July Member of the Month: Mario Dimain
Every month, we profile a different Scarborough Arts member. If you’re a member and would like to be profiled, send an email to news AT scarborougharts DOT com for more information.
How long have you been a member of Scarborough Arts?
Literally, if not for a butterfly on 1859 Kingston Road, I wouldn’t have been a member of Scarborough Arts. The monarch butterfly wings brightly painted on the front door of the Bluffs Gallery was the invitation. I passed by it many times on my way to visit my grandchildren. And finally, in the early spring of this year, the curiosity got the best of me. I entered through the butterfly door, got soaked in the butterfly magic, let my imagination flow free . . . and signed up!
I am glad I did. My inspirational photo Wings of Light that was included in the Members’ Annual Spring Art exhibition is now hanging at someone’s home in Scarborough.
What kind of art do you practice, and how long have you been practicing it?
I have always been a lover of anything pleasing to the eye. The passion for the art has been with me since childhood, but only in the last 35 years when I really took it seriously.
I love to express my thoughts, emotions, and my vision through images and words. Photography, video production, computer graphics, watercolour and acrylic paintings, and creative writing allow me to channel what I feel and what I see. Although I can paint at any given time, I am presently more productive in digital photography, short video presentation, and writing short stories and essays.
I had the honour to paint the buildings of the Provincial Parliament and Ontario Place on the sides of two TTC streetcars specially designated for commemorating the Ontario Bicentennial in 1984.
I also like the art of competition. Not just for the glory of winning, but mainly for bringing out the best in what I could possibly achieve. In the process, I lost in some and I won a few. Recently, the photo of my granddaughter, entitled I-pad Wizard, won first place in the Christian Photographers Photo Contest, and my short story, “Screaming Silence,” placed second in the Aspiring Writers Monthly Writing Competition.
Tell us about the piece we’re featuring today.
I titled this photo Morning Splash simply because it conveys self-awareness. At the time of the shot, the sound of the waves splashing on the rocks and the rising sun on the horizon seem to be reaching out, reminding me that each day is another hope; another chance to correct the mistakes I made the day before. This photo embodies my love for nature and the spirituality that I feel in the beauty of God’s creations. It tells me how fortunate I am for being alive and well. This moment was captured with a simple point-and-shoot camera, in the late fall of 2009 along Lake Ontario at the Port Union Waterfront Trail. It was included in Photography for Christ Photo Exhibition at St. Martin de Porres Church two years ago.
Where is your favourite place in Scarborough to go for inspiration?
Although there are many alluring places in Scarborough, Rouge Beach Park is definitely on the top of my list. Ever since I was first captivated by the river’s serenity in the summer of 1980, I have always been drawn back to its magnetic natural beauty in all four seasons. I love everything about it. The many photographs I took of the Rouge were never enough. I always have the urge to shoot some more. I romanticized my fondness of this part of Scarborough on the short video I produced, “Journey To The Rouge.” The tranquility of this place can be felt in my fitting photo essay, “Alone At The Rouge.”
What is the best piece of artistic advice you’ve ever gotten?
I can only think of one. The best artistic advice I have ever gotten is in the Bible verse, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
The great master Michelangelo is a classic example of that verse. His strong character is in itself an underlying artistic advice. For a sculptor to go out of his comfort zone and paint a massive masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is what makes me admire the man even more. I don’t have the capacity to attain Michelangelo’s greatness, but his strong persona has always inspired me to at least emulate his unyielding brilliance.