Tag Archives: Canadian painters


20150110_165843Dropped in yesterday to say happy new year to Gallery 36 owner Trevor Allen and his lovely gallery colleague Violetta yesterday. They recently moved from their original space in Hazelton Lanes (now under yet another renovation and reconstruction) over to 92 Avenue Road (opposite the west entrance to the Lanes). The gallery is chock-a-block full of colourful original paintings, Murano art glass and stunning bronze sculptures.

20150110_170218 20150110_165801 20150110_165746Gallery 36 now represents UK-born Canadian artist Gary Pilkington, whose unique work not only stopped me in my tracks, it’s got me saving up my pennies (and planning to return my forest of wine bottles for refund$!!) to possess one of his pieces. Check out Gary’s work below….

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20150110_165606 20150110_165718Here’s the artist’s statement: Every piece is extraordinary, and diverse in design, so it makes sense that Gary’s approach to painting is also uncommon: “Instead of applying a medium with my hands, paintbrush or pallet knife, I let gravity, chance, luck, and randomization take control over the painting.” Gary uses an unconventional technique called “pulling paint,” using different channels to pull it down. Here, he finds the exhilarating feeling of exploring colour, inspiring his creative presence and ingenuity. He also uses tiles, plexi-glass, and aluminum sheets, reinforcing his deviation from the norm. Pilkington’s influences include Jackson Pollock, Keith Tyson, Damien Hurst, and Jason Martin; these influences are revealed in Gary’s work – abstract and fluid.

You can find out more about Gary here: https://pilkingtonsart.wordpress.com/ 

The Murano glass (made in Italy) is stunning and a real favourite of mine. I have a number of handcrafted rings and some small art glass pieces but would love to add some of Trevor’s catalogue to my collection (many more wine bottle refunds are needed, tho! LOL)

20150110_165923 20150110_165928And look at these beautiful glass hummingbirds (below)….so delicate, yes?

20150110_165944 20150110_170005Thanks for the hospitality, Trevor, and I look fwd to attending your planned Gary Pilkington reception, hopefully in the spring.




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20141002_182655This past Thursday evening, Canadian artist J. DAVID MURPHY (above) unveiled his latest paintings in his “Rainbow Country” exhibition running throughout the month of October at URBAN GALLERY, 400 Queen St. East, Toronto.  His stunning oil on canvas paintings evoke the vast expanses of Ontario’s north country, featuring many rock faces, rivers and forest scenes.

20141002_180953 20141002_181030 20141002_182408David Murphy was born in Barrie and after graduating high school, he studied law at the University of Toronto, and got his Masters Degree at the prestigious London School of Economics. He was Law Clerk to the Chief Justice of Ontario, an associate and partner in a leading international law firm in Toronto, a law professor in Hong Kong, and a high court judge in the Cayman Islands. He retired in 2000 and returned to Canada after 13 years based on the Maltese island of Gozo.  He started experimenting with oil painting while a law student, inspired by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. As a lawyer practising commercial litigation in Toronto, he led a “secret life” taking art classes, and showing his work in juried collective exhibitions. While a law professor in Hong Kong, he experimented with watercolour and Chinese brush painting. He also developed a research specialty in art law, and authored a book on the legal aspects of the trade in Chinese art, published by Oxford University Press.

20141002_182711(0) 20141002_182730 20141002_182418Since retiring, Murphy has exhibited his paintings regularly at the prestigious LaCloche Art Show, Tom Thomson Days Juried Exhibition, and the Northern Ontario Art Association Exhibition. In Malta his work has appeared in the Arts Club Exhibition, the Collective Gozitan Art Exhibition (under the auspices of the European Parliament), the Collective Exhibition of Gozitan and Foreign Artists, the Eden Foundation Collective Art Exhibition, and “Lejlet Lapsi – Notte Gozitana” Art Exhibition.  He has had two prior solo exhibitions in Canada – in northern Ontario (2005) and Muskoka (2007); and two in Malta – in Victoria (2004) for the Government of Malta, and in Vittoriosa (2009) for the municipal government. He will present solo exhibitions at Beaux-Arts Brampton and at Urban Gallery in Toronto in 2014. Most recently he was Guest Artist at Peter Street Fine Arts Gallery in Orillia in 2013.

20141002_183356We were thrilled when one of the works (above) sold within an hour of the opening…congrats, David, and I hear two more may also be sold!

