24 Nov 2012

Monserrat Figueras - Divine voice

A year ago died this woman, god has given her the voice of divinity that will transcend anything and everything..
Thanks to the internet the beauty of her interpretation will live and inspire many.

16 Nov 2012


I've heard some people have a new-old Jeep.

Truly rustic, gorgeous....
Once you have your way with it - can I have it?

13 Nov 2012

W. Herzog - Death in Five Voices

If you are a Werner Herzog fan I would love to meet you.
If you are not, but would like to be, I would love to meet you.
If you live in the nearest - I don't know - 3,000 km from Ottawa and would like to travel and join me in a "fan club" just to share worship and all kinds of thoughts, let me know. 

I have blabbed somewhere earlier about Herzog being a quintessentially baroque artist.
Here, in the "Gesualdo - Death for Vive Voices", he expresses his interests so much more literally.
His generosity is so immense as he narrates with his great voice in a well poised,and pensive manner. He takes us on voyages to the regions of our human experience and memory where in deep peace resides mistery, side by side with a certain danger of....

We are prone to laziness and self-cherishing and he volunteers to take us on those "field trips" to the obscure rooms of the 19th century Natural History collections of oddities, to exploring those areas of danger and uncertainty.
Gesualdo is not a mere "Memento Mori", it is melancholia as the "divine madness", here in Gesualdo's case - perhaps a lot more and how it becomes a legend...

About "black bile", the melancholia I will write more and more. One of my favourite subjects.
By the way, have you watched "Gesualdo"?  If not, you may take a look:

16 Oct 2012

Antoni Romaszewski - Retrospective Exhibition

Anna Luczak-Romaszewska cordially invite you and any friends that you may care to invite to the retrospective art exhibition "Personal Diary" by Antoni Romaszewski.

Where: Galerie Montcalm, L'Hotel-de-Ville de Gatineau, 25 rue Laurier Street. Free underground parking after 4 p.m. and on weekends - entrance on rue de l'Hotel-de-Ville.
When: from October 18 until November 25, 2012
Vernissage:October 18, 2012 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A book on art by Antoni Romaszewski entitled "Personal Diary" launched at the vernissage, written and edited by Antoni's long term companion and a collector of his work, Francine Brousseau.
A melancholy re-collection of the artist's thoughts, poems, paintings and photographs. 
Available in English and French editions.

12 Oct 2012

W.E. Logan - portrait

Reproducing portraits of W.E. Logan and those of the GSC Director's.

Sir William Edmond Logan FRSE FRS FGS was a Scottish-Canadian geologist. Logan was born in Montreal, Quebec, and educated at the High School in Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh. Wikipedia
Reproduced by ARTzink Studio
In brief, Logan was considered the father of Canadian geology, his contribution was immense and he was revered.
On the April 14, 1842 - Became the first director of the Geological
Survey of Canada, a predecessor of today's National Resources Canada.
The official portrait, set in the gilded 19th century frame has remained with the Geological Survey for over a century.
Notable Composite of the members of the Geological Society of
Canada by W. Notman indicates that Logan is not longer among the
living members, the likeness of this portrait is shown in the area of
the gouache-painted background of the composite.
I had a pleasure of reproducing this portrait, the original was photographed and reproduced on canvas, stretched and framed in the style of the period framing.
The objective was to create reproduction resembling original as closely as possible, glossy coating was applied afterwards to produce the sheen typical to 19th century varnishing practice.
Later on I have encountered the portrait again at the Canadian Museum of Civilizations. I was involved in producing graphic coverage of the "Old is New Again" exhibition which showcased the CMCC's recent aquisitions of period furniture, artwork and the portrait of Sir E.W. Logan seemed to be one of the most visible posessions.
At the Museum of Civilization

His official portrait soon became an iconic image.


Logan's fierce commitment to the geological exploration of Canada also fostered the growth of several other Canadian institutions. (...)

