On our sixth date, I was looking though Rick’s DVD collection and found  some of my favourite movies: CLUE, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S and UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN. I turned to him and asked, ‘Who else do you know who has Under The Tuscan Sun?’. “I love that movie!’, he said. So we watched it. It was at that moment I fell in love.

Images from Instagram.

Eight years later, we found ourselves driving though the Italian countryside. It was a July sunset, the windows were down in our cute little white VW rental, and the heat wave-infused air of the countryside had whipped our hair into a frenzy since leaving Rome earlier that morning. As we entered the Tuscany region, we drove over over a big hill revealing fields of golden sunflowers.  For real.  We were suddenly driving in a postcard.  I had made a playlist for this very moment, found it on my iPhone, and pressed play. Rick recognized the soundtrack right away, laughed, and called me a cheesehead. It was a movie moment for the soundtrack of our lives.

We all have a favourite movie or two.. or twelve that we will watch over an over and over. Each time we find some new detail or fall asleep on the couch at the exact same moment. These movies have special narratives or character qualities that speak to us, reflecting who we are or the values we hold. These movies often come with amazing soundtracks with song favorites that last a lifetime. It is when we recall them, we can recall some amazing memories of friends and family and loved ones.


So, this edition of ART STUDIO PLAYLIST is dedicated to movie soundtracks. There are instrumental movie themes, songs made famous by movies, and movie moments which just wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for the music. I’ve tried to include some really famous stuff that you’ll recognize right away, and some not so familiar songs from some not so familiar movies. I’ve included everything from Yello’s OH YEAH, from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, to SOME WHERE MY LOVE (Laura’s Theme) from Doctor Zhivago to a French cover of David Bowie’s Rebel Rebel by Seu Jeorge from Life Aquatic. What I did not include are songs from movie musicals. I was thinking of making one of those for the fall when the weather gets cool. Sound good?

Feel free to click on the media player above to hear the songs in sequence as I’ve arranged them, or root though the music below to listen to the ones you like.