For more info on David’s paintings & gallery hours visit:  www.urbangallery.ca


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I was recently introduced to the wonderful folks at Urban Source Catering and their adjoining Urban Gallery, the awesome event space and art gallery located at 400 Queen St East in downtown Toronto. I’ve had the pleasure of attending a number of artist receptions and salons at Urban Gallery over the past couple of months and wanted to share their story and promote their business to my readers.  I asked Gallery Manager Calvin Hambrook and Event Coordinator Kaspara Albertsen to share the story of Urban Gallery and how artists can participate with shows and exhibitions.

20140403_184402What inspired the Urban  Source Catering team to expand into an event space/gallery?  We had always planned on having an event space and Calvin wanted an art gallery, too, so when the space at 400 Queen Street East became available, we jumped at the chance to have both combined in one…and right next door, too!

Do you have any specific criteria for artists considering a show at Urban Gallery?  We’re a new gallery so we are open to artists in various media, working in a wide variety of subjects.


Allen Shugar is your curator – how did Allen join the team and what is his function as far as choosing artists/curating the pieces that are hung in Urban Gallery?  Allen is Calvin’s life partner and a talented artist. He studied design at the Bauhaus School in Chicago and has a broad knowledge of the arts and art history. He also has a keen eye for the specialized task of curating art, group shows being more difficult and time-consuming than most but Allen always pleases the artists and the public with his curating. [Pictured below:Calvin (left) and Allen (right) flank recent exhibiting artist,  Shannon Moyer-Szemenyei ]


How do you help promote each show for the artists?  We advertise in Slate Art Guide (their magazine & online version) and on  www.torontoart.com plus we have our own website & social media. Since opening in November of 2012, Urban Gallery has built a contact list of over 1,200 visitors & art aficionados so each exhibition benefits from a promotional e-mail campaign.

Do you have any relationships with arts associations, groups, etc.?  We are currently part of the 2014 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival and World Pride Toronto 2014, and we are considering participating with other arts groups and associations in the future as we grow our reputation as a gallery.

How has the opening of the gallery impacted the neighbourhood? Have you noticed it attracts new visitors to the Queen East historic district?  We have noticed an increased foot traffic since we opened, and we know that many of our visitors are pleasantly surprised by the vivacity and safety of the neighbourhood, and the many new businesses and shops opening along the historic Queen Street East strip.

Do you have plans to hold special catered events in the space?  Yes, we will be hosting events during our Group Show Pride of Place in June 2014, as well as various events during Pride and World Pride. We’re also working on our 2nd Group Show in September, the visually delicious “Art of Food” when we will be featuring tasty selections from our catering menu during the Show’s run.


Urban Source Catering celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2015 – any special celebrations planned in the gallery space?  Yes, we will ‘kick off’ the 30th Anniversary Celebrations with the aforementioned Group Show “Art of Food”, and will also host events each month leading up to the 30th Anniversary on March 8, 2015.

Who/how can artists contact you for possible exhibitions?  Calvin is the Gallery Manager and is the main contact for booking exhibitions, but they can also speak with Kaspara Albertsen to make their initial inquiry. Artists can contact us via email at urbangalleryart1@gmail.com or call 647-460-1278.

Any special shows coming up this year? Upcoming Exhibitions: July: artist Alex Taves • August: artist Linda Langerak • October: artist J. David Murphy • November: photographer Karen Silver • December: artist Erik Chong

  •  I SEE is a photography exhibit in May 2014 for Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival
  • Pride of Place is our gallery group show for PRIDE and WORLD PRIDE in June 2014
  • Art of Food is our second group show in 2014, featuring food-themed art and our Chef Lyndon Wiebe’s food artistry

We have a number of “Art Salons” (pictured below) planned and also have several exhibitions already scheduled for 2015, and are receiving inquiries daily for exhibition opportunities!

Nik Beat salon

And a final message from Gallery Manager, Calvin Hambrook:

I’ve been very happy with the interest and enthusiasm from the artists and gallery visitors, not only for the ‘No Commission’ concept, but also for the beauty of the space – its elegance and simplicity. I’m delighted by Kaspara’s pleasant and efficient handling of inquiries and events and, of course, Allen’s excellent curating talent. We are all very proud of Urban Gallery’s contribution to the local community’s well-being as well as the general Toronto arts community!

Calvin, Kaspara & Allen(L to R) Calvin, Kaspara & Allen – the heart, soul and artistic driving forces behind URBAN GALLERY







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20131107_152501What a busy busy afternoon…artist CAROLYN MEGILL has been hanging her work in preparation for this Saturday’s gallery event at ARPLADIA, 87 Yorkville Ave in Toronto.  With the help of husband RICK and gallery director BRIAN MARSHALL SCHIEDER, the pieces went up quickly and everything now looks amazing and ready for art lovers’ eyes.

