art rat cafe

words, images and food for thought


JCI am a visual artist living in Vancouver, Canada and working in a wide variety of media.  My art, poetry and photography that you see in my posts, pages and headers is  a growing selection of past and recent work. I like to play with words within my own art and I share, on my blog, the text-based artwork of other artists. My posts also stroll through a miscellany of subjects: seasonal, food based, humorous and reflective.

My personal creativity is strongly influenced by the Surrealist concept of Automatism and also by Shamanic art practices. Both of these approaches involve a ritual journey inside oneself to evoke subconscious images that are then intuitively made tangible.  I work and the images appear. I have no initial judgement and I honour and nourish the figures and forms that emerge. When this process has been true to the vision, the resulting works contain elements of mystery, paradox and magic; and are open enough for viewers to discover and reflect their own story in what they see and read.
I offer my art, writings and posts as a sharing with the hope that you will reciprocate with your own sharing.

93 thoughts on “about

  1. I selected you for the Versatile Blogger Award. You may be off-line and already traveling. If you wish to accept follow the link below for your to do list ;)

    • Hello John,
      I would like to inform you that I have just completed a new and detailed post dedicated to you and your art. The results, as I hope that you can see, and as time-consuming as it has been to produce, are much better, more worthwhile, substantive, meaningful and satisfying than nominating you for “The Lovely Blog” Award, for example. Please enjoy the dedication and happy new year!

      Hello Tincup,
      In this special dedication, I have mentioned and linked to one of your posts. Cheers!

      • Greetings SE. I have just visited your very thoughtful and detailed post dedicated to art rat cafe. I have left a message for you at your post but here I just want to say thank you again. I honour the time and effort you put into this dedication and because of this I have been able to look at my art in a new way and from a fresh viewpoint. This was a wonderful New Year’s gift to me and I return your New Year’s wishes a thousand-fold. All the best to you – John

  2. Retirement is a great place to relly get into ones art.

  3. Stumbling upon you has served exquisitely grand ; )

  4. Inadvertently deleted you from my list of blogs I follow. Have re-subscribed. Cheers!

  5. hi there! Just to let you know I’ve nominated you for the ‘Liebster Blog Award’
    as a thank you for your support and to share your lovely blog with more ppl! :D

  6. Pingback: The Liebster Blog Award « Walter Kitty's Diary

  7. Hi There wonderful one, I have nominated you for the “ABC” awesome blog content award. Please visit for more details :)

  8. very nice to meet you

    David in Maine USA

  9. Congratulations on your one year of blogging and your retirement!

  10. Hello there John – congratulations! I have nominated you for One Lovely Blog Award. Hope you will accept – the ‘rules’ will be on my very next post. best wishes, Philippa

    • I am honoured to accept because the nomination comes from one lovely blog, yours – I will be away from my computer for about 5 days but on my return I will respond to the award – thank you Philippa…

  11. nice words! thanks John. You were one of my early inspirers in this sphere! Enjoy the break, I remember reading about it – the pines and the sea I think will be with you, and friends. Perfect.

    • Thanks Philippa – I feel blessed that such beauty is only a short ferry ride away. I’m actually trying to complete my nominations tonight before I leave but it’s not easy – my choices have either already received this award or don’t wish to receive awards… I persevere…

  12. I found you through a blog (Tom Simard) that liked one of my posts. I liked your photo.
    I really like your blog and your art. I’m happy for you that you’ve been able to use the gift of time you’ve been given after retiring from a long teaching career.
    Your work speaks to me in its exploratory, ‘let’s see what happens’ attitude. I have that with some of my things, but recently in oils, I got all caught up with appearances again. Now I have to start all over with beginner’s mind. Your work reminded me to let go.

    • Glad to meet you Sarah and thank you for your supportive words. Mostly the intuitive approach to painting works for me however, there is usually a stage when I need to call on the rational, especially when exploring new media. Generally, I think that a flexible balance between the two is a viable path to follow. I look forward to getting over to your blog soon…

  13. Thanks John. I really appreciate how you make the effort to answer your comments personally. I do as well, and I think it has to do with not having a mega-following (at least not yet!) responding with each new post. I have a modest following, about half of yours, and I like it that way.

    Yes to finding the balance between working intuitively and working rationally.

  14. What an absolutely fabulous blog, John. As a landscape photographer I am thoroughly enjoying it. I find the topics you cover inspirational (like the Stories of my Art posts), professionally stimulating (like the Art and Photography posts) and reflective (like the Reflections on Art posts). I have added your blog to those I look forward to returning to each week. Many many thanks.