  1. Twenty One Pilots: Heathens (Suicide Squad)
  2. Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Girls Just Want To Have Fun)
  3. Jidenna ft. Roman GianArthur – Classic man – (Moonlight)
  4. The Ronettes – Be My Baby (Dirty Dancing)
  5. Original cast recording – I Will Follow Him (Sister Act)
  6. Irene Cara What A Feeling (Flashdance)
  7. Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone (Top Gun)
  8. Junior Senior – Move Your Feet (White Chicks)
  9. House Of Pain – “Jump Around” (Mrs. Doubtfire)
  10. Queen – You’re My Best Friend (Peter’s Friends)
  11. Jamiroquai – Seven Days In Sunny June (Devil Wear Prada)
  12. The Arcade Fire – Wake Up (Where The Wild Things Are)
  13. Harry Belafonte Jr – Jump In The Line / Shake Senora (BeetleJuice)
  14. Kenny Loggins – Footloose (Footloose)
  15. Simple Minds- Don’t You Forget About Me (Breakfast Club)
  16. Blue Swede – Hooked On A Feeling (Guardians of The Galaxy)
  17. Madonna – Into The Groove (Desperately Seeking Susan)
  18. Isaac Hayes: Shaft (Shaft)
  19. Halsey – I Walk The Line (Power Rangers)
  20. Dooley Wilson – As Time Goes By (Casablanca)
  21. Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn & Diane Keaton – You Don’t Own Me – First Wives Club
  22. David Bowie – Cat People (Cat People)
  23. Nino Rota – The Godfather Waltz (The Godfather)
  24. Radiohead – Nude (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot)
  25. Gerard McMann – Cry Little Sister (The Lost Boys)
  26. Cyndi Lauper – ‘R’ Good Enough (The Goonies)
  27. Yello – OH YEAH (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
  28. Sweet – Fox On The Run (Guardians of the Galaxy II)
  29. Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (The Exorcist)
  30. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – Mondo Bongo (Mr and Mrs. Smith)
  31. George Thorogood & The Destroyers – Bad To The Bone (Beverly Hills Chihuahua)
  32. Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
  33. Bernard Herrmann- Twisted Nerve (Kill Bill)
  34. Nico- These Days (The Royal Tenenbaums)
  35. OMD- If You Leave (Pretty In Pink)
  36. Percy Faith & his Orchestra – A Summer Place (A Summer Place)
  37. Oingo Boingo – Weird Science (Weird Science)
  38. Ray Parker Jr. I’m not Affraid Of No Ghost (Ghostbusters)
  39. Daryl Hall & John Oates – You Make My Dreams (500 Days of Summer)
  40. Danny Elfman – Ice Dance (Edward Scissorhands)
  41. Jr Walker & Allstars – Shotgun (Malcolm X)
  42. The Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday (The Royal Tenenbaums)
  43. R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly (Space Jam)
  44. The Kinks – This Time Tomorrow (The Darjeeling Limited)
  45. John Williams – The Raiders March (Raiders of the Lost Arc)
  46. Maureen McGovern – The Morning After (The Poseidon Adventure)
  47. Kermit the Frog – Rainbow Connection (The Muppets Movie)
  48. Goodie Mob – Cell Therapy (Moonlight)
  49. Cat Stevens Here comes my baby (Rushmore)
  50. Tone-Loc – Wild Thing (Angry Birds)
  51. The Wallflowers – I Started A Joke (Zoolander)
  52. Madonna – Who’s That Girl (Who’s That Girl)
  53. Iron and Wine – Sunset Soon Forgotten  (In Good Company)
  54. A Tribe Called Quest – Scenario (Men In Black)
  55. Kenny Loggins – I’m Alright (Caddyshack)
  56. Lindsey Buckingham – Holiday Road (National Lampoon’s Vacation)
  57. David Foster – Love Theme (St. Elmo’s Fire)
  58. Karla DeVito – We are not alone (The Breakfast Club)
  59. Paul Young – Everytime You Go Away (Planes Trains & Aurtomobiles)
  60. Nancy Sinatra – Bang Bang (Kill Bill)
  61. Michael Nyman – The Promise (The Piano)
  62. Arthur Smith – Dueling Banjos (Deliverance)
  63. Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – I’ve Had The Time Of My Life (Dirty Dancing)
  64. Benjamin Britten – Cuckoo  (Moonrise Kingdom)
  65. Irene Cara – I’m Gonna Live Forever (Fame!)
