Category: Art & Storytelling


Haphead

Maxine (Elysia White), Haphead Production Still, photo by Brandon Adam-Zwelling. Copyright 2015, Postopian Pictures

In 1982, a little film called Blade Runner had a such a strong visual design concept, by Syd Mead, that it’s been difficult for science fiction to shake the dark, dreary aesthetic look for the future. No, not every sci-fi movie or TV series copied it, but its influence is still felt in what the genre considers dystopia of the not-too-distant future. It’s difficult to shake such a defined look and attempts to do so result in varying degree of success. Back To The Future – Part II (picking up the original story from 1985) went in the other direction and gave us a bright-looking, pop culture-saturated, colourful then-future of 2015. As I write this, it’s January of 2015 and there are no flying cars, self-lacing Nikes or commercially available hoverboards. Blade Runner is set in the still-future 2019 and thankfully it looks like Mead’s vision won’t come to fruition either.

And that brings us to Haphead, a new science fiction webseries set in 2025. The series comes from creator and writer Jim Munroe, who launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowd fund the production. You can find out more about the production history here, but it’s important to note that the budget was a mere $4,000.

And it shows…

In the best possible way! A massive budget or blistering special effects do not a great work make. This is proven time and again, and not just in science fiction, though sci-fi may fall victim to it more because visual effects are a staple of the genre. What Haphead shows us is a world not far removed from our own. The skyline of Toronto is enhanced, but is still recognizable. It’s also worth noting that this is a proudly Canadian production, where the action takes place in both Toronto and Hamilton and both are noted as such in dialogue. An Ontario government sign appears prominently in an establishing shot of the gaming factory in the first episode. Being Canadian and living in Toronto, it’s refreshing to see my city as my city, not doubling as New York, Chicago or just a generic metropolis.

The visual effects support the story, which is always the best approach (and often where the aforementioned failures come from, the mistake of putting spectacle above all else). The story is of Maxine and her father, both living and working in this different kind of dystopian future. Times are hard, but not so bleak as to feel hopeless. The sun shines, kids skateboard and chat in lush green parks. The economic rift has grown between the upper and lower class. There are Special Economic Zones where employees work for below minimum wage. Maxine takes a job in one of these Zones at the gaming factory of Aster*sk, who develop the software and hardware of totally immersive video games. The players plug in via the back of the neck and experience what the avatar experiences, moving as they do and fighting as they must. The players are the titular Hapheads and Maxine cannot resist this new approach to gaming, which is still in the beta testing stage as she starts her factory job. A side effect of this gaming is that Hapheads retain the muscle memory of the combat skills acquired in the game, which means they can learn hand-to-hand combat and use it outside the game world.

I was fortunate to see the entire series start to finish, with the episodes edited together, at the January 22nd premier at The Royal in Toronto. During the introduction to the viewing, a phrase was said of the production company’s motto, “blurring the line between dystopia and utopia,” which partly sums up the world we see in Haphead. Then as now, it’s not a perfect world, but it’s not all bad. We see real people, ones we can relate to and identify with, living their lives and doing what most of us do day in, day out, like argue about money and hang out with friends. It’s the characters that drive the story, which kicks in when Maxine is forced to grow up in a hurry in the face of her new-found gaming skills and the harsh realities of her father’s job.

The relationship between Maxine and her father is the core of the story, both their motivations stem from this, and the story grows from it organically. The series avoids painting their relationship in simple terms or stereotypes. The performances of Elysia White (Maxine) and David Straus (her father, Simon) are spot on in all their scenes together and gives the series the essential emotional anchor, so we care about what they’re doing and why.

The series delivers what it promises, a dynamic, engaging story with believable characters, is well-produced and beautifully acted.

You can watch the trailer here.

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I may be forced to go to some dark places in my art due to things I’ve experienced very recently. I’m not sure what to expect, because I don’t normally draw on these feelings for my art. I have nothing against doing so and have in the past when the mood or inspiration takes me.

However, this time it’s different in a way difficult to explain, except maybe through my art.

The Patchwork Girl (300 dpi - Patrick Lemieux)

Becoming The Patchwork Girl. Copyright 2014, Patrick Lemieux

Think of this piece as a demo of what may be to come, though it started out as something altogether different.

