the Google Plus Familia - simone4king

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hoilday Sale at Skeir Gallery

This weekend at Skeir gallery, I will be exhibiting my art with several local artists. Small, beautiful creations are on exhibition and for sale at reasonable prices.

Dog friendly! Kids welcome! Some vino and snacks! Can't wait to see ya!

Saturday December 17, 2011
11am – 7pm
Sunday December 18, 2011
11am – 7pm
or by appointment

Skeir Gallery
1537a Queen Street West
(between Sorauren and Roncesvalles on the South side)

You'll remember it from the 'exploring emotion' exhibition.
Once again, the euro will be taken at par.

I hope you can make it to this group exhibition featuring the works of:

Shawn Skeir
Hollis Baptiste
Eric A.G. Jackson
Dyrek Power
Leslie Becker

Recently I've become enchanted by the idea of angels. Angels that are in another realm and angels that are here among us helping us out with kind gestures, support and love in a timely moment. We enjoy this spirit during the holidays. Most are happier, calmer filled with joy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Tribute to Stevie Wonder at Mojo Music - opening Sept 8, 2011

What I love about Stevie Wonder’s music is not only the arrangement and mastery of keys, but the lyrics. As a younger woman in search of direction, I would often play music to guide me through troubled times. A song I constantly returned to when I was down is Heaven is 10 Zillion Light Years Away.

It’s the song I play when I am disappointed in humanity and am struggling. When I am about to decide that everything is futile and there is no longer any point in pushing past the racism I encounter, pushing past the dismal words I hear, pushing through the hopelessness that often surrounds. When I hear that recording, I feel through Stevie’s voice, an energy that connects me to hope. And the most incredible thing about it is that the song provides no answers, just a message that someone somewhere else in the world is fighting similar demons and managing to get through.

This Tribute to Stevie Wonder at Mojo Music, is a collection of paintings that depict an artist who is full of talent, passion, politics and love. Some images are simply portraits of him, others include quotes from his music. The work is grouped so that you can, “…feel it, fell his spirit…” when you are in the performance room at Mojo Music.

A Tribute to Stevie Wonder
Opening September 8, 6-9pm
Mojo Music
430 Speers Road
Oakville, Ontario.
Wheelchair accessible
Free parking
Refreshments served
Free event

Venue hours:
Monday to Friday 12-9pm
Saturday 10-6pm
Sunday 12-5pm

Mojo Music is a musical instrument store and music school located close to Speers and Morton. It’s a slick venue packed with instruments and staffed with people who know music and love it.

Join us for the opening of A Tribute to Stevie Wonder to celebrate the gift of hearing this great artist and being influenced by his music. The exhibition runs until November 10, 2011.

Directions for those without cars:
If you're coming from Toronto, take the Lakeshore West Go Train
to Oakville Go Station
The cost of a day pass (return ticket for same day use) is $13.00.
Take the #4 W Speers Bus located on Station Road just outside the Go Transit building
to the stop after Morton Road and simply cross the street
it costs 65 cents
with a Go Ticket
(Show your Go Transit Ticket to the driver.)

It's about a 40 minute Go Transit ride and the bus is s short trip.
Here's the Go Transit Schedule
(If you get to Union station at around 4:30, you'll arrive at the show close to the beginning.) The trains come frequently during rush hour - 5, 10 minutes apart. It's a nice way to travel.

Here's the bus schedule
The #4 W bus leaves Oakville Station about every 20 minutes from 5:25.

Mojo Music contact including map for those who drive.

Click on the map at Mojo's site to get mapquest driving.

I'll see you there!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix Closing Celebration

I am so excited to be exhibiting in Oakville again. It’s an opportunity for me to see old friends I rarely bump into in my day to day.

Mojo Music is a musical instrument store and school. Had it not been for facebook, chances are I wouldn’t be exhibiting there. The owner, Peter Tong, is a pal from my childhood. He was a rocker then as well. I was a math geek. Just kidding! Not that I wasn’t amazing at math, I’m just not sure how I appeared to my peers or if they were even pigeonholing each other into careers. I was always looking for movie stars in my classroom – musicians, dancers, writers and I had no idea what a visual artist looked like at nine, but I knew I wanted to be one.

