Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Wishes for 2013 & Tribute to Arthur Heming

Arthur Heming was told as a lad that he was color blind. As a result, he painted in black and white for most of his adult life, until, one day, he discovered he wasn't ...  Love this story, and love his work.  I've chosen this painting of his as a Christmas tribute to all the artists out there who persist in the face of overwhelming odds. Your dedication and your efforts are very much appreciated. Keep at it!

Season's Very Best to All. 
Merry Christmas!
p.s. More lovely evocative Heming visuals via Google Images ....

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ambassador-at-large, His Excellency - Peter Wintonick

Shocked to hear that an old dear friend from Montreal died recently from a rare cancer. Peter Wintonick will remain an inspiration to many as a 'documentary' provocateur. One of the most 'open' individuals I've ever known, his carefully chosen words were consistently poetic and poignant. His vision was VERY LARGE, an all encompassing world-view. The planet lost a 'good soul' in his passing. R.I.P Peter. This small acrylic of mine lingers as a tribute ... I will miss him dearly.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dollar Store Beauty

A mere 5" high, but iluminated with all the grace and elan of the REAL DEAL ... 
that is to say, young bucks in nature. And at just $1.25 RETAIL,  these solitary beauties have been produced by the hundreds of thousands .... Ultimately, they are creating much more then delight. This offshore 'stuff' enters our lives and gives us all new meanings. Like it or not.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New painting - 'Running the Rapids'

'Running the Rapids' 
Contact artist for more info re: price and size.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Picnic on the High Level Bridge? Do We Dare?

Thomas B. McQuesten High Level Bridge, designed by architect John Lyle, is a cantilever short steel bridge built by the Hamilton Bridge Company in 1932 and now designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.

A new hashtag recently emerged on Twitter, #ambitioushamont, that bolsters the Hamilton Economic Development Office's latest promotional efforts on behalf of the City of Hamilton. A companion video is pumping a somewhat machismo 'New City Vision!' that shouts out the 'ambitious' future of the City built on the back of its industrial core.  As of noon, Oct.28th, that newly launched video had been seen over 18,300+ times. Not too shabby branding.

The Hamilton Economic Development webpage now lists members of the 'creative industry' as the "top tier of innovation" in the "health, technology and engineering" sectors. The push is clearly on to court national and global investors to put their capital into this City's necessary transformation from an industrial giant to a hotbed of audacious high-tech innovation with a progressive forward-thinking future.

Yet, what happens when an innovative press-grabbing IDEA appears out of the ether that would irreversibly transform the City for the Better in more ways then one? Who - and/or what - will actually turn that idea into reality?  

On August 13th, 2013, CBC Hamilton ran an intriguing story about just such an idea put forward by a fourth-generation industrialist with deep roots in the region, Patrick Bermingham. In short, what Patrick wants to do is have a picnic on York Boulevard, on the High Level Bridge.

Site of proposed picnic: the High Level Bridge 'platform'.
Huh? What? Whacky, eh?
Why would we do that?

As he says, "Close the bridge. Just for an evening. Then let the people take over. Let them bring their picnic baskets and enjoy the peace, the panorama and, the Gods permitting, a sunset."  The point, according to Patrick, is to celebrate and appreciate what this City really has to offer.

YES! What a wonderful way to "embrace the city". Visually, there's the humming industrial harbour to the East, and to the West, the sculpted natural bounty of Cootes Paradise. Enveloping all is an unparallel panoramic view of the Niagara Escarpment. It's one of the best and most welcoming views of the entire City and, hypothetically, a riveting spot for a leisurely picnic to absorb the lovely setting sun over Cootes Paradise.

View East
 Very few seldom take the time to appreciate this unique vantage as they speed along the boulevard into or out of the downtown core. Patrick's wants to change that, if for only just a few hours.
View West
In the light of the avowed re-purposing of the 'ambitious City', what has happened to this ambitious IDEA? Last week I phoned Patrick to find out.