Sir William has left a legacy that has influenced the expansion of Canada. As The Canadian Statesman noted in 1856: "Our country is rich in every thing [sic] that constitutes geographical greatness, but were we without a Logan our greatness would never have been known to the old world." http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/trailblazers/william-edmond-logan/145

Reproductions of W.E. Logan's successors as
Directors of Geological Survey of Canada


14 Sep 2012

Notman - Composite

Notman - Composite reproduction, continued

In broad strokes, the entrepreneurial Scott settled in Canada, impressed Queen Victoria with some photographic (after all, at the time it was a novelty) gifts in the theme of Canadiana and became "Photographer to the Queen". Over time he formed several highly successful businesses and partnerships. His favourable reputation was growing.
With ample financial resources, equipment and a "stable" of photographers whom he trained himself Notman has elevated himself to a position of a Photographer to the Establishment. He became the Establishment.

I was once asked to reproduce the work of Notman from the collection of the Geological Society of Canada. It was one of his composites representing the directorate and prominent member of the GSC, a predecessor to the National Resources (NRCan), the important department of the Government of Canada.

First-time encounter with the proto-analog Photoshop!

By the way, I do own a licensed version of this
Shutterstock image, but it's large and I am rushing,
so here is a small thingy to illustrate my thought...
At a distance the work resembles an older, sepia-toned photograph, but soon the nature of its painted background and the quirky perspective of the poses and visible retouches to the edges of the photographic segments unveils more of its origin and methodology.

Obviously, Mr. Notman's studio was asked to produce a document of the certain group of members. Unable to secure the presence of all his models at once he devised a method that would keep them all present, nicely composed and "looking presentably" regardless of anybody's schedule.
The collected photographs of individual members
were arranged them in a more-or-less realistic
scale and perspective and collaged, cutting around
like paper dolls.


But what it actually was looked like this:

Notman's idea of collaging the group composition from individual photographs was backed with a gouache painted interior.

Film about the art of photo-collaging before the end of the 19th century:
Video Clip on Collaging

Another Composite is shown here: Duncan drawing room group

For more information on W. Notman's work, see this: http://www.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/keys/virtualexhibits/notmanstudio/ 

31 Aug 2012

Jules R. Villemaire with Voix Visuelles

I am working on another exhibition of work by Jules R. Villemaire.
I have produced his exhibitions in the previous years, but this one is to be shown outdoors.
I shall post more on how it went... 

Here is the info:

Jules Villemaire From September 22 to October 7

During X Ottawa Photography Festival and Nuit Blanche Ottawa, Le Centre d’artistes Voix Visuelle, with the support of SAW Gallery and the Ottawa Arts Court, presents Regions of Emotion: The Documentary Photography of Jules Villemaire.
Curated by Stefan St-Laurent, the exhibition is a first survey of the photographic work of the Ottawa artist. Jules Villemaire, renowned for contributing greatly to the documentation and preservation of Franco-Ontarian theatre, has also, for more than 40 years, developed an intimate and singular vision of rural and urban French Ontario. From Hearst to Timmins, he has captured sublime moments of everyday life of the thousands of people he has encountered in his social practice.
The opening of the exhibition will take place exceptionally on Saturday, September 22, at 6:30 p.m., outside SAW Gallery, located at 67 Nicholas Street, in Ottawa.   Information: Shahla Bahrami (613) 748-6954 or info@voixvisuelle.ca Centre d’artistes Voix Visuelle would like to thank the Ontario Arts Council, Canadian Heritage and the City of Ottawa for their support.

18 Jul 2012

Train of Thoughts

There is this amazing pieces of music called Train of Thoughts by the Polish-British composer Andrzej Panufnik.
Mesmerizing.   String sextet Train of Thoughts - Andrzej Panufnik.
He was well known in Britain where he settled, but his work deserves definitely more attention world-wide.
I wanted to upload the little radio-gadget with it, but somehow I cannot do it.
Stay tuned, read my other blurbs, I will be back with it....

20 May 2012

Koko Euro Spoko

The Polish viewers vote those Babcias's song Koko Euro Spoko as the official Polish 2012 Euro Soccer anthem. Grandma's average age - probably 70.  We LOVE KOKO!

ou may notice those flashy colourful graphics.
Those a back-projections on a special 3M rear-projection film, developed just a few years ago but in our area virtually unseen.

