Tuesday, 31 May 2016


Spring seems to have been suddenly chased away by hot sunny days of 30C and warm nights reminiscent of a typically humid July. The tulips are gone now, but the colours remain.

Arthur Shilling (1941-1986) was born on the Rama Reserve in Ontario to Ojibwa parents. His art depicts life and the local Ojibwa people on the Rama Reserve, where he built an Art Gallery to encourage local talent. He held his first solo exhibition at age 26. His oil portraits of First Nations people were exhibited at the Peterborough Art Gallery so I paid a visit, and WOW! I loved these paintings. The colours really pop.

Sadly, Arthur Shilling died at age 45 a couple of years after open heart surgery, a complication of childhood rheumatic fever. I wasn't aware of his art before seeing this exhibition.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Giant Panda-monium!

I got up really early last Saturday on a mission to see the baby Giant Pandas and was parking the car at Toronto Zoo by 8:15am, as zoo members get to jump the queue and go in at 8:30, ahead of the crowd. No way I wanted to battle the Victoria Day long weekend crowds on a hot day. I was the first one into the Panda building to see them, but little Jia Panpan (Canadian Hope) and Jia Yueyue (Canadian Joy) were fast asleep! Just my luck. Their mother Er Shun was napping too.

 So I went outside to have a chat with Da Mao, the daddy (presumably) but he had had a hard night and he was catching 40 winks too! He looks pretty relaxed.

So the next step was the inevitable Gift Shop, totally dedicated to all things Giant Panda.

No, I didn't buy any Giant Panda memorabilia, but I might go back to the zoo early one morning to see if the babies are awake. I'd really like to see them while they are still little and look like cute balls of fluff.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Private Juno

Juno is the Toronto Zoo's female polar bear cub. Juno was born on November 11 2015 to parents Aurora and Inukshuk. Aurora gave birth to twin cubs but sadly one did not survive, so little Juno spent her first three months in the maternity ward in the Wildlife Health Centre at the Zoo, just to be on the safe side.
As she was born on Remembrance Day, she was named in honour of Juno Beach, the name given to Canadian soldiers designated landing on D-day. She is now an honorary member of the Canadian Armed Forces, and holds the rank of Private. Apparently, she will get a promotion from the army on every birthday, so may eventually end up being General Juno. We'll have to salute her!

Here she is at 2 months old, just learning to walk.

She's just over 6 months old now, and I spent a long time leaning on the fence early this morning, watching her play with her toys. Here's what I saw.....

Thursday, 19 May 2016

The Big Bike

The Big Bike was on the move though town yesterday, raising funds for the Heart and Stroke Society.

Monday, 16 May 2016

It's Time....

yes, dear bloggers, it's high time I got back to blogging. Did you miss me? This poor neglected blog is drying up and getting all wrinkled and flaky (a bit like it's owner!) so I better get on with some rejuvenating spring cleaning.... stay tuned. Looking for a suitable topic......   how about this one.....

The artist group I paint with recently held it's Annual Art Show and Sale, and I was thrilled by selling 5 pieces of art.... two acrylic paintings, two ink and watercolour, and one linocut print.

But four of those purchases were made by people I know, so next year I probably won't sell anything as all my friends will already have a piece of my work hanging on their walls!
But it's not all about selling, is it, selling something is a wonderful surprise and an unexpected bonus. It's about having art fun with like-minded people and creating and experimenting and enjoying what you are doing.