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?

Saturday, 16 September 2017


A Differential Grasshopper and a Japanese Beetle share a yummy dinner on my runner bean leaves.
The Japanese Beetle is an unwanted import from... yes, you guessed right.... Japan, first noticed in North America in 1916, but the Differential Grasshopper is native to Southern Ontario. Easily identified by that distinct herringbone pattern on his legs. Both these creatures are considered crop pests. I wish they would stay away from my beans!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Hot Shiny Metal

A sunshiney day and an annual car show in the grounds of a local business brought out the crowds at the weekend. If the weather's good, all the fancy cars come out of the garage and get washed and waxed ready for a big day out. Here are some of them.....
The Bricklin SV-1 is a gull-wing sports car assembled in St John, New Brunswick, Canada from 1974 until late 1975, the creation of millionaire Malcolm Bricklin. Less than 3000 cars were built before the company declared backruptcy. I wonder how many are still on the road.

Austin Healey "Bugeye" or "Frogeye" Sprite, produced in UK from 1958 to 1961.
1960's VW Bug and 1970's VW Thing. The Thing (also known as VW Type 181) was originally developed for the West German Army and is a two wheel drive four door convertible. It was manufactured and marketed by Volkswagen from 1968 to 1983. And fun to drive!
TVR 280i. TVR is an independent British manufacturer of high end lightweight sports cars from 1947 to present day. This one's for sale, fancy a test drive?

What can I possibly say about this? Useful if you need to be rescued in a flood I suppose.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Random This Week

Summer is coming to an end. It's been a "Back to School" week. My grandies all have new teachers who they seem to like. My Thursday Art Group is starting up again, Tuesday Line Dancing is back. It's still warm and sunny during the day, but nights are definitely chillier.
 A stunning sunset reflecting on storm clouds and a flock of Canada geese flying back to the pond where they roost for the night.
Here's Spidey: A huge spider (a bit out of focus, sorry!) who has been living on my geraniums for the past couple of weeks. It's been fascinating watching him (or her) repair the web each morning and every time an unfortunate fly or insect gets caught, he scurries over to the victim and wraps it up in spider web to save for dinner later.
A handmade quilt quoting the words of our national anthem, "O CANADA", by Canadian filmmaker and artist Joyce Weiland.  I saw many pieces of her work exhibited at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in the picturesque little town of Kleinberg, Ontario.
And the view from one of the windows at the McMichael. A painting in itself! The gallery is situated in ten acres of scenic wooded land with public trails through the trees. The building itself started as a four room log house built with salvaged pioneer hand hewn logs, but has since been enlarged, housing an extensive collection of Canadian art, including many works by the Group of Seven.

Monday, 4 September 2017


I was at a pool party in a friend's lovely back yard. Here's the view during the day.......
 .... and after dark.
A pool in the back yard would be wonderful, I'd be swimming in it every day, but it's a lot of work, especially with so many trees dropping leaves, and the Canadian summer is so short, only 4 months of swimming weather and then it's time to winterize the pool until the next hint of summer sunshine.

Friday, 1 September 2017

More Pride of Canada

A few more of the fantastic creations on the Pride of Canada Carousel in Markham. (Scroll down to previous post for more pics.) You can ride on a total of 44 sculptured characters, all created by Canadian artist Patrick Amiot from recycled and repurposed junk objects. I bet you are breathing a huge sigh of relief that I didn't take pictures of all 44!
The lobster represents Canada's east coast, and the fisheries. Lobster, crab, lots of delicious seafood there.
Wouldn't you like to ride the carousel on a huge ice skate?  No need for any real ice. Just hold onto the laces and zoom away.
This is a VW Bus... I think! I had a red and white VW Bus many years ago.... great little vehicle, her name was Polly. Do you name your vehicles?
The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 in Nova Scotia. Although I don't think he envisioned one as big as this.  
And here's mallard duck... lots of them in Canadian Parks. Quack quack.
And here's the carousel in motion: