(above photograph – courtesy of Biff Mitchell)

I am fascinated with the process of how corporate presidents and CEOs select items from their inventory for special note. How does Heather Reisman choose the particular books for Heather’s Picks? How does Galen Weston decide what products will be designated as President’s Choice. How personal are their choices? Do heavy hitters like these two make their own choices? Do they have a team? However this is done, we do tend to notice. Lists seem to matter, and when they appear to come from the boss, they seem to matter even more.

Well, I’m the boss, and given that the team appears to be on an extended break, I guess it’s up to me to provide you with the list. I have decided to give you 12 great items from the gallery that would make wonderful gifts for someone special in your life. Or, perhaps you simply want to treat yourself. I think these are all great choices.

It was not easy to select. There are many equally wonderful items that did not make this particular list, but perhaps I will feature some of these at a later time.  Here are my current 12  in no particular order. They vary considerably in size and in price. I hope you like them.

1. Cathy Ross’ Fall Still Life

Fall Still Life

Cathy Ross, Fall Still Life, watercolour 

Most people love the fall, and most people will probably admire this wonderful still life from Cathy Ross. Cathy’s work has been in demand by collectors throughout the region from the moment she began exhibiting her work in the early 1980s. This work is lovely, a fine example of the sensitivity with which she handles the medium of watercolour. This piece, including the framing, measures 36″ x 30″. The price on this is $2200. SOLD

2. Roses from Deanna

Deanna Musgrave, Rose # 11, acrylic on canvas, 4%22 x 4%22

Deanna Musgrave, Rose #11, acrylic on canvas, 4″ x 4″

This year you can give everyone on your list a rose. These delicious small paintings of roses by Deanna are perfect gifts for those who wish to give something truly special, an original work of art, while also staying within a reasonable budget.  These exquisite little paintings measure 4″ x 4″. The are priced at $140.

Please drop by to see the current Roses installation. Perhaps you will select a favourite. Or, maybe you won’t be able to decide, and so you will purchase several. Six sold. That leaves 10.

3. James Wilson’s San Miguel Madonna Over Toronto

San Miguel Madonna over Toronto

James Wilson, San Miguel Madonna Over Toronto (edition of 5), pigment print, 20′ X 30″

An unusual piece and an interesting story. James Wilson has been travelling to San Miguel,   along with another Saint John photographer, Mark Hemmings, every February for the past eight years. There they teach an annual photography course in this unique and beautiful city, which is located in central Mexico. Jamie told me that he created the image of the Madonna a few years ago, the final San Miguel image that year. Several hours later on his connecting flight between Toronto and Saint John he became fascinated with Toronto from the air at night, and made some images through the plane window. Finally, back in his studio he brought the two images up on his screen, and realized that they would work well together. The result is a very strong photographic work that I like very much. Perhaps you will too. The price on this work is $1200.

4. Damian Barton’s Nadir

Nadir Angle1

The Nadir is one of several new watches that Judy has recently brought into the gallery. I love this one. I really like the way in which he has reversed the process, with the hands on the outside, and the numbers in the centre. It has been designed by Damian Barton, an Australian designer who relocated to the US in 2003. He has been noted for his ability to create objects that fuse function with unique and innovative forms. This is a time piece that would look great on any wrist for $145

5. Bruce Pashak Continues to Create Paintings with the Wow Factor

Pashak red, blue & yellow

Bruce Pashak, Headdress With Lizard and Birds, mixed media on canvas, 43.5″ x 36″

Okay, so you really want something special, something that will truly stop them in their tracks. This is it. Part of an ongoing series of paintings that explores exotic head pieces, this is our most recent piece from Bruce Pashak. This is a stunning painting. This will sit on your wall for $7200.

6. Herzl’s Cherries

Herzl Kashetsky, Cherries, watercolour & pencil, 7%22 x 8%22

Herzl Kashetsky, Cherries, watercolour and pencil, 7″ x 8″

So, perhaps the budget isn’t large this year, but you still want something special. This is a gem from Herzl Kashetsky. I have always admired Herzl’s keen eye for the things in this world. His still life work has helped  build his reputation as one of the region’s most noted painters. His work is often larger and more expensive. For me this is great selection at a great price, $675. SOLD

7. A Smaller Narrative from Paul Mathieson

Torn and Frayed resized for newsletter

Paul Mathieson, Torn and Frayed, acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20″

Those who admire Paul Mathieson paintings know that he usually works large, and has done so for the past three decades. Occasionally, Paul decides to work on a piece that is a bit smaller. Sometimes it is a study for a section of what will become a larger canvas, and sometimes it is simply an idea that is particularly suited to a smaller surface. In the case of this painting, it is the former. Figures in this work will be showing up in a larger work that will be part of Paul’s exhibition next year, however, this work is a brilliant little painting in its own right. I think its great. It’s priced at $775. SOLD

8. Your Personal Countdown is On


The Countdown Clock from Mr. Jones, 8.5″ x 5.25″ x 2″

I featured this in a previous blog, but I simply had to return to it for this list. Judy has been bringing in some amazing watches from Mr. Jones Design (London, UK) for the past three years, but this year she decided to include a couple of their clocks. This one is terrific. You can select from a large number of messages (She’s Back, Anniversary, The Test, Retirement, Baby Due, Vacation . . . .), then set your days and begin your personal countdown. A clever idea and an attractive clock at $140.

9. Dan Steeves’ The Mutability of Knowing – A Beautiful Presentation

Dan Steeves, The Mutability of Knowing, Box Set, Edition of 15

The Mutability of Knowing is a suite of eight etchings derived from Dan Steeves’ life-long relationship with the Bay of Fundy. Created using lithographic tusche washes etched on zinc plates, they explore the expansive flats of theTantramar marsh and the ever-changing nature of sky and water which characterize the Fundy Basin.

Dan Steeves, The Mutability of Knowing, cover of box set


The Mutability of Knowing. Eight intaglio etchings (19.5 × 10.6 cm image area; 38 × 28 cm support area) printed on French-made Arches Johannot paper. Printed by the artist at Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB, with the assistance of Eric Ochaya Okutho. Includes an essay entitled on Poetry and its Worth written and letterpress printed and bound into a booklet (19.5 × 29 cm, 8 pp. + cover; printed two colours) by Andrew Steeves for inclusion with these etchings.

Signed limited edition of fourteen copies. This is a beautiful set of etchings by one of New Brunswick’s most admired artists. The box that contains both the etchings and the book is a work of art in own right. This is very special. It’s priced at $2800.

10. David Umhotz’ Island

David Umholtz, Island, watercolour, 12%22 x 16%22

David Umholtz, Island, watercolour, 12″ x 16

David Umholtz arrived last week with several new watercolours.  As a printmaker and a painter David has been creating wonderful and imaginative works that explore a sense of place. Borrowing from the language of maps his work examines the meeting of land and water. I particularly like this one called Island. It is priced at $1100.

11. Rediscovered! – A group of early works by Rick Burns

Rick Burns, Containment #16 (Varia) 1981, mixed media, 9%22 x 4%22

Rick Burns, Containment # 16 (Varia), mixed media, 13.5″ x 8″

I remember exhibiting the Containment Series by Rick Burns at Windrush Galleries in 1982. I assumed that these pieces were all gone by now, into various public and private collections. Imagine my excitement when Rick’s sister, Cathy, called recently to say that she had just discovered several of these stored in the attic where no one had ventured in years. It has been wonderful to see these works again after so many years. We will be featuring these at the gallery in December. Be sure to stop by to see these early works by a truly great artist. The work featured above is priced at $450.

12. A Dynamic Work by Romeo Savoie


Romeo Savoie, Red, mixed media on canvas, 48″ x 48

I spent a lot of my time since yesterday thinking about what to select as my number twelve. My intention had been to select a smaller work with a modest price tag. This is a gift selection list, and I did want to emphasize a number of works with more modest price tags, however, when I arrived this morning here was this piece by Romeo leaning against the wall. I love this piece, and have not given it the exposure it deserves of late. I had to do it. Here is the final work for my list. I hope you will want to drop by the gallery to see it. When you do I can also show you lots of other works by Romeo Savoie, many of which are smaller. But, if you decide you really must take this one home, you can do so for $4800.

The Peter Buckland Gallery is open each week on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We are also open any day by appointment. Don’t miss our selection of work by gallery artists in December.



Deanna Musgrave, Antenna, acrylic on canvas, 36%22 x 48%22

Coronation explores the visual imagery of the headdress. The series takes its departure from the things we display on our heads: crowns, halos, veils, fascinators, even fruit arrangements. People adorn their heads for a variety of reasons: for the purpose of protection, the identification of gender, a signification of authority, a craving for ritual or to make a fashion statement. Such adornment can play a significant role in the establishment of social order, such the visual signifier of a monarch’s connection to the divine or sky.

 Deanna Musgrave, Coronet, acrylic on canvas, 48%22 x 48%22
This series juxtaposes visual elements from a variety of objects, raising questions with regard to purpose, and with regard to apparent similarities and relationships between the objects.
The artist expands on her previous work, pursuing a confluence of painterly styles in this series,  an aim that continues to drive much 21st Century painting. Musgrave sees this trend arising out of artists’ fascination with society’s most common viewing experience through the internet, where an historical image such as a 19th Century painting by Joseph Turner is perceived in juxtaposition to a neon optical pattern on this same screen, with little or no reference to a linear narrative connection
Deanna Musgrave, Hood, acrylic on canvas, 48%22 x 48%22
While her previous series sought to raise questions about aesthetics and about non-linear viewing, this new series of paintings investigates possible narratives or relationships that can be found within the internet’s ability to compile massive amounts of visual imagery across time related to a visual theme.
Deanna Musgrave, Laurel, acrylic on canvas, 48%22 x 48%22
The Peter Buckland Gallery is excited to offer you this first major exhibition in Saint John by artist, Deanna Musgrave. Please join us next week to view this exhibition and to meet the artist.


Deanna Musgrave

Peter Buckland Gallery
35 Duke St., Saint John, NB

Reception: Friday, November 15, 5 – 7 pm