We’ll see there this leads.

OZ cover 2

My new ebook, The Dark Witch Of Oz, is now available at Amazon’s Kindle Store worldwide.
See below for the links to the different Amazon territories.

It is a screenplay without a film (yet) and I’d like to tell you why…

I wrote this script a few years ago after reading the original book by L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz. Most people have seen the 1939 MGM movie with Judy Garland. It’s a masterpiece and if you haven’t seen it or shown your children, here’s me telling you to do so.

So spectacular is the movie that more than 70 years later it has become entrenched in popular culture. It’s a timeless story and has hardly aged. An Andrew Lloyd Webber stage production based on the movie was launched in Toronto recently and the casting process for that live show was itself made into a TV series, titled Over The Rainbow. The novel Wicked, by Gregory Maquire, was a huge success and spawned a popular stage musical of its own. in 2013, Disney released a prequel to the 1939 film, Oz The Great And Powerful.

The affect of that film enormous and far reaching, there is no doubt about it. It deserves the accolades and attention.

For many readers, though, there is one weakness (if that’s the right word) in all of the attention the 1939 film gets: It’s so very different from the original book!

The basic story is the same. A twister carries Dorothy and Toto to Oz, her house crushes the Witch of the East, she meets a good witch and travels to Emerald City to meet the Wizard, she makes friends with the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman and the Lion and they defeat the Witch of the  West, and the story ends with Dorothy and Toto returning home. However, the differences in how these events play out, the addition of other characters and perils make the differences between the 1900  book and the 1939 film rather enormous. A big difference is that the film version plays the entire story off as a dream. Baum’s book has the events actually happen. The entire series of Oz books Baum wrote is based on the premise that Oz is an actual magical place on earth. Getting there is difficult, of course, but the subsequent adventures of Dorothy and other visitors do have them finding ways of getting back.

When I read the original novel, I was surprised by just how different it was from the movie. Those differences made me think, “I want to see this movie!” At the same time, a colleague had suggested a site called InkTip, where he’d sold a script of his to a major studio. So with those two thoughts in mind, I decided to see where my re-imagining of the original tale would take me. It was a challenge, in some ways, because there are a lot things the 1939 film introduced into Oz pop culture mythos that MGM actually owns. The Baum books are public domain, but the film is not. The film introduced the ruby slippers, for example, which are simply silver shoes in the books. The reason was to show off the rich Technicolor process. Obviously, I had to avoid elements exclusive to the films, but I was free to introduce my own elements and spins on familiar things in the book, in the same tradition as other writers of new and different Oz stories have done.

After Baum died, stories from Oz did not. Ruth Plumly Thompson continued the series and her book are recognized as canon by the International Wizard Of Oz Club, along with various other writers. And, of course, there are the many re-imaginings and non-canon works (like Wicked) that tell different tales of Oz in their own, separate realities. So, my venture into a different Land of Oz was far from unprecedented. As I wrote the screenplay, it became it’s own story, loosely following the structure of the novel, but taking on a life of its own. When it was finished, I listed it on InkTip and hoped it would be picked up by a major studio who would pay me millions for the rights.

That didn’t happen. I wasn’t too disappointed, though, because I knew it was a long shot, but I had nothing really to lose in the attempt. After a time, I became aware of the Amazon Kindle Self-Publishing feature and used it to publish a non-fiction reference book call The Queen Chronology (which you can learn more about here and here) and as I was preparing that book’s launch, I was thinking about what to do with the Oz script. Could I publish it as a script ebook? The screenplay format is rather dry, even with what I feel is a good amount of description throughout my piece, so I started thinking of how I could add some flavour and colour it. I’d just completed a wonderful collaborative effort between my alma mater, Ryerson, and my artwork before turning my attention to the Chronology and getting it published, so illustrating the screenplay began to fascinate me as a way to go. Certainly, existing movies are known to release illustrated versions of their screenplays, complete with concept art, storyboards and production photos. Could it work to create these elements as if the screenplay was a film? I had no production photos, but the artwork was well within my means. I’d written and drawn a comic book series years ago and had done storyboards as part of a script for my thesis in university, so narrative artwork was something I was quite familiar with!

