Category Archives: James Leslie

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.


A Striking Kwakiutl Mask by James Leslie


Perhaps one of the most exciting things about sharing a post with you each week is the opportunity, through research, to learn more about the art of our vast country and to learn more too about Canada’s  history and diverse peoples.



This week I will be sharing some of the sites I looked through today in my search for information to inform my appreciation of this magnificent Kwakiutl ceremonial mask By James Leslie. I urge you to use these links to read further :

This beautifully carved, woven and paint decorated ceremonial clacker mask of a Kwakiutl Raven has been created by James Leslie, who  studied and trained under both Tony Hunt Sr and Jr on Vancouver Island. As you will discover by reading the content of the above-noted websites, the Hunts were instrumental in saving the carving traditions of their forebears for future generations and are descended from a long line of ceremonial carvers.



James Leslie’s mask has been carved from cedar and paint decorated using the colours and symbolry of the Kwakiutl people. The mask was worn on top of the head, as shown in the photograph at the top of this post, and the  fringe hid the dancer from sight while allowing him to see out through the braided strands of cedar bark.

The mask merasures 29x9x9 inches and comes complete with the stand on which it is displayed.

On top of the raven’s head is a small carved human skull, nestled in a nest of cedar bark.

This magnificent one-of-a-kind mask can form the focal point of your West Coast Native Art collection! Contact for details regarding pricing and shipping to your address. As always, Mich is willing to discuss several equal monthly payments so that acquiring this lovely original piece of art is feasible for you!



In closing, Mich and I wish all our readers a happy and safe holiday season and for there to be Peace and Plenty on earth this Christmas.

Until 2012 – Season’s Greetings from Mich and Janet




Where is Canadian Art going in the 21st Century?


I’ve been pre-occupied lately with the issue of who are the up and coming Canadian artists to watch, where is art going, and what is it doing. I had a handle on Canadian Art in the mid-century period and right up through until sometime in the 1980’s or 1990’s – I think I blinked and suddenly art became very hip, very urban and very much into the current popular culture in North America. I could be completely wrong on this, so please chime in and start a dialogue here!

Above is a classic painting by Lawren Harris who had a long and very productive life as an artist and whose paintings continue to set amazing records at Canadian auctions.

Below to show more of the wide diversity and time span covered by Canadian Art is a watercolour view of Lower Water Street in Halifax in 1823 – at this time officers in the British services were taught to do quick pen and ink and watercolour impressions to provide detail and as an ‘aide memoire’ in the absence of photography, which didn’t really come into its own until the last quarter of the 19th century

So, during the last few weeks while I did some heavy thinking and began to explore where art is at in Canada today, I did some posts on a subject I know very well – East Coast Folk Artists – and almost did another of those today – it’s still there in the back of my mind, so will show up sometime soon, never worry!

Today I started to do some very serious research and this is only the beginning: but the beginning is always a good place to start! You could do a lot worse than subscribe to this magazine or at least sign up for newsletter reminders to follow some of the content online. It states its mission to represent art straight across Canada. 

There seem to be a lot of interesting articles – I’ll be going back later to browse through them – and you’d better check the menu at the bottom of the page to click through to the page where you can subscribe – I’m planning to. The issue pictured was their 25th anniversary issue and featured ten up and coming new artists: Adah Hannah, Kelly Richardson, Corin Sworn, Gareth Moore, Emily Vey Duke. Cooper Battersby, Valerie Blass, Jennifer Marman, Daniel Boris and Jed Lind. I will be googling these people soon. Above just to give you a taste of 20th century magic realism – a setail of a painting by Kurelek.

As I worked my way through a number of links I had found today, I was surprised at the range of activities and the range of galleries and places to view and participate in the arts scene in Canada. This link set me to wishing – for the stamina to go here and there, for the pocketbook to be able to afford to do so and also for the time! To distill my wish list down to one is very hard to do, but I think the Great Northern Arts Festival might be the one for me! Above a picture of Kenojuak and below one of her prints entitled “My Birds”

It looks like an exciting time and a very interactive Festival between artists and visitors – I’ll be watching the website for more details.


Next week, I plan to explore how you can acquire affordable art even now during a very stressful financial period in the world, and where you can find that affordable art.






An Update on RedKettle’s Current Art Inventory

"Fishing Fleet" by Sid Barron

I realized today while thinking about a topic for this week’s post, that I haven’t done an update on Mich’s RedKettle inventory for some time.

I started listing artists and current work that Mich has, and was really surprised at the breadth and depth of his current art inventory.

Of course, he has a good supply of First Nations art, as this is his special area of interest – painters such as Isaac Bignell and Corinna Ray, and makers of Haida ceremonial items, such as James Leslie’s Bella Coola Raven clacker mask – choose a stunning piece to display in your home!


In addition, he has a fair number of ‘retro’ and vintage pieces by the likes of George Rae-Menendez with Pond Skaters, and an interesting grouping of European late Victorian and Edwardian period painters.

Mich’s inventory also features a good selection of works by regional West Coast Canadian painters, such as Sid Barron, James Izzard and Toni Onley.

