Final Stop: The Studio of Mark Vazquez-Mackay

Margy and I got caught up chatting with Phillip and bid Anna and him good-bye with hugs before heading over to Weeds Cafe for a Montreal spiced meat sandwich and Italian soda.  It was a pretty nice feeling.  When you go out on a Love Art in Calgary tour, your brain goes “ZING” and you find yourself processing so much great insight…sometimes it’s a good decision to punctuate!  On we raced to the studio of Mark Vazquez-Mackay.

P1150856Mark’s studio was magical, but how can it not be when he has such a beautiful way of seeing life and his world.  I think that he is extremely generous and very community centered.  His hands and mind are engaged a lot in terms of visual arts in Calgary and we need to be grateful for people like him.  He generates a lot of chatter.  I really do treasure the fact that we got a window into just a small part of what he does and accomplishes.

P1150816I liked learning about his use of ivory black to mix colour.  I liked that he had a Lucien Freud book perched against a wall. (I am nuts over Lucien Freud’s figurative works.)  I was excited to have him demonstrate his exploration of camera obscura, his connection with Vermeer, his insights after reading David Hockney’s Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters.  I felt so excited about his vision around public art and his open concept of public art everywhere.  I had a warm heart as he spoke of his son, the innovative and driven musician who worked alongside his Dad to paint his mother’s eyes on his front yard fence. Generally speaking, his time spent with us was jam-packed and invaluable!

P1150832Mark, impacted personally by the spring flood of last year in Calgary, appears to have not missed a heartbeat, but, with determination and resilience, rebuilt and then some.  He is a hero to our arts community.  A good person.

I’ve written sometimes about the objects of our affection…about how our objects hold memory and such.  In Mark’s studio, I felt that I was surrounded in a blanket of so much love, perception and imagination.  Truly remarkable!  Thank you.

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Wreck City: Lea Bucknell and my Good Byes

Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors

Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors


Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors


Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors

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.


Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors


Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors