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Columns by Artists and Writers

bq / Cem Turgay / Fiona Smyth /

Gary Michael Dault / Holly Lee / Kai

Chan / Kamelia Pezeshki / Shelley

Savor / Tamara Chatterjee / Wilson

Tsang / Yau Leung / + DOUBLESPREAD


Small Paintings on cardboard (written by

Gary Michael Dault)

MONDAY ARTPOST published on Mondays. Columns by Artists and Writers. All Right Reserved. Published since 2002.

An Ocean and Pounds publication. ISSN 1918-6991. email to: mail@oceanpounds.com

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“A rock pile ceases

to be a rock pile the

moment a single man

contemplates it, bearing

within him the image of

a cathedral.”

Join PATREON membership


Antoine de Saint-Exupery,

The Little Prince


Wilson Tsang


From the Notebooks


Gary Michael Dault

From the Notebooks, 2010-2022

Number 146: Aerial Bouquet (July 12, 2022)


Fiona Smyth


Cem Turgay

Caffeine Reveries

Shelley Savor

Matcha Pocky


bq 不 清

我 認 識


任 何 一 位 做 過 夢 的 人

都 必 定 知 道 既 視 感 是 一 種

怎 樣 的 感 覺 —— 突 然

海 浪 停 止 拍 打 石 灘

一 切 風 平 浪 靜

而 湖 水 好 像 記 起

什 麼 的 , 像 一 雙 棉 手 套

對 手 的 輪 廓 的 印 象

前 者 擁 有 後 者

又 或 者 是 後 者 捉 住 了

前 者 , 捉 緊 了 拳 頭

忘 記 了 究 竟 要 準 備 拳 擊 誰

又 或 被 誰 人 拳 擊

一 片 扁 平 的 石 頭 擦 過 水 面

跳 動 了 幾 次 , 然 後 因 為

乏 力 , 沈 往 水 底

讓 湖 的 水 位 上 升 到 無 可

察 量 的 高 度

正 如 夢 遷 進 你 的 記 憶 體 裡

「 我 認 識 你 嗎 ?」

又 或 者 只 是 一 個 錯 覺 ?

Anyone who has dreamt

would certainly know what deja vu

feels kinda like—suddenly,

waves stop crashing into the rocky shore.

Everything is calm and quiet,

and the lake seems to remember

something, like a pair of cotton gloves to

an impression of the hands’ silhouettes.

The former owns the latter,

or the latter takes hold of

the former, holding a pair of fists

but forgetting who it’s going to punch,

or being punched by whom.

A flat rock bounces off the water surface,

skipping a few times, and for it runs

out of energy, sinks to the bottom of the lake,

rising the water level to a hardly

noticeable height.

It is like a dream that enters your memory.

「Do I know you?」

Or maybe, it’s merely an illusion?


Holly Lee

1. (From Edwin) Narelle Autio, The Coastal Dwellers (2002 winner of the Leica Oskar Barnack


Saturated colours, intense light, happy people, blue seas, clouds: the Australian photographer

won the 2002 LOBA for her lively picture series dedicated to beach life.


2. Barbara Kruger at David Zwirner (June 30-August 12, 2022)


3. Barbara Kruger at MoMA: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You (Jul 16-Jan, 2023)


The Photograph

coordinated by

Kamelia Pezeshki

Valiant by John Bladen Bentley

Colour carbon print

Travelling Palm


Tamara Chatterjee

Canada (July, 2022) – The summer sun has

a unique way of casting reflective light; on

even the most subdued facades. Racing my

way to work through traffic and construction,

I am reminded that the cosmos has a way of

tampering with even the simplest of tasks.

As we ride yet another wave of uncertainty,

the one daily joy is the observance of the

sparkling summer light.


