Wednesday, June 12, 2013

MURAL is CRUISING ALONG!

The mural is cruising along! Daily we receive new panels it seems. We love the diversity of the styles and the subject matters!!

The first official artist panel to arrive was done by Landon Peters. It was exciting to get his panel back so quickly!!
 
Then we also had Mairi Budreau who was equally quick but was open to sharing her creative process with the artist team on facebook. She tweaked her painting as she went along and created a fabulous masterpiece of her husband who once was a Canada Summer games power lifter competitor!
 
Another artist who jumped on the project quickly was Hanne Lore Kohler- wow...she has been so supportive of all the artists work and at the same time has created a stunning colorful Kayaker in rough waters...beautiful
 
And then of course was the extremely unique and wonderfully creative overhead view painting by Andrew Giffin! You can feel the oars going into the water...stunning...
 
Its like Christmas around here as we get emailed painting after painting. The mural is coming to life and its very exciting to see!!
 
This blogging will be fun but adds another job to my administrating to the artists, trying to paint and all the other good stuff these murals bring. I sure love it though...meeting such talented artists from across the country through these projects is so wonderful!!
 
I have to get some sleep though as my 1 year old likes to wake up at 4:45 a.m. these days so my nights are short.
 
See the mural at www.muralmosaic.com

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The official launch of the mural

The beginning of the mural officially was a very exciting occasion. Serge Malenfant and the city of Sherbrooke staged a packed house media launch to announce the project and how it would unfold.

The project is very much bilingual. TRULY CANADIAN! Lewis Lavoie, Paul Lavoie and myself are all from French roots. I have many relatives in Quebec. So this project is a return to our roots. I wish I was able to write fluently en francais but unfortunately I do not have that ability. But thankfully Serge - who is fluent in both languages - is truly the key unifying piece of the mural.

This was evident at the launch as he was able to translate to all the media and VIP guests from the Sherbrooke region how Quebec would unite Canada through art in one of the most unique mural projects in the world.

Crowds gathering at the media launch
Serge Malenfant from MURIRS explaining the project
Lewis Lavoie painting the first tile of the mural as photgraphers snap away.
As reporters interviewed Lewis and Serge their were many questions and jaw dropping moments as reporters had an incredibly tough time understanding how a mural could be created by hundreds of artists who don't know each other, do not speak the same language, would all paint their own individual painting, yet together create a much larger unified image.
 
There was plenty of head shaking and bewilderment. But nevertheless the project began...and here is the first official painting- THE SPORTS VOYAGEURS by Lewis Lavoie...making the TREK to Sherbrooke for the 2013 Games!
 
And the mural was officially started!! Here we go!
 
 
Its two months away until the unveiling of our coolest Mural Mosaic yet! It has been over a year in progress and it has been fun fun to work with hundreds of artists from across Canada. Serge Malenfant from MURIRS in Sherbrooke Quebec has been a phnomenal team mate to work with on this project. We have always wanted to create a mural for Eastern Canada and what better partner could we have found then Serge and his team!

We visited Sherbrooke in the early part of 2013 and to see his murals was so exciting!!  To combine our Mural Mosaic technique with Serge's trompe l'oeill effect is very very exciting.

I am going to start posting images here so you can watch and follow the road to the unveiling!

Lewis Lavoie and Serge Malenfant- getting the stories behind the murals

Remarkable murals of Sherbrooke
Every Mural tells a story
The planning process!
The wall that will unite Canada!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Today was an interesting day. I had a chance to think a bit about my own art career for an hour in a meeting with Kim Fjordbotten from the Whyte Ave Artwalk and Chris Riley and Denise Lefebvre. It was good to sit and talk about one of Edmonton's finest festivals.
But that hour was fleeting as other exciting things were about today as the St. Albert Mural Mosaic is coming to its finale and it is looking great! I spent the day administrating the last few panels in the mural out to artists and gathering in some missing panels. Here is what its looking like so far...can you guess what it is going to be? Look closer here: http://www.muralmosaic.com/cultivatelife.html and actually go through the panels one at a time and appreciate the artists remarkable efforts.
Here are a few fantastic pieces in the mural
Another cool thing is that today I did an interview with the Salt Lake City Tribune regarding the US Mural that we unveiled that Lewis painted. The momentum is rolling on that one as schools from all over the U.S. are buzzing about the education value of the mural as well. Things continue to move along...CULTIVATE LIFE

Today I continue my efforts to showcase the wonderful masterpiece that Lewis Lavoie created over three years that was unveiled on Presidents Day in Utah. 50 paintings that detail the chronological history of the United States and form the flag. This video gives you a quick snapshot of the stunning art in the mural.

video

The mural is truly remarkable. Each fold in the flag is so carefully detailed to fit into the paintings. Or should I see ...each painting magically makes a fold. How is it possible for a man to make a mural that looks like cloth BUT even more amazingly by doing so using 50 paintings that have a life of their own but together make a bigger picture. Go see the entire mural one piece at a time here at www.historyinaflag.com ASTOUNDING!!

Looking closer into the mural you will see what actually makes up the mural. Here are just a few paintings within the mural:

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Last night marked the conclusion of the creation of ALBERTA BOUQUET. This was a mural mosaic comprised of 204 paintings by ALBERTA artists that will be given as a gift at this years Lt Governor General Arts Awards on April 9th. What a magical night it was last night as artists from around the province gathered to see the mural unveiled. Not only was it artists but also guest participants contributed including the Lt Governor General and St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse. You can see the mural here

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



The arrival of the Three Kings and the beautiful Christmas
chickadees.
To have the Kings arrive with their gifts must have been incredibly overwhelming. To have men of such high status rush to be at the birth of Jesus could only indicate how important this birth was. But it was even more amazing that shepherds as well visited the babe. The leaders of the world turned to the child for guidance just as much as the shepherds. This truly was a special moment.
When our little girl was born I was overwhelmed. The love and affection came from everywhere. Our parents, siblings, aunts, uncles....friends....and even complete strangers. Phone calls, emails, visits, people stopping us on the street to see our beautiful baby girl...It was amazing.
When a new life is brought into the world it seems that all around rejoice with every breath of the new born. It truly brings the community together.
I believe we need to remember these moments forever. Not just to treasure them for that special moment but so that we continue to gather around others when they need support and love. Its easy because babies are cute and lovable and so helpless looking. But truth is there are so many times in our lives when we all need that love and support even when there are no cute babies around.
I know it will be my goal now to remember this. When we are in times of trouble we are all much like newborns. We are very weak and helpless and we need love, nurturing and guidance to grow. If we see someone in pain or in need we should view them as newborns. Sometimes they need us to gather the community together and bring love and support to help them get back on their feet again. Look into their eyes and look at them as a child who needs love.
The world has hurt and has many who feel weak and helpless. When you feel strong reach out...even when you feel weak you may gain strength by reaching out to someone who may be even weaker.
Jesus loves the little children....all the little children of the world. They are precious in his sight. We are always children in the eyes of God so lets always look out for each other and treasure all the children around us of all ages.
See the mural almost complete here http://www.muralmosaic.com/nativity.html

Monday, November 15, 2010
















The Child is Born!! Alleluia Alleluia!!
Once Jesus was born the world celebrated and the Angels spread the news. Shepherds, Kings and all God's creatures rejoiced.
Mary and Joseph I am sure were so thrilled with the birth of Jesus. It must have been even more overhwhelming the love and adoration that poured into their lives.
When our little baby girl Adelaine was born I know that without the love and support of all our Kings and Shepherds we would have had a hard time to coping. Amy's mom was there the whole time for us helping through the process and after, my sister and her husband and three children helped me through a tough time when our little girl was first born. Then when my Mom and Dad, my brother and his family and all the rest of our friends and family began to hear the news and rally around. It was incredible how powerful an experience that was.
Words of congrats, and well wishes and most of all words of support came from all directions. Bringing a new life into the world brings so many people around you. It is unbelievable how a new life brings new life to so many others.
We will always be forever thankful to all our friends and family for what they did for us through their words and their actions.
I know not everyone has the love and support we have. I pray for those who do not have the support that we had to have strength and to be able to turn to God for guidance and be open to the warmth of those who may not know them too well but who would be willing to help. Angels are around us at all times. Sometimes we are just looking in the wrong places.





