Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool Cool World: Ad Nauseum

It’s on, mofos!

We have begun the battle of political TV ads you will be so sick of within a month you will be begging to see even more ambulance-chasing spots by the likes of The Heavy Hitter and Agent 777 instead (if you don’t by now, as they are already brain-numbing and annoying enough).

First out of the gate with TV spots was Republican gubernatorial candidate Ashley Kalus, the carpetbagger from Illinois, running for the chance to step in front of Little Rhody’s Democratic bus. She’s been followed by Helena Foulkes, the former CVS honcho who nobody knows, but is rich enough to run in the Democratic gubernatorial primary on essentially her own dime. But remember, former guv Gigi Raimondo showed how far a dollar will go.

To be successful, as P&J are certain overpaid consultants are advising the pols, you need to tick the important boxes:

  1. Family. If you’re in the race and don’t have a brood, go out and either adopt or rent a band of precious young cuties. 
  2. Public Education. Show unquestionable dedication to our public schools and the needs and joys of a proper education. Even if your own kids are tucked away at exclusive private schools away from the riff-raff one may encounter in your school district.
  3. Economy. Yes, it is the fault of everyone, except your high-end political donors, that we are being price-gouged at the gas pump, smoked by the baby formula drought and undermined by those unaffordable rents – which need correcting that you know you can’t and won’t do.
  4. I’m One of Youse. Total bullshit as a credential, but it will kill Ashley Kalus. And like Ms. Foulkes, who now uses her Italian family name of Buonanno to possibly capture the Federal Hill vote, candidates will work that ethnic/gender/local/legacy angle. And as we have previously said, P&J’s ordained candidate, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, in his Congressional race, had better move into the district toot sweet. And rightly so.
  5. What a genius you are and always have been. Whether she/he is a Golden Gloves boxer or serious ailment sufferer who has engaged in facing down opponents or beating all odds, best try to not be seen blowing your own horn. As if that is possible for a politician.
  6. I’ve never been arrested for shady deals. Well, besides being a possible lie waiting to happen in all camps, it’s touch-and-go whether this might matter. Although, the fact that Gov. Dan “Who’s He?” McKee – and his deal with his cronies in securing a multi-million-dollar state contract for them one week after he was sworn in – is being investigated by the state’s attorney general and FBI, does not bode well. We’ll see when the gloves come off down the stretch.

Spot the Difference

It’s time for this edition of Phillipe and Jorge’s “Spot the Difference” competition. This is inspired by reading People magazine at our local laundromat, where you better habla español with the wonderful people who run it.  But it is entertaining – in a bizarre way – to read about the “celebrities” People covers (marriages, births, deaths, drug problems, faux traumas, romances designed to fail, etc) among ostensibly famous folks we couldn’t pick out of a police lineup, if we aren’t being too out of touch with who’s what is where, when and how in the modern social media world.

Being your globally aware and superior correspondents, if not important “influencers” (pardon us while we wretch at that term), we have chosen an international theme, in which you can try to identify the differences between two major sources and influences of power. Here ya go, puzzle fans:

  1. The ruling power in Afghanistan, the Taliban, with their trampling on rights of women and subjugating them to totally restrictive laws, which the US government has said they abhor.
  2. The US Supreme Court, with their proposed trampling of the rights of women and subjugating them to totally restrictive laws (take a bow, Texas and Oklahoma governors and legislators) that the US people have said they abhor.


The difference is that, while both are brutally repressive, wear long, flowing oversized outfits/robes, and are so full of themselves you need to coat the doorways with Vaseline to get their inflated heads into a room, the Taliban wear those turbans and beards with pride, while the Supreme Court justices choose to go bareheaded. Although both the unspeakable sexual predator, incompetent and totally compromised by his wife Clarence “Frogman” Thomas and Donald Trump’s hired housemaid, Amy Coney Barrett, could use a shave, notably (and preferably) of their brains’ frontal lobes.

(A tip of the beret and sombrero to England’s exquisite Private Eye magazine for the kick-start.)


