Sunday, February 5, 2012

Little Walter One-Eye

I haven't posted anything new in a while, and that's mainly because what's new is sad. Just after Christmas our old friend Walter passed on. It's been a month of grieving, and trying to figure out the new rhythm of our lives without him.

At the same time I was dealing with losing Walter I was also trying to work on the 2012 edition of my Art House Co-op Project. I was having a difficult time starting, and an even more difficult time staying on theme. The following is what I wrote as my intro to my sketchbook - followed by my drawings.

"The theme that I chose for my sketchbook was 'Long Trips and Short Phone Calls.' I had good intentions when I chose this theme. I was going to include sketches from my summer travels along with excerpts of text messages from home. However, when I reached the point when I was going to start sketching, my beloved pug Walter passed away. Losing Walter has brought me immeasurable sadness - I loved him so deeply and completely. So I have decided to side-step my chosen theme and instead sketch my old friend, and do my best to capture his rich character and spirit in my drawings."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


During our trip my Grandma and I made a stop at what I now consider to be that happiest place on earth - Legoland! Imagine cities and castles and a jungle safari all made from Lego. There was an airport replica, complete with moving airplanes and transport trucks, and the harbour in Copenhagen complete with moving boats. There was even a replica of Amsterdam which had working canal bridges which raised and lowered as boats needed to pass. It was so super cool - I think the 'builders' - the people who dream up and build the Lego exhibits may just have the best jobs ever.

These boats actually move!

This is the city of Skagen in the northern part of Denmark.

Amsterdam and its canals.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Otherwise known as the International Ceramic Research Centre in Denmark... I was lucky enough to visit their facility during my trip and it was an incredible place.The studio was huge and there were a large number of electric kilns plus a number of kilns outside including several wood-fire kilns and a cross-draft kiln.

Here's what they say about themselves on their website:

About GuldagergaardGuldagergaard is an international ceramic research center for development of ceramic art, craft and design. International artists and designers come here for studio residencies, workshops and symposiums focusing on contemporary themes.

Our Residency Program
Our residency program offers artists, designers and craftsmen the possibility of working together, thereby increasing artistic development, professional experience and network. The program combines an international atmosphere and wide professional dialogue within a concentrated work period, with the exchange of knowledge and research into materials, techniques and ideas.

Guldagergaard offers accommodation, studio space, technical staff, equipment and a variety of larger electric, gas and wood fired kilns.

To read more visit their website:
International Ceramic Reserch Centre

This is the residence.
One of the pieces being worked on in the studio.

A piece in the current exhibition in the gallery.
Another piece in the current exhibition.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Home Sweet Home!

I'm back home... after more than two weeks spent traveling around Denmark with my 83 year old Grandma. We had a wonderful time and I feel fortunate that I was able to share this experience with her.

This trip (for me) was about helping my Grandma see her country once more and reconnect with her family. She and my Grandpa were both born there, as were my Dad and Uncle. They immigrated to Alberta when my Dad was just three years old and visited their homeland many times throughout the years. The last time my Grandma went was more than 20 years ago and she soon realized a lot had changed since the last time she saw Denmark.

I found Denmark to be a very friendly, very charming little country. It is diverse both its landscape and its people - ultra-cosmopolitan in the larger cities, and quietly rural outside of the major centres. It has a rich history full of vikings and castles, and is easily recognizable as a leader in modern design.

In my relatively short time there I was able to experience all of these and much, much more. I also had the added benefit of meeting many people from my Danish family tree and learning more about my Danish roots.

Amalienborg Slotsplads (the Queen's Castle) in Copenhagen.

Nyhavn Street and Canal in Copenhagen.

Monday, August 15, 2011

What is it about Walter?

I take photos of Walter all the time. There's something about him - his grumpy innocence maybe - that I feel must be captured. This afternoon he was hanging out on the couch - his head resting on his hand, with his tongue sandwiched in the middle. And yes I know, his fingernails are horribly long. If he didn't try to tear my arm off every time I cut them them he might get them clipped more often. Oh, and that crud on his nose? Dried hamburger from his breakfast. If he didn't try to tear my arm off whenever I try to clean his nose it might get done more often.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Saskatoon... part deux!

There was an actual reason for us to visit Saskatoon last weekend - although the free dinner was almost worth the trip on it's own. Saskatoon was hosting a water sports festival called Wake-Ride, and as part of the festival bands were booked to play during the evening hours. On Friday night Foam Lake (a fantastic band from Saskatoon, and our new best friends, The Dudes and Broken Social Scene played. A pretty great line-up, and well worth the 5 hour drive.

The show was very intimate (to say the least) so the view was good from everywhere, but our new best friends from Foam Lake invited us to watch Broken Social Scene from back stage. It was pretty amazing to see such a great band play from such close range. That, the dragonflies and the friendly people of Saskatoon made it a perfect night.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Saskatoon... Welcome to the Promised Land!

My dear husband and I took a quick trip the Saskatoon this past weekend. This was my first visit to Saskatoon and I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful the city is. Rows and rows of well-kept historic houses, a lovely downtown located beside an even more lovely river valley, capped off with a miniature Whyte Ave-type street called Broadway.

One of the first things I noticed when we arrived was Saskatoon's lack of blood sucking mosquitos. After weeks of being eaten alive in Edmonton it came as a welcome reprieve - but I couldn't understand how Saskatoon had been spared from the little vampires. Until the moment when I looked to the sky and saw an army of giant blue dragonflies - zipping around and eating all the mosquitos! It was fantastic! I started asking local people where all their dragonflies came from and I was told by one person that the City of Saskatoon actually farms dragonflies for the purpose of mosquito control. What? Really? Brilliant! It's so smart, so simple and so eco-friendly. Once I confirm this as truth I will be in contact with my own municipality and urge them to do the same.

I've strayed from my original point though. On Broadway there is a restaurant / pub called Lydia's. We went in hoping for a burger and a beer and what we got was a beer that came with a FREE burger and fries. Crazy! No mosquitos AND a free dinner? Saskatoon - I love you!