Studio Notes: Travel Inspiration and Spring Exhibition announcement

I heard the water before seeing its flow cascading down black stepped granite. Water continually renews and recycles as it falls into the basin at the foundation of Frank Gehry’s stunning chrysalis of a building, the Louis Vuitton Foundation. This magnificent museum and gallery is situated between woods and gardens, on the edge of the Jardin d’Acclimatation in Paris. With the flowing water and ever changing light appearing to float the transparent structure, Gehry’s building of crystal sails seems to skim through the trees.

Louis Vuitton Foundation

Frank Gehry

I love this image, how this vessel built to house culture seems to rise from living water, appearing to rest on the unlikeliness of a foundation in perpetual motion. Like any work in progress, all of us who strive for renewal and and desire to grow into our deepest capacities, must remain questioning, open and receptive to changes, whether from invitation or not, by life’s trials and storms or simply through the recurrent and onward tide of time. We must be willing to risk, to acknowledge, respect and integrate influences while assuredly remaining true to our own inner visions and intentions.

Looking into the water's flow I am reminded of Rilke's poem "Moving Forward".

The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were opening out.
It seems that things are more like me now,
That I can see farther into paintings.
I feel closer to what language can't reach.
With my senses, as with birds, I climb
into the windy heaven, out of the oak,
in the ponds broken off from the sky
my falling sinks, as if standing on fishes.

Ponds Broken Off From the Sky Oil on paper, 20x16 inches

Sometimes I feel that the longer I paint, the more language is lost to me. I do look farther into paintings. My senses, as Rilke says "have opened to what language cannot reach" by reaching anyway, as artists do, for that which is unsayable.
"As if standing on fishes..." an image so visceral, somewhat unnerving ...and yet this quality of balancing on the back of what is uncertain, fluid and unfixed is what painting is all about and what painting teaches me about living. It is all uncertain, certain to change and if I am willing to risk, to leave me often to feel ungrounded. Life will always provide me with the unexpected. I choose risk and I choose to work with the cosmic law of uncertainty in the process of making a painting. I deliberately incorporate chance and accident while inviting the destruction of areas that become too precious. An area or aspect of the painting I find myself clinging to, most often must be destroyed to allow the painting's natural journey toward its eventual rest in wholeness and integrity.

This image of moving water also brings to mind a favorite quote of the artist David Bowie:
If you feel safe in the area that you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth, and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.

Joan Mitchell, detail

Joan Mitchell, exhibition detail

Exhibition Announcement

I am excited to let all my subscribers know that I will be exhibiting in Vancouver this Spring.

Save the Date! May 25th-June 17th at Visual Space Gallery

3352 Dunbar Street
Vancouver, BC
V6S 2C1
p 604.559.0576

Please see the article below if you wish to know more about Visual Space gallery and the owner Yukiko Onley

Detail: Earth Recitals

I will leave you with an image of a work in progress for the upcoming exhibition, a trace of my own gesture.

I would love to see you in May, talk about the work, have a visit! Bring a friend or tell a friend!
You will see the progression of recent floral work, as well as pieces from my "Earth Recitals" Series, pictured below.

I hope these paintings may be an instrument to draw us into the present moment with full attention, perhaps even to find a moment of peace.

I hope for these paintings to open a contemplative space in which you, esteemed viewer, may find your own meaning.
Studio Notes: Invitation to Culture Crawl 2022 and New Work "Lyric Shards"

Lyric Shards - Carry On The Light Triptych, 5"x11" Dimensions approximate

Lyric Shards - Carry On The Light source material

Gifts arrive mysteriously as breath. Without paying any particular attention we receive the singular gift of life many hundreds of times each day and yet, without awareness of the preciousness of this gift, the fullness of our life may remain unopened.

I think of this as the year turns toward the season of giving. I am feeling gratitude for all those artists who inspire me, those who have gone before me and those in this day, my artist friends and contemporaries. Each painter, poet or conceptualist works with or without recognition, to wrest from the raw materials of unknowing and uncertainty an offering of fragile beauty.

Lyric Shards - "Carry On the Light" came to me after the quiet contemplation of two separate gifts recently received. The first gift was an invitation, one which I initially thought was not for me. Michal Tkachenko invited me to participate in the inaugural exhibition of Gallery Modicum, Studio 480 during this year's Culture Crawl, November 17-20, 2022.

"No thanks, I couldn't work is not the right size/fit...the time frame is too short....Blah, Blah, Blah...we've all said it, thought it... said no to the difficult invitation. Yet I felt prompted to deeper consideration by the annoying and insistent voice within asking "But what is the world asking of you?"

And so comes forth the mystery of creation, the ability to stay in uncertainty. While the mind is uneasy and wrestling with doubt, a deeper ground of meaning, an expanded possibility is hovering just on the edge of our old, more limited perception. Here exists a deeper awareness waiting for all of us who risk more in the desire to further open our minds.

