Karen and I attended Bee Kingdom’s Open House on Saturday afternoon. It was a great day…a bit of sunshine…a breeze…beautiful pieces of glass exhibited tastefully throughout the residence-gallery at 427 22nd Ave NW. Once seated for a demonstration, I always get so relaxed. I start drifting. It’s such a calming environment; the space is warm and the good humoured gents are genuine and genuinely funny. You are guaranteed at least one real belly laugh, but plan for more! There is no pretense and that is a part of this magical hive that they have been building over the years. If you have never enjoyed an open house, watch for the next one. And keep tabs on these fellas. They are always up to something wonderful!
The professional grade film footage is above…the less than ideal footage (mine) is below. Thanks, Phil, for giving me permission to post.
The fat cat on the mat
may seem to dream
of nice mice that suffice
for him, or cream;
but he free, maybe,
walks in thought
unbowed, proud, where loud
roared and fought
his kin, lean and slim,
or deep in den
in the East feasted on beasts
and tender men.
The giant lion with iron
claw in paw,
and huge ruthless tooth
in gory jaw;
the pard,[note 1] dark-starred,
fleet upon feet,
that oft soft from aloft
leaps on his meat
where woods loom in gloom–
far now they be,
fierce and free,
and tamed is he;
but fat cat on the mat
kept as a pet,
he does not forget.
When life is riddled with bad news and sad times, just look a little in a different direction and you will see the face of wonderment and loveliness. Last evening I was able to share in a meal with my dear sister-cousin-friend…quiet conversation…laughter…stories. I steered my boat against the current slightly and found her.
Cousin Margy and Handsome Grandson, Maverick
This morning, I am looking at the face of my daughter. First born. For almost nine months, I wrote letters to her in a journal. I never wanted to forget the journey of her creation. Today she is a woman. She is creating a beautiful life of her own with her husband and yet for me, in this moment, it was just yesterday when I held her in the crook of my arm…grateful and full of peace. Thank you, dear daughter, for showing me the face of life’s great pleasure. You are one of my best friends. You bless me with your thoughts, your feelings and your affection. I am truly grateful for you! Have a marvelous birthday.
Hours old. Erin With Mama (apologies for scanned photo quality)
My son and I attended Wreck City yesterday afternoon. It was my good-bye to the houses. Things have changed and have evolved since opening night. I felt a certain sadness yesterday…but then, I’m sad lately anyway, so that was ok. Saying good-bye is always difficult…a cliche, but true. I was able to talk to Lane, however briefly, and also with the artist-gent who kept the Giving Tree fire going all these evenings. Those conversations helped.
Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors
I climbed all of the ladders and did all the crawling and discovering that I hadn’t done on opening night because of spatial constraints and a huge public presence. I particularly loved Lea Bucknell’s camera obscura.
I also felt such peace, being up in the bird nest in the sunshine and spring breeze. I have gathered so many different images that I am going to keep them in my archive and use them, over time, to illustrate my posts and poems. Thank you to all who had anything to do with Wreck City…the artist curators, artists and visionaries. Thanks to Awesome Foundation Calgary. You could not have donated $1000.00 to a more current and abiding vision.
The last stop on the second Love Art in Calgary tour was at the home of Wendy Lees. Similar to house concerts, home exhibition spaces are beginning to crop up around the city. Wendy is a firm believer in advocating for artists, musicians and people in general and generates so much positivity in terms of the community by opening doors, not only to commercial venues in the city, intimate arts spaces, but also, she opens the doors to her heart.
It was a wonderful thing to meet Thai Le Ngo and her partner, Phil. Thai shared with the group, a number of stories from her journey as a visual artist and experiences of travel and plein air painting. I was impressed by her prolific nature and the immediacy of her work. It was lovely to end the day with a glass of wine and quiet conversation and camaraderie. Thank you to Wendy Lees for another enlightening art tour!
The Inspiration Studio for our Host, Wendy Lees
Thai Le Ngo
Thai Le Ngo Sketchbooks and Travel Journals
What you give to the world, comes back and graces you.
