Daily Archives: July 22, 2013

Bhat Boy & Thomas

These two next painters that I profile are local artists here in Ottawa (Ontario).

The first is the “teacher”, Bhat Boy.  He was born in London, England and  immigrated to Canada on a steam ship in 1966.  he became a naturalized Canadian and grew up in the Nation’s Capital with his parents – “a cleaning lady and a spy”.

BhatBoy Bhat Boy is well-known as a community activist and organizer in Ottawa. He has been an active member of the International Society of Art of the Imagination, since 1991. He continues to live and work in Canada’s National Capital. His hobbies include drinking tea, and drawing maps.

These words were stolen from his biography page on his site, Art by Bhat Boy. I recommend you visit his site, ’cause he does beautiful work!


Wiretapped. “I love the CBC 1 radio show Wiretap, with its lovable and melancholy host Jonathan Goldstein.” (source:

The next painter, as I said, is also based in Ottawa. His name is Chris Thomas. Much of his free time is spent painting in Acrylics. His style ranges from impressionism to the cartoonish; He doesn’t draw any great distinctions between the two ends of the spectrum.

Chris does amazing work! To see more of his work, visit his site at


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Message On a Rock

Inscription at the end of the Alexander Macken...

Inscription at the end of the Alexander Mackenzie’s Canada crossing located at / latd>90 (dms format) in latd<-90 (dms format) in latm<0 (dms format) in lats<0 (dms format) in longm<0 (dms format) in longs<0 (dms format) in (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


On July 22, 1793, Alexander Mackenzie painted a message on a large rock at Bella Coola, British Columbia: “Alexander Mackenzie, from Canada, by land, the twenty-second of July, one thousand, seven hundred and ninety-three.” It marked the end of one of the most remarkable journeys in Canadian, or any other, history.

Mackenzie set out in search of the Pacific on May 9, 1793, after special training in navigation and astronomy in England. Mackenzie wrote later that words failed to express the anxiety, suffering, and dangers of the journey across 500 miles of mountains. From the beginning, he and his companions were often fortunate to escape being dashed to pieces in the turbulent waters of the Peace and Fraser rivers.

Mackenzie went down the Fraser as far as Alexandria, but the Native Indians there told him that he would not be able to continue. So the expedition went back 60 miles until it reached the junction of what is now the Blackwater River. After they had worked their way up the Blackwater, Mackenzie decided they should try to get to the Pacific on foot. Each man carried a gun and a 90-pound pack. The canoe and the rest of their supplies were hidden.

The expedition walked westward for two weeks. Each night Mackenzie had to sleep next to the Native Indian guide to prevent him from sneaking away. Finally they came to a Native Indian camp on the Bella Coola River. Here they traded goods for boats dug out of logs and continued down the river, passing through forests whose trees were bigger than any they had ever seen!

By July 20, they found themselves paddling through salt water. Two days later they saw the waters of the Pacific. Mackenzie’s quadrant told I’m that they were at Latitude 59° 20′ 48″ N. he inscribed his famous message on the rock using a paint made from the vermilion he had brought for the Native Indians.

The small party had not been there long when a party of obviously hostile Indians approached and made signs that they had been fired on by white men. It had probably happened when some of Captain Vancouver‘s men had explored that part of the coast. Mackenzie and his men retreated quickly despite their jubilation.

If you want to read more about this, I suggest first going to Bella Coola Arts & Culture, and then History .com. After that, there is, and Canada finally, I suggest visiting Canadian Military History Gateway


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