Moonlife
18″ x 36″
Mixed Media
on Canvas

Thanks to Everyone who came out! It was great to meet so many amazing people. The gallery was absolutely alive with your energy.

Deep In The Winter Wood
24″ x 40″
Mixed Media
on Canvas

2007

Once Upon a Time, this is how it was. It was just like this…Snow covered the rolling hills, a cool blanket over a sleeping companion. The night was alive with the twinkling crystal air, and the naked trees stretched out silvery limbs to the hard, unblinking gaze of a thousand thousand stars, appearing closer than they had ever been before, perhaps seeking refuge from the yawning emptiness of the eternal void, perhaps forgetting that the emptiness was their mother and father both. Perhaps just lonely on such a silent night. The moon was just climbing over the edge of the world when silently, on padded toes, Rabbit stepped out of the darkness, and at almost the same time, Raven shuffled into the light.

Raven had kept his Dreamer, or perhaps it was the other way around. Nevertheless, he was looking two places at once, as Ravens do, while Rabbit kept his silence. After all, it was his very own to keep.

It was the subject of his life, tonight, of which he was not entirely certain. Still, he had come, deep in a winter wood, silent but for the Raven’s rasp. The breath of a talker, a forager, a scavenger.

The sussuration of a predator’s song.

But Rabbit had something else in store tonight. A surprise.

Show Starts in One Week!

The Bearclaw Gallery Presents
124st – 104ave
780.482.1204

TRICKSTER
New Works by Aaron Paquette

March 3 – March 15 2007
artist will be in attendance 2-4pm opening day

An Unexplored Dream
4″ x 6″
Encaustic, Oil
on Canvas

2007

There is nothing so compelling to me than a waking dream that has not, or can not, be explored. The mystery and meaning must lie asleep until the truth unravels on its own.

In this piece, I’m using encaustic (to be more specific, Beeswax). I’ve melted it until it runs smooth and then I spread it over the surface of the work. During this first stage, I layered in Oil Paint to give colour to the wax. When the wax hardened, I took a sculpting tool and carved my design into the surface of the wax and then worked more Oil paint into the incisions. I finished it up with a few glazes of Oil, again, worked into the surface of the encaustic, and set it aside to cure.

I had a hard time getting a picture of this piece as there are translucent layers that seemed to be vying for the camera’s auto-focus and most of the results were fairly blurry. If you haven’t seen encaustic work, go check it out. The medium is as versatile as there are artists to use it, and when the layering effect is captured, it can add a subtle beauty to a piece that is difficult to achieve in any other way.

In many examples I have seen, there is a brightness to the work as light bounces down through the layers and then shoots right back out from the surface. For my effort here, I chose a more moody quality. The piece is filled with shadow and a murkiness which fit my intent perfectly.

Artist Interview with Terrance Houle

In this continuing series, I am showcasing some of the talented artists who have crossed my path these past few months and years. Their work ranges from photography to performance to something in between. This week, we focus on multimedia artist Terrance Houle. Known for bending perceptions of stereotype, culture and race, Terrance infuses his work with a natural and welcoming sense of humour, poking fun at both “Native” and “White” culture, challenging preconceptions even as he breaks them down.

Terrance Houle
Multimedia Artist

1. Why/when did you decide to become an artist?

I decided to become an artist back in high school. The year was 1992 and I was sitting in Art class realizing how much I hated school. In those days I wasn’t interested in a lot of what school had to offer me. I hated the curriculum, I hated the establishment. I loved skateboarding, art, music and learning about things I wanted to learn. So around that time I was into punk rock and political art-making. I was making silkscreens and collage. I was really into printmaking. I never thought I would actually be an artist.

2. Any advice to those thinking about taking the plunge?

Well, for me, I look back at my experience and think that I am really happy I went to post-secondary school. I learned tons when I was studying for my degree(a lot of diverse cultural learning not just western culture). I studied Fiber and Textiles and that really opened my eyes to different forms of art-making. I say keep an open mind and find the things that interest you! And make your mark – don’t be afraid to push yourself and your ideas.