In this moment of pause a second gift arrived. It came with my friend, the artist Dana Wysewho when visiting from her home in Paris gave me an old ledger, its gossamer pages filled with beautifully inked cursive. I felt the touch of an unknown hand reaching across a century, on paper thin as the skin of an elder. Tender. Asking for touch in return.

This is the way of gifts. True surrender to their enigmatic entering into our lives, whether first perceived as unwelcome or generously invited, asks us to give of ourselves. What will I do with these gifts?

We may think the gift asks more of us than we have to offer, but the gift is asking for us to look more deeply, to discover what we have yet to know, experience or understand. The gift asks us to be braver.

I was being asked to work on a completly new scale, in a modicum of space and time. This appealed to me. I love the compression of image and meaning held in a poem of elegant architecture. I love to work with text, I love the fragmentary, the obscured and forgotten as well as the suggestion of a relic unearthed. This old text gains new life in a new century, linking me, and you the viewer to another soul across time.

I felt the breath of inspiration stir and waken.

They say gifts come in threes. The title "Carry On The Light" refers to the work of artist Lawrence Carroll. I am here paying homage to Carroll, recently deceased, and to the influence that the beauty of his work has had on me. I share his belief that nothing is ever truly exhausted, that ideas can continually be given new form and meaning. I wanted to pay tribute to his life and work, to offer this painting as a gift in his memory. I see that our work has correspondences, I wanted to carry on the light.

Lyric Shards extends my former investigations into text based work using the medium of gypsum and beeswax on board with original or found text, yet in miniature. Using a heat source of lamp or gun, I melt and fuse aromatic beeswax with these tissue thin pages in a ritual gesture of healing. I intentionally employ the triptych style to suggest paintings from a time when works of art were commonly used for altarpieces or more simply, for private devotions. It is not the sanctity of the subject matter in some of those historical religious paintings that endures in my mind and to which I return, but to the quality of light and quietude, to the prevailing sense of serenity.

I wanted to ask this of my painting. I wanted a quietness of palette, a sense of light and a generous spaciousness paradoxically contained in a rectangle hardly bigger than a postcard.
seems to me that even in our century of haste and crowd, we want to slow down, we seek the silence of a cathedral grove, fresh powder or alpine meadow as balm for our buffeted souls. I wanted to make a salve for the modern wound. To offer a tiny antidote to rush and grandiose, to give of my attention to the lost voice, to uphold the tender gesture and perhaps to achieve a "modicum" of respite in a tubulent world.

I see these pieces as a coming together of disparate elements from across time and space into new formations of quiet contemplation. In a century of noise and distraction, I want to reconnect to the essence of stillness and to a sense of the sacred in the everyday touch of the world.

The gift is like a door which opens with the courage of our first step.

“gift revives the soul.”

― Lewis Hyde, from The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World

I welcome you to come and view some of these new small paintings in my studio, 362-1000 Parker St at the 26th Annual Eastside Culture Crawl, November 17-20. One will be on view at Modicum Gallery, studio 480-1000 Parker St, also at the dates and times given here for 2022 Eastside Culture Crawl:

November 17-20, 2022. Thu/Fri: 5pm-10pm. Sat/Sun: 11am-6pm

I would love to see you, talk about the work, have a visit! Bring a friend or tell a friend!

You will also be able to see more recent floral work, pieces from my "Earth Recitals Series, one of which is the landscape pictured below.

I hope these paintings may be an instrument to draw us into the present moment with full attention, perhaps even to find a moment of peace.

I hope for these paintings to open a contemplative space in which you, esteemed viewer, may find your own meaning.

Aramoana- Pathway To The Sea Oil on canvas, 51x41" framed

Garden Gems Oil on canvas, 35.5x 59 inches

Detail: Garden Gems Oil on canvas, 35.5x 59 inches

Studio Notes: Earth Recitals-New Series of paintings

Earth Recital-Falling Peony Oil on canvas, 48x72 inches

A painting, you know, it's all dirty material. But it's about transformation. Taking that earth, that heavy earthen kind of thing, turning it into air and light.” “A work of art is a renewable source of energy.”

- Brice Marden

Last month I promised to talk about a new body of work. Presented here,"Earth Recitals" has emerged from exploring rich veins of influence derived from my love of the land. These paintings continue to reflect my interest in loss and time, eternal transformation, mortality and memory. Themes that persist and endure as deeply as my love of the earth. They are the underlying streams in my work. This series, if not completely abstract, is composed of paintings more directly hovering on the edge of abstraction.

Remembering My Garden Oil on canvas, 39.5x87 inches SOLD

I, like Brice Marden quoted above, am interested in the energy of the land, not specific details of the scene. I am interested in how the earth gives and returns energy to us, I am interested in the exchange of energy, the movement of light and wave and matter between bodies, the body of the land and of you and of me. Many of us live in increased alienation from the land yet we still seek the consolations of nature. We walk in the forest trails, we seek the sea and her inland cousins, the lakes and waterways of stream and rivers, we hike in mountains that surround our city. We know how we are restored by these encounters. I am servant to its beauty.