Friday, November 12, 2010

The Angels Celebrate.

I always loved reading about the birth of Jesus growing up. Even when I was quite young it always moved me, yet I was just a child myself so why did it affect me so? I certainly did not understand what bringing a life into this world was about. What I did know was that the birth of this little child made the world happy. So with this as a reference new babies always seemed to me to be an incredible source of joy. Little did I know how much joy they are.

My first child was just born 4 and a half months ago. In the last few moments before she came into the world I have never felt such emotion. I was in the delivery room with my wife, her mother and a room full of Dr.s and nurses. My wife was running a fever and the Dr.s had to make a move to bring our child out quicker then she was willing. Her little heart beat was going too fast and there were a few things that were not quite right.

As I counted the time between contractions I looked into my wife's eyes and began to tear up. I was terrified and helpless. I didn't know what I would do if anything happened to my wife or my little girl coming into this world. I was suddenly living outside my body. I was living now in two lives outside of my own where i could feel all their pain and struggle but I could do nothing. The room became a blur and I began to pray and just hold Amy tight. The babies heart beat fast on the monitor and I felt mine beat fast in time. I had heard that the birth of a child was a beautiful thing...yet all I felt was scared, helpless and lost. I held tighter and prayed harder.

Then the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced occurred. The Dr. yelled out "Here she comes!!"and my heart stopped and I could not breath.The most beautiful person I had ever seen emerged. Then the voice of an angel announced the arrival through a babies cry...and I melted into my wife as we both burst into tears of joy. Our little girl was here.As they placed her gently into my wife's arms the three of us cried together in the most amazing circle of love I have ever experienced. Amy's mom leaned in and extended the circle and all within the room trumpeted the good news that all was well and our little girl was welcomed into the world. I could not control my happiness that Amy was going to be OK and that there was now a beautiful little girl in our lives. An entire new world had awakened to me.

The angels in the room rejoiced. Amy's mom, the nurses, the Dr.s....
They were our angels in the room - and there were so many more praying for us...my mom and dad, Amy's dad...my sis and bro, our extended family and friends....Now it was time to share the news and off the Angels went.

Oh Mary and Joseph....I can only imagine the joy that was in your hearts on that special day. My imagination will certainly be enhanced now by my reality. As a child I loved hearing about your little baby Jesus...now I believe I can feel what you experienced. See the mural at http://www.muralmosaic.com/nativity.html