First, where did this idea come from? Apparently, while in conversation with his older sister, Susan Jasper, ( founder of the now wildly successful  'Telling Tales' children's authors' festival held at Westfield Heritage Village ) , the siblings got talking about 'fundraising' in general. Specifically, it evolved to a discussion about how could they raise funds for Susan's latest philanthropic venture - the Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System. She has joined the fundraising 'camp'.

The Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System has been percolating since 2007, with initial exploratory funding supplied by the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was formally signed between the 10 partnering organizations earlier this past summer. Those partners now include Conservation Halton, Hamilton Conservation Authority, the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Cities of Burlington and the City of Hamilton, the Region of Halton, the Hamilton Naturalists' Club, McMaster University, and the Bruce Trail Conservancy.

Their combined mission is "to collaboratively continue preserving and enhancing the natural lands using a sustainable approach that balances natural ecosystem health with responsible human appreciation and activities to achieve the vision."

Their mission is built on the vision that the proposed Ecopark: "will be known internationally as a protected, permanent and connected natural lands sanctuary from the Harbour to the Escarpment that promotes ecosystem and human health within Ontario’s Greenbelt. "  

Proposed Ecopark Boundaries
 Overall, it is certainly a noteworthy and ambitious plan of conservation and rejuvenation that has profound long term business, tourist and resident ramifications for the entire region.

YES! The picnic on the bridge now has an #ambitioushamont purpose: raising funds for the Ecopark.

To test this plan Patrick invited the Mayor to attend a breakfast on the bridge to discuss the potential site as a "fundraising venue".  As Patrick reasoned, the city closes the road for the hugely popular Around-the-Bay running race. So why not this? Mayor Bratina  'got it' and has subsequently suggested that the summer solstice, June 21st, 2014, would be an opportune evening to hold the event.  So, seemingly, the City is more or less 'on board'.

Yet, the nagging particulars remain ... Who would come, how much would it cost to attend, who would cater? Would it be 'dry' or 'wet' event? What would it cost the City? Who would do the heavy lifting to get this event up and running?  I grilled Patrick on these issues.

By necessity, to raise funds for the Ecopark, the 'picnic' would have to be a ticket-only or private affair. Patrick did, however, seem agreeable to opening it up, allowing the necessary 'fundraising' through sponsorship pledges. As he says, HOW it's actually done is of little concern to him, "he's the IDEA man" and hey, wouldn't it just be grand to have a "big party" up there on the bridge?

When pressed on details, he reiterated that he's not really the "executioner", what he's done has put the idea on the table. What he hopes will happen is that other interested persons or groups will "take over and run it." His one fear though is that some groups might attempt to hi-jack the idea of closing the bridge. He has no wish to see the 'Sunset Picnic on the High Level Bridge' turn into a vendor-heavy noisy rock-n'-roll music "circus". The primary purpose, after all, is for patrons to slow down and enjoy the exquisite view ...

In answer to my continued questions about accessibility and cost, Patrick was rather vague. He concluded our conversation by saying that my questions were acting as an impetus to organize and implement the idea. He promised he would email with additional information last Friday. I emailed him on Sunday asking again for those outstanding details. I haven't heard from him. Yet.

As it stands today, I'm still not 100% sure if this idea is incubating, percolating or if it has just been moved right off the table. Will this wonderful IDEA ever play out on the High Level bridge?

It has been suggested by the Laura Babcock's Powergroup that Hamilton is, perhaps, on the tipping point of Greatness. Frankly, that seems somewhat doubtful if press-grabbing and innovative ideas evaporate in much the same way they appear, into the ether. 'Ambitious Hamilton', regardless of the all its scintillating promo vids, hashtags and inventive IDEAS, will remain dead in the water if there is no practical 'down-to-earth' follow through by residents and City Council.

So, over to you Hamilton ....
Like the Invest in Hamilton video suggests, "THIS STORY IS FAR FROM OVER".

Do We Dare?
Consider that the slow but sure development of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System will certainly transform this City in many ways yet imagined. It is an ambitious and progressive forward-thinking long-term plan now established with a formal MOU within a practical time-line. You can learn more about it here . Rather then be dismissive or discouraged by its rather glacial evolution, let's be inspired - and motivated - by the derring-do of a maverick with moxie who leapt into the limelight for a few seconds to test the 'Do We Dare Do It?' parameters.

