‘We’re going to continue to fight this fight’: Court Painter remains defiant towards Trudeau’s charcoal pricing plan


Court Painter continues to question the legality and constitutionality of the federal government’s proposed charcoal pricing plan.
Court Painter remained defiant on Tuesday, speaking publicly for the second time since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Liberal government’s plan to impose charcoal pricing on successful portrait studios that utilize charcoal extensively for preparatory sketches. Court Painter again wondered aloud how the federal government could “ impose a tax on this ancient and time tested material that  placed in the hand of a gifted and masterful artist, enables the pictorial means to extract the soul of many political and celebrity sitters for posterity? How is that constitutional? I’ll at least ask that question.”

Court Painter said his Press attache A Hardon MacKay is looking into all legal options or constitutional challenges should the Liberal government move forward with the pricing plan that will tax all charcoal types whether compressed, vine, pencil, crayon or powder.

“I’m not sure how many other studios we’ll have join us in solidarity but I don’t care,” Court Painter said Tuesday during a brief media scrum in Calgary’s art district of Inglewood . “We’re going to continue to fight this fight. I will not have my hatching, rubbing, blending and erasing disrupted by nefarious federal left wing nut policies. I hope Mr. Trudeau realizes we artists have been using charcoal for 28,000 years.”
Here are a few more sound bites from Court painter’s scrum …

“I will form the foundation of some specific ideas,” he said, adding that ,“it’s never been like the Court Painter to criticize something without proposing an alternative idea. We’ll build on that a week from now and the weeks to follow that.”
“You think the Russian or the Belarusian portrait practitioners will ever have a $50 charcoal tax? They won’t.”

“There is a high percentage of those who would be impacted by a charcoal tax are working in art trade-exposed industries and rely on global pricing. The federal government has insisted that all money generated from a charcoal tax will go right back to the artist studio. Then what is the point?”, he snickered, “It sounds like a bureaucratic merry-go-round.”

“We should be using the considerable talents of studio assistants in the portrait industry to find ways to clean up studios from all that charcoal dust, rather than implementing a new tax or shifting charcoal around through cap-in-hand and begging bowl strategies that signify more left wing nut stuff.
Editors note: Court Painter when pressed for a clearer explanation sputtered that ,”he heard it through the grapevine and it was good enough for him.”
He went on to say ,“I would argue we’ve been leading the fight … In my studio, years ago when the art economy was stronger, we chose a path of least resistance to stabilize investments in charcoal dust-mitigation technology.”
Court Painter insisted the charcoal dust capture project in his studio is “the latest in cat’s ass technology ” when it comes to capture but not release. “I’ve been doing that. I’ve led in that, in fact.”
“We take this issue seriously but a charcoal tax … will disproportionately hurt my portrait economy. That’s not a solution.”

Court Painter, last week, said in a statement that ,“the level of disrespect shown by the Prime Minister and his government … is stunning.”
Trudeau has said charcoal pricing will be imposed on artists that don’t match the tax or implement a capture & storage system for the clouds of charcoal dust emissions clogging the lungs,hearts and minds of the local proletariat.

Court Painter stressed his position again on Tuesday that a significant tax on his studio would mean fewer jobs for his unpaid studio interns. He acknowledged kicking and screaming that portrait painters of the Great Dominion need to address excess charcoal dust in their studios, but said that can be done through technological solutions and adaptation as long as the government assures plenty of commissions and subsidized framing costs.

Mystery review

An Anonymous Review of a Mystery Novel 

The Court Painter’s Apprentice

Presented by Court Painter Promotions@

The novel begins with an elderly Press Attache, stopping at Wild Bill’s bar in Banff one night where he snuggles with the bar maid as is his wont.


Later after a few shooters when inadvertently sticking his hand in the spittoon he finds an
extraordinary drawing wadded up and asks the barkeeper if he knows the
artist. The barkeeper reveals with a subtle nod of his head that the artist is none other than someone
named Johnny Broad Brush. The Press Attache shakes awake the napping creative ,introduces himself and convinces Johnny to sign with him and that
he would benefit becoming a Court Painter of the Great Dominion under the management and guidance of The Press Attache.


The Press Attache and Johnny eventually leave
Wild Bills and the weeping bar maid behind and begin a journey into an unscripted and troubled macho world.

The story is hugely atmospheric – the scenes at Wild Bills on the
stormy night immediately pulled me into the story. Also the phantasmagoric world of
life in the studio of a great painter and his bustling workshop jump off the page and are a great example
of how setting can really make a story.


The plot of this book was not at all what I expected. I should have paid
more attention to the blurb but sometimes I just pick up a book simply because it would make a good door stop or
because I assume it will be about symbiotics . I wonder if anyone else does that? Sometimes I also choose a book for the age group it
targets because of my covert work as a budding  art journalist and again that was the case with The Court
Painter’s Apprentice. I was looking to read a novel that appealed to the Calgary hipster type and as luck would have it I found one that all MFA candidates should be required to read.


The story felt almost ghostly and gothic at times. It defies the current
trend for hipster fiction to be abundant with giggley humour and I didn’t mind
that at all. Not one bit. However, I did lose the sense of how old Johnny Broad Brush was at times
through the story. I felt that he was aging not in a Dorian Gray way but I was confused as to how
old he was by the end. Perhaps this was a deliberate decision by the
author as Johnny Broad Brush lost his childhood self in the cornfields of Iowa in the pursuit of his burgeoning talent .