Monday, November 08, 2010


Mary and Joseph find room in the stable. What a relief it must have been to finally find a place to rest and prepare for the delivery of the baby Jesus. Although it was not the perfect setting it was probably such an incredible blessing for them to find even a stable.
After a few hours of waiting to move into the delivery room with Amy I was more then ready to finally reach a more comfortable setting. It was definitely more comfortable but...now it was all too real. I will never forget the incredible emotions of that time. I remember it all quite clearly yet what was a long period of time now seems like was so short.
As Amy lay there and the contractions began to occur it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to watch. To see your wife in so much pain was hard to take. Poor Joseph would have had nothing to offer other then his hand and words of support. I too did that but we also had the support of Amy's mom and a wonderful nurse and modern medicine. It still did not take away Amy's pain or mine for that matter watching her suffer. Time progressed...and more time. I watched every contraction on the graph come and go, i watched the heart rate of our child rise and fall. A life was so near to entering the world. Why couldn;t it just happen quick and easy? Why did there have to be such pain and take so much time? I held Amy's hand and whispered I loved her as she continued to work at the delivery.
It was then that the nurse noticed something was not right. Amy was developing a fever and the child inside her was becoming distressed. Every beep from the machines that I heard in the room was like a siren going off in my head.The numbers on the digital screen showing the heart rate rising and going faster and faster as our unborn child began to struggle made my heart pump so hard i could barely breath. Is this supposed to be happening?? I could see the fear on Amy's face as well. Amy's mom helped with her support and prayers and we all just held tight and prayed all was going to be ok.
Things were not improving so it was time to make a move. Suddenly there was a room full of Dr.s and nurses. I felt completely lost, confused and helpless. Why did they need so many people in the room? What could be happening here?? I wasn;t sure if I could handle the thought of anything happening to Amy or our child. I held tighter to Amy and did all I could to be strong and did my best to convince myself everything was going to be fine.
I would look at Amy working so hard, I would look at the monitors, I would look up to the ceiling and do my best to keep my eyes dry and not to worry. Then to add to the problems, our unborn child was not positioned right. I took a deep breath and just listened to the words of the Dr. carefully. She was so calm and instructed Amy so wonderfully. They asked me to count to ten for Amy to push. This helped keep my mind from going crazy. It was funny though as I could not count past 6 as the last four numbers came out as barely audible tearful crackles or I would forget a number...
I just wanted to hear something was going good. I was wanting our little child to be in the room in our arms....my heart was exploding with excitement and pounding in fear all at once. And then it happened....
I am so in awe of Joseph. What courage he must have had to watch helplessly as Mary had to give birth to Jesus without any Dr.s or anyone at all to help. How helpless he must have felt. And of course Mary....there was a reason God chose her. What courage and strength she must have had. Can you imagine a young lady giving birth to her first child with no one with any experience around to talk her through the delivery. Can you believe that this still happens in so many places around the world...and in some cases the woman is entirely alone???
I know how hard it was to experience the challenge of birth in a loving room with plenty of help. I pray for all those who do not have such support that they find strength and that angels will watch over them in their time of need.
See the mural pieces as they fit here

Saturday, November 06, 2010


Mary and Joseph enter Bethlehem to find there is no room for them anywhere.
I could not imagine after such a long journey to discover that you are faced with no room. I am sure that Joseph must have been beside himself wondering what he could do to help make the situation as comfortable for Mary as possible. I am sure he would have done just about anything he could.
When we walked over to the hospital we were admitted immediately. But we too had to wait for a delivery room. We sat for hours in an uncomfortable room with just a curtain around Amy. Amy did her best to rest and not worry too much and I did my best to watch over her. I remember constantly checking the time and waiting for us to get into an actual delivery room. Praying and hoping it would be soon. I also remember how it all started to become a blur. Watching the monitors that they had Amy hooked up to monitoring the contractions, her heart rate, the babies heart rate...you really start to realize that another person is almost here.
I found lumps crawling up into my throat that I would have to choke down. I would always be looking at Amy as we waited. I just wanted this to be over and know that Amy would be alright and that our little child would be born into this world and be happy and healthy. Instead I was going back and forth from joyous excitement to the fear of something happening to my beautiful girls. It’s a helpless feeling for sure as there is nothing more that I could do except just do anything possible to make Amy comfortable.
There is never any guarantee`s in life so faith is always needed to carry you through. I swear though that as I waited, my heart beat was louder than the monitor in the room counting Amy`s heart beat and the baby`s. I still get emotional thinking of that helplessness. So there we waited and waited as the clock ticked...I knew she was in good hands though.
Poor Joseph not knowing where he would go with Mary...what faith he must have had. Not a room in sight anywhere`s and his wife and child counting on him to get them to a safe place. No Doctors, no room...just faith and love.

I pray for those who have no place to go, no doctors, no family, no one to turn to...just faith that all will be ok. I pray for their strength when there seems to be little hope.