Mr. Bermingham may not, in the end, actually organize the picnic, but he has certainly launched a GOOD IDEA.  If you do think a picnic on the High Level bridge - in support of the Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System - is something worth supporting, it's now up to us to make it happen.

To start, you can show your support by 'liking', 'joining' and volunteering with the Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System on Facebook.  Check back often to that webpage for fundraising initiatives.

It may yet include the ambitious plan to have a Sunset Picnic on the High Level Bridge ...  if we dare.

... Stay Tuned ... 

Also published on Raise the Hammer.org - Saturday, November 2rd, 2013  - with lively comments

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Leo Kamen comes to #Hamont, Nov. 30th.

Sunrise over Lake Ontario from Hamilton Beach, August 13th, 2013 by mlh

~ Get a personalized critique of YOUR artwork by Leo ~ in a private one hour session. 

Review his website (link in the eventbrite listing) &  contact him DIRECTLY to set up appointment.

Great opportunity to get a seasoned and professional overview of your efforts.

More info here:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New Painting - Fall 2013

'Freesia and The Hummingbird' 

This painting is the fruition of a much older pencil sketch. A few years ago, while sitting on the veranda at the lake house, I saw a hummingbird noodling into my lush hanging freesia. That industrious critter zipped in and out of the 'bells' with little concern for me. I have wanted to paint that lovely little critter ever since. Both items are 'for sale' or 'lease'. Please contact the artist for sizes and prices. Thank you. mlh

Monday, September 23, 2013

OPEN INVITATION - The Great Lakes Garden Project

Hello all - I'm looking for the best gardens on - or overlooking - the Great Lakes. 
If you have one, or you know of one, please consider this 

Thanks. mlh

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hamilton's Historic Beacon: A Lighthouse Well Worth Saving

Lighthouse site on the Burlington Canal, circa 1840

Joni Mitchell, Canadian songstress, has written some seminal works in her time, not the least of which is Big Yellow Taxi. "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got, 'til it's gone." A salient and poignant reminder that too often we do not see what is of enduring value right in front of our noses. 

Much of late has been made of the heritage 'issues' facing Hamilton: what to protect, what to relinquish and what to really hunker down and fight for. 

Ultimately, all 'heritage' fights are about preserving a tangible asset that has proportionately defined the evolution of our commonly held civic character and uniquely local cultural identity.  These 'things' profoundly represent what and where we've come from. 

It goes without saying that some items are more important then others. In the face of natural growth and development, we do have to discriminate. We must choose the most significant that best reflect our changing history. 

One outstanding architecturally-defining structure that needs a fight, right now, is the Beach Canal Lighthouse. In the simplest of terms, this decaying building and adjacent lighthouse keeper's cottage, scrunched up beside the Lift Bridge operations tower and Eastport Drive on the Hamilton Beach Strip, are on the verge of collapse. 

The lighthouse & cottage are scrunched up between the Skyway & Lift Bridge on the Hamilton side of the Burlington Canal.

Holes in the mortar, caked-on rust, plywood cover-ups, rickety wiring and a high security fence currently define the Lighthouse today, once the bright beacon of entry to the harbour. 

Rudimentary efforts to protect both these items from the elements with plywood sheeting and fences are clearly failing. It also looks as though raccoons have gotten into the back-end of the lighthouse keeper's cottage ... though the beer can debris suggests another kind of intruder ...  

The run-down Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage - roof rotting, paint peeling, overgrown ivy, and current beer can repository. 

Some cynics would suggest that perhaps this decaying state personifies the Canadian Federal and Ontario Provincial governments' hope that these buildings will just quietly fall down, thus saving 'demolition' and 'dismantling' costs. A soiled, cracked and fading 'information' signpost near the lighthouse amplifies this perception. That any level of our Government would allow this site to just 'disappear' is clearly a tragic and mammoth historical loss for us all. It needs to be stated again and again: this important landmark, the lighthouse, has shaped this end of Lake Ontario's development for well over two hundred years. That is no small 'thing' in historical terms. 

