the Google Plus Familia - simone4king

Monday, July 29, 2013


Calling Soul - 1998ish
Now here's an interesting conversation for struggling artists and patrons with so much money they have gotten bored of buying $8000 purses.
What is one to do?

I have been grappling with the idea of selling my belongings, borrowing from the banks and credit unions, and no... I'm not into lottery tickets.

I recently met a woman who told me that my efforts to fundraise made me look like I was a professional beggar. 'I tell it like it is,' she said. I smiled. She comes from a family that always had more than enough.

Despite her criticism, I still see the benefits of crowdsourcing as opposed to applying for grants and/or lines of credit. I realize that some people are apprehensive to have their monies transferred online. I find it convenient, but we should all be careful, because there are many scams. In the meantime, in between time as my pal DL used to say:

Purchasing works of art from my exhibitions will go towards my participation in tradeshows like: The Artist Project, Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition and etc. etc. etc., if they will have me. And I hope they will.

--> Current Exhibitions:
A Tribute to Whitney Houston | Mojo Music
430 Speers Road
Oakville, Ontario
L6K2G2, Canada
Tel: 905-842-COOL (2665)
Fax: 905-842-8950
Monday to Thursday 12-9pm
Friday 12-7pm
Saturday 10-6pm
Sunday 12-5pm

Upcoming exhibitions:

Exploring Emotion | de Mello Specialty Coffee & Roastery
Opening: Thursday, August 8th 7:30 - 9:30 ongoing
(pieces sold will be replaced) 
2489 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, M4P 2H6
F +1(647) 748 3638   E

A Tribute to Black Musicians | BAND
awww, shucks... canceled.
Opening: Friday September 20, 2013 7-11pm
Artist Talk: October 25th, 2013 7:00 pm (venue stays open until 11pm) 
Show closes Sunday October 27th, 2013
BAND (Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue)
1 Wiltshire Avenue, Unit 134
Toronto, ON  M6N 2V7

Yonge and Lawrence Art Walk
Thursday October 17 - November 20, 2013
location to be confirmed

NTGA Fine Arts Show
Group Show | Blessed Sacrament Church
Friday November 8, 2013, 6-9pm (wine reception)
Saturday November 9, 2013, 10:00 - 3:30pm

Art In the Village
a great location in which to frame your works of art, diplomas or photos.
Jizelle also carries a great selection of Canadian Art.
2311 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6S 1P1   

Bow - 2012

I look forward to seeing your smiling faces at all of these events. 

I stumbled upon an incredible café in my area called, Douce France. This venue should be packed all the time. The owner imports her hot cocoa from France. It looks just like the hot chocolate in Chocolat.The recipe is a secret, even to her. It costs five dollars a cup. When I told one of my pals. his response was, "And how long does it take to drink this bleepin' drink. For five dollars a cup, it better last forever."

I laughed. One of my favourite tricks for staying sane is to spend five dollars lavishly every so often. The next time that I am so inclined, I will spend it at Douce France

I spoke to the owner about exhibiting my works of art at Douce France, located at 2471 Yonge Street just North of Eglinton on the East side of Yonge street. After some chatting, we thought it would be great if I painted one of the musicians who perform there while they sing.

You may have made it to my exhibition at Blues on Bellair many moons ago when I painted Shakura S'Aida. That venue is long gone. It was loads of fun. Shakura was on stage singing and I painted out of a wooden bowl. People asked if that's how they painted in Africa. 'I don't know,' I said. 'I just liked the bowl.'

The bowl was purchased by my pal, JE. I was shocked that he wanted to buy it.

He took this photo below:

The scarf matching the bowl, is one of those fabulous accidents.

Big Hug click here for the year.

Big Hug!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Things To Do Up North

Distinguished - - 7.125"x11.75" - 2010 - de Mello Café, August 8, 2013

An art exhibition scheduled at a café up North.
Just kidding. It’s not that far up North.
It’s North of Eglinton on Yonge Street at:
De Mello Palheta
2489 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, 

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

De Mello Palheta is located across the street from the Capitol Theatre 
a few blocks North of Eglinton on the East side of Yonge Street.
With deserts baked in house and great coffee. 

Monday to Friday 6am - 10pm
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays 8am - 10pm

T +1(647) 748 3633   F +1(647) 748 3638   E

Hopeful – 2010 - 7.125"x11.75"– $95 – 2010 - de Mello Café, August 8, 2013
 Hesitant – 7.125"x11.75"– $95 – 2010 - de Mello Café, August 8, 2013
The filtered coffee as seen below, is on sale for five dollars.
Here’s Felix, one of the owners of De Mello Palheta: 
brewing filtered coffee.

Try the fresh Bamble Berry pie baked in house. That delicious slice was only $3.99. 

Fresh deserts, great coffee, free wireless– one of the greatest combinations that exist. Oh, and great art!