It was settled then, I’d illustrate the screenplay and try to bring the story to life, and in doing so, present the entire work as both a piece of art in itself and an exhibit or art collection based on the screenplay. Because there is no film (yet), it is a story told in a different, uncommon way, but equally legitimate way.

So, if your dare, return to an Oz that is familiar, yet very different.

You can find the book here:

US

Canada

UK

Germany

Italy

Spain

France

India

Japan

Brazil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a link to a story that’s making the rounds online, that of filmmaker Greg Karber taking issue with Abercrombie & Fitch’s branding of their clothes. Give it a look:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2324748/Abercrombie-Fitchs-brand-readjustment-Filmmaker-hands-clothes-LA-homeless-revenge-wanting-beautiful-customers.html?ico=ushome%5Eeditors_choice_six_of_the_best

Okay, I can hear a lot of you cheering out there along the lines of “Way to go, Karber! Way to show this jerkass company what’s what by taking matters into your own hands and helping the homeless at the same time! You’re a hero!” I know similar things are being said because I read a lot of such sentiments on my Facebook news feed.

And here’s where I step up and say “I disagree. A lot.”

This whole “rebranding” thing bothers me.

First, let me say that I think Abercrombie & Fitch are being douchebags in how they market their clothes and what they do with their overstock. Here’s the thing, though…It’s their choice. I don’t agree with the choice they made, but I respect that it was their choice to make. It’s free country and they are a business. If you don’t like their brand or marketing, the solution is to not buy their product. That’s your choice and it needs to be respected just as much as the A&F’s right to make their choice.

What Greg Karber has done has taken it solely upon himself to try to make A&F’s choice for them. And that is wrong. It is fundamentally arrogant.

“But he’s doing it for a good cause,” I hear you say, “He’s helping the homeless and trying to make the world a better place, which A&F should be doing.”

On that last part, I’ll say, “What gives him the right to tell anyone else, individual or large company, what to do and how to do it? His moral superiority?” If you agree that he’s in the right by acting as he does, I’m guessing it’s because you agree with his position. The problem is: what happens when he or someone just as motivated starts applying their moral barometer to your life in a way you don’t share ideologically? We’re back to choice and each person’s right to make their choice as they see fit. No one should take that away from you or anyone else.

As for the “doing it for a good cause” motive…? No, that’s not why he’s doing it. He’s doing it out of spite, or as the article above puts it, he’s doing it for revenge. Does it matter why, so long as he’s helping people? His cause is to re-brand A&F to align with his own sensibilities and to say A&F are jerks for how they behave. The “help” the homeless get with receiving free clothes is incidental to his cause. And what happens after he feels he’s made his point? Will his “help” continue?

Now, to address an even deeper problem I have with this re-branding notion. Karber is a filmmaker, so to partially answer my own earlier question of “”What gives him the right to tell anyone else, individual or large company, what to do and how to do it?”, he is an artist. As an artist myself, I respect using one’s medium to convey messages and ideas, to try to bring about change (hopefully positive) in our world. What I don’t respect in Karber’s case is, in addition to the aforementioned issues I take with this campaign, is his exploitation of the homeless to make his point. He points the camera at the homeless and hands them free clothes. Again, his motive is to show up A&F, so he needs the less-fortunate in order to make to his point. The people he gives clothes to aren’t in a position to turn it down and say, “No, we will not be exploited!” Of course they’re going to take what’s given and be thankful. That doesn’t make them any less taken advantage of, put in a position of gain solely because an artist needs to use them to make his point.

So, yeah, this whole thing bothers me. A lot.

Because neither side deserves any more free advertising, I’m not putting an image up that relates to either A&F or Karber. Instead, here’s a picture of a puppy. You’re welcome!

Who's a good little puppy?!  (copyright unknown)

Who’s a good little puppy?!
(copyright unknown)

 

I hope you’ll forgive this bit of self-indulgent, shameless promotion, but the book I co-authored launches today on Amazon!

If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to this last little while, this was a big part of it, getting this book done and ready to be loosed on the world!

