Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Aga Khan Museum: 'The Garden of Ideas' Exhibit

This weekend I managed to drop in on the new Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. What a place! With a somewhat forbidding citadel-like exterior, the stark overpowering angularity of the architecture and landscaped 'pools'  (designed by Vladimir Djurovic) are vividly contrasted to the florid delicacy of the historic and contemporary miniatures dwelling within. Overall, the place projects a lion-hearted, yet oddly timorous, 'soul' ...

The exhibit I particularly wanted to see was 'The Garden of Ideas: Contemporary Art of Pakistan'. The brochure reads, "Created for pleasure, spiritual reflection and aesthetic contemplation, gardens have held many meanings. Beyond their beauty, they represent the human impulse to organize, contain, and collect the natural world. Without cultivation, a garden would cease to exist. Similarly, without cultivation of the mind and the soul, it is believed a society cannot progress' ...."

The exhibition begins with a walk-through-time in order to set the context for the 'contemporary' works ... Overall, the minute intricacy of brush and pen stroke of yore titillates the eye and mind. When confronted with the new works, the intricacy is still there, but 'modern' thoughts, feelings and expressions have taken over what was once artwork done for 'court'.

Some modern items particularly caught my eye ... I'm leading off though with a section of an historical image to give you a sense of that. (Note: I have not documented the artist or the title of the works. This foray was primarily about getting 'an impression' without too much interference.)

From several centuries ago, the tradition, symbolism and talent are self-evident. 

Now the modern stuff ...
(sorry about the pot light reflective glare on a few of these shots)

(Appropriately entitled, 'Threatened' ...)

 (yes, that's a map of England on the wall ...)

(my personal favourite, yes BUSY, but balanced & complex)

... leave you to draw your own conclusions ... 

As the landscape design (and newly planted trees) around this austere monster structure mature, 
the outdoor patio & reflective pools will certainly become a welcoming oasis in that quarter of Toronto.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd say it's a 7. Worth a visit.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Maggies - Oct 16th in #Hamont

I've been nominated. Don't stand a chance of winning, such great talent on deck. 
But nice to be 'in the running' ....

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

ENGRAVED: Canadian Stories of WW1 - LAUNCH Oct 20th

Thrilled to be one of 20 authors in this timely collection of World War One. My tale is fictional, but it still addresses the never-ending horrors of war. Seen through the life and experience of children, my short story tells what is seldom told ...Also delighted to learn that my story is the 'closing story' of the collection.  It is a place of honor.

Pick up a copy via Different Drummer in Burlington 
or Bryan Prince in Hamilton, 
or order via Seraphim's distributor, The Book Band.

For other examples of my written works, please consider some of my photo-journalist items 
published in news blogs throughout the Golden Horseshoe Region of Southern Ontario, Canada.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Made By Hand, Oct 18th/19th, 2014, Mississauga

Hey all, a few of my mid-size acrylic paintings & a few smaller 'White Out' photo works 
will be FOR SALE, at show-stopping prices! ( via vendor Original Art Shoppe  )
 at this wonderful Made By Hand Fall Show... 

Follow hashtag - #MadeByHandShow

Showcasing 150 Artisans: With a collection of over 150 curated exhibitors, a juried show that brings you thousands of quality handmade goods all under one roof. Featuring original artwork, baby/toys items, body care, local clothing designers, fashion accessories, wide assortments of handmade jewellery, photography, knitted items, pottery, paper goods, wood products and a range of gourmet goodies.

Dates: Saturday Oct 18, 2014 & Sunday Oct 19, 2014
Location: International Centre, Entrance 6
6900 Airport Road, Mississauga
Show Hours: 11:00am – 5:00pm

Admission: Adults $7.00 (children 12 and under free)
 BUY TICKETS in advance ...  $7 for adults
with free re-entry (keep your wristband)
Sample of 'White Out' Photography by m.l.holton - 'Silk & Satin'

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fine Arts Society of Milton STUDIO TOUR - Oct 4/5th, 2014

Join us! - 32 Artists - 
- 6 from Burlington ...

On the weekend of October 4th I'll be 'on deck' again at the Fine Arts Society of Milton's STUDIO TOUR.  (Download MAP of STUDIOs HERE.)

