Saturday, December 22, 2018

New Growth - IPad Sketch by MLHolton

New Growth - iPad sketch by Canadian artist, MLHolton
Year-end mucking around ... There are several art apps available for ipad users that make this kind of finger-swiping doodling fun. This one is mostly an exploratory exercise that made it very quick to think about colours & forms, in contrast and in compliment. It's very easy to get into the 'groove' to just ipad doodle, to just play with it, and goof around. :) - Happy New Year. mlh

Monday, December 17, 2018

Christmas Thoughts 2018

Dormant Orchard with Pine Winebreaker - Photo by M.L.Holton
Christmas is approaching. It's now Dec 17th. Parcels and presents have been made, bought and wrapped. Delivery has begun with visits to friends and family. It's a festive social time. More then anything though, this year, it's those who are gone that hover over the festivities. I miss my dear old dad a great deal. I miss his gentle good humor and considerate and competent ways. I am equally aware that this may well be my last Christmas with my dear old mum. Aging is a strange phenomenon because as much as our minds are alive and active our bodies do not have the same capacity to renew or sustain. Christmas seems to increasingly be a time to remember not only the cycle of life within the framework of the Christian faith, but Life's very natural limits. "INFINITY" and the "INFINITE" are grand thoughts, but, practically, everything in our day-to-day experience underscores how finite living and life really is. Life, as we know it, does end. Spring will, of course, come again, yet it will be a different spring ...

Season's Best to All.
Catch you on the flip side - mlh

Monday, December 10, 2018

Book Review of New Novel from MLHolton, TRILLIUM

Book Review: TRILLIUM - by MLHolton / Reviewed by A. Brindle

PLUS, A 4 STAR Silver Book Award from Literary Titan  - Received February 6th, 2019
TRILLIUM on Amazon. CA:

Monday, November 12, 2018

'Meet & Greet' Golden Horseshoe Artist, MLHolton

All welcome: Come One, Come All!
Informal 'Meet & Greet' at A Different Drummer Books
in beautiful downtown Burlington. Friday, Dec 7th, 7-8pm. 
See you there!
UPDATE: Super fun to catch up with old & new friends at the book signing.
CLASSIC photo of MLH taken by Ian at Different Drummer ... Eyes Closed As Per Usual!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

TRILLIUM - A new Canadian Novel by MLHOLTON

This epic family saga begins after three diverse men arrive to the North American continent. Set in the Golden Horseshoe region of Canada, one arrives by foot at the Niagara frontier in the 1750s. Another arrives by ship from the island of Sicily to the burgeoning Hamilton port in the mid 1850s. The last arrives from Dublin just before the outbreak of WW1.

Over 250 years the Hartford, Di Angelo and O'Sullivan clans hunker down into the wine-making district of Niagara. Nothing remains sacred as opportunists pursue lust, land and loot. Ancient taboos are broken - and all hell breaks loose ... 

Wine enters the picture too - lots and lots of wonderful, lip-smacking wine.

Canadian artist, Margaret Lindsay Holton, aka MLH, explores changing manners and mores in this tell-all romp. Part poet, part mid-wife, part futurist, part sage, word-smith Holton creates an unforgettable and imaginative portrait of Canadian living.

Author of two other novels 'Economic Sex' (1985) and the award-winning 'The Gilded Beaver' (1999), MLHolton has also crafted short stories and poetry. 

After writing and directing, 'The Frozen Goose' (25 min DVD, 2016), she produced a spoken-word & electro-pop album 'CANADADA:TAKE TWO' (2017) to mark Canada's sesquicentennial. Her earlier poetry books, 'Bush Chord' (2006) and 'On Top of Mount Nemo' (2002) as well as her five photography books can be found on her website. 

*E-pub Edition releases January 2019* 
Amazon paperback now on AMAZON.CA

Facebook fan page: TrilliumNovel Twitter: @trilliumthenovel 


First PRINT review / Dec Issue - The Bay Observer, 2018

2ND Excellent Book Review via Thomas Anderson of Literary Titan, January 2018.
**** 4 out of 5 stars ****
"I cannot recommend this book enough."