Friday, November 05, 2010


The Star Over Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph arrive.
It is time for the child to be born. The long Journey Mary and Joseph have traveled has led them to Bethlehem. They now know that the moment has arrived. All the anticipation and fears will reach a crescendo in a short time now.
When the day arrived for Amy and I, our star over Bethlehem, words could not describe what I felt. On that special day we walked 5 blocks from our home to the hospital- as we lived close. Our Journey had been extended by 10 days as Amy was overdue. So we walked over to the hospital uncertain of whether it would be our time yet or not. As we walked we smiled and joked nervously and I did my best to keep strong. Yet inside I felt numb. Everything seemed surreal. I kept thinking that in a matter of hours I would be now looked at as a Daddy. There would be a little child who would be looking to me for guidance, for love. A child who would need me to be a rock for them when times get tough. My life was about to change in an unbelievable way. I realized that suddenly I would be living a life outside my own body. A helpless existence where all i can do is my best to love, teach and guide and then watch as this child will make decisions that i will feel the results of and have no control over other then to pledge to be there to pick her up when she falls and be her biggest fan when she succeds. It was true and it was hours away.
As we walked I also thought of the beautiful lady who walked next to me. She had done so much to get to this day. She had already loved this child more then I thought possible and they had never even seen each other yet. Every step we took I knew it was a another step along our journey together into this wonderful new world. I reached out for her hand and willed all the strength I had into her as I knew that as scared and excited as I was....she was 10 times more. She knew that the journey's conclusion would not be an easy one. I could see it in her eyes. It was time to enter Bethlehem for us.
I am sure Mary and Joseph had their own fears as well. I wonder if Joseph was the same as me in his thoughts. I want to write more but as I write my little girl has awoken from her sleep...and my job as Daddy takes over now from my hobby of writing. I love what that journey has brought into my life :-)...gotta run as someone wants to say good morning.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The End Of The Journey.
Mary and Joseph arrive finally to their destination.
When you reach the end of the journey - the journey through a pregnancy- there are so many emotions that come into play. Mary and Joseph must have been exhausted but in some ways must have been relieved that their journey was coming to an end- or in other ways to a beginning.
I am sure Joseph was most relieved that Mary had made it through the travelling portion of the journey safely and now she can begin preparing for the journey of the birth.
When my wife and I reached the last few days of our "journey" I know there were so many emotions that we had to deal with. I found myself needing to keep busy to keep my mind from going crazy. I had so much excitement and so many fears. I could not control my anticipation of the new born child coming into the world. We had no idea whether it would be a boy or a girl so there was so much to look forward to that way. But then you also always have the fears of something possibly going wrong. That is where faith comes into play.
I would often look at Amy and the life growing inside her and simply be in awe of her. What an incredibly beautiful thing to behold. Then I would look at her again and see in her eyes the discomfort she felt in the last few days and the fears as well. This was her first child - just like Mary - and the last few steps in the journey would be the toughest. When she looked back at me I know she wished that she could be free of this burden and just be able to enjoy our child. But there was more yet to go.
I wished i could take over and alleviate the discomfort that she was going through and ease her fears but of course that was impossible. So I had too find a way to make a difference. This is where love can make a difference. I could not take away the pains and discomfort but i could make sure that the road she is going down - she will not be travelling alone. There will be someone who loves her and adores her right beside her the whole way. Reassuring her that it will all be ok and that no matter what happens she is not alone. She will have a hand to hold, arms that will embrace her, and a place to rest all her thoughts and fears.
Joseph was all of that to Mary...and then some. It is that extra that is needed in times like this. Husbands love your wives...be there for them. Thats what they need and its what you need too. It feels good.

God bless the families who are there to support each other in times when that little extra is needed.
Pray for those who travel the journey alone. We should always be aware of those around us who need that reassuring hand. Reach out...

See how this painting fits into the mural here http://www.muralmosaic.com/nativity.html

Wednesday, November 03, 2010




PAINTING # 9

The Three Wise Men begin their journey to see Jesus.

What an incredible act of faith to travel so far following a star in the hopes that they would meet a new born child that would be the messiah.