Here is the official press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Across The Board Books™ proudly announces the release of the NEW ebook…

THE QUEEN CHRONOLOGY:

THE RECORDING & RELEASE HISTORY OF THE BAND

 

Copyright 2013, Patrick Lemieux & Adam Unger

Copyright 2013, Patrick Lemieux & Adam Unger

Available now on Amazon worldwide:

Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/TheQueenChronologyUS

Amazon.co.uk: http://tinyurl.com/TheQueenChronologyUK

Amazon.ca: http://tinyurl.com/TheQueenChronologyCA

Toronto, Canada – April 30th, 2013 – The Queen Chronology is a comprehensive account of the studio recording and release history of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor, who joined forces in 1971 as the classic line-up of the rock band Queen.

For nearly 40 years, Queen has both topped the charts and embedded itself in the musical landscape worldwide, with such hits as “We Will Rock You,” We Are The Champions,” “Another One Bites The Dust” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Their rock musical, We Will Rock You, and their Queen Extravaganza official tribute production both continue to carry on the band’s legacy to audiences long after the tragic passing of singer Freddie Mercury.

Years of extensive research have gone into the creation of the Chronology, which covers the very beginnings of band members’ careers, their earliest songwriting efforts and recording sessions, through the recording and releasing of Queen’s 15 original studio albums with their classic line-up, to the present-day solo careers of Brian May and Roger Taylor. All of this information is presented date by date in chronological order, with detailed  descriptions of each song version, including those both released and known to be unreleased. Every Queen and solo album, single, non-album track, edit, remix and extended version is examined, as are known demos or outtakes, pre-Queen recordings and guest appearances. It’s  all here in one place: The Queen Chronology!

The first edition of The Queen Chronology is exclusively digital, available on Amazon for the Kindle e-book reader. Check the Amazon site in your territory!

The Authors:

Patrick Lemieux is a Canadian artist and writer. His articles for Queen’s Official Website (www.queenonline.com) include The Lost History Of A Queen Track, A Chronicle Of Magic, The Journey Back To The Light, A Mystery In The Wreckage and co-authored with Adam Unger The Elektra Edits. He also painted the cover art for The Queen Chronology.

Adam Unger is the owner and webmaster of QueenVault.com and has contributed articles to Queen’s Official Website, including B-Sides and The Elektra Edits (co-authored with Patrick Lemieux).

###

I sent that out to various outlets.

As noted, I painted the cover. I wanted to create an image that was both expressive and somewhat expressionistic, rather than be literal portraits. There was a lot I wanted to convey in the painting, like the energy and excitement of the band, their stage presence and also the dream-like quality of of the past. It’s been nearly 22 years since Freddie Mercury died and though the legacy lives on, their past becomes somewhat how fans feel about it, the nostalgia and longing for “the good old days.” It was that vivid, slightly unfocused imagery I have when I listen to a Queen song. A mixture of my own emotions and what I know of the band.

Here’s the print version of the piece, presented for your consideration:

Light & Electricity [PRINT - Sample] Print size: 11" x 17" Print price: $19.99 + tax & shipping

Light & Electricity [PRINT – Sample]
Print size: 11″ x 17″
Print price: $19.99 + tax & shipping

That thumbs is a registered trademark, you know! (Copyright unknown)

That thumb is a registered trademark, you know! (Copyright unknown)

“I cannot begin to describe how much this loss will affect the not only the film business, but critical thinking of and in our world.
It’s not about whether you agreed with him, but that he could entertain you by arguing his point so well.
I wish I could have met him, though we did exchange some emails.
😦 Requiescat In Pace, Mr. Ebert. I hope you’re watching the perfect film up there.”

I posted this on Facebook, attached to a link to a news story about the death of Mr. Roger Ebert.

I’m still reeling.

The emotions I’m feeling are many. I know I said I would not get personal on this blog and I intend to keep to that promise for the most part. Forgive me in advance if what follows is scattered and unfocused in some places. I’m letting the thoughts and feelings well up and am looking at each the way I might look at a piece of art for the first time, simply letting it be what it is without judgement and very little analysis.

