Graphic Design

I like design that isn’t grid based, so that means its organic, so that means its reduced to one of the fundamentals, so that means it’s an abstraction, emphasizing one element and reducing the rest. Grid based organization of pictorial elements is fascist and over authoritarian, such as ‘best practices’ nonsense for web and print design…such as typing in this little box…

Dog Town

I live in a very conservative, orderly, and authoritarian city. I make art about it, and have studied it all my life. The residents are typical fascists, who like dogs because they are predictable, obey commands and are orderly, friendly and are ‘good for something’.
Friendly fascists who are stone cold killers, who start wars, they like wars, and the orderly authoritarian military in charge. In other words they suffer from a deep anxiety, as all bullies do and the cognitive distortion, “others must do the right thing or they deserve to be punished” like the dogs mentioned previously. More consequences of that notion here:
I paint the world around me that has been stripped of life and colour by folks like this and notions they suffer from, and impose on others.

Carfac Alberta, Shaping Alberta Exhibition

Hi, I’m trying to do a budget and in order to do a proposal for your Carfac Alberta exhibition opportunity. I have a few questions.
You mentioned a ‘nominal artist fee’ how much money is that exactly?
Your call ask for ‘the work of artists who – through the creation of art – communicate, influence and build creatively vibrant and connected visual arts communities we live and work in.’ This is a very vague and virtually meaningless statement, please clarify; since most 2 dimensional visual art is non collaborative, and studio practices are inherently competitive for the small amount of wall space (the politics of the wall) and the very limited funds available. This sounds like a project better suited for the internet, in fact I am having difficulty discerning an intelligible thematic discourse. What does ‘creatively vibrant’ mean; communicate – what exactly; influence who and for what purpose? These questions all speak to addressing my moral rights, as per the Carfac national website: ( Moral rights include: The right to protect your artwork against distortion, alteration or mutilation in a way which prejudices your reputation; The right to associate your name as the author of your work or remain anonymous if you choose and The right to protect your visual image from association with a cause, a product, service, or institution to which you are personally opposed.) 
Do you plan on compensating for  Carfac copyright and exhibition fees?
I’m a professional artist currently working in digital media, the cost of printing, framing, shipping and insuring the work can easily exceed C$500.00 and its often more when I paint. How will I be compensated for these out of pocket costs incurred in order to exhibit in your show, over and above the exhibition fee. Or is this considered a donation? Are you a registered charity able to produce receipts for Revenue Canada?
The ‘membership fee’ you require to exhibit, is it a one time cost or is it pay to play? Is it included the exhibition fee? 
Tell me how you plan to insure the work, for what amount and who pays the deductible, and what amount that is in case of damage.
Will the condition reports, before and after exhibition, including photo documentation, be made available to the artist and my insurance broker?
I look forward to your clarifications, because honestly this ‘call’ looks more like clickbait to attract an amatuer and independently wealthy dilettante membership, rather than working professional artists who depend on their art to make a living and who  ‘communicate, influence and build creatively vibrant and connected visual arts communities’ simply by having a viable and affordable art practice they are well compensated for.  
Kind regards
Jerald Blackstock dip.(ACAD), BFA, CPF

