21 June 2011


So Small Pond Arts is featured in the 2011 summer issue of County Magazine. Neat! It's quite a substantial article --and look at that cover! (read more about that painting HERE)

At left is Krista with the big blue hands of a future giant puppet, and at right is me doing some gardening. Basically, business as usual at Small Pond.

LEFT PAGE: clockwise from upper left: my portrait of Ted Maczka from my recent Field to Canvas series; me in my studio/gallery, grinning like a doofus; me and Krista sitting in our outhouse; and my portrait of George Emlaw (also from F2C).

RIGHT PAGE: clockwise from top: Krista with her Punch & Judy puppets (and me sneaking a smooch); my watercolour painting of a skull on Yupo plastic; my oil painting, Fuel 2; and my portrait of John Nyman (also from F2C).

Top to bottom: me and Krista next to our main sign; Krista posing with out giant puppet, Bacchus; and another shot of me looking cheeky in the my studio/gallery.

Left page: another watercolour painting on plastic (which I'm using in my own blog's header. Right page: me inside another future giant puppet, our sugar shack guy (and in the background, our famous Silo).

07 June 2011

Unacknowledged Legislators of the World

Things are really going gangbusters here at Small Pond.  Between Milé's multitudinous art openings (Field to Canvas featuring prominently amongst them) we’ve had some very cool residents coming through.

Portrait of George Emlaw, part of Milé's Field to Canvas exhibit,
on now until the end of 2011 at Angéline's Restuarant, Bloomfield
Négar Mokhtassi and Kori Okamura are a couple of musicians who came to Small Pond with the intention of writing some new songs and enjoying some R & R as spring blossomed in The County. They enjoyed the intense acoustics of playing music in the silo, and were even inspired to write us a theme song! When not jamming, they cruised around enjoying the beach and some of our favourite antique shops.

Joel Brubacher and Catherine Mellinger were the next residents to arrive. I know Joel from the puppetry community in Toronto. He came to Small Pond with the goal of making a whole bunch of new puppets, and his lovely lady Catherine spent her time writing (on a typewriter!) and working on some amazing collages.

Joel working in the great outdoors - the best studio of all!
Catherine collaging in the garage a.k.a. puppet studio
Joel and Catherine did some bike-riding (we've got a few loaners), enjoyed some tranquil moments in the hammock, and in the evenings taught us some awesome card games that got very intense… despite which we were still friends at the end of the week. They made a really cool installation on our artists’ trail; my prediction is that their “Theatre of Possibilities” will become a favourite photo spot on the property.

My sister Meagan in the Theatre of Possibilities
This past weekend we held a banner-raising party, and had a full house of people staying over, plus a good forty visitors. Friends, family and visiting artists enjoyed the celebratory atmosphere as we watched our young friend Jacob Wiens help raise the new banner by shooting arrows into the silo with the top ropes attached (read about last year’s banner here).

Jacob and the newly-raised banner
The banner raising was followed by a barbecue, an impressive and delicious silo-cake, and a very satisfying and hilarious piñata-smashing!

Silo cake by Vicky Roy of Chesterfield's Homegrown Cafe

After giving the little ones a chance...
... illustrator Carl Wiens successfully decapitates
the piñata with his mighty swing.
Last night 14 cyclists from The Otesha Project camped out in our woods. This group of young volunteers are spending their summer riding all over Ontario, living as a sustainable community and performing a play on environmental and social justice issues to schools and other community groups.

The Otesha Project rolls into the Pond
They helped us out for a bit with two of our current building projects: digging the foundation for our outdoor cob bake oven, and putting a new floor in the Art Barn, which will dramatically improve the building as studio and performance space.

Dig this: The Otesha Project crew digging the bake oven foundation
 I love how people seem to universally connect with Small Pond. It’s a gorgeous spot, to be sure, but I’d like to think that they are drawn to the place for more than the wildflowers and the fresh air; I think creative people are drawn here because we freely grant them permission to be themselves, to find inspiration, and to be what they cannot deny: artists, creators, the unacknowledged legislators of the world. Being an artist is not always an easy path, but one that we fully celebrate here. No one is an oddball at Small Pond; we are a collection of beautiful misfits, and in our togetherness we discover that there is simply no other way to be.