  66. Jimmy Bo Horne – Dance Across the Floor (City of Gold)
  67. The Greenhornes – There Is An End (Broken Flowers)
  68. Maurice Jarre – Somewhere My Love (Doctor Zhivago)
  69. Donovan – Jersey Thursday (Rushmore)
  70. The Paragons – Florence (Mean Streets)
  71. Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone – City of Stars (La La Land)
  72. Juice Newton – Angel Of The Morning (Deadpool)
  73. The Art of Noise – Paranoimia (Max Headroom)
  74. The Revillos – Rev-Up (Sixteen Candles)
  75. Max Richters – The Swimmer (Disconnected)
  76. Seu Jorge – Rebel Rebel (Life Aquatic)
  77. Alexandre Desplat – Kristofferson – (Fantastic Mr. Fox)
  78. Henry Mancini – A Shot in the Dark (The Pink Panther)
  79. Jóhann Jóhannsson – Daisy Daisy (The Theory of Everything)
  80. Salt_N-Pepa – Shoop (Deadpool)
  81. WHAM! – Young Guns (Go for It) (Sixteen Candles)
  82. Mark Mothersbaugh – Piranhas Are A Very Tricky Species (Rushmore)
  83. Perico Hernandez – Oye Como Va [Live at el Jefe] (Chef)
  84. Kevin Shields – City Girl (Lost In Translation)
  85. The Kinks – Powerman (The Darjeeling Limited)
  86. Eurythmics – Sex Crime (1984)
  87. Jimmy Cliff – I Can See Clearly Now (Cool Runnings)
  88. Henry Mancini – The Pink Panther (The Pink Panther)
  89. Fine Arts Quartet – Ravel’s String Quartet in F major (The Royal Tenenbaums)
  90. Ruth Etting – You’re The Cream In My Coffee (Fantastic Beasts)
  91. DeVotchKa – Do You Think There’s A Heaven? (Little Miss Sunshine)
  92. John Williams – Love Theme (Superman)
  93. Henry Mancini – Professor Fate (The Great Race)
  94. The Creation – Making Time (Rushmore)
  95. Alex North – Main Title (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)
  96. Stereolab – Lo Boob Oscillator (High Fidelity)
  97. The Dismasters – small time hustler (Uncle Buck)
  98. The Generationals – When They Fight They Fight (Edge of Seventeen
  99. Henry Mancini – The Village Inn (The Pink Panther)
  100. Annie Lennox – Everytime We Say Goodbye (Edward II)
  101. James Horner – The Wedding (Legends Of The Fall)
  102. Alexandre Desplat – The French Chef (Julie & Julia)
  103. Nouvelle Vague – Blister In The Sun (Bridesmaids)
  104. Devo – Gut Feeling (The Life Aquatic)
  105. Shirley Bassey – Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
  106. Dream Academy Please please please (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
  107. Hot Pants Road – The JB’s (City of Gold)
  108. Christophe Beck – Bramasole (Under The Tuscan Sun)
  109. Mark Mothersbaugh – Ned’s Theme (The Life Aquadic)
  110. Pete Rodriguez – I Like It Like That (Chef)
  111. John Morris – Step By Step (Clue)
  112. John Morris – Main Title / Trees to Dogs (Clue)
  113. Christophe Beck – Roma (Under The Tuscan Sun)
  114. OMD – Tesla Girls (Weird Science)
  115. Joe Kraemer – Good Evening, Mr. Hunt (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation)
  116. Q Feel – Dancing in Heaven (Girls Just Wanna Have Fun)
  117. Hugh Harris – Rhythm of Life (Uncle Buck)
  118. John Barry – Pretty Busy (The Black Hole)
  119. Artie Shaw – Autumn Leaves (When Harry Met Sally)
  120. Jóhann Jóhannsson – Kangaru (Arrival)
  121. Henry Mancini – Moon River Cha Cha (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
  122. Henry Mancini – Moon River (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
  123. Sister Carol – Wild Thing (Wild Thing)
  124. The Sandpipers – Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls)
  125. Celebration – Heartbreak (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot)
  126. Henry Mancini – Latin Golightly )Breakfast at Tiffany’s) 
  127. Ennio Morricone –  Main Theme (Duck, You Sucker)
  128. Johnny Pate — Shaft In Africa (Shaft In Africa)
  129. George Fenton – Title Music (Clockwise)
  130. Georges Auric – Main Title (Roman Holiday)
  131. Malcolm Arnold & Buxton Orr – Main Title (Suddenly, Last Summer)