Proposal for Empathy Week

I am a fine artist and critical writer on social issues from a personal perspective. My first career was in drug dependence counselling, and I have a background as a professional, teaching and exhibiting art, and also as a volunteer doing art as therapy, using the creative model in long term care facilities. My clients have been primarily those with neurological disorders, as my now deceased partner suffered with Huntington’s Disease, and I was Huntington’s Society volunteer coordinator, art facilitator and art fundraiser.
Last year I suffered a stroke and spent 6 months in hospital, on a neuro-recovery ward. I now live on my own, continuing to recover. My home was an apartment up 4 flights of stairs, and I couldn’t return. I was homeless and my possessions in storage, my cat in a new home.
While in hospital I started a gofundme, on the net, raising 1700.00 so that I could no longer be homeless, first months rent and damage deposit. I have family in Calgary, and across the country, but they are very conservative and totally lacking empathy. One member, my military brother, posted on my gofundme: go on welfare. So most of the contributors were Facebook friends and colleagues that I have never met. People with empathy.
So I wrote about my experience with empathy, it’s opposite narcissism, and my psychological recovery tools, Cognitive therapy in the form of REBT, daily on a blog. All the  while meeting weekly with a psychotherapist, dealing primarily with issues of empathy and how it can be faked as a recruitment tool for various cults, religions, new age marketers and similar predators of the vulnerable.
I have created a  portfolio, of primarily street photography but I refuse to create images of the homeless because on the street, I am in their home, and going into someone’s home uninvited taking photos is an invasion and intrusive. Other folks though don’t have an expectation of privacy in a public place, by law, the idea being they shouldn’t be doing private things in a public place. We are photographed and videoed  hundreds of times a day without permission or knowledge. My work challenges concepts on both sides of the issue of empathy towards the unsuspecting subject.
The blog which I started in hospital and the ongoing photojournalism are located on my website.  Feel free to contact me around possible uses for either, in a separate venue or just leaving it on my site and publicizing it (my preference due to my current mobility issues). 
I am a member of Carfac and request use of their contract guidelines, for copyright and exhibition fees.
I became aware of this opportunity through the Carfac newsletter.
Kind regards

Jerald Blackstock dip.(ACAD), BFA, CPF

the narcissists stare
Blackstock ’16
digital various sizes

Art Dealers Hate Me

Art, for many, certainly for me, was/is a distraction from over-anxiety. The ‘therapy’ of art therapy. Not a cure a relief. The same process as meditation or mindfulness, whatever that is. Essentially to ignore your problems, hopefully after dealing with them as best as possible, by focusing on something more satisfying. Once the tools to deal with ones creation of over-anxiety have been mastered a bit,, what happens to the art?For me, it changes from a detail oriented, time consuming distraction from the usual and constant discomforts of life, to something more interesting to the artist and hopefully the viewer. 
My painting becomes start to finish in 45 minutes, I am more interested in the immediacy of photo, voyeurism and the photoshop darkroom. I admire Rembrandt for the loss of his many children and and his wife, while keeping the immediacy of his hand made mark, see his feathers for example. ( He didn’t avoid his discomfort by diving into detail. I admire the work of Cliff Eyland, for his ability to make art his satisfaction but not his therapy.How many times have I walked into a gallery and a collector corners me and asks my opinion on their spending thousands of dollars on a piece. In all honesty I have to say you are committing to mental illness on your wall. The 20 pieces in here all look the same, seen one you’ve seen them all, the artist was essentially obsessively and compulsively being a 4 year old complaining that the world is uncomfortable and trying to avoid it. Art dealers hate me.

Love Art Loss

Dealing with loss is life skill
Ask the question: What good can I make of this?
I have lost much
I have gained skills
Art is the loss of the cherished desire, the failure to create that perfect hologram in my imagination with some media, and saying ok, what good can I make of this, this image that is now presenting itself to me on my canvas that doesn’t look at all like I imagined it.. Picasso said, start with an idea, and then see where it goes. Embrace your skill at losing the idea. Embracing your skill at asking what good can I make of this. Embrace the birth of something new, not planned.
This is the therapy of art therapy.
This is the joy of life, the satisfaction of discovery, of that which is just behind the veil.

A radio talk show with a Professor of cognitive therapy, and the subject was loneliness. Loneliness is created by the lie that no one loves me. I love me.
Connection with another is a choice. They don’t have to be in the same room to feel connected.
Love is a choice.
I love the characteristics of you that I find loveable, simply because I choose to find that satisfying.
You cannot create that, or make it stop. 
This our god-like power to love unconditionally, the power of free will and choice.

D-Day veteran, Dunkirk survivor Ken Sturdy dies at 98

What Do I Think About Arts Commons?

I once told Preston Manning that I owed his father, former Premier Manning, who preached the gospel on radio every Sunday in our ‘home’ a debt of gratitude. His government’s mean spirited, penny pinching welfare that I grew up on, made me a lifelong socialist and advocate of guaranteed annual income and education, the silver bullets that solve poverty, crime and health issues in global society.

I still feel rage at the hypocrisy of the self serving conservative Christian misusing the very cool teachings of their gospel for their own selfish  economic agenda. The same fear of ‘others taking what is mine’ justification that they use to embrace nationalism as opposed to globalization.  Buy locally is a conservative agenda, disregarding that their Christ would see that the guy in India needs to feed his family too. Fuck the pakis, fuck the Jews and fuck those faggot cocksuckers too, in the language of my conservative ‘home’, the streets of Calgary.

I accept that these expressions have also been business as usual with the Catholic Church, for centuries, as they plan ahead in terms of centuries. On an individual basis the using of altar boys for the pleasure of the priests has the same lack of empathy as their global policy of using women as breeding stock to make more straight Catholic men.

The current far right in today’s political climate, locally and internationally, claims a lot of allegiance to the Catholic Church. The head of the Alberta conservative party that was parachuted in from the federal party for example.
My former wife, upon graduation from law school in Calgary, promptly divorced her aspiring artist liberal husband, joined the Catholic church, and joined the conservative party of Alberta, in order to have a career.  She was rewarded with a position with Alberta Health fighting the unions, which she knew intimately since her father was a union auto worker/organizer in Windsor Ontario.

I solicited her and everybody I ever knew for my gofundme when I was hospitalized  recently and needed money for a place to live. She donated a niggardly amount, but refused to do it publicly, since caring for me might be suspicious I assume. I suppose I am on some list somewhere.

After the divorce, I eventually got to art school and then further qualifications to educate adults, and got gigs doing that at ACAD and Mount Royal University.  I was hired at ACAD to do professional development for public school art teachers, a 3 day studio gig, where they could study drawing and painting using the basic methods artists have used for 800 years to train each other; observation of the figure using a model and still life composition.
Arts Commons then hired me to further professionally develop the art teachers from the Catholic schools on site at Arts Commons. The model was not allowed as a subject to study, only coursework lending itself to abstraction please and thank you. Conservatives love abstraction, because it is historically spiritual based, I suppose, (Kandinsky and Malevich the white Christian mystics) and it is non-confrontational over their couch.  Also a staff member from arts commons was in the room at all times to monitor, I suppose, the conversation.
This was 20 years ago.

My colleagues at the artist run centres have always programmed at the window spaces of Arts Commons during this 20 years. I have been of 2 minds, supporting the emerging artists and disgust for the venue and its conservative programming and agenda.
Lately the artist run centres have pulled out, and while I don’t know the details, I did get a letter that said:
“Ultimately, our organizations strive to create spaces and opportunities in the arts that work towards more equitable and inclusive futures. At this time, Arts Commons has been unable to support us in these aspirations.”
In other words they got told to follow the Catholic agenda or fuck off.
Apparently Arts Commons hosted some fascist speaker, Canadian Art Magazine posted a link,
concerns about a Jordan Peterson lecture at Arts Commons ,
and arts Commons are taking the usual bully route of saying their free speech is under attack as cover to censure the programming in its windows which doesn’t comply with its Catholic agenda.
I hope this upheaval provides opportunity for new exciting venues for the artists but I am not hopeful for the traditional brick and mortar. There is an old European adage, taught to me by a German dance teacher I once had, “whoever controls the money, controls the art”, meaning that the money controls the message.
For me, personally and professionally, I embrace the internet as a way to circumvent the gatekeepers of the conservative gallery system who aspire to control even my very non confrontational art.
As a white straight male, a new senior, and a former lover of painting flowers, and currently street photo, I see no place for my work in the conversation of inclusion which is the battleground of the artist run centre.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t lend my voice in support, especially in support against fascism.
I invite them to join me on the net and take their work global in some manner that they will create for themselves, and control their own art, and message.

Wanna Show? Hell No!

I must be liked and accepted or I am no good, and it turns out that others likes and dislikes only describe them not me. Here is a response to an invite to show my work recently:
Disabled art, indigenous art, pride art, women’s art, white middle class male art, emerging art, mid career art, etc, etc. a kind of racism by any way you dress it up by extremely conservative aka fascist art sellers and historians such as yourselves.
Whatever happened to critique? What were they going for, how close did they get, how does it compare to genius in the field, how do we get them closer? What’s the curatorial theme other than physical injury or physical gender or physical age etc etc.
You are offering me a disabled show because I had a stroke, so you may use me to signal your virtue. To print, frame and transport a show it would cost me 10 grand for you creatures to signal your virtue, without paying artist fees or production, framing, transportation costs.
People who are marginalized are often victims of predators like you.
Let’s get back to is it a good show and why and leave my personal medical history, my age my gender and who I like to socialize my masturbation with out of it.
Oh, ya, and don’t forget to reimburse me for my costs, and my time.

The Creatures

PTSD extreme fear, stress is another name for fear, is treated by acclimating, or getting used to, similar situations. Fear is just something I’m not used to yet, or fear of the unknown. What creates it, generally, is predicting the future that it is going to be awful and terrible, words that mean death causing, without evidence. Acclimating is evidence gathering. Politicians, religionists and advertisers create fears using conspiracy theories that you are no good without the shit they are selling and can’t handle life. It’s all nonsense, based on the evidence of you are alive so you can handle life.
Had a conversation with a cab driver yesterday. It started by his suggestion that the spirit was healing me. I told him I was an atheist, because I had found in my religious studies that it increased my anxiety, this dependence on the unknown.
I said look, 10 minutes ago, we didn’t know we were going to have this conversation, and we are handling it just fine, so obviously we have great skills at handling the unknown. If there is something after we die, we will handle it, based on evidence.
If there is nothing, then it is hard to worry about nothing. Worry is a choice. The notion of an afterlife causes fear of the unknown, not the notion of nothing.
It’s a way for religionists to manipulate folks and take their money and time, using fear. I’d rather spend Sunday morning in bed with my girlfriend, but they want to manipulate me with fear obligation and guilt, F.O.G., to get me to their collection plate.
The Creatures.

In Search of Fearlessness

When I was a day patient at the hospital, after my relationship with Edi, who passed away, getting initially grief counseling (religious nonsense as it turned out), then cognitive treatment, therapy for extreme anxiety that I had since I was 2 years old, they taught me how to cure it, it’s pretty easy and a really common condition, created by, usually, being put down by important people in our lives, then by ourselves, curing it by learning to dispute it in an evidence based way.
I met and became friends with and was mentored by Will Ross an REBT ( therapist while he was dying of liver cancer, and stubbornly refused to upset himself about it, and Dr. Michael Edelstein ( a REBT trainer and therapist.
The rituals in my life were distraction from anxiety, as it turned out, sugar, smoking, pot, yoga, religion and dependence on narcissist relationships all left along with the anxiety as I learned to see that there was no evidence to support it. Took awhile, but eventually I managed to deprogram myself from the underlying philosophy and the consequences left on their own. (
Later when I had a stroke, I remembered Ellis ( saying that if you lose an arm do everything you can to deal with it, then ignore it and focus on your satisfactions, you may have fewer choices but you still have some choices. Free will and the power of choice to pursue satisfaction is the purpose of life. Since I had lost an arm and a leg and some speech, this was pretty important advice to come to mind.
The social worker during my 6 month hospital stay said, ‘When are you going to have your crash, your body just let you down!’ Ya, that’s not my satisfaction of choice, I said. So I wrote a book (, created a commercial business for my art, ( which included learning to do my own personal and business taxes and catching them up for the past 7 years, and expanded my creative visual fine art web presence (, created an income for life for myself, found a new place to live as my home was up 4 flights of stairs, got my stuff packed and into storage, then out and into my new place, unpacked, (all on a tablet in the hospital coffee shop). I attended physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and psychotherapy 5 days a week all day for 6 months while living in hospital.
Moved out and built a massive new computer, and got my ass out the door to create street photo with the most impressive professional camera known at this time to use with my 19 year ongoing love of digital manipulation art practice.
Now it’s a year later and I can speak, walk and use my right arm and hand increasingly because I find I have as a result of REBT a high tolerance of the frustrations of perfectly normal life of disease and recovery that we all deal with, hard as it is.
Have I found fearlessness? Of course not, fear is the greatest evolutionary tool we have. I found evidence based rationality to wield it, like I would any other tool.
Sunday is my birthday this is my celebration of the last year, using the tools that I have learned to respect in the last 20. Including fear.