Two Spaces…One Show…Lots of People: Square Foot Opening Reception a Hit!

So, the 1st Annual Square Foot Exhibition was not so ‘Square’, rather it was the place(s) to be last Friday night. People from all over Middlesex County and beyond, drove through Friday night traffic and battled temperatures in the high 30’s to enjoy a night out at The Art Exchange in Wortley Village, London. Armed with plenty of cool drinks and nifty little hors d’oeuvres, both galleries enjoyed a full house.


The ‘madding crowd’ at The Art Exchange home gallery. Photo courtesy of Douglas R. McGlynn

The theme of this exhibition is, you guessed it, work created on a 12″ x 12″ surface. With over 300 pieces of art over two galleries, the square foot size requirement makes for an interesting display of various styles in one space and allows for more work to be hung at one time. At first, the 12″ x 12″ surface created a bit of panic within me, as I am used to painting on large surfaces. But once I relaxed about the size of my canvas, I was able to concentrate on the image making process. As they say in some circles, “size isn’t everything”, and this certainly was the case for this show. Like many of the artists exhibiting in this show, I chose to create a ‘mini-series’ of sorts…three paintings that share a central theme. I had played around with the concept of how I could paint the human soul…or in other words, what my interpretation of the soul would look like. Would it have shape, texture, colour? Would it be recognized by the viewer as something from the ‘inner self’?


Soul In State: Pain


Detail of Soul In State: Rest

I had no idea where to begin, apart from knowing that the image would not represent a particular religious standpoint but I knew I wanted to incorporate a ‘body’ or mass. My objective was to challenge my past study of movement (,Laurie-Lynn&gid=873) from the tangible to something intangible and the concept of the human soul fit this challenge. My hope is that the viewer will be able to discern an action taking place, captured in the moment. Through the use of colour, texture and brush strokes, each painting strives to reveal an emotion (Rest, Pain, Ecstasy) and therefore represents the soul in that very state. I can assure you that this was not an easy task…to use paint to create an image that represents something ethereal, and without substance, and yet give it an organic mass, motion and E-motion.

In some ways I think the 12″ x 12″ size restriction was not so much a hindrance as it was an aid to containing purity of the image. But that is the view point of the artist. I am interested in knowing what the viewers think of this exhibition and my series Soul In State: Rest, Pain, Ecstasy. I encourage you to share your thoughts and to please feel free to offer constructive criticism. Thanks to those of you who came out in that wild heat, to share in the Opening Reception. As local artists, we rely and depend on the support of our communities which in turn helps to foster an appreciation for arts and culture but especially for the visual arts.

Artist Laurie-Lynn McGlynn with Soul In State: Pain in Background

Watch this blog for news on my next upcoming exhibition in Toronto at Rainbow Cinemas in Market Square (July30-August 30).


Ready, Set…GO! 1st Square Foot Exhibition at the Art Exchange is Good To Go


Just a gentle reminder that tomorrow night marks the official opening of the 1st Square Foot Art Show at The Art Exchange Gallery. The reception is on Friday July 6th, 2012 at 7:00pm. Don’t forget that there are 2 galleries hosting this exhibition so be sure to investigate the myriad of art work for sale at both locations. I am exhibiting 3 pieces, two of which are located at the gallery located at 156 Wortley Road, and the other piece is located at 247 Wortley Road (see image below). For more information about this series, please visit my website:…Go To Gallery 2


“Soul In State: Rest, Pain, Ecstasy”, photo courtesy of Douglas R. McGlynn

A tip for those who will attend the Opening Reception: you may want to begin your tour at the first location: 247 Wortley Road, London Ontario as the space  holds a bit more work. The second location is about 500 m. (or a 6 minute walk, according to Google Maps) from the first location and is at 156 Wortley Road. Click below for a map and directions to the gallery.

Allow for enough time to soak in the variety of styles and please feel free to ask the gallery staff any questions about the artwork, artists or pricing. Hope to see you there!

