Friday, December 31, 2010

Strange Cloud Obsession in 2010

One last thing before I quit blogging about 2010.
Actually it's a confession.

I had a cloud obsession all year. I don't know what this was all about but I swear the clouds were FANTASTIC this year. I couldn't get enough of them. I'd be driving along and the clouds would take my breath away. Sometimes I pulled over to really see them and take their pictures.

After a few months of this I quietly talked to couple of artist friends about my obsession and they too admitted to having secret cloud fetishes.
Maybe it's just that like people become friends, but I found this to be both affirming and scary.

Oh well.

One year I was obsessed by the sun and could not get over the fact that it is a burning ball of fire way way out there. That thought can still stop me in my tracks so I won't speak of it again but, ah, no. No more talk of the sun. And don't get me started on the moon, or a single blade of grass. It's all just too much.

2010 by guest blogger, Caesar Cat

Here's my look back at 2010

Winter. More accurately, I believe this was taken in February.

Here I am and it's Spring, quite possibly April.

Summer? Oh yes, this is right after the summer solstice. A long day of napping that was.

Fall, and the nights were definitely getting longer here.

I'll try to stay up to see that delightful Anderson Cooper but if I fall asleep I am sure I'll hear all about it tomorrow. Happy New Year.

My Year in Review 2010

Most of my year I was here, at home, waiting to find out what my future held. Due to Chris' new job there would be/could be/might be/should be/probably will be and then definitely was a move in the future for us.

All this home time would have been fine with me except my Chris' new job saw him travel to the Bahamas in January, Costa Rica in February, and the Isle of Man in October.

I was very jealous.

As consolation, I took a trip with family to my hometown of Sudbury in April, primarily to get a grave marker for my grandmother who'd been without one for over 10 years. It's finally there now.

I had to go all the way to Dynamic Earth in Sudbury to find some rocks that made me feel all warm and cuddly. I recall the Sudbury landscape as dark and brooding and barren. Like this:

But even this picture has too much green for me.

They've even cleaned up the Big Nickel and made it shiny and new.
You just can't go home again.

In the summer we went to North Bay and I found this delightful signage on an even more delightful property down by a lake. Oh Northern Ontario lakes how I *heart* you!

We stayed overnight in North Bay and then drove off to Parry Sound. It was at a resort there where I took my first jump off a dock into the water EVER.
I do believe my own personal "leap of faith" was in the top five things I did this year. It makes me smile even now.

Also this year The City Of Ottawa purchased an artwork from me: my giant handmade print about the bus strike. I was so honoured! I am now in the Fine Art Collection of the City of Ottawa and my work will rotate through city owned buildings. I don't think I can say how much this means to me. It's a fine way to cap off an art career in this city when I started as a street vendor in the Byward Market in 1991. The showing of all the work purchased by the city will be at City Hall in the Spring of 2011. I'll let you know when it is. The best place to get a good look at this piece in on the Ottawa Citizen Big Beat Blog by Peter Simpson. Click here to go to my interview done during our grad show preview ... it was so so hot!

A very spontaneous Santa Claus brought us a new car this year,

and big consumer debt to go with it (hohoho). I do love my car coloured "velocity red". Thanks Santa.

On the sadder side, my beloved Kitty X died this year. Colon cancer. Here she's being bothered by Caesar Cat as she's taken his special spot.

All year I waited to find out where I'd be moving to and now it's settled: Toronto.
I was really REALLY looking forward to a move overseas but it's not in the cards for now.

Beginnings and Endings. Looks like I'm going to be experiencing many of them in the coming months. I'm anxious to find out what Toronto has to offer and, actually, it's a lot. So much of everything there. We'll see what I can do with that.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Best of Show - OSA Holiday Art Show 2010

To my great surprise I won Best of Show at this year's Ottawa School of Art Holiday Art Show!

Best of Show means you get a Best of Show ribbon

placed next to your award wining artwork.

I also won a gift certificate to Capital Pottery Supplies.
Thanks! I see underglaze crayon set #208 or #209 in my future...

I won for my ceramic sculpture called Entering a State of Change.

front view and the following views are as you walk around the piece

Human evolving into bird or bird evolving into human?
Hard to say.
I do know it's about 24" tall and handbuilt with coils. That glaze is Emily's Purple and the deep black is Black Velvet glaze running over the surface. It is made of stoneware and fired to cone 6 in an electric kiln.

The Holiday Art Sale goes until Sunday the 19th of December. In the background of my images you can see how much fun stuff is there.

Stop by and buy something fun!
Support your Local Artist.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pimped out baking

My sister's latest blogpost about Spotted Dick had me thinking about Christmas baking. Believe me when I tell you, what she says about her baking is all true. She loves a challenge. As synchronicity would have it I came across this image:

I think my sister should make something like this soon!

Look at the detail! In art school we were encouraged to try our hand at copying the Old Masters to learn how to handle our paint and to analyze what goes into creating a good composition.

Re-making these culturally archetypal snackfoods may just make you appreciate these tasty tidbits that much more. The artistry! The ingredients! The effort! The challenge! The change of scale! The cost! The admiration from loved ones and strangers alike! So many benefits to be had.

Obviously intrigued, I ended up looking at pretty much everything
on Pimp That Snack.
I perused their gallery of goodies and here are some favorites.

The making of the inside of a giant Kinder egg. This one was just a big wow to me.
I am pretty intrigued by it and may attempt it--maybe for Easter.

My Significant Other may appreciate the tricked out tart and he would probably
love to toast it on the BBQ. All the better to eat you with....

Thursday, December 09, 2010

And a Jolly Old Soul was He

This newest Franklin seems to be all-things-Christmas in one polite package: Rudolph nose, reindeer antlers, Christmas tree and Santa. There's even a poinsettia.

