Love is on display in an attractive, little 60-year-old house on the west side of Wellington Village. Not only do the walls express a passion for art and a much-loved hobby, but the sound of music fills the air.
And, for the young couple who share the totally renovated two-bedroom home, the combination of art and music is definitely the food of love . . .
Peter Joynt is a 32 year-old hip-hop artist and MC who writes, produces and performs his own music, in addition to working in communications. Known as The Joynt, he started playing drums as a teenager then spun his skill with words and music into lyrical rhyme. The witty rapper has released a couple of CDs with tracks that have generated considerable media coverage and have been played on various radio stations including the CBC.
Peter is a unique character with a creative flair that allows his music to speak for him on both professional and personal levels. As a performer, his lyrics have a transforming effect that completely eliminates his lifelong stutter, so that he delivers his fast-talking words flawlessly. Peter gave up on conventional speech therapy long ago after discovering that rapping, like the benefits of singing, allows a temporary escape from the impediment.
Recently, he put his lyrical talent to work again to propose to his live-in girlfriend Marjorie Cole in a romantic hip-hop song. The track, along with video and audio footage of the surprise proposal, will be included on his new album. (It's posted online at www.thejoynt.ca under the listen tab.)
Of course, Marjorie - a smart, government relations professional who loves art, cooking, and Peter - said yes! Both Ottawa born and raised, the newly-engaged couple adore living in their trendy, urban community in a home that demonstrates their enjoyment of art and each other.
First loveS . . .
The basement studio and family room truly reflect Peter's first loves, which were ignited in his younger years. An impressive drum kit sits in the studio where he does all his recording and the basement walls are covered with a colourful collection of 55 vintage and rare skateboards dating from the 1980s.
"It's probably the third largest collection of skateboards in Canada," he says proudly, adding that a Vancouver museum asked if he wanted to donate them.
It's not surprising that Peter said no, as he talks nostalgically about a replica of a board that was a gift for his tenth birthday. It's a model by the famous skateboarder Tony Hawk, who was his hero as a kid, and - like the others - it's in mint condition with shiny graphics and images.
Peter explains that the silk-screening process on the laminated wooden decks is highly skilled, with creative designs that have some interesting stories behind them. "My most valuable board is worth about $1,200. It's designed by Christian (Rosha Hosoi), a professional skateboarder who went to jail on drug charges, found religion, and - after being released early for good behaviour - began signing his boards with religious scriptures."
New loves . . .
On the main floor, which is decorated in a fresh contemporary style, modern art dominates the wall space in every room. Right away, Peter points to their newest purchase - a graphic painting of a building by Pooya Ebrahim - which is going to be the image for the cover of his new album, featuring the proposal song.
One of Peter's favourite artists and a good friend is Andrew King, who is profiled in this issue of Ottawa At Home. "He's an expert on clean lines and shadows, and such a clever guy who comes up with unique stories to go with his paintings," says Peter who has 14 pieces of Andrew's industrial and cinematic style art.
At only 21, Peter bought his first painting by long-time friend Jeremy Langdon and two of his photorealism pieces now hang in the living room. Describing the work of other local artists that they have acquired, he says that urban landscapes by Megan D'Arcy are really hot, and his last album cover featured a surreal painting of a bombing plane by Paul Sharp. As a keen supporter of local talent, the rapper also helps his artist friends by arranging exhibitions and combining art shows with his performances.
While the couple are both drawn to similar forms of mixed-media art, Marjorie's influence in the home is seen in touches like mixing antique pieces of furniture with a sleek, white-leather sofa. Peter admits that it adds warmth to his crisp, minimalist approach and says the same is true of their complimentary personalities. "People often describe meeting Marjorie as being like a warm hug - it's a nice, calming balance to my high-energy persona!"
To spice up the mainly neutral décor in the home, there are bold splashes of red in most rooms and numerous pieces of artwork. The symbolic colour of love is also evident in kitchen accents, as well as the front door which is newly painted in a bright orangey red. It leaves no doubt that a real passion resides in Peter and Marjorie's perfect little house.