“We cannot, of course, save the World because we do not have authority over its parts. We can serve the world though. That is everyone's calling, to lead a life that helps.”
  - Barry Lopez

In this new series “Earth Recitals”, I want to invite you into the essence of the experience of being in nature. I want to invite you to participate in the sensate beauty of the world around us with the hope that it inspires others to "lead a life that helps". I offer these paintings in service to the world we want to live in and wish to leave behind us.

I had the recent good fortune to spend some time with my partner and friends on the Sunshine Coast. I walked out into the freshness of a Spring day to encounter blustery winds carrying the mineral tang and salt of the sea snatching at the limbs of trees silvered by storms. I scrambled over cedar and pine, roots twisted and intertwined on rocky moss covered clefts. Close to these elementals of earth, water, air and light I felt richly enlivened, wholly part, as one who shares in the material fabric of this mysterious yet earthy web of our miraculous biosphere. The Diptych pictured below is a direct response to that day.

When making these paintings, I intentionally build and work the surface with many layers and marks, adding, scraping, excavating to find balance and to create a certain tension to hold power in the painting. This accretion of paint and gesture holds energy, every stroke carrying the memory and felt-sense of my experience. I believe that as I bring body/mind to the painting's creation, as I invest my hand with responsivenss to what has moved me in witness to the land which I wish to share with you, the painting achieves aliveness and resonance that can be transferred to and felt by the viewer. This intentionality embues the paintings with the desired atmosphere of place and and charges the surface of each painting with a matrix of energies drawn from deep observation and attentiveness. Feeling deeply, and drawing from memory, these paintings are layered palimpsests, imaginative responses to living in the beauty surrounding us.

I hope these paintings may be an instrument to draw us into the present moment with full attention, perhaps even to find a moment of peace.

I hope for these paintings to open a contemplative space in which you, esteemed viewer, may find your own meaning.

Aramoana- Pathway To The Sea Oil on canvas, 51x41 inches, framed

Diptych left: Earth Recital 05/22 Oil on canvas 51x41 inches

Diptych right: Earth Recital 05/22 Oil on canvas 51x41 inches

Peonies Carrying Light Oil on canvas, 48x36 inches

Detail: Peonies Carrying Light Oil on canvas, 48x36 inches

Studio Notes: Nymphaea - a new series of paintings

Among these lilies

in Monet’s pond

Basho’s watersound

~ Sylvia Forges-Ryan

I would like to share with you the first of two new series of paintings. "Nymphaea" Stay tuned for next month when I will talk about the second series "Earth Recitals", a new body of work hovering on the edge of abstraction.

I have been thinking of Monet, poet of light and space. Monet inspires me. Why? Because i find in his work a congruence of feeling for the natural world as sustenance. I too need to immerse myself in its leafy greening, its decay, its blossoming. I need to be close to what is eternal to make sense of my own place in this fractured world. I find in Monet’s paintings, as perhaps do some of you, a reparative sense of meditation on loss and mortality. These are themes that preoccupy me in all my floral work.

As we are bombarded with images and stories of the war in Ukraine I have been walking to the public ponds and willows found within our own city. Though the garden of Monet was a walled and cultivated sanctuary, I too find solace in my urban walk. Looking into these reflective watery mirrors evidencing the eternal movement of clouds crossing the sky, the cyclical blooming and withering, and seeing the flowering of lights flickering above dark pools I am reminded of and consoled by what never ends.

In this new series “Nymphaea”, I continue to work toward paintings that come into being with you, the observer as an active participant in the coalescing of the image. I build the surface with fractured marks, with an accretion of paint and gesture that come into focus only from a distance. It is my intention to create the circumstances of witness. Deliberately choosing the well known motif of waterlilies I am consciously invoking Monet and the time in which he too was painting against a backdrop of war. Monet returned again and again to the paintings of waterlilies, a series that continued until his death. Painted even as the guns of the Great War drowned out cries for its end, his last monumental series of Waterlilies prevails as an enduring symbol of peace, gifted to the people of France on the day of the Armistice.

Like the echo in the above quoted Haiku, i hope these paintings may be an instrument to draw us into the present moment with full attention, perhaps even to find a moment of peace.

"Haiku are the shortest of poems, with the longest echoes." (Sylvia Forges-Ryan) A good haiku, like a well conceived painting distills a great deal of experience into a few phrases, and sets off a chain of thoughts that expand like the ripples in a pond. I hope for these paintings to open a contemplative space in which you, esteemed viewer, may find your own meaning.

Poets inspire me. When painting, I steal their tools. I use alliteration, rhythm, revision and repetition, emptiness and form. With strokes of the brush and gestures of the hand I scribble and scratch, use tone, light and line, fullness and space, impasto and thin washes or glazes to create atmosphere and depth, using the journey of the built surface to arrive at meaning in my paintings.

Details of Nymphae paintings, oil on canvas

In this poem by Paul Verlaine, I love how he is speaking of an internal struggle while using the image of a stroll by the lily pond, I love how repetition becomes incantation.

