I got into Montreal late last Tuesday night and met my good friend Chris Sherriff at a hotel downtown. I met Chris 12 years ago in Toronto on tour with my old band. We stayed with him and his parents every time we were in Ontario and a few years later he was on tour with us as our roady/merch guy/mechanic/driver. I have been to Montreal a few times with the band, but hadn't ever got a chance to really wander around the city without a bunch of band dudes and a show to play. [I actually got a bit delayed at the airport coming in because I was sent through immigration -- seems that time the band got turned away at the Canadian border in Vancouver for not declaring our merchandise properly is still in their computer, heyo]. It's a great city and not as stubbornly French as I remember it…plus, pretty girls! On Wednesday, we made it over to a Mexican restaurant [not so much Montreal -- says the California resident] and had lunch with a bunch of people involved in the show at Yves Laroche Gallery. Justin had been in town for almost a week setting it up and artists Daniel Martin Diaz and Michael Page also made the trip. there had been a private preview of the show the night before and everybody looked a little worse for wear. chris and I though, were well-rested tourists and walked all the way across town to the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal.

turns out, Montreal has an amazing art museum. not only was there a brand new exhibition on Miles Davis, but their permanent collection is great and included work from some of my all-time favorite artists. I highly recommend doing no research at all on what is on exhibit at a foreign's exciting.

and the permeneant collection

and this painting (below) by Benjamin Constant had some of the most amazing detail work i've ever seen. [the full shot came out a little blurry, but the details are what make it anyway]

I've recently been looking at a lot of work from William-Adolphe Bouguereau, a pre-impressionist/realist painter from France in the 1800's. I even modeled a current painting of mine from one of his [I'll post more on this once the painting is done], which is something I've never done. while I'm not terribly inspired by his frequently cutesy subject matter (pretty cherubs and pretty scenery), but his skill is unreal, and his more figurative stuff is among the best i've seen. thankfully, the postcard quality of the cutesy ones is pretty much lost in person, especially given the scale of the originals. I was especially excited to see his self-portrait, which is cracked and looks even older than it is. it's simple, but also has so much to it that it made me want to walk right out, fly home, and paint myself over and over again for years until I got it right...his right. it's a good feeling actually -- I imagine it feels similar to a good lecture or painting demo, when you can feel you've absorbed some knowledge, and now you have to figure out how to put it to use. paintings like that are my favorite professors.

loved this painting (below) from Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret, an artist who I've never heard of, but will be learning much more about.

more on Montreal and the opening at Yves Laroche within the next few days. thanks for checking in!