The Small Gems Show

now on at the Women’s Art Association of Canada on Prince Arthur St. in Toronto

This is one of my favourite art shows at WAAC. All the pieces are small and nothing is more than $400.00. This year I submitted three of my abstract flower/poppy paintings and one has already sold.

Yesterday I did some gallery sitting to greet visitors. I was there in the morning so it was very quiet. No more than 10 people are allowed in the gallery at once and of course everyone must wear a mask.

It’s not a huge show. There are about 100 entries. I walked around several times and really took in the individual pieces.

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his last grouping was one of my favourites and I purchased the two paintings on the left. 91855-B74-9624-458-E-99-DB-7626-D16-A3620

The show runs till Jan. 2, 2021.

August Photo a Day Challenge – Abstract

….thanks to City Sonnet for hosting the

I adore abstract painting. Yesterday I paid a visit to the AGO. I spent most of my time viewing the Diane Arbus Photography show but I did walk through the modern art section and took this photo of a Joyce Wieland abstract painting.

In a past post I told you about my husband’s renewed love of painting. There are days that he makes up to three paintings. Now that he’s starting to work on larger canvases he can only manage on painting before exhaustion takes over. Here are some more of his recent abstract pieces.

What Happened in 1917?

….in Canada

1917 is often referred to as the worst year in Canadian history. In that year we saw the highest casualty figures for Canada during WWI. The death toll at Vimy Ridge alone was 3598 with another 7000 injured.

The city of Halifax was destroyed when two ships collided in Halifax Harbour, killing 1900 civilians and injuring 9000 in a town of 50 000. It was the worst man-made destruction of a city until 1945.

The conscription policy divided the country in one of the most bitter elections ever in 1917 but on the upside some women were granted the right to vote if they had a husband, father or brother who served in the war.

It was also the year that the Nation Hockey League (NHL) was established but not until an American team won the Stanley Cup for the first time earlier in the year. Tom Thomson, a famous Canadian artist, also died that year under mysterious circumstances.

Today I went to Montgomery’s Inn to sign up as a volunteer. While I was there I happened upon a wonderful art display of paintings depicting what happened in Canada in 1917.



The Mighty Charles

….Charles is a wild born western lowland gorilla who resides at the Toronto Zoo

Charles turned 45 this fall and has sired 15 offspring while living at the Toronto Zoo. He came to Toronto in 1974 when he was only 2 years old. In the 90s he created quite an uproar because he wouldn’t interact with offspring that weren’t his own and wouldn’t allow the prodigy from other gorilla groups to socialize.

In order to allow the others to interact Charles was sent away for a brief period of time each day in solitude. In an effort to keep Charles contented during these intervals away from his harem, he was given access to large sheets of paper and non-toxic coloured paints. His painting were sold for $400 to $1000 a piece and the money raised ($37 000.00) was used for a new gorilla exhibit. Check the link below to see some of his work.

Charles the Painter

On our visit Charles rested comfortably at the base of the enclosure looking over his harem and the other families. He is clearly the dominant male there. The other large silver back males have to be kept away from him. When his own male offspring reach maturity they have to be sent away so that father and son don’t fight each other for control of the harem.

As Charles watches the females guard their offspring and the young ones climb and play with each other.P1050110P1050109P1050106P1050105

Florence, Italy -An Art Lovers Paradise

…..Florence is well known for famous sculptures, paintings and architecture 

Everyone told me I’d love the art in Florence. There certainly was a lot of it. The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art, architecture and monuments. The city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti.

Florence was home to one of European history’s most important noble families, the Medici. In 1469, Lorenzo de Medici, grandson to Cosimo, took over control of the city from behind the scenes. He was a great patron of the arts, commissioning works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli. To his peers he was known as Lorenzo il Magnifico which ironically was also the name of the street our apartment was on.

