about Sublime MC Cool J

Sublime MC Cool J

Sublime MC Cool J

Frost is a natural phenomenon that Canadians are quite familiar with. Air saturated with water vapour freezes into intricate patterns on contact with frigid surfaces. The scientific term for this is sublimation. The days of waking up in the morning to windows covered in Jack Frost’s ice paintings happen less and less owing to better insulation in modern windows.

I have fond memories of sharing a room with my big sister, and opening my eyes in the morning to contemplate frost patterns on the windows.

This window frame, with some wonderful coloured glass, came from my family homestead, framing the artwork in both time and space. The sight of the frosted windows, perhaps unreasonably, gives me a warm feeling of being held by my family.

In very little time we’ve moved from a world of Laura Ingles Wilder to the land of the Jetsons. But that is as it should be. I am more than happy to live where I do and when I do, somewhere between what’s old and what’s new.

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about Ice Queen

This painting is about the magic of hoarfrost. Some very cold winter mornings you get up to find an already wintry world has become completely blanketed with a powdery white layer. The frost shimmers and shines as the sun dances on the crystalline deposits coating the trees and bushes. For a while we live in a dazzling crystal world.

In the Hans Christian Andersen tale of the Snow Queen two best friends, Kay and Gerda are separated when a shard from a magical mirror falls to earth and lodges in Kay’s heart. He sees everything as bad and ugly, and follows the evil snow queen to her frozen North Pole castle, forgetting about his family and his friend. But Gerda overcomes many ordeals to find him and when she does, her tears melt the mirror shard from his heart. They are reunited and he experiences beauty and love once again.

My snow/ice queen is not so evil, and the winter she brings is not ugly and hateful. Her frozen breath brings the clean white magic of hoarfrost suddenly materializing to coat every available surface with a beautiful powdery white icing sugar blanket. It’s about the beauty in the frozen world that assaults your senses and takes your breath away. “Ice Queen” suggests the quiet stillness in the sudden appearance of hoarfrost on the trees.

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about Catch Me

Traditionally leprechauns are little Irish elves who guard a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s said if you catch one, the leprechaun will give you his pot of gold in return for his freedom. But, they are tricky mischievous things and you can’t take your eyes off them, even for a second, or he will disappear. This wee leprechaun peeks out from behind the rainbow curtain, which conceals his pot-o-gold and, as is typical, taunts anyone who dares claim his pot of gold. We somehow love the fun of believing in leprechauns and lottery tickets!

Chasing rainbows matters.

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Got Your Back

In any good relationship there is an element of protecting each other from harm in whatever form it takes. These zebras appear to do so literally.

The black and white stripes of the zebras are in stark contrast to a non-traditional multi-coloured rainbow.

Rainbows have meaning in many cultures. To name only a few:

In Genesis God purged the earth of evil by flooding the earth, sparing only what came with Noah on the ark. He sent a rainbow as a sign that He would never flood the earth again.

Greco-Roman and Norse mythologies view rainbows as a bridge between Heaven and Earth.

In Chinese mythology, the rainbow was a slit in the sky sealed using stones of five different colours.

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about Ragin’ Odin

Here the chief god of Norse mythology, Odin, thunders across his heavenly home of Asgard, on his eight legged steed, Sleipnir. Odin’s constant wolf companions race across the golden clouds beside him. The spear that never misses, Gungir, is clutched in his raised fist. The ravens, Huginn, thought, and Muginn, memory, circle overhead reporting information gathered from their daily flights all over the world.

Odin is the god of war, but also the god of wisdom, magic, poetry and prophecy. He sacrificed his eye in exchange for the wisdom of ages. J.R.R. Tolkein’s wizard character, Gandalf, was patterned after Odin.

The heavenly clouds are golden from their proximity to one of Odin’s three residences, Valhalla, the golden hall of the fallen. Strong female warriors called Valkyrie gather heroic warriors who fall in battle. The warriors reside in Valhalla preparing for the final doomsday battle led by Odin. The great hall has 540 golden gates allowing 800 warriors to exit at once for the wild hunts and for the final great battle. The doomsday battle will result in the deaths of Odin, one of his many sons, Thor, and his brother, Loki. The world will then be submerged in water, resurface, and be repopulated by two human survivors.

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about Barbegazi’s Glacial Playground

Barbegazi are beings from Swiss mythology that look somewhere between gnomes and Abominable Snowmen. They live in tunnels in the alps between Switzerland and France. They love to frolic in deep snow in the coldest winter months, but sleep away the warmer months.

Their massive feet are their most notable feature, which they use like snowshoes or skis. They love to surf avalanches and often start them for the fun of it. Though they are known caretakers of the mountains, humans rarely see them since they can dig themselves into and out of massive piles of snow in seconds to hide or play.

Despite their reluctance to be seen, they do communicate with St. Bernards, leading the dogs to rescue climbers trapped in the freezing snow.

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about Imaginarium Aquarium

Psychology and art design both explain seeing images in random patterns. Pareidolia, in psychology, explains why we see animals in clouds. Gestalt, in art design, explains that the mind supplies the missing pieces in a composition to deal with a complex visual world.

This is my first collaboration with my granddaughter, Georgina Allan, 3. Together we painted the background, then looked for images. Pareidolia and gestalt might explain why, but we thought of it as seeing mermaids and dragons a deep ocean. As a controlling adult I have a nearly irresistible urge to pull out and describe every image I see, so I made some of them more obvious. But the longer I look, and resist , the more I get lost in the depths of possibility.

The title, refers to it’s aquatic feel, but also to it being a children’s version of think tank with no agenda. A place to jump into and swim around in possibilities. But no harm can come to you here. The aquarium is safely on a shelf in your mom and dad’s house. Childhood should be a safe place where your imagination is allowed to roam at will. A place where mermaids and dragons are scary fun, and never truly dangerous.

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