Monday, August 15 from 6 -10pm
R1 Indoor Karting, 100 Higginson Ave, Lincoln, RI

Yes, there will be food trucks!

Our Food Truck Awards, now in its 6th year (with time off for pandemics), draws nominations from our food writers, local event planners and food truck events around the state, plus suggestions from the trucks themselves.

This event will be held alongside our second annual Drink Awards.

Both events are celebrations of these crowd-pleasing art forms. For details or to RSVP, visit our FaceBook event.

This year, the following trucks and brewers are expected to be serving:

Hometown Poke
RaRa’s Surf Shack
Hot Potato
Lulu’s Pancakes
Memphis Kelle
RI Spirits
Buttonwoods Brewery
Narragansett Brewery
Beer on Earth
Six Pack Brewing
Union Station


2022 Music Awards are coming up! Join us!

Monday, July 18, 6 – 9pm at FMH (Doors at 6)
Fete Music Hall, 103 Dike St, PVD

It’s time again for Motif’s RI Music Awards. To learn more and RSVP, click here.

See Winners Here:


Learn more about our nomination process.

Thank you to our sponsors:

R1 Indoor Karting

Fete Music Hall Providence

The Music Wagon LLC

Biggest Little Easy Catering

2022 Weird Fiction Contest

In a tradition stretching back to bygone aeons — pre-pandemic — Motif is working in collaboration with NecronomiCon Providence on a weird fiction contest for writing and art. This is an opportunity to get involved with the ongoing convention homage to PVD’s traditions of creepiness and horror.

Image by Bob Eggleton

Entries must be original creative work evoking the themes, images, characters and feeling of the Cthulhu mythos or similar tales of weird fiction, and must not have been previously published elsewhere.

The winning entry in each category, determined at the sole discretion of our panel of judges, will be published on our website and in our August issue, which will be distributed statewide and at NecronomiCon, happening Aug 18 – 21. Honorable mentions will be published on our website. Submissions by e-mail must be received by us no later than 11:59pm on Jul 31, 2022; no other submissions will be accepted. Winners will be notified by Aug 12 via e-mail sent to the address from which we received their entry. Additional haunted goodies, still to be determined, will also be awarded. Other prizes will include a featured role in the annual Cthulhu prayer service, collectible tomes and gift certificates.

Each entry must include your real name, city and state of residence, and optionally a pseudonym if you’re choosing not to be published under a real name. (Including your telephone number is helpful.) There is no minimum age, but entrants under the age of 18 must accompany their entry with a statement of permission from a parent or guardian.

Use of the City of Providence and its surrounding area as a setting counts in your favor, but is not necessary.

Writing category: An English-language work of prose fiction with a maximum of 2,000 words. It is not required that you try to imitate Lovecraft’s style; make it spooky or horrifying. Send to cthulhu@motifri.com as either plain text or HTML text in the body of your message, or as attachments in ODT, DOC/DOCX, RTF, or PDF format.

Send any questions to cthulhu@motifri.com as well. Motif reserves the right to change or waive these rules at our sole discretion.

Pot in Every Pot: RI Legalizes Recreational Cannabis

Recreational cannabis will be legal in RI under a new bill that will be signed into law at a ceremony later today (Wed, May 25) announced by Gov. Daniel McKee for 3:15pm on the south plaza of the State House. Motif plans to live-stream the ceremony – facebook.com/motifri/videos – on Facebook. RI joins 18 other states, including Massachusetts and Connecticut, that have also legalized.

Sponsored in the Senate (S.24300Aaa) by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-28, Cranston and Providence) and in the House (H.7593Aaa) by Rep. Scott A. Slater (D-10, Providence), the new Cannabis Act is the culmination of a decade of effort to regulate and tax adult recreational cannabis usage similarly to alcohol. Both chambers passed textually identical versions late yesterday (Tue, May 24) afternoon by overwhelming votes, 32-6 in the Senate and 55-16 in the House, largely along party lines with Democrats supporting and Republicans opposing the bill, sending it to the governor for his signature. The approvals were widely expected after favorable committee reports last week (Wed, May 18): although the Senate took only a half-hour to debate and vote, the House engaged in a more contentious debate that consumed two hours before voting.