So…. What are your favourite movie scores or soundtracks? Leave me a message in the comments and I’ll try to listen to it.

Check back next month to get the ART STUDIO PLAYLIST for April. It’s dedicated to songs and music about spring.  It will be guaranteed to put a smile on your face and spring in your step. Cheers!







I was stopped again on the street today by a well dressed man on his way to work. “Those are colourful pants!’, he said. Yes, yeah they are.  “You should sell those!’, he continued… and so the conversation goes…  It is not uncommon for me to get stopped like this on any given day while wearing my painting pants. I must admit, in the people traffic wearing black and grey and brown and blue, they are a conversation starter – in line getting coffee, at the grocery store, or out running errands. I’ve even worn them in the summer with sandals and a white linen shirt. It makes for creative evening attire and perhaps makes me more approachable. People are curious to know where I got them.


I think my first pair of painting pants were an old pair of doctors pants, cut off at about the knee for more freedom of movement. I liked the drawstring which made it easy to get in and out of. The fabric was light and comfortable, but like jersey material, they didn’t hold the paint. Often, it would soak through to my skin, leaving me with thigh markings in a tribe all my own.


I opted for denim jeans, choosing ones a bit too big for me made it easy to slip out of at the end of the painting day. Many times I’ve asked friends for their old jeans and put them to good use.  On several occasions I’ve been loaned pants with the request that I wear them while painting and then give them back. It seems some of my best work ends up on my clothes.


I can’t exactly explain why, but I have saved all my painting pants since I started painting full-time and I keep documenting them when each pair are ready to be retired.  I sometimes wonder if they might look good framed and hung on a wall. There seem to be secrets and stories hidden in each of them. Other times, I think it would be fun to make a coffee table book with my art followed by the clothes I wore while making the paintings. It’s like keeping a bit of a diary in paint and fabric. If you look through some previous work, you can probably pick out what pants were worn during certain paintings. I think a fund raising auction would be amazing if it consisted of only artists’ painting clothes in large shadow boxes. Imagine owning the painting clothes of one of your favourite artists. What a treasure to have something so personal.


For now, my retired pants sit folded on a shelf in my studio, and they’ll likely stay there until I figure what to do with them. If you have an ideas for a good use for them, feel free to leave a comment by clicking the speech bubble icon to the right of this blog title above.

…And for those curious, I wear a 36 waist and am always in need of new denim pants for painting. Feel free to email me and drop by the studio for a visit.


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Someone recently asked how colours for my paintings are chosen. If the painting is a commission, I work together with a client and source images to create a feeling of ‘being there’. If I am painting a specific neighbourhood or city, I look at images of these places from street level. Using Photoshop, I extract these colours and build custom palettes to help the client get a feeling for how the final work might look.

Below are twelve new palettes in use this fall along with several images which inspired them. Filling up my fall and winter schedule with bright new work makes me so happy.  For an artist, there is nothing more dreary than using grey and beige during a season when everything outside is turning to brown.

Enjoy the vibrant colours and warm, beachy goodness!


Look at those pants!










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Photo by Pascal Arseneau.


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barrie flag 24x36




If you have an idea for a city or neighbourhood to paint, please leave it in the comments or send me an email. To see past colour palettes, click here.  Images of new work are posted regularly. Subscribe on the main page to receive updates.

The Poetry of Being There: Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art

leslie lohman 3Having an institution dedicated to archiving, exhibiting and promoting gay and lesbian art is good for an international city, particularly one with established visual art and queer communities.  These spaces are the nexus where bodies from both camps gather to create opportunities for creative synergy, spotlight their hereos and, in many ways, offer a place to call home. Such is the theme of On the Domestic Front: Scenes of Everyday Queer Life, on now at The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York.

I had an opportunity to stop in and capture interactive 360 panoramic images of the exhibition, curated by James M Saslow, author of Pictures and Passion: A History of Homosexuality in the Visual Arts. I think I was listening to Bon Iver during my visit… so feel free to press play below and virtually wander through the gallery with me.


On the images below, pan left and right using your cursor or zoom in and out as needed. For best results, view this on your iPhone or iPad and activate the gyroscope icon to get the full effect of The Poetry of Being There.  ~Enjoy!




The exhibition is divided into three main chapters: At Home, At Play and At Work. On their own, some of the artworks in the exhibition objectify and sexualize the nude so I appreciated Saslow reframing them as illuminations of the domestic life of LGBT people. In At Home we begin with a much needed recess from tropes of virile recreation and political activism. Far away from the madding crowd, two figures sit on their living room sofa, quietly reading, while other couples shower and brush their teeth. This reframing could easily be viewed of as hetero-nomalizing queers and queer culture which seem to be part of Saslow’s intent, but the exhibition sharply turns, confronting us with the harsh reality of HIV/AIDS which swept though the community. On show are images of the impact HIV/AIDS had and has on so many – at home and at play.



I wonder if the narrative of this exhibition pushes toward ‘blending in’ or is it presenting queer life as a very real and distinct part of a greater whole? Are we the same? Are we different? Are we different, but equal? Is queer domesticity asking to finally put to bed the issues of equality so we can live unpoliticized lives and raise children like everyone else? As lesbian, gay and trans people become more accepted and ubiquitous does queer culture run the risk of disappearing? As long as there are fifty-shades-of-beige suburban housewives who desperately want their hair pulled, I don’t think so.



