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Vancouver Island sends pictures

Thorne’s brother-in-law Dennis offers the first photo of the newly-minted Mr. and Mrs. Won, standing on the beach where the wedding took place last Saturday.

On the right, two pictures generated by Kathleen’s grandson Trenton. He was using novelty apps on an iPhone camera. One of them swaps faces. Mine was too blurry, but Danica’s is better. She looks good in short hair, eh? Or should I say, we make a lovely couple?

3 good things

Good thing No 1: Andrew Horne’s One-Man Show of new paintings opens this weekend on Sunday. There’s a party from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm and you are invited. Flying Pony Gallery/Café, 1481 Gerrard Street East, corner of Rhodes, one block west of Coxwell.

Good thing No 2: I no longer advertise to make a living, because I had a mistake in the date on a previous post.
Good thing No 3: You found this correction in time.

Back from Vancouver Island

No pictures yet from the wedding of Anna and Thorne, but there will be nice ones from the beach ceremony at Point No Point.

While we wait for the wedding shots, here’s a look at the rain forest environment and rocky seashore.

We were “unplugged” at Point No Point, pleasantly out of cellphone range.

Sister-in-law Penny showed me anemones, mussels, barnacles and kelp in the tidal pools at Botanical Beach near Port Renfrew. Danica’s sandals kept her from climbing down the rocks, so she stayed up top and worked the camera.

I took no photos of one of the best sights … all the bright stars visible in the clear night sky. Of course, we would get the same view from Toronto, if it weren’t for urban light pollution. Nice to be reminded that the stars are still there.

What’s the word?

If literacy denotes the ability to read and numeracy means we understand numbers, what word describes comprehension of icons? Iconacy?

The hamburger icon is supposed to imply a list, or more stuff.

The list of icons we must now know is very long and forever getting longer. Ignorance is not an option. Icons tell us what to do and how to do it.

From left: SCSI, USB (1.0,2.0,3.0 or C), Ethernet, Firewire, High Definition Multimedia Interface (cheats with initals), Power On/Off

Some of the connector icons above are pretty well obsolete, but you still see them on older electric products. The newer icons will have a similar fate, but faster.

The extent of to which pictograms are replacing words is well illustrated 🙂 by the Noun Project. Check and see how iconate you are. Some seem clearer than others, some are ambiguous and other are mystifying.

But officer, the sign clearly says, “🐇”.

Gordon Kit Thorne, painter

I came across the photos in the post below while I was looking for these. A fair number of blog visitors come looking for information about artist Gordon “Kit” Thorne. Why not oblige, with the little I have.

“Kit” in front of our house, Vancouver 1962. Right,the trademark goatee and bolo tie.

GKT was a friend and teacher to my mother, back in the 50s, 60s and 70s. I’ve posted about him before, here, and here.

I keep returning to the subject because we were fortunate to find some small examples of Kit’s work among my mother’s things. We have framed them and when I look, I see an artist of notable skill, especially when he wasn’t trying too hard for a sale.

Helen’s living room fish tank in Vancouver –16″ x 12″– watercolour on paper

This watercolour is a particular favourite. It’s as loose and fluid as it should be for the subject, isn’t it? He has created a sense of depth and motion, seemly without effort. Without laboured details, I can easily spot the big, black angel fish, the goldfish and the guppies.

Other Gordon Kit Thorne posts

A bit of family history

These are my maternal grandparents. Left: a photo of Fanny Anderson as a young woman, dressed in a manner that belies her Icelandic origins. On the right, a painting by my mother, Helen Andersen, of her father, W.E. Anderson, who was a medical doctor. She called the painting 2 Medicine Men.

My grandparents were prairie people; Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In 1873, the Canadian government wooed Icelandic settlers by giving them an exclusive reserve called New Iceland in Manitoba. Without the assistance of Indigenous people, the Icelanders would never have survived their first prairie winters. See the story of John Ramsay. That’s Fanny’s family background.

Dr. Anderson was a general practitioner. When his patients, farmers and Indigenous people, were short on cash (especially in the years of the Great Depression), he received fees for service in kind. Eggs, poultry, produce … and beautifully-made textiles, beadwork, feathers and leathers.

Below, you see Fanny and and unknown friend, dressed in some of the collection. Beside them, a photo I found of some of the pieces that Dr. Anderson eventually placed into the collection of the Hudson’s Bay Company. I assume they are still there.

Left: Fanny. Her resemblance to my sister Joni is unmistakable. Unknown friend on the right.

Careful readers will have noticed two spellings: Anderson and Andersen. My mother was born Helen Anderson and married a Dane, my step-father Raabye Andersen.

Helen was profoundly influenced by her father, following his example by going into medicine as a Registered Nurse and carrying on his interest in the arts for her whole life. Dr. Anderson was a Sunday painter himself, as well as an avid appreciator and collector of Indigenous art.

W.E. Anderson was an early promoter of socialized medicine, which was a political stance not without risk in those days. He knew the young Tommy Douglas personally, but I gather he didn’t think Douglas was radical enough. I wish I knew more about my grandfather, but I only have anecdotes told to me by his admiring daughter. My impression is that he was a strong-willed, independent thinker and something of an eccentric.