Thank you, Joni

My sister Joni is happy to have creative neighbours so she chose a gift for us made by Howard Roo. He’s an expert metalworker and Gloria is a painter. They all live in Salmo, British Columbia.

Good choice. Joni knows that our walls are filled, mostly with Helen Andersen paintings, but our jaguar bracket will hold a hanging basket outside very nicely.

I like the way you echoed the jaguar’s curves and the curl of the tail with your metal work, Howard.

Bitcoin’s Greek philosopher

Bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos gives a sweeping and non-technical summary of socio-political changes possible with blockchain algorithms. His descriptions are lucid and predictions radical.  I found the 22 minute video a valuable use of time.

The video is embedded in this article: A beginner’s guide to getting started in the cryptocurrency world

Mr Antonopoulous concentrates on ways that blockchain technology may (will?) address our failing economic and governmental systems … accenting the positives. Obviously, there are major potential negatives worth equal attention, but it looks like we have to start thinking about all this, and quickly.

Wasn’t that a party!

Danica tried to stay home to work on her Christmas list after all the outings we’ve been doing. I went to the Flying Pony Funraiser by myself, but it was so much fun, I went home and dragged Danica back with me.

I did what I could to capture the atmosphere, but you really had to be there. The whole treat was on the Flying Pony … music, food, adult drinks and entertainment. Local business kicked in door prizes, all to raise money for the Glen Rhodes United Church Food Bank across the street.

 Next, an unedited 3-minute-long video to show you part of the Grand Finale and the mood in the rooms. Andrew Horne plays Elf to Rob Elliott’s Skinny Santa.

Thank you to everyone who made the evening so much fun. Danica was glad I came and got her.

Documentary evidence …

… of a great day in our remarkable neighbourhood. We started at the Beach Hill Bake-O-Rama.

There was a good turnout, we got our 2018 membership for the BNHA, sold Danica’s Christmas loaves, caught up with neighbours’ news and bought some meringue cookies to take home. It looks like the 4-hour event was a success and probably raised a worthwhile amount for this year’s Out of the Cold program.

I rushed off, not to miss Jodi Wheeler’s Open House at the Blue Crow Gallery. By the time I got there, 10 minutes before the 3:00 wind-up, most of the attendees had already departed. Actually that made it easier to look around at the wide variety of arts, crafts and jewellery items.

The gallery looks smart and well-organized, which it is, but don’t let that intimidate you. Many of the prices are surprisingly modest and the atmosphere is friendly and informal.

Next I went across and up the street to Gerrard Art Space, where the annual Members’ Show reception was just starting. I was the first guest to arrive, in fact. I met and talked with artist Jyne Greenley for the first time. She’s a longtime member and I’ve seen her work on a number of occasions. Today I learned a little about her techniques and interest in creating her own pigments from natural raw materials.

Had a nice chat with Elizabeth Forrest, too. She has some prints on display, that I like very much.

The day wasn’t over. Andrew Horne was throwing a party at the Flying Pony … but that needs its own post.

A highlight for me

I enjoyed some great conversations with artists at the Holiday Show (post below). Chatting with Fred Franzen was a special treat. He is an accomplished artist, represented by the Rebecca Gallery and Karen’s father. We first met when he had work in a group show at the Flying Pony.

Fred Franzen at the Holiday Show

Fred had a remarkable number of works packed into a small section of Karen’s show space and he was generous with his time, telling us about them. Some were done recently, one dated back to the 70s. I really like the Franzen way with a brush and he just seems to get better and better as time goes on.

I have been offered a visit to Fred’s studio on Dupont, so there will be more posts about his work, I’m sure.

Karen Franzen and Friends

We made it to both studios for the Karen Franzen and Friends Holiday Show and there’s no way I can show you everything there is to see. Paintings, jewellery, glass work, drawings pottery sculpture, hand woven baskets, textile rope fibre art … amazing things, beautifully crafted.

The best thing to do is go over on the weekend and see for yourself. My snapshots don’t do justice but here are some websites that do. Karen Leslie Hall (paintings), Kate MacMillan (jewellery), Sandra Pim (fibre art). They are at Studio 2.

Karen Franzen will show you her ceramics at Studio 1 and tell you about the many other creative things her friends have on display. Hours are 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at both places, Saturday and Sunday.


Tokyo’s big sig

I didn’t read or recognize this huge, but fleeting signature until today, although I took the photo last summer.

There is an endless cat and mouse game playing itself out on a wall leading to the Woodbine rail overpass. Taggers love it and city crews are constantly painting over their efforts, using a variety of different coloured greys.

When the city  provides a fresh canvas, taggers quickly fill it up again. I snapped this one because it was unusually large and ambitious, but I was not yet familiar with Tokyo’s “face”, so didn’t recognize the author. Better observation would have spelled out the answer, although The K isn’t particularly well resolved. I like the top loops. Whimsical.

This one was painted out faster than most, probably because of it’s size. If Marietta Fox wants a copy for the Tokyo collection she made, I’ll send her a high resolution copy. Maybe she caught it herself, but it was up so briefy, maybe not.

Full day, Saturday

It’s going to take some planning to hit the highlights around here on December 9th.

First stop has to be the Beach Hill Bake-O-Rama, to drop off Danica’s offerings.  Then back between 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm to see what we should bring home for ourselves.

Dec. 9: Bake-O-Rama & Winter Fair at the Naval Club of Toronto, 1910 Gerrard St. E., 1-4 p.m. Baked goods, pickles, photo booth, handcrafted items, flea market, kids’ craft activity table. All proceeds to the Out of the Cold program.

Jodi Wheeler’s Blue Crow Gallery invitation (11:00 am to 3:00 pm) ends just as Joanne Filletti’s invitation to Gerrard Art Space kicks in (3:00 pm to 6:00 pm), so that works well.

We will probably have already been to Karen Franzen’s Holiday Show for her opening celebration on Friday, (6:00 pm  – 9:00 pm) and we can visit again on Sunday, because two studios are open both days this weekend.
Studio 1:
3 Wembley Drive: Karen Franzen, Fred Franzen, Helen D’souza, Berna Kilic
Studio 2:
43 Robbins Avenue: Karen Leslie Hall, Sandra Clark, Kate Macmillan

So that leaves Saturday evening free to go to the Flying Pony Funraiser (6:00 until “Late”).