Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

I want to wish everyone who reads this blog all the best for the new year. It's already the new year in Australia...thought this was a neat photo.
New Year's in Sidney

Friday, December 30, 2005

My last paintings of the year

I did some small paintings with a sunflower theme for friends toward the end of this year. It was fun to paint sunflowers around the soltice and the darkest nights of the year.

"Olive Trees and Sunflowers"
8 x 10 acrylic on canvas

8 x 10 acrylic on canvas

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Art Portfolios

Richard set up this feature for me when he was over for Christmas and I really like it. It will provide a good way to organize and back up my artwork files which are currently scattered all over my computer. It will take me a while to find everything and upload them to Flickr but it will be worth it in the end and it's quite fun looking at this stuff again. The photos for each year change randomly...a neat feature.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas books from Jim

Jim did very well again with his task of finding books I haven't read along with some unfamiliar authors.

"The Idea of Perfection" Kate Grenville
"Mr. Scobie's Riddle" Elizabeth Jolley
"Selected Writing of Gertrude Stein"
"The House on the Strand" Daphne du Maurier
"Wives and Daughters" Elizabeth Gaskell
"Mr. Golightly's Holiday" Salley Vickers
"The Waiting Room" Mary Morris
"So Far From God" Ana Castillo
"My Father Took a Cake to France" Cynthia Flood
"Nelly's Versin Eva Figes
"Cupid and Diana" Christina Bartolomeo
"Labyrinths..Selected Stories and Other Writings" Jorge Luis Borges
"Form of Devotion" Diane Schoemperlen

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Boxing Day at the Curlings

As usual...excellent selection of single malt chez les Curlings.

Elaine with "M. Oursini" le sommelier bear...she was thrilled to win the bid. The Hotel Grand Pacific donated this bear with a certificate to a Wine Maker's Dinner for two. It was perfect that Elaine won it since she has done two levels of the Sommelier course at the Grand Pacific and they always go to the Wine Maker's Dinners. The bear will be a fixture at Christmas now.

I hope he won't be bothered by the Christmas mice....

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas Dinner with the Soles Family

Thanks so much Derek, Mary, and Kate for a wonderful Christmas dinner! It was super to have Christmas with such great friends.

The welcoming committee

Sommelier Derek pouring the Venturi-Schultz champagne

Queen Emily and King James officiating over the reading of the riddles.

Les grands chefs Mary and Kate serving the salmon...mmm...

Kate, Emily,Jim, Nin, Derek

Richard, Jean, Mary, Kate

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone from the Sexton family!

Monique joined us for Christmas Eve dinner.

Friday, December 23, 2005

BBC's Book at Bedtime

BBC Radio Four has a programme at 10:45 (GMT) where they read books (usually very current and sometimes classics) in installments of 15 minutes. Books are abridged and are usually 5 or 10 episodes. These programmes are professionaly produced and the readings are done by actors. What makes it possible to listen to in our part of the world is that they are archived and can be listened to anytime. You probably need high speed to be able to do it.

We recently got interested in this as Jim's edition of the rediscovered Graham Greene novella "No Man's Land" was chosen as a selection. Since then we've listened to Julian Barnes' new novel "Arthur and George" and Paul Auster's recent release "Brooklyn Follies". It was interesting to listen to this one because friends in France are very keen on him and he has written a tremendous amount although we weren't really familiar with him (although we do have a novel of his in our library). Quite fun to listen to (who can't resist being read to at bedtime!) but I didn't get the impression he's an outstanding writer. They say it's his style that is so good so probably need to read a book before I can really make a judgement. Also, listening to an abridged version isn't a true test.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

For Richard and his friends

All good things must come to an end and Peacocks Billiards will be closing in a few months. It's been a great institution and enjoyed by Richard and his friends for many years. Most have dispersed to the four winds but when they're in town they meet first at Peacocks and have a game of pool. It's a Christmas tradition and I guess this Christmas will be the last. Jim and his friends have started a Sunday morning pool session this past year and they will miss Peacocks as well. It's a special place.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

And the last of the cat haiku

A tree to climb, light
Cords to bite, presents to prowl
I LOVE Christmastime

Please bear in mind that
You're part of MY entourage,
And not vice versa

A bit of advice:
Purring is just a decoy.
Trust me on this one.

I feel no need to
Accomplish things. I exist;
That's triumph enough

- by Deborah Coates

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

More cat haiku

I lick your hand and
Watch you pretend to like it.
This amuses me.

