Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Cannery Restaurant

We had a super lunch at the Cannery Restaurant after our Commercial Drive stroll. A little tricky to get to these days as they have new security measures for the Vancouver waterfront. Wonderful food and a view of the harbour you don't get anywhere else.

The old fishing boat the name of the restaurant was taken from.

View from the restaurant.

View of the container port on our way to the restaurant.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My new mini studio

I've created a mini studio in our kitchen nook (we were just using it for storage as we always eat in the dining room) so I don't have to go down to the basement. I find it particularly uninviting in the winter. The light is pretty good but I also have a special lamp that mimics daylight...and a music system that will play off my iPod.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Happy Birthday, Kate and Matt!

We were awakened 26 years ago this day to the wonderful news of the birth of Matthew Turnell, and then also awakened rather late that day to more wonderful news of the birth of Katie Soles. An exciting day for everyone!

Kate, Matt, and Richard in yesteryear.

Richard, Matt, and Kate today.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Houses around Commercial Drive

There is a real mix of housing in this area.

Somehow the Vancouver Special is fitting into the real estate scene. Better at least than these huge tacky monster homes that completely overwhelm the neighbourhood.

Lots of charming cottage like houses.

And a few mansions.

I loved the colours on this surprise...!

Even the greenhouses around here have a special quality...this one with an old bathtub.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Itty Bitty Book Review: A Deadly Little List

"A Deadly Little List" by Kay Stewart & Chris Bullock

A quite entertaining first mystery which takes place on Saltspring. Fun to have the local connection.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Latest painting

Haven't done a lot of painting this summer...the weather outside is too inviting. I thought I might paint outside this summer but somehow it's a little too much effort to set up although it really needn't be. Perhaps I'll try that yet if we get our usual Indian Summer. As long as the wasps aren't attracted to acrylic paint...

Seems to be appropriate to paint lavender and sunflowers at this time of year.

“Lavender & Sunflowers”
24 x 30 acrylic on linoleum mat

"The Drive"

Commercial Drive is becoming rather trendy but still retains that wonderful ethnic buzz and a certain raffish quality. Given the house prices I hope it doesn't get too gentrified but I think that's inevitable.

You can get real hungry walking around here.

A real old classic neon sign.

You know you're in an international area when you see this kind of window display.

Being a real olive lover (my Dad used to bring me home a small jar of olives on payday instead of a chocolate bar) I couldn't resist this photo.

Funny how Venice is a place we think we know quite well since we see so many pictures but you have to be there to really feel just how wonderful it is.

When we were growing up in Vancouver we never in a million years would have thought people would be pleased to wear a Commercial Drive t-shirt!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The eye of the beholder

Monique was recently visiting her friend, Pierre Henry, who is a Quebec artist and whose work I have admired for years on Monique's walls. Monique got him looking at my art portfolios and I was fascinated by what he chose as interesting to him (Some were in my "possibly throw out" file!). When I asked him for more details he very kindly took the time to make some thoughtful and intriguing comments. Just for fun I've made up a set of bookmarks on the ones he commented on and am going to post them here.

I'm thinking about my six favourites which I will post eventually and if anyone else wants to give me their six favourites and why, I'll make you up a bookmark set.
This could be fun to see what people like and why! (P.S. I notice I haven't got round to posting everything in the portfolios but these are what Pierre looked at.)

Comments by Pierre Henry:

When looking at the work of someone like you (who claims not to have ever imagined being able to do art) it is usually clear that there is a lot of pleasure deriving from the act of drawing, or painting. Usually, the end product is pretty tame... not too many risks are taken. This is not the case with what you do and quite a few of your compositions are completely "out of the box", as the expression goes.

In your 2002 production, I was particularly interested by the way you treated the cyclists and the action in the one entitled French water sports.
In the 2003 production, the beauty and simplicity of Notre-Dame-de-Paris make me believe that you must have copied someone else's work. (Nothing wrong with that... It shows you have recognized the beauty art can achieve when executed with talent). If, by the way, I am wrong in this - that is if YOU made this all by yourself, the only thing I can say is WOW!!!

Another remarkable piece is the Deux Chevaux from 2001: simple, clean, showing good aptitude for line drawing, (Not that common).
In 2004, La Promenade des Anglais and English Bay (2006) are most interesting... Particularly Promenade des Anglais where you re-arranged the perspectives in a most intriguing way, flattening the buildings along the beachfront and succeeding to create a very pleasant composition by using the outline of the canvas surface to place various elements in a somewhat abstract, well-balanced, reconstructed group. This may be accidental... but I think there is more here than an accident.

Don't be too influenced by what I am saying. It is just the opinion of one person!

My response:

Notre Dame is completely original and simple because that’s all I can really do...the tree was to hide my pathetic (compared to the cathedral) design. The "rearranging of perspective" is really just getting mixed up and ignorance about doing perspective. I amazed myself by capturing the action in Watersports..just a fluke! English Bay is a favourite of mine as well.... probably mainly because I included things I love about Vancouver.