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Alumni of Influence Award - Margaret Lindsay Holton

Well, that's super NICE! 

Just learned that I am to be given an 'Alumni of Influence' Award by the University of Toronto, via Principal  Donald C. Ainslie.

Ceremony is in November, so miles away yet. But still, wanted to share the GOOD NEWS! 

So often, as an artist, we work away (because we MUST) with little thought of recognition or even sales.

When it all comes together - when others recognize the effort, large and small - it's an unexpected and very gratifying THRILL!

THANK YOU to WHOEVER nominated me! Your anonymity is beguiling: it will pleasantly plague me for the rest of my life! xoxoxoxo mlh :) 

August Company! Alumni Awards, UofT, 2018

Post Event - Press Links:

  Received the following lovely trophy-vase too!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sun Shadow II - Pinhole Photography by M.L.Holton

A three person show at  
in Dundas, Ontario, Canada.

July 6th-29th
Drop on by! 

Opening Reception:
FRIDAY, July 6th
7pm 9:30pm. 

See you there! 
- mlh 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

MLH OPEN STUDIO - June 3rd, 2018 - 3-5pm

Thrilled to be a part of Hamilton Arts Week, June 2 - 9th, 2018. 
Will 'represent' the Hamilton Beach Community 
via my lakeside studio. 

SUNDAY - JUNE 3rd, 2018 - 3-5pm 
Margaret Lindsay Holton 

EVENT LISTING: Visit spectacular lake-side ART STUDIO of multi-disciplined, award-winning Golden Horseshoe artist, Margaret Lindsay Holton. Known for her distinctive 'naive-surreal-folk-abstract' paintings & beguiling photo-collages, Lindsay's distinctive art has established her as one of the regions best loved & collectible artists. Provocative. as well as prolific, come see what she's up to next! 

Family Friendly. Light Refreshments on Site. 
Plus, access to Lake Ontario beach front out front.

MLH Paintings, Photography (pinhole & digital), Books, CDs, DVDs, cards & other MLH ephemera
 - available for review and purchase.
All Welcome! 

Kindly note, if coming via car, please PARK on side street opposite Harry's Pub. 
Entrance to Studio is via SIDE DOOR on building. Ring Buzzer No. 3. 
(Barking dog is behind the door!) - See you then!

Hamilton  Beach Strip, Lake Ontario waterfront
 Can't make it? Not to worry, some items still available via my art shop page ... HERE.

Monday, March 26, 2018

SPRING - 2018

Nest - Watercolour pencil sketch by MLHolton
It's that time of year again when the ice melts and the snow recedes. Thank goodness. It hasn't been a hard winter, but it was getting a bit dreary and long. Luckily, the sun is warming up a plenty and it looks like, finally, it's over.  During the LONG HAUL, I've put my hand, head and heart to several new ventures ....

In particular, for this post, I wanted to show off some of my recent watercolour pencil sketches. I've never painted watercolours before, it's just never really appealed as a medium. BUT I do like the idea of sketching, then using the brush to amplify and/or highlight aspects of that sketch. It seems to be working out so far.

Ships by MLHolton - Watercolour Pencil Sketches

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day 2018 - from M.L.Holton

'Art Attack by M.L.Holton
There is so much hate and hurt in the world now - people lashing out, crying, and dying from injustice and justice. As an artist, in this year, 2018, and on this day, I consider it my on-going ROLE to declare that I too WITNESS, via my words and art works, that which defines, aligns and alienates us, humanity, from each other, and from our collective home, Mother Earth.

Today, I was honored to have excerpts from my album, Canadada: Take Two, included in this timely & insightful Australian podcast by DJ Lapkat. She has mindfully assembled a medley of spoken word and music that ADDRESSES us, humanity. 

Please, listen in - give it the due it deserves. Thank you.