The principle of this display system is simple and really clever.
The YouTube video below explains rather clearly the mechanics of it.
In short - if you are thinking of creating a very effective storefront display, that may be the solution for you. You need a projector and - as the man says, many kinds of graphic format.

A word of caution little possums: (yes, I adore Dame Edna - that will be totally DIFFERENT post...)
The City does restrict how you may project.
It mostly restricts your projecting patterns on the street level.
You will be fine with the static images or a slow slide-show with a certain image changing frequency and possibly no video.
Using above street level or indoors, or in a park so it doesn't visually interfere with the traffic - there will be a lot more freedom.
So essentially, the blinking Euro Koko graphics - yes in the park, no in the storefront.

9 May 2012

Children's Festival

The very end (perhaps even the very beninning...) of a 20 ft long banner for the Ottawa Children's Festival - I produced it donating its design. Now it's being cleaned up for another season of kids fun.

Once again, the summer is coming, events starting.
Once again:


would donating a million to establish a stationary children's theatre in Ottawa is asking too much?
Please view all the irresistible benefits that come from such act of enlightened imagination. Irresistible reasons were listed in last year's post on this subject. 
I am sure there is many thousands of reasons more since last year - there is just so many more kids in Ottawa.
All of them need to be armed and empowered with the tools of fantasy and imaginations.
Those are perhaps the most unique qualities among Humans within the Animal Kingdom....
Fantasy and imagination leads to more creative thinking, innovative solutions, better negotiating skills. Gee, we can't have youth lingering in the shopping malls and kids sitting in front of a tube every day!

I know, there are roads to be paved, schools to be opened and discoveries to be discovered - but that's just the OTHER millions, lest  talk  One  million  at  a  Time...
Please. Maybe it's less than a mil - what do I know?

15 Mar 2012

Vintage Prints and Patterns

 from: Trouvais.com

Whenever time permits I scout for new looks, patterns, motifs.
For a while I felt a bit worried about my propensity for collecting old, rustic objects, sometime with no serious economic value.
I have accused myself of planning to build a museum of myself or something...

Here is what people collect these days:
Old jute or linen sacs, making upholstery of cushions out of it.
Seems past holds promises for many of us, irresistible....

The name of the rustic item shown on Ebay.
Vintage French Jute / Hessian burlap grain sack Printed small bag rustic textile

As for my printing practice - I cannot print on jute or even untreated linen or artist canvas. My machine's printheads are set at a close distance from the surface they print on for a precision and high resolution.
Rough stretchy fabric would definitely damage my printer.
I must use textiles specially enginered for my technology. Essentially I would need to capture the background as the part of the graphic (by scanning or photographic) and print the whole graphic on a white even textile.
Which - under the inspiration - I may actually do! 

1 Mar 2012

Werner Herzog as essentially Baroque artist

It is still winter, no work around the house and no gardening, walks tend to be short and brisk...
There is a good thing about this time of year - there is more time to contemplate.
There are certain things I love to contemplate, to think of, to savour, to tease out of...

In both films Herzog uses music as a divine instrument to gear our attention, to set us into the scenery of magical possibility and impossibility, scenery filled with symbols which mark the theatre he builds. Like a Baroque funerary theatre - Theatrum Funebris with objects that call for pensive pose, for a melancholic stance, for a moment of silence in the face of human solitude.
My thesis is that W. Herzog is an artist of baroque sensibility, baroque in its purest and most elevated form and that Bavarian Film Noir is a direct descendant of that historic period.

In Fitzcarraldo, Kaus Kinski's - protagonist presses into the unknown of the jungle, Enrico Caruso's voice carries him like a spell among the savages and away from civilisation.

It gets even better than this. In my opinion, the opening sequence of The Enigma of Caspar Hauser is simply unmatched, it is sublime!
I hope nobody minds the rest of the sequences are in Spanish, we have no problem about that, right?

15 Feb 2012

Mea Cuba - Vernissage

The event turned out to be very successful and really good fun.
In spite of almost a blizzard, the opening evening brought a good number of people.
Among guest we have met SPAO's (School of Photographic Arts Ottawa) instructors.
I was surprised to see that fellow students of Alexei did not show, except one.
Could this suggest that the students do not bond easily, something way back when I was still taking my photography classes - we have discussed once, the photographer's ego...

