I don’t want to say too much when Shakespeare said it so well.

The Stranger’s Case, is a speech written by Shakespeare, Sir Tomas Moore’s  response to mobs attacking refugees. “Sit as kings in your desires” brings to mind a particular orange individual, but also the silence of those who put him there and who intend to profit from “a strong hand” in response to strangers.

“This Your Mountainish Inhumanity.”

The Book of Sir Thomas More, Act 2, Scene 4

Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise
Hath chid down all the majesty of England;
Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,
Their babies at their backs and their poor luggage,
Plodding to the ports and coasts for transportation,
And that you sit as kings in your desires,
Authority quite silent by your brawl,
And you in ruff of your opinions clothed;
What had you got? I’ll tell you: you had taught
How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
How order should be quelled; and by this pattern
Not one of you should live an aged man,
For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,
Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another….
Say now the king
Should so much come too short of your great trespass
As but to banish you, whither would you go?
What country, by the nature of your error,
Should give you harbour? go you to France or Flanders,
To any German province, to Spain or Portugal,
Nay, any where that not adheres to England,
Why, you must needs be strangers: would you be pleased
To find a nation of such barbarous temper,
That, breaking out in hideous violence,
Would not afford you an abode on earth,
Whet their detested knives against your throats,
Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God
Owed not nor made not you, nor that the claimants
Were not all appropriate to your comforts,
But chartered unto them, what would you think
To be thus used? this is the strangers case;
And this your mountainish inhumanity.

The Riverdale Art Walk

artwalk (8)

I saw some of my favourites and some new work too!

I was not good at taking photos this year but I caught Lori Mirabelli off guard and she said “yes”. She then said, “ummm, did I agree to that?” but you can see she is very amiable, also my very, very favourite artist this year. I want to live in one of her paintings and I want to paint everything she paints.

The quality of art is really quite astounding, but this is something that the Artist’s Network has worked to maintain and build on. While I won’t list every artist, even though I almost want to, I will say these are the ones that caught my fancy this year:

Stavros, a digital artist

Anna Whitmore, beautiful pen and ink works

Pam Mayview, abstracts

Matt Durant, contemporary art

Going to the Riverdale Art Walk!

I was once a member of the Artist’s Network of Riverdale back before the area was gentrified and you could find studio space for cheap. It was an exciting time in my life, I was emboldened by my recent brush with death (non-hodgkins lymphoma) and liberation from fear (went on a trip with my teacher as her soto deshi).

The Riverdale Art Walk has survived for twenty years now as an initiative of The Artist’s Network. It has artists showing in the Jimmie Simpson Park and building along with some of the businesses on Queen Street. It is respected as a great venue for Fine Artist’s, from emerging to mid-career artists of all visual media.

For some time I found it very painful to visit as I grieved that that part of my life because the demands of my personal life had made it impossible to actively pursue a career. Now that I am older I have come to terms with the fact that I can not physically paint any longer (and I have found other expressions for creativity) I am just happy to see old friends and be amazed by the work. It is a great way to spend a day!



Thing number one: Find inspiring stories of creativity and post them in your blog!

This guy, does stuff in the snow that is mind-blowing! Seriously, check it out! I’m told this is why the Aliens won’t destroy the planet. This link comes to me via a professor, a doctor of English, but she has written a lot about Science Fiction, like the popular series Star Gate, and appeared on a documentary about it. I feel that this makes her tremendously qualified to make that assertion!

I am heading into the S.A.D. days of winter. That means I will post, intermittently things that I am checking out to beat my seasonal affected disorder. I don’t know if S.A.D. is recognized as a legitimate disorder but I like that the acronym spells how I feel for several weeks each year.

Face Painting for Kids

Let them chose what they want to be!

Let them choose what they want to be!

Start with Basic Templates!
The important thing to remember when painting kids faces is that they often have a very vivid picture of exactly what they want to portray.

Have a poster with a few ideas ready beside you that they can look at while they are lined up. Be prepared to adapt your template of faces to satisfy them and remember, their imaginations are boundless.

Shy kids will often hang back for a while so let them. Do not press them to step up. Once they see the fun other kids are having they will often surprise you with how chatty they become. It is wonderful to see them transform into wild animals, monsters or magical beings when they see their reflections!

Use high quality, non-toxic face paints, keep your brushes clean and wipe them with an antibacterial solution between paintings. Reassure parents of the safety precautions you take or list them clearly on your poster.

Remember, do not take any pictures of children without permission. If you intend to publish the pictures on your website or promotional material have the parents sign a release.

Finally, remember to have fun. If you are outside under the sun stay hydrated and take breaks.

Being a clown is a special privilege. Face painting children is about fun first and artistry second so listen closely to the child, encourage him to express what he would like to portray and honor it!

Designs can vary from flowers, butterflies and stars to logos, team symbols and flags. Keep a good selection of colours for every possibility!

I once had a young man ask me to paint the Stanley Cup on his face and I am sorry to say, I didn’t know what it looked like! I did a sort of generic winners goblet on a square base all in grey with a bit of sparkle dust! I am happy to say the young man was quite pleased with it.

Designs usually appeal to the kids who do not want full face paint. Glitter adds drama to any design so have lots of colours to choose from. Check if the parents think they are old enough to understand not to rub their faces if there is glitter going on. It’s best to save this for older kids and adults.

Flowers can grow in vines from the forehead right to the collar bone. Five petalled flowers in many colours connected by green vines are nice. Stars, lightning bolts and diamonds are also popular.

Scenes are fun and can involve a bit of artistry as you mix paint to create sunsets and underwater landscapes. A popular scene is of space with a rocket shooting to the stars.

Water soluble paints offer the most freedom when it comes to blending. Use a high quality non-toxic product like Snazaroo™

Apply the base colour first with a barely damp sponge. If the sponge is too wet it will give a streaky effect.

If your design has lighter and darker colours, apply the lighter ones first. The make-up can be mixed to provide new colours.

Show your art!

    I love art. I get sad sometimes  when it is no longer a part of life for everyone and instead a commodity to benefit only the few.
   Recently I had a friend who is an artist tell me she felt a little guilty for using her position where she works as an opportunity to show her work. 

      Show your art work where you can, when you can, and in any and every environment possible. Be an advocate for art and for artists.  In our society it is left to artist’s to do this. Rather than complain about it, show your art.     

   Art offers a type of  experience that brings us into contact with each other and starts a dialogue.