Artist Reilly Fitzgerald

Reilly Fitzgerald

Newfoundland artist, Reilly Fitzgerald, paints for therapeutic reasons.

“I’ve always been very active,” says Reilly. “Between 2007 and 2010, I went from being an over-active volunteer, writer, high school educator, father and husband, to no longer being able to perform these things effectively. But I could still paint.”

Reilly has a congenital defect known as an AV fistula malformation, which affects the use of his right hand and arm. After eleven surgeries by age fourteen, Reilly became ambidextrous and left hand dominant.

Rare Breed by Reilly Fitzgerald
Rare Breed

“Painting helps me deal with my chronic pain and gives my life purpose.”

Cape Bonavista by Reilly Fitzgerald
Cape Bonavista

Reilly likes the challenge of painting a variety of subjects in different ways to express his creativity.

Newfoundland Snow by Reilly Fitzgerald
Newfoundland Snow
Canadian Treasure by Reilly Fitzgerald
Canadian Treasure

“I have created large bas-relief pieces made of scrap wood, cut, carved, and painted,” says Reilly. “This includes a large 12 by 8 foot piece titled Canadian Treasure which I created for the Town of Clarenville, NL, as part of the Canada 150 celebrations.”

He also made two smaller iceberg-and-whales pieces: Connected for the pediatric clinic of the James Paton Memorial Hospital in Gander, and Cohesion donated to the Janeway Children’s Hospital in St John’s.

T&G Ladders by Reilly Fitzgerald
T&G Ladders

For his “wood grain paintings”, Reilly paints directly on wooden panels, using the natural wood grain to determine the images. He’s also used tongue and groove board reclaimed from demolished houses, and repurposed them as platforms on which to paint.

“But, I have to say my favourite thing to paint is my home: my town, Clarenville, my province, NL, and my country, in that order, whether it’s the house next door, the birds in the town’s protected sanctuary, or historic locations or events. I have a pride in creating my unique vision of these things.”

Cabot Tower by Reilly Fitzgerald
Cabot Tower

One of Reilly’s significant paintings, “Hell Stirs, Heaven Waits” (2020) is a depiction of the Ocean Ranger disaster.

“It’s a painting that pays homage to my province’s historic and often tumultuous relationship with the sea.”

Hell Stirs, Heaven Waits by Reilly Fitzgerald
Hell Stirs, Heaven Waits

Involved in a variety of projects over the years, Reilly has won awards and achieved formal recognition for his art. He illustrated the children’s book, Lucy Grey by Bruce Stagg, as well as the cover of Bruce’s book, Lend Me Your Ears. He has created posters, logos, produced three-dimensional installations, and much more.

Blackbird by Reilly Fitzgerald
Blackbird

The place to see Reilly Fitzgerald’s work in person is in the Clarenville area. A permanent display of about 50 or so pieces have been at the Eastlink Events Centre since 2013.

Other pieces can be found in various locations about town, such as at the Bare Mountain Coffee House, and the Terra Nova Golf Resort.

Reilly gives most of his artwork to his daughter, Kaeleigh, who sells the originals and giclee prints through her business, Eagle Photo Studio. His work is also available printed on backpacks, jewellery, ornaments, calendars and more.

Soft Light (printed on canvas bags) by Reilly Fitzgerald
Soft Light

He has also kindly created a library of over 60 Colouring Sheets* based on his original artworks. “Feel free to download and use these images for personal projects or educational use,” says Reilly. Here’s one of our favourites.

Clothes and Quilt (colouring sheet) by Reilly Fitzgerald
Clothes and Quilt (colouring sheet)

(*Please respect international copyright laws and do not misuse his intellectual property in mass production for financial gain.)

Hauling Nets by Reilly Fitzgerald
Hauling Nets

View more artwork and read biography details on his Facebook page at Reilly Fitzgerald, Artist.

Squid & Cod by Reilly Fitzgerald
Squid & Cod

All Systems Go!

We’ve launched the 2021 re-design of the Canadian Only website!

We actually went live on Sunday, February 7, 2021, but we kept it on the down low. We were still ironing out a few kinks and adding in a few links. We still have a bunch of ‘Did You Know’ snippets to put in. But the vast majority of the site is up-to-date, and we are super proud to share it with you!

How to use the Canadian Only website

We have instructions on how to use the website on the website’s home page, but essentially it’s like this. Our 10 provinces and 3 territories are divided into areas (usually North, South, East and West). Each province/territory has 5 interest groups: Accommodation, Arts & Culture, Eat & Drink, Products & Services, and Things to Do.

You can search the site by clicking on a province or territory, then selecting an interest.
OR… You can click on an interest on the home page and choose a province or territory.
OR… You can type keywords into the search engine at the top of the home page.