The Opening Night and the reception were great, the coming weekend wish featured Meet the Artist on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
Once again, the turnout was surprisingly good on the weekend - largely following a brief morning CBC Radio interview with Alexei, broadcasted at 8:30 in the morning.
We were please to see so many people who came after listening to this interview at In Town and Out.

You may listen to the interview via Alexei's website:

Exhibition continued for the next almost 3 weeks, after which the buyers were called to pickup thei new acquisitions. I was glad to have met interesting people.
I am pleased to say that Alexei is a talented photographer but also an enthusiastic organizer and animator.
I am even more pleased once I  have received a signed copy of one of the works exhibited - Running in Circles.

20 Jan 2012

Alexei Kintero - Mea Cuba Photo Exhibition

Finally, it's Show Time!

Almost on the fly a Cuban-Canadian photographer Alexei Kintero, a finishing student at SPAO and I decided to make an exhibition of his work at my Studio.

We set a very close date, and we move it. Literally, we moved the shelving from the Studio front room to the back, my workshop room and we decide on the number of works, make the selection of paper for printing, he pickups the frames, we install some track lighting, pointed the lights, washed the floor and it was almost ready.
The Artist brings a bouquet of fresh tropical flowers, a CD with Cuban music, orders a small catering service from Havana - a local Cuban restaurant and we invite guests.

I cut the wall titling lettering, make a window signage and print his work.
I have output most of his work on the Epson Premium Luster, a reliable, locally available paper for digital photography.

More on the choices of paper for the exhibition:

9 Jan 2012

My Father's birthday

This month was my father's birthday.
Both of my parents contributed to my fondness of history and objects from the past.
He contributed greatly to the Baobab - the family history.

The project, since we are not aristocrats, is not trailing the path of written historic records.
However, I managed to trace my family history only as far as the photographic proof has it.
So essentially, owe my life as a family member to the technology of photography.
So yes, I have tried to repay my debt to photography. In early 1980ies I have enrolled in the photography courses at the Visual Arts department of the local university.
I have spent everything I owned on a Pentax K1000 ($95.-) and a lens ($50.00).

The camera served me well, I've taken many photographs.I was receptive -I admit - to the magic of chemistry-based B&W development, but only as long as I could use technician-maintained lab in the department's lab. The moment I had set up by basement-darkroom it became a utopia.
Between work and a small kid - mixing chemicals....

Aha, and if you think that I would subscribe to the non-clutter concept of organization and get rid of that camera for which I spent everything I owned - no way ma'am. I am going to the grave with it.
I did let my son to cut his photographic teeth on it...

Here, you can see my proud baby, in the background you may see the proof that indeed I keep Susan Sontag and Camille Paglia at a safe distance...
Look - they are separated by Art in the Public Spaces and The Poetics of Space, let me see... Even Semiotics and some book on Linguistics, must be Botha..
They are flanked by - wow - Love in he Western World, Derrida and old edition of C.Jung chewed by my friend's dog
(not the Master, the book dummy!)

8 Jan 2012

Winter through the frost

It is pretty much the zenith of winter, Christmas long past and Easter so far ahead...
Sometime there is cold inertia in the air. Those particles of energy get so cold and so spaced out they just forget doing their job. (is that what they call nuclear physics?)
Luckily, whatever the damages brought by global warning are, for us living in the Southern Ontario it feels like a pretty good thing. Especially in Ottawa - we have more snow, but winter last not as long as I remember at the turn of the 80/90ies, and not as cold.

In our sector (arts/design/graphic) going South never seems like real danger.
Median income in our industry is not allowing for silly thoughts, such as going far.
And although I miss the Sun's rays on my delicate aging body (hahaha..) going places is not something I miss a lot. Whatever few travels I have done were made alone, on a very thin budget,  which altogether makes it a rather stressful experience.
People who go across the globe solo - whether on a bike or walking or in a rocket frankly scare me.
Respect for their determination. I love them.