RI Senate passes Cannabis Act (H.2430) by vote of 32-6, May 24, 2022.
RI House passes Cannabis Act (H.7593) by vote of 55-16, May 24, 2022.

For adults at least age 21, possession of personal use quantities of cannabis was decriminalized by RI in 2013, but the new legislation expands that to decriminalize both sale and possession of up to one ounce, and up to 10 ounces for personal use may be kept at a primary residence. Small amounts up to three plants can be grown by those for whom possession is allowed.

A late amendment provides for automatic expungement of criminal convictions, changed from earlier versions of the bill that would have required individual petitions to the courts. (See “ExSPONGing Away Criminal Records: Fighting for automatic expungement in RI”, by Kristen Dansereau, Apr 6, 2022.) Convictions eligible for expungement include any prior civil violation, misdemeanor, or felony conviction for possession of cannabis that would be decriminalized by the new law. Automatic expungement by July 1, 2024, will occur without requiring affected individuals to file a request, pay a fee, or have a hearing, but those who choose not to wait may request an expedited process to have their records expunged sooner.

Municipalities not already hosting medical compassion centers may by referendum opt out of allowing sales. Municipalities currently hosting licensed cultivators or testing laboratories may opt out for the future, but existing facilities will be grandfathered in. A procedure is provided that allows communities to revisit their decision to opt out in later years, should they choose to do so. Municipalities may by local ordinance ban use of cannabis in public places.

In addition to the regular sales tax of 7%, new excise taxes will be imposed on cannabis sales of 10% to the state and 3% to the municipality in which the sale occurs. The new law eliminates fees for patients and caregivers in the RI medical cannabis program, including for identification cards and plant tags, effective Dec 1.

The general assembly said in a statement the law creates a new three-member Cannabis Control Commission whose members are appointed by the governor with input from the Speaker of the House and approval from the Senate, assisted by a new Cannabis Advisory Board. The existing administrative Office of Cannabis Regulation within the Department of Business Regulation will handle the transition to legal recreational use, including issuing hybrid licensing to existing compassion centers and cultivators.

RI Sen. Joshua Miller (D-28)

In the statement Miller, who chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said, “The reality is that prohibition does not stop cannabis use. Since Rhode Islanders can already access cannabis just across the state border or on the illicit market, we experience all the challenges without any of the safeguards or resources that our neighboring states have. With this bill, we are ending prohibition in a way that is safe, keeps revenue in Rhode Island, and is as fair and equitable as we can possibly make it. This bill has been years in the making, and is a collaborative effort to address concerns about protecting medical use, ensuring fair governance and recognizing that we cannot make this transition without taking action to make whole the communities and individuals who have been punished for decades under prohibition.”

RI Rep. Scott A. Slater (D-10)

In the statement Slater, who is first vice chair of the House Finance Committee, said, “Social equity has been a top concern for us throughout this whole process. Senator Miller and I represent some of the communities that have suffered disproportionate harm from prohibition for decades, resulting in generational poverty and mass incarceration. The starting line isn’t the same for people in poor, urban and minority communities, and they deserve support to ensure they get the full benefit of participating in legalization. I am grateful to my colleagues in the General Assembly for recognizing the importance of expungement of criminal records and equity in licensing, because they are absolutely critical to ending prohibition fairly.”

Rep. K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-23, Warwick), the speaker of the House, said in the statement, “I thank all the advocates, stakeholders, staff and especially Representative Scott Slater, who has worked tirelessly on this issue for the past decade. The bill represents a strong foundation from which to build the safe, equitable regulation of cannabis for adult use. We are proud that this legislation prioritizes the participation of people most impacted by the past enforcement of cannabis laws both through automatic expungement and the creation of a licensing structure based on social equity.”

Sen. Michael J. McCaffrey (D-29, Warwick), the majority leader, said in the statement, “This is a truly momentous day for Rhode Island. I’m deeply grateful to Senator Miller for his years of hard work and leadership on this issue, and I’m incredibly proud to have been part of reaching this point. I also want to thank President Ruggerio for his support throughout this process. Ending cannabis prohibition helps us right past wrongs while creating new opportunities for all Rhode Islanders. This is the right move, at the right time, for our state.”