As it is now, this sorry dilapidated fenced-in site is the first 'identity marker' of Hamilton that travelers and trade merchants see when entering the City by water. These abandoned buildings stand in the foreground, the car cacophony of the bridges rages in surround sound overhead, and the steel mills bellow smoke and fire in the background.  Talk about an 'image problem' .... But it doesn't need to be this way. 

Consider this. The Province of Upper Canada was created under the Constitutional Act of 1791. The British Crown appointed a young military officer, John Graves Simcoe, as lieutenant governor of this nascent nation state. He was a successful military man, abolitionist, husband, father and eventual founder of York (aka Toronto). 
Initially, John Graves Simcoe set up the colonial 'capital' at Newark, or, what is now known as Niagara-on-the-Lake, on the south side of Lake Ontario. Over the next decade, his regiment, the Queen's Rangers, constructed the two primary arterial roadways through the dense bush that would define the province for centuries to come: Yonge Street (from Lake Ontario up to Lake Simcoe - yes, named, in tribute, after his father) and Dundas Street (from Toronto to London, Ontario).  

During his early years in this burgeoning colonial settlement, he, his young family and military entourage would travel the existing overland 'native' trail along the Lake Ontario beach strip. They went back and forth from 'enemy exposed' Newark near the American border to the safer military fort around the lake at York.   

It was on one such occasion, while he and his wife, Elizabeth, were admiring the waterfront landscape, that he decided to establish the Kings' Head Inn on what was then known by the local aboriginal people's as "daonasedao" or "where-the-sand-forms-a-bar". Not only was this a convenient and enchanting stop-off point for the long and bumpy four hour carriage ride from York to Newark, the Inn served, at various stages, as a military trading post and 'Government House' for the growing British colony in the years ahead.  Elizabeth eventually wrote glowingly of how the Kings' Head Inn was "beautifully situated" on the beach strip.

Looking north-west from Kings' Head Inn location on the beach strip,  with the Niagara escarpment in the background, circa 1796. 

Fast-forward 200 years. All that remains of this beguiling moment in Canada's young history is a provincial plaque somewhere on a northern trail at the back-end of the eponymous hot-dog & hamburger joint, Hutch's, on the lake. That's it. The original two storey, two winged, wooden building that constituted the Kings' Head Inn was destroyed in a fire by American troops in 1813. Over time, the land and property were eventually absorbed into the overall development of the area. And so goes local history.

All that remains of the King's Head Inn is a wooden pub sign, and, at that, it is a reproduction. The original pub sign has disappeared. The handsome oak replica is now 'in storage' in the attic at the somewhat forlorn historical museum, the Joseph Brant Museum in Burlington. It is not visible to the public. (Worth noting, this Burlington community museum is a reconstruction of the original homestead of Mohawk chief and British captain Joseph Brant ‘Thayendanegea’ (1742-1807). Brant was awarded 3,450 acres of land at the ‘head-of-the-lake' in 1798 by John Graves Simcoe, acting as the representative of King George III, for his services to the British Crown during the Seven Years War and the American Revolution. The land grant was awarded to Joseph Brant just five years after the King's Head Inn was ordered built by John Graves Simcoe. ) 

On my request, the museum curator kindly supplied me with this backside image of the Kings' Head Inn pub sign. It's a beautiful re-created portrait of King George III.

John Graves Simcoe was in service to his King, George III.
Notably, there are lots of other Kings' Head Inns pub signs on-line via Google Image Search. Alas, there is no image on-line for the for the very first Kings' Head Inn pub sign of Upper Canada, and the young nation state of Canada. Sadly, the Joseph Brant Museum hasn't even included it in its listings with CHIN, the Canadian Heritage Information Network.  All in all, the sign - and the Kings' Head Inn - are 'out of sight' and thus, 'out of mind'. Gone. 