La Danza Poetica - #60. Canada:Untold Stories

Via DJ Lapkat: 'We love you, Canada. Not only is your Minister for Transport an astronaut, your storytellers, poets, musicians and artists are gravity-defyingly-eloquent. La Danza Poetica #60 is an extended show, because I was enjoying myself so much, I could not stop. Moving from high-energy, activist hip hop and electronic dance music, into an extended ambient / spoken word mix with no interruption from me ... this month I bring you some stories, told in a time of reckoning, rooted in cultural expression, social consciousness, and Mother Earth connection.



Ziibiwan – Fast Asleep (I Will)
M.L.Holton – I care 4 U caribou (SPOKEN)
Brandon Wint – Brighter
Ziibiwan – Winter's Child feat. Wellspoke
Jb the First Lady – OOTG
Taboo / Mag 7 – Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL
Eivør Pálsdóttir – Trollabundin (Rise Ashen Rub)
M.L.Holton – The Inuit in me Speaks to the White (MUSIC)
M.L.Holton – The Inuit in me Speaks to the White (SPOKEN)
Mob Bounce – Vision Quest
Wellspoke – facts
Ziibiwan – Manitou
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson – Caribou Ghosts and Untold Stories
Quantum Tangle – Ikersuaq
Shane Koyczan – Inconvenient Skin feat. Tanya Tagaq & Kym Gouchie
Brandon Wint – My Body is Heavy with Histories
Francois Couture – Iceberg
M.L.Holton – igloo (SPOKEN)
Ziibiwan – North
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson – Laughing Heart
Brandon Wint – Impossible and Common
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson – The Oldest Tree in the World

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

In Studio - Magic Hour, Georgian Bay by MLHolton

Magic Hour, Georgian Bay - acrylic on board, by MLHolton
This work recently returned to my lakefront studio, and will be here until the end of the month, when it will go back into storage. It's nicely framed, if I say so myself, in a silver wooden plain frame. Size: 25" square. -- If interested to view, please make an appointment -  M-F, 9-5pm. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Painting & Pinholing - Off to a Great Start in the New Year!

Bruce Trail: Early Spring (2009) by M.L.Holton - SOLD
For five years, I was the Trail Captain for the Ian Reid Side Trail, a tributary of the Bruce Trail, in southern Ontario, Canada. A 1.5 km trail, it meanders off the main trail through the woodland area beneath the Niagara Escarpment. It was my job to keep the trail clear of debris and just keep an 'eye on it'. I'd head out for a good hike at least once every two weeks. At that time of the year, the tail end of winter, the ground was still bone hard. A gentle brush of snow covered the lee-side of the escarpment, but the sun - oh that Sun! - was sending out such radiant warmth that I stopped in my tracks when ascending the trail and just marveled. ... I could sense the WHOLE marvelous planetary drama unfold ... The trees cracked, wee tiny water rivulets were forming on the trail, and that shimmering sunlight & early spring air were soooo fresh & invigorating! Ah! The Promise of Spring! - We are so very blessed to live on this amazing planet. - And I am very happy that this work has now gone on to a good home.

In other 'New Years'  news, I also recently completed a great interview with David Ellis via his arts blog, about my pinhole photography. Have a gander -  Photographer Interview - Margaret Lindsay Holton.

A few choice extracts follow - 

DL: Thank you for chatting to us today about the traits of your photography, along with what motivates and influences you as a photographer. Firstly, please tell us about your photography speciality, which is Pinhole Photography. What type of photography is this and what are its origins?

Margaret Lindsay Holton replies: 
Pinhole photography is the oldest known form of photography on the planet. The earliest known use of this technique was in Asia around 500 B.C, and in the West, around 500 A.D. During the Renaissance it enjoyed a brief resurgence as scientists and philosophers explored the emerging realm of optics. Sir David Brewster, a Scottish scientist, first coined the phrase ‘pin-hole’ in the 1850’s. Also known as a ‘camera obscura’, pinhole photography – without the use of lens or fancy mechanical gadgetry – lets in a small pinhole of light to a completely blacked-out cavity. This incoming pinhole of light creates a upside-down reverse image of what the pinhole is facing.
In other words, it creates a ‘negative’.I use photo-sensitive paper to create my images. From the paper ‘negative’, I pull a ‘positive’ print in my darkroom using conventional developing techniques. The ‘positive’ photo image, also known as a ‘contact print’, is what you see as the finished photograph.

