Bob Ross and the Dynamic of Modern Art

May 7, 2019

When I paint, I use acrylics and tend to abstract expressionism, minimalism, and colour theory. I have never adopted any technique or style from Bob Ross. However, I have to admit to having watched literally hundreds of his Joy of Painting shows on YouTube. I may paint nothing like Bob Ross, but his quiet certainty has helped drive every brush stroke I have ever made. He was a great technician and source of inspiration if not a great artist.

Bob Ross has never had an art gallery show. But that is about to change.  Four of his original works will be included in a group show in Chicago which is

“aiming to … move Ross’s evaluation from the king of kitsch to a conceptual artist …  not as a mere novelty but as the forefather of a newer self-help trend in contemporary art … Ross represents a shift in post-war art away from suffering and trauma, away from irony and academicism, toward optimism, fantasy, community healing and teaching. It turns out Ross is right in line with contemporary art movements.”

Bob Ross is a cultural icon and it is good to see him receive the recognition he deserves.


Reminder: GWAC Tonight

May 6, 2019

Tonight’s meeting of the Grandview Woodland Area Council will feature an important discussion on long term planning for traffic to and through Grandview if and when the viaducts are demolished.  More details here.

Meeting is at 7:00pm in the Learning Resources Centre beneath the Britannia Library.

Bravo To The Butt Pickers

May 5, 2019

Yesterday, a group of community volunteers performed their annual clean up of Grandview Park by picking up and disposing of more than 21,000 cigarette butts, several thousand more than last year.

The organizer Alexandria Weiderman notes that alleviating the environmental hazards posed by the toxins in the butts is just as important as the beautification the program brings us.

Thanks to the volunteers for doing this, and thanks to the CBC for covering it.

24th Annual Stone Soup Festival

May 2, 2019

Leonardo’s 500th!

May 2, 2019


Today we celebrate the 500th birthday of the polymath and genius Leonardo da Vinci.

This year, millions upon millions of words will be lavished on him by the world’s leading experts.  I’ll confine my thoughts to a simple Happy Birthday!

Viaducts, Traffic, and Community Engagement

April 30, 2019

The May monthly meeting of the Grandview Woodland Area Council (GWAC) takes place next Monday at 7:00pm in the Learning Resources Centre room under the Britannia Library.  This is a very important meeting to discuss massive traffic issues facing Grandview over the next decade.  As per their email notice:



Most of you probably know that the idea of removing the viaducts has a long history.  There is some community support for the demolition but much of the impetus comes from Vision Vancouver’s need to satisfy their developer supporters by providing more land for their profit.  There has been significant opposition to the demolition from East Vancouver and areas east of us who consider the viaducts a primary and convenient access to the city. I suspect we have not yet heard the end of this battle, especially if this still-newish Council can finally show their muscle and start directing the Vision holdovers in senior City staff positions rather than simply acquiescing to whatever the bureaucrats propose.

However, the survival or not of the viaducts is intimately connected with the question of traffic east of Gore, and how that traffic will affect Grandview.  This was the issue that Vision Vancouver (interested only, I believe, in the development aspects) could never solve. They eventually decided to use a so-called Community Panel to cover their asses on the decision.  From what I hear from the GWAC rep who attended, this Panel was as pointless as the Citizens Assembly they foisted on us during the Community Plan.

Given both the history and the importance of the viaducts/traffic issue, Monday’s meeting should not be missed!

Chomsky on Trump and the Republicans

April 30, 2019

The first 9 minutes of the following video has Noam Chomsky explaining clearly how the Republican Party — from Nixon to Trump — successfully pursued the twin goals of serving their real masters (“wealth and the corporate elite”) while acting out the fantasy desires of a hard-right popular base. It is a brilliant short analysis and well worth the ten minutes’ viewing time.