Please note that the Toni Onley watercolour will be offered for sale through Levis Fine Art Auctions in Calgary on Nov 6 as lot #140 and can be bid for online – contact Levis for a paddle number and meanwhile, take a closer look at this and other Levis listings at   





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!

SPECIAL PROMOTION: Timeless Canadian Art

Pond Skaters George Rae Menendez w/c 14x20

It’s time to remind you again of the special promotion Redkettle is running on five selected pieces of timeless Canadian art. The above lovely watercolour by George Ray Menendez is a case in point.

We want to present a range of starting points, a selection including both First Nations and other Canadian artists, in a scale from entry level for beginning collectors up to and including discerning and experienced collectors who have been on the scene for a number of years.

This Menendez was probably painted in the late 1950’s and I can see it equally at home in a mid-century modern home or in a lakeside cabin and everywhere in between. It would be happy in my eclectic early 1800’s home too – so you can put this one anywhere, and it will shine! It epitomises the Canadian outdoor experience. Yours shipped rolled unframed in a tube for $275 plus shipping. Get in touch – make an offer – you will not regret purchasing this one! ( for further info)


Caribou - acrylic on canvas - Corinna Ray - 21x24

 Above  and below are two lovely companion pieces painted recently by Corinna Ray of the Sandy Lake First Nations community  in Northwestern Ontario – because there is no framing facility in the community, and because of the need for everything to fly in and out, these canvases came to me in rolled, unframed condition and I am leaving it up to you to frame them according to your preference.

Bear Cub - acrylic onh canvas - 21x24 - Corrina Ray

I can see them lo0king great in a wrapped canvas around stretchers treatment. They will speak for themselves in their simplicity, they really don’t need a formal frame. You can purchase one painting for $250 plus shipping or go for both at the price of $475 for the two plus shipping. Again, you can’t go wrong with these paintings!

Bella Coola Raven ceremonial clacker mask - James Leslie

One of my more outstanding pieces is this strong Haida ceremonial mask – created by James Leslie, it is a mixed media piece, very large and imposing, using the traditional blue, black, red and ochre colours with wooden beads holding together fringes made of cedar bark. This piece will look striking in any collection and will help to round out any grouping of First Nations Canadian art. This striking piece is priced at $2495 plus shipping and reasonable offers will be considered – contact for details and to discuss purchase.

A New Tomorrow - Isaac Bignell - 54x60 - acrylic on canvas

Above is a thrilling and inspiring large piece by Isaac Bignell. This piece will be the focal point of any collection and will make a strong statement in any home, office or institutional setting. It is offered either framed or unframed to save shipping, but taking it out of it’s frame is not a move I would suggest.

It is priced at $4995 plus shipping either framed or unframed – buyer should ask me for details of courier packing and shipping  to ensure it arrives safely and undamaged. ( )
Contact me with your offers.
MORE ABOUT THIS SPECIAL PROMOTION: my primary goal in offering these works of art under special terms is to make it easier for the newer collector with perhaps limited means to  acquire classic Canadian art for their homes and offices. We encourage entry at both the very modest level and at the more advanced. Remember, payments can be spread over several months and we are open to reasonable offers. Contact for more details or to make an offer to purchase.
UNTIL NEXT TIME! Mich and Janet – west and east!

Father’s Day Suggestions – a quick rundown of RedKettle’s current inventory

With Father’s Day coming up in just a week it’s a good time to give you a rundown of RedKettle’s current inventory. There is a fine selection of works by both First Nations artists and other Canadian artists, and prices range upwards from several pieces priced well below $300. Surprise your dad with a gift that will provide pleasure over the years.


Below is an acrylic on canvas 24×30 unframed, by Corinna Ray to be shipped rolled in a mailing tube

Bear by Corinna Ray, acrylic on canvas 24x30 unframed

And another by Corinna Ray, also unframed acrylic 24×30, also shipping rolled in a mailing tube,  called Caribou

Corinna Ray - Cariboo 24x30 acrylic on canvas unframed

An artist’s proof by Robert Genn is shown above – a calm soothing print that will look great hanging in your home, it is called Bright Passage and is triple matted archivally and behind glass. In pristine condition, it measures 16×20 image only, and 22×28 including mats and frame – wooden frame – a quality presentation!



Another pleaser – a watercolour by George Rae Menendez sized at 14×20


Trees - a lovely oil on canvas - Arnold Shives, RCA

 Shives is an established and highly regarded artist who lives and works in Vancouver

Benjamin Chee Chee - Running Goose

I was very pleased to find a pair of lovely Chee Chee prints – they have the same print number and are similarly framed, so it appears they were from the same collection

Benjamin Chee Chee - Standing Goose

This impressively large and strong image below  by Isaac Bignell is waiting for the new owner whose home or office can comfortably display this piece – it will make a stunning focal point.

Isaac Bignell: A New Tomorrow - acyrlic on canvas 54x60


Medecine Fox by Carl Ray

 Just back from the framers and a strong and energtic piece, this Carl Ray is ready to hang in your home – this piece is fresh to the market, having been in the artist’s family for many years

James Leslie - Haida Ceremonial Mask - Bella Coola Raven

 This ceremonial mask by artist James Leslie is one of my favourite pieces – I will be sorry to see it go to its new home.

To discuss purchase or ask for further details, contact
Until the next time – Mich