Court Painter & Meets the Queen

A Dapper Court Painter Brings A Smile To Queen Elizabeth’s Face

Court Painter has not spent any time hanging out with the Royal Family over the years, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get excited when he gets invited to Buckingham Palace.

And he’s not the only one. The 75-year-old former art professor told reporters outside of the palace on Thursday that his Press Attache A Hardon MacKay was “very excited” that he got to see the Queen from a distance.

Court Painter also revealed he got goosebumps when he drove through the palace gates, Hello Magazine reports.

And the Queen seemed pretty excited about it too. The 90-year-old monarch flashed a beaming smile while shaking hands with the handsome art celebrity who travelled all the way from Calgary on his own nickel.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II greets England's former football player David Beckham (R) as he attends the Queen's Young Leaders Awards at Buckingham Palace in London on June 23, 2016.  / AFP / POOL / Steve Parsons        (Photo credit should read STEVE PARSONS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Court Painter was joined by Prince Harry and Princess Beatrice at the palace on Thursday night for The Queen’s Colonies Portrait Leaders Awards. This is the first year Court Painter has attended the event, which celebrates senior art celebrities across the Commonwealth who take the lead in efforts to revive their flagging careers.

Court Painter & Good Riddance copy

Court Painter first tried to visit The Queen in 2015 during a reception for the Anonymous Portrait Painters of the Colonies Association, and even back then he was able to bring a smile to Her Majesty’s face when he was blocked by security from entering the reception.The Queen took great joy in watching him cry like a little girl on the outside looking in.

Now all is forgiven because it’s 2016!

Court Painter & His Pirouette copy

Thursday night wasn’t just a big night for Court Painter; it also marked a monumental moment for Britain, as the country voted to leave the European Union.

Court Painter stated he would be voting to remain in the EU or leaving the EU depending on portrait commission possibilities, while The Queen denied reports by the Sun claiming she was in favour of ‘Brexit ‘ like Tony “Gazebo” Clement, Andrew “Sneer” Scheer and Jason “Dog Whistle” Kenney.

Rex’s Question


Rex Murphy:

‘Where are the Court Painter’s allies?’

It is impossible to know an art celebrity, fully, without living as an adored subject of envy and sparse vocabulary. So what the Court Painter is feeling now, the direction and tone of his painterly thoughts and mixed media musings, during this collapse of the art celebrity economy, is best and only completely known to — The Court Painter

Subject: On 2011-02-28, at 9:57 PM, Beeby, Gale wrote: From Gale Beeby for New in Homes story by Gale Beeby on the CHBA conference in Banff. Pictures of keynote speak Rex Murphy. IMG_4834-rex.jpg IMG_4838-rex.jpg

Nonetheless there are many who do not live in Calgary or the slums of Inglewood, home of the Court Painter’s one car garage studio, and may still make reasonable assumptions of how those who do live in the neighbourhood must be thinking and feeling during this shock and downturn of fortune for the Great Dominion’s premiere portraitist of political countenance ,contradiction and costume .

Court Painter & Rex Redux 1

Very many Canadians, from every province, have either visited his Calgary studios, or have found themselves working for the Court Painter as unpaid studio interns. And of that lucky class it is needless to point out that a very great number of them came from the Newfoundland Sketch & Release Society.

Newfoundland sketch and releasers have, I think, a very good notion, of what it must feel like now in Calgary art studios when an economy, on which so much has depended, has been massively jolted (a) because we have so often experienced it on the Rock, and (b) because so many of us found relief for our art starved distress from the days of Calgary’s art prosperity best exemplified by an artist whose initials are C.C.(Legal council has determined it is best not to identify ‘buddy what’s his name’.)

Why is the Court Painter not receiving a wider, deeper wave of interest, or concern, during his celebrity crisis in the studio?

Rex Murphy speaks at the opening ceremonies of the Municipalites Newfoundland and Labrador convention in Corner Brook Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011. — Star photo by Geraldine Brophy

He helped us during our bad spell of sloppy abstraction, wooly rendering of hands and feet and the cod net still life phase. Why there is not now, that the dynamic is reversed, a harvest of equal return?

