Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Feb. 17


Posted Feb. 6

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





(Updated 1:30 p.m., Dec. 23)
Local artist paints trio of canvases for popular Lebanese restaurant

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Visitors to the Garlic King restaurant on St. Joseph Blvd. may notice something different about the popular Lebanese eatery these days.

Gracing 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.

Artist 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

The paintings are a present from the Garlic King's wife and children.

One 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.

The 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.

Finally, the third painting entitled "Wind", depicts an inukshuk directional rock formation, common in the far north, under a multi-hued Aurora Brealis.

Luedtke began working on the paintings in June at the insistence of Garlic King manager Justdave who first asked her to do a mural.

"I 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."

"Adel 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."

"And 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."

Artistically 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.

Luedtke 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.

"We 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 ago.

Since her friend's chance discovery, Luedtke has picked up where she left off before the birth of her daughter.

She also got involved in the Paint Night phenomenon which combines painting with socializing at local bars and restaurants that host the events.

The 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.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)





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