Labour intensive, creating one pinhole image can easily take 8 to 10 hours, from initial ‘loading’ of the photo-sensitive paper in the darkroom, to the end result of the final photo image. Yet, oddly, time dissolves when pinholing. The process forces one to be very attentive to the ‘here and now’. All becomes vivid, more immediate. One is literally dancing with Light…

I am ever beguiled by this seemingly archaic form of ‘slow photography’. It amazes me still, even after nearly two decades of pinholing, that I can create photo images without a lens, or a mechanical box with shutters or digital fittings.

Have you always been interested in Pinhole Photography or do you have other genre types of pictures that you have focused on over the course of your career?

I began taking photographs many years ago, like many, with a simple Box Brownie. As I grew older, I moved into more conventional photography, with upgrades of equipment, first using 35mm film then switching to digital, for the last twenty years.

Now, as an award-winning, multi-disciplined and senior Canadian artist, I see and use the discipline of photography as an alternative tool to perceive, interpret and document the world that I inhabit.
I have always pinholed somewhat organically. I never, as example, use a light meter. Rather, to understand exposure, I instinctively gauge the brilliance of the Sun bouncing off objects, constantly learning by trial and error.

All in all, I am not particularly ‘connected’ to current digital methods of photography. Cameras are tools that can be used in a variety of different ways to amplify WHAT we see and HOW we see it. The skill of photography – to convey meaning – comes with the understanding of the effects of light while adroitly framing a composition. Mechanical cameras and digital software twiddle with these photo basics.

To that end, aside from pinhole photography, I create digital photo-montages where I layer images on top of each other to create hybrid visual stories.

I also create what I call digital ‘white outs’. In this method, I take a digital image and then, via now an outdated computer software program, manually erase segments, by moving the computer mouse. The effect creates an interesting fusion of perceived as well as created contours that, I believe, both please and engage the mind’s eye.

Lately, I have also been using digital video to explore additional aspects of visual storytelling.
About five years ago, I started by making short documentary profiles for local news outlets using my Apple iPod and a simple Apple editing application, iMovie. These video shorts allowed me to hone my shooting and editing style.

Then, in 2016, I wrote and directed my first narrative film, ‘The Frozen Goose’. This period film, about a rural family coping in the aftermath of WW1, with a cast of five, has exhibited at festivals over the past year, aired on local cable stations, received good media coverage and is now globally available online.

As a result, it is much more likely that people will be aware of my ‘art making’ capabilities via film, than by my pinhole photography or even my signature painted works. That’s just the nature of the beast.

The serious fun part of filming is, in fact, the editing, not the shooting. Why? Because editing moving pictures establishes a basic cognitive resonance between the filmmaker and the viewer in a way that still photography seldom can. With film, the editor intimately ‘tells the story’ from start to finish, leading the viewers’ eye, ear and minds.

With still photography, the reality of viewer distraction is far greater. And the viewer, through their own perceptual bias, ends up mentally quick-editing the stationary image, in order to find their own meaning. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s a more capricious engagement process then creating video stories. It is much much tougher to make an arresting still photograph, let alone, a good pinhole image.

Other than that, I continue to paint two dimensional works, as I have done for over 40+ years. You can sample that kind of work via my art blog. ...

Whose photographic work has influenced you the most in your life? 

Henri Cartier-Bresson. But I don’t know that he has particularly influenced my work. I do very much admire his compositions and acute eye, his way of seeing. We all see so many images now. What seems to hold attention these days is the jarring or often visually upsetting image. But I don’t know that this is really useful or helpful to anyone, in that, we have become somewhat anesthetized and polluted by the vast array of digital photography flicking on multiple screens. They are constantly demanding our attention: “Look at ME!” Think of the constant barrage of ‘attention grabbing’ headline photos of extreme whatever. Our minds are constantly being assaulted by this advertiser-induced stuff to – to just WATCH. My intent, by changing the means of photographic creation – be it through pinhole, photo-montage or white-outs – is to ‘Free the Eye’.