Winner of Juried Arts Competition! ‘Rock-2’ wins award at Norfolk Arts Centre in Simcoe


from left to right: Adam Veri (Barber & Veri Inc.), Deirdre Chisholm (Director/Curator Norfolk Arts Centre) & Artist Laurie-Lynn McGlynn- photo courtesy of Douglas R. McGlynn

Friday June 29, 2012 marked the long anticipated reception and grand opening of the Arts Country Juried Exhibition. This show represents the work of artists from 5 counties in Southwestern Ontario, and is held at the Norfolk Arts Centre in Simcoe Ontario. Click here for a map of the gallery:

The exhibition runs from June 29-August 30, 2012. Along with offering an official welcome to the public, last Friday’s reception provided the forum from which the winners of the juried art competition were officially announced. Three winners were chosen from a talented pool of artists from Brant, Elgin, Middlesex, Norfolk and Oxford Counties. I am happy to announce that my painting ‘Rock 2’ was selected for an award and cash prize which was presented to me during the reception.

Winner of 3rd Prize: ‘Rock-2’-photo courtesy of Douglas R. McGlynn

Out of three paintings, two were accepted for this exhibition; the winning Rock-2 and Sand-1. Both paintings will remain at the gallery for the duration of the exhibition and are available for purchase. Please contact the gallery for more information about the artists, their work and sales related queries:

Artist Laurie-Lynn McGlynn with ‘Sand-1’ & ‘Rock-2’, Norfolk Arts Centre Gallery-photo courtesy of Douglas R. McGlynn

***If you missed last Friday’s reception at the Norfolk Art Centre, don’t dispair! Take advantage of an opportunity to view some amazing local artwork at The Art Exchange Gallery located at 247 Wortley Road in London Ontario. This exhibition titled The 1st Annual Square Foot Show, will open with a reception on Friday July 6th at 7:00p.m. The work will remain on exhibition until July 28th, 2012 over two gallery locations; 247 Wortley Road and 156 Wortley Road. Bring a friend…enjoy a refreshment and immerse yourself in visual pleasure!

Update: Upcoming Art Exhibitions Summer 2012

I am pleased to announce that a selection of my work will be on exhibition with AFAC: Art For All Canada, located at Rainbow Cinemas, Market Square, Toronto. Click here for a map and directions to the venue:

The exhibition will take place at Gallery A inside Rainbow Cinemas from Monday July 30th-Thursday August 30th, 2012. For more information about Art For All Canada and the artists who exhibit at Rainbow Cinemas, go to Hope to see you there!

Upcoming Art Exhibitions: Summer 2012

Arts Country Juried Arts Competition

After taking a brief hiatus from the studio, I have “re-emerged” back into the arts community. I am happy to announce a few upcoming exhibitions in which my work will be on display and available for purchase.

*2012 Arts Country Juried Arts Competition

This exhibition will take place at the Norfolk Arts Centre, 21 Lynnwood Avenue, Simcoe Ontario. Art work will be on display from June 29-August 30, 2012. The Opening Reception is scheduled for Friday June 29th at 7:00 p.m.

*1st Annual Square Foot Show

This exhibition will take place at The Art Exchange in two locations: 247 Wortley Rd., London Ontario & 156 Wortley Rd., London Ontario. Art work will be on display from July 4-28, 2012. The Opening Reception is scheduled for Friday July 6th at 7:00 p.m.

Please support your local art community by attending either or both of these exhibitions. Bring your friends/family and experience some amazing local talent. Better still, why not drop by on Opening Night and take advantage of the opportunity to meet the artists. We love to chat about our work…I look forward to meeting you!

*For a detailed look at my visual art practice and exhibition activities, please visit my website at:

Tolkien’s Dead Marshes and the Battle of the Somme: A Guide to Online Resources

At Flers Courcelette, the Battle of the Somme: Courtesy of the Imperial War  Museum,

As any fan of The Lord of the Rings [LOTR] trilogy will attest, much of JRR Tolkien’s writings were influenced, if not shaped, by the First and Second World Wars. A striking example of this can be seen in his description of the Dagorlad Battlefield or commonly known as the Dead Marshes of Mordor, in The Two Towers. The connection between Tolkien’s writings and his experiences in the First World War, particularly the Battle of the Somme, has been debated by scholars of various disciplines. Although most agree that wartime experiences contributed to his creation of Middle-Earth, others proclaim that his writings were mostly a product of his studies of the classics, ancient languages and Old Norse folklore. Thus the argument lies therein.

