Saturday, January 10, 2015


The end of 2014 and beginning of 2015 was full of friends, art, birds, boats, building and birthdays!

Our lovely friend Landon Mackenzie had a show at the VAG and when we went to the opening party we met her two new friends from Florence, CristiAna and Giovanni. We had them over for a Canadian dinner of planked salmon and scalloped potatoes.  She is a fashion designer and he is an architect.   We are trying to hatch a plan for all 6 of us to meet up in Florence before they move back here.

Went on a fabulous bird watching day at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta with Karli and Dick and his parents Bill and Helen.  Please note our outfits.  Karli in camouflage and me dressed for hunting.  It was my first bird watching outing!  I told the lady at the desk that I thought we were going after rabbits like Elmer!

The land was donated by George Reifel and consists of coastline, marsh, field and forest.

 Anyone know what this tree is?  Bill thinks it is an arbutus.  

Lots of birdhouses for nesting.  The birds there also nest in the water, marsh and trees.

Feeding the birds......
 So I started with feeding a starling.
 Got braver with a red wing blackbird...I was surprised how he felt in my hand.
 Arnt thought it would be great to fill my hat with feed.
 Now I have two birds and I am not sure about this.
 Karli is like a bird whisperer and has no fear.
 Arnt with a red wing black bird.
 Karli with all the ducks...their colours are so wonderful.

This duck thinks it is spring and is showing his dance moves to attract a mate.

This duck is a hybrid which came from wild and domestic ducks mating.

This is a wood duck and one of my favourites.

We were very lucky and a group of 5 Sandhill Cranes landed near us. 

 They are about 4 feet tall and have a wicked beak.
 Only feed with a leather glove on.
 Karli and Helen found the perfect xmas tree.
 ....and yes I got brave and fed the crane...but very nervous.

 Arnt's birthday is just before xmas and I always try to do something special to acknowledge it as not only does he get lumped in with christmas but is also a twin.  So this year I arranged a trip to Seattle to see art, furniture, have drinks and dinners and hang with 4 of his good buds and me.  We stayed at the Moore on 2nd Avenue which I recommend as a central place and very good pricing.

Started at the Bellevue Arts Museum which was filled with a wonderful variety of art.  

More birds only these are blown glass geese.
 This installation is about 3' tall.

This is a piece by Peter Pierobon and is a permanent piece.  Arnt helped with the welding.

 Peter Pierobon's bar which is about 8' long.

A highlight for Arnt was the furniture and tools by John Economaki.  John, a furniture designer/builder became allergic to wood in 1983.  

Not wanting to give up his creative life he started making heirloom
quality hand made tools for wood workers.  They are exquisite!

This is a chess set by him...crazy.
The glass exhibition was incredible and had some unusual pieces.  
Here is a glass fishing pole with some found objects.

The museum also has an outdoor sculpture garden.
reflecting pool
glass sculpture
wood roof of the cone shaped structure

There was a special wood display and these douglas fir bowls were fantastic

Love this table made up of 3000 pieces in the top.

This piece is made up of one piece of wood to make the top and
he won the prize of his own show at the art museum.

We could not even figure out how this was weaved.  It was in four pieces but still!

one of my favourite was the bent tools and glass nails

this giant mask is being modeled by Rob and
is made up of lots of little squares.
The front would have started the same.

this was part of a series of wood books with objects imbedded in them

Of course it was close to xmas so a couple of festive windows and lobbies....