Something I noticed quickly in this exhibition is the scarcity of racial and gender diversity. This is still common in LGBTQ visual art history exhibitions. They are often heavily loaded with white gay cis-male images and only sprinkled with trans people and people of colour. In a time when diversity and inclusions is at the forefront of LGBTQ cultural discussions, I would have liked to have seen more balanced representations of queer personal life. As is, the exhibition seems to set its parameters in a specific place and time: New York, just before, during and after the AIDS crisis of the mid-80s. I do not fault the museum or the curator. Like the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, I suspect much of the objects, images and ephemera collected and donated comes from the white gay cis-male community. As such, this abundance of material gets reflected in what is exhibited. This said, the exhibition is not whitewashed. There are racial and gender considerations and some effort made to mine the 24000 objects in the musuem collection. A daunting task to distill, I’m sure. When I curated Queering Space this summer, it was a chore to get my hands on many of the objects and, even then, many were not allowed to be put on public view. boo-urns!



I did enjoy the use of wall partitions as a way to divide the exhibition’s chapters and the clever use of hand-printed faux 50s cinematic wallpaper design to reflect each section. The time alone it must have taken to manually apply the step-and-repeat icons should be applauded. A for effort!

If you are in New York or visiting the city, On the Domestic Front: Scenes of Everyday Queer Life runs until December 6th with a number of talks and tours scheduled with an impressive list of speakers. The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is located at 26 Wooster Street in Soho.


Provincetown Prints Available!

ProvincetownProvincetown, 24x 32, Giclee print on bamboo paper.     Edition of 100.

If you’ve been to Provincetown once (or many times), you likely had a great time, made a lot of new friends, created lasting memories and saw some interesting art. Now you can have a very special art print to remind you of your summer getaway or fall retreat.

Limited edition prints of Provincetown, Massachusetts are now available. These giclee prints are on ecologically friendly bamboo paper. Each print is signed and numbered and comes with a certificate of authentication. There are one hundred available in the edition.



Drum roll please…The 2014 10×10 Photographers!

10x10 photogs

It’s been a great process selecting the 2014 photographers for the 10×10 Photography Project. In previous years they have been chosen from photographers answering a call for submissions. This year, I switched it up and asked for recommendations from people in the Canadian visual arts and LGBTQ communities with input from past participating photographers of 10×10.

Some of this year’s photographers I have have known for some time and some are new to me. All of them are fantastic photographers and collectively they represent diverse professional backgrounds and approaches to portraiture.

The 2014 10×10 photographers are: Pascal Arseneau, Micheal Chambers, Christopher Cushman, Evergon, April Hickox, Marni Grossman, Zoe Gemelli, Mikka Gia, Mitchel Raphael, and Alejandro Santiago. For more information on these photographers, please vise the 2014 Photographers Page on the 10×10 Photography Project Website.


Here are some musings about Canadian art…

“All art begins with grids. All artists long for grids.”
– American poet John Taggart

Canadian Art has a long history of landscape painting. While many artists have historically submitted that the spirit of Canadian art lies in the land, there is a faction who contended that the spirit of Canadian art lies in the mind of the artist and in the culture of the people. This gives birth to Canadian abstract art. In my work I have tried to honour both traditions and merge these long time disparate schools of thought.   While I do not always try to literally depict cities and neighbourhoods, I often aim to capture the bustling motion and excitement of a busy urban environment. I like using colours and patterns found in the architectural vernacular of a city and try to capture its essence as seen from above. As an Artist interested in urban development and sustainability, the hive-like structures we build up around us and our own insect like behaviour within these structures fascinate me. I seek to recreate the animated gestures of these ever vibrating landscapes, striking a balance and harmony between the rigid man-made infrastructures and the organic and fluid way of the earth’s natural geography. In creating these paintings I hope to evoke the same lively feelings one gets when flying into a new big city for the first time when we try to take everything in or the lasting impressions stored in our memories of travelling anywhere far from home.