Monthly Archives: October 2022


FLY attended the opening night of the annual ART TORONTO, featuring Canadian and int’l galleries and artists, and found lots of exciting contemporary artworks exhibited, as well as discovering some new galleries and arts initiatives. The show runs until end of day Sunday Oct.30 – click on their website for details and tickets: first booth FLY visited was the Art Gallery of Hamilton (above & below) with their striking display and lots of information and merchandise. The ladies were welcoming and eager to share their knowledge of the gallery’s current, past and future shows. www.artgalleryofhamilton.comImmediately to the left, you’ll find an aisle displaying books and materials available from the arts bookstores and I found these two lovely people representing The Power Plant which is currently celebrating 35yrs – check out the line-up of FREE exhibition tours and other events happening through to December:

Love the cool kids of Floating Point Gallery! They have been very active on social media promoting their participation in this year’s Art Toronto. It’s good to see galleries being active on the ‘net, supporting their artists and activities. Bravo, team Floating Point.
And speaking of cool…FLY walked into lead sponsor Infiniti‘s booth to view a unique hanging installation by world-renowned conceptual artist Michael Murphy. The Next Contemporary gallery offered several paintings and sculptures but these two (below) particularly caught FLY’s eyes. The gallery is located on Dupont Street so go visit after the weekend’s show. 
Meet Monica Reyes, Director of the Monica Reyes Gallery in Vancouver. The elegance of the lady is reflected in the art she exhibits…the booth displayed a wide range of contemporary works including the backlit colourful panels that would illuminate any wall or room. www.monicareyesgallery.comThe booth that really blew FLY away was exhibition of Ghana-based artists with these stunning HUGE canvases depicting “Material Memories” (see description below), curated by Ashley McKenzie-Barnes. You cannot walk past this large booth without stopping…the images are haunting, engaging and intriguing. FLY wasn’t too sure about the squished gold Jaguar in the middle of the lounge but being a devoted Jag lover, she had to stop and stare….Who doesn’t love a cute Barbie? How about this sexy cowgirl Barbie (below) by Maggie Hall? Check out her pop-art at: www.lovemaggiehall.comFLY enjoyed chatting with reps from 2 arts magazines: Border Crossings and C-Mag, both of which support Canadian contemporary artists and galleries. Check them out yourselves.  and So many fabulous works on show – here’s just a sample…including those fabulous painted bowling pin Elvises (or is it Elvai?) Rocky LaRock shares his N.W. Pacific coast cultural imagery with these jaw-dropping carvings…his profile is below.  FLY then ran into Napoleon…....and viewing Napoleon at the same time was an enthusiastic art lover, Glen, who introduced FLY to his colleagues from the Portrait Gallery of Canada (based in Ottawa), a newly formed organization looking to promote portrait photography or paintings of everyday Canadians – every face tells a story and there are millions of faces/stories out there waiting to be gathered and shared. Here’s Glen (below R) with artist Max Dean (L) who was participating in the pick-a-hat, pose-for-a-photo and create-your-own-portrait initiative. What fun!It was lovely to meet Portrait Gallery of Canada’s Exec. Director Robert Steven (C), along with Board Member Christine Sadler (L) and artist Darlene Cole (R).FLY is looking forward to supporting the endeavours of

Before leaving the show, FLY had to buzz around the aisles to find one of her favourite Toronto galleries – the Sandra Ainsley Gallery and she was not disappointed. Sandra herself was there and gave FLY a tour of the stunning art glass sculptures on display. You MUST visit her gallery in person to see the magnificent works from her represented artists.  Below are the latest pieces from South Australian Clare Belfrage Sandra showed FLY the innovative glass panels from renowned glassmaker Dale Chihuly – turned off the panels look one way then flipping a switch to illuminate, they look completely different colours. WOW! FLY also got to meet the charming Susan Edgerley who created this delicate glass floating sculpture – looks like clouds – and when you brush the wires or individual pieces, it jingles melodically.Thanks so much for the mini-tour, Sandra!So much more to dazzle and inspire at the show so please visit Art Toronto this weekend. Big THANK YOU to Michael Usling and his team for the media pass. Good luck with the weekend.

Tickets online or at the door – check the website for daily events and activities, as well as for tickets:




Currently showing at Muse Gallery in Toronto until November 2nd, David Lidbetter‘s landscape paintings of the Gatineau, Algonquin Park, the Ottawa Valley and Temagami offer stunning rural images with a distinct abstract flavour. FLY visited the gallery at Yonge & Summerhill to see the artist’s 6th show there and was treated to a visual tour of Ontario’s most beautiful snowy countryside – David is definitely a favourite of FLY’s.