Spent the day it rained at the Seattle Art Museum

their lobby sculpture is amazing and the lights change

this made me laugh
Love this piece so much
The First Nations pieces in this room were exquisite
sorry this blanket totem photo is a bit blurry but wanted to give context for the next photo

Not sure which country this was from but these figures were about 4 foot high

 More modern totems
Love, Love these classical marine paintings

  I took a close up of this painting because the artist
left his original marks of the bigger plan for the boat

The glass work on display by various artists was fabulous

of course some Chihuly

such tiny perfect vases (about the size of a thumb) on a much larger piece
Love this artist...have seen a doc about his huge pieces and ceremonial boxes

 The show also had Indian contemporary work which was unusual and wonderful.

made out of metal half domes
this giant photo collage would have been a challenge to stage
lovely blue man
this artist uses letters stacked on top of each other for this series

 The Japanese section had a life size tea house,
pottery and kimonos...every piece beautiful

and I love doors
great shadow from these magnificent horns
the pattern in these costumes are so inspirational
fantastic pieces...probably carved from ivory
all pop cans and flip top lids.....recycling at its finest
The whole reason for the trip was Arnt's birthday!
with the girls
Happy Rob

view from the restaurant
Lee loves a martini with olives! Our waiter was a hoot and brought this to the table.
my shrimp dinner was so delicious

un-signs around town

Went to Fremont for mexican food, vintage stores and architecture.

Love the story about this sculpture.  Designed by Emil Venkov and erected in 1989 in Slovakia,  an American found it toppled and face down in a field and brought it back to America to save.  One of the only statues of Lenin with guns and flames rather than a book or waving his hat. 


three of my favourite women

Stopped by the Center for Wooden Boats and was amazed at their set up.  
Two huge docks, large shop, gift shop with room for workshops, 
storage sheds and lots of boats.  They have a great rental system,  
lessons and events for members.   Those of you who know our 
small set up at Oarlock and Sail will understand my dock envy!    
storage shed
Our friend Dori and her five year old Finn came over to Arnt's shop to build an xmas gift that Finn wanted to give his three year old sister.  We all got into the act and Arnt supplied wood and know how while the rest of us worked on design and decor.  Was such a fun project!

outdoor dining area with acorn caps for plates
suspension bridge,  ladders, birdhouse and pennants all add to the fun
great kitchen with stove and cooking utensils
a nook for books on one side and sewing set up on the other
 Trevor has been working in the shop on castles and the Harrison's dropped by for a peek.

Then it was xmas and there were gifts under the tree

Arnt unwrapped his styling back pack
a cozy housecoat for the man at home
Arnt made me the best boogie board out of cedar .... look out Tofino
turkey for xmas and raclette for new years....all about being with friends and family

The turkey I bought was a bit too big for the pan and the drippings overflowed and set the oven on fire...boys ran to the rescue...Arnt grabbed the fire extinguisher but was hoping for the best as he opened the oven door.  A giant puff of smoke and a little flame that went out on its own thankfully and the turkey dinner was saved.  Note to self....bigger pan or smaller turkey!
first time we got to host Gwen (Arnt's mom) at Xmas...she is so much fun
toasted in the new year with bubbly and chocolate covered strawberries
Winter is a bit elusive this year but we woke up one day to this view and Arnt 
headed up to Cypress Mountain with his brother Tom to enjoy the day snowshoeing.

The jays were ravenous and fighting for treats.

Going to end this post with a trip to the Rennie Gallery with a show by 
Mircea Cantor an artist originally from Romania but now lives in France.
He is primarily a video artist but there is some instillation.

 This piece was put together with ashtrays made by a street vendor in Paris.
 They are one piece made from the bottom of a pop can and a clever process of bending.

 He won the Marcel Duchamp award for this piece with sieves and bullets (gold and cement)

 This video disturbed most of us in the crowd.  The deer and wolf were placed in a 
white room and filmed over an eight hour period.  Tension is the message I guess?
In his parents stored boxes he found this carved skeleton that he had made when he was 10.  Even he thought it was an unusual subject for a child.

 A political protest set up with mirrors on signs to protest against the Romanian 
government. To reflect back what they are doing to their own people.

I love barbed wire and this piece was painted with his thumb down one whole wall. 

Well that is the last post for 2014 and the first for 2015.  I am back in the studio working on a new series (have posted some works in progress on instagram and can be found at arntzenvalerie. 
Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to all the fun and creative things 
that will happen in 2015.

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