Amidst all the grayness of the sky, tattered snow, old gray stucco of the buildings on this window view - there is hope: glow emerges on the edges of the little frosted flowers and their negative shapes in the window film.

Several  years ago, at a whim I have decided to produce something for my own pleasure.
I have cut this composition on my vinyl cutter using adhesive Lexan film, something that we always keep in stock at the Studio as it has been a typical exhibition-grade overlaminate to protect museum graphics of higher-end display graphics. 
It is more difficult to work with than typical translucent window films because it is polycarbonate - it is a bit stiff and harder to apply, requires more skill. Needless to say, weeding those tiny beads of film on the flowers was agony - can  you see, there as some that actually remain within the negative flower shape (right side bottom). Aaaahhhh.
But is worked nicely so I am content.

The pattern was inspired by a lovely decorative motive I had found on an awesome blog I follow for years: http://printpattern.blogspot.ca/
I strongly recommend this site. It showcase a multitude of - exactly: print and pattern work for textiles, wallcoverings, stationery, ceramics - you name it.
Work by designers, illustrators, artists mostly from UK, US and Scandinavia, well all over the place...
And by all means - look into the old posts, there is a goldmine of inspiration and goodies to buy.

For example, can you resist this?
(images below form the Print and Pattern blog.)

Yup,  you've seen some of those patterns those at IKEA.

Isn't this beautiful?!?

3 Jan 2012

The Plantagenets - visual genealogy

King Richard III when he looked more alive
vs the Kings earthly remains in Leister UK
One of my very interesting, older clients,
Mr. Gaunt enjoys a pedigree of documented records and compiled by his great grandfather notary, some Mr. Langstaff, who from what I understand the meanders of it, Gaunts were distantly related, although himself not a descendant of the Gaunt lineage.
In brief, my client's lineage is so so long, it reaches beyond the times of Shakespeare. And, I dear say, to what I see - his English lineage is  perhaps more English that I wouldn't dare say whose...
Although.... I've heard a descendant of the English king Richard III, the last Plantagenet, now living in Canada (the relative, not the king, dummy)  is now being investigated by mitochondrial DNA testing.
Wow, that's so cool!

(f/National Post)
Memento Mori

formidable looking (f/Wikipedia)
For more fun - here is John of Gaunt to whom, my client, allegedly is/.may be connected. He is too looking formidably, also a Plantagenet.

For my clients project - The Gaunts of Midland I have printed very large sheets of detailed entries of the family lineage. The records were compiled years earlier by my clients father who being a printer himself took to setting type and produced several copies this enormously detailed poster.

My client's wish was to reproduce existing poster in multiple copies, make numerous corrections and amendments to his father's copy and to add a couple of lines of generations who came to life since the initial poster was printed.

The interesting details were the descriptive blurbs by persons (like the aforementioned Mr. Langstaff and Mr. Atwood) compiled and commented on the records.

Also, a wonderful navigational tool was included by the original printer - Mr. Gaunt's father - it was simple Chronology of English Kings placed on the left extended margin of the spreadsheet.
This enormously helped to locate in the reader's mind where given people were in the scope of larger history.
Although tempted, we did not include any illustrations - only few family crests, such as Gaunt or Mayott, so the body of the original layout will be preserved.
The amount of detailed records was massive so retyping for new layout formatting was out of the question - the room for error was too grave, many records look very similar with minute differences.
So I decided to scan the large sheet in sectors, combine those in photo editor, such as Photoshop and add new entries later.
Even combining the scans was a bit tricky - with age large sheets of paper shrink and expand unevenly, the lines connecting the levels of records were not very even when you seen closely.
Quite a bit of mending was necessary. Also, certain parts of the whole sheets were type set in a bit different times with slightly different font bits than the rest, differently inked and so on.
Working with exposure levels helped to even out the appearance of the type, the colour of the new entries made in QuarkXpress was set not as black but certain percentage of it.

The final sheets of the limited edition of the expanded and appended The Midland Gaunts was printed at about 30" x 40" on 180g archival Somerset Velvet, packed in wider radius shipping tubes and furnished with a pair of white gloves for viewing that would comply with good archival practice.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...