Back in the old days, I hung out with a lot of guys and all they’d talk about was Hendrix. Hendrix is amazing. No one can play like Hendrix. Hendrix was a God. He is a God. I finally listened. To create this exhibition, I had his music playing in the background. I read some articles and looked at some images and I was continually reminded of the cool factor. Jimi Hendrix was a phenomenal subject to paint because his art didn’t stop at his music. He was visually interesting as well.

Some if the images on exhibit are portraits, but another portion of the work on display celebrates music in general.

The show is coming down soon. The Closing Celebration, will happen on Thursday, August 18, 2011 from 6 – 10 pm. Please come out to the celebration and sale of my work. It will be nice to see my people again. It’s fun to see what people set off to do after years of standing in line after recess, wearing uncomfortable uniforms and way too much mall shopping.

Mojo Music
430 Speers Road
Oakville, ON

If you're coming from Toronto, take the Lakeshore West Go Train
to Oakville Go Station
The cost of a day pass (return ticket for same day use) is $13.00.
The buses are right outside the doors you exit through
take the #4 Speers Bus
to the stop after Morton Road and simply cross the street
it costs 65 cents
with a Go Ticket
(Show your Go Transit Ticket to the driver.)

It's about a 40 minute Go Transit ride and the bus is s short trip.
Here's the Go Transit Schedule
(If you get to Union station at around 4:30, you'll arrive at the show close to the beginning.) The trains come frequently during rush hour - 5, 10 minutes apart. It's a nice way to travel.

Here's the bus schedule
The #4 bus leaves Oakville Station about every 20 minutes from 5:25.

Mojo Music contact including map for those who drive.

Click on the map at Mojo's site to get mapquest driving directions.

So especially for grads of John XXIII School, St. Jerome and Saint Martin’s High School, if you’re not at the cottage, or working internationally please do come by and say hello.

Mojo Music has many music instructors, great sized individual class rooms and a really welcoming atmosphere. Take the opportunity now to register for Fall classes. You can go to their site to get detailed information of what’ s available and who to contact for more knowledge about it. MOJO SCHOOL of MUSIC

The next artist, whom I’ve already started painting, is Stevie Wonder. I have to admit I am so overwhelmed with emotion. Because I love him. I know very little about him personally, but through his music I am in absolute awe and madly in love with him. Look forward to seeing that work displayed on September 8th, 2011. I’ll remind you.

For now, have a fabulous weekend. Enjoy the rain. Should I check the weather, I haven’t checked. Ok, for you I will. We’ll see if it the prediction becomes fact. Okay. Enjoy the clouds on Saturday and the possibility of rain on Sunday.

But mostly,
Keep hope alive.
And love.

Trippy Solo (right)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

via taxi

I'm up late painting. Being up at this time of night has always been a gift to me. It's so still outside and dark. Peaceful. Few interruptions.

There was a time in my life when work was everything. I threw myself into it and it was almost completely satisfied. Add a few good friends, some film, art, novels and music plus food. That was it. That was all I wanted.

Tonight, I realize, this is it. This 4 am peacefulness is what I aim for. To feel it all day long. I see why writers and painters move to cabins to create. There in the stillness, much is possible. But I love, after a stint like this, a walk alone through the city.. a reminder of what else goes on.

The other day, I took a cab home. The driver told me he was a writer who could never finish anything. He'd be working now. He works the night shift.

I asked him who is favorite authors were. He listed many I'm not inspired to read these days: Homer, Sophocles, Hemingway. He lit up as he quoted favorite texts. He told me he could never finish anything he wrote. He said he never thought his finished product was good enough.

He said something I have been hearing since high school from frustrated men.
"I think this is hell. Not after we die. We are living this hell now."

We continued to smoke our cigarettes.

I told him I had heard that before.

He told me that he was depressed because of his age, his past, his loneliness.
I never know how to respond to that. The sorrow. I won't dismiss it, but know better than to take it on. I have been lost before in someone else's sorrow.

I was rescued by a female police officer who knocked on the door and told us to move. Hydro had taken up the other lane of the road and we were a hindrance to traffic.

I left the cab with a phone number I'm afraid to use (even though I was offered a discount on all my fares) and a slight wink from the spirit world.