I'm quiet; you're loud.
I want to play; you want to
read. And so it goes.

I deign to play with
The string because you look so
Silly dragging it.

You're dashing to work
In the rain. I yawn and stretch-
Don't you just hate me?

- by Deborah Coates

Monday, December 19, 2005

Cat Haiku

For all you cat lovers out there....

(BTW, a haiku is a three-line, unrhymed Japanese verse form of five, seven, five syllables respectively.)

* The photos are from various cards the Curlings have sent us.

Oh good. You're home. I
celebrate joyously with
a rousing ear-twitch.

You want to cuddle;
I don't. No offence meant, but
Right now you bore me.

Au contraire; I think
The couch looks better with a
Few shredded cushions.

I would have thought you'd
Thank me for getting sick where
You could not see it.

- by Deborah Coates

Sunday, December 18, 2005

View on picking up the newspaper

Great sunrise the other day over the Olympic Mountains and Pacific Ocean. With this warm dry weather we have been treated to amazing sunrises and sunsets. Today is the first in a few that we haven't had a very heavy frost....just when I remembered i should take a photo of it!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Photo blogger Sam Javanrouh

I've been enjoying Sam's site along with 15,000 other people in 32 countries according to the National Post article. He posts a new photo everyday. He began the photoblog because he wanted to show his old friends in Tehran the look of his new home in Canada (Toronto) and has been doing it since July 2, 2003. It's definitely worth a look. Just checked today's photo...quite a neat one of a Starbucks in Toronto on King Street.

Friday, December 16, 2005

More bears...

"Cole" dressed by Thrifty Foods.

"Lily Ernestine" Tombear dressed by Shaw.

Beach Bear dressed by Wille Dodge Chrysler Ltd.

Film Director Bear dressed by West Corp.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bear Wear 2005

Some of the super bears currently at the Hotel Grand Pacific for the Queen Alexandra Foundation fundraiser.

Marco the Gondolier dressed by the Gilbert and Sullivan Society.

Bear having breakfast in bed with the TC dressed by the Times-Colonist.

Artist bear dressed by Suburbia Advertising and Pooh Bear on a picnic dressed by Power Measurement Ltd.

"Monsieur Oursini, Sommelier" dressed by the Hotel Grand Pacific

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Snow in Victoria

I took these pictures a couple of weeks ago when we got some snow. Forgot to post them. I really enjoyed having a bit of snow especially since I didn't have to worry about getting to work and had lots of provisions in. With the current warm weather trend I don't think we have any hope of getting a white Christmas and just as well for people getting about.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Latest painting

I've been wanting to do a larger version on canvas of the poppy fields I did in France on paper. Just like in France I had quite a time with it but in the end I think it worked. It was easier this time working on canvas because I can keep redoing things...with paper you are limited to how much you can mess up!


22 x 28 acrylic on canvas

Snowy Owl Sighting!

Looking out my sunroom window today as I got up, I spotted a snowy owl (I think it was one...looks greyish in the photo but was really very white) on our neighbour's roof. At first I thought they had bought one of those fake owls and put it on the roof so the birds wouldn't fly into their window but then it moved its head! I called Susan and she got a look too. It didn't seem very concerned about us watching it although there were a number of seagulls trying to chase it away. It didn't seem very concerned about that either. It left in its own good time.

Really neat to see so close...a very majestic bird whatever it is!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

He da man!

Don and Elaine's beloved Oscar (the neighbour's cat) got into quite a fight recently and came home battled scarred. They have been "cat sitting" and also trying to help get his pills into him. Anyone who has had to give a cat a pill knows how difficult this can be. They hadn't read "How to give a cat a pill" so I passed it along and it's at the site below for those of you who haven't seen this yet...very funny.

Oscar in more peaceful days.

Oscar showing his battle scars.

Monday, December 05, 2005

What I've been reading lately...

"A Map of Glass" by Jane Urquhart

Deserves much better reviews than it's been getting although I confess I am a fan. Perhaps a bit overwritten initially but I was very engaged with the characters especially Sylvia. I felt her "condition" which was probably autism was very well presented. And the image of the hotel being covered in sand due to the silt building up because all the trees were taken down and the landscape altered to such an extent was excellent. As usual, all sorts of complex images - how Sylvia "remembered" the stories of the Alzheimer patient, etc. (Good lord, I wrote this in my little book journal in October when I finished the book and now I haven't a clue what that refers to!)

