Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Retrospective - some of my art from the 80s to the present

Media range is oil pastel on paper, watercolour pencil on paper, pencil on paper and ink on paper.

Monday, December 07, 2009

A Couple of Seascapes by Gillian

Shark Cove and Pu'upehe
Lana'i, Hawaii
By Gillian Cornwall
Watercolour Pencil on Paper
4" x 6"
Copyright 2000

by Gillian Cornwall
Oil Pastel on Paper
Copyright 1988

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Tradewinds and the Aloha Dancers from July09

The Aloha Dancers
with Special Guest Dancer - Tulawe from Fiji
July 2009
Cameron Bandshell
Beacon Hill Park
Victoria BC

Click on images to enlarge



For more information about Tradewinds and the Aloha Dancers, see their website.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Circuitous Routes: Excess/Abundance - This Friday at Open Space Gallery

Circuitous Routes: Excess/Abundance

Friday, November 6, 2009 7:00 pm


Opening reception is on Friday, November 6, 8:00pm

Artist Talk at 7:00pm

Circuitous Routes: Excess/Abundance

Runs from November 6 through December 12, 2009.

Open Space Gallery

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wendy Welch Show at Open Space

Circuitous Routes: Excess/Abundance

Friday, November 6, 2009

This content is directly from the Open Space web site.

Opening reception is on Friday, November 6 at 7:00pm.

Circuitous Routes: Excess/Abundance runs from November 6 through December 12, 2009.

Victoria artist Wendy Welch is fascinated by contemporary desire, and the tangible evidence left in its wake. Circuitous Routes: Excess/Abundance will feature six new works that originate in Welch’s commitment to drawing and installation. She honours the everyday materials that come into her life—whether the gifts of materials from her students, or found objects or the various envelopes and print materials that cross her desk.

An inveterate collector and recycler of objects, Welch examines the impulse to collect, to store and to amass material goods, both as an individual and as a contributor to a wider consumer culture. Welch gives unexpected form to the accumulated residue of consumerism by transforming ephemera into a monumental study of abundance, identifying exactly where abundance tips into excess. Welch describes the installation as a “three-dimensional scribble,” a deliberately non-functional, provisional, structured and chaotic milieu, in which visitors might consider materiality, process, accumulation and, indirectly, landscape.

Wendy Welch studied visual art at the University of Victoria (MFA), California State University in Los Angeles and Concordia University, Montreal (BFA). Her work has been presented at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the Richmond Art Gallery among other galleries and artist-run centres. In addition to her visual art practice, Welch is an art writer, curator and educator. She is the Founder and Director of the Vancouver Island School of Art.


Sunday, October 04, 2009

A taste of Autumn in West Saanich

Some pics of the produce
Thanks to Sarah B for the loan of the camera
and the drive to the country.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Windblown shelters
the scent of living cedar
I am my animal
senses alive
choking on human intelligence
begging instinct to push
through my skin as fur
to warm me

Gillian Cornwall, 1993

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Fog

A fog has descended over the town that is my brain.
Strangers move silently through the haze
bumping one another with ignorance and a taste of vehemence.

A raging parade masked by the static
thick in the throats of the anonymous crowd.

Fedoras pulled down
Collars turned up
Heads bent
and shoulders hunched

Not a glance exchanged
No introductions made
No gentle touches
Nor aspirations shared

Friday, September 11, 2009

Contemporary Delight

Wendy Welch is my favourite contemporary artist. I won't talk about it here but please take a look at her website.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Wild Things Gone Tame

I sure know that I am unlikely to gain many friends with this post but I hope that it inspires some thought and some alternate perspectives.

The domestication of animals is the issue at hand. I want folks to consider the likelihood that the domestication of any and all species only benefits the human. From farm animals to pets, this is the score: Humans = advantage; animals = 0

The domestication of animals for consumption has a somewhat obvious history with humans desire for an easy food source but the keeping of animals as pets is only about human whim and desire for control over other creatures. Why do we take certain animals into our living space and let them sleep where we sleep, eat what and where we eat and then get upset at them when their instincts show and they scratch the furniture, meow, bark or mark their territory?

Animals made into pets from wild things lacked choice. This was a selfish act on the part of humanity. We are the only animal that seeks to control other animals and then anthropomorphize them. We are proud of ourselves for saving a kitten or puppy that may have been euthanized but they are only in that position as a result of our domestication of their species. Wild animals have little or no need of us.

We humans are ungainly and selfish creatures who lack instinct and the ability to function in our environment. Take a moment to picture the earth without the human animal.