I won't pretend to know what hell is and am not interested in meditating on it. But this 4:44 am artful moment feels heavenly.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

the end of the world

I had the strangest thing happen on the day the world was supposed to end. It was scheduled to end at six. Could be late. Sometimes things go a bit later.

Apparently, according to a pal of mine, only the true believers were actually leaving – thus ending their lives. The rest of us have a hundred years of nuclear hell ahead of us and some other unsettling stuff, which many of us see coming anyway.

I haven’t read about it or any news for quite a while.

My mother recently died of cancer and for the longest while, the comfort of her survival was all I could attend to. The world would have to take care of itself and I’d catch up later, or I wouldn’t. I had stopped caring entirely.

So today, still a bit weepy but hanging in, I made myself enjoy the weather by scheduling some random outdoor tasks. I did some banking, bought a paper, a gross orange pop that is still clinging to stomach lining like it belongs there. (Don’t tell my naturopath.) I walked along College West destined for some café writing time and perhaps a movie. I really should have crossed the street. I considered it several times. The café was on the other side of the street.

So I was almost there. I smiled, nodded and said hello to a pretty cute Mr. of African descent who is eating vanilla ice cream in a waffle cone. He greeted me in unison. And then he turned around.

In about three to five minutes we found out a great deal about each other.
Okay, I’ll just tell you what I remember because the truth of this is insane to me and it felt like magic. Not a soul-mate magic, or even a romantic magic, but a spiritual magic – the broom of life sweeping me a bit forward.


I turned around.

“What is your name?” He walked towards me extending his hand.


“I am (shall remain nameless).”

“Where are you from?”


“Oh, here.” He pointed at the ground. “Oh. I am from Haiti.” Brief pause. “Where are you going?”

“I’m going to write at the café on the corner.”

“Oh, you write?”


“Where are you going? Close by?”


“Oh.” He paused and seemed to find it odd.

“I’m gonna put my headphones on, have a coffee and write for a couple of hours.”

“What are you writing?”

“A book.”

“What’s it about?”

I hesitated to tell him – the subject being so personal. “It’s about almost dying. I almost died.”

“You almost died. I almost died.”

“You almost died.”


“You almost died. What happened?”

“It was 2004. The Africans were overthrowing the Haitian government."

“Your father was in the government.”

“Yes. My father was in the Haitian government and when the Africans were overthrowing the government, they burst into the house with guns and shot everything.” He gasped.

“But I was fine.”

“But you watched your father die.”


“That’s hard.”

He looked right at me then started to walk away a bit. “I don’t know why I stopped you,” he said shaking his head and taking steps backwards.

“Do you regret it?” I asked.

“No. No, not at all.” He stepped closer again.

“And you’re a writer.”


“And you are going to write, right now in that café.”


“What do you do?”

“I’m an accountant.”


We stood there for a while just staring at each other. I didn’t want to talk about accounting.

“I have to go, and you must write your story. When it is written I will read it over and over again because I want to know your story. And I will cherish it. A lot of people will want to read your story. I will cherish it. And I know it will be very good because you wrote it.”

“Thank you. Thank you.”

“What’s your name again?”


He repeated his name, which wasn’t necessary because I remembered it. We shook hands again.

“I don’t know why I stopped you,” he said again. “I don’t know why I stopped you. I was just walking by and then I stopped you. Good-bye, Simone.”

“Bye (insert name here).”

We parted ways. I read the paper and wrote for a couple of hours. I considered inviting him to join me, but I didn’t. I chose to write instead.

The world didn’t end, of course – at least not for most of us. But I felt another world open and I walked in.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


One monotonous evening while I was college, glued to the computer because it was a Graphic Design diploma I was after, I became possessed by the Goddess of Online Dating. She took over my body and forced me to create a profile on Plenty of Fish. It was great at first. My first date was with a Spanish scientist who traveled back and forth. I thought it went well. He never wanted to see me again.

