1:30 p.m., Dec. 23)
Local artist paints trio of canvases for popular Lebanese
By Fred Sherwin
to the Garlic King restaurant on St. Joseph Blvd. may
notice something different about the popular Lebanese
eatery these days.
the east wall around the flat screen TV are three massive
paintings by Orléans artist Allyson Luedtke depicting
two famous scenes in Lebanon and an iconic landmark found
in Northern Canada.
Allyson Luedtke stands with Adel Azzi, aka
the Garlic King, , in front of three commissioned
works she did for the popular Lebanese restaurant
on St. Joseph Blvd.. Fred Sherwin/Photo
paintings are a present from the Garlic King's wife and
of the paintings entiled "Earth", depicts Lebanon's
national symbol, the cedar tree, found in the 'Cedars
of God' World Heritage Site in Northern Lebanon.
second painting, "Fire", is an abstract of the
Pigoen Rock formation off the coast of Lebanon near Beirut,
awash in the golden glow of a Mediterranean sunset.
the third painting entitled "Wind", depicts
an inukshuk directional rock formation, common in the
far north, under a multi-hued Aurora Brealis.
began working on the paintings in June at the insistence
of Garlic King manager Justdave who first asked her to
do a mural.
told him that actual paintings would be better because
they're portable," says Luedtke, who has been a Garlic
King regular for going on five years. "When I started
painting them, each one started taking on a different
personality. The cedar tree has a lot of Hayat in it.
She's very warm and welcoming, and it turns out that she
used to live 15 minutes from the site."
is a bright, warm light that just lights up everything
around him and and makes it glow. And he grew up 10 minutes
from the Pigeon Rocks."
Dave's is obvious. He brings it all together and you can
see at the base of the inukshuk where there are pebbles
that appear to be gathering around it."
gifted from a very young age, Luedtke's interest was nutured
by by her father Marshall Gammon, who was a graphic artist
in the Toronto area, and dedicated mother Bobbie English
who enrolled Allyson in programs like kaleidoscope at
Queen's Quay in the 70's.
painted on a regular basis until the birth of her daughter
nine years ago caused her to rethink her priorities. She
didn't paint at all for three years. It wasn't until she
enlisted the help of a friend and fellow artist that she
reconnected with her artistic side.
were in my room and she noticed part of a painting hiding
under my bed. It was a self-portrait that I had stowed
away for whatever reason. She really liked it and we started
painting together," says Luedtke. That was five years
her friend's chance discovery, Luedtke has picked up where
she left off before the birth of her daughter.
also got involved in the Paint Night phenomenon which
combines painting with socializing at local bars and restaurants
that host the events.
Garlic King plans to start hosting Paint Nights in 2017.
The Barley Mow, Lunasole, Kelsey's, The Cross Bar and
Darcy McGee's Irish Pub already host Paint Nights. For
more information on a Paint Night near you visit www.paintnight.com.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)