Maybe we could all use a little spell to dispel the the hovering black weather in our inner and outer worlds.

Sentimental Stroll

Paul Verlaine

The setting sun cast its final rays
And the breeze rocked the pale water lilies;
Among the reeds, the huge water
Lilies shone sadly on the calm water.
Me, I wandered alone, walking my wound
Through the willow grove, the length of the pond
Where the vague mist conjured up some vast
Despairing milky ghost
With the voice of teals crying
As they called to each other, beating their wings
Through the willow grove where alone I wandered
Walking my wound; and the thick shroud
Of shadows came to drown the final rays
Of the setting sun in their pale waves
And, among the reeds, the water-
Lilies, the huge water lilies on the calm water.

From Poems Under Saturn (Princeton University Press, 2011). All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of the translator.

Studio Notes: News and Artist Talk

“Then it was spring; and in spring anything may happen. Absolutely anything.”

~ ee cummings

The poet ee cummings, who some would say cannot be bettered when writing about Spring, spent three months in a French prison during the first world war. He did not lose his love for the world, he went on to write; “We can never be born enough”.

In our own time as the wheel returns us to the birth of Spring and the wild plum blooms, so too the wounds of war have been reopened and suffering is felt anew on the earth.

What can one do? We who are privileged to live in the peace of the West are experiencing the beauty of the earth’s renewal while simultaneously witness to terror unfolding in the Ukraine spring, where bombs beside flowers bloom. I can feel helpless, as I imagine many of you do.

My practice is to stay steady and paint. To attend to the covenant I have with my own life, to make of my time here on earth of service to what is on the side of life, to what is of deep time, to make with my own hands and being that which is born of love.

Take time with your loved ones. Be in the home of your self. Be in your intentional life. Keep reaching, not for things, but for what brings you most alive for it is here that one is born again and again. Remember; “in Spring, anything may happen”.

Sunflower Sutra, for Ukraine 43x30"

WIP, Earthly Delights 60x50"

My friend and colleague Camrose Ducote recently had a solo show at Visual Space Gallery. In this video we sit down to talk about her art making process and the exciting results culminating in her show. For more information about her work please contact Camrose here:

I am available for studio visits by appointment. Please send inquiries about available work to: or call 604-612-1998

With gratitude and thanks to all of you for being here, your support and encouragement is invaluable to me.

Warmly, Gabryel

Time for a studio visit? Eastside Culture Crawl is happening!

I invite you to visit me at 1000 Parker St, studio 362

I am happy to invite you to attend the 25th annual Eastside Cultural Crawl. This well loved event is going ahead after a Covid break last year for the first time in its 25 year history. November 12-14 is by appointment only with your Vaccine passport and mask. November 18-21, 2021 each building is open without the neccesity to book, but monitored by vaccine passport, masks and all Covid precautions in place.

I will have a range of works available, from a set of greeting cards to small drawings of oil on paper to larger works on canvas. I will also be showing a new series of collage with oil on panel.

I look forward to seeing you in person and sharing these works in my large, well ventilated studio in person, or virtually.

Culture Crawl Exhibit at 1000 Parker St, studio 362

Studio Notes, October 2021

Firstly I would like to offer my gratitude to all of you who have subscribed to my newsletter and to thank the many of you that continue to be supportive, who inspire me and to those who have been collectors of my work.

I am enjoying the turn toward the season of sweaters, the pleasure of pulling on an extra layer in the morning when the air is chill and clouds cover the mountains. The days are beginning to emerge from a shroud of fog, mysterious beginnings that move toward brightness and lighten as the day progresses.

I am reminded of how my own paintings emerge slowly from unknown origins. I have to search for them, obscured as they are by my own lack of clarity, my initial inclination toward blindness. I discover each work through close observation, curiosity, felt-sense experiment and play. Intuition guides me to remove all that is unnecessary. I could say this is not separate from how one encounters the best possible version of one’s life!

The longer I have borne witness to the seasons, and the longer I have observed my working processes the more I trust and understand the necessity of this committed and playful fumbling toward the light.

Painting is, in its own mysterious way, the path I make each day to find my balance in this unbalanced world of brutalities and beauty.

I would like to share with you something a valued client recently said to me:

“I “collect” your pieces because they make me feel calm but also interested in the future.”

I share this because I am encouraged by how a work of art has the presence and potential to touch and inspire another traveller on the path. We are all living in difficult and unsettled times. We need reasons to believe in a more inclusive and harmonious future.

What is your path? Whatever it is, the path you choose to walk is of utmost importance. Believe in yourself, your journey is of inspiration to others.

I am excited to stand each day in front of the empty canvas. I believe the creative intention to make paintings imbued with a sense of harmony and balance, autonomy and love is a life-affirming act.

Please enjoy here a short video clip in which you can hear me speak about the painting I am proud to be donating in support of the youth arts organization Arts Umbrella. My painting is 36 x72", oil on canvas called "Distallate of the Sun". You can bid on it in the live auction.

