Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Canada 150 Mosaic Mural: Burlington, Ontario with 'Earth Home' Tile by M.L.Holton

... Brain child of three amigos, Lewis Lavoic, Paul Lavoie and Phil Alain,  from Sturgeon County, Alberta, the Canada 150 Mosaic is a cross-country community 'arts initiative' to stimulate 'national pride' during Canada'a 150th year since Confederation. It's certainly an ambitious project that has received significant government funding. Lots of media is and has been following and reporting on it over the past year ....

The City of Burlington is involved with this project too. As a local artist, I created a tile to amplify "sense of place" (for FREE), and sent it back to one of the local coordinating organizers, Cobalt Connects of Hamilton, (who works with the City of Burlington on their 'public art' programs ... )  The 'unveiling' is happening on Canada Day, July 1st.

Canadian Celebs get in on the act - Atom Egoyan, Jane Arden, Walk off the Earth band
Here's a peek at my wee effort - 'Earth Home'  -

'Earth Home' tile for Canada 150 Mosaic City of Burlington Mural, by M.L.Holton - 4" square
I admit, it was kind of SURPRISING to hear one of the other cities involved, Ajax, Ontario, 
has an eerily "co-incidentally similar" sound-track in the promo video for their mural, 
(so says Producer & the film-maker) to my latest spoken word & musical album:
... It's very weird and TOO coincidental to MY EAR ... 

Anyway, after a brief discussion, they said they'd remove the music from the following clip. They haven't, (as of today, June 7th.)  That film clip - with the same soundtrack - is still on the filmmaker's YouTube channel. Last checked, it has been removed from the CANADA 150 MURAL website ... 


Will post UPDATE of the final mural in situ, post July 1st. 
... Curious to see where my little teepee ends up ... 

Exhibit #24 - McMaster Innovation Park - M.L.Holton

'Mountain Core', acrylic & gold leaf, by M.L.Holton, 2017 
Thrilled to have a recent work accepted into the juried Art-in-the-Workplace 
Exhibit #24, hosted by McMaster Innovation Park, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
THURSDAY, August 3rd, 2017  from 7 to 9pm 
Swing in for hors d'oeuvres, live music & the crowd!
McMaster Innovation Park Atrium

175 Longwood Road South 
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 
(nb: plenty of parking on site - 
best to go to back of main building)

For more info about this work 
- price, size, framing - 
please contact the artist

Exhibition runs until November 1st, 2017
Hey, FREE ACCESS all summer long! Drop in!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Art Gallery of Hamilton: 'Made in Canada' Gala 2017 - UPDATE

Always fun to find out - after the fact - that one of my works has been included in a Fund-Raising Gala Auction!

The Art Gallery of Hamilton recently hosted a 'MADE IN CANADA' Gala. Apparently, a pinhole photograph of mine that I donated several years ago was 'in'.

Unhappily, the event on May 27th came and went, with me none the wiser ... Still, here are the seeming highlights >

Silent & live auction. Tickets: $350 per person. Dinner & Dancing.
(Proceeds to support programming at the AGH.)

...  Maybe one day I'll find out who actually bought my donated work, and for how much ... 
Artists' do like to know what happens to their generously donated 'freebies' ... HA!

FRIDAY, June 2nd, 2017 - Vox Humana Chamber Choir Present 'the national anthems' - with all-Canadian poem, 'Bush Chord'

So thrilled to be a part of this amazing choral event in British Colombia. 
Canadian composer Tobin Stokes has imaginatively re-interpreted my poem, 'Bush Chord', 
to create an astounding musical medley of 'sun-struck lyres' ... 

FRIDAY, JUNE 2nd - 7:30pm -

REHEARSAL of 'BUSH CHORD' - Photo by Tobin Stokes, May 29th, 2017

My poem, Bush Chord, on which new choral work, by Tobin, is based - 


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

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Canada 150 Tulips - GLORIOUS!

Canada 150 Tulip - Copyright - M.L.Holton, Canada

Canada 150 Tulips2 - Copyright MLHolton, Canada

Zapped Tulip with 'painting' app ... Copyright, M.L.Holton, Canada
Ok, call me corny, but I love how these look. White with 'ribbon' red thorough out. Planted last fall, and gratifying to see them come up healthy and hardy this spring ... 'Canada', as a nation state (only 150 years young), may have a ways to go yet - but with Good Will, GOOD things remain possible ...

