Category Archives: Art

More art cards

This one was for Elizabeth and Erik

As promised, here are some more art cards to draw up during cold days and send in the mail.  I didn’t make or send any heart-shaped valentines this year, but feel free to interpret these with a loving spirit.

This one was for David and Kinoi
This is for Bridget and Ed, inspired by a fermentation cookbook gift from Bridget and a trip to Korea.
The kim chi card contained this poem, co-written by Graham and me.  Maybe you had to be there? 

Art Cards

Rainbow beehive card and envelope
Rainbow beehive card and envelope

Not a lot of fine art pursuits in my life these days, or paper correspondence either. To mix things up, I bought some really nice card stock at a paper store on Queen’s Street West when I visited there with Leif in June.  Since then I’ve put my Swedish-bought pencil crayons to work to make a few cards.  I bought 20, so there will be more coming up.

A paw-licking kitty and a toadstool with banana slug
A paw-licking kitty and a toadstool with banana slug
Wild rice growing in a Minnesota lake
Wild rice growing in a Minnesota lake
Stoney Vancouver Island Beach
Stoney Vancouver Island Beach

Zen Koan: Happy Birthday David!

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Keep reaching

This is year of the monkey, David’s astrological sign in the Chinese zodiac. This 4″ x 4″ painting depicts a zen koan David told in one of his yoga classes.

A monk was walking through the forest when he encountered a tiger. The tiger started chasing him and he ran over a cliff, catching a vine on his way down. He clung to the vine as he looked up at the tiger swatting at him from above, and he noticed a little mouse nibbling at the top of the vine and fraying it. As he looked up he also noticed a bright red strawberry. He plucked it and ate it, and it was the sweetest and tastiest strawberry he had ever had.

Like most zen koans thee are lots of interpretations, but I like this one: since everything is impermanent and situations are rarely ideal, we need to seek out and enjoy the strawberries when and where we find them.
Thanks for being a guru and a great brother!

Knitting bomb!

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Some ‘captain cute’ (as Elizabeth would say) has taken it upon themselves to beatify the riverfront walk by adding some warm woolly sweaters and cuddly forest friends. I’ve never taken on a public art project like this, but I appreciate that someone else did! Since it arrived before any foliage it was a colourful addition to my commute. Here are a few different views…

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Portrait of the artist…

Watercolour pencils
Watercolour pencils

… as a dickhead, ball-dropper, and be-shitter. This is a homemade apology card created on January 11, but had it’s origins 1 month before that.

When I was in BC in December, my buddy Edith asked me if I wanted to go to the Banff Mountain Film Festival with her and her husband. We went last year, and it was really fun! She told me the dates and offered to get tickets; of course I said yes.

Fast forward to the day of the event… and I went to rowing practice after work which would be a typical night for me. I checked my phone for messages when I finished and ….FAAAWK!! …realized I forgot.
How flakey! Just UGH. Contrite does not begin to cover it.

So, I made the card and gave it to her with a freezer bag of homemade vegan tamales. The card seemed too silly not to share, so I snapped a photo before dropping it off.

More than I deserved, Edith was awesome as usual and forgave me immediately without being grumpy. Hopefully I can be as cool as that if/when someone stands me up.

Nutcracker!

Mom and me before heading to the ballet
Mom and me before heading to the ballet

This year, in keeping with Metro Vancouver’s campaign to ‘create memories, not garbage’,  I got Mom ballet tickets for Christmas.  We talked it over earlier in the month when she read reviews in the paper and said she’d like to go.  Ballet BC was hosting the Alberta Ballet’s Nutcracker with >150 cast members and $1.5 million in sets and costumes, so it seemed like a big deal.    On Christmas day she got to open a box with some ticket inside (even if it wasn’t a surprise).

We stayed over at Mom and Dad’s the night before and then mom got a ride in with us in our SWEET rental Fiat 500 (I got the back seat, meh).  We ate kim chi pancakes at the apartment for lunch and then Graham dropped us at the QE Theatre.  It was a great show; my favourite was the Arabian dance but the Sugar Plum Fairy was also really great.   Please enjoy all these web-pirated photos of the performance.

 

Clara and the gross mice
Clara and the gross mice

 

a visit from the snow queen
a visit from the snow queen

At the palace of the sugar plum fairy
At the palace of the sugar plum fairy

It was a matinee so we weren’t starving after, but Mom was taking the WestCoast Express back home to Mission so it seemed wise to have a snack.  Afterwards we had a nice soup and sandwich at the Georgia Hotel, then walked down to the train station.

Here is the music and similar nutcracker performance in St. Petersburg, where the original was staged.

Babies!

Baby beavers!
Baby beavers!

There were a bunch of babies born recently, so I got some baby moccasins made by a fellow named John in North Battleford. He does nice work!

Baby buffaloes!
Baby buffaloes!
They fit!
They fit!

Looming Disaster

A lovely handmade rug
A lovely handmade rug

Since it is back to super-cold outside and I am not quite back to skiing, I went for a walk outside yesterday. Then I stopped into the Mendel Art Gallery, since I hadn’t seen their winter exhibition yet.

Take a closer look - military helicopters, armoured vehicles, tanks, ships
Take a closer look – military helicopters, armoured vehicles, tanks, ships

As usual, there was some stuff that went over my head (i.e. I did not appreciate it and wasn’t sure what the curators were thinking), but there was also some great exhibitions. My favourite was a collection of war rugs from Afghanistan. The local artisans used a traditional medium to describe and interpret current events and their effects. This reminded me a little of Karin Larsson’s tapestry on the horrors of WW I (couldn’t find a photo online); a domestic craft used to convey a political/humanitartian message.

Artistically political - a soviet hand coming down to operate Afghanistan like a puppet.
Artistically political – a soviet hand coming down to operate Afghanistan like a puppet.
The hand operating a puppet dictator - who is surrounded by valient local people.  notice the Kalashnikov pointing towards the North, and the soviet tank heading back home after being repelled at the border.  Check out the faces on the tank guys!
The hand operating a puppet dictator – who is surrounded by valient local people. notice the Kalashnikov pointing towards the North, and the soviet tank heading back home after being repelled at the border. Check out the faces on the tank guys!
Just some typical scenes: horse, deer, lady playing guitar, grenade, riffle.
Just some typical scenes: horse, deer, lady playing guitar, grenade, riffle.
This is like a propaganda poster for military resources.
This is like a propaganda poster for military resources.

I heart you

Embroidered heart shirt for Elizabeth
Embroidered heart shirt for Elizabeth

Hope you had a great Christmas!
This is a homemade present for Elizabeth. I really like homemade gifts, because it feels less like participating in the consumer-a-thon that is American holidays. Lots of jam this year, some dried fruit, and cookies. Not too many crafts, but maybe that will pick up again next year.