For those not familiar with this event, it is a FANTASTIC opportunity to familiarize yourself with the beautiful #Halton and #NorthBurLINKton countryside on top of the rolling and dramatic #NiagaraEscarpment within Canada's province of Ontario's protected #Greenbelt.

Expect lush autumnal colours, cooler temperatures, vivid expansive skies and arresting 'long view' field-scapes of corn or soya, horses swishing tails, cattle lumbering to water basins, hawks floating overhead, and, of course, fallen crunchy leaves under foot, gravel roads, bubbling brooks, and large orchards, heavy with fruit. You may even find a pumpkin or two!

The tour is 'self-guiding', so print out the brochure to determine your route. Studio Tour roadside arrows will also help to guide you around.

This year, I will be a 'guest artist' at Studio 10. There, I'll be showing my pinhole photography works, as well as showcasing a few pinhole cameras that I've made over the years, and finally, I'll be doing small demos of 'how it all works'. I may also, depending on technical feasibility, be showing a small video of the long engaging process to shoot one pinhole image. (It generally takes 10 hours for one shot, from start to finished single contact print.)

It's a fun family day, with 32 great artists showing their stuff. Drop in. Maybe pick up an artistic treat or two for a loved one? (or yourself??). Remember, Christmas is coming! (Prices range from $20-40 for digital repros to $400-$800 for original 'one off' pinhole prints. Note: All original pinhole prints have been signed & dated by yours truly. )

  (Studio 10 is just SOUTH of the village of Kilbride, 
and north of the 8th Sideroad on Cedar Springs Road. 
*** Slight error on the printed MAP - we're marked as No.11 on the map 
but are actually Studio No.10. We're closer to the village/intersection of Kilbride. ***
If coming from #Burlon or #Hamont, come 'up' via Dundas Street. 
Brant Street turns into Cedar Springs Road at Dundas Street intersection.)

>>> 6459 Cedar Springs Road <<<

Thank you all for your continued & generous support for local art makers.

Hope to see you there!  

Saturday and/or Sunday, Rain Or Shine, 10am - 5pm!  
Escarpment Country - North Burlington / Halton Region - Photo Montage by m.l.holton

UPDATE: Busy and fun weekend, (regardless of a bit of drizzle on Saturday!)
Thanks to all those who came to visit and buy!

MLH Pinhole Display on FASM Studio Tour 2014

GREAT Location on Cedar Springs Road, North Burlington. 
Thanks Diana & Harold!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Culture Days, FAB & Doors Open in Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Sept 26th to the 28th, 2014. 
It's going to be a BUSY weekend ... 

Starting at noon on Friday, the 26th ...
Culture Days will be blasting off at Burlington Civic Square at City Hall. 
Calendar of events pdf, link here.

On Friday, I will be at the Filmmakers Alliance of Burlington (FAB) table from 5:30-7:30pm. 
Drop by, say hi, & learn more about this newly-formed industry-networking FAB-ulous group. 
Opening Ceremonies by the Mayor will occur around 7-ish. 
Lots of live music, live acts, demos & samplers.

On Saturday, as part of  Doors Open Burlington

I will be at The Different Drummer Bookshop from 10am -12:30pm
participating in a 'meet & greet' for my short story contribution to a new book title - 
ENGRAVED: Canadian Short Stories of World War One
(edited by Bernadette Rule, published by Seraphim Books of Woodstock)

(If you can't make this author's signing, you can always pick up this title here.)

That afternoon, I'll be flying over to the Burlington Central Public Library  to be part of a screening and panel discussion  about film & video making in Burlington - 'My Life as a Filmmaker/Video Artist ... '

As a dabbler in documentary filmmaking, one of my short videos (4min) will be shown. 
Mostly I produce, direct and shoot these items as compliments 
to larger articles published in Golden Horseshoe area news blogs.

Drop into any event. All are FREE.
Create, Participate & Celebrate! 


