Category Archives: hanging art in your home

Redkettle Gallery’s Current Works: First Nations Canadian Artists

Today, Redkettle Gallery’s blog is featuring the current inventory of works by artists who are members of Canada’s First Nations. Above is a powerful work by Floyd Joseph, a numbered serigraph “Wolf Dancing with the Moon” – more details and a close up can be viewed at:


At the moment, Redkettle Gallery is fortunate to have two lovely Haida masks by James Leslie, whose Haida Raven Clacker mask  was sold about a month ago.

These are the intriguing Salish Deer mask seen above and in detail at:

And this Kwakiutl Raven Clacker mask seen in more detail at:


Above, an original – a very large acrylic painting by Isaac Bignell – check out the details at:


Although the paintings below by Corinna Ray of the Sandy Lake community are not shown on the website at the moment, Redkettle Gallery has a handful of these lovely original acrylic on canvas paintings being offered at a low price that reflects the fact that this is an emerging artist.



You can support Ms Ray while she works to achieve her potential as the daughter of Carl Ray – an artist from the same community whose record stands for itself.

Contact Redkettle Gallery: to obtain further details, discuss shipping etc.


Featuring Two Classic Canadian Artists


Today, Redkettle Gallery’s blog is featuring works by two of Canada’s classic 20th century artists. Click the links given to learn more about these artists and their work featured today. 

The first is an early (1965) print published as part of the portfolio “Toronto 20′. by the Jerrold Morris Gallery. This was a  limited edition series, and the work is numbered 64/100.

A rare find, this print reflects in its strong religious symbolism the primary place that Roman Catholicism had taken  in Kurelek’s life, and as befits the quality of this print, it comes framed in archival materials behind non-UV glass.

Check out the post here:    which is dedicated to Kurelek’s history, and check out: 

to see this work in high resolution detail.


Above is an oil on stret6cher frame measuring 18×24. This significant original work of art will be the focal point of any room. Shives is a well regarded painter working out  of Vancouver. He studied at centres in California, receiving a bachelor of fine arts and had a long relationship with his mentor the late Toni Onley.

This work reflects his sure and capable technical skills and will give a great deal of pleasure to its new owner.

Check out the large high resolution image here:


For more information, contact  Until next week……………








Original Art: four delightful animal studies


Mich and I want to wish all our friends checking in with us a very happy, peaceful and  healthy New Year. The celebrations are over, and we now need to get through until Spring is with us once more, which reminds me that i must bring more firewood in the house to warm up by the airtight stove.

Mich seems to be well supplied with great art to show you over the next few weeks so we will start out the New Year with a grouping of interesting animal studies: modestly priced originals which are nicely framed and ready to hang in your home as soon as you receive them.

The first is a lovely oil painting of a young tabby cat surveying the world from her hiding spot in the shrubs – this sweet 12×20 painting will attract animal lovers everywhere and will fit comfortably into any spot in your house – for only $395 you can’t go wrong. This delightful study would be a charming addition to a child’s room, but is sophisticated enough to delight an adult as the perfect gift. Mother’s Day is just a few m0nths away, and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Contact for details regarding artist, size and shipping.

The above watercolour original by Carl Froschl is dated 1914 and is nicely framed in  art deco style. It depicts the moment just before this curious cat overbalances the wastebasket in a flurry of papers and scurrying kitty. This expertly accomplished little study is a small slice of family life in the popular genre of that time in Europe and would look especially good in one of the many urban homes across Canada from the early 20th century that are being rehabbed just now.  Framed, signed and ready to hang at a very modest $199 plus shipping, this original will set an authentic note in your period home.

Another small animal study – just 6×6, this pencil sketch depicts a young cat in various poses – again, it is nicely and simply framed and will look lovely perhaps as one of a grouping, or placed by itself in a vignette of small objects on a bookshelf or fireplace mantel – again this lovely little piece will go to you for $199 plus shipping. contact to learn more about this study by Robert Fuchs.



The  pastel original of a rabbit comes from Austria and of the same period as the other two small pieces and is reminiscent of an Albrecht Durer study done several centuries earlier. It is a masterful work which is so serene that it takes a while to realize the technical skills displayed in it. Mich tells me he is happy to keep this piece as he is very happy with it – always a good recommendation.

Framed, this lovely original can be yours for $225 plus shipping. Contact

Affordable Art and how to find it

Part of any art dealers mission is to introduce collectors early on in their collecting career to good quality art at reasonable prices, and I will be talking on Mich’s behalf today on this aspect of assisting collectors to develop an eye for art.