Kai Chan

Drawing, ink, pastel on paper

Poem a Week

Gary Michael Dault

All Night

I hate the night

night is like a jar filled

with midnight-black liquid

when you go to bed

you unscrew the top

and start sipping up

the watery darkness

through a straw

the sun rises

on an empty jar

and a man

finally asleep

in the bow-spritting

pinpricking dawn

Yesterday Hong Kong

Yau Leung

Memorial Day Ceremony (Central 1968)

8x10 inch, gelatin silver photograph printed in the nineties

OP Selection, edition 1/100, signed on verso

From the collection of Lee Ka-sing and Holly Lee


Double Double studio,

photographs by

Lee Ka-sing

Support and Become a Patreon member of

Double Double studio


Unlimited access to all read-on-line books,

patrons only contents. Collecting artworks at


an afternoon at

Greenwood (for Kai

and Glenn)

Patreon Membership: Friend of Double Double ($5), Benefactor Member ($10), Print Collector ($100) Monthly subscription in US currency

An excerpt from the new book “THE NEARBY

FARAWAY: Small Paintings on Cardboard”,

published by OCEAN POUNDS.

97 paintings (2004-2009) by Gary Michael Dault.

This book was published on the occasion of Gary

Michael Dault’s exhibition held at 50 Gladstone Avenue

artsalon, in Summer 2022.

ebook edition

(pdf download + read-on-line access code. US$5.00)


The Nearby Faraway:

Small Paintings on


an essay by

Gary Michael Dault

Paperback edition (print-on-demand)

Available in mid August 2022 (CAD$95.00)

220 pages, 8x10 inch, paperback, perfect binding.

View Trailer copy


The Nearby Faraway:

Small Paintings on


“In every work of art something appears that does not exist.”

---Theodor Adorno, Aesthetic theory (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1970), p. 120.

The title of the exhibition—and of this book that grew from it—is purloined (and then inverted) from

a book I greatly admire by Rebecca Solnit called The Faraway Nearby (Viking, 2013). I confess I felt

less furtive about borrowing the title when I read, in Solnit’s book, that her title had been borrowed

as well--from American painter Georgia O’Keeffe, who, according to Solnit, after she had moved from

New York City to rural New Mexico, would sign letters to the people she loved, “from the faraway

nearby.” “It was a way,” Solnit writes, “to measure physical and psychic geography together.”

(p. 108)

The small paintings making up The Nearby Faraway are mostly (but not all) landscapes—landscapes,

shorescapes and seascapes. They are almost entirely devoid of figures: there is a small, white, largely

accidental figure in the foreground of Figure on the Shore (after Caspar David Friedrich); there is

what appears to be a wrapped body resting at the bottom of a translucent tomb in Small Sepulcher,

and there is perhaps an (accidental) swaddled Christ Child (attended by a maternal—though also

largely accidental--white hen) in Creche with Attendant Hen.

Not many figures then. There are a few sprigs of architecture (or at least buildings) here and there:

see, for example Yacht Club, Boathouses and Ruin (With Offshore Desire), and there are various

fabricated structures, several of them guardrails foregrounding scenic expanses: see, for example,

Guardrail (View of the Golden Cave), Observation Point and The View from the Bridge. Very

occasionally, there are curious, displaced objects as in Basket (Shipwreck on the Beach) and Tone

Arm, and perhaps an unexpected castle turret in Very Rich Hours. In one painting, there are several

distant sailboats (Sailboats), and in another of the paintings, I have permitted myself a sophisticated

if fanciful piece of machinery (see Splashdown). It strikes me now as a bit odd that, given all that

sea and all those lakes in the paintings, there isn’t a single lighthouse (for which, looking back at the

array of over a hundred pictures, I am now grateful; nothing sentimentalized a waterscape faster than

a lighthouse).

The works now making up The Nearby Faraway were produced from 2004 until 2009. They were

made very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that I was able to start and finish a painting in about sixty

seconds, sometimes in less time than that. Which is why some of the exhibitions I held of them—in

Toronto, London, Kingston, Halifax and St. John’s—bore subtitles like “Sixty Minutes of Landscape

Painting” (60 works) and “Thirty Minutes of Landscape Paintings” (30 works). This controlled

haste in their making I regarded not as an achievement and certainly not as bravado or some kind of

parlour trick (though I did once deliver a public how-to lesson in painting the pictures at NSCAD. as

it was then called, in Halifax before a bunch of rightfully wary, skeptical students)—but rather as the

mostly inevitable result of the way the paintings were made. (1)

It seemed to me that the pictures were fabricated rapidly enough—or so I saw it—to short-circuit a

great deal of moment-by-moment, picture-esque decision-making with which I might otherwise have

slowed myself into threadbare incarnations of dependable (deplorable) good taste. Each one of these

little paintings was inevitably a rough surprise to me—and almost always a pleasant one. I ended by

trashing very few of them.