3. Anything else you want to talk about, Terrance?

Do you have another interesting question?

4. Sure! Do you have any “words to live by”?

When the tough gets going punch it in the face…ha


Terrance Houle is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary media artist and a member of the Blood Tribe. Involved with Aboriginal communities all his life, he has traveled to reservations throughout Canada and the United States to participating in Powwow dancing and other native ceremonies. Terrance began his art career at the Alberta College of Art & Design in 1995. After a 2-year hiatus, he returned to his studies in 2000. In 2003 he graduated with a BFA in Fibre. He has developed an extensive portfolio that ranges from painting to drawing, video/film, mixed media, New Media, performance and installation. His works have been shown in Calgary, Vancouver, also Toronto and internationally in France, Switzerland, Australia and Warwickshire, England.


Terrance was also a part of Diplomatic Immunities for Alberta Theater Projects 2006 Playrites Festival, making a leap into the Theatre world through a contemporary play by Mammalian Diving Reflex Theatre Company. Terrance has also had numerous screenings of his short video and film works in particular at Toronto’s 2004/05 ImagineNATIVE Film Festival winner of 2004 Best Experimental Film and 2004/2005 ImagiNation Film Festival in Vancouver including the Calgary International Film Festival 2004/05. Terrance’s work has been discussed in Alberta Views, New Tribe, Aboriginal Times, Artlink (Australia) and ArtReview (England/New York). In the fall 2003 Terrance participated a Thematic Residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. The Residency focused on 34 indigenous people working on issues of colonization and communion. Artist came from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United States. Currently Terrance has worked as a mentor with youth through Metis Calgary Family Services, teaching video production and Art. He also maintains his Full time art practice in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. art website:

http://www.myspace.com/terrancehoule

Images: “Sneak Peek” Walter Phillips gallery – Banff Bus Ceiling Project 2006, Untitled, Family Portrait for Momma Weaselfat, Might As Well Jump! Jump!, Billboard Project Calgary 2006
Drumbeat
3′ x 4′
Mixed Media
on Canvas

2007

Our hearts are locked inside us, safe, beating away the minutes like the determined sound of a deep, dark drum. The warrior takes his heart out of his chest. It is touched by the air, by the sun, by snow and rain. Anyone who passes by can reach out and touch the warrior’s heart. It is sensitive and vulnerable, and can easily feel the soft brush of tears. It beats to the song of creation, and all who pass by can feel it in their bodies, their own heart responding , aligning, and breathing with that implacable rhythm. It is fierce and active and filled with fire.

The raven attacks the open heart at the same time as he protects it, caught between entropy and the growth of new stories, new moments, untold and unfinished lives. There are new worlds forming, called into being by the unstoppable heart…and raven, the carrion eater, will do as he must, and bring them light.

Into The Soft Soft Night
16″x 20″
Mixed Media on Canvas

I lay beneath the sighing stars
And the leafy whispers of the wood
Animal rustlings and watery sounds
Drawing me from a river of dreams
To rest upon the earthy shore

My heart beats so slow
My breath comes so low
Is the world changed in sleep, or me?
I rise and move, I move
Into the soft soft night

2007

The Bearclaw Gallery Presents

TRICKSTER
New Works by Aaron Paquette

March 3 – March 15 2007
artist will be in attendance 2-4pm opening day

Grandfather Rabbit
Mixed Media
on Canvas
12″ x 16″
2007

The rabbit is an archetypal trickster figure be it from ancient legends to B’rer Rabbit, to Bugs Bunny – a trickster and a culture hero.

In this portrait, I decided to show the old fellow a little on in years. His eyes have seen mirth, but also sadness, and I think it’s this sadness that gives the trickster his impetus, his drive to create temporary instability. The role of the trickster, ultimately, is to teach.

This grandfather rabbit has seen it all (or so he thinks) and when roused he can still pull off some real hijinks. If truth be told, he may not even be so old as he appears! He brings frustration, confusion, anger, and above all, and most importantly, laughter.

In fact, I think it’s safe to say about this little warrior is that he laughs so he doesn’t have to cry.