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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Saturday, May 28, 2011

R & R...

On Thursday, I had the rare opportunity to take a leisurely trip to the city for the day.
I had a few specialty shops to go to for wool and tea but my main purpose
was to go to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
It's been years since I've been, and I was remembering my teenage days
when my friends and I would go quite regularly at lunch hour when 
it was still free to get in...the good old days!
The main modern part of the building is attached to the old Spencer mansion...
Nestled in amongst a lovely old grove of Garry oaks, this is the back of the mansion.
If any of you are familiar with Emily Carr, then you'll know that she is 
one of Victoria's more well known and loved daughters.
 The gallery is proud to have a permanent collection of some of her best works.
This exhibit was my first stop...
She was a very independent and quirky artist who, quite often, would pack up
her caravan, (she called it the elephant) her many dogs and monkey (seen here on her lap) and head
into the woods where she was inspired by the world around her...
Her paintings of the rain forest were full of movement...
She also spent a lot of time with the natives on Haida Gwaii (The Queen Charlotte Islands)
and painted extensively of life there...
When I saw this painting of Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, I thought  immediately of Lucinda over at
Cobalt Violet and her landscapes...
It just so happened that the main exhibit at the gallery right now is called 'Flora'.
A tribute to the garden in art.
How perfectly exciting!
So many beautiful works to see and take in...photos can't do these works justice,
but to give you an idea, here's some of my many favorites...
Each of these pieces I could have easily taken home.
But one piece which really grabbed me was this life size pastel work of 8 panels 
of french doors leading to a garden...it gave me the idea of making one for my own wall...yeah sure...one day!
...incredible pottery pieces...
...intricate lace work from Edwardian times...
Of course there were numerous Dutch painters who did the most pastoral landscapes...
Then there was this 25 foot long panel in the Asian garden section...depicting pond life after a spring rain...
Ink on paper...one piece of paper...
Towards the back of the gallery there are some beautiful examples of Chinese carving in practical pieces such as a giant carved bowl and a rickshaw...
 Anyone tired yet? O.k...let's keep going...only a little bit more...
Through the doors, you enter a beautiful courtyard / Asian garden...
 ...complete with Shinto Shrine...
This took a year to carve by hand...the detail is amazing...
Of course, no Asian garden is complete without bamboo...
...and Japanese maples...
A peaceful, calming place to end the tour...
Sometimes I am in awe of so many beautiful things in the world...
it inspires me not only to create, but to look, listen and absorb it all.



Thursday, May 26, 2011

Song for Friday...rock and roll!


Yup.
You're seeing this right.
Dude, looking very ladylike, playing the bagpipe, on stilts.
Saw this guy in the city yesterday and all I could think of was this song...
Have a rocked out weekend all!
Put on yer best get up!

Prettiest thing I saw today...

rain again today....blah.
a bright spot to my day though was this young buck,
laying in the front field.
i heard that they don't like to be in the woods in the rain.
so there he's been, in the tall grass, most of the day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

To the beach...

Norene came over yesterday with a book she got for her birthday...
We had already planned to go down to the beach for some research into 
a project in the near future, (more on that later!) and after
looking through this book, we were truly inspired!
Lucky for us the day was gloriously sunny, so down the long ramp we went...
With the tide out, it was a perfect day to look for treasures...
 I keep finding weathered fishing lures for a wind chime I'm working on...
A few crab boats pulled up on shore...
Some very funky beach art...
"hello!"
Somebody always finds something to make something out of nothing...love it!
Recycling, cleaning up the beach AND letting loose the creator in ones self.
As we walked along, finding bits and pieces, I saw what I thought was 
a piece of round plastic and ALMOST didn't pick it up.
 But, I couldn't help myself...I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was 
indeed porcelain and even more surprised when I flipped it over...
How cute is that?!
And to think that it's been rolling around on these rocky beaches for who knows how long
and it's only lost it's body! Wouldn't it be something to find that one day?
You can't really tell by the photos, but these are not your smooth, sandy shores.
These are rough, jagged, winter storm, whipped beaches.
But I suppose, because they're also tidal mud flats, things can be buried
deep in the silt and slowly uncovered by time.
It got Norene and I to wondering, as we often do, where this came from?
If only this little country boy in the straw hat could talk!
This is the same beach where Norene once found the tiniest of opium bottles,
complete with Chinese writing on it.
A long time ago there was a fish packing plant here and, no doubt, 
there were many Chinese workers here which would explain the bottle.
I suppose opium could remedy all kinds of things, including
a low paying, slave driving, fish gutting job.
Anyway, one more treasure to add to the pile
and one more day to bask in the (these days) rare sunshine.