This local structure of historical note has been lost - and all but forgotten - except by the oldest historical association in the Golden Horseshoe area, the Head-of-the-Lake Historical Society, founded in 1899. This society still uses the fine painted portrait of King George III from the backside of the King's Head Inn pub sign - in miniature - for their society's crest.

Tra la.

The Beach Canal Lighthouse is on route to a similar fate.

Originally built in wood at a height of 40 feet in 1838, (a mere forty-four years after the Kings' Head Inn), the whale-oil lit lighthouse was a beacon for the frigate and steamships passing in and out of the Hamilton Harbour and Burlington Bay via the newly dug Burlington Canal, (officially opened in 1832.)

On July 18, 1856, the steamship Ranger, chugged into the canal. Hot sparks blew from its engine chimney onto the shore. The resultant ember fire eventually destroyed the wooden lighthouse, the canal ferry, and two houses before the fire was subdued.  A temporary lighthouse was quickly assembled to assured continued safe passage into the harbour, and then, in 1858, John Brown, a seasoned stonemason, was hired to construct a permanent white dolomite limestone structure on the south side of the canal.

The Canal lighthouse is identical to another that Brown designed and built on Christian Island on Georgian Bay.   

Christian Island Lighthouse and Beach Canal Lighthouse, both built by John Brown in the early 1800s.

Standing five stories high, the walls of the Beach Canal Lighthouse are, at the base, five feet thick. Overall, the stonework is 'stable', but it still needs a lot of work to bring it, and the lighthouse keeper's cottage, back to any semblance of their former functional selves.

A fading black & white photograph documents the Lighthouse and the former Royal Hamilton Yacht Club on the south side of the canal, (left side of the photograph). 

During its operation for over 100 years, coal, instead of whale-oil, was used to light the 'beacon'. The light was visible from miles out on the lake. It was a welcoming and familiar signpost into one of Lake Ontario's best natural harbours. The Beach Canal lighthouse was officially closed in 1968. A mere 45 years ago.

It has been in slow decline ever since.

Today, a automated electrical beacon on the end of the south side pier on the canal guides the lake traffic in and out of the harbour.  Meanwhile, that stalwart old stone lighthouse continues to slowly fade, like the Kings' Head Inn, from public memory ...

But, not all is lost, just yet. Ten years ago, in 2003,  two forward-thinking individuals from the Hamilton Beach Community organized a meeting to attempt to save the lighthouse and the lighthouse keeper's cottage from oblivion. Thirty-two people turned up.

It's been a slow uphill battle ever since. Over the past decade, only 200 interested citizens from all around the Golden Horseshoe region have joined the Beach Canal Lighthouse Group, donating their time, money and professional expertise. This group is certainly moving in the right direction, but it is evidently not enough, especially when time is increasingly of the essence for these poor buildings.

In 2004 the owner of the site, the Canadian Department of Public Works and Government Services, basically fobbed off the 'surplus' property to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. In 2006, the DFO removed the accumulated bird guano and the remaining lighthouse 'lens' from the tower. They boarded up the doors and windows of the cottage with plywood. Three years later, the Department of Public Works and Government Services rescinded their offer to the DFO and refused to hand over 'title' to them or the non-profit Beach Canal Lighthouse Group.  In other words, this property continues to swill around in limbo on federal/provincial/municipal backwaters as a lamely identified place of historic importance under the  'Ontario Heritage Act'.  In 2007, the Beach Canal Lighthouse Group received a plaque indicating this status from the City of Hamilton.

Tra la.

The fact remains, the City of Hamilton has not taken full ownership of this property, as it should. The lighthouse deserves the same attention, investment and 'tourism' rehab as Dundurn Castle. Really it does.

There remains hope. A re-energized committee at the Beach Canal Lighthouse Group is trying, again, to re-engage both the public and civic elders to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for the lighthouse. It, and the lighthouse keeper's cottage, do not have to got the way of the Kings' Head Inn. There is still some time to save this sturdy pillar (albeit in need of serious 'restoration') that represents the waterfront origins of the City of Hamilton and our regional history.

Hamiltonians, Burlingtonians and all Canadian citizens around the Golden Horseshoe region must band together to reiterate that they do know what they've got before it is all gone. A full-on restoration of 'The Canal Lighthouse' would be BEST, regardless of the current inhospitable location.  

