Excerpted from article by Michael Spratt, for CBC News Posted: Jan 30, 2018 4:00 AM ET
Michael Spratt is a partner at the Ottawa criminal law firm Abergel Goldstein & Partners. He has served as a director of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association and vice president of the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa

“Let me let you in on a little secret: the presumption of innocence is a legal construct. Yes, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms says that people are presumed innocent – if they have been charged with an offence.
Protection from the power of the state
You see, the presumption of innocence operates in our courts of law to protect people charged with crimes from the power of the state to deprive them of their liberty. It does not operate to immunize political leaders from scrutiny.
In short, the presumption of innocence is a procedural protection to ensure fairness – not a moral imperative. This is why we do not automatically convict and sentence a self-admitted murderer whose crime is clearly captured on video. Even where guilt is plainly obvious, proper procedures must be followed and the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. But the presumption of innocence does not mean someone is factually blameless until proven otherwise.
To insist on the strict application of the presumption of innocence in everyday life is an absurd and insidious act of complicity to the realities exposed by the #MeToo movement. In no other aspect of our daily lives do we employ the presumption of innocence or apply a burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The presumption of innocence should not be used as an excuse to disregard common sense.”


Let Them Eat Fake

Court Painter’s Potemkin Studio Rumour

Contemporary art critics and curators are divided on the degree of truth behind the Court Painter Potemkin Studio story, and some argue that the story is an exaggeration. The tale of an elaborate  cathedral height ,Piper Cub airplane hanger scale studio with glowing fires designed to comfort Court Painter and his studio entourage as they party all night long , is largely fictional. An unidentified art expert of dubious credentials however claiming to be an established specialist on 21st-century CourtPainterabelia, supposedly used original correspondence and memoirs to conclude that the Potemkin Studio is a myth. She writes: “Based on my extensive research and opium dreams we must conclude that the myth of a Court Painter Potemkin Studio is exactly a myth, and not an established fact.” She writes that a Court Painter Potemkin Studio simulacrum however does exist, but Press Attache to Court Painter A Hardon MacKay, makes no secret that “it is an architectural decoration constructed of mirrors and smoke”. The deception appears to be mainly directed towards any  foreign curators with thick accents who might by accident find themselves near the studio in Inglewood or its environs.




  • As a public service the following is a list of other fakery you might want to watch out for:
  • A new app has flooded the web with AI-generated fake celebrity porn.
  • In a potential oppo nightmare for 2020, machine-learning algorithms can generate convincing audio and video of fake events.
  • The Economist sees a “new battlefield between falsehood and veracity”: “[I]mages and sound recordings retain for many an inherent trustworthiness.”
  • Axios Science reported on a study this summer which found that we’re not very good at spotting fake photos.
  • Twitter says in a new submission to Congress that “Russian-linked Twitter bots shared Donald Trump’s tweets almost half a million times during the final months of the 2016 election,” per Bloomberg
  • All this helps explain why trust in social media and search engines plunged in the new Edelman Trust Barometer. Axios’ Sara Fischer says the survey reflects “a global reckoning around fake news and misinformation.”



Stark Messages

Still reeling from stark email messages that included hurtful words like ‘remove us’ and ‘refrain from’, Court Painter retreated into his studio and slammed the door. Speaking to him through a crack in the door his Press Attache A Hardon MacKay was assured he was all right and “just wanted to work on new word paintings”.

In the light of this studio drama Press Attache A Hardon MacKay issued a short message

“When social media brings messages of rejection, repudiation, rebuff, spurning, abandonment, forsaking, desertion, shutting out, exclusion, shunning, cold-shouldering, ostracizing,  blackballing, blacklisting, avoidance, ignoring, snubbing and cutting dead….Court Painter shows us that his retreat into making art  provides the inner resilience to rebuff  the bruises brought on by having a social media address that brings stark messages of rejection.”


Knitting Things Together

Court Painter in studio with recent “Self Portraits while Smoking & Knitting”

In addition to alpha male Court Painter there are other alpha males like art college students, horse doctors, goth musicians, stockbrokers, Hollywood stars, gamblers,inner-city youth, outer city seniors,snowboarders — all who are taking up the 1,800-year-old craft not out of necessity but because they find it meditative, restorative, creative, or an avenue to connect with others in a world gone to shit.

Court Painter’s favourite poem that mentions knitting!

An Appointment

by William Butler Yeats
 Being out of heart with government
I took a broken root to fling
Where the proud, wayward squirrel went,
Taking delight that he could spring;
And he, with that low whinnying sound
That is like laughter, sprang again
And so to the other tree at a bound.
Nor the tame will, nor timid brain,
Nor heavy knitting of the brow
Bred that fierce tooth and cleanly limb
And threw him up to laugh on the bough;
No govermnent appointed him.


