July 1972, the newspaper periodical Electrical Business was the first printing job I set up the colour and register for as an apprentice at age 17. Looking back, I am very thankful to my first employer Bob Chittick who was the original owner of Web Offset Publications, Don Mills, Ontario. Mr. Chittick’s accountant, Leo Boucher got some of us boys from our neighbourhood jobs at the newspaper printing plant where his boss Mr. Chittick paid his employees fair wages, excellent benefits, and treated everyone like we were his family with dignity and respect. As an apprentice I earned $5 an hour. Mr. Chittick brought in graphic arts instructors from George Brown College to help with our apprenticeship training and he would often send his pressman away on field trips to pulp and paper plants to experience firsthand how newsprint was produced. After completing my 4 years apprenticeship program I earned a certificate that recognized me as a Graphics Arts Craftsman by the Ontario Government. I became (MIC) man in charge of my own press crew doing shifts, printing newspapers and maintaining and repairing the presses. In the summer of 1979, I took some time off from printing to try my hand with a sign making business and did some art shows on the weekends throughout Ontario inside shopping malls. It didn’t work out so well financially, so I took over my brother Jim’s trucking job he was leaving and drove a 5-ton truck doing deliveries downtown Toronto between printing jobs. My brother Jim, a trucker moved on to bigger dreams with his life driving the big semi-trailer trucks all over North America and Canada. I didn’t do so well as a trucker either, hitting parked cars on sharp turns and one time hitting a bump on the MacDonald Cartier Freeway, dumping creosote oil for miles on to the highway. One day, on my lunch break I answered an ad in the Toronto Sun, where they were looking for newspaper pressmen in Edmonton. I called from a phone booth and was hired over the phone, "how soon do you need me out there in Edmonton" I asked and they answered, "2 weeks ago!" So, I loaded up my 1979 Ford pick-up truck with everything I owned and drove out to Alberta to a job that was waiting for me at the Edmonton Sun. At first some in my family, friends didn’t think I was serious about a move out west but my Irish grandfather Howard Pentland knew I was serious and encouraged me to, "Go west young man", and said Edmonton is the best City in the country to live in." My Grandfather immigrated from poverty in Ireland to Canada alone as a young man and made a life for himself and his family as designer of needle and stitching. While making a life for myself in Edmonton, my former employer Bob Chittick would call me from Toronto from time to time to ask how my family and I were managing in Edmonton and one time he called to offer me a job to work as a head pressman for the North Hill News in Calgary. One of his former employees was now managing his own plant, printing the Globe and Mail, satellite edition on a Goss Community press. Bob Chittick's employees never considered unionizing as Bob always paid his staff fair, competitive wages just as good as any union shop in Toronto. One year there was a miscalculated shortage supply of newsprint because the pulp and paper producers went over it's Canadian allowable quota of tree harvesting. We could not print most of our regular monthly and weekly newspaper editions but had enough paper stored away to print the Toronto Sun daily and Sunday Sun on the night shift. He never laid any of us off during that slowdown, but instead kept us working, painting, cleaning up the pressroom and maintaining the presses while paying us full wages and benefits. The following year when a new pulp and paper quota was set by the Canadian Government, we worked 3 shifts around the clock, seven days a week. During that slowdown in work, I remember Mr. Chittick allowing his staff extended lunch breaks, to play euchre competitions with nickel and dime pots. On Friday nights it was poker night at Web Offset's accountant Leo's house where we drank his beers and wagered our pay cheques sometimes losing all our week's pay. One Christmas party the owner of Web Offset Publications Bob, knowing my interests in painting, gave me a coffee table book titled "Between Friends." A commemorative account of US and Canadian border relations in pictures. From this book I painted my first Alberta foothills scene in oils in 1979, and titled it "Land is of matter, and not of blood."
I started expressing my creative self as a kid with a box of crayons on my parents' basement walls and inside the pages of my grandfather's leather-bound encyclopedia collection. So my parents began to supply me with a steady stream of paper and pencils to draw with to help expand my creativity. In secondary school, I studied commercial art and printing, and took extra courses to learn photography and produce short video features. In my twenties, I learned to fly, earning a private pilot's license, and moved to Edmonton from Toronto. In my 40s, I hiked the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island 3 times and once to the Rose Spit on Haida Gwaii Island. I continued a career as a graphic arts craftsman operating mostly Goss high-speed newspaper printing presses, first for the Edmonton and Toronto Suns, and finally with the Edmonton Journal. I volunteered at Walterdale Community Theatre, painting sets, and doing public relations. Today I continue to paint and share the stories of my art with my family, my friends and my community.
