Mythos & Marginalia

life notes; flaws and all

j.g. lewis

original content and images ©j.g. lewis

a daily breath...

A thought du jour, my daily breath includes collected and conceived observations, questions of life, fortune cookie philosophies, reminders, messages of peace and simplicity, unsolicited advice, inspirations, quotes and words that got me thinking. They may get you thinking too . . .

Mondays are just young Fridays

It wasn’t about age; it is still about the music.
   I, and an almost-full arena, took in a spectacular concert last night as The Who played Toronto.
   Augmented by a full orchestra, the timeless British band gave us two hours of absolute magic; full of the sonic glory you expect from guys who have, at several points in history, proved that rock and roll is what it is.
   The Who could have spent the evening simply trotting out a career’s worth of hits, but instead opened with a string of compositions from the rock opera Tommy. Later in the night we were treated to a solid set from Quadrophenia. Both albums go well back into the ‘70s.
   Of course they played, and played well, the songs that many people know more from the CSI television series, but several of the big hits where left out (they did not play I Can See For Miles my absolute favourite song ever), but that was okay. Last night was all about the music.
   I’ve long considered The Who to be mostly about Pete Townshend, the guitarist who wrote much of the band’s catalogue. Now, at 77 years of age, Townshend is still in fine form. But so is lead singer and front man Roger Daltry, 78, singing and screaming in a manner that defies age.
   I’ve seen the band a couple of times in my lifetime, and chances are I will not have the opportunity to see them again. This may be The Who’s last tour, but then Townshend said he would quit touring in 1982.
   So there is hope, and there is still the music.

10/03/2022                                                                     j.g.l.


Giving Into Time

Gardens across the city are looking tired.

The flowers and foliage have for months been growing, blooming, celebrating the glorious sunshine and making our days on this big, beautiful planet ever more enjoyable.

But, come October, even the most curated gardens and manicured lawns are showing signs of wear and tear from the dipping nocturnal temperatures, lack of rain, care, or even neglect.

The cycle from spring, through summer, and now autumn, becomes more obvious each day. Daisies, Black-eyed Susan, Echinacea, once-boastful geraniums and hydrangeas are giving into time.

I can’t even find a dahlia anywhere.

Our landscape is getting darker.

The colours of flowers we count on to fill our lives will soon only be available in photographs, florist shops, or bouquets of the day at the market. We take it wherever we can, whenever we can, but we will wait patiently for next year’s gardens to bring back the everyday joy as the cycle will begin once again.

10/02/2022                                                                            j.g.l.

Truth and Reconciliation

comes at a cost

those who have already paid

the process

takes time

takes even longer


In Canada, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day honours the Survivors of residential schools, the children who never returned home, and their families and communities.
Orange Shirt Day is an indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter- generational impacts of residential schools and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”.

09/30/2022                                                                            j.g.l.

I'm like a pencil;
sometimes sharp,
most days
other times
dull or
Still I write.

j.g. lewis
is a writer/photographer in Toronto.

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The Art Of The Matter

Posted on December 14, 2016 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

A few weeks back the headline news in this country was all about a painting that sold at auction for a breathtaking $ 11.2 million dollars.

Now it’s pretty easy to say the sale of Mountain Forms by Lawren Harris – member of The Group of Seven – was the greatest testimonial to the man’s talent.

There are also those who speculate that this major feat (more than doubling the amount paid for the last record-breaking Canadian painting) will throw the international spotlight onto our vibrant cultural scene.

But, fact is, the majority of us don’t view art as this sort of commodity. Most, or many, of us do not purchase art as a financial investment, but rather as something that will brighten up the living room decor, add colour to our lives, and make beauty readily available. Even those with deeper pockets, and who chose art as an investment, generally, purchase a painting first for its visual nature.

Before looking at a price tag, a painting must appeal to the senses (first of all the eyes) and then to the emotions. Art must capture our imagination in some way, like hoar frost or a vast starry night. Colours, composition, subject and style, yes, it is all important, but the pure gut instinct of whether we like it or not is more based on a feeling than anything else.

The amount we spend on art isn’t even directly related to how much we love it. I have many pieces collected through the years, of many different values, but my true favourite was painted by a five-year-old, and it is priceless.

Art is subjective and, in so many ways, that is also its beauty. One piece will not appeal to two people in exactly the same way. Art allows us to think, whether abstract or impressionist, and it takes us to places outside of our everyday three-dimensional lives.

The moment a value is attached to art, the moment it is commoditized, perceptions are altered. No longer do we ask ourselves whether we like it or not, we begin to wonder instead if it really is worth the asking price.

In no way am I saying that art does not have a financial value. In fact, money is crucial to supporting the arts and the artists, but there cannot be an expectation that a painting will steadily increase in value, or will fluctuate like stocks and bonds. We cannot expect that Canadian art, as a brand, should now ride this exciting wave of commercial viability.

The art scene here will continue to prosper and grow, as art does, reflecting the personality and the climate in which it is created. There will still be legions of painters who eke out a living or a sideline business selling canvases for $300 – $900 (or much, much less) from the walls of the local coffee shop. This is work that is original, and viable, and available.

And yes, there are some (but far, far fewer) artists capturing tens of thousands of dollars for their images and imagination at privately-owned fine art galleries.

But, all of a sudden, multi-million dollar masterpieces will not be any more common now than they were last year or five years before that.

The only expectation we should have of art is that it affects us, in some way. It’s only then that we know its worth. We should not buy a painting only because we think it might make us money, we should simply purchase the art because it makes us happy.

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