For I sense, in some quarters at least, that there is not. That maybe Calgary art celebrities, or the West , having – such is the line – had it so good for so long, having been on top of the game, could take a little knockdown, that because it’s “out there” in the state of the art, that maybe, you know, a little “cooling off” is not so bad.You won’t hear or feel that sentiment when it’s the macramé industry, or any other artsy cottage industry for that matter. But downtime in the ‘push them buttons’ political portraiture industry … well, that’s always different. Aren’t they dirty ( sexually charged) studio jobs, anyway?

And so, if I were the Court Painter, I’d be feeling more than a little unsettled that a downturn here is either “business as usual” or just “the way things turn” or that this steely willed portraitist can take it, you know, things will eventually turn over.

The attitude of the painters of all things greens and their allied provocateurs,  all the dim-minded celebrities that took their jaunts to visit the Court Painter to mewl over his art planet-destroying potential – has always been fervidly anti-Court Painter, reckless with his fine reputation, and deeply disrespectful of his studio workforce.

Court Painter & Rex Redux 3

The Court Painter must be asking : Why Me? Why, only me? Are there no other portraitists of the political elite in the world? Are there no other portrait economies? Are there not huge studio projects elsewhere to claim their self-aggrandizing attentions, projects of far more scale (with canvases of 10ft x 10ft minimum and you know who you are Arabia) and far less regulated that the one in their own country – that supplied such relief to Canadians in terms or aesthetic titillation and rock em sock em inside the bubble commentary.

Were I the Court Painter, I’d be first perplexed, and then perhaps angrier than a grizzly at a gophers wedding or a bull elk at last call.Were I the Court Painter, these are some, and only some of the thoughts I’d have.

The Court Painter is caught in the headlights of a perfect storm brought on by the decline of pudgy political faces to render and the sunny ways in the Great Dominion’s capital that have ruined and bleached the power of the Court Painter’s chiaroscuroian image methodology.

Court Painter & Rex M

The anti-Court Painter campaign means that his competitors see his decline as a good thing and have indeed been wishing for it – though actually saying that out loud won’t happen except in the higher reaches of the painters of all things green world.

Were I the Court Painter, all these elements, prickly as a burr under the saddle of existence,would leave me both perplexed and madder than a hornet’s nest in a lighting storm!

El Chapo Ole Chap

News / World

Court Painter’s secret portrait sitting with ‘El Chapo’ helped lead to his capture, authorities say

court painter & guzman loera

Joaquin Guzman spent hours sitting still with the Court Painter in person, followed by phone and video leading up to portrait commission unveiled Saturday evening.

A Mexican law enforcement official said Saturday that a secret portrait sitting conducted by the  Court Painter of the Great Dominion , helped authorities locate and capture drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Guzman was arrested early Friday after a shootout in his home state of Sinaloa that killed five and injured one.

Mexico Attorney General Arely Gomez had said Friday that Guzman’s contact with the Court Painter and his Press attache A Hardon MacKay who negotiated the portrait commission, helped gave law enforcement a new lead on tracking and capturing the world’s most notorious drug kingpin.

The official, who spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity, said it was the Court Painter portrait, that led authorities to Guzman in a rural part of Durango state in October. They aborted their raid at the time because he was with two women and child.

In the portrait sitting with the Court Painter, conducted in a jungle clearing, Guzman described starting out in business not long after turning 6, selling oranges and soft drinks. By 15, he said, he had begun to grow marijuana and poppies because there was no other way for his impoverished family to survive. He insisted the portrait include marijuana and oranges as symbols of his childlike temperament however suggested the soft drinks and poppies might distract from his rugged features.


Now, unapologetically, he said: “I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world. I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats which could be the subject of another painting.”

