDITION
*3.  'Hope Springs Eternal' /REVIEW CONDITION
4. Arrow & Axe / needs to be re-framed
*5. Rose Bush, OutPort, NFLD oil/ framed /REVIEW CONDITION

1990s
1. Two Peas in a Pod - oil / framed - CONFIRMED
2. 'Art Attack by MLH aka 'Canadada Flag' aka Wall Hanging - 4'x28" - (Collection of Artist)  
                       (NB: REVIEW SUITABILITY with Curator as EXHIBIT 'Brand' Image)
3. Eclipse over Beaver Rock - in hand carved pine frame by MLH  - CONFIRMED
4. Swan Lake - oil / framed  - (Via Toronto Collection) - CONFIRMED
*5. Bovine Bliss 2, Ontario - Cover of 'Canadada: A Painter's Nature' -
           UNconfirmed - (Collection of lawyer in Toronto - need to track down this item )
6. Prince William, Blind to The Alberta Tarsands  - CONFIRMED

2000s
1. Magic Hour, Georgian Bay - - CONFIRMED
2. Bruce Trail: Spring Walk - CONFIRMED (Collection in  Jordan, Ontario)
*3. Over the Hill, Under the Moon, Back to the Pond - locate
4. Spring Creek - acrylic/framed - CONFIRMED
*5. The Passage, Georgian Bay - oil/framed - locate

2010s to 2020 
1. Doe at Dawn, Banff - acrylic/framed - CONFIRMED
2. Dundas Valley - acrylic & gold paint / CONFIRMED - to be framed
3. Beneath Pine Boughs - acrylic/framed - CONFIRMED
4. Frozen Lake 1 - acrylic/framed - (64Wx32H)   - CONFIRMED
5. Woodland Deer - acyrlic/framed 30x26H - CONFIRMED

---

Part 1 - C:  Exhibition Catalogue

Working Title:
CANADADA:
... The Life & Times of Margaret Lindsay Holton ...
 
                      - approx. 800-1100 words  per section / author, (+ 10-15 images). Approx 40-60 pages.
                      Preface by - KatrinaAtanassova  2-3 pgs
                           Senior Curator,  National Gallery of Canada - e-QUERIED in 2018. She's away...
                      Foreword by AGB Curator OR CEO/Director -       ?                 2-3 pgs          
                      Intro & Bio   -   Matthew Ryan Smith, PhD - CONFIRMED         6-9 pgs
                      'Artist Statement'  - MLH - 'why & how'                                   5-7 pgs
                                                                 
1. Typeface -  Rod McDonald - To Query - Canadian Type Historian 2-5 pages
                       - 3 MLH, typefaces, including 'Lindsay', in context to Canadian type design 

2. Writing -    Poetry, Novels, Reviews Etc, by Jeremy Luke Hill - CONFIRMED5-6 pages 
----- NB: Include on-line examples -ie.  https://canpoetry.library.utoronto.ca/holton/;

  (** Note: Possible to combine the above two sections into 'one'. Review with Jeremy Luke Hill.)

3. MLH 'Canadian Fine Furniture' Jeff Mahoney, Arts, Hamilton Spec, CONFIRMED 2-5 pages - NB: include extracts from MLH correspondence with late Curator Emeritus Dr. Donald B. Webster & Peter Keallegran PhD, European Department of the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto 

4.. Photography (pinhole & digital) Jeff Mahoney, Arts Critic, The Hamilton Spectator,   2-5 pages --- NB: on-line pinhole > https://samizdatpress.typepad.com/fall_winter_201213_hamilt/margaret-lindsay-holton-portfolio-1.html ,
                                                                   
   ( ** Note: Possible to combine above 2 sections into 'one'. Both reviewed by Jeff, 1996 & 2010.) 

5. Painting CharlesPachter, Preface/Canadian artist - CONFIRMED  
          
                                                                                              Total Page Count = 40-60 pgs
                                                                                                                                     

Essays provided by contributors to MLH and/or her Estate. Production/Design of Catalogue by MLHProductions/AcornPressCanada and the Art Gallery of Burlington, Print run of 800 - 2000.   Note to Gallery: 'Honorarium' to be paid to all #authors relative to page count.
----
End of PART 1.   

----
PART 2.  
VISUALS to SUPPORT Exhibition Proposal

 PART 2. is a series of visual thumbnails that support the above. 
To better view the disciplines as outlined, enlarge the preferred thumbnail.














PART 3. 
C.V./SUPPORT MATERIAL/PRESS
Contact the artist or her representative - mlholton