Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A bit more Halloween stuff....

I picked this up from Debbie on Facebook...I'adore Henri!

Henri,  le chat noir,  L'Haunting

And this from Stan....great!

Happy Halloween everyone!

 I just had to add this photo of Harmony and Zion,  Roger and Kerry's grandchildren.  So adorable!

 Cow and Minnie ready for Halloween.

And I also had to add this....very funny!

 Boy's t-shirt design.

Surprise Me 
Boys t-shirt design.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Our hearts go out

Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this terrible storm.  There is a very special place in my heart for the people in NYC who must be among the best people in the world I think.

 I like to tell this story about our first day in NYC the last time we were in NYC (1994) because it sums up the people there.  It was pouring rain and we were taking a bus to Columbia University and of course we had no change and hadn't even thought about it.  A woman at the front of the bus brought out a purse full of change she carries around with her to help people in this situation.  Yep....that's New Yorkers for you.

I've posted some photos from that trip and hope people in NYC get back to enjoying these places soon.  I don't think we need any more disaster photos....

 The Bryant Park Reading Room...part of the New York Public Library.  They have books on trolleys you can check out.

 I went to see the Henry Moore sculptures at Lincoln Center and lucked into a free concert!

 Oscar Wilde Bookstore.

 Cherry blossoms and toy boats in Central Park.

Outside the Metropolitan Art Museum.  Reminded me of the bouquinistes along the Seine in Paris.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Saguaro Palm Springs

 I am so looking forward to seeing this "new" hotel in Palm Springs.  I figured it looked so much like the old Holiday Inn and I was right but their info doesn't seem to want to make that connection.  I love the palette....the colours of desert wildflowers .   They're not the colours I choose to paint with for the most part but seeing them all together the way they've done it is very appealing to me.  Perhaps it's a good thing I didn't see this before we had our basement painted as I may not have been able to resist...

The Saguaro Palm Springs - Our Story

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My first paintings in Carqueiranne

I thought back to this because of some photos Heather sent me today from Carqueiranne.  I'm so glad she and her husband got there and also had moules-frites at Le Clapotis on the port.  This has become the first thing we do when we arrive in Carqueiranne.  And then I realized that the apartment we had in 2002 and 2003 is in the background of this photo she sent!  We were on the top floor and had a view of the port and its goings on.  My first painting was inspired by seeing a fisherman coming in when I was looking out the window.

Heather's photo.

Our photo.

 *  This is what I wrote at the time. 

Feb 12, 2002

I was curled up at the window in my favourite perch and noticed a fisherman coming in so went out to see what he had caught.  Not a whole lot but according to the people around here it seemed like a fairly good day.  He had been out since 3am and it was now about 10am  I guess the fish are depleting around here as well.  He hadn’t been out for a while because the Mistral had been blowing.  With these small boats I can see why they don’t go out in wind.  He had the fish separated into those to fry up and those for bouillabaise.  I bought some of the frying fish (some were still moving).  They will be part of a still life (well, almost still...) I plan to do and then we’ll have them for dinner.

 I wanted to do something special for my first painting here - this will be perfect.  A woman who was also buying fish was encouraging me to buy the ones for bouillabaise and to make the soup.  When I proferred the excuse of a small kitchen, she admonished me by saying you can do lots of things in a small only need the will to do so!  Well,  of course,  it wouldn't be France if the French weren't telling you off about something....
 The fish...

 The fish and of course a bottle of the rosé de Bandol.

 The fishboats.

Feb 17, 2002

I have painted four pictures now and am quite pleased with them.  I set up the fish on a white plate with blue trim and the plate on a blue and white striped tablecloth.  I thought the pale, shimmery colours of the fish would be a good contrast to the blue and white bold stripes.  It was all very dull and not my style at all.  I added yellow stripes to the tablecloth - still not enough, then red stripes, no, still not enough colour.  The pale fish became red, blue, and yellow (I’m sure there are fish those colours somewhere in the Mediterranean!).  Still didn’t quite work so then I got the idea of making the striped tablecloth like a provençale pattern and added lemon and olive branches and sunflowers to it.  Now it worked!