Lidbetter makes sketches or takes photos in situ then re-imagines them or re-structures the views back in his studio where he incorporates the colours, moods, even the vibrations of the atmosphere into each canvas.  “I try to have a unique voice. I love experimenting and trying new things all the time. I try to simplify the landscape as much as possible.”  And his paintings reflect just how good he is at doing that.

Established in 2005 by gallery director Jay Belmore, the 1200 sq. ft. space exclusively showcases Canadian contemporary art by approximately 30 emerging, mid-career and established artists. FLY recommends a personal visit to see David’s work as well as other artists whose works are also on display, such as Eric Robitaille whose equine canvases are quite spectacular! And there are several installations by sculptor Won Lee….FLY was particularly wowed by this painting (below) by Jay Belmore himself…don’t you love the energy and those glorious colours?Yes, there’s lots to see at this perfectly curated, small gallery and it’s easy to reach by car or subway, located at 1230 Yonge Street, just across the road from the Summerhill subway. Visit their website to view their current artists and news of upcoming shows



On FLY’s recent trip around the Australian outback, she discovered numerous indigenous artists, musicians, filmmakers, authors…and was introduced to just such an artist – RHUBEE NEALE.  Sister/cousin to the acclaimed actor and filmmaker, Trisha Penangke (Total Control, True Colours, Redfern Now), Rhubee performs her original music, telling her stories of her life, culture and history, and she brings all this to her stunning contemporary abstract art as well. Below is one of FLY’s favourite paintings, probably because it shows the country in all its colour and glory.Based in Yulara, close to Uluru, the big red rock which is the spiritual centre for so many indigenous Australians, Rhubee and FLY were not able to connect in person but thanks to great internet connectivity, conversations continue and Rhubee graciously agreed to answer a few questions about her art….

What was your first inspiration to pick up a paintbrush and create pictures of the country and how do you describe your own personal style of painting?  I learned to paint by observation, it was first-hand instruction; then it was watching what I do, then doing what I do, style from family at first then I began to make up my own little stories using my imagination of the world around me. Families paintbrush their old stories; that could be funny, scary, and serious about survival, rules of behaviour, and kinship relationships with people, animals, and everything around us – life skills and protocols.  I cannot remember what age when I started drawing in the sand, as it has always been a part of me. All I can remember is that I felt loved, safe and warm laying in my mother’s (mum and her sisters’) lap as they drew and told stories in the sand. I can still hear their voices and smell the aroma of the gum tree and red desert soil. I enjoy the feeling of sand, mud and ochre on my hands.  I grew up watching aunties and uncles, sisters, cousins and grandparents drawing in the sand and then painting on their bodies for ceremonies, as well as painting on different objects such as necklaces. I mostly painted with sticks and hands/fingers. I fell in love with paint and paintbrush when I went to western school. My style has evolved over the years, firstly my dreaming dot style – I sold my first one in 1999, then in the 2000s, I started painting fictional land spaces that I called my paradise places. The hero of these paintings was based on childhood memories combined with imagination such as my favourite gum trees, ranges, dry and running creeks and riverbeds. And now I am embarking on a Contemporary art journey. Did you study art in college or have a mentor who helped you hone your skills and attain your vision?  I became aware of the abstract from watching my sister, Letty Scott, paint and my cousin, Patricia Morton Thomas, showing me the artworks of others.  I undertook some study at Deakin University where my Lecturer, artist Phillip Doggett-Williams ran sessions on various artists, styles and eras – I really connect with surrealism…Wow!! Opening my mind, I fell in love with this contemporary art.  Watching my sister Letty, an amazing abstract artist, and cousin Patricia Morton Thomas’ painting also inspired me.Contemporary Indigenous artwork embraces different styles of painting in the extraordinary Aboriginal culture. The unique styles are tied to certain significant parts of the artist’s land, kinship or totem – each work tells its own story. Do you focus on that specific style?  Although my current contemporary paintings are not my dreaming stories, they are unique original artworks, embedding aspects of culture, belonging to a country, ancestors, history and life experience growing up in two worlds and seeing the world from bush to city and knowing where I come from and belong. I paint shapes, symbols, figures, landscapes of fictional beautiful imagery places. You’ve enjoyed popularity through exhibitions in galleries across the country as well as online exposure. What was the most significant event that boosted your success in the Australian art world?  The “I am Woman” is the first exhibition organized by Rowena Brown of Glenelg Art Gallery in South Australia where I introduced the public to this now-contemporary art style I am currently undertaking which will be running again in 2023. I promote my art on social media and have been interviewed on the radio.