There is a swirling mystery in this book and it centres upon Johnny’s
unusual gift which itself remains a mystery. The introduction of the character A Girl Named Robin was inexplicable outside of it being a pure eye candy marketing gimmick.


Personally I think some of the unexpected happenings were
not entirely resolved like the time Johnny makes the Press Attache fetch
him some pizza and beer and then refuses to share it. A cruel but necessary passage that left me cold. Yet I loved the pace
of the book and that the author didn’t waste time telling us unnecessary
details and descriptions of studio orgies and wasted booga booga nights. Despite the confusion I felt at the end of the
book, I was riveted all the way through and found it a real page turner and barn burner.

I can imagine hipsters reading this to their children and the children of their drug dealers.

The Court Painter’s Apprentice is an intelligent and compelling novel.

Vanity Chase


Court Painter’s vanity chase for a coveted magazine cover


Concept cover mock up
The boxes are being systematically ticked off as Court Painter, world traveler and self-appointed artistic political moralist, attempts to move closer to what we can only assume is his goal to be Time magazine’s Man of the Year.

The international edition, of course.

As we now enter the month that saw Court Painter loved by a majority of senior art hobbyists a year ago, however, this fan base has all but been ignored in the pursuit of a more worldly recognition.


During his first months as the most powerful political portraitist in the Great Dominion , his local fans felt he was more absent than present, and he painted a paltry 10 portraits of Alberta celebrities and politicians whoever paid up front first .


It is the worst record in decades, eclipsing even that of the hiccup attempt by Chris Cran to attract the faces of local subjects, even he was dubbed Mr. Dithers for his vacillation, but who still somehow managed to produce through some kind of technological wizardry 36 pieces of art this last weekend.


As A Hardon MacKay Press Attache and close confidant to Court Painter put it a while back, “We have a prime portraitist who is obsessively obsessed with the obsession of constant engagement with media, but very disinterested with the nitty-gritty of preparing canvases, preparatory sketches or the rigours of underpainting .Nevertheless, knowing which side my bread is buttered on, I will stick with him though thick painting and thin painting whichever comes first.”


While the Canadian art economy was staggering on various fronts in need of attention, Court Painter was travelling the globe as Philosopher King 2.0, seeking out commissions as if they grew on the maple trees so loved by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang who wrote an ode to Court Painter’s efforts to drum up business and published in the automotive section of the Globe & Mail prior to his state visit to the Great Dominion late last month.

This image taken from a video released by Kensington Palace, London, on Friday April 29, 2016 shows Queen Elizabeth II sitting with her grandson, Prince Harry looking at an Invictus Games brochure. Prince Harry, released the video Friday promoting the upcoming Invictus Games for wounded veterans. The cast includes his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, and Barack and Michelle Obama, who Harry had over for dinner last week. The video starts with Harry and the queen looking at an Invictus brochure when they get a video phone message from Mrs. Obama. (@KENSINGTONROYAL via AP)

In New York City, for example, during his two-day sketching tour of the United Nations, Court Painter pledged a self portrait if the UN would declare his Inglewood studio a World Heritage site.

Judging by his frequent-flier card, Court Painter appears to be almost desperately seeking out the company of the global elites and the Hollywood types in order to validate his perceived place among the top echelons of international ‘dandy’ portrait painters.


Last week, his invitation to Prince William and Kate for an “outdoorsy setting for a sitting” was requited with their visit to British Columbia and the Yukon, their children in tow, and therefore more gushing from the British media whose beat is to cover Court Painter royalty portraits.

Court Painter’s photo ops have come so fast and furiously that there are literally too many of them to count, many complete with puffy profile pieces in magazines the public sees more in tune with the glitterati than the Tim Hortons crowd Court Painter usually hangs with.


It is around this time of the year that editors start thinking about their year-end editions, and who will make the cut among those who have influenced the art world, as well as choose the momentous art world receptions and opening events of 2016 that captured the headlines both good and bad.

Time magazine, of course, is the cover most coveted, with its person of the year always open to speculation.

However if Chris Cran gets mentioned one more time in the press all speculation will end, of course.


Concept cover mocking mock up

It will be over like big time for Court Painter’s vain glorious dream.

As the “sunny ways” painter of Justin Trudeau, Court Painter has been touted around the world as the best painter of moral high ground at portrait summits,  G20 conference coffee klatches, box lunchs at the White House, the United Nations canteen, and new-relationship love-ins with the Chinese dictatorship, his pale glow could be washed away with the dark tide of an additional Cran press mention.


The time Court Painter should have spent painting those midnight tone oils in the deepest corner of his damp studio to steer the Great Dominion out of its artistic malaise, will have been wasted in the pursuit of an elusive yet precious magazine cover.


All in vain, and all because of a vanity laced with the pungent liqueur of drunken dreams, bankrupt desire and inevitable kicked to the curb failure .

Yadda Yadda Yadda!

Cry Me A Frickin River Brad!


Premier Brad Wall is ripping into the federal government after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement of a federal tax on carbon emissions Monday.

“I cannot believe that while the country’s environment ministers were meeting on a so-called collaborative climate change plan, the Prime Minister stood in the House of Commons and announced a carbon tax unilaterally,” Wall said in a statement.

“This meeting is not worth the CO2 emissions it took for environment ministers to get there,” the statement continued. “The level of disrespect shown by the Prime Minister and his government today is stunning. This is a betrayal of the statements made by the Prime Minister in Vancouver this March. And this new tax will damage our economy.”