Glimpse of A Relic

Crowds flock to Calgary studio for glimpse of relic Court Painter’s painting arm

Sunday Artists flocked to Court Painter’s studio on Sunday, where the bare painting arm of Court Painter was flexed and on display .

Thousands of Calgary’s art faithful flocked to the Inglewood studio on Sunday for the rare opportunity to see the 76-year old relic and his painting arm.

Devotees shed tears and prayed for rain as they lined up for the opportunity to touch the arm of Court Painter, an artist whose masterworks have  blessed thousands of fans around the world since way back when.

It was simply a mad media scene!

Artist CC (name available upon request)said he was thankful for the opportunity to share this experience with his svelte and  talented partner Ms. D.

“It just makes it so real. This relic of a painter exists and shares his love for staging publicity stunts to tease the art market all over the world…I am always on the lookout for pointers” he said.

Court Painter’s multi tasking painting arm is revered particularly at the Ship & Anchor where he is able to hoist a few on a regular basis.

Press Attache A Hardon MacKay in a sonorous voice mentioned that,”For local portrait painters, their reverence to the honorable relic Court Painter and his arm is very physical, very tangible,” he said, explaining that the veneration of relics like Court Painter is a concrete way for devotees to experience their faith in spitting images rendered  while scoffing wine and wonder bread during the reception.

Crowds gathered at Court Painter’s studio to see the painting arm of Court Painter while taking the opportunity to visit  with the septuagenarian relic.

“It’s very inspiring to say the least, I’m moved every day we open the studio” AHM said and was heartened to see so many young art students at the event. He said it’s incredible that in a way, the Court Painter is “still on an art mission and he ain’t paralyzed yet!”

“He sort of represents this art missionary spirit or impulse that the art market is calling for,” he said.


Court Painter in addressing the studio visitors flexed his arm and roared “This is how I brush artfully , not without many struggles and obstacles  however; we all face these adversaries, these struggles with the canvas and in the market place of  ideas and cheap reproductions.”

Comfortably seated Court Painter went on to flex his arm which visitors were able to view or touch as he tried different degrees of arm-bending to most bring out the tricep. He flexed his abs, and especially chest and delts, pressed his arm against his torso to make it look thicker while pushing forward his painting arm against his skinny other arm to bring out shoulder detail.

Court Painter’s painting arm will be flexed again on Monday at The Ship & Anchor pub from 6 p.m. until closing time before staggering back to the studio.

Stark Art

Rex Murphy Feature Article
Court Painter Delivers a plain, serious and monumental promise to give stark art back to the people

(Editors note: Apologies for the long windedness of the article but you know Rex….when he has an opportunity to comment on the Court Painter he tends to become a bit loquacious,garrulous,palaverous and gabby!)

Court Painter is not a fancy pants painter. Rather he’s an artist with a blank canvas, which he delivers plainly yet starkly.

Court Painter just delivered his starkest painting.  It was so far out of the mode as to be unique: unembroidered, direct, with little flourish, brief in its execution. Stark art belongs to the citizens was the message.

It works for the citizens and is not for the benefit of, nor is it owned by those who practice the dark arts of collecting, or who live off the practices of artist message management.

Court Painter hangs in Calgary’s tony art district of Inglewood, the dew-fresh portraitist said to serve his bottom line and the minions of the Great Dominion and elsewhere. And most particularly those Great Do-Minions who have not shared, to a just extent, in the benefits of Court Painter’s technological and communicational advances he utilizes in delivering his images to his elite subscribers list. He calls them, rightly, the forgotten Great Do-Minions. And pledges they will not be forgotten again if they get off their lard asses, sign up for a commission or ask for an autograph.
Now it is a large question whether a pledge of this magnitude and emotional depth can really be fulfilled. In a very real way it is a larger promise, a larger summons than was ever made by Court Painter’s chief competitor CC(name available upon request), ringing so perfectly, as the orator he was, the chimes of Make CP Rich Again and Pocket Change is Accepted. Court Painter’s stark art promise is visceral not rhetorical; it is particular — it is reaching down to the artless, to the hipster-torn inner cities, to those in tasteless torment, and saying this is really the art for all of you.

To the people listening for just that message, and by virtue of the emphatic, convicted tone he adopted in making it a fundamental pledge, he has made what I will call a real promise. Either the anxieties, the disenchantments, the woes of the many unfamiliar with Court Painter’s oeuvre left behind and forgotten are, to some extent, dispelled in the next  years, or they will not be. His success will register unfailingly, or not.

