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10 Aug 2017
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ARTIST IN FOCUS: The Moose is Loose! Charles Pachter talks shop

Visual artist Charles Pachter shares the secret of his success (which is no real secret), Queen on Moose, and the art of shameless promotion.

By Guinevere Pura – Blogger, Communications Professional and Photographer

Well known Canadian artist, Charles Pachter, sometimes described as Canada’s Andy Warhol, calls himself shameless.  Why?  Because he says that signing a commercial deal with Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC)  is way more important to him than having his paintings shown at the National Gallery of Canada.

At 74, Charles Pachter, hasn’t lost any steam.  His controversial 1973 portrait of Queen Elizabeth on moose-back – satirizing Elizabeth as the queen of Canada –  gave him instant fame and shame and his sense of fun, and his vigour hasn’t slowed him down.

One of Pachter’s work on HBC’s products


Me and Charles, August 2017

I interviewed the artist last spring and had the opportunity to visit his downtown Toronto Studio and home, the Pachter Hall & Moose Factory this August.  Pachter produces at least 50 paintings a year, which are sold to many collectors across the country.  He was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1999 and promoted to officer in 2011 for his outstanding achievement in the arts, and his dedication to serving his community and the country.  Despite many years of high recognition and enormous sales and praise, no Pachter painting has yet been shown at the National Gallery of Canada, and says he doesn’t care.  The curators in large galleries are of a different breed.  Perhaps the kind that may not appreciate Pachter’s sense of humour, fun or controversy expressed in some of his paintings.  Non-the-less, he is admired by art collectors and enthusiasts across the nation.

Being an artist for collectors than a national gallery helped build Pachter’s reputation among buyers and made him financially stable.  “What’s more important is that the painting matches the curtains or your couch,” he says.  His philosophy of making art for the client has steered him clear of the traditional “starving” role. And treating your art like a product rather a piece of your soul can likely feed your soul much better.  Selling a painting to a large retailer such as the Hudson’s Bay Company for example, can grant an artist a pretty penny and plenty of exposure.  It worked for Pachter.

Applying for grants and waiting for a response will not often bring financial gain, nor will it make you famous.  Promoting art like a commercial product can do both.  “Canada is not so sophisticated at making stars,” he says, commenting on the Canadian art market, “I don’t want to be the Lady Gaga of the United States and besides, it’s more fun to be a big fish in a little pond.”


This dedicated artist gave me three points of advice to share with emerging artists:
  1. Find a good support system. “I have my followers and people who like what I do here in Canada.”  In addition to his loyal fans, his supporting family knew he was ‘special’ and put him in art classes at age 10.  His mother often joked about the time he painted the walls with own waste as a two-year-old.  Hi Nanny was furious, he recalls. “I had nothing else to paint with.  Since then we all knew that I was going to be an artist.”
  2. “Shamelessly promote yourself by following the 10/90 rule – 10% work and 90% promotion.” Pachter is a relentless promoter and also has private agents who promote him.  Early in his career, he posted ads in the Globe and Mail and met potential clients face to face.
  3. Don’t give up. “It can take three to four decades of consistent hard work to reach even a small level of success.”


If artists could add a touch of Pachter’s vigour, and vitality to their portfolio, it might give them a better chance of financial gain in the tough Canadian art world.

More of Pachter’s work can be purchased by appointment at Pachter Hall & Moose Factory,

22 Grange Ave., Toronto M5T 1C7


23 Jul 2015
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New Finds New Friends at the Leslieville Flea

You may find what you’re looking for at the Leslie Flea

By Guinevere Pura


I enjoy walking in outdoor festivals or going to local boutiques shops to support local business and artists. Though it was a sweltering 30+ºC this past July 19th at the Ashbridges Estate in which the Flea was located, it was worth going. I had my hefty Canon with me and decided to shoot the vendors’ products that caught my eye. There are such great finds that can add that fine detail to your living space , office, or retail space.  Conversational pieces found at the Flea can bring some nostalgia to any room.  I got some lovely items and  was pleased with the shots I took.  I also met some friendly people during my visit to the Flea
Below are just some of the few vendors that caught my eye:

Miriam Karanja’s goods are not just good – they’re awesome. Intrigued by heirloom pieces, Karanja transforms these fine pieces into functional modern pieces of art for your living space. I confess I purchased two of her items. And I love them.

Attic & Rhoad Runners

Attic & Rhoad

Attic & Rhoad Baskets

Attic & Rhoad


Todd Ostaszewicz, master restorer and carpenter can transform and restore anything old to bang spanking new. His prices are quite reasonable, so much so, I purchased an item from him. And despite the fact it was a heater I happen to buy in mid July, the sweltering heat didn’t stop me. Can’t wait for the cooler weather.

All that Petina Top view of Heater circa 1920'ish

All that Petina
Top view of Heater circa 1920’ish

All that Petina School Desk Chair

All that Petina
School Desk Chair

All that Petina Detail of Desk Chair

All that Petina
Detail of Desk Chair

Find him on social media as Tony Kotowick
Gorgeous refurbished pieces, from brass feathers to Leslieville signs, Tony Kotowick stuff is something you must look out for. This vintage to modern twist on his work can make any modern home homier.

Odd Lot Leslieville Signs

Odd Lot
Leslieville Signs

Odd Lot Pans

Odd Lot

Odd Lot Feathers

Odd Lot

Stephano’s cool funk sound in his booth, amidst the retro ‘60s items in his collection, I couldn’t help myself but to stop by. The teak furniture is in great condition and I loved much of his glassware.

RetroDromme Cups


RetroDomme Teak Magazine Holder

Teak Magazine Holder


I just adore the over sized rulers! They remind me of the rulers I had when I was in elementary school. That’s is on my next shopping list for my growing little girl. I can’t wait to to measure her. Mima Micic’s work is simple modern and whimsy enough for any little girl or boy’s room. She gets what kids want, especially with a little one herself.


Small Brown Dog Measuring Sticks Mima and her little one

Small Brown Dog
Measuring Sticks
Mima and her little one

As a former Visual Merchandiser, I zoomed in right to her dress forms. In mint condition and at a good price, it’s worth it. Looking forward to seeing them again for more great finds.

Equus Marks the Spot Dress Form

Equus Marks the Spot
Dress Form

Equus Marks the Spot Dress Form

Equus Marks the Spot
Dress Form

Ah…a pleasant day at the Leslieville Flea. There are a ton of amazing pieces that can personalize your home. The pieces you buy reflect you and your personality. Make your home all the more yours by collecting nostalgic finds that makes you, next time at the Leslieville Flea.