20131107_152711 20131107_152718 20131107_152729 20131107_15310320131107_160029 20131107_154118 20131107_154138 20131107_155757If you’re in Toronto this weekend, be sure to drop by ARPLADIA, 87 Yorkville Ave this Saturday between 1:00-5:00pm to meet Carolyn as she unveils her WINGSPAN exhibit that offers beautiful artwork ranging from $300 to $3,000. The show runs until Sunday November 17th.

Please visit her website: www.carolynmegill.com for samples of her work and learn about Carolyn’s journey from her childhood in Japan to curating group shows here in Toronto.


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After spending time with the uber cool NIK BEAT at Catalyst Gallery yesterday, I walked back along Queen St West (Toronto) and discovered a marvelous art gallery that also offers a great café and an event space ideal for live music, poetry and spoken word performances. It’s called the NORMAN FELIX GALLERY www.NormanFelix.com and I had the pleasure of meeting gallery director Erin Bittschwan who allowed me to take some photos to share with my readers and art fans. If you’re heading down to Queen West, drop in and check out the great art work on their walls and enjoy a deelish latte or espresso. The gallery is located at 627 Queen St West  Follow them on Facebook: /norman.felix

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The rain cleared up, the clouds parted and the sun came out for the hundreds of art fans who flocked to the historical town of Schomberg, just half an hour north of Toronto. Starting out with scones and jam at Sheena’s Tearoom in the old feed mill (see photo below) my bestie, Erena, and I strolled up Main Street lined with century buildings, visiting each artist’s tent and ooo’ing and aaah’ing over the stunning and innovative works of art. 20130922_141417

One of our favourite stops was the tent shared by husband and wife artists Betty & Mike McGowan who were charming and welcoming…so welcoming, in fact, that I ended up with a couple of Mike’s small paintings!  www.mcgowanart.com

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They’re leaving shortly for a wonderful trip to Italy where Betty vows she will be taking tons of photos as inspiration for future paintings. I snapped them together by one of Mike’s wild pieces called “Synapse” which Mike claimed was an illustration of his mind! (bottom)


I also met up with the multi-talented Karola Steinbrecher whom I met at the recent Cabbagetown Arts & Crafts Fair. Karola brought out some of her whimsical animal portraits as well as some gorgeous new landscapes and florals (below 3 pics) www.karola.ca


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We also met several artists inside the Community Hall including George Burt whose wood turning was so stunning and tactile, I spent far too long standing at his display table fondling each piece that I was getting some strange looks from the other visitors!  http://www.bradfordartsguild.com/george-burt.html

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Also inside the Hall was Marianne Broome whose stunning colourful florals & landscapes (below) attracted a lot of attention. www.naturesedgestudio.ca  I’m looking forward to bringing Marianne’s works to the downtown Toronto art community in the near future.

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Further down Main Street was a circle of tents where we discovered lots of beautiful gold leaf butterflies, courtesy of artist G. Tonkiel

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And opposite the “flutter-bies”, we discovered the uber cool photography and mixed media of Courtney Mair www.courtneysandy.com  (below)

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Next to Courtney, we found Helen Walker & Keith Thirgood  of www.wilsonstreetstudios.com and I fell in love with Keith’s colourful country houses and Helen’s beautiful landscapes and still life. 20130922_133549 20130922_133612








Ellen Nelson www.ellennelsonclassicart.net presented some beautiful paintings of nature and beasties including “Sue” the polar bear!








I must admit, though, my favourite activity today was taking a ride with some beautiful big black Percherons – “Andy & Dan” – who gave visitors carriage rides up and down Main street all afternoon. Thanks for the giddy-ups, fellas, and thanks to owner John Hodgson who held the reins.  20130922_142721



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I get “art smart” with talented Toronto painter CAROLYN MEGILL

Another wonderful adventure in the city last night when I went with my “bestie” Erena up to the Wychwood Barns, home of numerous artists’ studios and galleries, to attend a charming artist’s reception at the Community Gallery located on the east side of the Barns.  CAROLYN MEGILL (pictured below centre in red jacket) 20130820_191330hosted a stunning exhibition of her latest works (Revelations) which is on show again today until 5pm then afterwards by appointment (contact her via her website http://www.carolynmegill.com/  Her pieces are very affordable, ranging from the low hundreds for unframed, matted small format originals up to $3,000+ for her spectacular large canvases. Very collectible and desirable so I recommend you support this talented Canadian painter.

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