Jared Moffat of Regulate RI and the Marijuana Policy Project

Jared Moffat, long active in the RI legalization effort since his days as a Brown University student and now state campaigns manager for the national Marijuana Policy Project, said in a press release, “We are grateful to Rep. Scott Slater and Sen. Josh Miller for their years of leadership on this issue. Rhode Islanders should be proud of their lawmakers for passing a legalization bill that features strong provisions to promote equity and social justice. We’re also thankful to Rep. Leonela Felix who advocated tirelessly for the inclusion of an automatic expungement provision that will clear tens of thousands of past cannabis possession convictions.”

In addition to Miller, the Senate bill was co-sponsored by Sens. McCaffrey, Goodwin, Ruggerio, Coyne, Pearson, Acosta, Kallman, Archambault, and Murray. In addition to Slater, the House bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Hull, Williams, Kazarian, Solomon, McNamara, O’Brien, Potter, Bennett, and Morales.

Motif has made available the portions of the full House and Senate sessions relevant to the Cannabis Act:

  video and audio audio only
Senate (34m) (38.5MB) (4.1MB)
House (2h02m) (138.5MB) (14.6MB)


Not Quite Together Yet: Barker’s Putting it Together a swing and a miss

Passion and good intentions do not translate into a solid theatrical production, otherwise the current show at Barker Playhouse would automatically be a hit.

The seven-person cast in “Putting it Together,” a musical review of dozens of songs by the great composer Stephen Sondheim is certainly enthusiastic, but the show simply appears too ambitious for an amateur group like Barker to pull of successfully.

Imagine – the original London production included Diana Rigg in the lead, and the Broadway opening included Carol Burnett and George Hearn. Some of the voices in the Barker production are strong and clear, but not all. When there are just seven in the cast, that’s a grave deficit.

The show does have the nostalgia factor – songs like “Have I Got a Girl for You,” “Country House,” “Back in Business,” ”Getting Married Today” and “Old Friends” remind the audience of Sondheim’s power and the appeal of such shows as “Company,” “Follies,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Assassins.”

But the songs are not all easy to execute and the cast struggles at too many points. In addition, after just half of the 33 numbers in the two-hour production, the cast seems depleted. Performing as three couples working the songs in tandem, the cast is hobbled by a lack of chemistry that makes some interactions almost painful. Instead of couples, they seem randomly matched and that makes the lyrics less impactful and believable.

In addition, while the presence of seven stools positioned across the stage at the beginning of the show implies it might unfold as a concert, many of the numbers feature choreography that is mostly lackluster and forced. Again, the lack of chemistry makes other moves seem forced and sloppy moves are distracting. When the stools are employed, as six seat while one offers a solo, the seated actors seem checked out and bored instead of engaged.

With the nostalgia of hearing favorite show tunes, there are a few moments that are well executed. Steve Lavallee has a strong, clear voice that resonates beautifully on “Pretty Woman” from “Sweeney Todd.” Rebecca Kilcline’s soprano voice is lush, especially on “Unworthy of Your Love.” Her rapid-fire delivery in “Getting Married Today” offer the show’s best moments. And Liz Messier’s antics on “My Husband’s a Pig” are sassy and funny.

“Putting it Together” is on stage through May 22 at Barker, 400 Benefit St, PVD. For more information or tickets, go to www.playersri.org

2022 Bartenders Ball

We want to recognize bartenders that elevate tending to an art form. Join us in celebrating your favorite local bartenders! We are still taking nominations.

Voting is now closed. But if you’d like to sign up for some of the live competitions we’ll have at the event, here are the rules and the sign-up sheet.

Where is the event taking place? R1 Indoor Karting, Lincoln, Rhode Island! We know Lincoln sounds far away, but it’s less than 10 minutes from downtown PVD.

When is the event taking place? Monday, August 1st! Doors at 6:00.