I am excited to announce new representation with Gibson Fine Art in Calgary. The gallery will be showcasing my work November 1st- 30th.

I would like to invite you to attend an exhibition at Visual Space Gallery. Dates: Tuesday, October 12th to Saturday, 30th or Saturday, October 9th to Saturday, 30th. I am participating in a group show with these wonderful Vancouver painters; Jim Park Simone Guo and Brian O’Connor.

Thanking all of you for being here, your support and encouragement is invaluable to me.

Warmly, Gabryel

Thanking all of you for being here, your support and encouragement is invaluable to me.

Warmly, Gabryel

Short film is here!

Exhibition: "After Every Winter, Soft Wind "

Visual Space Gallery April 22- May 15th, Open to view Tue-Sat noon-5 pm or book a private visit

I would firstly like to offer my gratitude to all my many supporters who have already visited the show! I have shared some great conversation and thank you, to my valued collectors, who have purchased work.

I am excited to now be able to share a newly created short documentary! Made in collaboration with artist advisor PennyLane Shen of @Dazed.and.Confucious and professionally filmed and edited by Steven Hawkins Videography, this film provides some insight into the paintings and the process of making this exhibition. You can watch the TRAILER (1min) and/or the FULL VERSION (11min).

Show continues at Visual Space Gallery 3352 Dunbar St until May 15th. I will be in the gallery Saturday May 8 and May 15th from 1-4 to meet you and to talk with you about the work.

I invite you to visit the gallery in person, with all appropiate Covid safety practices observed. If you prefer to book an appointment for a private viewing, please contact the gallery here. If you wish to meet me at the gallery, I will be available at select times, please book here.

Subscribers to my emails will have first access to such bonus content as this film, so if you would like to share this opportunity with others, please share this email and ask them to subscribe.

Thanking all of you for being here, your support and encouragement is invaluable to me.

Warmly, Gabryel

I invite you to visit Visual Space Gallery April 22-May 15

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday-Saturday noon- 5PM
3352 Dunbar St
Exhibition invitation

Here Comes the Sun, acrylic on canvas, 47.25 x 35.5 inches

After Every Winter, Soft Wind



3352 Dunbar Street, Vancouver 604.559.0576

April 22nd to May 15th
Noon to 5 pm daily (Sunday & Monday closed)

This new collection of oil and acrylic paintings are grounded in my earlier work with floral imagery yet informed by the experience of being in a new unknown, a territory of uncertainty, “all together in a sudden strangeness” (Neruda). Like many, I was drawn to and sought the consolations of nature while recognizing it is our presence that disturbs


After Every Winter, Soft Wind    exhibition at Visual Space Gallery

I am excited to share news of my upcoming solo show at the Vancouver Gallery Visual Space. Yes, you can visit! Although there will not be the customary "Vernissage" or opening night of old, you can visit the gallery in person with all Covid safety practices observed. If you prefer to book an appointment for a private viewing, please contact the gallery here. If you wish to meet me at the gallery, I will be available at select times, please book here.

Months ago, when given this opportunity to exhibit new work, I had no idea the opening date would fall on Earth Day, April 22nd. Auspicious indeed.
My inspiration for this body of work is rooted in my love of the natural world, in particular her forms of flora and the earthen, cyclical energies that inform "the force that through the green fuse drives the flower". In the months of preparation for this show, my studio practice was informed by memories of last year's spring, the first Spring of the Pandemic, where we were all rooted in place, uncertain of our individual and collective futures. I spent as much time as I could outside, hands in the earth, all senses awoken to the return of life, participating in its re-seeding. This opportunity to be in the presence of earth's beauty and her generous proliferation, was to feel more deeply my own sense of mortality and the simultaneous awareness of my ability to rebirth and regenerate my own life and practice of painting. In the gift of a gestalt shift and the spaciousness of arrested time, new perceptions of the recurrent themes of my work became available to me. These paintings are more open, filled with gesture and their vanishings.They are odes to possibility and the unknown....from which springs all new life.

I invite you to watch this short video. Recorded in my studio, by the artist Tiffany Blaise, it is a small preview in which I give a little more insight into the work you can soon see in person at Visual Space Gallery.

I will be releasing another short film during the course of the exhibition. Subscribers to my emails will have first access, so if you would like to share this opportunity with others, please share this email and ask them to subscribe.

Thanking all of you for being here, your support and encouragement is invaluable to me.

Warmly, Gabryel

I invite you to visit Visual Space Gallery April 22-May 15

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday-Saturday noon- 5PM
3352 Dunbar St

"Art is a force for resistance and repair"

Studio 362, 1000 Parker Street. Book your studio visit here

“Art is a force for resistance and repair” Olivia Laing

In this time of crisis, making art is not only refuge, but as Olivia Laing points out in her essay “How to survive self-isolation, the role of art in difficult times” a necessary form of resistance.

“Art is about paying attention to reality” Olivia Laing.