I mentioned in last week’s post the amazing number of places in Canada where one can see art displayed or visit artists’ studios. I would urge any aspiring collector to visit as many possible sites as possible, both in the real world and in cyberspace. Everything you see will serve to hone your eye for art and your knowledge of what is happening in the world of Canadian art today.

If you are uncertain about actually purchasing art for your own home to start or add to an existing collection, there are many art loan societies who will rent art to you for a small monthly or annual fee. A word of caution – if you fall in love with a piece when you get it home and live with it for a while you may not be able to purchase that piece – many art loan societies are strictly into loan or rental and do not sell their pieces – be sure of the plan before you indulge yourself! I know if I were to rent I would want the option to purchase to be part of the plan, but in noodling around the internet I only found one lease-to-own gallery in the business – they appear to be more of a facilitator between galleries and the purchaser – they purchase a piece of art outright from a dealer and then do a lease/purchase with the prospective buyer and spread the payments over a set period of time.

Take a look though today at the wide variety of reasonably priced art that Mich is offering today – you don’t really need to go elsewhere.

Mich and I both seem to hold to the feeling that if we like and can happily live with a piece, we will acquire it. Since we both operate businesses out of our homes, then this is a good idea as we both live with our inventory until it sells.



Today I will be showing Mich’s current inventory: Below are a lovely grouping of end of the 19th and early 20th century pieces by Austrian artists.



Above is a lovely small watercolour of a rabbit, painted by Ella Blaschek

Above is a series of sketches of a kitten by Robert Fuchs and the first picture, above the rabbit, is an  appealing watercolour of a cat with mischief on its mind by Carl Froschl – any or all of these three small treasures would make an affordable and worthwhile acquisition that would look great together or singly anywhere in your home.

Each one is nicely framed and priced very affordably at $275 PLUS SHIPPING. And for a limited time, Mich is prepared to accept two equal monthly payments with the painting to ship when the second payment clears.



A major sale this week for Mich was his lovely oil  “Fishing Fleet” – this is going to make a bit of a gap on his living room wall!

But he still has a lovely small pen and ink on paper study by Sid Barron called Ships, Victoria BC Harbour shown above. Unframed, shipping will be very inexpensive on this small gem. Mich is asking $295 PLUS SHIPPING for this painting and his offer of two equal monthly payments is available on this lovely piece by a well-known artist.


Mich has several interesting painting by Corinna Ray of Sandy Lake First Nations in Northern Ontario. Lately Corinna has done several very impressive acrylic on canvas paintings and they are shown here:corinna ray - young moose

The acrylic on canvas called Young Moose shown above is 25x42inches – a major size depicting with power and skill an animal Corinna has painted in the native style and clearly with respect and love – this work chronicles her maturation as a skilled and capable artist and is available unframed and rolled for shipping in an exonomical tube. PRICE: $550 plus shipping. Two equal monthly payments are acceptable, with shipping after final payment clears

Another lovely large acrylic on canvas “Moose and Owl” using Corinna’s signature colours of blues, violet and yellow/orange and a large format – 25x40inches. See how well it fits into a home’s decor. Mich is again asking $550 plus shipping unframed and rolled in a tube – two equal payments and shipment when final payment clears.

This last acryloc on canvas painting is smaller and is a lovely study of an owl – at $200 plus shipping, it would make a unique gift for a special person on your list, and is also available for two equal monthly payments.


And finally – the print that started it all for RedKettle. Twenty years ago this was the first piece of art by a Canadian Native Artist that Mich bought. This Floyd Joseph print sold quickly and Mich  thought he would never find another, but here twenty years along and it turned up again. Of course, he had to buy it! This is Wolf Dancing with the Moon 12/180 sized at 25.75x 28inches and with beautiful colours that subtly bring to mind Christmas: green. red, white, black and grey – this print will make a major statement anywhere you choose to hang it.

It is nicely framed with non-reflective glass and an understated black wood frame. Check it out below – wouldn’t you love to own this!

PRICE $1750 PLUS SHIPPING – two equal installments with shipment after final payment clears.

Thanks for dropping by today.

Janet and Mich

Collecting Art: in which you get to know Mich and Janet’s taste in art

Mich and I have both spent a lifetime collecting art and other quirky objects; and buying and selling collectibles, antiques, art and decorative objects. We have lots in common, but in other areas our individual interests and approach to life couldn’t be farther apart.