Roger Ebert was a film critic by job description, but in reality he was a critic of life and the world in which we all live. It just so happened that both life and the world were reflected in film and that was how he best loved to look at it. It just didn’t stop him from looking at the world straight on, either. In the age of social media, he was a titan of the Twitter-sphere, sharing links not just about movies and his reviews, but of interesting articles, comments on religion and politics, and sometimes just funny stories. The under-riding presence of a critique (his or someone else’s) was always there. One way or another they made you think or see the world a little differently.

I’m going to miss that.

In the days after September 11th, 2001, that terrifying, terrible day, there was a lot of emotion in the world. The August before, I’d gone to see the film “Final Fantasy” in the theatre and one of the trailers was for Sam Raimi’s first “Spider-Man” film. It ended with bank robbers in a helicopter being caught in a giant spider web. The web was spun between the two World Trade Centres in New York City. It was a powerful image, made too powerful a month later when maniacs destroyed them (along with destroying countless lives). The ad was pulled from theatres and even now is unavailable on the DVD. The knee-jerk reaction of the time was to remove the iconic Twin Towers from current TV shows and films about to be released. The argument was that it was being done out of respect. “The Sopranos” cut their shot of the Towers in Tony’s rear view mirror that season and from all to follow. There was serious talk of older movies being edited to take them out, apparently because some believed it was too painful or disrespectful to show them anymore. It bothered me, but I couldn’t quite articulate why I thought such action was wrong. I wrote to Mr. Ebert and said I couldn’t understand this reaction, really. He wrote back, agreeing, and said, “When someone dies, you don’t destroy all their photos.”

I later submitted an entry to his Little Glossary Of Movie Terms:

Backlit Horizon Phenomenon
The ever-present white light whose source is always just beyond the horizon line where no practical light source would be. This phenomenon allows dramatic entrances to secluded locales, e.g., the appearance of the Ring Wraiths on the road in “The Fellowship of the Ring” and the appearance of the Nigerian soldiers in the jungle in “Tears of the Sun.”PATRICK LEMIEUX, TORONTO

I’m still really proud to have made it into his collection, even in a small way.

It bothers me that in his battle against cancer in his last years he lost his ability to speak. It didn’t stop him working and writing, but I felt bad for him, nonetheless. I can’t imagine what life must have been like. He never publicly complained or sought sympathy for what he was going through. I admire that.

I didn’t always agree with Ebert and sometimes I think he missed the point in a film he would slam, but every argument for his position was made clearly and understandably, so I could meet him halfway. It helped me learn the value of critical thinking and critical writing, to argue not with the goal of antagonizing, but with an eye on enlightening the opposing view as to where I’m coming from on a topic.

It’s sad that he won’t see the new Star Wars movies.

The current young generation will never quite understand just how much power the duo of Siskel & Ebert had back in the day. Getting “Two Thumbs Up” would make your box office and practically guarantee a hit film. And “Thumbs Down,” well, you knew you had a stinker on your hands. After Gene Siskel died, that magic combination was lost and Roger Ebert, still a great critic, continued to review and write and enlighten. He’d talk about his friend and colleague Siskel and we learned that even though the arguments on their show were genuine, the two never lost respect of friendship. I recall Ebert saying in an interview that he and Gene had a shorthand about movies, simple words and phrases they developed over the years, that could communicate so much so quickly and that Ebert really missed that.

I also recall Ebert saying several times that he had no fear of death. Why should he, he’d ask? He came from nothing and would go back to nothing. What was to fear? I admire that, too.

Lastly, I hope the world learned some things from him. I hope his legacy dissuades some bad movies from being made. I hope the world learned that “critic” is not a bad word. We needed Ebert’s intelligent analysis of the our world and we all need to pick up where he left off.

I plan to do my part.

A Late Night Post

Well.

My last blog post was in December, more than three months ago.

It’s been busy, to say the least. A massive collaboration from January to now (March) resulted in a LOT of painting of new pieces and several large exhibits of my work. Most waking hours in these months were devoted to the project, to the point of being able to focus on little else, including this blog.

It’s not that I didn’t have anything new to say. I did. Nor was it a lack of interest, since I kept thinking I should get back to posting on here. The problem was that I wan my post to be engaging, with pictures and captions and links. Writing the blog is one thing. Adding the little details I think make it worthwhile sort of multiplies the time it takes to put an entry.