[For a current read on this debate, see John Garth’s Web site for a link to Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-Earth:]Yet the recurring theme of war, caused by the weakness for power and greed and the resultant loss of the natural environment, is a common narrative in Tolkien’s writings. It is this theme that causes the reader to be reminded of how conflict can set off the delicate balance of all living things in the natural world. As a primary actor in the theatre of war, surely Tolkien’s experience in the Battle of the Somme seems more likely to have provided the fodder for the conceptual framework behind the LOTR, than his academic background.

J.R.R. Tolkien, 1916

Like many of his friends and collegues from Oxford University, Tolkien signed up to ‘do his bit’ for the war cause and joined the Lancashire Fusiliers.

[For a “Biographical Sketch” of J.R.R. Tolkien, go to a member’s collective whose contributions are approved through the Society’s Executive Committee: alternatively the Tolkien Library offers a basic biography as well as other information pertaining to the author and his works:]

Shortly after, Tolkien was sent to the Western  front in 1916 where he served as a signal officer at the Battle of the Somme.

Troops attacking during the Battle of the Somme:

Photograph courtesy of the Imperial War Museum, London.

The Book of Lost Tales written during his convalescence in a Birmingham military hospital, provided the framework for the concept of ‘Middle-Earth’, and would eventually be used in the LOTR. The narrative of the Dead Marshes can be found in the second volumn of The Lord of the Rings titled: The Two Towers  which was released on November 11 1954, the date befitting of war rememberance.

With 415,000 British and 650,000 German troops killed during this particular battle, including all but one of Tolkien’s closest friends, it stands that memories of the landscape would leave a lasting impression and provide the details for his writings.

Caught between two worlds, no-man’s land, like the Dead Marshes was a barren landscape, devoid of all life. In The Two Towers, book-2 of the LOTR trilogy, Tolkien sought to create a setting reminiscent of the devastation and impact of war. The features of the Dead Marshes are strikingly similar to the accounts of the trenches at the Somme. The atmosphere of the Dead Marshes is one of battles long past, of suffering and a level of destruction resulting in a perpetual emptiness, a type of soulless vacuum. In some ways, Tolkien’s knowledge and study of religion is apparent if one interprets the Dead Marshes as a type of ‘Purgatory’ for the souls of the un-dead. In the trenches, Tolkien would have experienced the daily infestation of lice, rats and corpses floating above the mud and rain-filled craters created by shell fire. This vision of life in the trenches is clearly depicted in the Dead Marshes as seen in the following passage:

“…the marsh-reeks lay in heavy banks. No sun pierced the clouded sky…a shadowy silent world…an endless network of pools, and soft mires, and winding half-strangled water-courses. It was dreary and wearisome. Cold clammy winter still held sway in this forsaken country. The only green was the scum of livid weed on the dark greasy surfaces of the sullen waters. Dead grasses and rotting reeds loomed up in the mists like ragged shadows of long-forgotten summers”. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers: The Passage of the Marshes (London: Unwin Paperbacks, 1954), 288-289.

[The original 1954 edition is not easily accessible digitally, however, a hard copy can be found in most local libraries. For a quick scan of the above quote, go to: *Note, this online version is from the 1991 edition by HarperCollins]

Amongst a thick veil of wet and rot is a quiet yet constant hum of lost souls waiting to redeem themselves, to tell their story. This is the very essence of the Dead Marshes; a poignant lament for the dead and perhaps for the lives of Tolkien’s friends. Based upon the 4 images below, it is not difficult to see how Tolkien’s experiences at the Battle of the Somme played a vital role in creating the Dead Marshes landscape.

