I just spent the weekend in quarantine, ie, home alone, nursing a bad cold, feeling quite sorry for myself so I decided to find something to cheer me up. Nothing beats this awesome old lady grooving to Runaround Sue. Though it sure must be hard to get her anywhere in a timely fashion! Enjoy!
Endings are just beginnings for something new. This is the thought I hold fast to as I contemplate leaving my art studio.
About seven years ago I opened the School House Studio, forming an artist co-op with three other artists. It was in the Metchosin Elementary School, the old portion of which had been converted into The Metchosin Arts and Cultural Center. The image above is of me standing outside the door to my studio, early on, when we were the only renters and before the building got a facelift.
Since that time an art gallery and other studios have opened, and some have closed, and my studio mates have changed numerous times. Below is an image of an early incarnation of the studio.
In addition to being a place to create my own art, the studio has served as a place for me to teach printmaking and drawing classes, host art events and shows, film video clips, have photo shoots and of course, share a cup of tea with many who have visited. It has often felt like a second home and has been a refuge from the world when I needed one. More images of the studio in use below.
It is with very mixed feelings that I say goodbye to this studio which has been a huge part of my life for a long time. Just like with a home, I must put aside any dreams for a future there as I move away. But unlike a home I will take with me the community of artists and art lovers that I have become a part of through the studio into my new work space. In the end, it is this community that forms the foundation for my future more than any place.
I will be leaving the studio at the end of April. If you are in the neighborhood do stop in for a cup of tea before then.
I will also be having a huge closing studio sale on April 12 from 1-5pm. There will be tons of artwork, and other art related stuff like frames and tables, for sale. Yes, I am very prolific! There will also be an online sale on Friday, the 11th. More details to follow.
Wishing everyone a wonderful, creative weekend!
They’re my favorite band yet I haven’t posted one of their songs in a long time. Here’s a blast from recent past, These Days by Foo Fighters. The video is clips of concert footage put to the album version of the song with a few moment of live play. It doesn’t even begin to capture the amazing energy at their live shows. Having been to four I can attest that they are one of the very best live bands in the world with the most charismatic frontman ever, Dave Grohl! Enjoy!
And because this song just has to be heard live here is an awesome live version (added bonus, Dave does the wet t-shirt thing). Listen loud!
Spring is finally here and today was a beautiful sunny day on the westcoast, with lots of flowers already blooming. These blooms were shot on the island of Elba, just outside Napolean’s summer residence in exile, the Villa Napoleonica di San Martino. They look like a kind of rose but unlike any that I had seen before. It had just rained that morning so the flowers were still wearing their raindrops. Does anyone here know the name of this flower? Another photo of these flowers is below.
Great weekend to all! Hope it’s sunny and warm for you.
Fuji cools the sky
Reflected in the rice fields
I sip my o-cha
Ocha No Asa (Morning Tea) is an artist book I made a few years back. It is quite a complex piece which depicts one of my favorite subjects, tea, in one of my favorite places, Japan. The tea cups above and below are shaped after some I bought in Japan. These above are placed on a backdrop of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest and most famous mountain. Its peak was visible from my first apartment in Tokyo, rising gloriously over the cityscape in the most amazing sunsets.
The calligraphy panels on either side are reminiscent of waka, classical Japanese poetry that is visually evocative and often difficult to decifer for the artistic rendering of the words.
The front panels of the book, see below, echoes the noren, or divided hangings, found at the entrance of restaurants. The circle is a common symbol found on noren. These panels are meant to open and invite you in for a cup of tea.
Ocha No Asa, an 8″x7″ artist book, is offered this week for $150. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further info or to purchase.
Well, they’re not four leaf clovers, but they are very green! Happy leprechaun spotting!
Not just for St. Patrick’s Day, be happy every day! This should get you in the mood.
WOTE’s awesome version of HAPPY by Pharrell Williams.
And Pharrell’s original is here.
I recently came across The French Cat by Rachel Hale McKenna. Laden with evocative imagery, delightful quotes and amusing accounts of some of France’s most famous cats, and their even more famous owners (if one can every really own a cat), the book is an enchanting glimpse into French life as seen through the eyes of its feline inhabitants.
It immediately took me back to our encounter with these two gorgeous kittens in the small town of Les Grands Clements in Provence. It was our first day there and as we took a stroll through the town we came across this delightful pair. The kittens seemed as fascinated by our cameras as we were of them, and they graciously posed for us for quite a while before losing interest and walking away. Below are a shot of D shooting and one of his resulting kitty close-ups.
Have a great weekend everyone!
One of the highlights of my recent trip to New Zealand was being able to visit the Hobbiton movie site. It was left as just a shell after the filming on LOTR finished but with the Hobbit production it has been restored to its former glory and left intact for visitors to flock to.
The attention to detail on the site is astounding. Every hobbit house is lovingly created with signs of habitation and use, even smoking chimneys and fresh baked bread. The walking tour is nice and leisurely with guides who are friendly and knowledgeable (although with hardly any new info for this die-hard Ringer), pointing out details that probably never even made it into the movies. The stopover at the Green Dragon was wonderful. So authentic and so many little touches, like a framed poem from the book, that made it quite enchanting. Still drooling over the huge cookie and ginger beer and cider on offer there.
Best of all was standing right in front of where it all begins, Bag End, with the door left invitingly open (despite the “no admittance except on party business” sign). The interior is unfortunately not there, as this was a separate movie set. I did learn that the tree on top of Bag End is not real! Could have fooled me! It is however painstakingly replicated from a real tree.
Then there is the party tree, which you can see right below Bag End, just like it appears in the movie, and this one is as real as it gets. Quite amazing that this location was found in the heart of a private farm. All that needed doing was remove the sheep and plant some greenery and you have Hobbiton.
The last hobbit house on the tour is Sam’s, with the bright yellow door. It’s just down from Bag End, as it is in the book. It is easy to imagine him running up to Bag End frequently as a youngster and later as gardener to the Bagginses. Of course in the book he ends up living in Bag End too but in the movie we see him returning to his own home at the very end of the movie. I must confess I got a little choked up standing in front of that door, thinking of Sam brokenheartedly returning home from the Grey Havens without Frodo, to be consoled by the warm welcome of his family and sighing “Well I’m back” as he enters through the door. And I thought of how, in his later life, after Rosie has passed away, he too would leave Bag End to follow Frodo into the West.
There are no hobbits left in Hobbiton, but it is easy to imagine them just out of sight or happily inside their homes as you wander through. If you ever get down to New Zealand be sure to visit Hobbiton in Matamata as part of your Middle Earth adventure.
More photos of Hobbiton can be seen here.
Great weekend to all!
In Their Element is an image of a place nearby that is not easily accessed. The beach depicted is privately owned and is one of many tiny gems on this lovely property. The place is Point No Point, a resort on Vancouver Island that is so named for its many points, none of which extend further than any other, hence the unusual name. The resort has a series of trails that lead through forest paths to several lookouts and beautiful beaches with crashing waves. It is an altogether magical place. My images of Point No Point can be seen here.
For this print I decided to reverse the image so that the sea was on the left. I also warmed up the colors of the rocks to compliment the blue of the sea. The rocks jut into prominence yet the angles and waves draw you into the picture to arrive at the man and his dog, who are not immediately noticed at first, but who lend a life and sense of scale to the landscape.
In Their Element, a 5″x10″ photopolymer gravure etching on 11″x14″ paper, is offered this week at $90 unframed. Contact me at email@example.com to purchase or for further information.