Sign up for one of the live competitions here

Interested in attending? Let us know at this link: https://fb.me/e/1JkOpICgu

Or get tickets here

Greater RI protections for wiretap warrants: No federal “good-faith” exception to exclusionary rule

RI Supreme and Superior Court Building, Providence.
(Photo: Kenneth C. Zirkel, via Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0)

The RI Supreme Court this morning (May 5) ruled unanimously, 5-0, in a consolidated case involving multiple criminal defendants (State v. Deric S. McGuire et al.) that a failure to follow strict state law requirements for wiretap warrants totally invalidates those warrants, justifying a suppressing of evidence for all of the fruits of the invalid warrants. While recognizing that federal jurisprudence might allow a “good-faith” exception to admit the evidence because none of the parties intended to break the law regarding wiretap warrants, the Court ruled the RI State Constitution provides greater protection against warrantless searches and seizures and therefore no “good-faith” exception applies.

The RI Supreme Court quotes its own prior ruling in Pimental v. Department of Transportation, 561 A.2d 1348, 1350 (R.I. 1989), that “[t]he [United States] Supreme Court… has recognized the right and power of state courts as final interpreters of state law ‘to impose higher standards on searches and seizures under state constitutions than required by the Federal Constitution.’” Pimental held that traffic stop roadblocks looking for drunk drivers were unconstitutional in RI, despite being allowed under federal law and used in other states.

The Court explained the background of McGuire: “These consolidated cases arose from a Rhode Island State Police investigation into alleged outlaw motorcycle gangs, which led to an indictment in November 2018 against forty-one defendants charging 424 criminal counts, including possession of and possession with intent to deliver controlled substances, conspiracy, and unlawful possession of firearms. As part of the investigation, from May 2017 through May 2018, an Assistant Attorney General presented applications for several orders authorizing the interception of wire, electronic, and oral communications and orders extending, amending, or terminating the wiretaps (the wiretap orders).”

The error arose because the RI Wiretap Act, §12-5.1-3, specifically requires that wiretap orders be issued by either the presiding justice of the Superor Court, Alice B. Gibney, or, if she is disqualified for any reason, by the senior associate justice, Robert D. Krause. When Gibney took medical leave, she designated Krause to act as presiding justice under §8-3-4. However, because Krause managed the court gun calendar, Gibney designated another associate justice, Melanie Wilk Thunberg, to handle wiretap orders. When Gibney returned from medical leave and resumed her duties, relieving Krause of his status as acting presiding justice, she left wiretap orders assigned to Thunberg who had been handling them. (The only other authority specifically restricted to the presiding justice is that of granting immunity from prosecution under §12-17-15.)

When criminal charges were filed, the numerous defendants moved to suppress evidence gained from the wiretaps, arguing the specific provisions of the Wiretap Act superseded the general provisions of statute elsewhere, making the warrants invalid because they were issued by Thunberg, who while an associate justice was neither the presiding justice nor the most senior associate justice, the only two authorized to issue wiretap warrants. The trial court agreed with the defendants and ordered the evidence flowing from the wiretaps to be excluded so it could not be used against them.

Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg, writing for a unanimous Supreme Court affirming the decision of the Superior Court trial proceeding below, went out of her way to emphasize repeatedly that neither the Attorney General nor the Superior Court justices involved thought they were doing anything wrong: “…it is manifest on the record before us that all executive and judicial officers involved in this series of events acted in the best interest of the State of Rhode Island, and that Justice Thunberg was a neutral and detached judicial officer who is highly competent to perform such an endeavor. However, she simply lacked the statutory authority to receive the applications and issue the wiretap orders. Thus, we conclude that the wiretap orders were invalid, and, consequently, the interception of communications pursuant to those orders amounted to ‘unauthorized intrusions’ into these defendants’ private communications.”

Firstly, the Supreme Court held that the issuance of the wiretap warrants was clearly invalid, as the specific provisions of the Wiretap Act were violated.

Secondly, the Court held that suppression of the evidence was the correct remedy. The state argued that precedent had allowed evidence to be used despite technical defects in search warrants that incorrectly omitted mandatory language, but the Court held that to be a much less serious matter, citing a series of previous rulings going back to 1975 that held wiretap warrants to a higher standard than ordinary search warrants.

