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The Chalkboard Artist and the Totem Pole Carver

Andy Brown, Chalk BoyLast weekend I found myself sitting at the window table at Irene’s Pub with two local blogger friends, doing what bloggers do best: eating eggs, drinking beer, talking, and looking for things to blog about.

Andy Brown, the Chalkboard Artist, was hard at work on the chalkboard right beside us. Andy takes care of Irene’s chalkboard and five of the Royal Oak chalkboards, and some other chalkboards around town too. While he worked his magic, we inspected his tool box and leafed through his portfolio and asked him questions.

Andy Brown's Art Kit

XUP asked him if you can make an actual living as a chalkboard artist.

“I’d say yes,” replied Andy with a smile, “but my wife would say no.”

Apparently chalkboard artistry pays in some combination of Guinness and money. Andy likes the Guinness more than the money. He says he’s a chalkboard artist because nobody will pay him to sit in his basement drinking Guinness and painting pictures.

Andy the Toenail Artist's wife's toenailsThese are his wife’s toenails. Andy paints toenails too, in case you need a toenail artist. His phone number is 613-283-3849 (serious chalkboard and toenail inquiries only please).

That’s his dog, Stella, and the inside of his art kit, by the way.

Inside Andy's art kit with his dog Stella

Hand-carved totem-pole carving adzWhile we were talking to Andy, another man came in, sat at the bar nearby, and started pullling big sharp instruments out of a case. Us bloggers are a curious lot. Some might even say nosy.

Andy and Dewey inspecting the toolsBefore long, we’d found out his name (Dewey), what kind of tools he made (totem pole carving tools), the kind of wood they were carved from (fruitwood, mostly apple), his aboriginal heritage (Cree – the Cree never really were totem pole carvers, but he’d studied with traditional carvers on the west coast and studied sculpture at the Emily Carr School), the location of his totem poles (mostly Alexandria Island in Ottawa, but one was just auctioned off at the Toronto Film Festival), his day job (senior policy advisor on Aboriginal housing issues), and his opinion of the Harper government (redacted).

Dewey's buttocks for XUPAfter a bit, XUP nudged me and said “Zoom, get a picture of his buttocks for me.”

So I did. These are them, perched on a bar stool just the way XUP likes them. (You might want to visit XUP’s blog today, if you haven’t already: her entire post is about buttocks.)

Robin said he wanted the record to show that he did not participate in the buttocks discussion. So noted.


18 comments to The Chalkboard Artist and the Totem Pole Carver

  • XUP

    Thanks for the pic and the plug, Zoom. I’d also like to point out Andy’s luxurious mane of “platinum blond” hair.

  • XUP

    Also, Robin’s post is about butts today, too!! So we can include a butt plug for him as well.

  • That’s a freaky coincidence, isn’t it, that all three of us blogged about butts for the first time ever??

  • Oh…and I think a butt plug might make Robin squirm.

  • Let the record show that the mere thought of a butt plug makes me squirm.

  • That butt looks familiar. Is that the same guy that used to do all the Bank Street (and some Elgin St) signs? He’s good at it. Sometimes people would get all sloshed and fingerpaint on his boards.

  • The bum standing at the chalkboard? Yup. The bum at the bar, no. But wow Andrew, you have an impressive memory for butts!

  • Awh man ….. you were at Irene’s …. with bloggers …. and you didn’t make an announcement that you were gonna be at Irene’s with bloggers?

    I am wounded.

    When I first moved to Ottawa I lived on Alymer Ave., Irene’s was my neighbourhood pub and many a fine evening was spent there. I recall one night a few years back I was there with a friend of mine from Yellowknife who happened to be in town and the discussion turned to politics – it got passionate enough that people stopped by to listen and chime in, and we ultimately ended up pulling an extra chair up to the table so folks could sit down and join us as they saw fit.

    Why were you at Irene’s with bloggers and beer without an appropriate blog announcement? :-)

  • nice toenails. If I were in Ottawa, I’d be making that phone call so I could have dicey nails too :-)

  • Stageleft, I had no idea you were in Ottawa. Your blog gives you political but not geographical context. I’ll check with Robin and XUP, and if they’re in the mood for a rousing political discussion, we’ll give you a shout next time we’re heading down to Irene’s for breakfast. :)

    Nursemyra, I’m going to google Australian toenail artists for you. Stay tuned.

  • deb

    Rob and I are having a debate…he says that noone drinks beer with breakfast eggs, so you must have been eating pickled eggs. I know it is breakfast at Irene’s…please set him straight.

  • Deb and Rob – when you come for the weekend in December, we’re going to settle this by going out for breakfast at Irene’s.

  • Dewey

    And by the way, that nice butt belongs to me not Andy the Chalkboard Empresario. If you want ot see more totem pole stuff check out ( the attached photo of a pole that recently sold for $20,000 at the ONEXONE Foundation silent auction at the Toronto International Film Festival

  • Dewey – welcome to my blog. Absolutely, you get full credit for your butt. AndrewZRX was the only one who thought it was Andy’s butt.

  • Shawn Weeden

    May I ask, as I am looking for some of my family, are the Deb and Rob mentioned Deb Brown and Rob Weeden?

  • Shawn, no, I’m sorry, they’re not.

  • Shawn Weeden

    Oh, just a coincidence I guess. Cause that is my Aunt Debbie’s Husband, Andy