Friday, May 12, 2017

The K.W.Irmisch 'Arts Person of the Year', M.L.Holton

The K.W.Irmisch 'Arts Person of the Year' Trophy, photo, & presented, by Ellen Irmisch, in memory of her parents.
Wow. Very humbled and honoured to receive
 The K.W. Irmisch 'Arts Person of the Year' award - and trophy!
Awards  celebration was held at the Royal Botanical Gardens on May 11th, 2017,
hosted and organized by the City of Burlington.  

When I was notified that I was 'in the running', and knowing too that I would not be able to attend that night, I prepared a little 'speech' ... just in case .... because you never know ....  
I was asked to have a 'stand in', and asked local arts champion, Kim Varrell, to act on my behalf. 
Little did we both know that I would WIN!!! 

'Art Person of the Year in 2016' - Margaret Lindsay Holton
Here's my speech, delivered with great grace & aplomb, by Kim - (THANK YOU Kim!!!)

"I am very sorry I could not be with you all tonight. I am humbled and truly honored by this award, especially as everyone else in this category is so deserving.

I grew up in the rural North-end of the City on a sheep farm, up on top of the Escarpment, far from the lakeside downtown core. .... As a child, Burlington, as a City, was miles away! - Our family roots are deep in this area: first, as pre-Confederation farmers, then, post-Confederation, as Loyalist manufacturers, who fanned out, building and contributing, to the well-being of this region. Today, I stand as the sole professional artist from a large extended family that is now spread across much of Southern Ontario. - We are Canadians.

I do consider it my role - and responsibility - as a mature artist - to be a cultural witness of our Times - to interpret the issues of our day - through my pencil, pen and paint brush. Photography and film-making are newer additions to my work, but, fundamentally, my work is what I DO - as a multi-disciplined Canadian artist - rooted to this land - HERE - on this amazing planet.

Burlington, as a City, is now a rapidly evolving collection of diverse neighbourhoods. We are perched between one of the greatest of Lakes in North America, Lake Ontario, and the ancient primordial rock of the Niagara Escarpment. Our little patch of turf stands as a beacon of civility and safety in a larger war-torn and increasingly troubled world. To my mind, we all have a responsibility to maintain that civility through our words and neighbourly deeds. It is how we create "community" amongst ourselves.

Art, in whatever form, is a neuron bridge. It shares IDEAS. Some may be critical and unsettling, Others can be super positive and celebratory. All together, art expresses WHO we are to each other. Art makes us human.

I am very happy to receive this honour.  Thank you."

Burlington’s Best Awards are managed by a citizen’s committee that was established in 1965 with the mandate of recognizing local residents who bring honour to the city and make a significant difference in the community.

p.s. Highlighted in the nomination video was one of my more recent art projects, The Frozen Goose (about a rural family coping in the aftermath of WW1.). It is the ONLY Canadian film, as far as I know, that includes two outstanding local locations in Burlington, Ontario, Canada - Mount Nemo & Rattlesnake Point. Both are timeless landscapes. See it here.


Plus a few shots of the event, courtesy of the City of Burlington -
Burlington BEST AWARD winners - without me :)

Nominees & BEST Awards Committee at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre

Mayor of Burlington, Rick Goldring at the City BEST Awards Gala

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

CD Launch & 'Brunch on the Beach' with Canadian Artist & Poet - Margaret Lindsay Holton

Opps! - ERRORS all MINE. Caesar DRINKS, not SALADS, are $5!- Includes an EGG!

It's a happenin'!
- Come for 'Brunch on the Beach' - with me :)
SUNDAY - June 11th, at 11am 

At HARRY'S PUB on the Hamilton Beach Strip
721 Beach Blvd - with easy access to Lake Ontario beach front & boardwalk... 
BLTs, Eggs & Bacon, Home Fries & Toast, etc. Fully Licensed. - Parking on Side Streets.
Conveniently located SMACK in the MIDDLE of the Beach Strip, Harry's Pub.
CANADADA:TAKE TWO - Spoken Word & Garageband Antics CD, by MLHolton

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.

Poster by Klyde Broox - Poets in the Hammer  - (Guess who's got a finger in her eye? ... )
Post event: Klyde - in full force - at the Hamilton Public Library, video by Ute Schmid Jones.

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

UPDATE: May 2017 - Great Exhibit! Thanks for coming everyone! 
Here's moi during 'installation' mid April ... 
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
ps. Woohoo - I WON! :) 
More here

'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