It's astounding, isn't it?

I call for people to consider stopping the further domestication of all species. What if we set a date by which we would no longer breed animals for our use and further consider the amount of space we take up on this earth? Let's make a space for the freedom of our fellow creatures.

If you want meat, hunt it.

If you want comfort, look to yourselves and to each other.


Friday, August 28, 2009


My atoms are banging together like grocery carts in a big box store
and I've reached a point in my paradigm
where I'll pass up your piss and vinegar
for a good conversation and a bottle of pinot grigio

"I'm old", I say
in that "You don't know me!"
piss tank kinda way

Like magnets: same-same
we push away in this game
with a faked out pout
turn about and an
"I wanna spend my life with you!"

"Be yourself", you said
so I've been looking in the tool shed
behind the rusted barbeque
and the lawn darts.
It's a start.
Pretty sure I'm in there, somewhere.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hoavy Road - Vancouver Island

Something happens on this island
Some kind of alchemy
Skies turn to silver
And light is as much in me as around me
I am this land, this sky
And this sea
As much in me
As around me

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dear Crow God,

Dear Crow God,

I humbly request that you ask your disciples to stop flying at my head. My hair is not nesting material and what the hell would I want with a crow baby. Rest assured, very few humans, as twisted and cruel as we can be, have use for a crow baby.

My understanding is that your kind are not even good eating; hence, the expression "eating crow" which is, of course, an English language idiom meaning humiliation by admitting wrongness or having been proven wrong after taking a strong position. Eating crow is presumably "foul" (excuse the pun - Fowl) tasting in the same way being proven wrong may be emotionally hard to swallow (thanks again Wikipedia).

To return to my original request, please inform your troops that, while I am renowned for my good nature and sense of humour, there is nothing sporting nor dignified about running down the street willy-nilly, waving my arms in the air, looking and, quite frankly, feeling terrified at the prospect of having my eyes plucked out.

I wish you the very best with all of your other crow endeavours, not the least of which is your attraction to, and collection of, bright and shiny objects, of which I do not consider myself one.

You also appear to have quite an affinity for playing "chicken' in traffic.

Oh - and the black outfits - very tasteful!

Most sincerely,

Gillian Cornwall

Ink Drawing - Long Beach Rainforest

Art Bits

Two oil pastels/mineral oil on watercolour paper
Scenes from Hawaii

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Happy 85th Birthday Mum!

Eunice Jay
Born May 5, 1924
Died 1982

Wish I had the chance to know you when I was an adult. I love this photo of you.
Today, I honour your life.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Truth

I didn't swim with dolphins
Nobody actually swims with dolphins
We're not that good at it
I was floating about 40 feet away
They swam to me
It was terrifying really

Nine mammalian torpedoes spinning and soaring towards me
All smiles
They're always smiling
Makes it difficult to tell if they're angry

I'm an uninvited guest in their living room after all
Floating around
Ungainly as an elephant in a tutu
Limbs all spread and flailing

"Most intelligent; friendly appearance; seemingly playful"
Wikipedia says so
And I'm sure I look to them like
"A fish out of water?"
A drowning alien

One swims immediately below me
On its back
Checking me out
It feels good to be checked out
Even by this slick and smiley torpedo

And I wonder what these creatures would think
If they could peer into our living rooms
They might be terrified too
But I don't think they would be impressed

In mythology, be it Greek or Hindu,
Humans are often found riding the dolphin

In dolphin mythology
Humans are wanton, graceless dullards
And, often, objects of ridicule

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Phoenix

your greatest strength
rises from the ashes
of your vulnerability

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Rain and Blossoms

A billion tiny kisses plastered to the ground.

Licks and kisses pink on green,
the green grass of a west coast spring

A promise kept to us every year
through the grey wet winter

blossom blizzard
we call to the east and say
"yes, it's snowing here too!

a billion pink wet kisses for the earth mother
this is love too.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Love and molecules

Imagine, my mom was driving a motorcycle around England in 1943. She was 19 then. She had a boyfriend who was a Spitfire pilot. They used to read poetry to each other at Harrow on the Hill by Byron's tomb. They were in love. My mom was in the ATS at Biggin Hill fighter station where her boyfriend, Rick, was posted. They lived fast and true to their hearts. There was no time to waste by not feeling, blocking and worrying if it was right. Life was so tenuous - up for the lottery every moment as planes fell from the sky, bombs fell from the sky and buildings crumbled around people daily. The world was at war and nothing was forever. There was only the moment in which the truth existed.
Rick was shot down. Killed.