It’s either this or that….something or nothing…or my name’s not Rex Murphy!
Court Painter has no cloud of art semantics or cultural rhetorical overflight to hide behind. He has given himself no cover since he cannot reach beyond single syllable sentences in describing his art. This is not the famous blank slate of whatshisname. Court Painter, in his bare 15 minutes or so of unveiling his stark art made a commitment that reaches to the particular lives and welfare of individual Great Do-Minions, and the measurement of that commitment is thereby in the hands and hearts of every Great Do-Minion to whom he made it. Their lives will either be better in years ahead or not, it’s either this or that…something or nothing …or my names not Rex Murphy and there is no pillar behind which Court Painter can hide, nor I suspect will he seek to hide.

The brevity of the stark art speech had one unintended obscurity, or rather acted to obscure how momentous the Court Painter ascendancy threatens or promises to be. Just how much of a radical shift, a convulsion, that the moment of its occasion represented. Court Painter has virtually cleared the table of portrait art politics as it has been practiced and painted out for over a generation. He has bulldozed the old verities of painting practice. He has shattered the codes of studio politics, routed the tired images of the political and celebrity personages, the culture tanks and art bureaucracy. And he has utterly bypassed the hollow practices of art as virtue signalling and the insidious tribalism of cultural theory and identity politics. And as for the claustrophobic thought-amputations of political correctness, he has, correctly, shown nothing but scorn and dismissal. This is a wholesale reworking of the mode and understanding of modern art studio practice and painting politics in the Great Dominion.

Court Painter offers a vision of greatness.
Most heretically, he has fervently embraced that most basic and condign of art making emotions: patriotism. It has been the style of enervated liberalism to decry, even to shame, the principal virtue of any serious painter: faith and pride in one’s own worthiness in the marketplace of decor and home improvement. Court Painter is not ashamed to be an opportunist. He glories in it. For a whole great swath of Great Dominion opinion, certainly for the enlightened swamis of Inglewood and academia, for all the stale, tired and wearisome activist hipsters,ACAD grads and professional grievance farmers, this is a radical perspective. His unveiling of stark art amounted to a noble, though forgotten, truism. The purpose of Court Painter’s studio is to monetize artistic opportunity in a country starving for cheap,well crafted ,ready to hang art commodities that are plain yet stark .

Court Painter’s painterly address was, finally, as I’ve said, less a gesture in the grand vein, aiming for the quotation art journals , ripe with balanced antithesis and clever formulations, than a distilled declaration of serious intent. Keep it Simple Keep it Stark! The slogan painted above his studio entrance, A Day Without Art Is Like A Dog Without A Bone, has become the guiding theme of his new studio administration. The Court Painter will have the very fight of his life to bring into the studio what he brought to the art marketplace. All the forces of condescension, comfort and high place are against him. But he has a connection to all those others who are not in that cocoon.

This will be a turbulent time, but it has its promise ….or not …or my name’s not Rex Murphy.

Three Dominant Trends

Excerpted from CNN ARTS  Published 19th January 2018

Douglas Coupland: ‘I no longer remember my pre-internet brain’

“Over the last six years, I’ve developed a sort of unified theory of everything detailing our ever-escalating, almost invariably out-of-synch relationship with the technologies we create, and how their largely unintended side effects have molded our societies and our era. I can boil it down to three dominant trends that demarcate our current existence.

The first is that the online world has vastly outpaced our ability to create political stability.The second: We have a new relationship with time.Third: We’re an ungrateful species.”

Stormy Donald

Court Painter summoned to paint daring portrait of The Donald after results of medical report.

“Stormy Donald” original /artist Court Painter

Following a closed door White House private painting frenzy ,a source with direct knowledge of the confidential goings on… being a source familiar with the matter….spilled the beans! The source described The Donald as basking in his recent effusive medical report  and reaching out to an old platonic friend who, at The Donald’s prompting, agreed he had quite a rack. She indicated her admiration for the ‘best set of man boobs’  she had ever seen by the shape, size, position, symmetry, spacing, firmness, and amount of sagging and offered up ‘you’re rockin’ a 36 DD+ for sure Donald….I should know’. The comparison was conducted on Skype as both tittered in glee and said they hadn’t had so much fun since the”wink* wink* tighty whitey sleep over.” With the comparison done,The Donald had one of his people contact one of Court Painter’s people who happened to be his loyal yet uncomplaining underpaid Press Attache A Hardon MacKay.

The commission deal was done on the spot with an IOU and within 2 days Court Painter unveiled his new daring portrait entitled ‘Stormy Donald’ with The Donald gushing ‘it’s a bust out masterwork CP ….. eat your heart out Sloppy Steve!’

‘Sloppy Steve’ artist unknown