Mich was born 50+ years ago in Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.  This is a town of less than 6000 people midway between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg, some of it at an elevation of 1200 feet above sea level. It began life as a major point on the Transcontinental Rail System and has evolved after the discovery of gold at Red Lake, and an upsurge in both Tourism and lumbering in later years into a strong economic base for the population, yielding higher than average median salary and lower unenployment rates than most of the country. There is a large aboriginal component to the population.,_Ontario

Janet (moi) was born a year or so before the start of the Second World War in the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The largest city in the maritime provinces, but still having a population then of less than 80,000, Halifax had several universities and a college of art and design, and in addition to being the seat of the province’s government was an army and naval base since its founding in 1749 and was subject to boom in wartime and bust when the current war was over.  Growing up in wartime Halifax was a very gritty experience as it was the base for organizing and manning the convoys and was therefore on the edge of the frontlines; but once that was over, Halifax was quick to further develop it’s amenities to include new housing developments, a symphony orchestra and public art gallery, as well as both amateur and professional repertory theatre.

It’s quite likely both Mich and I developed our particular tastes in art during our growing up years in two very different cultural environments – Mich, of course is primarily interested in collecting and dealing in art by First Nations artists, and in addition nationally known Canadian artists such as Harold Town and Jean-Paul Riopelle, and since his home has been in Victoria BC for some time now, regional artists such as Tony Onley, Ted Harrison, and Sid Barron.

I find that as well as the nationally known and collected artists of the 60’s and 70’s such as Town, Riopelle, Alex Colville etc, I have tended to be drawn to art produced from the East Coast school of ‘magic realism’ sparked in his students by Alex Colville through his many years at the Department of Fine Art at Mount Allison in New Brunswick; and in addition I collect and deal in Folk Art and moan that I can’t afford Maud Lewis and Joe Norris!! My quilt designs are informed by the coastal experience both in subject matter and colour choices.

Our later lives have also diverged – Mich is still working for the BC Government while running RedKettle in his spare time and

lives in the very urban and cosmopolitan setting of Victoria BC

while I returned to Nova Scotia in midlife from Ontario and after living and working here for some years took early retirement to start my own business – quiltmaking and dealing in folk art and other vintage delights. I live in a very isolated and rural coastal community near the Bay of Fundy.


By the way, Mich is currently downsizing, and has asked me to mention that he has for sale  five very attractive and unique handcrafted cedar lamps. Contact him – As well, several of the pieces of art shown here from his inventory are also for sale.

As for me, if you see anything among my pictures that interests you, contact me to enquire: 

Until next week – Janet and Mich say goodbye from their opposite ends of the country!


First Nations Art: Isolation or Inspiration?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about isolation and what inspires creative ideas in artists. It started as contemplation of my own creative processes and what I need to get the juices flowing. (I am a longtime quilt artist working in a geographically isolated and financially disadvantaged region, but thriving creatively and able to access a broader range of ideas and markets through the internet. About 25 years ago I made the choice to return to my roots, leaving urban southwestern Ontario and financial security for a rural Nova Scotian home and underemployment with the financial stress that brings.)

Corinna Ray: Flying Owl with Moose Below - acrylic on canvas

As I worked and thought, I could not help but begin to think of how much more it takes  to be an artist in a “Fly-In” Northern Ontario First Nations community – what are the sacrifices made, what are the trade-offs, what are the victories in this way of life?

 I thought about how well I might understand the issues (and decided that although I might have an inkling – maybe a bit more understanding than an urban professional might have, I couldn’t come close to understanding), and also thought about the huge disruption that has taken place in the community of Sandy Lake over the last month as the entire population (except for 20 whose jobs were essential to protect the community) of around 2500 people were flown out to other settlements as far south as Arthur in agricultural mid central Ontario. The chaos and disruption must have been totally unimaginable, and the community is still returning to face the ongoing threat of more fires.

Corinna Ray: Owl acrylic on canvas

I know that despite my chosen isolation, I can choose any time I want to go to a large urban centre in my late model car and stay in a good hotel and shop ’til I drop, dine out, go to galleries and shows and visit friends. I do not have to book an expensive flight out to Winnipeg or Thunder Bay simply to visit family or shop for something other than basic food and clothing – which can only be flown in and is hence wildly expensive. I have the good fortune to have been an early adopter of IT and have the capability to list on on my own website items I have for sale;  have basic skills in search engine optimization and online marketing and an online presence that has existed for 10 years.  So indeed, my isolation is one of choice only and can be ended at any time with little cost, and can just as easily be resumed. What a luxury this is!

