Art

Planet Digby: Future Landscapes by H.M.S. Smith

I’ve just spent some quiet time poring over Planet Digby, and I had to keep telling my brain I was looking at photographs and not paintings. The collection of images – photographs of reflections of fishing boat hulls in Digby harbour – is complemented by a selection of poetry and even Biblical passages. Together, the photos and poems act as a commentary on the Earth, its ecological changes and humankind’s relationship with the two.…

Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty: Affirmations for the Real World by Hana Shafi

I can’t say enough about Hana Shafi’s latest book, Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty. It is a treasure of a book; the balm for a tumultuous year.

The subtitle of the book is Affirmations for the Real World, but in the introduction, Shafi assures us that this is no book of advice. Rather, she offers affirmations and reflections as a means of reminding us that we are not alone, even when we feel unloved, awkward, or unable to sleep because we’re busy remembering every embarrassing thing we did when we were 11 years old.…

The Painted Province by Joy Laking

The first time I ever saw a Joy Laking painting was many years back when scrolling through the internet.   There before me was her image of – Joan’s Chairs.  I immediately looked up the artist and found her website.  I have been a fan of hers ever since. This painting is included in her book The Painted Province and it was wonderful to see it again here.…

2020 “The Very Best!” Cover Art/Design Winners!

Good book cover design is essential for a book to be noticed on the shelf. While the contents of the book must speak for itself whether it is worthy of your money and time, the cover often tells you something about the contents inside. (Although this is not always true. Consider QC Fiction’s use of Maison 1608 by Solisco for all of its “unconventionally stark” covers.…

Signs of Life: Images Formed from Words and Clay by Gerri Frager

all have experience with death. And dying. A couple of my grandparents died at home – apparently the peaceful, in-their-sleep manner. Another went at the hospital. As she passed she said with perfect lucidity, “Oh, look at the beautiful flowers!” (There were no painkillers involved.) The kind of stuff that stays with you, to interpret as you choose. But an in-law of mine passed after a stint at a hospice.…

The Art of the Fall, a Play Translated by Danielle Le Saux-Farmer

Fiction could never be labelled as predictable. It has published divergent kinds of contemporary French fiction titles which it carefully translates into English to gain a wider audience. Witness what happened recently with Eric Dupont’s Songs for the Cold of Heart: a prestigious Giller nomination that made the publishing world take notice that there is a virtually untapped market for translations.…

The Karen Schauber Interview

I received a review copy of  The Group of Seven Reimagined, I was immediately taken with not only by the striking look and feel of the book but the ingenious use of “flash fiction” by various Canadian and international writers to complement each work of art. Karen Schauber is the editor of the book, and I had many questions about how the idea came about, the logistics of getting so many talented writers together and so on.…

The Group of Seven Reimagined, Edited by Karen Schauber

a very good reason that as I write this, The Group of Seven Reimagined, Contemporary Stories Inspired by Historic Canadian Paintings is sitting at, or near the top of bestseller lists in Canada (as of this writing, it is currently #3 on the Canadian Art bestseller list at Amazon.ca).  The result is a most attractive book that any lover of art and literature would enjoy, even if they already have more than a passing familiarity with the iconic Group of Seven.…

The Art and Passion of Guido Nincheri by Mélanie Grondin

The beauty of many old churches (particularly cathedrals, basilicas, etc.) is in their architecture as well as in their religious art, whether it is the many large frescoes or the exquisite stained glass windows that adorn them. The late (1885-1973) Italian-Canadian artist and stained glass master Guido Nincheri has enjoyed a recent resurgence of interest, thanks to his grandson Roger Bocchini Nincheri who has been tirelessly photographing and cataloging his grandfather’s hundreds of existing works.…

Terra Magna: Labrador by Jean Claude Roy

2012, Jean Claude Roy and Breakwater Books of Newfoundland and Labrador published Fluctuat Nec Mergitur, a book that included a painting of every community on the island of Newfoundland, the culmination of an extraordinary forty-five years of painting the island’s landscape. From the beginning of that project, Jean Claude realized that he had neither the knowledge of Labrador nor space in the book to include paintings from there, and so the idea of this second volume was born.…