  15. It was supposed to be this way: Hi, just wanted to tell you that you have been nominated for the Wonderful Team member Readership Award:

  16. John clinock…370 simcoe st….1974/75…you?

  17. i follow the same way … randomness and total surrender and acceptance of the intuitive process :)

  18. Meaningful Cafe Quote of the week! Enjoyed browsing your blog and liked your arts, and about the process of how your have created your arts. Cheers!

    • Thank you and nice to meet you Heekeow. Glad the Quote of the Week caught your eye, you are the first ever to mention it. Thank you for your visit and follow – I will be dropping by your site tonight to see what you are up to…

  19. Happy to have “met” you by way of “I know I Made You Smile.” How rewarding it must have been to teach art, and now to have the time to pursue your passion. The pieces that Carl highlighted in his post are beautiful.

    • AA – Great to meet you too through Carl and thank you for your kind words. Yes, it was rewarding to teach, and to learn, for my students taught me at least as much if not more than I taught them. If one has to work then this career tops most I have known. Now I am a student again and am giving to my life and art the energy I gave to my students for so many years…

  20. Hi John. I have nominated you for ‘Blog of the Year’ award. All details on my latest post :)

  21. John, Congratulations on so many awards! I have actually nominated you (again) for Blog of the Year Award 2012, which means that you can add another star to your poster. I think it also comes obligation free! Just add another star to your poster and then relax and enjoy the festivities. With congrats also my thanks for your supportive comments and thoughtful responses. Cheers, Philippa

  22. Oops, me again. Thank you for your 60 comments this year! You are a star performer indeed John. I really appreciate your reactions and witty exchanges as well as your ‘enriching’ posts. Thank you so much for your contributions to my blogging experience.

    • 60 comments! – ye gods I do tend to ramble on. Thank you so much Philippa for your generous words and thank you for your own posts that are always a delight. See you next year…

      • A new look for 2013! You have that Mexican feeling?

      • Ah you noticed, of course. Mexico is always dear to my heart although I am unable to visit again this year. The reality of everyday life and finances are against me. I must accommodate myself to a Canadian winter and find some solace in my art and in the damp and chilly grey of a west coast season.

  23. Pingback: SoundEagle in John Clinock’s Art Rat Cafe | SoundEagle

  24. wow I stumbled upon your blog and I must say I quite enjoyed what I saw.

    I look forward reading your future posts!

    Have a great day :)

  25. Hello there! I’ve recently been given the Sunshine award and considering how I enjoy your blog and our feedback between posts, I’ve chosen you as a recipient of the Award as well. It’s a blogger to blogger award and so has a few rules you can checkout below. I also wrote a little bit about why I chose your blog! Thanks for being awesome.


  26. Thank you for your kind comments and encouragement! I love what your mixed media compositions, how you supplement you art with text, and the Sartre/Beckett references. Have a wonderful day! — Liz

  27. Fabulous, fabulous blog!! Your art is phenomenal!! Looking forward to exploring it more.

  28. Ah, I am sorry about the email. My post-graduation celebrations with my family took too much of my time for me to even fathom getting close to the internet, let alone blogging. :) I am glad you posted about the award and will respond to that post shortly!


  29. Hi, John, are you still living in Vancouver? Sorry I lost touch and would like to get back. Just finished a PhD in Art History at University of Leeds. Now I’m working and contemplating my next move, I’d like to talk more to you about it. All best, Simon – the PhD was on the journal Gagarin,, in case you are interested and I neglected to tell you – a Belgian journal of artists’ writings- am into some heavy hitters now..

  30. Good Monday morning John. The style of your artworks is really unique and new to me. The colors you use and the brush strokes are so vivid and somewhat intriguing. :) … Keep up the art cafe burning! (with the fire of creativity).

  31. Hi John, thansk for dropping in on my blog. Looking at your about, you seem an accomplished artist. I’m relatively inexperienced in artistic matters, but enjoy doing cartoons of family, just completed one of my girlfriend :) The devil it does seem is in the detail !

    I’ve added you on my links –> friends, you doing the same helps people find our blogs :)

    Keep in touch …


    Don Charisma

  32. Hi john! I love your work. Thanks for dropping by The Palace of Culture: Glad you enjoyed the movie!

  33. Hi John.Wowwww…just I can say wowwww1 I’m really surprised . All of them, poem ,Painting, Photography ,drawing are fabulous. I quiet enjoyed what I saw. You are real artist and I really honored to meet you. Your art is meaningfull,illusion, dream… I don’t know what to say. You must teach students in Emillycarr. Congratulation!

  34. Going out on a limb here because I couldn’t figure out how to email you: Would love your thoughts on this artist…poet, knucklehead.

  35. I am very glad our paths crossed here today. I enjoy what I’m seeing and I look forward to future encounters. Thanks!

  36. Heyy ı am really happy to meet you John ..You are wonderful friend!

  37. I really like your new design :)

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