Writing a blog post can take a few hours or a few days, neither I which I could really spare in the last few months.

Then there’s the extra stuff:

What images do I want to use to illustrate what I’m talking about?

Find the images, upload them, set display parameters, add captions, all one at a time. Believe it or not, that’s a couple hours of work right there. Even it the article took a few hours itself to write, with the images, that a good chunk of a day gone, minimum.

Any links, like to YouTube or other articles?

Adding hyperlinks is tedious and slow a process, taking a chunk of time to do each. There’s at least a few more hours gone.

The possible scenario has this occupy an entire day. Given the bulk of my schedule, even that was asking too much. I was missing family and friends because of the work needed to do the art project, and they were all supportive, but to stop for a day to post on here would have been criminal and a tad selfish. It was best to simply not do anything with the blog until I had a bit more time.

I’m writing this post because this run of paintings and exhibits has finished (there will be more to come!) and I feel I have time to stop and catch up. I’m not planning to illustrate this post, either. It’s the most technically simple post I can produce: just me writing stuff. Notice the utter lack of bells and whistles? Yeah. I much prefer having images attached!

The work I put in to the art and their exhibition was incredibly rewarding on so many levels. I hope to write about it all soon in some detail. The reward of all my effort, too, was a week of solitude with family and friends at a cottage with no internet. Had there been any, I might have posted earlier. Upon my return to civilization, I was back at it, waste deep in work and without much time to spare. Again, it was all worth it, but the blog was set aside in order to make room in my tightly crammed schedule.

To give you a better idea of what some of my days were like, it was getting up in the morning and after a quick breakfast, start sketching out a painting on the canvas, in pencil. Then start painting. And not stopping for more than the shortest breaks of 10 or 15 minutes, enough time for acrylic paint to dry, rest a moment (since it’s very focussed work, which I’ll talk about in a sec) and then get back at it. I had music playing and would get into a groove as I worked and hours would fly by. The paintings took shape and most of the time I was happy with the progress. Sometimes I was not, but the luxury of simply stopping was not available. I had imposed a quota of sorts, a number of paintings I felt I needed to complete for each exhibit. There was no slacking off. If part of the painting, like face or a building or whatever, wasn’t coming together and looked like crap, I kept at it until it got to where I needed it to be.

I mentioned focus and this is where it could be either the best thing in the world or my worst enemy. The mind is working on several levels while painting. Part of the mind is thinking about the paint, the brush strokes (every. single. one), the overall composition and all the elements of design, while the other part is locked into the music, because for me, the music sets the internal pace the other part needs to work efficiently. When both parts are locked and working together, it’s sublime. For me, this is the zone. I don’t always need music for it. When I write, I prefer quiet. I can paint to silence, too, I don’t *need* the music, per se.

The problem with focus is: when the image I’m painting isn’t coming together and I keep at it, it becomes fuelled by frustration rather than internal rhythms (those parts of the mind that also like having the music around). It becomes mental wrestling match as my mind works even hard to figure out what I’m doing wrong and what I need to do right. I try to simplify it. I go back to the basics, what I was taught by my trusted high school art teacher.

Paint what you see.

A curve here. A shadow there. The shapes. The textures.

I take a break (10 minutes) and come back with a fresher eye. I go at it again. If the part of the painting I’m wrestling with starts to come together as I need it to, great. There is much relief. If not, I try to put the frustration aside and repeat the process until I get it.

As I’m painting, I take two longer breaks for lunch and dinner. I watch something online as I eat or surf the internet. I don’t think about the painting. I give myself 30 minutes, maybe 45, then I’m back at it.

One of two things happens by this point:

1) I see the end in sight. Only a few areas left in the piece to paint and it’s done!

Or

2) I realize there is a lot left to do. It’s not a discouraging thought. It requires a bit of planning. How much more can I accomplish in the next section, I ask myself?

If I see the end of the piece is close, I go for it. If not, I pace myself till I feel that’s enough for the day and hope I get the rest done tomorrow.