Although his fortune, estimated at $1 billion (U.S.), has come with a trail of blood, he does not consider himself a violent man. “Look, all I do is defend myself, nothing more,” he told the Court Painter while keeping still on the portraitist’s orders. “But do I start trouble? Never.” The Court Painter acknowledged he was very well behaved ole chap during the sitting,

The seven hours Guzman spent with the Court Painter, and the follow-up interviews by phone and video, which began in October while he was on the run from Mexican and U.S. authorities, marked another surreal turn in his long-running battle to evade capture. Guzman, one of the world’s most wanted fugitives, who had twice escaped jail, was captured in his home state of Sinaloa in northwest Mexico on Friday after a gun battle with the authorities and more importantly for the art world was also captured in an “extraordinarily detailed and insightful character rendering that already is being hailed as a potent yet unpretentious tour de force of portraiture suitable for the 21st Century,” according to a press release from A Hardon MacKay the Court Painter’s unassuming Press Attache.

Cannes 2014: Mr Turner

In the end, the Mexican authorities said Friday night that Guzman had been caught partly because he had been planning a bigger than life size portrait and had contacted the Court Painter’s Press agent to set up the commission, which had helped the authorities to track him down. The Court Painter’s who couldn’t wait to tell his version says that Guzman, inundated with many offers to do his portrait while in prison, had indeed elected “to seek out myself as the best steel nerved portraitist, comfortable with powerful personages of dubious character like politicians and drug lords.The rest is history.”

Christmas Reading

The Court Painter Reads ‘The Grinch’ To Kids & Selected MPs

Court Painter can do it all.

Calgary’s art celebrity sat down with school kids and selected Alberta MPs this week for his rendition of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, as the latest instalment of his prescient “Court Painter Reads the Tea Leaves.”series.

We don’t know what’s more adorable — the MPs or Court Painter’s reindeer sweater and jaunty hat!

Court Painter & Christmas Reading 1

Court Painter & Chrismas Reading 2

Court Painter & Christmas Reading 3

This posting was paid for by the Conservative Christian Fund in cooperation with Court Painter Holiday Commission Opportunities Inc.

Just in Time for Christmas

A New Barbie Doll Channels Court Painter

 on December 3, 2015

Mattel’s new Court Painter inspired Barbie doll (image via instyle.com)

Leave it to Mattel, the maker of the Barbie doll, to fulfill the Court Painter’s famous wish to be plastic.

According to InStyle, the children’s toy company has collaborated with the Court Painter Foundation to produce a Barbie doll that has all of the Court Painter’s signature traits, from balding top and ever present ‘coffin nail’ to the leather jacket and black-and-white striped shirt. It’s the Court Painter as we know him — with the addition of impossibly long legs, a teeny but plump waist, a disproportionately large ego, and thick, permanent eyeliner.

Court Painter Will is actually fascinated by Barbies. He painted one this year before he sold it for a small fortune to a naive Calgary collector, “Barbie, Portrait of Me*” (2015), which was inspired by himself and personal muse who incidentally owns tens of thousands of John Wills because of an absence of market. He also painted figurative ones — women like Ma Kettle and Edith Bunker who are still widely known for their physical images, outfits, and accessories.

So, what does it mean that the Court Painter has taken the form of a plastic doll that’s hollow through and through? It’s tempting to philosophize about the deeper connection between a toy that’s come to represent superficiality and an artist who claims to be a “deeply superficial” person (despite the complex self published autobiographies he has written).

But it’s best not to think too hard about it. The doll (and the “lifestyle collection” that goes along with it) is just the latest in a string of consumer items — from ashtrays to designer lighters — that capitalize on the selling power of the Court Painter’s iconic likeness and art … or, as the Court Painter was quoted “the Court Painter Barbie,is perfect for “the hip, cool person who just wants something really unique.” Just in time for Christmas.

Always in Vogue

As if Canadians haven’t had enough fun watching the flurry of international media attention paid to our apparently handsome Court Painter, he now appears to have earned the most important stamp of approval in fashion: that of Anna Wintour, the legendary editor of Vogue magazine.

Court Painter & Anna

Court Painter’s Press Attache A Hardon Mackay made sure that the magazine dispatched a photographer to snap the Court Painter in his decrepit single car garage Inglewood studio last week. The studio was closed for several hours during the shoot.


