Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Where's Waldo?

Where's Waldo? He's playing hockey, that's where.

Grandie Emma is in her first year of ice hockey. It's hard going for her, learning to skate forwards, backwards, stopping, starting, getting up after falling in the ice, and handling a hockey stick and a slippery rubber puck at the same time.
But the coaches make it fun, especially so at Hallowe'en.
There was a special Hallowe'en hockey practice at the weekend. The players on Emma's team all turned into mini "Where's Waldo" characters thanks to the inventive coaches.
Watch out for that scaaaaary bat above your head, Emma.
Of course there had to be a team photo. An opportunity not to be missed. Can you guess which one is Emma er... I mean Waldo?
 And the opposition became "The Pirates" with lots of cries of "YoHoHo" and "Arrrrr me Hearties".
Then they were out on the ice for their regular practice. It was more lighthearted and fun than their usual hard workout practice. Games of tag using (plastic) bloodied body parts. And instead of skating figures around orange pylon markers, they were using severed arms and legs... really scary stuff.
When Waldos and Pirates meet on the ice.... it's Hallowe'en Hockey Night in Canada!

Saturday, 28 October 2017

HMS Ajax

The town of Ajax, Ontario, is closely connected to the British Naval cruiser, HMS Ajax, and streets in the town have been named after the officers and men who served on her. You can get the full story here.
The Canada 150 Mosaic project was launched in 2015 beginning a journey to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday by creating mosaics illustration Canada's history and geographical diversity.  The purpose of the project is to create a national mural including all provinces and territories, over 150 individual murals comprised of over 80,000 painted 4"x4" tiles.
Each mosaic from each community is shown on mounted on a set of railway wheels.... no, HMS Ajax wasn't really on wheels.... but this will represent the railways that played such an important role in connecting communities right across this huge country.
This is the mosaic hanging in Ajax Town Hall, created from tiles painted by members of the community. It didn't matter if you have never held a paintbrush before, all ages and skill levels were invited to contribute. The painting of 800 tiles took place in October 2016 and the mural was installed and unveiled in January 2017.

 A couple of my favourite tiles. Not sure exactly where they are on the mosiac. Keep looking closely, you might find them.

The town where I live is also working on a mosaic, and I spent an afternoon at the local Museum painting tiles a couple of weeks ago. I'll be showing more about our town mosaic very soon.

Thursday, 26 October 2017


Looking out through the window of the McKay Art Gallery. Autumn has arrived.
Such a beautiful time of the year.

Monday, 23 October 2017

The Leaf Project

The Leaf Project was devised to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, and also to create an art project that the people of the town could contribute to. It started out small, then grew and grew, and was finally assembled last week. It's currently hanging in a corner of the Gallery, but will eventually make it's way to one of the public buildings. I contributed some leaves, so did my grandchildren.
Leaves were made of paper, then laminated, but there were also leaves made of pottery, stone, glass, and metal.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Clay Play

I won a 4 week pottery course at last year's Art Gallery Gala silent auction, so it was time to use the certificate and get my hands dirty. The last time I played with clay was 20 years ago, and I still use some of the small dishes I made on the potters wheel. But this time we didn't use the wheel, we rolled the clay flat and used molds to shape plates and dishes, and then decorated with texture.
The pieces had to dry for a week, then the edges could be cleaned up and the clay was fired.

Then the pieces were dipped in various liquid clay slip, left to dry and then fired in the kiln again. The slip looks a dirty grey when first applied to the clay, but once they are fired, the beautiful colours appear. Basically I had no plan for a colour scheme, I was just experimenting.
But I was pleased with the way these pieces turned out. This was fun, I'd like to do it again.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Paint in Action

A couple of weeks ago Tina Newlove came to my weekly art group and demonstrated how she creates her colourful acrylic abstract paintings while reacting to music.
She set up her canvas on the easel, squeezed the paints onto her palette, turned on the funky music and started to paint. Her music was set to run 45 minutes, and she wanted to be finished by then.
Here goes.....!

Tina's palette with all the mixed colours.
After lunch, more music was played and we created our own abstracts in reaction to what we were listening to. Abstract art looks like it would be easy to cover the canvas with colour and make a pleasing design, but really it's a lot harder than it looks. Here are some of the results, I'm not saying which one is mine. I'll let you guess.

Would you hang any of these on your wall?