Category Archives: Blast From the Past

Mirvish Village Giveaway!

A nostalgic look at Mirvish Village

A nostalgic look at Mirvish Village

Here is the result of a recent commission to design and produce a three-colour silkscreen print based on two new exhibits now on display at Markham House. Tonight only, along with free hotdogs, they’re giving away 200 of these limited-editions away!

Anne Mirvish: The Artist in Her Studio
and Welcome to Yesterday:
Ephemera from Mirvish Village

Come take a look at Anne Mirvish’s art practice and her influence on the neighbourhood known as Mirvish Village. In addition check out the wonderful collection ephemera and memorabilia from the Mirvish Family archive, collected over the past 50+ years. Here you will discover the tale of the Onion Pot and the name of the first shop opened by Honest Ed Mirvish.

The shows run from May 28th to July 10th, 2016.

Markham House
610 Markham St. Toronto
Open daily from 12pm – 7pm
mirvish-village.com

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Lugano!

I can't believe it's been 23 years since I spent some time in Lugano!

I can’t believe it’s been so many years since I went to Lugano!

This is an old drawing I revisited today. Complete colour change and new type. Simplified some of my textures. The image was inspired by both my visit to Lugano and a visit to Cadaqués, where I saw a fashion photography shoot involving beautifully dressed young men and women on vespas.


What’s Your Shoe Size? New Silkscreen Print!

What's your shoe size?

What’s your shoe size?

Remember these things? My shoe size hasn’t changed in years so when I spotted one of these old Brannock Devices in a junk shop, a flood of memories came back and I decided to draw one. Shoes stores don’t seem to use them anymore, or the little stool you would put your foot on while the sales clerk laced up the shoes you were trying out. Did they only do that for children? Maybe now-a-days, in better shoe stores, you might be lucky if they even bother to put the laces in the shoes for you before you try them on. Enough of the nostalgia already! There’s a well illustrated example here.

Close-up: the classic and shiny silver Brannock Device

Close-up: the classic and shiny silver Brannock Device

This shiny silver and black ink print is now available in my Etsy Shop!

There are a lot of steps involved to make a silkscreen print succeed:

1. Exposing acetate artwork over photo emuslion. 2. You can see the difference between the set and unexposed areas. 3. Washing out the unexposed emulsion. 4. Ready to print!

1. Exposing acetate artwork over photo emulsion. 2. You can see the difference between the set and unexposed areas. 3. Washing out the unexposed emulsion. 4. Ready to print!

To get a really metallic shine, I heat set silver foil right on to the paper. This has a lot of extra steps and takes a lot longer than printing a single layer of ink, and it requires a larger investment in materials and equipment:

1. The first layer is like printing ink, only you need to use a special adhesive. 2. One's the adhesive is properly set, you lay over a piece of foil. 3. Add heat! 4. Peel off excess foil and voila!

1. The first layer is like printing ink, only you need to use a special adhesive. 2. Once the adhesive is properly set, you lay over a piece of foil. 3. Insert into heat press! 4. Peel off excess foil and voilà!

Add a layer of black ink and it’s done:

The last steps are the easiest, just a simple pull of black ink, some time to let them dry and it's done.

The last steps are the easiest, a simple pull of black ink, some time to dry and it’s done.

I make it sound oh-so-simple, but I owe many thanks to my talented and knowledgeable assistant, Alexx, of rcboisjoli studios! Don’t forget to visit my Etsy Shop!


Three More Old Favorites

“an exemplar of superior underground writing...” – Lynn Crosbie, How Poems Work column, The Globe and Mail

“An exemplar of superior underground writing…” – Lynn Crosbie, The Globe and Mail

Three more pas de chance titles are up on my Etsy Shop.

A mail art project catalogue

A mail art project catalogue

These are some of the more popular pas de chance titles.

Elissa’s experimental romance about the conquest of Mexico

Elissa’s experimental romance about the conquest of Mexico

Follow this blog to hear about new titles coming soon
from my press, pas de chance.

 


Pas de chance books on Etsy

A work of fiction AND a western shirt pattern!

A work of fiction AND a western shirt pattern!

My Esty Shop is featuring old pas de chance titles all week long!

Drinking Songs by Elissa Joy

Drinking Songs by Elissa Joy

These titles are in limited supply.

A collection of poetry by Elissa Joy

A collection of poetry by Elissa Joy

Pas de chance will be releasing a number of new titles over the coming year!


New Series of Giclée Prints now on Etsy

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This set of graphic drawings were originally created for exhibition at one of the SpeakEasy illustration shows held at The Gladstone Hotel a few years back.

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I called these “Self Portraits,” but I don’t see any resemblance whatsoever.

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I think they were meant to represent my peripheral vision.

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I am re-issuing five of my favourites as limited edition giclée prints.

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Visit my Esty store for more information!


Collecting: Vintage Nurse Romance

Required reading

Some years ago I lived next door to Goodwill Industries on Adelaide Street East in downtown Toronto. Those were the days! I was in and out of that place multiple times daily – for the boisterous live auctions in the basement, for the unhinged buy-the-pound shop and to dig through the colossal stockpile of books, clothing and other donations that accumulated on the second floor. Does anyone remember Shirley?

What I was most attracted to were the brightly illustrated covers of old nurse-themed romance novels. My favorites were published by the prodigious Canadian publisher Harlequin.

There is rarely a credit on the colophon for the cover illustrators. It’s difficult to discern the initials and tiny signatures on some of the covers. Most are not signed. My favorite is Paul Anna Soik, who illustrated Nurse Caril’s New Post and Doctor Garth (above) and Nurses are People (below).  Soik was from New Jersey and attended the Ontario College of Art in the 1950s.

There are some great blogs about Nurse Romance novels out there. One of my favorites includes brief profiles of the authors and also identifies some of the illustrators. Another fantastic collection can be seen at The Tiny Pineapple.

I recently came across some early collage work I did with some of the covers. In the late 80s and early 90s there was a band from Toronto called The Nancy Sinatras headed by the fabulous Bam Bam Bratty and Nurse Nancy. I took dozens of photos of them performing and made dandy little fanzine datebooks for them. You can see where I replaced the faces on the nurse romance covers with photos of Nurse Nancy.

More on The Nancy Sinatras to come!


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