I met Bruce during my years painting LIVE at Calgary’s Gorilla House.  Bruce was a fixture there because he settled into a studio where, every Wednesday night, I would go and have a short gab and look at his work in progress.  I never left his space without a belly laugh, although sometimes I had to sort out the kind of humour that was forever-floating around his space.  More than not, I was laughing at things that weren’t funny…it was the delivery that was stellar.  I think that Bruce is a bit of a wordsmith.  He plays with words and as a result you are left, most of the time, not knowing what the heck he is saying.  He is laughing all the while.

An example would be found on the banner of his own website.  The guy was born in Jamaica.  Who knew?  And his introduction reads like this…

Large Up, Mawga Bwoy!


What did I tell you? Right?

I wrote a short post about him in 2013 because he was celebrating a solo show at Gorilla House.  There was something so special about those years…painting together, sharing in long conversations and celebrating art, but especially art-making.

In 2015, I purchased a little piece by Bruce out of his studio.  I had seen Bruce’s funtastical art going out the door every Wednesday night at auction, for as long as I could remember, but the opportunity to bid and win hadn’t happened for me.  I loved this whimsical little piece, Think Outside the Fish.



Do you know what you discover when someone is super funny?  You discover that maybe they’re a little shy…just like you are.  I think that’s the way with Bruce Robertson.  Over time, I’ve learned that I’m an introvert who is functioning as an extrovert…does that make sense?  I think that Bruce is just that way…however, we haven’t ever spoken about it, mostly because we’re feeling the same way. lol  But…none of that matters.  Let’s get on with the story.

This guy was born.


To this family.


And…it had come time to think about my Grandson’s first Christmas.  I’ve always been a collector of art and I wanted to set this young man on the path of also being a collector.  I thought if I was to commission an artist, who would it be?  Well…in pondering that magical world of the womb and the discoveries to be had once leaving that nest, I very much thought about a song that I enjoyed as I considered my first-born, Little Seahorse by Bruce Cockburn.

As well, Erin and Doug had made a playlist for Erin’s birthing day and in the collection was the Beatle’s tune, An Octopus’s Garden.  Second to that, in my Grandson’s first eight months, he has wound down for sleep time, reading the story, Raffi’s Baby Beluga, illustrated beautifully by Ashley Wolff.

Insert Music Here.


Putting all of this together, I wanted an artwork that reflected an undersea world that would include a portrait of my Grandson…something that would grow with him through every age…something that would be of modest size and might travel with him as his world becomes larger.

The artist for the job…Bruce Robertson!  I contacted Bruce, realizing full-well, that I knew very little about him, apart from the magical characters that he created in his work, his fearlessness and his inclusion of text.  I messaged him via his Instagram account, mgbrobertson.


We met in a grocery store parking lot…we exchanged hugs and I realized how perfect this man was.  I’m so excited that he helped make the magic for our sweetheart’s first Christmas.  I’m hoping that one day Bruce will take my grandson mountain biking (Who better to teach him about the trails?)…it would be such a fantastic manifestation of magic!  We’ll see how it all plays out.


I’ve ripped off a screen shot of Bruce’s website’s ABOUT section.  I hope that if my readers need something amazing done…website? painting? collage? or if you want to discuss some other creative project, you will be in touch with him!  Bruce’s late interests are in 3D modelling and animation. A combination of software is used: After Effects, Photoshop, Blender 3D, Maxon Cinema 4D Lite, etc. Self-taught in Blender 3D and Cinema 4D Lite by taking online courses at

Bruce has a child-like disposition and is trapped in a man’s body. Bruce can do awesome skids on his mountain bike.

Another good friend of ours, Red Dot’s photographer, Aaron McCullough, did the photograph.

Bruce home page website

Thank you, Bruce for being such a wonderful part of Christmas 2017!



Love Art in Calgary: Clean Clothes Collide with Creativity

FFWD recently covered an interview with Gerrit Rysdyk, owner of Lux Laundromat, down on  14th Street.  Metro also covered a story, here.  I so enjoyed reading Gerrit’s story, one of transformation and creation! Gerrit is a man with a vision.

Above all, Gerrit Rysdyk has high regard for his business…the fact is, he has ‘cleaned up’ the laundromat so that as you enter, you feel a peacefulness, a huge respect and a sense of care.  He described the laundromat as providing the following services.

“Lux Laundromat is a full service coin laundry located in the downtown Calgary. There are 14 single load washers,6 double load washers 5 of which are super high effciency and one triple load for king size comforters and quilts. The hours are 8 AM to 10 PM 7 days a week. Last load is 9 PM. Attendant on hand at all times.”

P1140723 - Copy P1140737 - Copy P1140741 - Copy LuxYesterday’s Love Art in Calgary tour began with coffee cake and coffee at the laundromat, where a recent art opening was enjoyed, featuring Super dark & spooky: So bright and magical!, a mixed media collection by artists SPIVAK and Melinda Topilko of Girl Gang Dance Party.

While SPIVAK’s electronic footprint is sparse, I am including here, a bit of a biography found on the Phantom Wing website for Melinda Topilko.

My transdisciplinary practice includes drawings, mixed media work, photographs and curatorial collages – using techniques typically defined as “crafty.” Of particular interest to me is the examination of feminism, and the relationship between gender roles and interpretations of the “masculine” and “feminine” in visual culture. Much of my raw material is collected meticulously from thrift stores, specifically domestic objects and images from the 1940s to the 1970s, particularly those associated with women. The juxtaposition of images, objects and texts play with perception and expectation that is intended as humorous, but also has a deeper theoretical basis. A key element of my practice is a social one – interactions not only between the viewers and the work, but also the resulting dialogues.

Melinda graduated from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2012, and is currently working on a second iteration of the exhibition F*** Yeah, I’m a Feminist, and developing Hop on the Magic Art Bus, a travelling (sic) art space.”

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Gerrit also pulled out some works produced by Lisa Cuffley as well as Lady Cox The Factory.

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P1140743 - Copy P1140745 - CopyAlso, from the back office area, Gerrit shared with us a photograph taken of the laundromat in its early days…something found tucked behind machinery and discovered through the clean-up and renovation process.  Beau Lark, who studied at ACAD is presently a Berlin photographer.  Quite a unique glimpse into the history of the laundromat!


P1140754 P1140757The space provides for a ‘zen-like’ experience…warm light baths the work space and art invigorates the walls.

P1140762 P1140759It gave me a warm feeling as I noticed a few Gorilla House hearts stuck onto a couple of counter tops.

P1140756 P1140755 P1140736 - CopyThank you for your hospitality, Gerrit, and we wish you much good fortune with this venture.  I hope that my readers, when possible, will enjoy the services of the Lux Laundromat and take a wander in at your leisure to enjoy the art. Celebrating this tour, along with me and our fearless leader, Wendy Lees; Yves, Lauraine, Sally, Cindy, Steve, Geoff and Larry.