If you are going to Florence in the near future I would recommend that you prebook your tickets to the Uffizi Gallery. We booked on line the night before and went right to the front of the line when we arrived at our designated time. In fact we were ushered to an even faster line because we had the baby with us. Even though the baby was free of charge they wanted to see her passport before they gave us our tickets. We didn’t have the passport so we pleaded ignorance. Who knew? Did they think we were going to smuggle in an adult on an infant’s ticket? Other than that, getting into the popular Uffizi was quick and relatively easy and well worth the few extra euros to book ahead of time.

We never did get to see the real Michelangelo’s David. The two in the gallery above were replicas. I thought I would be disappointed if I didn’t get to the real one but there was so much to see and do and it was so hot in Florence that it wasn’t worth the ultimate exhaustion we would have suffered trying to get to the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze, which is now the home of Michelangelo’s sculpture of David. Maybe I’ll go there the next time I’m in Florence.


Share Your World 2016 – Week 3

….to share your world check out Cee’s blog

What is your favorite piece of art? (it doesn’t have to be famous)

That’s a hard question for me because I love so many different pieces. I’m a huge fan of Ray Cattell’s art and would love any one of his pieces. Here’s one that I’m fond of:


A Ray Cattell painting.

What made you smile today?

A photo of my new granddaughter always make me smile.


Which place do you recommend as a Must-See? Please state which country, state or providence.

Again I struggled with this question but after a discussion with my daughter I decided that Niagara Falls should be a must-see destination if you’re visiting this end of Canada or New York state in the USA. You can see the falls from either side of the border but I think the view from the Canadian side is spectacular.

Complete this sentence: When I was younger I used to….

…..sing in a German choir. I started at the age of 18 and sang with them for 27 years. I was always one of the youngest in the choir. Even when I left at the age of 45 most of the members were considerably older than me. I did enjoy it and I do miss singing in a choir and hearing German.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that my son has had his staples removed from his arm and that his arm is healing nicely. He’s back in England now and has found himself a doctor and is part of the National Health Service. Things are going well at school and boys’ basketball is well underway with early morning practices are happening three times a week. I’m especially grateful to one of our dads who is coming out each morning to help us coach the boys’ team.

This week I’m looking forward to a day off on Friday. It’s a report card writing day. I’m not thrilled about writing report cards but I am grateful for the time to work on them. I’m also looking forward to seeing Miss Winnie on the weekend. We didn’t get to see her last weekend and by all accounts from her mother she’s growing by leaps and bounds.

Here are a few photos from our walks through the park and the snow storm we had on Monday. Notice how tired Frances is. She had just stared down a coyote during that storm.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge-Circles-Curves

….at first I didn’t think I had any circle or curve photos to share

For more fun photos check out Cee’s site at

Update on the Paintings for the Silent Auction

… is almost finished and the other is just started

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. Assemblies, trips to feeder schools, soccer tournaments, field trips and a school council meeting. The grade 3s abstract painting is undergoing a second coat and will be finished by the end of the week. The grade 5 project has been delayed because the class missed art one week and this week I was at the soccer tournament with the grade 4/5 girls (we won by the way) when the same class had art. When I saw the class in their library period last week I told them I was taking inspiration from previous projects they had done and applying some of their designs onto our massive set of canvases.

Today some of the students asked if they could help start the project after school. I had painted up a rough copy of what the project might look like and most of the class liked what they saw. We agreed to keep the background one colour and I’ll conference with a small group to decide on the other colours. One of the girls from the class was able to stay for quite awhile and together we drew the design onto the canvases and I started painting the background.

Hopefully I’ll be able to take a small group at a time out of class to work on the project. Ideally I’d like every student to paint a portion of the project. If you can’t tell from the photo the entire piece is quite large. There are four canvases measuring about six feet in length.



I also introduced a new project to my grade 3 art classes today. Carla Sonheim gives a free tutorial on how to paint crazy flowers using watercolours, gesso and pencil. It’s a fun project and very textural.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 photo 1-151

Exploring a Village Within the City

….. and getting an incredible amount of exercise doing it

Today was a perfect day in many ways. The sun was shining, it was somewhat warm, I got out for a walk/run with my husband and I got on my bicycle for the first time this year.

I always feel better when I move. Today I may have over done it. I started the day lifting a few weights. Then we snapped on Frances’ leash and headed out for our morning walk. When we got to the park I started to run but this time Frances started to follow me instead of K so I found myself backtracking to get her back to my husband. When she followed me a second time she headed straight for the pond, went for a swim and then ran through a field of burrs. She finally came back to me as I was heading back in K’s direction where she immediately found a huge puddle and splashed around in there for awhile.

We decided to put her back on the leash and I gave up on running and walked with the two of them instead. With all the backtracking, today’s walk/run totalled a distance of 3.8k.

Before we left for our walk my husband and I planned out some meals for the week and we decided to have fish for dinner tonight. After he prepared a hearty brunch for the two of us I suggested that we go out and buy some of the items on the list. K knew of a fish market on Roncesvalles Avenue and he suggested that we cycle there. This would be my first ride of the season.

K checked the bikes and got the panniers ready while I readied myself for the trip. The temperatures were a bit on the cool side so I put a scarf around my neck under my jacket and put on my leather gloves.

Roncesvalles Village is another vibrant community in the heart of Toronto. It is located east of High Park and north of the lake at Sunnyside. Roncesvalles Village is home to a diverse population of new families, seniors and numerous ethnic groups. It has everything you need at your doorstep; green grocers, coffee shops, flower shops, bars and pubs, a vintage movie theatre, grocery stores, clothing stores, gift shops, specialty shops for dogs, nail salons, hair salons, churches and a plethora of restaurants. My husband and I have often said that if we ever move, this is one neighbourhood that would be high on our list of places to consider.

The bike ride was a lot of fun. I was a little apprehensive about riding on the Lakeshore but it’s a very wide street and parts of it do have bike lanes. When you get to Sunnyside there are bike lanes all along the way. There were tons of people out today enjoying the beautiful weather, walking, running, roller bladding and riding their bikes.

After we crossed Lakeshore at Colborne to the Queensway there was another bike path that takes you all the way to St. Joe’s hospital and then we proceeded on the side streets over to Roncesvalles. We parked at the library and started to explore the retail neighbourhood. Our first destination was the bank because neither of us had any cash on us. We walked all the way up to Dundas only to discover that the bank we were looking for had been turned into a Starbucks over four years ago. Unfortunately it was still listed as being there when we did a Google search.

After asking someone on the street for the closest bank we walked a little bit south and found a bank on the west side of the street. Our next destination had to be a place where we could get something to drink. We didn’t think to pack any water for our trip so we were very thirsty after our long ride. We found a great little independent cafe where we ordered a pot of tea and an iced coffee. We also treated ourselves to two small French macaroons.

P1000971 Roncy’s Bean


One of the things that I really like about this neighbourhood is that they support their local artists. In the cafe there were great paintings on display by Laura Hains. You can see more of her work on her website.

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The street had a feeling of joy, as people shopped, sat in the outdoor cafes and stopped to talk to neighbours and listen to the street musicians. There were cute dogs everywhere. We found the fish market we were looking for and purchased a beautiful piece of lake trout. We didn’t want to buy the fish too early on our visit so we ended up doing a lot of walking to take in all the sights and sounds of the village within the city. When we were satisfied that we saw what we came for we backtracked to the fish market and then backtracked again to find our bikes.

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The bike ride home was a little more difficult for me because of all the exercise I had already done today but I only had to stop once to give my knee a rest and then the rest of the ride was more comfortable and pain free.

P1000990 P1000991 1367096606964When we got home I was curious to see how far we had travelled on the bikes and how much more walking we had done. I went to g-map pedometer and traced out the route. We thought the ride was longer but the whole trip on the bikes was 17 kilometres. The walk surprised us though. We walked an additional 4.7 k for a total of 8.5 k for the day. My husband thinks that we don’t need to get out for another walk tonight but Frances may have something to say about that. We’ll see. As for how I’m going to feel tomorrow, I’m thinking that I might be feeling a few twinges here and there. Hopefully not.

What did you do on this beautiful ‘spring’ day? Love to hear from you.