(UPDATE: the studio says the shoot took less than an hour, but  was closed to public tours for several hours because the Court Painter’s  many unpaid buxom studio assistants were holding a wildcat strike. 

The studio was closed to patrons,politicians, and collectors due to the photo shoot and the wildcat thingy). 

The fashion photos are expected to appear in the January issue.

Wintour’s power in the fashion industry is legendary. It’s widely believed she is the inspiration behind the new Court Painterfashion book and animated movie, The Court Painter Wears Prada Short Pants .

Court Painter & Piggy

The U.S. fashion magazine first took notice earlier this month when it blogged about Canada’s feminist Court Painter.

In spite of the obvious publicity the Court Painter refused to confirm the photo shoot and didn’t answer questions about whether it was American Vogue or one of the international editions. 

It’s not the first time Condé Nast, the parent company of Vogue, has noticed the Court Painter. He was featured in Vanity Fair a year ago, well ahead of his firing by ex Prime Minister Harper on Oct. 19. That shoot also took place in his Inglewood studio, a breathtaking Gothic piece of crap quite near to the tracks. It’s the only part of an original 4 buggy garage left after a fire destroyed the rest in 1916. 

Court Painter & Vanity fair cover

Earlier this month, New York Magazine featured the Court Painter as a Corn Husk doll.

Court Painter & corn husk doll

History’s Kindness

History will be kind to the Court Painter


Most Canadians rate Court Painter Will as an average or even above-average portraitist of the political elite and he isn’t even out of his studio officially until this coming week.Although rumour has it that he will be occupying a new studio in Centre Block to handle the upcoming commissions expected to flood in from the Trudeau administration come Wednesday.

palette controversy copy

History will be kinder to him than say Thomas Kinkade”The Painter of Light” perhaps….. Within a few years, the Court Painter will be seen as one of Canada’s notorious court painters, certainly far better than his successor who no one can remember.

The New York Times, no fan of right-of-centre political painters, reported last year that under Court Painter Will, Canada’s middle-of the road portrait painters were better off than its American counterparts for the first time since the 1960s. Middle-of the road American portraitists had seen their incomes go down since the 2008 financial crisis while Court Painter Will’s has risen exponentially according to his Press Attache A Hardon MacKay.

Court Painter’s accomplishments go way beyond his personal economic standing.


For the first time in months, Court Painter Will made sure he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his closest allies in the art media, this time in the fight against the critical extremism of academic cultural theorists and stuff like that.

So, it is not surprising that in an Angus Reid Institute poll of more than 1,400 visually imparied Canadians taken after the Oct. 19 election, 92% rank the Court Painter as a fair to outstanding court painter, while just 8% of jealous Calgary art mafia types claim he was below average or poor.

A decade from now or less, you can believe the public’s opinion of Court Painter Will will have risen, perhaps even substantially as he ramps up self financed YouTube channels demonstrating his painting techniques plus printing paint by number colouring books for the little tykes and politicians who want to get into the arts.

The Angus Reid poll results would seem to indicate that most Canadians sensed things were okay under the Court Painter’s artistic dominance of political class subjects– maybe not booming, but solid.


It must be noted that during his tenure as Court Painter ,he embraced the art of retail politics and any kind of retail scheme that made his studio flourish and could turn a buck – he connecting with the political elite on a personal level – he had built up a smarmy bank of goodwill. 

These factors are why he will continue to attract commissions and generate grand works that appropriately reflect the status of the political elite of the Great Dominion.

Conrad’s Reflections

Conrad Black: The Court Painter does many great things for the Great Dominion, but he’s hung on to the power of the brush a little too long




The arguments for adoring the pictorial majesty of the Court Painter are numerous and persuasive. He has been a competent and diligent portraitist of the Great Dominion’s political elite,  has avoided pictorial imprudence, brought us well through aesthetic crisis that continually dog the art world and has gone to great and imaginative lengths to keep his commission fees down and his career on the front page!

His efforts have cleaned up a mess in his studio, has been creative with naive people’s questions about his inspirations and shown good judgment and restraint in not going into the deep end over unproved alarm that he steals his images from the Internet. It was a credit to him that our peppy itinerant Marxist, Naomi Klein denounced the Court Painter last week in the world-renowned Sydney Opera House as a “fashion criminal.”