Thirdly, and most importantly as future precedent, the Court held that no “good-faith” exception applies to an invalid wiretap warrant as might be allowed under federal law: “Alternatively, the state asks this Court to adopt the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule as provided for in United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984). In Leon, the United States Supreme Court created an exception to the exclusionary rule ‘when an officer acting with objective good faith has obtained a search warrant from a judge or magistrate and acted within its scope.’… We are hard-pressed to conceive that a judicially-created exception to a judicially-created exclusionary rule, such as the Leon good-faith rule, is applicable to the strict statutory mandates under review in these cases.” In other words, the RI Supreme Court explicitly held that evidence that is the fruit of an invalid wiretap warrant is inadmissible at trial and must be excluded because of state law, even if it would be admissible under federal law, recognizing that Rhode Island citizens have greater constitutional protections against improper search and seizure.

Nothin’ But Good Scent-iments: Providence Perfume Co conducts a symphony of natural essences

After speaking with Charna Ethier, owner of the Providence Perfume Co in Pawtucket, Motif learned that music and perfume have more in common than we realized. Making great perfume can be like music for your nostrils, with intonations and layers that unravel one whiff at a time.

“Perfumery is a mysterious art, but when you consider formulation, everything is based on evaporation rate. This is how we classify ingredients as top, heart, or base notes,” Ethier said. 

She explained how top notes show up as the most volatile projection when a perfume is first sprayed, but evaporate the quickest. 

“Examples of top notes are typically citrus and herbs like bergamot, basil, and pink grapefruit,” she said.

Then there are middle notes, which fill up the air once the top notes have dissipated. 

“Heart notes truly form the heart of a fragrance and are typically floral or fruity notes,” Ethier said.

Base notes are the materials that last the longest in a perfume, most notably that lingering trace of a scent you’ve been wearing all day. 

“Base notes form the foundation of a fragrance and are typically woods and resins. Examples are sandalwood, patchouli, and labdanum,” she said.

Ethier has been in the business of concocting natural perfume scents for years, soaking up her knowledge from perfumery books while also playing it by ear as a self-taught perfumer.

Like every labor of love, Ethier created the Providence Perfume Co for two very specific reasons – to foster her lifelong passion for the aromas of nature and cater to those looking for natural fragrances.

Growing up on a farm kept Ethier drawn to the luscious smells of the great outdoors. “I love the smell of blackberry bushes and pine needles and the air before it rains,” she said.

“It made sense for me to pull inspiration from plants and flowers, not petrochemicals.”

Today, Providence Perfume Co is in full bloom with an array of perfume oils and fragrances, which patrons also have the option of custom-creating at the shop’s perfume bar. 

Customers book an appointment for an hour-long lesson to create either an oil-based perfume that rolls on or an alcohol-based fragrance that sprays on. 

They receive guidance from Providence Perfume Co staff while creating their custom scent, choosing the best notes, adding essences to the beaker, and testing the progress of their new fragrance with scent strips.

Once concocted, the custom perfume formulas are kept on file at the Providence Perfume Co for those who want a refill later. When it comes to customer favorites, Ethier’s Irisque takes the prize. 

“Irisqué is a best seller,” she said. “It’s a risqué iris fragrance! Most iris perfumes tend to smell like old-fashioned powdery violets, but not ours. I wanted to make a sexy, modern iris perfume, so I added notes of oud and botanical musk to deepen the fragrance.”

Other botanical scents sold at the shop include Sedona Sweetgrass (made with pinon pine, sweetgrass, and sage), Hindu Honeysuckle (a combination of green vetiver, musk ambrette, rose, and coriander), and Rose Boheme (a bohemian scent with rich aged patchouli, fir, tea, agarwood, saffron, Turkish rose, and an artisan rose petal infusion). Along with treatment and body oils, Providence Perfume Co also sells organic perfumed teas that invigorate your senses with each sip.

Ethier and the Providence Perfume Co stand out from other perfumers by focusing solely on natural essences, perfect for those with chemical sensitivities to traditional synthetic fragrances. 