RSVP by clicking this link:

However – 7.125"x11.75"– $95 – 2010 - de Mello Café, August 8, 2013
For artists and art lovers, check out this:

3rd Annual Paint-In
on August 18th
As part of Celebrate Food and Water First, Held by Artists Against the Mega Quarry
Celebrate Food and Water First on August 18th

Located at Honeywood Arena
Honeywood Duffering County
706114 County Road, East of Hwy 124

This popular event will feature artists at their easels – in a stunning location – capturing the beauty of the farmland, forests and river valleys saved from the Highland mega quarry. 

If you're a painter or photographer, join the group!  
Everyone who attends Celebrate Food and Water First can also take a free wagon ride to see the artists and the incredible vista. See the photo below! 

For more details, visit:  

Oops 7.125"x11.75"– $95 – 2010 - de Mello Café, August 8, 2013

Focus – 7.125"x11.75"– $95 – 2010 - de Mello Café, August 8, 2013

Insightful – 7.125"x11.75"– $95 – 2010 - de Mello Café, August 8, 2013

Wicked - 7.125"x11.75"– $95 – 2010 - de Mello Café, August 8, 2013

Speaking of places to dine up North try Creemore Kitchen, the restaurant is on Mill Street. 

Two pals of mine, Caesar Guinto and Sam Holwell are living the dream.

You may have seen Caesar on Breakfast Television, or tasted his deserts at Auberge Du Pommier or the dined at the ROM while he was the executive chef.

Click the link below to learn more.

Way to go Caesar and Sam!!

I look forward to seeing you all on August 8th, 2013
at de Mello Palheta Specialty Coffee and Roastery
for the opening from 7:30 - 9:30pm.

Remember to bring people you love who love art.

Works of art are on sale for $95.00 each. 

I'll see you at de Mello!

exploring emotion

This is a free event.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Illustrated Comics Inspired by people like Nelson Mandella


The illustrations above a part of a story I began illustrating in the late 90s. It was inspired by people like Nelson Mandella who is being honoured today by the Honouring Mandela Committee. This event takes place in Toronto.

Here’s a brief blog to let you know about an event on which one of my patrons is part of volunteer committee (Honouring Mandela Committee). They are hosting an event on the grounds of the Nelson Mandela Park Public School (in Regent Park) to mark Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday.   

On July 18 from 1 to 6 p.m., there will be an event to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela at the Nelson Mandela Park Public School, in the community of Regent Park. This date has been declared by the UN as Nelson Mandela International Day; it will also be Mandela’s 95th birthday.

A number of Canadian artists will be on hand to help celebrate Mandela’s life, including Liona Boyd, Lorraine Klaasen, Amanda Martinez, and Jabulani.

An international effort is underway to have a live stream broadcast of “applause” on his birthday –with Toronto’s participation slated for exactly 1:45 p.m. The formal program begins at 1 p.m. and is scheduled for 5 hours. Here’s an excerpt from the program:

Excerpt of Program of Events

Emcee: P.K Subbhan, Montreal Canadiens, NHL
·         Applause Ceremony
·         Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica (SA National Anthem)
·         Call to 67 Minutes of Volunteering
·         Liona Boyd

3:15 PM               
·         Regent Park School Of Music                     
·         Muhtadi African Drumming Ensemble   
·         Lorraine Klaasen                                              
·         Amanda Martinez
·         Brian Litvin and Jabulani               

For more information, see also  Here’s an excerpt from a Toronto Star piece written by Lloyd McKell, a Honouring Mandela Committee member:

Remember to check out my work at Art In the Village.

Check out my illustrated images for sale on Imagekind.
Soon to be available on Smashwords.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Guess What? New Works Available at Art in the Village

Guess What? What? - 2013 

Art In the Village
is carrying new works of art by Simone.
2311 Bloor St W,  
Toronto, ON 
M6S 1P1   
walk West on Bloor from Runnymede station.
Jizelle, the lovely owner,
has agreed to frame some works
which will be display at BAND (
from September 20th (7-11pm) to October 27th 
with an Artist Talk scheduled for October 25th at 7pm.

These lovely images of flowers paintings are 8" x 10”. 
Perfect for any home or office. 
Priced at $120, they are an affordable purchase for anyone
who hopes to invest in Canadian Art.
For anyone who would like to enhance their home with beauty.

Lilium Casa Blanca - 2013

Magnolia - Soulangeana - Lennei 2013

Rosa - Picali - 2013

Tumbling Ted - Saponaria Ecymendes 2013

Water Lily - Nymphaea - James Brydon 2013

The Artist Project (
is currently accepting applications.

I will be launching a new Indiegogo campaign
to usher support in order to participate. 

Booth prices start at around $1900, but it’s worth it.

