Upcoming Events

Roach Tackle  Folk Art

Studio Sale

Tuesday Feb. 12 - Thursday Feb. 21

10:00 till 7:00

Closed Sunday

Please call to make other arrangements.

416 766-2982





Kevin Roach

Roach Tackle Folk Art

355 Jane Street

Toronto, Ontario


M6S 3Z3

(416) 766-2982


A Deer In The Woods

My family and I were in Ottawa over the Christmas Holidays. We visit some family who have a lovely home on the Ottawa River. It is out in the country. This part of the province is over run with deer. Numerous times we have sighted dozens at a time: in the woods, crossing a highway, in a field. And no matter how many I see, it is always special. And not just because it is a beautiful wild animal. I have seen deer in the strangest of places. When I was a kid, I remember seeing deer once in a while in the new subdivision where I lived. There was a small stand of trees about 4 blocks away. Occasionally we would play cowboys and Indians there, or hide-n-go seek. (Now, when I drive by that area, I realize it was a tiny stand of trees, but seemed like a vast forest back then.) We never saw a deer when we were playing there, but once in a while, in my Dad's Studebaker,we would drive by and see one. And my seven year old thoughts are the same as my 50 year old thoughts: where do they go? How can we live in the same neighbourhood as these very large mammmals and not know where they go, where they live? Eventually, that stand of trees became a very nice home. The habitat for the deer became the habitat for a high school teacher and his family. A high school teacher sighting never really got me excited. 

There are two other deer sightings that will always stick in my mind. One was on a very early morning in the fields outside of Brantford, Ontario. My father was in a hospital in that city having his hip replaced. The operation did not go as planned and his recovery was in doubt. There was a phone call saying we should gather at the hospital. As I raced there, my mind raced in those predictable directions and out of this early morning mist on the fields, there was a deer staring straight at me, watching as I sped by. It was as if the deer was trying to get my attention, trying to tell me to pay attention, that this is IMPORTANT. I never thought of the deer as an omen, but as reminder. It was one of many things that appear in the oddest of places, or the oddest of times, to tell me that I am not in control, but that I have choices. The other sighting of a deer came on a trip down east. We were travelling through New Brunswick, on the beautiful new highway. My wife was in the front seat with me and my two daughters were in the back seats. They were practicing an accapella version of the song Horses, by Dala. It is a lovely song and my daughters were working on the harmonies. Anne Marie told them to take it from the top and give it their best. They did. And they were nailing it. It was heartbreakingly beautiful to hear their voices fit perfectly together. Half way through the song, a deer stepped gingerly out of the woods and stood on a hill. I looked at the deer and said nothing. I was always the one to point out the wildlife on roadtrips, but not this time. There was no way I wanted to interupt that song. It was perfect. We could see a deer anytime, but that song was in the moment and it was perfect. And I think the deer would have agreed.


A Nice Fit

When I consider carrying other artists work in my store, Roach Tackle Folk Art, 355 Jane Street, Toronto, I hope to find work that I would imagine seeing in the same home or cottage as my own work. I think Paul Allen's mirrors fit that description pretty well. They are strinking, yet somewhat playfull and they fit into any abode that enhances and is enhanced by the outdoor enviroment. Please check out Paul's website for all his great work or come to the studio to see it in person. www.allenarts.ca


Red Dots

     I had the chance to wander around the One Of A Kind Show in December and I noticed with envy the many red dots that some artists had placed beside their artwork. A red dot is the accepted symbol for SOLD. Not that I hadn't sold any artwork. I had a pretty good show, actually. It's just that I've never been able to get my hands on a package of red dots anywhere. There's always been this myth that some artists automatically put red dots on their paintings whether they're sold or not. It's supposed to spur on demand and give the buying public a little more "permission" to go ahead and buy something that they might like.( But you better hurry 'cause they're going fast). But I've never been able to test out this theory because I"ve never been able to find a package of red dots. I did find a package once, but because of all the red dots, I thought it was sold.

Well, I have finally bought my first pack of red dots and look out world, the paintings are going to fly off the wall! I know it's going to be one of my better years because of these red dots. In fact, my first painting is going to be a giant red dot. It'll be sort of an homage to the red dot. To that classy little sold sign. I guess I always could have bought some white dots and a red Sharpie. But that's just not classy.



What Adult Porcupines Say

A long time ago I was working in a resort in Haliburton and the management there was kind enough to let myself and another employee make an inhouse magazine. We called in The Migrant Worker. It was a great deal of fun. I still have a few copies in a trunk somewhere. It was mostly satirical (ahead of it's time if I say so myself-see The Onion) and very much a poke at oursleves. The very first issue had a pilfered Far Side cartoon on the cover. It showed a living room with a couple of adult porcupines watching a baby porcupine playing with a balloon. The caption said "Well, this shouldn't last long."

Now, I know that sentiment isn't in keeping with New Year's Resolutions, but in a way, it makes me smile. From one year to the next I can always find areas for improvement, and one of those areas is to stop accenting the negative. Again this makes me smile. I've never been one to toot my own horn (not in a broadcast sense, anyway) and I really don't think a website blog is the proper venue for therapeutic disclosures. Yet, I may have stumbled upon a way to help me keep some plans straight. Keep a public record of what I plan to accomplish in the coming year.  And I can see the adult porcupines saying "Well, this shouldn't last long."

I am new to the world of blogs. And I'm sure the world has moved on and no longer blogs. I don't think I have ever read a blog. But when I was doing the One Of A Kind Christmas show here in Toronto this past December, I was thinking about a blog when I was watching a fashion show. My booth was very close to the stage in the middle of the hall where the OOAK took place. I saw two fashion shows a day. They were very well done. And in another part of this middle section there was a big screened TV that had little episodes dedicated to certain artists and how they do what they do. After watching these over and over again, I realized that I am by far the messiest artist out there! Everyone featured in these little profiles had an immaculate work space: everything in it's place, lots of natural light, no swearing. I think it would be great if there could be a combination Fashion show and artist profile. There could be an artist showing off his wares and telling people just what to do with it (there were a number of people who didn't know what to do with my stuff). 

So, that's what this is going to be for this year. Once a week (again, I hear the adult porcupines), I will try to post something that will further my exposure to the world. And embedded in these words there just might be a way for some readers to get some really good deals on some artwork. I the meantime, I will clean up my work place and cut back on my swearing and use more natural light.




Dream Pages


 As a boy growing up in Grimsby, I sometimes got my hands on my older brothers Field and Stream and Outdoor Life Magazines. I'd glance over the fishing articles and the tales from real life about escaping from the clutches of an angry grizzly. But it was in the back pages that I really dreamed. It was in the back pages where the tiny ads that promised you could get rich by raising minks, rabbits and giant frogs. You could learn how to mount birds and animals for fun and profit. You could get your hands on tons of war surplus and buy CANADIAN LANDS very cheap because of tax seizures ( I dreamed long and hard about getting a paper route and spending my earnings on an island in Ontario that was going for $1200.00). There were other ads in the  magazine. In the front were the tourism ads for resorts and lodges in  Northern Ontario and Vermont and Maine. And there were the ads for rods and reels and lures  and guns and cool kits to convert your car into a  tent trailer (very reminiscent of the ill-conceived Pontiac Aztek).

I have just finished the first bunch of paintings in what I call the Ad Copy Series. They're mash-ups of ads from different pages of those dream books. they are anice size and  a nice price. To remind you of dreams