Saturday, November 28, 2009

Portrait of Darvin, life size, ciment fondu. Studio in back.

I used to have a studio on Sherman Avenue North between Barton and Burlington Streets, across from Slater Steel. This is where Darvin used to sit for me, mostly preoccupied with a 75 foot boat he’d just bought and was refurbishing for a voyage with his somewhat skeptical wife, Marilyn. Since then he’s acquired a boat twice the size, and has prepared that boat for a voyage further afield. He told me wonderful stories of Hamilton’s glory days, before my time when it had stables of horses, and a thriving race course on Ottawa North where he used to hang out. Then came the developers who replaced the stables with Centre Mall and parking for an army of cars and shoppers. Now that mall is practically abandoned, a ghost of it’s former self.

I loved my Sherman Street studio. Not big but It had grit. I even miss its lousy fluorescent lighting From the east windows I could see the distant smokestacks of the steel foundries. The people who rented beside me were the Spanish Alcoholics Anonymous. Every Thursday night they held a meeting. Occasionally I would hear the ringing of a bell, a longish pause, and then laughter and the sound of clapping. If I met one of them in the hall, he’d be smiling broadly and holding a can of coca cola. We’d nod to one another.

My studio didn’t have water When it came time for me to cast I had to rig up a long hose from tubs in the basement to a big pail on wheels in the hall way of the first floor where my studio was. If I needed help I would nab who ever was close at hand.


  1. Hi Marcia,

    Slow down girl! This is absolutely amazing.
    I love this guy. He is so self assured in his own skin. So few people are.

    You are just amazingly great.

    Love Barbara

  2. Barbara, thank you so much for your kind, nurturing remarks!

    Thanks to you I got started with this blogging thing, so if I'm all wound up these days, it's partly your fault. Yes you're partly to blame.
    You feed Marcia's small ego with your unconditional praise - it's becoming slightly swollen, M's ego, but if you think it's good for her, please continue.

    You're something of a cracker jack artist yourself, you know!
    Onwards, Florence Biennale, you lucky devil!

    xxxoxxxoxxoo Marcia