I was a volunteer docent at The Artist Project last year.
The event was located at the CNE. It was well curated
with works from some very talented artists. Being a docent
was loads of fun and despite being heckled by one disgruntled visitor,
it was one of the highlights of my year.

I was able to see some artist pals from back in the day and
to meet some new talented artist from all over the world. 

Wish me luck in my venture to exhibit at The Artist Project!

Open on Tuesdays in June Rowlands Park located at Davisville and Mount Pleasant. I spent much of last week walking around ‘up North,’ (what I used to fondly call, Yonge and Eglinton), and getting inspired. I was happy to visit another Apple Tree farmer’s market (

I stopped to have a coffee at Smoked & Cracked just North of Davisville Park on the West side of the street. Next time, I’ll have the lobster. This time I had a blueberry scone that was fresh and delicious. The coffee there is amazing too. No espresso yet, for those who are hoping for cappuccinos.

June Rowlands park is a great venue for the Davisville Farmer’s market. Imagine purchasing a quart of fresh, Ontario strawberries and sitting under a tree in the park and eating them with someone you love.

The great news is, that aside from the ripe and delicious fruits, spreads, meats, veggies and baked goods, there is one person cooking up a storm who also sells mango lassi’s, a favourite of mine. If you haven’t had one yet, you haven’t lived. It’s healthy, sweet and delicious.

If I were able to give an award for best presentation, it would go to 'Garden of Good.'

Garden of Good - Apple Tree Farmer's Market - 2013

Two staff members who preferred not to be seen on camera, wore black and yellow striped tops and black aprons. The owner of the business was so delighted that I was going to put her booth up on my blog, that she gave me a coupon! Yay!

Recently, people have been apologizing for their love of honey. I don’t apologize for mine. Honey is a natural antibiotic. I think it’s one of the good things in life when used in moderation.

I felt compelled to research the controversy around honey. Here's what I found...

A quote from

In the early 1600’s when the early European settlers came the New World, they brought the precious honeybee with them, thus introducing the species to North America. The Native Americans already knew how to boil maple sap into the sweet maple syrup, but the settlers brought their own familiar sweetness to start their new lives. Once introduced into North America, beekeeping became a well-established and expanded practice. The first recorded use of honeybees in Canada was around the 1820's in Quebec and then it spread to Ontario around the 1830's.

Now this is interesting, because I’m sure I read somewhere that the bees in Canada came from Africa, but I was unable to find a reference supporting that online.
If you find one, please let me know.

Below is an excerpt from Wired online:

Controversy Deepens Over Pesticides and Bee Collapse

Colony collapse disorder is characterized in part by bees abandoning their hives during winter, and that’s precisely what Lu’s team reported in 15 of 16 imidacloprid-receiving hives. While other colony collapse disorder symptoms, such as queens that stay in the hive while workers flee, were not reported, Lu considers the experimentally induced collapse to be realistic.

The first reports of colony collapse disorder came in the mid-2000s from commercial beekeepers, who depending on region have experienced colony losses ranging from 30 to 90 percent. Commercial pollination costs have since skyrocketed, and as wild bees are also afflicted, even naturally occurring pollination is threatened.

Measuring bee declines, however, proved much easier than explaining them. Among a lineup of potential culprits including fungus, mites, viruses, bacteria and pesticides, studies failed to find an obvious, smoking-gun cause — but, piece by piece, evidence against neonicotinoids has steadily accumulated.

Developed in the 1990s as a relatively less-toxic alternative to pesticides that seriously harmed human health, neonicotinoids soon became the world’s fastest-growing pesticide class and an integral part of industrial agricultural strategy. In the United States alone, neonicotinoid-treated corn now covers a total area slightly smaller than the state of Montana.

Like earlier pesticides, neonicotinoids disrupt insects’ central nervous systems. But unlike earlier pesticides, which affected insects during and immediately after spraying, neonicotinoids spread through the vascular tissues of plants. They’re toxic through entire growing seasons, including flowering times when bees consume their pollen.

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently evaluating the safety of neonicotinoids, and more than 1.25 million people have signed petitions requesting a ban. In parts of Europe that have already banned neonicotinoids, colony collapse disorder may have slowed, though Krupke said these reports are too anecdotal to consider scientifically reliable.

Some European countries, including France, Germany and Italy, have even banned neonicotinoids, though pesticide companies vehemently defend their ecological safety and say concerns are based on inconclusive and premature science.

Lu’s study, released April 5 and scheduled for publication in the June Bulletin of Insectology, attempts to replicate the life history of commercial bees, which are often fed dietary supplements of high-fructose corn syrup that may contain neonicotinoid residues that survive processing.

Summerlicious ( is on until July 21st. A great way to dine in style for less.

Sad to say I missed this one. African Fashion Week (
Be sure to check it out next year.

My prayers go out to Nelson Mandella (
May you have a speedy recovery and thanks for your contribution to the world.