The star in the sky would be comparable in some ways to the due date of a child. When Amy and i shared the due date with our close family everyone began planning their various journey's. Our "wise men" were our moms, dads and siblings specifically. They began planning their trips from their various parts of North America to come see our little girl around the time when she was to be born. They began planning months in advance much like the three wise men. There was no guarantees when our little girl would be born but they all planned on faith that she would be born around the estimated due date.

So not only were we preparing for our child so were our "wise families". Everyone began preparing to welcome our little girl and also preparing to give us a s much support and love as possible. Not to mention, much like the wise men, they came bearing loving and special gifts.

The creation of a child is a journey for so many. God bless the symbolic "wise men" in our lives who take the long journey with us and provide us the support we so often need.

Pray for those who need more "wise men" in their lives to help them through the challenging times.

See the mural come to life here http://www.muralmosaic.com/nativity.html

Tuesday, November 02, 2010



As Mary and Joseph continued their journey I am sure this was a time where they got to know each other even better. Do you ever wonder what they talked about? This was their first child together. They were not only giving birth to the Messiah but they had to be parents as well. I am quite certain the journey would have had many of the same chats that most couples have.
Joseph must have had to reassure Mary that when they get to their destination that there would be a good hospital for her to have her baby and that an epidural would be an option. Hmm..or maybe they would just have to ask the sheep to move over so Mary would have a nice pile of hay to lie in.
Ok- maybe no epidural discussion...But I am sure they would have shared their hopes and fears for Jesus. I bet they wondered what he would be like as a little baby. Would he sleep through the night? Would he become a woodworker, a fisherman...would he be popular with the other kids or would he have a tough time fitting in. Maybe they discussed where they were going to live? Maybe Joseph was planning with Mary where he was going to work to support the child and the family. I am sure they went through all that don;t you think???
I also wonder if women would come up to Mary and tell them their pregnancy stories...and if they started to notice that couples all around them that had children talked non stop about their babies poops.
Mary and Joseph were human after all and i am starting to realize that more and more as i do this blog. They gave birth to Jesus but they still had to raise a baby to adulthood, they still had to go through all the trials and tribulations of a parent. Its hard to think that way but I have never read of God sending down the Holy "nanny" to help out.
As a dad now I can;t help but think more and more about Joseph and how he was really an amazing man (Mary was pretty amazing too of course ;-)). Joseph really took control of the situation though and made sure that Mary was taken care of and made it a priority to love and protect his family.
As a Dad Joseph is a great role model in all ways. I only wish there would have been more written about when Jesus was a baby so maybe he could have given me some extra parenting tips from the fathers perspective. I bet he had some good ones.

Monday, November 01, 2010




See the mural come to life here- http://www.muralmosaic.com/nativity.html The Beginning of the Journey to Bethlehem.

Everyone when they go through the birth of a child has their own journey to Bethlehem. After you get accustomed to the idea of the thought of a child coming into your life the journey to the birth day begins. The beginning of the journey would probably be best compared to the first tri-mester. Just like Mary and Joseph as they packed and began their long journey, couples begin the long journey together by changing their lifestyle, planning differently financially and thinking more about the best environment for the future child to be raised in.
As the journey began for Joseph and Mary, Joseph could only do his best to take care of Mary by providing food, protection and safe travels for them. He also would do everything possible for Mary to provide her comfort as best he could. Unfortunately there is only so much he could do as the trip for Mary would be one without much comfort other then the love of her husband and the expectation of the beautiful child.

Like a pregnancy- Joseph and Mary's first leg of the trip to Bethlehem probably was filled with nervous excitement. They would have hopes for great things and were unsure of what lay ahead for them. The first three months when my wife and i began our journey we both felt that nervous excitement. Her body slowly began to change as the child began to grow and I began planning in my mind the best ways to be supportive to Amy and the best strategy to prepare for the journey's destination. It all seems kind of surreal. But the journey had begun...and the road ahead would provide many adventures...