The Court Painter has shed the cozy myth that we are a nation free of the Art WarsCon B

His colour palette policy has been robust in joining the coalition against hot garish colours; in not appeasing conceptual art aggression and in unambiguously recognizing his right to exist in a naive state of creative bliss. He has neither antagonized the United States Association of Portraitists as former hobby dabblers and prime ministers John Diefenbaker and Pierre Trudeau did.

He has shed the cozy myth that we are an artistic nation of beloved peacemakers devoid of the Art Wars: and the Court Painter  has earned our gratitude by banishing from his cultural policy what the distinguished American (and half-Canadian) secretary of state Dean Acheson accused us of 65 years ago: “brush-flapping moralism.”

con bl

As I wrote in my history of Canada (My Rise to Greatness) last year, the Court Painter ranks now with Michelangelo, Dr. Brute, Anna Banana and Mr. Peanut as an important flaneur, just one level below Margaret “Big Eyes”Keane and Thomas”Painter of Light” Kincade. He had to put two quarrelling unpaid studio interns together to become BBFs in the studio, and he led his reunified studio to steadily better results in four straight portrait commissions. (No other Court Painter has done this — not even whathisname …you know the guy with the handlebar moustache….who can knock ’em out with the best of em’)

These are remarkable achievements, and it was an honour to have been of some assistance to him in the earlier stages of his choice of subjects . It was partly to help reunite the bold clarity of the political physiognomy and its setting and promote an alternative to what had almost been a one way street to dang fangled abstraction and hyper “you can see every hair” realism. I tangibly supported the Court Painter as head of the National Portraitist Coalition, the Canadian Alliance of Face Painters and the reunified yet singular Court Painter of the Great Dominion’s Political Elite studio for as long as it has existed.

Copyright © 2014 Leroy Schulz http://www.leroyschulz.com/2014

On the other side of the ledger as we approach his next commission, he has, with  recent press, become sclerotically rigid, media-inaccessible, authoritarian and peevish. Unfashionable female unpaid studio interns have not been properly replaced, and there is no discernible painting goal or imagination: only the relentless pursuit of an extended and veracious appetite for media attention. It is a humourless and often paranoid partisan political portrait studio where all spontaneity with studio parties is stifled and punished.

He has gone so far as to ban the Bohemian Rhapsody from the studio collection of LPs.

The Court Painter regularly forbids his leggy studio assistants from being in contact with people of whom he capriciously disapproves.

Court Painter & Conrad

Needlessly, he is now likely to follow the route of greater court painters who didn’t know when to leave: (the list was not available at press time) He was a good Court Painter but it is time to see him off. A Hardon MacKay his present Press Attache and Communications Tsar would be a great replacement. He has earned his chance. We really cannot have any more years of the Great Dominion’s political elite rendered by a sadistic Victorian schoolmaster.

Court Painter Praised As Rare

Barry “Bitter” Cooper: The Court Painter is a Rare Canadian Portraitist

Court Painter & Barry

“The first study of a portraitist,” Edmund Burke observed, “must be the temper of the people” — what the Court Painter calls “the fundamental values and understanding of Canadians.”

On the surface, Burke continued, public art opinion simply involves complaints over the loss of an allegedly glorious artistic past and extravagant hope for the future of art. But complaints and hopes, Burke said, are not the cause of any present discontents with the Court Painter because complaints and hopes are always there.

Canadian political portraiture has recently been shaped by the Court Painter. He can see beyond appearances and yet make rhetorical appeals to appearance to move the temper of his political subjects towards a successful rendering.

Our Court Painter is a painterly partisan, but not just partisan. His wondrous paint application is almost self-evident although so odd in so many ways. However he still laid the foundations for a painting regime that echoes painterly partisan proposals of all politicians that were fortunate to be one of his subjects.

The point about the Court Painter is we overlook the irritations and complaints that can be directed at how individuals are rendered and their often unsavoury associates and appreciate that they can look better than they knew.