English Bay

Deux Chevaux

La Promenades des Anglais, Nice

Notre Dame de Paris

French Cyclists

French Watersports

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Images of Vancouver

A few scenes of Vancouver that captured my interest.

Very colourful Indo-Canadian Festival going on in Stanley Park.

Certainly among the best parks in the world...thank you Lord Stanley!

Denman Street restaurant.

For the moment Steveston gets better and better. Hope they don't completely overdevelop.

View from Richard's balcony. What a wonderful oasis in the city.

I'm so proud of our airport and all the wonderful art.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Blue Peter

Monique and I enjoyed the wonderful bouillbaise at The Blue Peter and Monique bought some great sockeye fresh off the boat at a super price. We were entertained by a harbour seal and our young waiter continually referring to us as "girls". I hadn't seen Tiloup lately...he's getting amazingly big and fetches a ball even though he is just four months old. Very impressive!

Fabulous sockeye.

Just us "girls".

Our friendly seal.

Monique and Tiloup...a handful in more ways that one...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Another great haul of fish...

In keeping with tradition we had dinner with the Bing family after Chris came back from his fishing trip off Bamfield. This time they caught more halibut (which we all love) than salmon. And as usual, we were given loads of great fish...thanks, Chris.

Chris enjoys his single malt so I made a Whisky Cream Sauce to go with the halibut. As usual, we all said it was the best fish ever! A super recipe and very simple so I'll share it here.

From "Sensational Sauces" by Linda Collister

Whisky Cream Sauce

3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 shallots, minced
6 tbsp Scotch whisky (single malt to your taste...I used McClelland's Islay)
2 tbsp prepared white horseradish
1 cup heavy cream
1 small bunch dill, minced
salt and black pepper

Melt the butter, add the shallots, and cook gently over low hear until soft. Add the whisky, raise the heat a little, and simmer until liquid reduced by half. Stir in the horseradish and cream and simmer gently until the sauce has reduced to a coating consistency but not particularly thick.

Add the minced dill, stir, and then season with salt and pepper. Serve the sauce in a gravy boat so individuals pour to their taste over the baked fish.

I prepared the fish very simply with sea salt, lemon pepper, ground pepper, minced garlic and bit of white wine. I baked the fish (400 F oven) in a dish basted with olive oil and covered with tinfoil . The fillets we had were particularly thick so it took close to 1/2 hour but more normal size fillets would be around 20 min. Check frequently so they don't overcook.

Chris and the fish. The fish aren't as impressive looking this year as the guide filleted the whole fish for them (leaving on the tails in case they were inspected for limit) but it made it real easy for us to vacuum pack.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Vancouver mon amour...

We had a great four days in Vancouver recently visiting with friends and family...Richard, John and Carol, Donna and Neil, John Stape, Linda and Cec, and Roger and Kerry. Thank you all for your hospitality and good times. A wonderful city and wonderful people...what more can you ask...

John and Carol in their back garden.

Carol's famous pavlova.

English Bay.

Taken from the Cloud 9 revolving restaurant.

I must say this little point and shoot camera of mine takes darn good photos!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The way we were...

We had a super time with our old friends, Roger and Kerry. I knew Kerry in high school and the four of us had many good times together in university and as young adults. In university in those days you could actually go skiing on the cheap...a buck for the rope tow on Seymour. We all splurged one reading break and went skiing in Manning Park for four days...$10 a night for the four of us at the Gateway Motel.

We went for free to my parents place on Gabriola Island and Roger did the lion's share of catching, cleaning, and cooking the fish, oysters, etc. Lots of picnics with cheap chuck steaks done on the hibachi and games of cards on Friday night
splitting a bottle of cheap crackling rose and thinking this was the high life.

We all left UBC and Vancouver and later met up in Montreal, Quebec City, and Regina. It's so great to be in contact again and I dug up some old pictures to go with the ones we took these last few days. Funny, how we all feel exactly the same but we do realize we do look a little different...


The four of us (and Richard) on the ramparts in Quebec City in 1978.


The four of us on the streets of Sidney, B.C.

Then...we fished for our dinner on Gabriola Island.

Roger getting the boat ready...Kerry practicing her netting skills.

Jim playing the part of being the fisherman. and chips at Barbs.

Kerry and Roger at Fisherman's Wharf.

Then...a great day was to go skiing.

Kerry and Roger enjoying hot rums after a day's skiing at Manning Park.

Janice playing the part of being a skier.

Now...a great day is searching for treasures at the Oak Bay Dump.

Roger and Kerry at the "dump"

A great day...chairs, portable easel, pictures, paints, deskset, etc.


"Jim" cooking the steaks.


"Jim" cooking the steaks.

P.S. And as well as cooking the steaks, Roger put together the bar-b-q that had been languishing in our basement and also fixed our deck chairs. You guys have to retire here!