Guerrilla Knitter(s) at Large! Yay!

While returning library books this week I noticed this bit of guerrilla knitting outside the library

You don't often come across this stuff in the urban wilds
of mild-mannered Ottawa.
Most people walked right by it. I thought it was extraordinary and wondered who put it there and when. Looking closer I saw some lettering--maybe a mark of the maker(s)?

Hong Kong Graphic Arts Fiesta

If you find yourself in Hong Kong on December 21st, please visit the Hong Kong Graphic Arts Fiesta where I and 10 others have work representing the Ottawa School of Art Printmakers. This show has been in the planning for most of this year and it's exciting to see we're almost at opening day.

For myself, this is the furthest I have shown one of my prints and at the Jockey Club in Hong Kong no less! Very exciting.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bone Pile

June and July Franklin keeps cool

August/September Franklin

October/November Franklin

I am missing one Franklin which was up all September into October and this was a special edition Construction Season Franklin to commemorate the MASSIVE and ON-GOING stimulus-project-road-construction in and around Franklin's home. This text will disappear when I find my jpg. A picture's worth a thousand ( or 46) words after all.

Taking a Deep Breath


Hello Faithful Readers and Picture-Lookers

I am going to start catching you up on what's been happening around here. Mostly I've been distracted by a year of wondering if I am moving away, and if so to where.

Two possibilities have been in the air all year:
London, England

Douglas, on the Isle of Man.
And right when I was all set to join the Basking Shark Watch on the Isle of Man,
to see and help conserve these fantastic creatures I found out, nope, instead it may be

So stay tuned. In the next 3 months things will get sorted out and I'll know whether I am moving 400 miles west or across the Atlantic.

This kind of stuff keeps me off center, even more than usual, and stuff drops off as I fret.
Life is taking on a new direction now and I feel like I can start to happily settle into the things that bring me joy... I feel like it's okay to breathe again.


Sunday, September 05, 2010

Lumiere Festival 2010 - Recap

Okay, everyone pile in the car. No fighting! Don't make me stop this car...

Settling in for the ride

Charon the Ferryman keeping watch

The Styx Express is leaving on schedule

No Late Arrivals even if you have full fare...

We're okay with going to the Other Side

Even this guy doesn't phase us

View of my sculptural piece called One Way as it looked from the shore fully lit at night

View of my piece from further up the water's edge with the City of Ottawa as backdrop

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Garlic Festival this weekend - Carp Farmers' Market

Carpe Allium - (seize the garlic)
24"x36" acrylic on canvas

All things garlic is the focal point of the Carp Farmers' Market this weekend. To get in the spirit I've painted four garlic-themed paintings of which this is one. Garlic paintings are a challenge.

Here's some more info from their website (click here to go there)

Garlic Festival 2010

We're very pleased to present our 11th annual edition of the Garlic Festival, featuring more garlic in one place than you can imagine. Fresh garlic bulbs, garlic braids and decorations, garlic concoctions, garlic braiding demonstrations, garlic cooking demonstrations, a garlic contest, garlic tasting, and wonderful garlic aromas.

The Festival will be held for two days:

* Sat Aug 14th 8 am to 3 pm
* Sun Aug 15th 10 am to 3 pm

100 vendors, FREE ADMISSION and lots of free parking.

Friday, July 23, 2010

on the eve of Urban Art 2010

I'm not at Carp Market this weekend so I won't have to stop and let the geese pass this Saturday like I did last week.

Instead I'll be out marking spots for artists and getting booths set up and wondering where item X is and did I remember to bring it?

I don't know where the time is going but it seems I'm always busy or thinking about what I have to do next. I'm either saving my energy for the "next big thing I have to do" (I usually do this by watching AC360 podcasts. Ever since I dropped the cable tv to save money last December I've missed Anderson Cooper the most.)

I'm on the eve of one of my bigger yearly events, namely Urban Art @ Minto Park. This year it's 5 years old and my 2nd time organizing it with my good friend and fellow artist Tim Hunt. We had far fewer breakfast meetings this year than last. A testament to how busy Tim was too.

So I had one stand out day this week. I was interviewed by Michael Bhardwaj for In Town and Out a local CBC Radio One program every Saturday morning from 6am to 9am composed of information and interviews concerning events happening in our area over the weekend. I was so happy to be able to get the word out about Urban Art and to get an opportunity to talk about the community Post-It Note event which will happen during Urban Art tomorrow.

Basically Ottawa is a town with a lot of office culture. What more familiar format than the post-it note can you have when you are used to office spaces? In the park I will set up a pseudo office and I am inviting the public to write a thought, an idea, a grocery list, a to do reminder, a pet peeve on a post it and to put it up for all to see. I hope I get so many post it notes that all the surfaces are covered. And, for those who want to tell me a secret, I'll have my Top Secret File available in the filing cabinet, so you can leave something hidden if you want.

Really I am wondering what's on the mind of the people in Ottawa. What are you thinking about?

After the show I'll gather the notes up and make them into some kind of art piece. I did this before, when I bound secrets anonymously dropped into a ballot box for me into a book form called a flag book. Each secret was glued against the spine and then the book flies open in a great dramatic gesture, one flap lying atop the next all the way down. I'm not sure if the post-its will become a book. I have to wait and see what I get. But that's the fun for me. It's out of my hands.

The other thing that made my interview day a very auspicious occasion was the fact that I caught the double-decker OC Transpo bus both ways. What are the odds of that?

View from the front at the top
I also spent a few days postering with Tim this week. Between us we put up 230 posters in the downtown core. Someone always takes most of them down during the week - I've seen city workers and private citizens do this - but hopefully some remain and hopefully all the other artists have done their share as well. Now all we can do is hope for good weather, and if we don't get, to go on with the show anyway.

See you tomorrow.