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Today's notices

  • Online Exhibition: Per Astera by Malaika Z Charbonneau

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    Malaika Z Charbonneau exhibits her latest markings, using paint and canvas to explore..
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  • “10th Anniversary” Online Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for a..
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  • 15th Solo Art Series – Online Solo Art Exhibition Opportunity

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces its 15th “Solo Art Series”..
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  • 2020 Social Distancing Exhibition

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    $1,000 in Artist Prizes. We know, you’re stuck at home. While many are stocking..
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  • 10th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Call for Art - 5th Annual Animal Kingdom Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 5th Annual Animal Kingdom online art competition. For..
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  • Call for Art - Still Life Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for its 14th Quarterly Art Competition – Still Life. For..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2020 Spring Online International Exhibition

    Location: , ON

    $4500 in Awards - The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites..
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  • Beacon Original Art Spring Show & Sale

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Annual spring 2-day art show and sale with different artists in attendance each..
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  • Nooks & Crannies Outdoor Art Festival: Call to Artists

    Location: Okotoks, AB

    Okotoks Culture seeks proposals from artists to create temporary public art installations in..
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  • BORDERS - ITSLIQUID International Art and Architecture Festival

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS BORDERS | Venice July-Nov 2020 ITSLIQUID International Art and Architecture Festival Deadline:..
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  • Acrylic Painting Workshop with Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    April 4/5 2020. Learn how to quickly develop rich colour and surface in..
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  • $550.00 Innovate Grants — Call for Artists + Photographers

    Location: , NY

    Innovate Grant is now accepting submissions for the Spring 2020 Cycle. Innovate Grant..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: CANVAS International Art Fair

    Location: London, UK,

    CANVAS International Art Fair THE LINE Gallery, London | May 07 – October 30,..
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  • 27th Lemonville Group of Artists Show and Sale

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    Please join The Lemonville Group of Artists for their 27th Annual Art Show..
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  • “Sensuality” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline April 30, 2020

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: A glance, touch, dance, flower, scent or piece of chocolate can..
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  • Artwork Shipping Scam

    Location: , AB

    This week an artist on our site was corresponding via email with an..
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  • Geoff Farnsworth: Colour Worker

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    Join the Niagara Pumphouse for the opening reception for the exhibition entitled, “Geoff..
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  • Call for Entries: Art at the Pumphouse

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre is now accepting applications for participation in Art..
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  • Exaltation : Niagara Pumphouse Instructors' Exhibition

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    Niagara Pumphouse is proud to host the Instructors’ Exhibition as its first show..
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  • Art, Wine, Interior Design Show

    Location: Winnipeg, MB

    Art, Wine, Interior Design Show! Exhibitor opportunities for Visual artists, Interior Designers and Wineries. Finding..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2020 Spring Online International Exhibition

    Location: , ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Love At First Sight

    Location: Regina, SK

    Love At First Sight / Regina Art Collective members: Dave Gedjos / DeLee Grant..
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  • In Other Words

    Location: Regina, SK

    In Other Words / Regina Art Collective members: Nikki Jacquin / Derek Olson / Mark..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020 Venice | April 09 – May..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY 2020

    Location: London,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY – MIXING CULTURES ITSLIQUID International Art Exhibition THE..
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  • Appreciation of the Arts

    Location: London, ON

    Three day art and music event to recognize local artists in London, Ontario...
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  • Call to Artists - 2020 Sooke Fine Arts Show

    Location: Sooke, BC

    Artists are invited to submit work for consideration to the 2020 Sooke Fine..
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  • ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) 2020

    Location: Brussels,

    ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) is back on October 15-18, 2020 for its 14th..
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  • Call For Artists: The Other Art Fair Toronto

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Other Art Fair are thrilled to present the newest edition of The..
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  • Marlene Kawalez and Corynn Kokolakis

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. March..
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My Funnies Valentine - a Portrait Show of Comic Couples

By Robert Amos February 22, 2005

} My Funnies Valentine - a Portrait Show of Comic Couples from the Sunday Funnies By Robert Amos Michael Lewis was brought up on the Sunday funnies - the colour comics that come in the weekend newspapers. He was a child in the early 1950’s when those weekly cartoons evolved into comic books and films and television programs, but it was those he read in the Sunday papers that had the biggest impact on the little fellow. Since then, comic characters have often played a role in his paintings. Recently Lewis was getting his glasses attended to at Goo Goo Goggles, a quirky new shop on Fort Street. He mentioned to the owner that probably the name was derived from a comic character Barney Google - “the one with the goo-goo-googly eyes”. This comment drew a blank stare - never heard of him! So Lewis went home and painted a portrait of Barney Google for the shop. “And then I thought I’d do one for myself,” Lewis continued, “and I did one of Sparkplug, his horse, to go with it. And then I got the idea of a Valentine’s Day show, with portraits of all the couples in the comics.” The result is a collection of 46 small oil paintings of inseparable pairs, on show appropriately at Legend’s Comics, (633 Johnson Street, until February 28). Maggie and Jiggs. Superman and Lois Lane. Mammy and Pappy Yoakum. Nancy and Sluggo. The list is endless. Lewis had absorbed these strips in his early childhood, from ages 3 to 10. They were funny, for sure. And artistic, in fact. Upon reflection, it’s clear that many of these strips reflected the values of an earlier time. “A lot of this stuff came out of the Depression,” Lewis explained. “Popeye was on TV, yes, but that comic strip was set in a very poor community.” I recalled Wimpy, always hoping for a hamburger and the loan of some money to buy it with. Popeye and Olive Oyl are in the current show, of course, and Wimpy is there too, lusting after his hamburger. Looking back on those early years, Lewis feels that it was from the comic strips that he learned the essential facts of human relations. “Maggie and Jiggs,” he proposed: “Maggy was always trying to be upper class, while Jiggs liked to go to the bar with his hod-carrying buddies. Dagwood was lazy, and Blondie was busy, always doing things. I learned that’s how adults interact.” The range of characters he has painted runs from Barney Google to the Addams Family. Though Barney Google goes ‘way back, in the 1950’s Lewis discovered him as a “hold-over” in another “hillbilly strip”, a spin-off called Snuffy Smith. And though, to me, the Addams Family always refers to the familiar TV show, Lewis noted that they were drawn by Charles Addams for the New Yorker Magazine in the 1940’s. I mentioned that it must be easy to reproduce the simple features of a comic character in oil paints. Lewis replied that painting these “portraits” gave him a better understanding of just how artistic the originals were. “Milt Caniff’s Dragon Lady,” he reminisced, “-he was so brilliant with the use of ink and brush. When you try to reproduce something really simple you find it’s not that simple at all. To keep with the 40’s look I chose to do my Archie [and Betty and Veronica and Jughead] in the Bob Montana style. It isn’t that easy!” It may not be easy, but Lewis’s paintings are infused with fun and affection. Small in scale and presented in thrift shop frames, they retail for $175 a pair. Clearly they don’t have the price or pretension of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein’s recycling of cartoons, but there is a lot of pleasure here on offer. ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2005 Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B. C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com