All of that is a day of me painting. Many of the pieces I did for the recent project were done in a day or a day and a half. This seems to boggle people’s minds. I’m not bragging. It’s hard. I can’t do it for an extended period of time, churning out art daily. I tried to push myself to get 8 new pieces painted in 10 days straight and, with this being near the end of the creative process on this project, I think I hit my limit. I ended up with 6 in 10 days straight. If I wasn’t painting to the clock and calendar, who knows what I might have achieved (maybe more, maybe less). I had a very real deadline in those last days of actual painting, that of leaving for the cottage to be with my family and friends. I didn’t want to bring my artwork up there because aside from the logistical headache of trying to bring all the supplies up, I knew deep down that I probably wouldn’t get anything done up there and to attempt to would ruin the time with my loved ones. So it had to be done before I left. I was painting right up to the late evening of the night before I left and when I declared the piece done, the pressure withdrawing was sweeter as feeling as ever. It’s always great to set away from the painting when it’s done, to savour the accomplishment of creating a thing. That evening, you’d think it would be amplified by the sheer total number I’d completed, but no. It was sweet, but not any more sweet. The physical relief was greater, given how hard and how long I’d been at it.

So, yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing!

What’s to come?

Well, my next project is finishing a book I’ve been putting together for a long, long time, with a friend/co-author.

More on that later.

(© Artists’ Network of Riverdale, 2012)

I’m a member of the Artists’ Network here in Toronto and we’re having an fundraising auction for the organization.

Here’s what the Artists’ Network does:

“We’re dedicated to supporting visual artists in their professional business practice. We promote professional development and entrepreneurship of artists by organizing seminars, providing exhibitions and networking opportunities.” Artists’ Network

Here’s the link to The Little Art Show auction.

There is a variety of great works by professional artists and it’s all very affordable. It features paintings, photography and sculpture in many different styles and genres.

These are the two pieces I have exhibited for sale in the auction, created for this event specifically:

“Recall”
Acrylic on Canvas
12″ x 12″
© Patrick Lemieux, 2012
Starting bid: $150.00

“Stage Left Cat”
Acrylic on Canvas
12″ x 12″
© Patrick Lemieux, 2012
Starting bid: $150.00

My Artist’s Statement:
***
Theatre.

After more than 20 years, it’s still a word that fires my imagination. The audience sees the stories performed onstage, but rarely sees the stories which play out behind the curtains, above the stage, or in the dark recesses of the space, where the memories of shows past remain, in names scrawled on old pieces of scenery, the tags of costumes and in tattered scripts left in the control booth. It’s a Twilight Zone of sorts back there, a place caught between places, between where the audience dreams and the troupers play. It is fuelled by vivid imagination, but driven by unrelenting reality. It’s hard work creating the fantastical. There’s never enough time, hardly enough money and more often than not, low-tech solutions will win the day.

Take a wander, now, past the sign that says, “No Audience Beyond This Point.” See what the theatre folk see. Glimpse what the theatre itself remembers. And I like to believe that it does remember the actors, dancers and crew who worked there and the shows they mounted. Is the theatre haunted? Maybe. Is Shakespeare’s Scottish Play really cursed? Well, there was this one time when…
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If you live in the Toronto area, you can see all the pieces in the auction’s exhibit live, in person, at The Hangman Gallery, 756 Queen St. E., Toronto, Ontario.

The auction ends Saturday, November 17th, 2012 at 9 PM.

Here’s a sampling of what to expect to see at my upcoming art show!

All are welcome!

The video features one of the tracks, “Dominate,” from the new Symphony Of Nine album, THE GALLERY. The album features 14 new pieces of art commissioned by the band. You’ll glimpse some in the video and all 14 will première at PLAY OF LIGHT, as well those done this past summer relating to Theatre and those from recent years, all tied together through an exploration of light.

Take a look and feel free to stop by if you’re in and around Toronto.

Admission is free.

See the VIDEO here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QUvxew2L2U&feature=youtu.be

 

 

 

Anyone in and around Toronto, Ontario, your are welcome to come out and see my gallery event, featuring the recent artwork done for the band Symphony Of Nine and the Theatre-themed pieces worked on this summer, as well pieces done over the years.

I’ll be there, too, if you want to say “hi” and talk shop!

Cheers,

Patrick