It sounds harsh, but I'm a realist and can assure you that he simply was not interested in ever seeing me again. I was once a gal who rarely dated. I tried 'dating' in my 20s and realized that it would make my life a lot easier, if I only had drinks or dinner, went to plays, or danced with men I hoped to eventually spend a lot of time with. To date just to find out if he was someone I could date again. It just takes too flippin' long. And when I decided not to date a guy after five dates, too often they believed I was their girlfriend. Those break ups were so embarrassing for both of us, I think. I stopped. And I became sneaky. I got to know people a bit when I passed them on the street. I'd talk to them at parties, bars, events. And I knew if I was meant to date someone when I was attracted to him chemically, and began to see him everywhere. That was my scientific approach to falling in love.

So what am I doing online? Clicking on pictures? I have no idea. Mostly I'm cruising without danger of having to follow through after staring at some guy for fifteen minutes. It's kind of safe, right. Well that's what I thought. The opposite was confirmed on my series of date with candidate number one million six hundred thousand and forty three.

I met a man who pretended to be an Albanian refugee so that he could travel to North America. It took him a few tries, but it finally worked. We had a date on New Years Eve that lasted twenty minutes because he was fifteen minutes late and I had plans.

I thought he was sexy and actually, he had one of my fantasy body types. You know those guys who throw really big logs for competition. (This isn't him below. Just a visual. Just giving you a visual.)

I was in awe and imagined quite a delightful future. But alas.

One evening, after he was kind enough to pick me up from a thing I had in North Toronto so I wouldn't have to take the transit, I suggested we go out for a coffee. He parked the car, we got out and walked towards the café. In conversation about his ex-wife and kids etc., he casually slipped in that he had to beat his wife a couple of times. He said it like this,"I beat her too a couple of times, you know." I always imagine in these situations that the language difference or the background noise affected my perception so that he didn't say that at all.

But there I am, with my bag in his car, thinking I may be in danger right now. Thank God I have some acting experience. I played the role of the strong woman interviewing a sane man for the part of boyfriend. And I just listened to him tell me the story of his past.

For the details, you'll have to read my book. I'll probably call it 'cyberlove' unless some bastard steals the title, or I come up with something better. Basically, the wife beater was arrested, given a restraining order, put in jail for a day, and then released because he was coached not to admit guilt. He told me he said he was guilty and the judge told him not to tell her that. That's Canada, baby. Justice sometimes in some cases where the accused threatens that section of society that's running things. So then what happens? I get to meet him.

So I broke up with him in a voice mail. It's really the best way in that situation. He called back, emailed, asked for an explanation. I gave him one.

I will never date a man who has ever hit a woman for any reason.

I replied to his query with that one sentence. Make it your mantra. He told me he was drunk and hadn't had a drink since. But I said that he wasn't hearing me, because that was his reason. And no reason was acceptable.

Because for those of you who know me well, if a guy uses violence to make a point... let's just say, I ain't pretending to be 'Easy Like Sunday Morning'. I piss people off. Not on purpose usually, but often.

He still didn't get it so I had to tell him to stop calling, stop emailing and to just move on. No mincing words, no further explanation required. No opportunity to appear normal. None of it. Just an ending that saves me a ton of future grief.

Please ladies! Always do this! And men too! I've seen it get too ugly too often and there is always a sign with abusers. And the sign is not subtle either.

This random situation has inspired me to make an effort to socialize the old fashioned way... out in the world.

(Easy Like Sunday Morning by Lionel Ritchie... live)

and so we go...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Teddy Pendergrass - The Whole Town's Laughing At Me (1977)

I was having wine and yes, smoking cigarettes indoors -- yes, indoors -- with a good friend last night. We were listening to music and exclaiming at the same songs.

I was trying to remember this one. I kept getting the title mixed up with, Used to Be My Girl by the O'Jays because of what the songs were about. Totally different feeling as you know in terms of musicality. They take me to two different places.

So she didn't get the point I was making, which was -- where did that spirit go? I don't hear songs like this so much anymore but then I usually listen to jazz. So raw, so that I believe the person who wrote it meant it, that Teddy meant it. I must go on a search to find new artist who sing with this much soul.

So, I share this video with you which is not visually my favourite editing style. :) There is a live version when Teddy was younger. It's a better visual, but this is the one. This is the one I remember loving from the start. This, after a rough day and a decision not to drink again tonight 'cuz I do have a day job.

and so we go...