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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I could probably have called my entire blog “Wandering Around.” So, here’s more wandering photos from this past Saturday when I went to Riverdale Farm, a small urban farm that was once the site of a zoo in Toronto. Now, it is home to beautiful gardens and a few non-human animals who shelter in barns and graze in paddocks. Last Saturday many parents and small children were there enjoying the sunshine and other animals. Most of us were taking photos. Here’s some of mine, including humorous scenes of the sheep eating away. I love those animals and have become closer to them in recent years through felt making.
I returned to the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) this week during my wanderings. I sat for a while near windows looking onto Dundas Street, the busy street the Gallery fronts onto. I liked the echoing patterns of the trees and frosted glass through the window.
Later I sat in the Grange and did another contour drawing–this time of an ornate chandelier. I paid close attention its contours and that of the adjacent woodwork without looking at the sketch book. Since then I am able to recall the scene in more detail than I normally would have. Freeing myself from having to make an exact replica is proving very helpful to me and allowing me to see more deeply.