 "Rockfish"  9 x 12 acrylic on paper

My second painting was cypress trees against mountains.  I did it very quickly, even threw in some shadows just out of my head - it’s a lot more fun to do light and dark shadows if you just make it up, I’ve discovered.  It turned out rather abstract and I quite like it.  Since I’m just getting into the painting, having done mainly pencil crayons and felt pens before, I brought mainly cheap paper and thought I’d do a lot of experimenting here - more sketch ideas I’ll rework at home on proper canvasses when I have more space and better materials.  It’s turned out to be a very good idea as it’s freeing me up to play around and take chances.
 "French Cypresses"  9 x 12 acrylic on paper

 My third painting was some Mimosa branches in a pastis pitcher we picked up at a flea market.   We've been collecting lots of pastis items when we see them.  These beautiful yellow bloom trees are now out and it’s just wonderful to see them.   Mimosa here are in bloom in the winter and we saw forests of them on our drive down from Nice.

 "Mimosa Branches in Pastis Water Pitcher"  9 x 12 acrylic on paper

 My fourth was some old wooden fishing boats from the port that they call pointus  (By the way, the fish were fabulous to can’t beat fresh off the boat)

 "Wooden Fish boats"  9 x 12 acrylic on paper

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wonderful World of Beer Club featuring the Canoe Brewpub

We went to this event at the University Club with Patty and Terry last night.  It was a really fun evening and we were very impressed with the value of food and beer.   Dinner and beer for 20 bucks....not bad!

The format is you are at a round table of eight people.  We lucked in with the other folks as they were interesting and fun...a couple retired here now from Montreal and their old friends from Pennsylvania.

Looking forward to the next one which features Swan's.

Menu of beer and food

We’ll start with a traditional toast featuring Artifact Amber Lager.
Next we’ll sample Red Canoe Lager paired with calamari with lager tempura batter and chili tzatziki.
This will be followed by Siren’s Song Pale Ale with California rolls with wasabi aioli.
Next we will sample River Rock Bitter paired with braized pork ribs with ESB smoky sauce.
To finish, we will sample Beaver Brown Ale paired espresso crème brûlée.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Children's Art

I was very attracted to these two kid's art....both drawing rain and rainbows.  Cool how the one got the rainbow represented in the umbrella.  Love the other rainbow too.

Romney Tax Plan

Don sent this to me today.   In fairness,  I think we all need to evaluate what he has to say....

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A few last gasps...

Well,  with all the rain my pansies were waterlogged but I pinched off the brown bits and I hope they will revive.  I enjoy seeing them throughout the Fall and Winter from the sunroom.  But a few daisies in the front are still hanging on.  I think they decided to try to bloom again with all our warm Sept weather.  And more amazingly are some blooms still on a cactus in the back!

 This cactus just won't quit even with the rain.

Monday, October 22, 2012

How does she do it....?

I just finished the first story in the Dear Life collection "To Reach Japan"!

Now for a nice cup of tea and a read of Dear Life....

I was waiting for this to arrive today....

I did start Marjorie Celona's "Y" yesterday and am enjoying it very much but must take a break to see what Alice is up to...

Itty Bitty Book Review" "The Emperor of Paris"

"The Emperor of Paris" by C.S. Richardson

This was just a delightful read after the sometimes rather heavy going of Lam's novel.  A love story,  Paris,  simple people, books, stories,  and art....does it get any better than this?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Red Art Gallery

I just noticed this new (well,  fairly new, opened Mar/11) on Oak Bay Avenue.  Looks like a good addition to the Avenue.  The owner is an artist called Marion Evamy.  Her work is very colourful and very appealing to me.