Corinna Ray: Moose acrylic on canvas

I want to remind all friends of RedKettle that the above three beautiful original paintings by Corinna Ray are offered on Mich’s site, along with this wonderful piece by Corinna’s father, Carl Ray. Corinna Ray is a lifetime resident of the community of Sandy Lake.

Carl Ray: Medecine Fox

Take a look at for additional details on the above paintings, and contact to make an offer to purchase.

And I’d like to remind you too that two of Corinna’s original acrylics on canvas: Bear Cub and Caribou are available for a limited time at very special prices here on RedKettle’s blog – you can contact me – or to make your offer.

Until next week then, enjoy what’s left of the summer and celebrate your way of life, whether rural or urban, isolated or in the thick of things! 

Janet and Mich




Before talking about beginning to collect Canadian art, I’d like to remind folks that RedKettle currently has a special promotion involving  a selection of 5 very desirable pieces.

George Ray Menendez - watrercolour: Pond Skaters

Above is a lovely watercolour from the late 50’s by George Rae-Menendez, which is affordably priced at $275 and can be purchased by making two equal instalments a month apart. Price is plus shipping and the painting ships unframed on the final payment clearing the bank.

A New Tomorrow - Isaac Bignell acrylic on canvas approx 5 feet square

This painting could also make a very strong statement in your professional office, reception area or board/meeting room. On a practical note, it could offer you a very nice tax break if donated to your favourite ‘not-for-profit’ – check it out with Mich. Asking price is $4995 but he is open to reasonable offers and again, instalments can be negotiated.


Below I’m showing two companion pieces by Corinna Ray of the isolated Northwestern Ontario Anishnawbe reserve of Sandy Lake. Sandy Lake has been in the news lately as the entire population of the settlement has been evacuated by air due to the extreme smoke conditions – the fire has not reached the settlement and it is hoped it will not, but the health risks from the smoke have been extreme. We wish good fortune to Corinna – may she be back home soon!

Caribou: Corinna Ray, Acrylic on canvas

The above acrylic on rolled canvas is entitled Caribou and is priced at $250 plus shipping by Canada Post in a mailing tube,As is the painting below.

If you opt to buy both of Corinna’s pieces, you can have them for $475 both rolled in the one tube, which would be a good saving on shipping.
These paintings are eligible for payment by two equal installments and will ship as soon as the second payment clears.
Check Mich’s main website: as he has several other significant pieces by Corinna that you may be interested in.

Bella Coola Raven Mask - James Leslie

I saved my favourite for last today! This remarkable ceremonial mask is a mixed media treasure in painted cedar, braided bark and bone beads. It has a clacker hidden inside to add a further dimension of sound to the striking visual display. It is painted in traditional Haida colours and is in immacualate condition. A joy to own and display and Mich is open to your reasonable  offer and can arrange instalments  – he is asking $2495 for this scarce and unusual mask.

Do you feel that you are ready to start collecting some Canadian art?
Wondering where to get started?
Remember, nothing is permanent when you are a developing collector and most collectors purchase what appeals to them and continue to hone their instincts about art over many years, weeding out what no longer interests them, or finding better examples.
I’ve been collecting now for over 50 years and have few of the items I started out with – some I miss and wish I’d never parted with – some I can’t even remember. But, what is on my walls and shelves right now reflects the same basic interest in a wide variety of Canadian art that I’ve always had – folk art, views of built heritage and ships, and coastal areas.

Seagull on a buoy 1997 Roseville Tanner

You can’t go wrong with buying what currently appeals to you and there is nothing wrong with passing stuff on at a yard sale or consignment shop  – which is also a sometime source of new treasures.

wilfred cyr - two saltbankers 16x20 oil on board

Another way to feel the pulse of your local art scene is to visit galleries, museums and auction houses, as well as keeping an eye on trends in art by following blogs such as this one.
If you are collecting art as inexpensively as possible, you are unlikely to find a lost Group of Seven painting in the back room of a thrift shop,. but you will find lots of things by less well known artists that still have integrity and value and will thrill your eye.
Whatt you need to develop is the courage of your convictions as to what is right for you, and the confidence to know what is available and to sift out what strikes your eye and you feel you can live with over time.
What’s on your walls?
Hope the weather where you are is acceptable or failing that you have an air conditioned home workplace.
Remember, if you see something you like and want to know more about, contact
Until next time: all the best from Janet (East) and Mich (West) and enjoy the summer!