42 years, Graphic Arts Craftsman,
Art Show & Tell
Freedom, Beauty, Truth and Love
'Now is the time to share your knowledge, it's needed now'-Terie
Artist Log: 2020-10-07 Today, I gave a woman I met twice in 3 years, this Legislature painting 'The Dome' inspired by my 2020 Freedom to Express & Listen art project that challenges the Alberta Government my right to freedom of the press and freedom of expression. Today we shared ideas about racism and human rights issues and agreed on the importance of listening to those we don't agree with. Terie said of what I've learned from my own journey of activism, expressed through social art needs to be documented and shared. As a young black woman, Terie worked as a journeyman in a male-dominated industry. She rose above the workplace harassment and became an entrepreneur, starting up her own business. Last week, she met with another man who rose above it all, the Honourable Kaycee Madu, Alberta's first African black Minister. Terie plans to hang her painting when she buys her first home...
While I worked 42 years in the newspaper industry as a graphic arts craftsman, I also painted in my spare time since my teenage years in the early 70s. After losing my job in 2013, forced into early retirement at age 59, I decided to pursue my life's dream as a full-time artist. After not painting for 13 years, I had to learn to paint again, rebuild my confidence, hone my creative skills, and develop my own personal expression style for the next 4 years. Like doing an apprenticeship, I did all this mostly outdoors in Jasper National park, along the city's North Saskatchewan river valley, and in the streets and public squares of Edmonton, on the traditional lands of treaty 6 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people. I ran into some trouble at the beginning of 2016 with folks in authority, who did not think I had the right to express my art outdoors in public. I drew upon my life's skills and decided I would not take no for an answer in a nation that values its freedoms, to free speech, freedom of expression and free press...
Legacy, pass it on...
Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. John F. Kennedy, Address to the American Newspaper Publishers, delivered 27 April 1961, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York
In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it.
"If my art has nothing to do with people's pain and sorrow,
what is 'art' for?" 艾未未 Ai Weiwei
The Misty HeART project unmasks humanity 2021
This news item I couldnt find anywhere on youtube, so I captured the moment of April 26, 2012 of what took place in Youngstorget Square, Norway, added some titles and editing. My YouTube remains my number one upload and has been seen by 50,000 people worldwide. My 2021 Alberta Legislature outdoor presence will feature this new Misty HeART project. I hope to unmask our humanity's beauty, truth, freedom & love.
Lillebjorn Nilsen, September, 2020.
Yes I had to call my friend Pete Seeger the day before.
Looking back I am proud of that performance
Jerome Ullman, 2012
"Beauty will save the world."
Love and compassion will conquer all
Jake Masca, 2012
What a shame... we consider the U.S. and China to be a world power. This is what a peoples world power should be in my opinion.
Don't want to stop... love surpasses hate.
Pete Seeger - My Rainbow Race
Peter Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014)
was an American folk singer and social activist.
The Canons, 2019 Rememberance Day, Alberta Legislature
Land is of matter and not of blood 1979
Painters Log: 2020-11-30 Looking back over the year with my current art project 'Freedom to Express & Listen' I think painting the Black Lives Matter, Edmonton's encampment Pekiwewin opened my eyes to just how important 'Freedom of Expression' is to me and how thankful I am to so many before me who were and are today duty-bound, serving Canadians by giving their lives so that we in our society can be free.
Photo: HERE COMES THAT F@$KING HELICOPTER/ Standing next to 9 Afghan boys gathering firewood, mistaken as the enemy by US Machine Gunners/ Rocket Launchers. Joint Allied troops including Canadians in Afghanistan. One child from the nine murdered survived to return back to his family and loved ones... With all this COVID19, just look at how many of us remain separated from our loved ones and to think of all the families of those 9 Afghan children, never to ever be seen again in this lifetime.
God bless the children and thank the veterans, Enjoy your Freedoms! F@$K Canada's Afghan War of 9/11 Retribution...