"The Remains of the Day" by Kazuo Ishiguro

Reading the book does make one realize what an excellent movie it was. I liked the beginning discussion of what made Great Britain "great" and Stevens deciding it was because its beauty was "restrained" whereas the beauty of places like Africa and America were too " demonstrative". Certainly Stevens inability to be "demonstrative" and his valuing of restraint are key.

The topic of "bantering" is developed quite brilliantly I think. Stevens makes quite an effort to learn to do this and his mechanical way of going about it (realizing that smiling and indicating you made a joke are as important as the content) makes the reader think that perhaps part of his problem is a mild autism. At the end he makes this realization:
"After all, when one thinks about it, it is not such a foolish thing to indulge in - particularly if it is the case that in bantering lies the key to human warmth."

An interesting contrast to all the discussion of dignity, greatness, contribution to world affairs especially when his employer turns out to have backed facism and his realization that he had not served such an honorable man after all.

"Arthur and George" by Julian Barnes

This is a novel we listened to on the BBC Radio 4 "Book at Bedtime" (with high speed you can pick this up whatever time you want...they keep the episodes quite a while). Based on the true story about Arthur Conan Doyle and George Edaljis false accusation--case that played a pivotal role in the creation of the Court of Appeal in Britain. Jim's a bigger fan of Barnes than I am but I enjoyed this one a lot.

"Seven Sisters" by Margaret Drabble.

Not great literature by any means but relatively entertaining.

"The Lighthouse" by P.D. James

What a treat to have another one of hers to read! Perhaps not quite as good as some of her wonderful middle period ones such as "Devices and Desires" and "A Taste for Death" but a delight all the same.

"A Wall of Light" by Edeet Ravel.

The beginning sentences of this novel is quite amazing:

"I am Sonya Vronsky, professor of Mathematics at Tel Aviv Universtiy, and this is the story of a day late in August. On this remarkable day I kissed a student, pursued a lover, found my father, and left my brother."

A really neat interweaving of letters from 1957 of Sonya's mother to her lover in Russia, narrative from the present from Sonya, and diary entries from the 80's of Noah, a nephew of Sonya's. Makes one quite interested in this fascinating part of the world...given the situation I imagine this is the only way I'll be experiencing it.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported our show. We had a good time doing it and it was great to see you all!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Photos of more items at our art/craft show

I'm posting some photos of Heather and Margo's jewelry and scarves and Janice's (another Janice) folk art Christmas ornaments.
All great stuff and everything very reasonably priced....hope to see you there on Sat!

Billie's Calendar - December

Billie (one of Emily Carr's dogs) announcing the month of December.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

You're invited....

Myself, my golf buddy, Heather, and some of her friends are having a jewelry and art/crafts show on
Saturday, December 3rd, 10 - 5pm.

Please come, bring a friend and enjoy some holiday cheer.

I'm posting the paintings I will be selling and I will also have art cards for sale...the new improved version.

Hope to see you there!

Please email me at for the address.

“Twisted Pines on the Mediterranean”
12 x 16 acrylic on canvas

“Lavender Fields”
14 x 20acrylic on canvas

“Olympic view with arbutus”
18 x 24 acrylic on canvas

“Vancouver Harbour”
22 x 28 acrylic on canvas

“Olive trees and poppy fields”
11 x 14 acrylic on paper
Painted in Carqueiranne, France
$135 double-matted with in 16 x 20 metal frame
$95 unframed

“Sailboats at Mourillon Beach”
11 x 14 acrylic on paper
Painted in Carqueiranne, France
$135 double-matted with in 16 x 20 metal frame
$95 unframed

“Umbrella pines, mimosas, palms”
11 x 14 acrylic on paper
Painted in Carqueiranne, France
$135 double-matted with in 16 x 20 metal frame
$95 unframed

“La P├ętanque et le Pastis”
11 x 14 acrylic on paper
Painted in Carqueiranne, France
$135 double-matted with in 16 x 20 metal frame
$95 unframed

“Kitsilano Pool, Vancouver”
11 x 14 acrylic on paper
$135 double-matted with in 16 x 20 metal frame
$95 unframed

“Freighters in Vancouver”
11 x 14 acrylic on paper
$135 double-matted with in 16 x 20 metal frame
$95 unframed

“Lavender, poppies, sunflowers”
11 x 14 acrylic on paper
$135 double-matted with in 16 x 20 metal frame
$95 unframed