I behaved like a musk ox

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No buyer’s remorse Sunday morning, but a touch of imbiber’s regret.

Those of you who saw me Saturday night at the Autumn House art auction might have thought I was simply drunk on the joy of supporting a good cause. But that was not the case. I was intoxicated by spirituous liquors. I apologize profusely to those kind souls – duty-bound or otherwise – who smiled through my bloviating. I was fit company for the wild beasts of the forest, not polite society.

Fortunately, the influence of fermented grapes and other beverages did not impair my impeccable taste in art. I am now the proud owner of a piece of folk art created by Ted Evans – best described as a sort of diorama: a Newfoundland outport, with a boat towing a house across the water, entitled ‘Moving Day.’ It’s nothing short of spectacular.

Inspired by this new acquisition, I thought I might take a moment today to bring attention to folk art. Nova Scotia has a thriving scene, of course; A few resources worth checking out…

Mark August 4th on your calendar: http://www.nsfolkartfestival.com/index.htm

Sixty artists, Lunenburg in the summer, an opportunity to spend a small fortune in a single afternoon – what’s not to love!

If you can’t wait for a single event, Lunenburg is also home to The Spotted Frog (http://www.spottedfrog.ca/spottedfrog.htm). I’ve only been once, and had no cash to spend, but I’ll correct that some day in the future. I saw a number of paintings there by Kevin Creaser (http://www.nova-scotia-cottage-rental.com/album-kevin-creaser.html) that impressed.

I’ve never been to Black Sheep Gallery, but I must get down there some day: http://www.blacksheepart.com (sorry, needs to be copied and pasted).

They periodically have Maud Lewis paintings (the one on their homepage right now is spectacular), and she’s arguably my favourite painter (have you seen the Lewis collection, including her painted house, at the provincial gallery in Halifax?).

A gallery that carries principally fine art, not folk, Zwicker’s in Halifax (http://www.zwickersgallery.ca/artists/folk-art.aspx) is still a wonderful place to wander. And they do occasionally have a Maud Lewis or Joe Norris available (I’m not a fan of the latter, but he’s one of the most famous Nova Scotian folk artists).

Inuit soapstone carvings inhabit a category all their own, but they are undeniably the folk art of those northern peoples. I am a huge fan. My favourite subject for a carving is the musk ox.

Toronto’s waterfront has a number of Inuit galleries catering to tourists: http://www.eskimoart.com/soapstone_detail.html  The prices are what one would expect – exorbitant – but the work is gorgeous. Closer to home, the aforementioned provincial gallery carries Inuit carvings in their gift shop. A Lunenburg gallery, Houston North, also has a good-sized collection: http://www.houston-north-gallery.ns.ca

Finally, what everyone wants on a Monday morning, a collection of soapstone musk ox images…







Here’s a photo of a real musk ox: http://www.uphere.ca/files/muskox_1.jpg

And a baby: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/c96.0.403.403/p403x403/396045_10151197477470658_950118019_n.jpg

Do you think they could be trained, like a horse? I’d love to ride a musk ox to work in the winter.


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