Thursday, June 22, 2006

Midsummer Nightmare
Something about the summer solstice makes people crazy - too much light and not enough sleep. Despite being a weeknight, the party people must have been celebrating the shortest night of the year last night. Beer cans in my hedge and on my lawn - Ernesto's carefully tended stockade of grass had it's fence ripped out and strewn across the street - all signs of wild revelry. On my bike ride this morning I had to ride around more than the usual amount of broken bottles on the road. Any excuse for a bash. Hmmph - and I just went to bed!
The birds must have felt something in the air too. At Sam Smith Park this a.m., huge flocks of cormorants flew over as I sat by the Lake. They always do seem to fly west early in the morning, but today flock after flock passed over. They always look vaguely sinister - like something out of Tolkien's writings - flying from Mordor. All black and beaky. Off to the East - T.O. looked like a ghost city, half-shrouded in mist, but with the sun making it all pink and purple. Not too many people out either. Usually on a nice day, the park is quite busy, even early on. The wildflowers are incredible right now. Viper's Bugloss is aglow with it's flourescent blue tapers, the Crown Vetch is lush and all the many yellow flowers that I can never remember the names of make even a misty day like today look bright with sun.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Breakfast Television at Sherway Gardens
We were cogent and on the highway by 5:45 yesterday morning. Television motivates like nothing else and the publicity department at Sherway had arranged for the Muskoka Garden Art artists to be interviewed by Jennifer Valentyne on Breakfast Television. How cool is that?
Rumours of another wildcat TTC strike had all of Toronto glued to their sets, so we couldn't ask for more attention...although if TTC HAD gone on strike, we would have been pre-empted - so t'was a good thing they didn't.
Several artists were featured: Jane Hoople with her surreal trees and landscapes, Charles Weiss with his Mermaid Lounge chair, Camille Muller, Karen Hanekop, Phil Sutherland (?), Marie Prospero, Carole Braiden, the inimitable Kathleen Haushalter (Organizer of the event) and Jennifer Valentyne who painted a 'Celebrity Chair'. I was there with Laura Bolender to promote Artsmartz, so she made a castle and I was doing paper pop-ups. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but the feedback so far has been positive and it was all in a good cause.

Jennifer and Me on BTV
Breakfast Television - Jennifer Valentyne sings to the Camera Man.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Artist at the Scene of His First Solo Show
(photo by Peter McCusker)
Just a few of the 26 portraits on display at the Nostalgia Bookstore (indefinitely...until the proprietors get tired of looking at them!). Products of the Friday Painting sessions at Neilson Park Creative Centre.
The Buzz on Lakeshore
I'm a little tardy in reporting on our Opening Reception for Paul's Portrait Paintings last Friday. I've been waiting to gather in people's reactions and to digest the evening a bit before I commented. In a word - it was GREAT! We had about fifty people come through in the 2 1/2 hours we were there. I presided over the refreshments - right by the door so I could meet 'em & greet 'em, hand them a drink and direct them to the back of the store where Paul was holding court and raking in the compliments. The paintings worked very well in the store - the venue complementing the art and vice versa. The general reaction (especially that of many of our friends & neighbours) was one of surprise that the work was so good. This morning my neighbour brought over an article from the Mississauga News in which Paul's work was mentioned - though the MN never showed up & the article was written in retrospect. Ellen Timms, General Manager of the Port Credit BIA said she was 'blown away' by the paintings. And we received an unsolicited recommendation from a store-owner to make sure we didn't miss the art at Nostalgia Books because there was a 'buzz about it' on Friday night.
So I am very happy that Paul's show was such a success. And it was nice to see the paintings being displayed instead of stacked against the wall in our bedroom. Now we have to start scavenging for frames for the next show. One of our EAG colleagues said she always felt that unframed paintings had the look of not really being for sale. And they ARE for SALE!