Saturday, September 12, 2009

It’s Just A Matter Of Time Before We Get To Shine . . . Or . . . Going To The Chapel

Hi All,

Greetings to you in the days worth living.

Last evening I attended the Vernisage at Gallerie 240, Ottawa. Musician, Singer, Songwriter, Artist and more Tom Wilson was in attendance. His paintings are part of an exhibition at Gallerie 240 from September 11 – 25, 2009.

In this video (below) posted on Youtube Tom speaks about his art. You will see his paintings and hear some of his music too. Tom Wilson is an accomplished musician. He is a member of Juno Award winning Canadian super group Blackie and the Rodeo Kings along with Colin Linden and Stephen Fearing. In 2005, the band was included in a list published by the New York Times of songs found on President George W. Bush’s iPod{:~DDD. Currently Tom is also touring with his group Lee Harvey Osmond The bands Junkhouse and Florida Razors have been conduits for his artistic, creative, spirit. With painting Tom has carved a new avenue for his abundant artistry.

Photo above; Tom Wilson

The paintings were looking great in the bright lighting of Gallerie 240. The basic image or motif of a face with one eye is a relative constant. Canvases on display are quite large. Some are about 4’ x 4’. He is painting on the two inch deep canvases.

Tom told me he is working on a canvas that is eight feet high. We chatted and I mentioned my love of humungous sized canvases like ones I’d seen in New York City years ago. These were sized such that the artist needed scaffolding erected to do the painting. Tom told me that he had once painted a very large room wall sized painting for an acquaintance of whom he was a retail customer. {:~DDD (sorry, can’t tell you why I’m chucking. My blog rating is PG)

Colour that Tom Wilson applies to canvas is often strong and bold adding to the ‘primitive’ look of the ever present calm red-lipped face. What changes is the writing, Tom Wilson’s song lyrics, thinly etched into paint. Lettering fills these paintings. It is quite small in places. In others the letters can be several inches tall. The value of the lettering in these pieces cannot be underestimated. Those words have meaning. They are the expression of Tom Wilson’s more than thirty years of creative activity and even more years of living. This face, a motif that Tom says is drawn from his First Nations heritage, is simple and immediately recognizable by an adult or child. X’s, stars and zigzag childlike scratches are seen on or around the mask like persona. A crescent moon often shines adjacent to the face perhaps symbolic of, “Night . . . the time for the hunger,” expressed in ‘Freedom’ a song co-written with Canadian musician Colin James. There is humour. On at least one canvas four rather large sperm shapes wearing Blackie and The Rodeo Kings crowns are swimming through the image. Tom Wilson’s humour, song lyrics, poetry and deep thought scratched into paint add dimensions of meaning and enjoyment to the overtly simple beneficent face.

Welcome to Tom Wilson’s church.

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Above; Birdseye view of the Guiges Ave. & King Edward St. area where Gallerie 240 is located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Click on the image for an enlarged interactive and find directions to Gallerie 240.

On Friday a short video filmed at Gallerie 240, in which Tom Wilson speaks about art was posted on Youtube. It was on Tom’s Facebook page. The video is titled ‘Tom Wilson on painting’. We may be dealing with cyber weirdness because although I just viewed it again on you tube, when the link is used Youtube displays a message saying the video has been deleted by the user. If the video below is not working search Youtube itself and you may find ‘Tom Wilson on painting’.

Below is my response to what he said in that short video clip.

Dear Tom,

I could not agree more with your thought on art and technique. Art is the expression of that in you, me and everyone and everything. As artists we are fortunate to have a magic wand that can make that Clarity of apparent Now manifest. Many moons ago, I viewed something on television that reinforced for me the idea that ‘Art’ is less about ‘technique’, although important, and more about the revealing. On TV I saw a man in his mid 90’s sewing small cloth dolls. The man’s eye sight was in decline and as a result the stitches he made were crude. They were lose and went every which way. In that I saw ‘Art’. It was pure art what this elderly man was doing. It was the authentic expression of who he was at that moment. Because it was authentic it had artistic power - power that allows others to experience the energy too, taking them where the artist goes. We can do that because Art, Artist, Viewer, and Art Process are one. That’s It.

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I’m almost finished the several paintings I have been working on for the past week. Yesterday I added a bit of copper paint over the black in the the foreground of one wild one. ‘It’ is almost ‘There’. Stay tuned.

Click on any image to view it enlarged. If you would like to view my paintings check out previous blog entries or scroll down to Froggy at the bottom of the page. Click on Froggy and hop to my online store with links to EBay. I'm also on Etsy. Search for seller johnredmond (no spaces). You can find me on Facebook, Myspace and, "tweeet twweet," Twitter (Redjar7).

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Here is Tom Wilson’s Artistic Statement as found at the Gallerie 240 site. You can view more by clicking the rather large link below.

“I started painting when I quit drinking.

The creative energy that I was destroying with the bottle came alive and stood alone with me in a 3rd floor apartment I was living in at the time.

I needed an outlet besides writing music and there is a great meditative bond I found between me and the canvas.

The faces I paint are symbols of faith. Faith in life force beyond this planet. For me it is a recognizable face, kind of like the way a mother’s face looks to an infant from his crib.

Beautiful and calming.

Each one of my paintings contains a message of hope taken from the note books that I work in everyday … You may find lyrics to songs I’ve written, for and with BLACKIE AND THE RODEO KINGS, COLIN JAMES, JUNKHOUSE or JIMMY RANKIN.

…Or, you may read thoughts from deep inside the covers of my notes that are being revealed for the 1st time on canvas.

I am currently working with 8 ft by 4 ft canvases, but still like to create smaller versions of my work at a more affordable price.

I believe my work does not have to be exclusive to art and poetry lovers with deep pockets ….

Tom Wilson”

Here is a link to a Maple Music Bio of Tom Wilson.

From the Daze{:~D worth living,

John Redmond

in Ottawa, Canada

John Redmond Art

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