UPDATE & REVIEW:   ... phew, fun .. 
Started off with an hour & a half interview, last week, with videographer, Kune Hua, for a City-produced video for Culture Days. Location: back country on top of the Escarpment, at one of my quiet places ... I THOUGHT it went well, but I think Kune got a bit distracted by the scenery ... The end product of the Culture Days' Kick Off video had a 3 second blip of me saying 'It's about UNITY!' - as per a hastily tacked on SCRIPT.  Ha! Gotta love local propaganda: "Many Voices, One Vision! " ... ra ra ... 
Here's the entire 2 min City of Burlington's Culture promo video, 
... see if you can spot me 'on location': 

 The interview was followed by the 'formal' Kick Off at Civic Square at Burlington City Hall. All in all, it was well presented, but someone goofed BIG TIME with the programming choice of a kiddie punk band before & after the Mayor's reading of the Culture Days proclamation ... Their sound was not only jarring, but deafening. Still, the 'cultural troops' were there, showcasing their wares & chatting up their talents.  I assisted at the Filmmaker's Alliance of Burlington's booth for several hours, meeting & greeting some fascinating members of the public. (More on that soon, if one particular 'story' pans out ...) 

This short video gives a little taste of what FAB is all about ... 
( I shot the two clips at early Meet-Ups on my iPod.)

The next day, Saturday, I was on deck at the Different Drummer Bookstore, flogging my latest published short story contribution to the WW1 anthology, 'Engraved'. Was rather surprised by the arrival of various members of the media: The Bay Observer, Snapd Burlington and a FILM CREW from FAB. (I think they were just wandering around getting b-roll for Culture Days ... ) For a bookstore, it was pretty LIVELY.

 Next up was the screening of my short film, Dave Lambert: Master Knot Tyer with a bunch of other shorts at the Burlington Public Library. In truth, hardly anyone was there, except the filmmakers' themselves. But the glory of our TOTALLY WIRED age allows any to view this event, after the fact, via the internet. The Q&A after the screening was captured on 2 sets of video cams, and seemingly it will appear somehow somewhere soon ...  I'll link back to that whenever and wherever it appears ...  Other filmmakers on the panel included Kune Hau (see above); Andy Shaw, Co-Founder of FAB; Jim Riley, local video artist; Alex Hutchison and Morgan Muscat, both seasoned & somewhat traditional 'storytellers'. We all yapped away, spouting our experience & preferences. Managed to get one 'screen grab' from the raw footage. 

Andy Shaw, MLH & Kune Hua
 Q&A with Burlington Filmmakers

End of day?  Back up to the farm to put up my feet. 
 (Bum ankle was killing me by that point ... ) DONE! 

 On Sunday, a photo-journo from The Milton Champion called ... 
Photo shoot happened 3pm for the up-coming STUDIO TOUR on Oct 4/5th.
On and Up!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

MLH Art Board prep ...

In answer to those who have asked: no, I don't paint on canvas, generally. Rather, I prefer the stability and texture of painting on mahogany or oak G2S 3/4" plywood. Painting on the undulating grain patterns connects me to my furniture and wood-working roots. It's an Earth 'tree' thing, that makes sense to me, and I really like how the wood grain pattern glimmers through when the painting is done.

I'll spend several hours selecting out the stock from the local lumber yard and then they will trim it down to my specifications.

Later, in prep, I sand the boards with coarse grain paper, do a prime top coat to see where and how the grain 'bleeds', sand it down again with fine grain paper, apply another prime coat, sand again, and then get on with it ... PAINT.

Serious Fun.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Sun Rises over Lake Ontario

Without a doubt one of the never-ending delights of living on one of the Great Lakes of North America is the perpetual daily interaction with a 'straight line' horizon. I've been shooting, painting and interpreting this phenomenon for several decades now. 

Every day, every sunrise, is different. It is a constant reminder of not only the often startling Beauty of the Natural world, but the Majesty. 

The fiery orb of the Sun not only illuminates our world, but heats it. Through photosynthesis, most life, as we know it, survives and thrives. From a distance of 150 million km or 93 million miles away, sun light travels to our home planet, Earth , in a breath-taking 8 minutes and 19 seconds ... 93 MILLION miles in 8:19 minutes .... Wow.

It's relative size is deceptive to the naked eye. If, for example, the Sun was a door, the Earth would be the size of a nickel.

'Awestruck' - oil on board, by m.l.holton (2007)
I remain in awe.