Battle of the Somme, Courtesy of:

Battle of the Somme, Courtesy of:

Dead Marshes, Courtesy of Artist Ted Nasmith:


The Dead Elf-King, Courtesy of:

[For an introduction to the Dead Marshes as it is depicted in The Two Towers, go to the Tolkien Gateway Web site:]

About the Film:

Far from the trenches of the Somme, director Peter Jackson wrote and produced the film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy from the desolate bogs of Kepler Mire in New Zealand’s South Island.

[For a quick look at the Dead Marshes scene from The Two Towers, click on the following clip:]

[For a sneak peak at the 2012 film release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, click on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Trailer 1:]

The Somme on Film:

For an interesting look at the Battle of the Somme produced by an independent film company:


Additional links to Tolkien and the Battle of the Somme:

Gifts from Christmas Past

As part of a Digital History assignment which correlates with the 2011 Christmas shopping season, this blog looks at various books that were available to order through the Eaton’s Christmas Catalog in 1913. I chose six books from the catalog and searched the internet to find digital copies of each one. I chose two Beatrix Potter books purely for nostalgic purposes, a cookbook from Southwestern Ontario, two etiquette books which lay the framework for a well-organized and standardized imperial society and a literary classic whose book covers expresses a great deal about cultural norms at the time of printing.

1. Title: The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan                     

Author: Beatrix Potter

Published: 1905





2. Title: The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck                            

Author: Beatrix Potter

Published: 1908






The first site I found to have a full e-book copy of both books is through Project Gutenberg. Each copy is downloaded from Ibiblio and offers the user a choice of file formats from which to download: plain text, HTML, Epub, Kindle and Plucker.

While on the download page, the user can also choose to download from a ‘mirror’ site, which according to Project Gutenberg, can offer a faster download. []

By clicking in the ‘mirror’ sites, the choices are arranged by country. Although Project Gutenberg suggests choosing a link from a region closest to the user to speed up the download, I found that the geographic location did not make a difference. In fact, Dalhousie University in Halifax Nova Scotia loaded much more slowly than the University of Adelaide Library in Australia. Thus some of the links, regardless of their geographic distance from London Ontario, provided a more efficient and complete download of images compared to that of ‘mirror’ sites in closer proximity.

Here are a few ‘mirror’ sites from which I tested download speed of text and images.

The only two ‘mirror’ sites which would not load at all were links from Romania and Taiwan resulting in the following messages: “550 Failed to Change Directory” or “File Error”. Other features on Project Gutenberg that the user may find appealing can be found in the top tabs next to the download page. The user has the option of connecting directly to Twitter or Facebook to research blogs, follow posts and make comments about the downloads available for this particular book. Not only can the user find recommendations for other sources of a similar genre, this is a great way for those new to Project Gutenberg, or e-books for that matter, to discover what others have written about the quality of the download and to stay informed of recent additions to the catalog. One last feature is the QR Code tab which enables the user to view the book on their mobile phone by scanning the QR Code.

Although the Internet Archive catalog lists both of these books, the download is re-directed to Project Gutenberg. Google Books does not provide full copies of these books and due to copy right restrictions on access use, Hathi Trust do not offer a full e-book download either. However, the user can perform a word search within the book via the ‘limited-search only’ option which provides segments of the text based upon words and phrases entered in the search box. Hathi also provides a link to local libraries which may carry a copy for lending. Apart from Project Gutenberg, the Children’s Nursery Web site offers a full e-book for both of these Potter books but only for online viewing, not for downloads:

The final word on finding full e-book downloads for both of these Beatrix Potter books, rests with Project Gutenberg.


3. Title: The New Galt Cook Book

 Author: Margaret Taylor and Frances McNaught

Published: 1898






The first site I came across that provides a full digital version of this cookbook is from Library and Archives Canada:

Although downloading is not an option, the user can view the entire book online by clicking on the digitized Table of Contents. Each recipe includes the donor’s name and location. Internet Archive provides a full copy for borrow, sale or download in various file formats [PDF, plain text, DAISY, ePub, Kindle and DjVu for streaming]. This book is not available via Google Books, Hathi Trust or Project Gutenberg.