In our studios and in our homes as we have struggled and survived this past year of the pandemic, we have adapted, we have grown our patience and tolerance for each other, we have learnt that the path of least resistance, as water parts for the stone in its path, is the way of least suffering. Resistance is not always pushing against. Resistance can be stopping, looking deeply, resistance can be time stilled, the time you take to make a painting or quietly to contemplate the garden you have been tending. Resistance can be the choice to turn away from the frenetic churning of the news cycle and sit in stillness with a loved sculpture.

Art made or art appreciated can be an antidote to despair. Sitting in the solitude of your own home, loneliness can be assauged by the touch of another heart brought to life in a well crafted work of fiction. To read or to listen to another’s story is to know one is not alone. Art is not about distraction or avoidance but attention to reality.

Olivia Laing refers often in her writing to the artist Derek Jarman, who died in another time of crisis, in the era of HIV and the plague of Aids. At the end of his life, Jarman chose to grow a garden in one of the most inhospitable of climates and barren soil, stones really, of Dungeness, Kent. “Modern Nature” is his meditative diary.

This energetic impulse, to act creatively and regeneratively despite the acutely felt and painful reality of his own dying, teaches me to never give in to the passivity that can corrode a life. In the climate of today’s uncertainties I am inspired to respond with my own expressions of hope, gestures of aliveness and offerings of love simply for the gift of being alive.

"Flight of Venus", oil on paper, frame size 35" x 27"

The true plague is fear and its attendent anxieties. Fear is what imperils our connection to others and to life itself.

Creativity empowers and gives me choice, it always connects and endlessly rebirths. There is no confinement in the mind, no isolation. Freedom is alive and without horizon in each one of our imaginative minds.

I enter 2021 with a sense of renewal. I am grateful to all who have supported my practice throughout this year of profound change. Thank you.

I am made more resilient by great loss and feel inspired by new beginnings. With such upheaval, what cannot be questioned? What can you reimagine in your own life? What is left undone? What seed have you yet to plant?

I encourage all of you to feel the possibility of your own life, the richness and fertile potentials waiting for your discovery.

at the threshold,

 "How Free The Flowers", framed oil on paper 25" x 21"

Letter from the Studio - To Be Like a River

Fraser River, North Arm

“A river never passes the same place twice”, said the philosopher Heraclitus.

We exist in a stream of change. We can resist or surrender to the flow, but like a river, life itself never stops flowing.

I, perhaps like many of you, am stepping into new waters as Covid sweeps the planet and regimes teeter on the brink. I have left the edge of the Fraser River, home to my studio practice for the last 20 years, for the unknown of a new studio. I have chosen to immerse myself in different waters, to be a participant in an artistic community. Leaving the solitude and quiet of a tidal estuary for the noise of shunting rail cars and the ever present hum of human industry, I am choosing growth. Seldom comfortable, change always brings us to a new edge. It is at that edge, that tip of shocking aliveness visible in the new shoot, that growth is happening.

My window of comfort has been to look from my open studio door to the garden, to hear the gentle clack of black bamboo in the wind, to know the hawk is passing because all the small birds are suddenly chirping their alarm. Now I am learning to love the thunder of the freight train rattling my window, to know the rhythms of boxcars flowing in, flowing out, a tide without water still bearing goods.

1000 Parker St. has long been home to a thriving community of artists. I am one of the fortunate to find a studio home within its rambling halls. Although the building is not open for its usual celebration of art, artists and artisans in the annual Eastside Culture Crawl, you may chat with me virtually (using the chat icon on this page) Sunday afternoon November 22 between 1-3. In-person private viewing is available... book a studio visit with me. I look forward to the opportunity of showing you my work in the new space, third floor, studio 362. It is a place full of light, height and ample fresh air. Spacious, with room to breathe safely.

I am excited to have a new opportunity to show my work in Vancouver. Along with the beautifully curated Boutique shop Gild and Co. and Vancouver Art Gallery Rentals and Sales. I am pleased to be included in the showrooms of Once A Tree Furniture.

I want to say thank you, with deep gratitude to all of you, old friends and new, who offer support in so many ways, who sustain and make buoyant my continuance in this life of creative practice. I could not do it without you.

In this time of uncertainty I am reminded by the golden crowns of the trees I see from these new windows, that this season, the one of radiant color, is also the season that leaves wither and die. They let go. Their fallen scattering of gold makes fertile the ground in which trunk and limb reach and grow.

I am excited by what I do not yet know, for on this journey between birth and death, to encounter the unknown is to encounter the self where one has not yet been brought fully alive. If we can look with courage into our own unknown self we can learn to trust the stream.

May the current of your life bear you closer to your heart's intention
may you be uplifted


for a moving read and listen: the poem “At The River Clarion"by Mary Oliver link here:

New studio space at 1000 Parker St

River to railroad, may life flow through me

First Bloom, oil on paper, 20x16 inches

New Paintings. New Exhibition.
Wind Blown 50x60" oil on canvas

The wind is warm, peonies are emerging. In the vegetable garden I planted just over a month ago I am already astonished and gratified to be harvesting. This time of isolation has been one of many and varied creativities. While many struggle and I feel for the loss in all communities, I am also deeply affected by how creatives everywhere, in all walks of life, are bringing courage and ingenuity into a profoundly changed world and are working alone or together to reimagine our future. In this fragile and vulnerable moment in humanity's history I feel all acts of creativity are important and vital.