They worked as well as they did, I think, because they were almost out of my hands. I became

a willing and enthusiastic slave to my own hectic non-method of making. When I exhibited a

suite of these paintings at Gallery Page and Strange in Halifax in February of 2007, I apparently

explained to reviewer Elissa Barnard of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald—who wrote joyfully and

indeed rhapsodically about how the pictures could suggest “a sunset, a cold Arctic landscape, a

tropical beach, a view across a bay to distant lights twinkling on the far shore”—that “all these

sensual details, the feeling for the day, the feeling for the time, that’s just a gift, a fact of doing them

quickly. It’s almost automatisme.” Perhaps I ought to have implied, instead, that each painting was a

laborious, Sisyphean task. People like to get their money’s worth.

Most of the paintings were painted on the cut-out front panels of commercial cereal boxes (which

is why a number of their exhibitions were titled “One-Minute Cereal Box Landscapes”). Some, on

the other hand, were painted on shards of Kleenex box. And some were painted on ad hoc scraps

of cardboard, some eccentrically shaped (see, for example, Shell, Castle by the Sea and The View

from the Bridge) that sometimes, thanks only to serendipity, turned up on the table in my studio.

Whatever fell to hand. Most of the paintings, though, were made on cereal boxes.

Why cereal boxes? I don’t like dry cereals very much but my teenage son did, and it occurred to

me one morning at the kitchen table, while gazing balefully at a box of Rice Krispies over my coffee

cup, that the warm, toasty, presumably seductive photo of a bowl of the winsome cereal on the face

of the carton looked a good deal like a landform—or could be made to so look like one with a few

very slight additions by me. After breakfast, I emptied the box, cut out its front panel, took it into

my studio and, pouring out some blue acrylic paint, loaded my brush with it and swiped a blue

horizon line horizontally across the photo, just under the cereal itself. Water. Seeing that I had now

produced an isolated “island” of Rice Krispies, I quickly slathered in a few more horizontal sweeps

of blue under my first horizon line to make a provisional sea and then, to finish, quickly scumbled in

great turbulent clouds of a darker blue pigment around and above the mound of cereal. All at once

there was a bright, blustery island-scape where there had been none before.

Emboldened by this enjoyable quasi-discovery, I located a few more boxes of cereal in the kitchen,

emptied their rustling contents into standby bowls, and proceeded to subject them as well to my

slash-and-burn painting procedure. Each spasm of painting turned up a reasonably convincing


I had soon run out of my own cereal boxes, and had to go up and down the streets in my

neighbourhood looking for cereal boxes people had put out for garbage. I found tons of them. I was

(naively, I suppose) astounded at how much of this sugary, salty, preservative-heavy stuff people

actually tucked away. But now that I had a cache of boxes, I began to paint on them in earnest—and

at top speed—adding distant shores, insistent waves, whitening breakers, raging suns, low-hanging

moons, sharp white stars, and increasingly adventurous weather conditions—with roiling clouds,

mists, chromatic, meteorological upheavals of myriad kinds. I welcomed accidents. A small,

unexpected spill of pigment, or a tear in the cardboard might well yield up a distant building, a dock,

a fugitive sailboat.

Sometimes I let a bit of the cereal box itself to show through the paint, allowing a wanton cranberry

to thus become a carmine sun, encouraging a slice of banana to serve as a flat stone, and so on.

Sometimes, after the painting was made, you could still read passages of the type on the box through

the applied colour, and I often just left them where they were. The word “Buds,” for example, still

floats in the blue sky above the vapour trails in the eponymous painting; the words “Nature Valley

Trail Mix” hover above the pearly green hills in the painting inevitably titled “Nature Valley”; in Red

Helicopter over Chocolate Cliffs, the cliffs themselves proclaim they are made “with milk chocolate”;

and the swimming islands of Swimming Islands (Under a Sheet-Metal Moon) swim under a sky-high

message promoting “Mango Passion.” This is not pop art. Or Parisian “lettrism.” It’s simply ab-ex

laissez-faire, letting bygones be bygones, visually speaking.