4. Title: Manners and Rules of Good Society

Author: A Member of the Aristocracy

Published: 34th Edition (1911-1912) from Eaton’s Catalog 1913-1914






15th Edition (1888) available from Internet Archive:

35th Edition (1913) available from Internet Archive and Hathi Trust:

38th Edition (1916) available from Internet Archive (2 copies) and Project Gutenberg:

As seen above, Internet Archive carries the largest number of editions for this book beginning in 1888 with the 15th edition, the 35th edition in 1913 and the 38th edition in 1916. The 1913-1914 edition of the Eaton’s catalogue advertised the 34th edition which was published in 1911. This means that Eaton’s was selling an older edition on that particular calendar year. Reasons for this are unclear apart from an estimated guess that the 35th edition was not available at the time of printing the Eaton’s catalogue for Christmas of 1913. After a bit of research, it appears that the 1st edition was published in or around 1879 with consecutive editions following annually up until 1924 with the 45th edition. It is interesting to note that this book, deemed significant enough in popular culture to print 45 editions, suddenly ceased publication in 1924.


5. Title: The New Standard Business and Social Letter-Writer

Author: Alfred B. Chambers

Published: 1911






Staying within a similar genre of social etiquette is this handy guide to letter writing. First published in 1900 this second edition (1911) was available to order from the Eaton’s catalogue 1913-1914. The original title for the first edition The New Century Standard Letter-Writer was modified to The New Standard Business and Social Letter-Writer. Apart from the change in title, Chambers added a few other tidbits to his repertoire. For example, on the title page of the first edition the contents include: Business, Family& Social Correspondence; love-letters; etiquette. The second edition in 1911 contains the same themes but with the added: acceptances & refusals. It is interesting how Chambers found these last two aspects of letter writing important enough to include them in the later edition, as a way to meet the standards of early 20th century etiquette. Although Project Gutenberg does not hold either edition, Internet Archive has the older edition in a variety of file formats:

Both editions of full text e-books can be found on Hathi Turst Digital Library:

1st Edition 1900:

2nd Edition 1911 also available from Easton’s Catalogue 1913-1914:


6. Title: Uncle Tom’s Cabin


Author: Harriet Beecher Stowe

Published: the first three editions published by the author (1852, 1878 & 1879)


One of the most striking elements of my research into this book was the variety of book covers to be found online illustrating Uncle Tom and the various characters within the story. The images alone provide a glimpse into popular culture and the societal perspectives of ethnic and racial awareness at the time of printing. Another interesting feature is the depiction of the author’s name. In the 1913-1914 Eaton’s catalogue, this book is advertised under the author Miss Stowe while other editions print her name in full. Internet Archive holds 138 full copies of the e-book with various file formats and several editions mostly from 1852, the first edition:

Hathi Trust has 56 copies of full text e-books with various editions, but again, mostly from the original printing in 1852 which includes illustrations by George Cruikshank, renowned London illustrator for Charles Dickens and of the Graphic newspaper:

Project Gutenberg also has complete copies of the book online and for download in a variety of file formats and notwithstanding the Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Young Folks Editions.

Another site which offers a full text download is epubbooks:

And Literature Project offer an online version:

Based upon online research into the preceding books, it would seem that the number of prints and editions made of each one is indicative of their popularity and hence their lasting quality throughout the ages. The Potter books for example are not just a reminiscence of my childhood but represent a bygone era of children’s literature. So many of the books found on the Eaton’s catalogue from 1913 are still on many shopping lists for Christmas 2011. Although 21st century cultural norms have changed a great deal since the days of etiquette guide books, I wonder if some of those standards could make a ‘come-back’ to infiltrate our digital world. I am referring to the text-savvy teen, whose addiction to social networking sites has often resulted in verbal communication break-down and heinous acts against the English language [r u lol? idk!]. You never know, perhaps a copy of The New Standard Business and Social Letter-Writer could be the next best stocking-stuffer….calligraphy anyone?