Tag Archives: art

Friday Seven: Vancouver edition


  1. I’ve been in Vancouver for five days now and don’t seem like I’m adjusting to the three hour time difference. I’ve been waking up between 4:30 and 5:00 am PST and am pretty much nodding off by 10:00 pm. I wonder if it has to do with the dearth of sunlight here. The condo has a gorgeous view, but it’s northwest facing and so doesn’t get any direct sunlight, even on the few occasions when the sun is visible in the sky. Perhaps I should  have brought my Golite with me to dose myself with rays during the day.
  2. We have a lovely condo apartment with a very well-equipped kitchen. I’ve tried a few new recipes, and hosted an old friend for dinner on Wednesday. I worked with him at Bell Canada in the 80s and we’ve kept in touch ever since. I made Za’atar Roast Chicken with Green Tahini Sauce, mashed yams and green beans, plus a cheese plate and a lemon tart purchased from the Urban Fare across the street. Martinis and red wine were also consumed.

    We're on the cheese course here. I probably could have dimmed the lights a little...
    We’re on the cheese course here. I probably could have dimmed the lights a little…
  3. We’re in the Coal Harbour area of downtown Vancouver, right on north shore of the peninsula, overlooking Burrard Inlet. It’s lovely to see the water and the view constantly changes with the movement of the sun and the weather. It’s a great area for walking as everything we could need is close by. Z walks to work every day, the aforementioned grocer is right across the street, and I’m steps from great walking paths along the water.
  4. I brought a couple of small knitting projects with me, as well as a book called ZENSPIRATIONS, CRÉATIONS DE MOTIFS by Joanne Fink. I picked this up in Paris when we were there in September. It suggests a process for creating your own art for colouring and it’s a nice compact book to spur on some creative work.
  5. The apartment is very quiet, with a couple of notable exceptions. During the day, there is a persistent tapping sound that seems to be coming from another unit. It sounds like someone is lightly hammering fine nails or something. It’s most noticeable in the bedroom. I’m wondering whether someone is making jewellry or working on some other small craft in an adjacent suite. Also, I thought a seaplane was taking off this morning, and realized that it was in fact the very loud washing machine that I had just started.
  6. I’ve been trying to find out something about the gorgeous bronze medallions embedded in the sidewalks on some streets in this area. If anyone has a lead, I’d be interested. Haida or Coast Salish perhaps?

    Medallion embedded in some Coal Harbour sidewalks.
    Medallion embedded in some Coal Harbour sidewalks.
  7. How about that investigator on this season’s The Good Wife??
    Jeffrey Dean Morgan

    That’s my seven for today! Visit This Ain’t the Lyceum for more.

Gorgeous poster for The Toronto Comics Art Festival 2011 by Jillian Tamaki


I have been reading lots of graphic novels over the past six months, including Skim by Jillian Tamaki and her cousin Mariko Tamaki. Jillian has designed this poster for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2011 and you’ll spot many of your fave comic characters in it.

I look forward to attending the Festival in May, possibly with my son Michael who is also a graphic novel devotee.

An alternative view of the AGO.


I had never been around to the rear of the new-ish Art Gallery of Ontario transformation (Frank Gehry) until last Friday when I found myself with some time to kill between dates. I settled onto a bench on Grange Park and enjoyed the sun and a good book. The back of the gallery is such a contrast to the front, yet almost as interesting. The shots above are from my iPhone, so not the greatest of quality.

Below, an image of the front facade from the AGO website.

Also from the AGO website, a shot of the staircase (above) from the inside.

Must see: The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army.

I had a lovely day out with two friends.  We met at the Royal Ontario Museum to take in the Terracotta Warrior exhibit, here from China.  These artifacts are from the Qin dynasty, and include some of the full-sized sculptures of warriors, administrators, and horses.  It’s the first exhibit of these items in North America and it’s very impressive. Zouheir had the privilege of seeing them in the original site of their discovery when he was in China last year, and so I was happy to see the exhibit here in Toronto with friends.  We spent a couple of hours at the exhibit.  The documentation was excellent: a mix of text, photographs, maps, and video commentary that added to the excitement of seeing these ancient artifacts. 

At noon, we went upstairs to C5 for lunch, the elegant restaurant added to the ROM during the renovation.  On the top floor, it has lovely views to the south and west of Toronto, including a new garden/green roof that was added since I was there last.  While still relatively young, it provides a respite from what was a rather “industrial” view of the adjoining rooftop.

We all chose the special Terracotta Warrior menu (pdf), starting with a hot and sour egg drop soup, a choice of two entrees (Duck Confit or Tong Mein Noodles), and then a fabulous puff pastry with mango puree, fresh fruit, and sesame ice cream.

The exhibit is a must-see, and is on until early in 2011.  With the wonderful conversation and a delicious lunch, we’re making plans for another outing next month.

A winning day!

We attended the award ceremony for the Nihongo Art Contest at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre today.  Michael won an Idea Prize for Kanji – Grades 4-8.  The competition is open to students across Ontario who are studying Japanese.  This art form requires students to capture the meaning of a Japanese character in an art work that incorporates the character itself.

This is the first year that the competition has received works done using computer graphics, of which Michael’s was one.  Before the ceremony, guests were able to browse the artwork displayed in the gallery.  Here is a shot of Michael standing beside his piece, in which he used the Kanji character for “sword” to create his entry.


Here he is with a couple of friends from the Toronto Japanese Language School who were also winners.


Lily (left) won in her category and Sarah (centre) won the grand prize for her beautiful depiction of cherries.


Here she is with one of the judges holding a poster created from her artwork.

We have a winner!

Michael is in his third year of Japanese language studies at the Toronto Japanese Language School and entered a Nihongo Art Contest at the end of the last school year.  He is one of the winners, and his work will be exhibited at the Gendai Gallery at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre from November 24 to December 12, 2009.   He will attend the awards ceremony on November 28.

I’ll post his artwork as soon as he remembers to send it to me!