In 1948, my mother married my father. They had four kids, moved to Canada from England twice, started their own business, and divorced in 1975. My mother continued to work to support the two children she still had at home. She created a new career for herself and kept my brother and I in school, in good clothes, with enough food to eat and the occassional vacation and special treat. She did well by us although she was sad - she had lost a part of her self in the process of all this.

At 58 years old, she died of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease); robbed of her retirement and her chance to go to Europe and explore the arts of the countries she had spoken of so passionately over the years.

Her wish was to have her ashes taken to Byron's tomb to be spread in the place where she remembered her passion, her love and her truth. This was done. I hope that my mom and Rick's molecules are dancing together still.

The Tear by Lord Byron

When Friendship or Love our sympathies move,
When Truth, in a glance, should appear,
The lips may beguile with a dimple or smile,
But the test of affection's a Tear:

Too oft is a smile but the hypocrite's wile,
To mask detestation, or fear;
Give me the soft sigh, whilst the soultelling eye
Is dimm'd, for a time, with a Tear:

Mild Charity's glow, to us mortals below,
Shows the soul from barbarity clear;
Compassion will melt, where this virtue is felt,
And its dew is diffused in a Tear:

The man, doom'd to sail with the blast of the gale,
Through billows Atlantic to steer,
As he bends o'er the wave which may soon be his grave,
The green sparkles bright with a Tear;

The Soldier braves death for a fanciful wreath
In Glory's romantic career;
But he raises the foe when in battle laid low,
And bathes every wound with a Tear.

If, with high-bounding pride he return to his bride!
Renouncing the gore-crimson'd spear;
All his toils are repaid when, embracing the maid,
From her eyelid he kisses the Tear.

Sweet scene of my youth! seat of Friendship and Truth,
Where Love chas'd each fast-fleeting year
Loth to leave thee, I mourn'd, for a last look I turn'd,
But thy spire was scarce seen through a Tear:

Though my vows I can pour, to my Mary no more,
My Mary, to Love once so dear,
In the shade of her bow'r I remember the hour,
She rewarded those vows with a Tear.

By another possest, may she live ever blest!
Her name still my heart must revere:
With a sigh I resign what I once thought was mine,
And forgive her deceit with a Tear.

Ye friends of my heart, ere from you I depart,
This hope to my breast is most near:
If again we shall meet in this rural retreat,
May we meet, as we part, with a Tear.

When my soul wings her flight to the regions of night,
And my corse shall recline on its bier;
As ye pass by the tomb where my ashes consume,
Oh! moisten their dust with a Tear.

May no marble bestow the splendour of woe
Which the children of vanity rear;
No fiction of fame shall blazon my name.
All I ask – all I wish – is a Tear.

October 26 1806

Live, love, be brave.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Choice: as independent and as uncontrollable as breath. ...and what happens when we hold our breath?

Well, eventually, our body takes over and forces us to breathe.

Choice: as true as instinct, naming life force through action.

Create your world through your life force.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Art and Home

Imagine you live on the street. Where is your venue for self expression? Do you care or is that so far off your radar because you are cold, hungry, afraid, sick, addicted and desperate to simply survive another day?

I don't have the answer. I'm not even certain about the relevance of my questions! Some people are without society's concept of home because they want to be. Some people on the street have homes and can't go to them because they are not safe.

I do know that many people not living within the construct of walls and roof are simply not seen by those of us who do live within these constructs. Living outside the normal boundaries of society's dream can come with the price of not being seen. You are outside the realm of others vision of acceptability. If you are not seen, do you question your place in the world? Do you drift outside of yourself or do you drift inward? I imagine it is as individual as each being.

I do know that, for myself, I can examine my interconnection with the "all" through self-expression. For me, this is sometimes facilitated in the form of visual art.
So, I'm thinking about the possibility of getting some local art supply stores to donate sketchbooks and other art supplies to the shelters and folks on the street. I think it is a fairly simple way to facilitate a form of self expression. I would love to gather drawings from the street and create a show for the whole community that may start a dialogue - perhaps create a conduit for our brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers who are suffering from invisibility to reconnect to that sense of being part of the "whole". A picture truly is worth a thousand words and art can transcend borders.
Let me know what you think.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Back In the Game

Plumerias on LanaiPumpkin-Fest 08 - Saanich Peninsula

Hello All,

After a sabbatical of a certain stretch of time, I have returned with more access to technology and a recovered spirit. There is a great deal of information I am hoping to put forth here in the next few months and hope that I will re-establish contact with some of my previous readers. In the meantime, enjoy the visuals.