Two Ontario Markets

Not forgetting that this part of Ontario suffered drought this past mid-July to end of August, there was still enough produce to take in the summer farmer’s market in Belleville.  I’m feeling bad for those who rely on sustained and plentiful crops and don’t know what the dairy farmers are going to do about corn for their cows this winter.  Beans were still plentiful, it seemed to me, but Dad said that everything has suffered.

Some lovely memories of beautiful sights, aromas and the connection with so many lovely people will stick with me.

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I bought a bouquet of sweet peas.  They are my absolute favourite and I remember my mother loving them as well.

img_0257 img_0256 img_0255 img_0254 img_0253 img_0451 img_0450The Ottawa market is always fun and was a mere walking distance from the National Gallery of Canada.  We picked up some food (the girls had noodle soup, bubble teas and I enjoyed an open face salmon bagel, with cream cheese and capers) and, afterwards, we wandered several blocks of city market, spoke with exhibitors,  and enjoyed the excitement that seemed to spill out from every corner.

img_1025 img_1029 img_1030 img_1031 img_1032 img_1033 img_1034 img_1035 img_1038 img_1039 img_1040 img_1041 While we ate our favourite flavours of gelato and frozen yogurt (I enjoyed mango and strawberry), we sat in the shade and listened to this beautiful soprano.  One of my fond memories will be of the lady to the right, who listened intently to the entire set, spell bound.

img_1045Chatted with this gent,  François Pelletier, about his gridded piece and his practice. He rolls out a large piece of canvas and works on that with chalk pastels and conte.  He travels the world doing this.

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For Love of Louis

GO MYERS RIDERS! GO!

Yes!  I DID attend a football game.  I wouldn’t do it for just anyone.  Ask my father.  But, I would do it for Louis.

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The thing about living in a family rooted in Canada’s military, is that we are intense about our Canadian identity.  We also find ourselves living from east coast to west.  It matters not the distance between us because over the years we have been able to remain connected by heart strings and when we are together, it is pure magic.

Dad and I recently drove to Ottawa and really enjoyed the time, food, love and dogs!  One fun afternoon was spent watching my awesome nephew play a game, his team, the Myers Riders!  GO RIDERS!!

Honestly, I know very little about what was going on, but I did see my nephew pushing through to gain yardage….MOVE THOSE STICKS!  MOVE THOSE STICKS!  He is an intense and smart player, (from what I can tell…you just have to trust my judgment here) and he made his auntie proud!  Yes!  They won the game!  And, YES!  He received the MVP football during the post conference.  YEAH!  I love you, Louis.  This is just a smattering of images from my experience.  I have absolutely no permission to share these, but, heH!  I’m a proud auntie.

Keep an eye on the pink gloves and # 75!  Love this boy for his beautiful heart.  Yes, he is a talented athlete, but foremost for me, is the respectful and kind hearted and caring man that he is becoming!  He’s a great team player.  Love you, Louis.

Here ends, likely, the ONLY sports post that you will ever find on my blog.  I love you, dear family.

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Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun

How wonderful to share an exhibit of works created by notable female artist, Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842), with my two young nieces, Eliane and Ainslie.  The National Gallery of Canada produces the most exquisite spaces that showcase exhibits, with perfection.  A contrast to the Chris Cran show, this exhibit immediately captured the sensibility of the period.  We were enveloped in a warm and ornate environment.  I felt hugged by the space.

img_1008The first images posted are the sculpted terra-cota bust of Vigée Le Brun – 1783 sculpted by Augustin Pajou (1730-1809).  The piece is visiting from the Musee du Louvre. The artist, Augustin Pajou, enjoyed a long and continuing success as a portraitist spanning the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and the Empire. He was Louis XVI’s official portraitist and he completed many psychologically penetrating portrait busts of some of the greatest and most interesting figures of his age.

img_1007While I thought I would pass by the written captions that were placed within proximity of each piece, they were so absolutely interesting and well-written, that  I became pulled into the history of this brave and prolific woman’s journey.  I was in awe of the technical aspects of her work and so amazed by her determination within the context of historical events of the time.  I was proud of my young nieces for their shared admiration.  We shared in some very ‘smart’ conversations.