Red Art Gallery, Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, BC

Friday, October 19, 2012

Itty Bitty Book Review: "The Headmaster's Wager"

"The Headmaster's Wager"  by Vincent Lam

Vincent Lam can certainly write up a storm.   The story draws from life in Vietnam experienced by relatives...Lam is from the expatriate Chinese community of Vietnam and focuses mainly on the 60's-70's.   Quite fascinating to get all the back story on an era that my generation mainly saw as "Get the Americans out of Vietnam".  In an interview Lam said "You need to know 10,000 things to write 100, at least for me. I don’t know which details to write about until I know all the details."  The immense work and passion for the subject definitely show. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


We used to go to the Marina quite a bit but haven't been for a while.  Elaine heard about the Oak Bay Marine Group loyalty card which gives 10% off at its restaurants, resorts, etc. and offers special deals. (Apply online---it's free).  The special deal for October was 2 for 1 lunch on Tuesdays so we took advantage of that.  We both had the oyster burger and substituted the soup for the smoked salmon,  excellent chowder!  The burger was a bit disappointing as we both really like the taste of oysters and the taste was rather masked by the heavy panko coating and coleslaw in the burger.  Still pretty good and the sun was out so a great view.

 Christine Reimer had her art on display and I was pleased to see it again.  I love her bright colours.

I hadn't seen a bottle of tabasco this size although just yesterday I saw another one at Swan's.  I was taking a photo of it when the three men who had reserved this table walked in.  One fellow commented "We have to have our tabasco" and I later realized it was Bob Wright (the owner of Oak Bay Marine Group).

 And speaking of Swan's,  Jim and I went for lunch there yesterday and I had the duck burger with brie and fig sauce....very good.

Jim had the flat iron steak sandwich which was excellent and done to perfection....doesn't alway happen with a stead sandwich.

We were both very impressed with the beer we had and will probably take in the University Club's Beer Club night in November when Swan's is pairing 5 of their beers with food.  Next week we're taking in the Canoe Club's offering at the club. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

The foggy foggy dew....

Enjoyed walking at Willow's Beach and listening to the fog horns....tried to take a video of the sound but wouldn't you know it the fog started lifting and no more horns!

Then home to put away the sundeck furniture and sun umbrella and to admire my lovely pansies.  I knew I'd love seeing this colour when the rains came and the parsley, chives, and basil are doing terrific.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cool architecture

 EYE Film Museum

The new EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam.  Read about this in the newpaper today and loved the design by Delugan Meissl Architects.  Seems they specialize in building that seem to be in movement.  I've pulled a couple of other examples of their work and posted below.

Darat King Abdullah II, by Delugan Meissl Associated Architects

A performing arts centre for the Jordanian capital Amman, designed by Austrian architects Delugan Meissl.

Delugan Meissl architects have sent us some information on their performing arts centre project in Amman, Jordan and we are delighted to share it with you on desMena.
An open gesture that adapts to its special context
Proposed at a prime location in the heart of the Jordanian capital, the complex is planned to house all types of performing arts. Conceived as a place to rehearse, discuss, teach, study and perform, the complex is to become the premier venue for theatre, music and dance performances and education - a vital element of the cultural life and identity of Amman and all of Jordan.

The Porche Museum 

The edifice by Vienna’s Delugan Meissl Associated Architects is an eye-catcher. The fascinating impact of the monolithic, virtually floating exhibition hall can be felt. This bold and dynamic architecture reflects the company’s philosophy. It is designed to convey a sense of arrival and approachability, and to guide the visitors smoothly from the basement level into the superstructure - this is how the architects express their dedication.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall colours

It will be interesting to see how the Fall colours are this year.  Last year they were amazing and it was duly noted in the newspapers but I forget the reason...perhaps drier than usual.  We had an Indian summer but not the same drought conditions as this year.  It's a bit early to compare as these photos from last year were taken end Oct-early Nov.  I posted a photo from this series on my blog on Thanksgiving.  Don sent the photo along with Thanksgiving greetings to his email list and got back load of compliments on it which he passed along to me.

Some more photos from Fall, 2011.