In the Clearing

The textile show opening that I mentioned in my last post was enjoyable. Since then I’ve continued painting and I’ll post some of that work in the future. I also continue line drawing. This past weekend, the weather was a lot milder and we went for a walk in a park that is part of one of Toronto’s ravines. On our walk, we came to an open area with stumps of trees, branches on the ground and dry grasses that I loved for their different shapes and placement of all their forms.  I took several photos and today made some simple line drawings loosely based on those photos.

Respite From the Cold

Toronto is in the southern part of Canada and though it gets cold here, it’s not as cold as other parts of the country. However, we have had a spell of pretty cold weather this week.  This morning it’s -22C and with the wind it feels like -30C. It’ll be going up to a balmy -15C later. Yesterday, though, it was a more moderate -8C. On that cloudy day, I decided to lift my spirits and went off to the Allan Gardens downtown where I hadn’t been for a few years. The Gardens are in a park in greenhouses first opened in the mid 1800s. Inside are 16,000 square feet of flowers, trees, tropical plants, cacti and, yesterday, many visitors young and old. The Gardens have seasonal displays along with their year round inhabitants. I snapped many photos and you’ll see the Christmas displays among the plants. What a great respite from the cold and grey.

Here’s the central area, the Palm House, with the dome rising above:

And a floral peacock:

Another scene I loved:

And 2 photos of cacti from the cactus house, a favourite place of mine:

and outside later:

Dear readers and fellow bloggers, I wish you a New Year of good health, peacefulness and times of joy whatever your circumstances, whatever is going on around you. Strength to us all.

Terra Nova, Drawing and a Surprise in an Alley

When we were in Newfoundland we hiked in Terra Nova National Park by the ocean. One afternoon and the following day, we went to Buckley Cove. I carried a sketch book and pens with me during our trip and sat on a rock to draw part of the cove. When faced with such beauty, I found myself recording feeling and the movement of the rocks, trees and water rather than looking for exact representation. In this way, I was able to be with the place and feel the land and ocean. I began by quickly drawing the sweeping line of the cove and continued from there. That way I was not overwhelmed into inaction by the strength of the scene. Here’s a photo of the cove and the line drawing I did.

And, here’s a scene I found touching this week while walking down an alley back in Toronto. It seemed to me that whoever planted these flowers in the midst of concrete did an act of love.

 

Night of Dread

Last night I attended one of my favourite events in Toronto, the yearly Night of Dread gathering and parade. Clay and Paper Theatre puts it on. They are the creators of enormous papier mache puppets and of theatre that aims to change the world. The theme is always a night of mocking fears to put them in their place.  This year’s timely fear, which was burned after the parade, was fear mongering.

And while there are very real things and people to be afraid of, this is a life giving afternoon and night in which people in and out of costume and the occasional dog (you’ll see a patient hound who greeted me) walk, drum and dance in Dufferin Grove Park and through the streets of west end Toronto.

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Colour

I’ve done many works in black and white as a printmaker and love the contrast and the power of black and white images. I also love the colours of this time of year. Here are some photos I’ve taken over the past few weeks: the zinnias that I was given while travelling in the countryside, the spray painted pole in the west end of Toronto that reminded me in a playful way of the zinnias and the flaming trees reflected last week in a lake near Huntsville, Ontario.

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Black Waterfall

Here’s 2 photos I took today at the Art Gallery of Ontario of David Milne’s Black Waterfall. This is the painting I love that I wrote about in 2014 and included in my last post, A Poem for an Old Woodcut. David Milne lived from 1882 to 1953 and as far as I can tell it appears that 50 years after an artist’s death, his or her work goes into the public domain. Hopefully this is so.

The first is the whole painting and the second is a detail showing him blending into the scene.

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Lace in the Sky

I often look up at the trees and sky as I walk in Toronto.  This beautiful spring, the first buds looked like lace to me.  I’ve loved watching the trees begin to flower, the changes visible just days apart. Here’s photos of the same trees taken on April 28, May 2, 5, 6 and 9.  I’ve posted them in that order.LaceLace2Lace3Lace4Lace5