Funny…most of my experience around auctions has not been very positive. :0) I remember watching a couple standing outside of the West End Galleries in Edmonton, visiting a large painting of mine titled Off the Wall: Gardens on the West End. They had made the purchase and while everyone else was mingling inside on a cold winter’s eve, they were outside in the quiet. They looked so in love and so ‘forever’. But things happen. Some years later, I found that piece up for auction. Was the piece victim to a divorce, a death, a loss of some sort? There are many reasons why art works end up at auction.
Presently, I’m reading a book, Objects of Our Affection by Lisa Tracy…a book that is influencing my ‘letting go’ of objects and also the complete embrace of what those objects might represent. Filled with a rich story of history, I recommend the above mentioned book for those of you interested in the sorting of your art and objects of great affection. This process is directly linked to the real time experience of auctions and the separation that likely occurs in that process.
I was shocked when I came upon a piece by my dear friend, Bill Webb, at the Levis Auction, the third stop on Wendy Lee’s Love Art in Calgary tour. This is an early piece, one that now shows some obvious neglect. One never knows what happens to a piece of art once it is purchased by a client. It sort of takes on a life of its own. This piece illustrates a very early exploration of some of the things that Bill has tackled over many years as a visual artist. Bill’s work is magical and he is more magical! Our friendship will endure all art, I am glad to say.
Everyone else would be dipping their toes into the cold water, whether it was at Kouchibouquac Beach in New Brunswick or Lake Ontario. But what would my mother do? Without hesitation, she threw down her towel, and kicking sand up behind her, she would ditch all of us for the water! I will never forget how streamlined she looked as she dove in head first, all of us left laughing and up to our ankles. She would surface and with one gesture, push her dark curls off her forehead and stretch back into a beautiful back stroke…sun dazzling on her wet face.
“Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick, And think of you Caught up in circles confusion Is nothing new Flashback warm nights Almost left behind Suitcases of memories, Time after”
I have thought of nothing but my mother and father all morning, from the time at six in the morning, when my alarm rang…through my blogging efforts to distract…into the second cup of coffee and then onto the fields of the off leash park. The sun is shining here and the dry grass carries old smells of winter. Listening to CKUA on the way home in the van, this duet played and there began the howling…the gut-crying and all spilled out. After what my beautiful sister has written, “He has given all he can to care for his “Katy” at home, and is to be commended for his herculean efforts.”
After all of this…we, as a family, are growing more and more to accept that Mom’s Alzheimer’s disease is bit by bit, claiming her…and we are grieving and frustrated and sad. If I was watching my best friend being sucked into an abyss of quicksand, I would feel the same. It is an impossible thing to see parts of your mother, father, husband, wife and friend disappear over time. It is something impossible to fully grasp unless you are standing beside that dark hole, watching.
Readers, you fill your lives with art and music, writing and travel, friendships and celebrations. The world is filled up to the brim with everything that is lovely. I only wish to say and I know I say it often…appreciate that loveliness, family, friendships, faith to the limits. Today is ours. This moment is ours. It is all we have. As I listened to this song…I thought of my mother.
“After my picture fades and darkness has Turned to gray Watching through windows you’re wondering If I’m OK Secrets stolen from deep inside The drum beats out of time.”
Wowsah! Next on our tour, Jarvis Hall Fine Art! I love this space! I like Jarvis Hall and his vision, philosophy and dedication to both fine art and to the craft of exquisite fine art framing. Jarvis and Shannon Williamson were both so generous with their time and really welcomed us on a pretty busy day, given that there was an opening that afternoon for Marianne Gerlinger. It was very exciting to be able to preview Marianne’s work and to enter into some art talk about the images, techniques and to wander about at a leisurely pace.
Background Image by Billy McCarroll. Wendy Lees Introduction of Jarvis Hall
A new sort of gallery ‘speak’…at least I thought so!
Shannon Williamson…artist and art preparator.
This image has been collected directly from the Jarvis Hall website and so credit is given to them for the photograph. One of my favourites.
Marianne Gerlinger “Smoked”, 2013, 42 x 48 in., acrylic, black gesso & oil stick on canvas