I won’t approach this post like an art history article, but I do encourage my readers to explore this artist’s story. A revolutionary figure, literally! I was reminded of the strength of women when I toured this exhibit.  I was also overcome by the detail and expertise evidenced in the works, themselves.  At a point, it was impossible to separate the paintings from the relationship of the artist with Marie Antoinette and to say to myself, “Wow, this artist was in intimate contact with and documented the life of this historical figure.”  The works transported me, the observer, into a different time.

Initially, I was a bit snap-happy, but then became absorbed and overcome by the shear numbers of paintings of royalty…I also had my ‘hand slapped’ by a security guard once he noticed I had taken a photo of a painting that had not been exhibited since 1982.  He was gentle with me, however, and explained that a no photos icon was posted at the base of the caption…subtle, but worthy of noticing.  There was one woman carefully documenting each painting multiple times and I was somehow irritated by that.  The gallery was well-attended, given that it was the long weekend and the exhibit will have its close tomorrow, on September 11.

As Ainslie, Eliane and I approached the final two rooms, we stood and stared at one another…I said…”Are we cooked?” and we all agreed we were on Art OVERLOAD at this point.  Some of you will understand what I’m saying.  I remember this feeling in the Musee d’Orsay, the Louvre, the Uffizi, the National Gallery of London, the Tate Modern and even in the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. I do want to note here, however, that of the great art museums of the world, I am very proud of our National Gallery.  This exhibit was stunning.  I feel grateful.

img_1009 img_1010 img_1011 img_1012 img_1013 img_1014 img_1015 img_1016 img_1017 img_1018 img_1019If you are reading this and living in Ottawa, sip your last bit of coffee, pack up your newspaper and off you go!  Thank you to those involved with sharing this exhibit.

 

Three Chicks Visit the National Gallery of Canada

The September long weekend was filled to the brim with family, football, food and adventuring. My nieces, Ainslie and Eliane, and I caught a drive down to the gallery on a perfect sky blue day in Ottawa.  I was giddy, as I had been anticipating the exhibit of Chris Cran’s work for some time.  I am so darned proud!  I’ve always assumed that Chris was so much younger than me.  We are closer in age than I had imagined.

Back in the late 1980s, Chris opened his studio up to me and my then-spouse and generously shared, in his witty fashion, his bigger-than-life pinhole camera and the work that he was exploring at the time.  I’ve never forgotten his generosity that day and it remains evident, in so many ways, that he is an active and contributing community member where all of the arts are concerned in Calgary.  Through Chris, I met another awesome dude out of Salmon Arm, Herald Nix, and have become a big fan of his music, as well as his art.  For many reasons, I was so excited to have the chance to enjoy the retrospective of Chris Cran’s work, elegantly and historically displayed in one of my favourite art galleries.

This post will contain just a few images, all Chris’s work.  I’ll share about other works that I enjoyed in separate posts.

img_0949 img_0950 img_0951 img_0952 img_0954 img_0955 img_0957 img_0958 img_0959 img_0961 One of the security guards, Thomas, gave us many insights on our tour of Chris Cran’s work.  He took in every word of Chris’s tour offered during the exhibit’s opening days. He was so generous to pass short narratives on to us.  He could not give permission for us to photograph him while he was wearing his uniform, but I guess I had nabbed this one before that conversation. img_0963When I went on the studio visit, Chris was working on the Stripe and Halftone Paintings.img_0964img_0968 img_0966 img_0967 I saw something very gestural in this piece and so the girls humoured me by becoming the forms in the piece.  Love them so much!

img_0972 img_0970 img_0971 img_0965These are a mere smattering of images from the exhibit.  I really was swept up in the experience of being in such an aesthetically pleasing space wandering in and out of gallery spaces, in awe.  Later, I will post the few Instagram shots I took, as well.

img_1021 img_1022I feel so grateful when magic like this takes flight and lands in my heart.  I love you, Eliane and Ainslie, for being with me.