Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring has Sprung!

Been a really nice spring (and let's face it when was winter...sorry everywhere else Canada) so have been on my bike a bit and getting out to see music, art, boats and did a week surf trip to Tofino and a visit to Gabriola.

I wanted to start this post with a couple photos from my neighbourhood...just love our hood and all the people who think outside the box or are just funny!

ART BY OTHERS: every few months we meet at my friend Sarah's house for sparkling beverages, snacks and art talk.  She also has an amazing collection of art as well. (sorry I do not have the names of the artists)  She is an incredible paper collage artist and painter.
You can see her art at

Sarah's work

her snacks are always good
one of her early pieces
I love this piece as it goes with sculptures he had made that are all drawn in this painting

My friend Cheryl Fortier lives here and then in France for 6 months heading up an art school there.  I love her paintings, especially the row boats.  You can see her work at  She created a postcard exchange with a group here to her centre in France.  I love the story as the group in France are mentally challenged and don't travel and wanted to know if there were artists like them in Vancouver.  So she connected a group here and invited artists to join the group as well.  Was a fun day and some great cards were created, especially the ones where groups worked on them together.

supplies waiting to use
I brought photos of mine and used those crazy scissors I love
used images from my neighbourhood
a few examples from the group

Presentation House in North Vancouver had a marvelous show of Lee Friedlander.  You can see more of his images here Lee Friedlander photography
I especially love his monument series.  Lee is also well known for his series of photos in car mirrors.  He has published more than 40 books of his art.  I have to get cracking and I only publish one of each when I do mine!
monument series
monument series

Fiona Duthie, a textile artist from Saltspring Island created life size pieces of felted humans, a wall piece and lighting.  I went to her talk and it was very eyeopening to see how big a piece of wool she started with to make these.  Think wall to wall carpet.  You can see more of her work including lovely felt fashions at

My friend Vanessa Lam had an exhibition at the Gateway Theatre Gallery and a group of us artists went out to see it.  We stopped at a couple other places as well.  The Richmond Art Gallery had a group show on.  
these were pretty much our favourite
we were all intrigued with the layers of paint on these
I love dots and circles
 The three below are by Vanessa Lam

the painting started with a photo taken in Arnt's studio of his propellers

went to the Ai Wei Wei sculpture in Coal Harbour

the word grass in Chinese sounds like fuck in English.... he uses it sometimes as an act of defiance
close up looks like a hand giving the finger
it does look like grass
My friend Michelle Sirous-Silver was in this group show.  Her piece won the prize of the show and really, she did deserve it as her work is stunning.  She is also in a group I host at my studio called the BEES.  We get together a couple times a month and do some sort of fabric work.  It could be mending, artwork, research, knitting, clothing or whatever else.  We share knowledge and techniques. Next up is making yarn balls from used t shirts and knitting rugs.

this triptych won the award
another of her pieces

The following are other pieces from the show and sorry I don't have the artists names. 
I liked that each square has it's own story....see detail below

love the colour and the many, many layers of handstitching

this piece used old lace and other pieces of fabric
This sculpture by Arnt Arntzen will be in a movie called Darkside (working title) currently in production in Vancouver.  It is now going to Mountain Galleries in Jasper.

Went for a visit to Gabriola to see family.  My mother-in-law Nancy had these beautiful embroidery pieces given to her by an aunt.  I thought they were paintings from a distance.  

 When we visit,  Arnt and his Dad always spend a couple days in the shop building something.  This time it was miniature circular staircases.

figuring out the banisters was very taxing on their brains
Here is Lloyd's finished piece

MUSIC:  while I was there I started working on a short film I wanted to do about Lloyd and his band welcoming Louis Armstrong to Vancouver in 1948.  I did the interview on Gabriola and shot the band in Vancouver.  Despite working in film for almost 20 years this was the first film I ever made!  
The original film with Louis arriving is also on You Tube at

Arnt Arntzen, Arnt Arntzen, Alan Matheson and Lloyd Arntzen
Arnt Arntzen (banjo/guitar) at invited members of the family to play at Tangent on Commercial Drive.  Arnt (drummer), Georgina, Lloyd and Trevor of the Arntzen family joined Arnt and Jen Hodges on stage for a fun night.

 Arnt and I also saw an old bandmate of Arnt's at the Gordon Smith Gallery.  Budge and his band Van Django ripped it up with some very quirky but wonderful arrangements of cover tunes and some of their own songs.

BOATS.....Arnt and I are on the board of and he is lead builder right now as they are building a boat we are paying for, called a Gartside Riff and is a 12' rowing sail boat. 

You have to start with the plans
making the sail with Bob Ennenberg

This is the hull of cedar strip planking, fibre glass and epoxy.

This is a current picture with the seats, airtight lockers, knees, floors for the floor boards,  mast step, centre board casing and gunwhales all done. Going to be a beauty!

 meanwhile across town Rob, Tom, Georgina and Sharon are building a new mast for their boat ERN with the help of Peter and Arnt.  None of them have built a mast before but with all their skills they will be able to figure it out. 

they had to build a 46 foot work bench in Peter's studio...that pile of spruce on the floor cost $3500...clear and 45' long
Rob using the slick Leif sent Arnt for his birthday

STUDIO RENOnext up was my studio reno...Arnt always hated my dark blue floor and so we took these....
church had been sold to a muslim centre and they don't use pews

took them apart, planed, laid and varathaned
next up cupboards...3200 different jobs to complete them
assemblage artists have lots of stuff...where does it all go????
this is where is all goes...the fabulous cabinets and beautiful floor.  Had a studio party to celebrate!
A HUGE thank you to Arnt for making this happen!
because I had to pack up my studio I went through most of my stuff and am determined to use up some it that I have had for years.
doing another Framework series to use up the last of the frames

did a series of hearts because when I was at the scrapyard I found 10 old cake pans

I am working with the old tin boxes again that I got years ago at the scrapyard

inspiration for putting in the cross
set in the pieces and am satisfied with the arrangement but will put some salvaged glass tiles in the back
using a new configuration is going artists every week

started "WINDOW DRESSING" with some of the first saturday artists and will feature a new artist every month until December

first up is with two large paintings
this is my spring window

 I have a show at Havana Gallery on Commercial Drive
Opening is May 3  4-7

a week in Tofino surfing and boogie boarding!

This is where we stayed.
took my new ride out Arnt made of cedar and it is fast .... 5 days of boogie boarding and rode my biggest waves ever
 bonus of staying in a cabin is you can dry your wetsuit out every night

 played scrabble

went sight seeing at the cemetary

 beach fires, cocktails and sunsets

That is it for now....thanks for stopping by!

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