In our last blog post, we described the structure of our main province pages, so that may also be a valuable reference for you. Read Canadian Only is back, bigger and better!

Make sure you read our Did you know fun facts located in a box at the bottom of each page!

'Did You Know' at the bottom of the home page on the canadianonly.ca website

Are you a Canadian business owner, artist or artisan?

If you aren’t yet listed on our Canadian Only website, and you own a business in Canada, or are an artist/artisan living in Canada, submit your information for a FREE listing via our contact form.

Beyond that, we have lots of opportunities for you to appear on our site (and even on this blog)! You can check them all out on our Let’s ‘Ad’ You page. If you have any questions, feel free to message us via our contact form!


Canadian Only is back, bigger and better!

The past year has brought about a lot of change for everyone, and this is true for us at Canadian Only. For years, the team has been distracted by other projects. But now, we are putting our full attention to fellow Canadians. We are helping each other build back our economy by supporting each other!

We’ve been working hard to show our love for this country by sharing information and links to Canadian businesses, organizations, artists and artisans. Here’s a sneak peak of what the new site will look like!

Our home page introduces the website. It outlines basic information on how to use this site, with sections for interests, trivia and a map of Canada.

Canadian Only home page at canadianonly.ca

Each province and territory has a main page which is laid out with the following sections. (These are samples from various provinces/territories to show you variety.)

Province image

Introduction

Interests

Locations

Did you know? and Trivia

Map

Subscribe to this blog for updates as we progress. Soon, we’ll be posting stories about Canada and Canadians, too!

Creative Aging Awareness Day

Creative Aging Awareness Day was held at the Rotary Centre for the Arts (RCA) in Kelowna, BC on Friday June 20, 2014. Its mission was “A day-long celebration of your creative life to examine the role that creative expression can play in promoting engagement, healing and wellness for all ages.”

On the approach, I saw HeART Fit painters. HeART Fit is a free drop-in session of Spontaneous Process Painting every Tuesday at the RCA.

It was very busy inside with musical entertainment and creative arts filling the main floor.

The exhibits continued through to the back hall.

There was a weaving demonstration by the Ponderosa Spinners, Weavers & Fibre Artists.

Glass and metal artist Fay Wolfenden had a display of hand-made glass beads, jewellery and mosaics.

Lucie Parent demonstrated her Funky Fabric Sculptures made using Paverpol. She is a Certified Paverpol Instructor.

The Okanagan Quilter’s Guild seemed to be having a lot of fun.

Their display of Fibre Art Journals were especially intriguing.

Jill promoted Learning in Retirement programs.

There was information about the Sing for Your Life Foundation.

It was a busy and well-attended event with many inspiring creative organizations to follow up on!

Kelowna MapleFest 2014

The Centre culturel francophone de l’Okanagan (CCFO) is a non-profit organization that promotes French language and culture appreciation in the Okanagan. It celebrated the 35th annual MapleFest in front of the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna on Saturday March 29, 2014.

There were elaborate chalk drawings on the sidewalks.

While maple flavours dominated, poutine was ever-popular.

Walking trees and other characters fascinated spectators of all ages.

All kinds of costumed characters pranced the grounds.

The Trips played some toe-tapping bluegrass tunes.

Ziggy created the most elaborate and artistic balloon animals.

A drumming group formed with djembes and hand percussion instruments.

Three times world champion hoop dancer, Alex Wells (Lil’Wat Nation) performed with students.

Chloé Gravel and Danielle sang well known songs in both French and English.

There was exercise-dancing and a couple of Mounties that joined in on the fun!

In the evening, Jann Arden performs at the Kelowna Community Theatre. Sunday brunch at the Laurel Packing House completes the festival activities.

 

Holistic Chamber of Commerce: Kelowna Grand Opening

Author Jo Dibblee speaks at the Holistic Chamber of Commerce Grand Opening

The Holistic Chamber of Commerce (HCC) – Kelowna branch celebrated its grand opening on Tuesday March 18, 2014 in downtown Kelowna. The 100% full-to-capacity venue, The Bohemian Café, was positively buzzing. President of the first branch in British Columbia, Andréa Dykstra, gave an introduction to the organization while holistic practitioners and business people mingled over a sumptuous spread of food and drinks.

Recognizing a need to unite ‘pockets’ of local holistic groups, Andréa brought the chapter to Kelowna to bring together people who can work towards a healthier community and planet. She believes that this organization can shift not just the lives of individuals and businesses, but also an entire community. Andréa’s vision is that through collaboration we can truly be the voice of change to lead to a more ‘whole-istic’ society.