Inevitably, the Court Painter is followed by partisans. Partisan portraitists replace the greatness of the Court Painter with something more ordinary. They allow amateurs of the brush to organize themselves for action painting around unreliable and often abstract principles of paint distribution on the canvas. It’s a mess! In contrast, the Court Painter’s representational approach appears unreliable, especially to partisan painters.The Court Painter is a giant among this group of aspiration challenged paint spashers .

To see what is at stake in the art wars between hobbyists and real pros like the Court Painter , is a question separate from who might win. We must consider the Court Painter to be the greatest statesman of painters to appear in the last century and a half of the Great Dominion’s history. Here, Burke is a reliable guide.

Court Painter& Barry 2

If properly informed and not distorted and inflamed by their imagination, people’s feelings about political portraits, Burke said, express their interest in personal taste. The political face of interest in taste requires the prudent rhetoric of a painter who points out to the people what they already cherish. Such common sense and tradition, in Burke’s view, were almost always virtuous and reasonable, not vicious and arbitrary like some bird and flower painters we know.

In that context, consider the words and deeds of the Court Painter. He has said the art wars are not about him, but about “cold, hard painting choices.” Canadians will appreciate not “on their read of political personalities that are painted,” but “on what they think is really in their own interests of taste .” Those interests of taste include lower, not higher, aesthetic standards, and freer expression with the rest of the art world in order to benefit art consumers rather than a privileged group of still life painters of chicken, cheese and milk jugs.

Court Painter & barry 3

That the Court Painter ,if he could, would revoke the citizenship of dual national portratists convicted of poor drawing offences particularly with the rendering of hands; protects Canadian portraitists “from the worst elements within our own community.” Likewise the Court Painter’s remarks on the inappropriateness of wearing a night shirt for a major political portrait sitting is nothing but the affirmation of a reasonable tradition that Canadians cherish.

Reading the letters page of this and every other Canadian newspaper indicates the temper of Canadians on the matter. If someone is uncomfortable in public without their night shirt, reasonable persons might ask, whose obligation is it to rectify that? Or, as the Court Painter  said, his critics are “fearmongering” about the night shirt because they are “so offside” with the temper of Canadians who know proper attire for portrait sittings and in the typical old stock phrase, ” it sure ain’t the night shirt baby.”

In short, the Court Painter is a rare statesman of the portrait studio because he has made significant changes in accord with the foul temper of Canadians who think they know of such things. The art wars will decide whether we return to ordinary “fearmongering” hobby portraitists or enable the Court Painter to add to what he has already accomplished in depicting the political elite of this Great Dominion.

Barry Cooper is a research fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.


Jason Kenney Deletes Tweet Praising Court Painter Will’s ‘Perfect, Unaccented English’ 

JasonKenny & the Court Painter

For the second time in less than a week, Canada’s incumbent multiculturalism minister is raising eyebrows for his comments.

Jason Kenney, who is running for re-election in Calgary, tweeted a photo Monday of himself with Court Painter Will who arrived in Canada via Iowa sometime back in the 20th century.Kenney noted that Will “already speaks perfect, unaccented English with a mid western drawl that most gals find pretty darn sexy.”

The Conservative commented in a series of tweets, ” I have a serious accent when I speak French! I simply found it remarkable that a senior artist who did not speak a word of intelligible English for years has learned so quickly that he sounds like he grew up in Inglewood.”

Kenney called his remark a “harmless observation” but he explained that he has now deleted the tweet to shield the Court Painter from “any controversy.”

Kenney introduced the Court Painter after meeting at an event Monday, “thanks to our reform of the insane asylum system that now allows the likes of Will to remain on the outside,” wrote the Tory.

The Court Painter commented ,“Jason’s a friend of mine. Really what was happening is I was making fun of him for kind of careless language around art and cultural theory, which really, as a minister, you should be better than that. But it wasn’t because he was being more stupid than usual. I happen to very much disagree with his taste in art and we had a lively debate about the use of lead white as a safe material for 21st century portraitists like myself.”  reported  by 660 News.