Perhaps a 'lend-lease' could be established with the City of Burlington? If they absorbed some of the restoration costs, maybe the Province and Hamilton would permit a re-location of the lighthouse and cottage into their ambitious design for the City of Burlington Beachfront Park. Perhaps it could be re-located to a position of prominence in Bayfront Park. Or, integrated into the Haida dock site under the auspices of the Hamilton Harbour Commission. Or, moved to a mountain location at Chedoke so that the illuminated lighthouse could preside over the City.  Or, maybe an enterprising forward-thinking entrepreneur/developer would integrate the lighthouse and cottage into a funky recreation of the Kings' Head Inn?

Needless to say, more must be done now to save this unique waterfront structure before it falls down.

Ergo, Hear ye! Hear ye! - Get involved, donate, learn more about this unsung piece of local history, bookmark the following link to the Beach Canal Lighthouse Group, and please, open your wallets, give generously: http://www.bclg.ca 

'The Lighthouse' really does need our energy, attention and money.  Now.
Remember Joni's wise words  '...we really won't know what we've got, 'til it is all gone' ... 

Published on Raise the Hammer, (with lively 'comments') on 
August 26th, 2013 - here

UPDATE: - It seems 'someone' was listening .... 
UPDATE: As of September 9th, 2013, roof repairs are happening on the lighthouse keeper's cottage. WHO is actually doing this is still somewhat of a mystery, as (title) ownership of the Lighthouse still rests with the Dept of Fisheries & Oceans. BUT, at this point, whoever it is should be applauded for taking IMMEDIATE action to save this structure.

Credit notice: All black & white photographs are from the 'PreView' Archives of the Hamilton Public Library. Colour imagery is by Margaret Lindsay Holton, except for the Christian island lighthouse image, courtesy of Google Images. The Kings Head Inn pub sign image was supplied by the Joseph Brant Museum and is used with their permission.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Smith's Funeral Homes Celebrates 75 Years of Business in Burlington, Ontario

To celebrate this occasion, Smith's has created a three-way competition - best essay, and photograph that reflects the past, and a multi-media category that forecasts the future. Entires have been coming in since May, 2013.  More general information here.

I am thrilled and delighted to announce that my pinhole photo entry, 'Granny's Lounger',  has been selected as a finalist. The awards ceremony will take place at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre on September 12th from 5-7pm. See you there! 


 Recent press in Burlington Post ... 

  Update: WOOHOO! - Got '3rd Prize' for my pinhole image.  And a VERY NICE cheque.    Judges' Remarks:  "The photographer describes the pinhole photograph as 'slow photography' and I would also add 'timeless photography'. The capture is a wonderful work of art. Its imagery is what makes it an award winner; I believe that it embodies the spirit of what Burlington life is all about."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Purchase Memo




Thursday, July 25, 2013

'Silk & Satin' in EXHIBIT 12 at McMaster Innovation Park, Hamilton. Opens August 1st, 2013

'Silk & Satin' - Photography by m.l.holton

In the spring of this year I launched a new series of photographic 
prints that I'd been working on since the fall.  

'WHITE OUT, Photo Erasures' - by yours truly-
is now available for purchase in book form. 
$40 per copy. (plus S&H)
Contact the artist if interested a copy.

Samples from this series is also available for sale 
via my Fine Art America on-line storefront. 

This above framed print, 'Silk & Satin', is part of the Grand EXHIBIT 12 
at McMaster Innovation Place in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. 

Over 300 items by 100 local artists will be on display for 3 months.  
OPENS: August 1st, 7-9pm.  
... Cocktails & Horsey Do'Overs ...

Support local living artists. :) 
See you there.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Tall Ships Enter Hamilton Harbour - Black & White Photography

 Waiting on the Tall Ships - mid-afternoon Friday, June 28th, 2013 - 
images taken from Hamilton side of the Burlington Canal


 Passing thru Modern Day artifacts .... 

