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Toller Cranston, sumptuous costumed figures

Toller Cranston, sumptuous costumed figures


I recently had the great pleasure of traveling with 3 other painting friends to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where we stayed just 4 doors up from the imaginative figure painter, Toller Cranston. His home is a wonderland and riot of exotica, color and costume! I have been a fan of his artwork since I first saw it in Montreal in the 1970’s. My mother was a friend of his mom’s and apparently my grandmother used to sew fine dresses for her way way back in the mists of time.


Toller’s artwork features exotic characters in wonderland settings, no doubt influenced by his passion for theater, ballet, music and above all the fine art of skating! Toller’s skating style revolutionized the ice skating world in the 1970’s and paved the way for the artistic skating we enjoy today. You can see his skating prowess in this video.

His lush art garden is a wonderland with lively blue iron structures and thousands of Mexican ceramic objects adorning the walls and plant stands.



One friend I was with described him as a high end hoarder which has a note of honestly but what things he shares with us in our visit! Fascinating collections of objects and grouped in displays and burden every surface with eye candy! To be fair, he has recently sold off part of his compound so things may be a little more cluttered than usual in some of these shots.



An army of toy soldiers marches on this patio table leaving very little space to set your drink down…



His elaborate lamps combine metal and glass objects, fun AND functional! Inspiring!



Toller hosted an art opening for himself and three fellow artists with whom he generously shares his studio.



Toller Cranston – gold listing
Toller Cranston – website


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  1. Reply


    July 8, 2014

    Hi I see my picture at the exhibition (the last photo) and I’m just wondering who this article is by and also if I can have an article about myself here. Thanks!

    • Reply

      Paula O'Brien

      July 9, 2014

      Hi Andrew-
      Yes, we met you when we came down to stay just a few doors up from Toller’s place. If you look at my own site, maybe you’ll remember me but there were lots of people. http://paulaobrien.com/. On FigurativeArtist.org website and blog, I write about the stable of figurative artists who are on the site or whose work I stumble across in person.
      All the best-

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