The HCC is different from a traditional chamber of commerce because it considers being holistic first (members are reference-checked) and commercial second. With a meeting style more like a rotary or toastmasters group, the HCC supports members, extends its reach, and shares ways to make a living helping people.

I was drawn in by the keynote speaker, Jo Dibblee, internationally acclaimed author of Frock Off: Living Undisguised. Her wonderfully dynamic and inspiring talk began with a sharing of tragic detail in her tumultuous childhood. There was point and purpose to this. Jo says:

“No matter what happens to you, it does not define you.”

In her aim to survive the ordeals, she moved a lot and became adept at changing her look and her identity. What finally gave her the courage to step out and go public with her story?

“I learned you could be visible and invisible at the same time.”

Jo explained how we wear costumes, or ‘frocks’ to hide our fear. There are 4 frocks we all wear at one time or another: frocks of conformity, expectation, significance and connection. Engaging the audience, Jo asked us to share with someone next to us what frocks we had the greatest tendency to wear. Then Jo had us all stand in a proper pledge stance, left hand on heart, right hand held high, for the Frocklamation Declaration (three times, no less!):

“Frock off, ill-serving frock! Frock off!”

She ended the talk with the following.

“Let your life be your message
and your voice be strong.
Don frocks of compassion
so that others may not fall.
Don’t let others define you
toss those frocks away.
Instead,
take the life you’ve been given
and be in service today.”

After the talk, naturally gifted and self-taught musician/song-writer Eden DeBruin beautifully played guitar and sang a few tunes to entertain the crowd. And yes, there was even some dancing! With a desire to share his gift with the world in a bigger way, Eden is available for event bookings and can be contacted through Facebook.

Eden DeBruin

What I took away with me the most from the evening (all its participants and attendees were a great testament to this) was another of Jo Dibblee’s statements:

“Live your legacy today.”

You can apply for membership to the Holistic Chamber of Commerce by visiting the website (holisticchamberofcommerce.com).

Christian Lipani’s Resin Techniques at Opus

Today, artist Christian Lipani gave his third demonstration this month on resin techniques at Opus in Kelowna. Here, he worked on his painting, Archaeological Discoveries Number 3.

Bordering his painted wood box panel with tape, he mixes a 50/50 solution for a full minute and applies the resin with a foam brush. Ensuring the panel is flat with even coverage, he then hovers a torch over the surface to remove bubbles.

Christian reveals that he paints in series of 50 works. With a concept in mind, he develops each one further, sometimes experimenting with techniques. He also ‘exercises’ daily by sketching for about an hour each day. Often, these sketches develop into the basis for his larger works in acrylic.

While the resin is still malleable, Christian drags strategic lines in acrylic paint to further highlight aspects of the art.

Using his non-dominant (right) hand, Christian explains how he may ‘practice’ a swooping curve hovering above the artwork before actually touching the surface, in order to give the best chance for a perfect landing of what he has in mind. Here, he does just that, with a palette knife.

Moving in for a closer look, we see how Christian ‘engraves’ the resin around certain shapes as it is almost set.

Some of Christian’s other work was displayed in the room, such as Archaeological Discoveries Number 2 in this series, which does not have resin, but has a unique texture created with a palette knife.

In this painting, Christian used high flow acrylics with a needle-like tip.

This is a detail of a painting where Christian has engraved the resin extensively.

Nearer to the finish, Christian was still working on this number 3 in the series as we left the demonstration.

Christian Lipani immigrated to Canada from France in the 1960’s. He works in acrylic and resin on wood panels usually 3×4 feet and larger. He is also a sculptor. (One of his sculptures is pictured in the bottom left hand corner of the first photo at the top of this post.)

Christian has works in the New Moon Gallery and Hambleton Galleries in Kelowna. His work has been shown in Vancouver, Fort Nelson, Fort St John, and Theford Quebec. He has presented workshops in Kelowna, Victoria and Vancouver. Check the Opus website for his upcoming events.

Odette Nicholson’s Collection of Canadian Art Magazine

Canadian Art Magazine 1948 to 1958

Canadian Art Magazine 1948-58 - Odette Nicholson -

Professional visual artist, design consultant and renovation contractor Odette Nicholson has a vintage collection of Canadian Art Magazines. After she’s finished reading them all cover-to-cover, she plans to find a public access home for them.

Left: Cover of Summer 1953  |  Right: Cover of Christmas/New Year 1951/1952

Covers - Canadian Art Magazine - Odette Nicholson

Odette says:

“Serious stuff inside these magazines: art, craft, architecture, industrial and interior design, book illustration, politics, conferences, essays by artists and art historians. There are full colour inserts and reproductions. The magazines cost 35 cents each in 1948. The magazine is living history, full of text and pictures, events and adventures: how art agency began, influence of the commercial and museum gallery systems, corporate sponsorship, marketing, and yes, the good old CBC radio and other broadcasters in early television.”