I am therefore very excited to say that I am joining a talented group of artists to exhibit some new works at Visual Space Gallery for a Summer Exhibition. The gallery will be open for in person viewing, spatially distanced, all cleaning protocols in place. Although there is no Vernisage or customary opening night. I invite you to contact Yukiko Onley to book an appointment if you wish a specific time to view. If you wish to meet me there, please send me an email, or call 604-612-1998, otherwise gallery hours are 12-5 Tuesday thru Saturday.

This Fleeting World, framed size 35x 27, oil on archival paper

Also new, and available to acquire at the exquisitely curated shop of owner Bonnie Wilson's Gild and Co, are original, one of a kind, signed oil paintings on archival paper. Drop by to view. Bonnie or staff member will be happy to show you this new offering as well as to show you a select collection of my paintings.

I am very happy to be part of the Dunbar community led by creative women.These entreprenuerial business owners continue to bring beauty to our lives while supporting local artists and cultural expression despite this challenging and changing moment in our history.

Art matters in times of uncertainty and hardship. Beauty persists, and people still look to flowers for food of a different kind than the one on the supermarket shelves. Flowers emerge from cracks in pavement, from many difficult soils, simply and quietly, they rise and bloom.

"Far from distracting us from what is essential, beauty can draw us closer to all that is good and holy and healing". JODY HASSETT SANCHEZ, MAY 1, 2020,

Check out this for more interesting reading on why art matters in a pandemic http://

Wishing you health and creative days,

New Website and a Lockdown Letter from the Studio
Spring In The Time Of Fevers oil on canvas, 40x56 inches, sold

How are you coping?

In solitude I have discovered, one meets not only the self but one’s love of engagement with others. The more deeply I enter the heart of solitude, it is here that I find awaits each precious relationship connecting me to all hearts.

Liberation from routines can often create opportunity, so in this gap It has been my pleasure to work with the professional help and exceptional team of @DazedandConfucius, to launch a new website! I am pleased to be able to invite you to view my work here…

All of us are responding differently to the disruptive challenges we face, perhaps you are beginning to feel restless about returning to a world remembered, but no longer as it was. And yet, in the pause, I feel with others who wish to prolong these restorative, slower days of care and kindness, the compassionate space for our own and earth’s healing.

I hope you and your loved ones are together finding ways not just to survive but even to thrive. It is my wish for you to find pockets of peace in the chaos, and to emerge from our global crisis with renewed creative resolve in whatever is your vision for work, discipline or relationships.

When the crisis subsides, we might have occasion to ask whether we want to return to normal, or whether there might be something we’ve seen during this break in the routines that we want to bring into the future.” Charles Eisenstein from his essay; The Coronation.

I wanted to share a little about how Covid 19 has shifted my practice as I manage sheltering in place, which unlike many less fortunate, includes both a studio and garden. Although as a working artist I thrive on long hours of solitude, and have optimistically built a career on uncertainties, in the first weeks I found my attention scattered, my ability to focus fragmented.

My response was to tend the earth. I recognize that our human presence has disturbed nature’s balance and felt compelled to pay attention in one small way, putting my hands into the soil, beginning a vegetable garden. In these Spring days of sun and showers, witnessing the miracle of growth from seed to emergent plant has been grounding and regenerative.

This season, one of suspension, solitude and stillness as well as the ever-renewing forward tilt and vigour of unstoppable Spring has inspired new works on paper. Blossom and text interwoven. Working on paper with oils, graphite and pastels free up the release of quick gestures. Combined with lines of poetry this way of working enables me to respond with fluidity and immediacy that a larger painting may inhibit.

I am aware that in the studio I am recording and alive to the time I am living in, I want my work to reflect the instability of this time but also its vitality, its fierceness in the face of threat. These works have open spaces existing simultaneously with clusters of marks both heavy and light, giving rise to the push and pull, the tensions I and I imagine others, perhaps you, are feeling in this vitally charged and fragile present moment.

Quoting New York gallerist Magda Sawon in her recent op-ed on coming through Covid, no matter how convincing our digital lives may become, “art will always need to be seen in real spaces, to deliver a full spectrum of contemplative experience.”

I look forward to our next opportunity to meet and share art,
To book a studio visit, with the observation of safe protocols, please call 604-612-1998

May you be well,


In strange times, a message of thanks

In The Time Of Blossom 48x48 inches, acrylic on canvas. To be donated @Splash 2020

Newsletter release, March 2020

I am here - in my home- like all of you isolated from friends, parents, children, grandparents community, and yet feeling the value of each one of you more than ever. This invisible virus that has encircled the planet is exposing our often distant relation to ourselves, others and especially to the earth that sustains us. I wanted to reach out. I wanted to tell you I am thinking of you and of your loved ones. I want you know that I wish you health in body and mind, that I wish for you new pathways to connection.

