Jordin Tootoo

I am going to my first NHL arena game in my life tomorrow here in Vancouver with a good friend. I would not have bought the tickets if not for Jordin Tootoo coming to play with New Jersey Devil's.

Day to day I don't even really think about hockey, much less ever think about putting money down for a ticket. In fact, I used to go to school literally a block away from the Bell Centre in Montreal. I could hear the roar of the crowd from my painting studio and never bothered to go to a single game!  Still, I like watching the play offs and international tournaments.  You might as well when you live in Canada when during these big events the games are what nearly everyone talks about. So it was during the 2003 World Junior Hockey Championships I first heard about Jordin's achievement as an Inuk player. I remember talking to my mom about him 'Oh yeah, Tootoo. And he's good too. I like watching him play!' 

Being Inuk and living outside my home of Labrador I am always excited to meet other Inuit and see them doing their thing. Just in the last few years I have meet the film maker Zacharias Kunuk and activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier. And although we haven't met, I am honoured to have work in the exhibition 'Northren Exposure' with artist Annie Pootoogook at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. So when I heard Jordin had released his autobiography 'All the Way' the next chance that I had I bought a copy.

I am a little over half way through and it is really something. If you are thinking about getting the book this review at McLean's will convince you. 

This is my first live NHL game I have put money down for because I am so pumped to see Tootoo play. I'll be in row 4 just behind the Vancouver net to the left for two periods. Got a helluva deal on StubHub. Perfect seats to see Jordin do his thing and dump in a goal or two. Can't wait.  


I love sketches. 

I love making sketches of things I see and things that I am thinking about. I love the feel of sketchbook in my hand. I love flipping through my old sketchbooks and have memories flood back to me. I love visiting libraries and searching out the drawing section. I love visiting galleries and seeing a great big wall of sketches, or even a small sketchbook to flip through. And, I love sharing my own sketches with friends and people I meet.

So I figured out my own way to share my own sketches with you. Sign up here to receive an email once every other week and you will receive a message with an image from one of my sketchbooks.

That's it.

The emails go out on different days so it may take a few before the first ends up in your inbox. If you ever decide you would not like to receive these sketches unsubscribe via the link provided in the email. 

A reblogging from my Facebook status

UPDATE: The Article is now on the Canadian Art website. Many of the references in the article have been linked to material on the internet including this website. It is a bonus to the print feature for sure.


Happy to share that I have been featured in the current issue of Canadian Art in an article by David Balzer!!!

Nothing online as far as I can tell but you can find print editions at Chapters. Oh yeah, there is an iPad Canadian Art magazine version but you would have to subscribe for a whole year to see it. I am not that crazy about my iPad to do that but I can think of a few who might be. 

The lead image is a frontside boardslide on a box painted the same as my father's komatik box from Labrador. This is a still from a video shot by Navarana Tretina Igloliorte in our driveway in Sackville. Reminds me of skateboarding in Goose Bay in the spring. 

In the studio today between painting sessions I was flipping through art book about Blinky Palermo who is awesome. I came across a similar long rectangle, black and while painting I hadn't seen before. There is something so awesome about Labradorians like my dad making paintings like this on komatik boxes for some time now. 

I was hoping to see more komatik paintings in Hopedale but mostly their komatik boxes aren't painted! It's more of a Goose Bay and Makkovik thing I s'ppose! 

Some Days Are Better Than Others

'Some days are better than others.' What Mikky was saying few times while we were out yesterday. Hiking all around the ponds, hills and coves just south of Hopedale. Some fishing, some shots off for birds too. Spotted a seal each, but only too briefly and no other sign. The land is so beautiful. Nunatsiavut, 'Our Beautiful Land', good name I got to say. We had a couple of boil ups. Tea and homemade bread that his wife had made the day before. Snowed hard when we were waiting for the seals. Far across the cove was could still make out the point by open water that Mikky said he was thinking about taking me that day where we might have had a better chance.

My foot and knee were hurting by the end of the long day hiking. We were out from 11:30 til eight. My knee feels good today which is a relief. I'd be up for hiking out again. Mik said he might call too.

Will be setting up the studio space today. Close to two weeks to work. I was a little anxious about the work going well or not. Like yesterday, it will be whatever it is. Hunting and painting, pretty good way to spend two weeks for me.



I am on my way back to Hopedale as part of my Development Grant from the Canada Council. I couldn't be more excited.


Organized Around the Studio

Productivity in the studio came up in conversation last night over dinner at our house with some friends. The consensus around the table seemed to me that we all struggle with making our work but we're also capable of getting incredibly productive when we need to. We were sharing book titles that have influenced how we get to work and our scheduling practices for how we actually get to work. 

I am not anywhere as productive or organized as I would like to be; although, with our friends I am getting known to being obsessed with organization.  One of the contributors to my reputation is my laser label writer birthday present my wife bought me on request a few years ago. Having printed neat labels is a recommendation of David Allen's in his 2001 manifesto on personal organization 'Getting Things Done'. Merlin Mann, a hilarious and bright independent creator of an array of things described GTD and the impulse to organize as a way to take that strength compensate for where you need to get better. 

The thing is I seem to be able to keep on top of the administrative side of my art career: keeping the emails moving, completing grant/award applications, keeping track of the moving parts of projects related to exhibitions which in turn makes it possible to create studio time. I applied and was awarded a Canada Council Emerging Artist Grant and am looking forward to the time that I have coming up between May 1 and October 31 when I am on leave from my Government position. Pretty sweet. 

Receiving a grant I feel is a huge responsibility to carry out what I have proposed. I have a tonne of work ahead of me. Coordinating the trip back to Hopedale, getting the proper ventilation set up in the basement studio, and on and on. With my labeller, some folders and my Remember the Milk app I'll be staying on top of those as best I can. In the interim there will be small scale studio investigation and production through paintings and my near daily sketchbook practice. While I can't be in the studio full time at the moment I am organizing and completing all that I can for when I am. 

By the way. Some of books about organization and creative process that came up last night were: 

Getting Things Done, David Allen

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami

On Writing, Stephen King

I have not read all of the Stephen King book yet but I have read and love the other two.

First Post

I am stepping into the unknown territory of hosting my own site on the internet. It has been a long time coming and long over due given the two things that people often say about me: 1. I have a slant toward tech, 2. I should have a website by now.  

It is going to my artist presence on the internet with my intention to continue to grow my practice. I have been really fortunate to have some really good years recently and I want to share  what I have created and see what happens over the next few.

This website will have the straight forward artist site material, online galleries, documentation clips, links to articles, CV. These things are part of the web presence that I think that people are asking for. I have been told by my friends, and ego surfing confirms this, that my web presence for a practicing artist is at an at time low. It will be great to bring these things all under one roof. 

For the next while I'll use these blog entries  to externalize what I am thinking about setting up here. I think at first this is going to be a place to write about the process of getting a website up and going and then branch out into other topics related to practice. I am interested in writing about practical things - my desk, my paint table, my florescent light fixtures, my computer - tools and shop talk really. These practical things I feel will be a good way to get the words moving. In terms of Art writing I have a few essays that are just sitting on my hard drive that I am actually proud of and I feel stand up to sharing with the world on the internet. 

Looking ahead I have more time in the studio now and a grant to take advantage of in the new year. We'll see how much and what this site grows into. Right now it is good to be here.