Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Portrait Gallery

The local Art Gallery currently has an exhibition of portraits in various mediums and by various painters, and last week a group of artists who are collectively known as "Painters 6" gave a public demonstration of the art of portrait painting.
My friend Ray was the victim... er I mean sitter. He sat there for 3 hours.... yes he had breaks, but that's such a hard thing to do!
Painting began at 5:00pm with a blank canvas and finished at around 8:00pm. Unfortunately I wasn't there to see the finished pieces. These pics were about halfway through the evening.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Replacement Parts on Order

I'm getting some spare parts today.... a nice new shiny hip joint!

If you need all the gory details, look here.
So I'm scheduling some blog posts for the next few days.
If you or anyone in your family has had hip replacement surgery, leave me a comment and tell me how it went!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Garden Art

As summer is here, and the gardens are looking lovely, the art group had a garden and flower workshop. A local gardener, Carol, arrived dressed in her gardening clothes, and brought an assortment of her gardening hats, garden tools, flower pots, flowers, and posed for us.
My quick sketches of Carol needed a bit of help, so I added coloured pencil (a whole box of them left over from my sons' school days).

Then it was time for some sketches of flowers. I used to enjoy drawing and painting flowers many years ago when I was at school but haven't done any since.

Sketched in my sketchbook in light pencil, then inked and the pencil erased and coloured later with watercolor.
White geranium, proper name is Pelargonium or so the people in the Canadian Pelargonium Society tell me. Sketched in my sketchbook in pencil and then inked, and coloured with coloured pencils
I liked the white geranium so much I decided to try painting it. This is acrylic on masonite, 9"x12". I just bought a new tube of Quin Magenta so that's the lovely deep pinky red that you see in the background. Still some more work to do on this.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Finally Awake!

Last time I dropped in to Toronto Zoo to see the baby Giant Pandas, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, the whole family was fast asleep, but when I went early last weekend, the cubs were awake and active.

They were born on October 15, 2015, so they are 8 months old now. They were in their pen with their mother, Er Shun, who was concentrating on a breakfast of bamboo while the cubs rolled and wrestled and played with their dinner!

The adult Giant Pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, have been on loan to Toronto Zoo from China since 2013, and the whole family, including the two cubs, will move to the Calgary Zoo in 2018 for a 5 year stay.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Evil Eye

This handsome gentleman was strutting about in the grounds of Toronto Zoo. I was walking by, minding my own business, and he started raising his tail feathers (properly called a "train"). I'm not sure if he was feeling aggressive, or perhaps feeling amorous, or possibly just showing off. I stayed well out of his way. But close enough to take a few pictures.

In some cultures, the peacock is honoured as the bringer of good fortune, and sometimes associated with royalty and glory. The "eye" is reputed to ward off evil spirits. The iridescent feathers are often used in jewellery and ornaments, and are associated with purity and pride.

My mum's opinions about peacock feathers were completely the opposite. She would never allow a peacock feather in the house. It was OK to have a peacock feather in the garden but woe betide anyone who dared to bring a peacock feather home. It was the "evil eye" on the feather, the bringer of bad luck. And not only simple bad luck.... misfortune, illness and even death. So, no peacock feathers ever crossed our doorstep. And I know it's only a superstition, but there are no peacock feathers in my house either! Just staying on the safe side.

And I had no idea that peacocks had such cute fluffy bottoms.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Red vs. Grey

Recently I've noticed a small animal running up and down the squirrel highway that is along the top of the back fence. At first I thought he (or she) was a large chipmunk, but it's definitely a red squirrel. I was surprised, as I've never seen a red squirrel on my deck before. So I put out some stale bread as a temptation. The offering was accepted.

Usually I see the eastern grey squirrels which are so much larger. And greedier. And obnoxious. And they come in black fur model too. And they also appreciate a snack of stale bread.

This particular grey squirrel has become addicted to drinking sugar water out of my hummingbird feeder, and making such a mess that wherever I hang the feeder, somehow this squirrel manages to hang upside down to drink the water, spilling most of it in a sticky puddle. The poor hummingbirds don't get a chance.
When I've been on the deck drinking my early morning coffee, I've seen a hungry fox lurking, so those sugar addicted squirrels better watch out or they'll be a fox's dinner.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Into the Deep Dark Forest

York Regional Forest is cool and shady on a hot day. The forest is operated by the Region of York in Ontario, and encompasses over 5000 acres with 2000 acres of public trails on 18 forest tracts.

The 1800s were a time of settlement and economic development in Ontario and woodlands were harvested for lumber, and the land plowed for farming. The previously forested areas looked empty and bleak. Then in 1924 a Restoration Committee started planting trees to save the forest area.

In 2000 York Regional Forest became the first publicly owned forest to be certified under the Forest Stewardship Council, ensuring forest maintenance in a sustainable manner. The trails offer access to horseback riding, walking, mountain biking, and skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. At the Hollidge Tract there is a 1 km trail loop which provides a unique nature experience that is accessible to all users including those with disabilities.

This trail is in Scout Tract.

Possibly Yellow Avens.... not sure.

White Trillium, Ontario's Provincial flower.

Purple Polygala or Gaywings