The Nearby Faraway, as a title for this body of work in its present iteration, suited me well because

the reversal of Solnit’s title (and O’Keeffe’s phrase) opened upon an acknowledgement that I had

never actually been to any of the places (sites, views, vistas) depicted in the paintings or, more

accurately, visited upon them. None of the pictures were painted “from life.” None were painted

en plein air. None were painted from memory. These are entirely interior paintings. I’d sit in my

studio (The Nearby), drifting-in-place and conjuring artificial atmospheres, utterly remote from

my experience (The Faraway) but evidently not beyond the range of visceral landscape-positing. I

became the painterly equivalent to an armchair traveler. I saw that I was essentially dreaming with a

loaded brush in my hand. I was in training to become “an architect of air.” (2)

The work is Nearby Faraway, therefore, because it was all made I my studio and because I had never

been to the sites evoked in the paintings—especially the paintings to which I have occasionally

given a local habitation and a name: paintings like Near Mykonos, Off Stromboli, St. Helena and

the several embodiments of the giant Perce Rock in the Gaspe (used as a symbolic shield, during

WWII, by French surrealist theorist Andre Breton, who appears to have waited out much of the

conflict in Europe in the Cape Breton area of Quebec). The majority of the Nearby Faraway paintings

are entirely hypothetical, and they bear titles that are more lyrical than geographical. There is, for

example, no “Sutter’s Rock.” That title alludes to a novel called Sutter’s Gold (1926) by French

writer, Blaise Cendrars. There is a Gallion’s Reach, but it is not a place either, but also a novel

(1927)--by the English writer H.M. Tomlinson. Nor is there actually a “Festivity Point,” a “Sleeping

Dog Island” or a “Breakfast Ridge”—though there probably ought to be. All in all, the titles of the

paintings are their own poems.

In the end, there is more than just hedonism, I think, to the Nearby Faraway works. The late Gerald

Ferguson (1937-2009), a very good friend and the nearest I ever came to having an art guru, used to

refer to my “Cereal” paintings as “serial” paintings; he was interested in the rapidity of their making

and their being confined to the cereal-box scale and the way they forged a progress, a procedural

thrust through the several years in which I was engaged by them. For Jerry, the paintings offered

an imagistic and tonal through-line. He also linked them to the spontaneity of the landscapes that

members of the Group of Seven used to paint on wooden cigar box lids (which were about the same

size as my cardboards). For him, my recourse to frequently repeated images--islands, distant shores,

seas and heavy, facture-ridden clouds—constituted a vocabulary of forms that made up, in total, an

almost modular “spiritus mundi,” albeit in miniature.

“It’s all just smoke and mirrors,” I told a writer at my Halifax exhibition. I explained to her that I

wasn’t out to make a “normal academic landscape. The paintings,” I said, “are at heart critiques of

landscape.” Are they? I suppose they are of you want them to be. Cereal is a commodity. High Art

landscape painting is also a commodity. It was my contention back then, when I first made the cereal

box landscapes, that by doing them fast, I was de-commodifying them. “The paintings are a critique

of landscape,” I contended. A couple of years later, I might have ventured to refer to them opulent

little deconstructions of it.

And maybe they were that, in 2007. Maybe they still are. Looking at them now, though, I see these

small shards of ersatz pastoralism simply as the fragments I have shored against my ruins.

Gary Michael Dault

Napanee, Ontario.

July 10, 2022

1) The only really silly review these 1-Minute paintings ever garnered appeared in Toronto’s Now

magazine on July 3, 2004. It began with the words “Start your timers. I have only one minute to

write this review. A minute. Too short….” Haha. The harried reviewer went on to suggest that,

because of the speed of their composition, the paintings felt “undeveloped.” I actually thought

that, as awash as they were in pigment, they might seem a bit paint-heavy and possibly, therefore,


2) A phrase used by poet Ann Lauterbach to describe fellow poet Barbara Guest in Lauterbach’s

The Night Sky: Writings on the Poetics of Experience (New York: Viking, 2006), p. 194. Guest

herself has noted that poetry is made from “the driftwood of the unconscious.” So it is also with

the painted landscape. Everybody who paints is a surrealist.


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