I feel moved to say thank you. Thank you to all you wonderful people who have been a part of my journey in ways small or large, one way or another, collector or silent witness. Thank you for the gift of a friendly word, your encouragement, your presence warmly shared when visiting a gallery show, public talk or my studio, thank you! I thank you for your willingness to bring your eyes and open heart to the work and I imagine to the work of many other artists. We need you. We are supported by you. Not just because you buy the work, though you do buy many works of art and for that I am most grateful, but because you are looking, because you are open to recieve. As an artist I spend many creative days in self-imposed isolation looking deeply to bring forth offerings. You are there when I emerge. You are there to look on with wonder and with curiosity, to recognise or reject but to be participant in this life affirming connection. In the end, I think this is what we all are looking for. To connect. To say; “I was here. I was seen. I see you. Thank you.”

“Spring is the awaited season”, says John Berger. Here we are. Sheltering in place to reduce harm to others. What will you do with your waiting, in this Spring, under a sky made pink with blossom.

Would it be possible to move toward what you love?

In the time of blossom
and strange fevers
to be alive
Flora Poetica

Offering, acrylic on canvas, 48×48 inches

I am excited to be extending to you this invitation to view my new work. Please enjoy a moment out of the rain to encounter my solo exhibition in the showroom of the Vancouver Art Gallery Rentals and Sales. The paintings will be on view until March 27th.

I will be giving a talk about the work and process on Tuesday evening, the 11th February at 7pm. Seating is limited, so if you wish a seat, please plan ahead.

Thank you for your continued support

warmly, Gabryel

Phone: 604 662 4746

Follow: @vanartrental
Location:750 Hornby Street
Annex Bldg, 1st floor
Vancouver, BC
V6Z 2H7
Showroom hours:
Mon–Fri: 10am–5pm
Tuesday evenings by appointment
Closed Statutory Holidays

Reminder; Culture Crawl, and Winter Open Studio in Southlands…you are invited!
The date is fast approaching! I would love to see you! Please enjoy a visit to my new Parker Street studio. I am showing some of my recent paintings as well as a diverse group of new works on paper. The Crawl is a great opportunity to get a glimpse of a wide range of artmaking practices and to meet and talk to many different artists in their studios, all within the vibrant hub of East Vancouver’s cultural mecca.

You’ll find my studio at 308-1000 Parker Street.

The building is located at the corner of Parker and George Streets. The main entrance is on George, the east side of the building.

HOURS OF OPENING : Thursday the 14, Friday the 15th 5-10pm, Saturday and Sunday 11-6

Here is a link to the Culture Crawl map…to help mark the artists you might like to visit, and here is the program guide and here is a link to the Culture Crawl App

And one last thing……SAVE THE DATE! SUNDAY, DECEMBER the 8th, 2-6pm

I am once again hosting a Winter OPEN STUDIO in my Southlands space. For those of you who have been before, you know you won’t want to miss this event with the talented MAX ZIPURSKY and his amazing group of excellent jazz musicians! Click here to learn more about Max and his studio.

On The Move

Friends, I am inviting you to come and visit me in my new studio! #308 1000 Parker St. I have been on the move since late winter of 2018, experiencing a studio residency in Murawai, New Zealand this spring, and a studio sublet this summer at 1000 Parker St., and now find myself in the gratitude of settling into a new space in the historic Vancouver building and artist enclave 1000 Parker St.

I will be a participant for the first time in this year’s Eastside Cultural Crawl. I am excited to be making this move, joining a fantastic and well-established community of committed and skilled artists calling 1000 Parker their work home.

I will be showing new paintings and works in a new format; oil, oil stick, graphite, crayon and pastel on paper. Inhabiting new space opens new space in the creative body/mind and new containers old and sustain the creation of new shapes and forms.

The 23rd annual Eastside Cultural Crawl open hours are:

    November 14-17th
  • Thursday, November 14th- 5pm -10Pm
  • Friday, November 15th- 5pm -10pm
  • Saturday, November 16th- 11am -6pm
  • Sunday, November 17th-11am -6pm

I look forward to the opportunity of connecting with you!

Artist Residency

I am excited to say that I have been accepted for a month-long artist residency in New Zealand, this March 2019. As I near the mid-point of my 60th year, I feel a bit like our native salmon who instinctually navigate themselves to the stream of their birth years after swimming in a wide and faraway sea. My intention is to relax into the land of my beginnings, to feel the currents of air and water that first entered my being. Given a studio in which to experiment and explore, how might these influences inform my work?

I will be posting on my blog now and then. If you wish to share a glimpse into my adventure, I invite you to check my website, go to “blog” and follow along.

Earthskin Muriwai is a sanctuary of simplicity and silence,
amidst nature – where during creative exploration we can
move beyond the self to a deeper consciousness.

This is a place where the sacred blending of human and nature connect and has the opportunity to be re-cognized.

This place allows deep quiet and immersion, the land becomes the True Teacher.