Odette tells us that the subscription cost for seasonal quartly Canadian Art Magazine in 1955 was $1.50 per year. Below, she shares with us some intriguing photos of the magazine’s contents.

The Winnipeg Ballet in “Visages”

Winnipeg Ballet in Visages, 1949 Canadian Art Magazine - Odette Nicholson

Group of Seven artist Arthur Lismer’s painting, Georgian Bay 1947
in the Christmas 1951 centrefold

Arthur Lismer, Georgian Bay 1947, Christmas 1951 centrefold, Canadian Art Magazine - Odette Nicholson

Canadian designs  |  Left: 1950  | Right: 1954

Canadian designs - Canadian Art Magazine - Odette Nicholson -

Eaton’s ads (remember Eaton’s College Street in Toronto?!)

Eaton's, Canadian Art Magazine - Odette Nicholson -

Canada Packers ads designed by Commercial artist Walter Tier, glued onto the page

Canada Packers ads - Canadian Art Magazine - Odette Nicholson

1952 in memoriam to Group of Seven artist, Lawren Harris

1952 Lawren Harris - Canadian Art Magazine - Odette Nicholson

If you’d like to see more, visit Odette’s Canadian Art Magazine photo album and like her Facebook pages Odette -> Artist Canada and Odette Nicholson Special Projects (you’ll have to log in to your Facebook account). You can also find out more about Odette Nicholson and her art on her website, odette.ca.

Halloween in Canada

© Ed Dear | Dreamstime Stock Photos

When I was a kid, Halloween was my favourite holiday. As soon as school started after Labour Day, I was planning what my costume would be. I fantasized about creative and complex costumes, like an ice cream cone or a kangaroo, but often wound up being a gypsy (or something that could be easily put together from the family’s closets).

When I was 30, I promised I would take my niece and nephew trick-or-treating. They were so excited. I hadn’t seen them in a long time. Halloween meant a lot to them, too, and to have Auntie Annie accompany them on the night was something we all looked forward to. As they got ready, it became clear they had pictured it all differently. My plan was to chaperone them and stand on the sidewalk as they made their way door-to-door. But no, they insisted my promise was to go trick-or-treating with them – costume and all! Their pleas were difficult to disappoint; we scrambled through closets to find silly, young girl clothes, put my hair in pigtails, painted on freckles, donned a funny nose, and off we went.

At the first door, I was reluctant and held back. My niece was bold. “Can I have candy for my friend?” she gestured back toward me, explaining. “She’s shy.” The woman willingly gave her extra treats. Well, that was easy!

The tactic worked, and as the night progressed, it became nothing for me to join these two cheeky children knocking on doors, shouting “Trick-or-Treat!”. I collected my own bag full of loot.

Trick-or-treating at age thirty. So much fun!

Culture Days in Kelowna

Culture Days is a coast-to-coast-to-coast event which raises awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of arts and culture in communities across Canada. Artists, organizations and community groups host fun and free activities, and all are welcome to attend. On September 28, 2013, I passed by the Kelowna Art Gallery and saw artists of all ages working on an outdoor masterpiece.

As I headed toward the library, I saw some yarn bombing.

And then, some more. It made me smile.

At the library, there was a talk about the Philippine Islands, with entertaining songs and dances followed by delicious Filipino snacks and beverages. There was a flower wreath dance that was particularly pretty.

In the evening, there was a Culture Days Jam held in the Mary Irwin Theatre at the Rotary Centre for the Arts. The first performance was by One Camel Short.

They play World Fusion style music. The band consists of (left to right): Murray MacDonald (guitar), Jim Copeman (frame drum and djembe), Nathaniel Huard (riq and bongos) and Richard Owings (violin).

The Great Way Martial Arts students had some outstanding moves, including leaps so high and too quick for my camera to catch!

The Jin Meng and OCCA Dance Star Program performances included graceful adults…

… and cute children in duck costumes!

The Mission Dance Centre put on quite an elaborate performance.

There was a lot happening on that stage.

Even flamenco dancers with castanets.

Ginger and Rose played guitar and sang a few folk tunes.

Chloé Gravel also played guitar and sang sweetly.

Yet another guitarist, Hammed Gahadd, sang with a wonderful falsetto.

Cherie Hanson recited a few of her own poems.

The evening ended with an energetic performance of Yamabiko Taiko Japanese drumming.

There were over 50 events in Kelowna alone, and I attended just these. It was an amazing array of talent. Look out for Culture Days next year, wherever in Canada you live!