Were you affected by Covid lockdown/isolation, or did you use that time to focus on your work and creativity?  I think the lockdown was when I truly embraced abstract art. It gave me a way to keep a healthy mind by painting and breathing. I had the headspace and time to deal with everything in creativity, with the madness of the world outside my home, certainty this is the time that I truly had – it was unreal, like a bad movie of the world’s end playing out everywhere.   My canvas and paints gave me an escape from the stresses of world out there and I could bring back some logic and centre myself to process all the thoughts, feelings and information. (Below is one of Rhubee’s paintings completed during Covid isolation)Next year, 2023, you have an exciting show in Adelaide. Can you tell us about that and if you’re creating any new works specifically for the South Australian exhibition?  I am so excited about 2023, working with Rowena Brown of Glenelg Art Gallery who has organized for my art to be exhibited in the next I am Woman exhibition as part of the Fringe Festival 2023. I will highlight the current works as well as create some new artwork.

You come from a creative family – your cousin, Trisha, is a brilliant actress and filmmaker – are there any other artists in your family?  There are many family members that are creative. My cousin Trisha, whom culturally I call sister, because our mothers are sisters and all their children then call each other brother or sister, not cousins. There are so many families who write, act, paint, sing, etc. My biggest influences have been Trisha, Letty, Linda, Mum Patsy, Mum Janie, Mum Lucy, my children and grandchildren, Uncle Clifford possum and so many more.

Do you have any advice or a message for emerging artists who wish to share their stories and visions with the rest of the country AND the world?  My advice is to go for it, don’t worry about what others say, hear what they say then go paint what you want.  It might not be what the world will accept now, but eventually, you will still shine. Always paint from your heart and don’t judge yourself harshly.  If you just let the paint brush go where it wants to, you will step back to look at an amazing finished artwork and see aspects and stories unfolding that will jump out to be seen.  Have fun and love the creative process.  My dream and number one on my bucket list is to travel, sing and exhibit overseas. Don’t limit yourself to one form, embrace your online precedence and products.   Be brave and strong and follow your dream too.

Currently, Rhubee has a number of paintings on display in Sails in the Desert, an exclusive hotel property which is part of the Ayres Rock Resort and next door to where FLY stayed during her 2 day visit in August.  You can follow Rhubee on social media but better still, visit her at the Sails in the Desert hotel gallery or next year at the Glenelg Gallery in the beach-side suburb of Adelaide, SA (check their website noted earlier for dates and details).FLY hopes to meet Rhubee in person on her next flying visit – maybe to the Glenelg Gallery in 2023!


FLY flew into the brand new contemporary art gallery up on Yonge Street, north of Eglinton in Toronto. It was lovely to meet the gallery directors Shawnna Brown and Michael Sachter, both artists themselves who share the exhibition space – this weekend is the grand opening of the gallery located upstairs from a wonderful coffee and tea supplier.

FLY fell in love with one of Shawnna’s painting so it now carries a special red dot…SOLD!Michael proudly showed FLY his original digitally manipulated images of which he creates limited print runs for clients – they come in 3 sizes suitable for home and office.

Gallery Hours

Oct. 17, 2022 onward

Monday/Tuesday: Closed*

Wednesday/Thursday/Friday : 11-6

 Saturday/Sunday: 11-5

* Or By Appointment

FLY hopes everyone will visit XOXO to support these two artists who are pleased to welcome visitors and talk about their work, their inspirations, their passion for contemporary art. Visit their website or their Fcbk & IG pages.


Travelling around Australia over the past 2 months, FLY visited numerous galleries featuring indigenous artists’ work and is thrilled to share photos with you here. So many aboriginal artists did not want photos of themselves or their work taken so these photos are from accredited galleries who represent some of the best artists in the country. FLY will be posting several blogs to cover the vast expanse of space and tribal imagery, let’s start with the story of Short Street Gallery in Broome, located in the north west of the state of Western Australia. in Broome’s Chinatown, upon entering this heritage building, you are immediately struck by the 125+ years history of pearling in this town, as well as the incredible art contained within. Established in 1998, the gallery is Australia’s leading contemporary Art Gallery specializing in Aboriginal art, sourcing works from remote Indigenous communities and art centres from the Kimberley, Tiwi Island, the APY & Ng Lands, Central Desert, Pilbara and throughout regional Australia The main hall displayed large artworks, all of which had red dots next to them. Bravo for all the sales!


Short Street also has a secondary gallery space where hundreds of works are stored (and on show) – they frequently rotate the art into the main gallery. Wow, such stunning works and FLY wanted to buy everything!
If you love contemporary abstract and are looking to support indigenous artists from different countries, Short Street Gallery can offer you hundreds of unique paintings with stories from country and the dreamtime. They ship around the world…or come for a visit! You can follow them on social media – links can be found on their website: