“Red Guitar” (1996, mixed media [house paint and oil pastel]) The Ford Collection. This is my friend Carla’s classical guitar, which she graciously lent me. I wrote a couple songs on it, like “Unwise,” and “Oldtimer” (THE FAYS, “In Earnest,” 1997, August Audio). Behind the guitar on the left is an antique spinning wheel, and on the right is my parents’ black leather couch. Below are some bongo drums, and possibly a cat toy. In truth, the guitar was never red, but a usual exposed wood. I had no acrylics or oil paint, so I was using old cans of house paint, which limited the palette choices. Thus I made red the lighter shade of wood on the guitar, and the brown the darker colour of the neck and spinning wheel. And the Ottawa Valley arts scene was never the same. Not bad for the 20 year-old, idiot savant living at his parents’ house. When last seen, Carla was playing bass in THE FAYS, and I did eventually end up with a red acoustic guitar of my very own, fittingly.
WHO IS “A. JAMES BRUMMEL?”
According to his facebook page, “A. James” was hatched in Ottawa, ON (Algonquin Territory) on the month of March, 1976. He “attended” Carleton University, “worked” at Occupied Ottawa, and has an “awkward” position at 613 Records. A. James is known to police and his accomplices as an “artist,” pro or con being debatable.
As a pre-teen, A. James had plans of becoming a comic book artist. Influenced by his father’s collection, he read Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Swamp Thing, Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, Robert Crumb, French Ice and Judge Dredd. Then started his own collecting, of Todd McFarlane’s Spiderman, Jim Lee’s Punisher, Chris Claremont’s X-men, and Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles. The first “artwork” he sold was ink drawings of Ninja Turtles to his classmates in grade 8. For grade 9, A. James was accepted into the Triple Credit Visual Art Program at Canterbury High School, and read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol and Animal Man, and Peter Milligan’s Shade the Changing Man. British artists like Dave Mckean pointed a way beyond the comic book and into the realm of “fine arts.” As Nirvana pointed to a place beyond punk and metal sounds. To kids like him, in the early 1990’s, these were gateways, ways out of the “popular culture” and into what might be considered “classics” and the underground. In 1992 he began a co-op at CKCU FM, Carleton University’s campus/community radio station. And it was there, not in school where he says that he received the most education. In 1993 he started his life-long addiction to oil paint, and has since made unknown number of pieces in that medium, mostly portraiture.
“Spock Study #2” (2017, oil and sharpie on used canvas) from “Star Trek: Beyoncé“–AVAILABLE.
“Spock Study #3” (2017, oil and sharpie on used canvas) from “Star Trek: Beyoncé“–AVAILABLE.