Since University I’ve maintained a lively internal debate about the function of art in our culture, and in the world.  While most everyone appreciates a fine painting or sculpture, and would acknowledge that famous works by Tom Thomson, Emily Carr and David Milne are national treasures, most people do not have the budget or the inclination to purchase original works of fine art, or even to seek it out in local galleries.

This gives rise to profound questions around the validity of my profession as a conceptual artist & painter.


And yet I understand that it is also my job to find the manner in which this work I do engages with, intersects with… meets up with my own culture.  The work is, after all, a reflection of that culture, and inspired by questions that arise from my own observed environment.  Culture evolves; my job and my work as an artist evolves and changes in reflection of this.



One of the things I see in this new world we are in is an increased awareness of our own waste.  We are far more accountable for the things we throw into the trash than we were when I was growing up in the 1970s, when the word ‘recycle’ meant ‘re-do the washing machine load’, and was never applied to garbage.

I look around my studio, which has limited space, and I’m very much aware of what I can’t use for painting.  Bits of canvas;  ends of material left over from larger projects; Drop cloths that are loaded up with paint; bits of thread; pieces of wood – I’m aware of these, and reluctant to add them to the landfill.

Can they be used, too?  Indeed they can.

Mats_inProductionNov2014scraps on the wall can find function as…

MatsProductionNov2014_2placemats, which can be used for ….


… a gathering of people around food.

I like this.  It’s satisfying.

I’ve made a bunch of things like this, and together with cards, #Selfie books and art, it’s enough to open up my studio for the first ever sale in six years.

FloorFish_Studiofloor mats with rubber backing…

This Saturday, from 10am until 5 pm I would be happy to see you in my really beautiful studio in Owen Sound.  Come to see where I work, pick up some functional christmas presents, and nibble on nibbles with us. Prices range from $2. (cards) to $3,000 (big paintings), with lots of stuff in between.  I look forward to seeing you in a few days.

For a link to the facebook site, click here.

Keirartworks studio address & directions:

on the top floor of big, three-storey brick building at the corner of 2nd and 12th East in Owen Sound

1190 2nd Avenue East, Studio 305 (north-east corner)

Park at the back (off 12th Street), and follow the signs as you come in, or on 2nd Avenue, and in the front door (Murray’s Sharpening), where there will also be directional signs.

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