Thursday, 27 October 2011


Fridge installation view

Elephant Shopping
Pencil drawing by Emma Maki

Kissed Off
mixed media collage by Lori Gilbert
(india ink, pencil, lipstick, acrylic paint on paper)

Kissed Off

Just in time for Halloween, La Galerie Kenmore presents drawing-based works that combine the treat with the trick. "Kissed Off" was originally an artist's bookwork, which I later took apart and culled down to the best pages. It features lipstick kisses on translucent paper, concealing hostile mouths in black ink on white paper. I remember applying lipstick and creating 32 different imprints, then drawing a small mouth image in ink to complement the shape of each lip-print. Then I produced ANOTHER 32 lip prints on pastel-coloured lined notebook paper. Then I wrote little personal, diary-like statements in and around the lip prints on lined paper. I bound the bookwork so that the prints on coloured paper were facing or "kissing" the prints on translucent paper. Each print on translucent paper was laid over an ink drawing of a nasty mouth, so that you could lift the "kiss" and see the teeth or sneer or venomous tongue underneath. It was all about passive-aggressive hostility of course, but I really dug the whole process, you know?

My daughter's drawing of an elephant shopping for clothes needs little explanation. I'm sure we've all felt a similar frustration when stampeding into a dimly lit fitting room with a dozen hangers full of garments clutched in our trunks.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

La Galerie Kenmore Goes All Goddess-y

Art on the fridge today focuses primarily on figures rendered in Prismacolour pencil, and modelled on  primitive goddess images morphing into insect-like creatures. This is an ongoing theme in my artwork, there may be more to come at La Galerie Kenmore. Also currently on display, a black and white drawing by my daughter, illustrating the activities of Fairies in the landscape. These hard-working, feminine spirits of nature should be familiar to anyone with a girl in the ten-and-under age group. They are responsible for our rainbows, sunrises, blooming of wild flowers, the addition of sparkliness to the landscape, and many other woodland tasks. I think these little cuties should be unionized.

Slipping out of the nursery now, my etching and aquatint piece "Spider Moon" hints at the dark and swollen underbelly of female spirituality. I see this small piece as the visual baby sister of such Robyn Hitchcock songs as "Madonna of the Wasps" and "Antwoman." for lyrics to "Antwoman"  ... with her audrey hepburn feelers, indeed. for performance of "Madonna of the Wasps"

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Asperger's Corner

I feel a long and disjointed rant bubbling beneath the surface lately. What's inciting my outrage and indignation these days, is the horrible, depressing, violence-inducing topic of children's birthday parties. My kid will be turning 10 in December; I suppose I should be feeling joy and delight as I attempt to plan some sort of social gathering to celebrate the event.

For the past several years, we've gone in for the currently popular practise of booking a venue such as a swimming pool or indoor play-park, which in itself provides the entertainment and eases the kids into their social interactions. Other examples might be a party at a bowling alley, or a McDonald's that has one of those "play-places." I help my kid do up the invitations, and encourage her to invite this one and that one, and do up the loot bags, and buy all kinds of snacks. If it's at a pool, I squeeze myself into my *!#$ bathing suit and supervise the little splashers for 2 hours or whatever it is.

This is all well and good, and it would absolutely be worth all the time and expense, IF any of my child's party guests had the good graces to return the favour. Last year, she invited 5 or 6 kids, 3 of them attended, and NOT ONE invited her to their birthday party as the year unfolded. I don't blame the kids, I blame the parents. Why aren't they teaching appropriate social skills? or just plain manners? How can I manage to smile my way through another one of these nightmares, providing an afternoon of child care, cake and entertainment and thanking them all as they leave, knowing that my daughter won't be bringing any invitations home in her backpack?

That's my rant. Next time on Asperger's Corner: What's so great about eye contact anyway?

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Goals, Goalies, Getting One in the Net

This year, I set a couple of goals for myself (well, more than a couple actually). To start submitting short stories to contests and publications. To become more involved in the local writers' community. To learn to drive. Two out of three ain't bad. I am driving around now with a driving instructor, or my husband as a co-driver when I'm not taking a lesson. It's coming along very well, and my instructor says the road test should be no problem. So the driving goal may actually be achieved before my fifty-first birthday this year. I've submitted stories to the Writer's Digest Annual Competition. This is my second attempt at submitting work, and my short story "Lights Out" actually squeaked under the line and made it into the top one hundred for the Genre category. Very pleased with myself about this; at the rate I'm going, I might even make money in this racket by my eleventy-first birthday.

Now, about the getting-more-involved goal... maybe I just don't do "social." Shamefully, I continue to miss meetings of the local Writer's Circle, would like to get out to events but can't be bothered to arrange child care, and so on.... But I'm not quite giving up on that one yet.

In terms of setting and achieving goals, you may notice a theme of "late bloomer" in my life. Learning to drive and just beginning to submit stories at the age of fifty and so on. I'm also a middle-aged woman with a pre-teen child. Not that there wasn't the opportunity; babies and parenthood were early desires of mine, yet I remained childless throughout a lengthy common-law relationship. When that was over, and I found myself single in the big city, the goal of parenthood waited on the shelf until I reached about 37 or 38. Then, the baby hunger hit hard, and I ruthlessly strategized to get pregnant. But no matter how hard I played, I never scored. Finally, I gave up the game and took to enjoying warm summer evenings on the porch with a glass of red wine and Bridget Jones.

Just as I was about to turn forty, I found myself in a relationship with a guy my age who liked a lot of the same things. We had a lot of fun, you might say. I remember warning him one night (or was it morning?) that if we continued  to play without a goalie, we were bound to get one in the net eventually. He gave me his sly smile and said "Better keep working on my slapshot." And so, shortly after my forty-first birthday, and on the exact date of his forty-first birthday, our daughter was born.

When we set goals for ourselves, we plan all the steps leading up to their accomplishment. But I think the most important step is to look for the goalie blocking our way. Whoever, or whatever, that goalie is, you need to remove him from the game. Then, just take your best shot.