Majestic champions of the Great Lakes ... 
even if they are of a bygone era ... 
(Published too as single photos in Raise the Hammer)

More on the Tall Ships Extravaganza 
in Hamilton over Canada Day Weekend - HERE
And their course within the Harbour - PDF

Monday, June 24, 2013

The War of 1812: Stud

Horses used in warfare has occurred for well over 7000 years. Recently, a play and film based on the novel, War Horse, brought the public's attention again to the plight of this domesticated animal caught within war zones. 

Today, near obsolete for this purpose, (except in  Afghanistan ), horses have been replaced by a cadre of  'defense contractors' who work in the 'arms industry'.  It's a trillion dollar business ...
While reading about the War of 1812, I was somewhat surprised to discover that the role of the horse during the two year long land skirmishes receive scant to no mention. And yet, transportation of men, supplies and artillery wholeheartedly depended on these truly extra-ordinary beasts of burden. 

To rectify this historical oversight, I present this painting - 'War of 1812: Stud'

'War of 1812: Stud' by Margaret Lindsay Holton 
acrylic on loose canvas - 6'W x 4'H
For price, contact the artist.
(Colours are a bit distorted in this photo reproduction, but you get the idea ... ) 

Monday, June 17, 2013

New Painting - 'eye-cloud'

'eye-cloud' by m.l.holton
(acrylic on canvas - unframed )

The IDEA here is to investigate the notion of how we are increasingly
 placing our 'memories' into corporate controlled "iClouds".
From a distance, the orchid above is seemingly 'hidden' in the 'cloud' ... 
yet, on closer examination, using our own eyes, the hidden flower
becomes distinct, and we thus naturally 'emboss' the image into our own memory.
Ergo, an 'eye-cloud'. No corporation involved. 
The mini ethereal gold spirals represent thoughts ...  

Detail of orchid bloom in 'eye-Cloud' by m.l.holton
For size & price, please contact the artist.

Note: the 'colour' on the larger image is more accurate then the 'detail'.
The black circles in the upper left of that image 
are actually small gold ink spirals, (better seen in the close-up.)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spring Birch - New Paintings by mlh

Something about birch trees ... have been a focus for over a month now ...

'Birch Bark', acrylic on canvas, 4 feet square.
'Spring Birch' acrylic on board, by mlh - If interested in purchase, please contact the artist.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Bill Cunningham: Veteran 'Street Photog'

Last night, watching TVO, I was entranced by this wonderful Richard Press documentary about the indomitable Bill Cunningham, the 'fashion' photographer for the New York Times. The film successfully captures Mr. Cunningham's affable charm, gentle grace, professionalism and irrepressible impish-ness. It also does a marvelous job of sharing the streets of New York City.

Now well into his 80's, Mr.Cunningham continues to provide a seasoned perspective about the fluctuations of fashion of New York, and beyond. With a delicate balance of candid reflection, he 'snaps' and curates the nuances of the state of ourselves. He clearly has 'serious fun', an attitude that many 'junior photographers' could do well to emulate.

A veteran cultural anthropologist (long before the term was ever invented),  his visual observations of all things 'fashion' both beguile and inform. His near-intuitive fusion of past and present trends has humbled many 'wannabe' fashionistas. While he remains ever-modest and self-effacing, his 'roving eye' is impeccably sharp.

That we should all do so well, and be so happy, in our 80's ...
'Bill Cunningham New York' is a wonderful tribute to an inspired - and inspiring - 'reporter'.
See it.

Note: A re-run of this enchanting film runs on TVO on Monday, May 27th at 12am, midnight. If you can't watch it at that time, FOR SURE, copy/rent or buy it. There are gold nuggets of wisdom and wit throughout. And, for what it's worth, Roger Ebert gave it one of his rare scores of 4 stars, or 100%.

Here are some additional notable links of several New York Times slide-show videos that Bill recently 'curated'  Adieu Anna,   Stormville  Florescent , Sketching in Pastels. 

All above photos by Bill Cunniingham - attributed to the New York Times - his employer.
The header shot has been taken from the available downloads supplied by the filmmakers.