I hope to visually persuade viewers to make new synaptic connections that seduce through gentle curiosity and interest, instead of through heightened uncertainty or horrific pain. Violence doesn’t have to be a mainstay of how we SEE things. ...

Among all of your photographic works, which one is your personal favourite and why is it your favourite?

Oh dear. Impossible to choose. I like many for very different reasons. Light effects, composition, familiarity of subject matter or even the ‘odd ball’ shot. One of my favourite pinhole images, as example, was entirely a mistake. The mounted photo-sensitive paper fell off inside the camera during exposure. The result was a ‘double image’ of the window frame. Interestingly, this image sold to an enthusiastic collector from Portland, Oregon, about a decade ago.

When and how were you originally inspired to become a photographer? Also do you have any formal training that you draw upon?

I became enamored with pinhole photography after taking a one-day workshop with Di Bos, a pinholer of some acclaim here, in Canada, in 2001. I was amazed that a photo image could emerge without using a conventional camera. Aside from that initial pinhole baptism, I have learned 100% by doing.

How do you personally educate yourself to take better pictures? What sort of research do you partake to improve your skills?

The internet, unlike mainstream tell-a-vision, has provided an astonishing array of options to improve HOW we see. I use various web portals to explore HOW others SEE, like Pinterest or Instagram.
If a photograph resonates, I always STOP, and look again to understand WHY. It could be a simple thing like the flow of highlights within a photo, or, alternatively, the absence of light.

Do you use any specific editing software packages or written guides to assist you with the production of your pictures?

No. Pinholing is done manually.

How do you spend your free time when you are not taking pictures?

When we open our eyes in the morning, we immediately start taking mental pictures. This activity guides our hand to turn on the light and find our slippers. The portals of our eyes feed our minds to constantly assess the risks, challenges, pleasures and rewards of daily living. Equally, when we go to bed at night, we zoom off into visual worlds of our memory and our sub-conscious. It’s how our minds work. — What do I DO when not making pictures? I think – and Live.

Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?

My next pinhole exhibit will be in July of 2018 at the charming Carnegie Gallery in Dundas, Ontario, Canada. The show is intended as a compliment to my fall show that I had at Oakville’s Sovereign House Museum in 2017, entitled ‘SUN SHADOWS’. Some of my older hand-made pinhole cameras will be on display there too. Drop in!

What are the things that you wish that you knew back when you first started taking photos? Do you have any parting words for other aspiring photographers to take to heart?

As I am a painter first, I have always approached photography as another artist’s tool. The primary image-making device, that we all possess, is our own eye. This is an extraordinarily powerful device when fused with the aspirations, neuro-stumbling and imaginations of our minds.

Best advice I can give, Learn to SEE. A good primer about SEEING – clearly – can be found in John Berger’s ‘Ways of Seeing’. (Best to READ the book instead of watching the online documentary.) Think about what you’re reading. Penetrate and understand the inherent stories of the beautiful, good, bad, evil and the ugly that SEEING clearly can convey.

THEN pick up a camera to document what and how you see what you do.
The skill is 100% in the SEEING – not in the camera itself.

And that’s a wrap!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The New Year ... 2018

Woohoo. Winter came in with a blast over Christmas. The landscape in Southern Ontario is truly a 'Winter Wonderland'. Continued COLD temperatures mean that the snow hasn't gone slushy, or cruddy, yet.  It truly is 'perfect' - especially for x-country ski enthusiasts. I've got a few primo shots from a few outings over the break, but only one ready for today.

Happy New Year to All. 
May 2018 prove a better year for planet Earth, our miraculous & enchanting home ... Do your bit!

Snow Fest, Copyright by MLHolton 2018