“[People] don’t realize that the fragrances they wear are 96-100% synthetic and contain little to NO natural essences,” she said. “I create beautiful, long-lasting fragrances that just so happen to be all-natural.”

Ethier is a pro at juggling the art of perfumery with the business aspect by simultaneously working on customer requests and passion projects that artistically speak to her.

Her unisex, woodsy Heart of Darkness scent began as a passion project that she knew wouldn’t be as popular but allowed her to create a “mothy, foresty” scent by distilling espresso beans and mixing in floral notes.

“My focus as a perfumer is on the scent – does it take you on a journey? How does it make you feel? Having an aromatherapy effect is secondary to the [actual] scent,” Ethier said.

She looks forward to launching a new scent later this fall, a unisex, smoked, black tea perfume called Lapsang Lover. “I found the most beautiful black tea absolute distilled in France and I’m excited to work with this natural essence,” she said.

In the meantime, stop into Providence Perfume Co’s new facility at 80 Fountain Street, Unit 203 in Pawtucket to treat your nose to the luscious symphony of essences found in Ethier’s all-natural fragrances. 

For more information, call (401) 455-2325 or email info@providenceperfume.com.

Paciorek on Pinks and Purples: Prolific painter talks color

Motif had the opportunity to speak with PVD-based artist, Nick Paciorek, known for his local and international landscapes, paintings that use big strokes of vivid color to create lively tones and atmosphere. Originally from Chicago, Paciorek has lived in RI for decades and currently creates art at The Pitcher-Goff house in Pawtucket:

Luke Taylor (Motif): There seems to be a lot of contrast and dramatic lighting in your work. What inspires your choice of colors? 

Nick Paciorek: Choice of color is the feeling color. The grass is not always green, sometimes it feels red. It all depends on the color next to it in the painting. The painting is a world in itself.

LT: What is your most preferred medium?

NP: I mostly paint in oil paints. Oils give me the color that I’m always looking for. I can use other mediums, but that is my preference.

LT: Fauvism is a term that some use to describe your style. Does that label accurately describe your work? 

NP: I think the word Fauvism works for my work. The colors are not what is always in nature, but the painting takes on a world of its own. It is a mad beast of color. 

LT: You have painted around the world. How has that influenced your work?

NP: I have painted in different parts of the world. Just as travels open your mind up to new ideas and culture, so does landscape. Landscape has a power of its own – we just have to be able to take it in. What we look at in our lives influences how we see the world.

LT: When did you realize that you wanted to be a painter? Have you always been interested in art? 

NP: When I was five years old, I was in my Uncle Frank’s studio in California. I’d seen him create a painting from a blank canvas, and I told my mother that I was going to be an artist. So from that point on, so many of my choices in life have been focused on that.

LT: How do you typically approach a painting?  Do you have a process, or is it more of a whim? Maybe a balance of both?

NP: All my paintings start the same way, an idea. I start the painting with great energy, and it is going to be great. Then when I’m working on it, I feel that I can not even paint, and I have to tell myself that I’m a professional artist and I’m going to get through it. You can almost call it getting through the “hate” stage of the painting. Then you reach a point that it’s not so bad. Each drawing, painting, 3-D work of art goes through this for me.

LT: What are some of the challenges in selling your artwork?

NP: The challenges are that you are always marketing your work. Every artist would love to just sit in their studio, but the public needs to see the work, and not just in a digital form, but be in front of it. It is a different world when you live with a piece of artwork.

LT: As the weather warms, what are some good places around RI to paint outdoors?

NP: Almost anywhere. The state is so small, and the landscapes change so quickly. I can walk down the street and find great material.

Chase Farm [in Lincoln] is great. The cliff walk in Newport is classic – I’ll take photos or do sketches there, but there are too many people walking by to really paint. I like the bird sanctuaries. At Castle Hill [Newport] the views are great, but you can also duck around the people a little and find an out-of-the-way spot.

Nick Paciorek is available for commissions. You can contact him, view his artwork, and find upcoming show dates and events at paciorek.com