Tuesday, September 30, 2014

An artsy day

It was a day full of art yesterday.  I'd like to share it with Our World Tuesday, with many thanks to the volunteers who keep the meme going so successfully. 

We stopped by Art Works Gallery after we left Harrison Galleries café yesterday.  Such a friendly person at the desk, happy to answer questions and fine with photography.  There was a great deal of art to see.  We barely touched the surface and I wasn't able to find out all of the titles and artists but here are a few of the photographs I took.
"Sunrise with Madronas" by Vern Simpson (Oil on Canvas)
This is by Marie-Danielle Leblanc, though I wasn't able to find a title to the work.  It is mixed media on panel, and was part of an exhibition called "Cool" that will end on Oct.2nd.
This is by Sharon Quirke.  She was born in Vancouver, lived in Prince Rupert, studied and worked in Montreal and New York, and has been settled in West Vancouver since 1984.
Bill was showing admirable patience here.  While I roamed excitedly about the gallery with my camera, he must have been wondering if we would make it home in time to eat supper before going out to a symphony concert later in the evening.  (We did.)  Black Jack, as you can see, was engrossed in the art :)
Bill liked this one and it appealed to me as well.  It was in a spot far above our heads and I wasn't able to find the artist's name.
 "Pressure Ridges" by Jim Selkin (photograph on aluminum)
 There are some wonderful stained glass pieces in the gallery that I love, 
 I couldn't find the artist's name for this one.  It seems to be something like TREY.  Perhaps, someone here will recognize it.
 This one, at $500, was the only one Bill thought we might be able to afford :)  It is called "Walking with You" and is a mixed media and resin work by Linzy Arnott.  My photograph doesn't do it justice.  Linzy tells an intriguing story at her website of wanting to fly as a child and jumping off a barn.  She doesn't say whether she managed to complete that jump without injury. Her story triggered some thought about artists, because a former art teacher at the school where I taught told me almost exactly the same tale.  His brother convinced him that he should jump from their housetop, and gave him a bed sheet that he thought would act as a parachute to slow his descent.  He broke both legs but healed well and as gone on to a very successful career as an art teacher.   
I'm happy to tell you that the concert at The Orpheum was one that still leaves me feeling like the luckiest person in the world this morning.  Here are a few small sections.. 
 of the mural surrounding the central chandelier.
It was painted by Tony Heinsbergen and it always draws my eye,
as does the ornate decor.
 But the music, you ask?  Well, I have only one tiny glimpse of a bass player at intermission to show, but the musicians were, I thought, at the very top of their form.  
Inon Barnatan, the Israeli pianist, showed me elements of the Brahms Piano Concerto No.1 that I had never heard before.  His phrases had such momentum, it felt to me that the notes were still dripping from his fingers as threw them from the piano to the orchestra musicians and received them right back again.  That's the only way I can think to describe the excitement in his playing.  You can hear just a very short sample (just over a minute) in this video taken from their rehearsal.  Watch it to the very end, if you have time, and I think you will see what I mean.
There was more.  A contemporary work called A Thousand Natural Shocks (that link will take you to a video performance of it) by Kelly-Marie Murphy and a beautifully passionate performance of Also sprach Zarathustra had me applauding until my hands ached.  And Bill?  Well, as I said, I felt like the luckiest person in the world.
I took these last photos after the concert.  As usual, he made me laugh.
He stooped down for this last shot, trying to place the crest on his head like a hat.  I didn't quite manage to put that hat on straight :) but as with the music, the laughter continues in my mind this morning.  That was our world yesterday.  Thanks so much for giving me the chance to share it.  To glimpse moments in the lives of people all over the world, perhaps you will find some time to stop by Our World Tuesday for a visit.  Happy Tuesday to each one of you!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Zephyr is missing!

Edited to let you know the good news that Zephyr has been found and she is just fine.  It was pretty much the same scenario as last time she was lost, except this time, she managed to get herself locked inside a different building.  Yay for a happy ending!   
I don't usually post twice in one day, but this one is important.  If you remember my post about Zephyr, the dearly loved cat that resides with Jennifer, Chris and their sons, of Harrison Galleries, you will understand that I was greatly saddened yesterday when Jennifer told me that they haven't seen Zephyr in a couple of days.  She asked me to do this post in the hopes that someone may have seen her. 
No lectures, please, on the dangers of allowing cats to roam free out of doors.  Jennifer is well aware of these, but after adopting Zephyr, and after giving indoor life a good try, it became apparent Zephyr would live a life of misery if not allowed to go outside.  At a family meeting, they acknowledged the risk and made a decision in favour of a good life vs. a possibly longer one.
That said, they are hoping Zephyr will turn up, as she has before.  The last time this happened, someone had locked her inside a building.  If you live in Vancouver, and in particular, anywhere near Richards Street downtown, please keep an eye out for her and get back to me or to Harrison Galleries if you spot her.  She is extremely friendly and will happily accept petting and adoration of all types :)
I will update you if she is found.
Let's keep our positive vibes going for a happy outcome to this story.
The links above will take you to further info about Zephyr and about Harrison Galleries.  Many thanks for stopping by!

Monday Morning Good Blues

I think last week's post to Smiling Sally's Blue Monday meme started out at the same place (Canada Place, Vancouver), so you may have a feeling of déjà vu when you see these first two photos, but bear with me.  It was a familiar route, but as always, full of surprises and twists along the way.  And, as always, I am grateful to Smiling Sally for providing a place to share the fun.  33 out of 39 photos have at least a little blue in them.
globe hanging from the ceiling of a high-rise (taken through the window)
Before I go further, some of you will remember that my sister and I are in the process of brainstorming ways to make a difference with respect to the heartbreaking reality of childhood cancer in our midst.  I mentioned using tea tree oil in my last post as an alternative to cleansers and disinfectants known to cause cancers, and had an important and very much appreciated response from Jean, an avid blogger, photographer and animal advocate.  Here is the comment: "Re the tea tree oil - be very careful of its use around Black Jack. While very low concentrations (less than 1%) is safe in some applications for dogs and cats (and is used in some veterinary medicines in that concentration), the stronger concentrations that humans use in their products or for bacterial control is very toxic to animals."  Though I haven't measured the strength of the solution I use, I think 14-20 drops as they come out of the tiny dropper, in at least 20 oz of water probably is in the realm of a 1% solution, but I will heed her warning very carefully.  I did some research this morning and will continue to work on this as I feel it is crucial to get the word out about harmful substances in our midst.  Bottom line from the sites I explored this morning is that vinegar and baking soda are two effective cleansers with a pretty good safety record, but I'll welcome further input from Jean, and as said, will keep this subject near the top of my thoughts for a while to come.  Even the safest products need to be used with care to keep them out of the hands, ears, noses and mouths of children and pets.  

And back to that globe.  It still fascinates me.  I tried to take the photo from inside but they were just closing.  Bill and I had fun trying to identify that orangey trail through the centre. 
 And, we once again..
were quite mesmerized..

 by building reflections.  Here, I was hoping to show you those cute little bicycle traffic lights.
Above, it is showing green, and below, has changed to red.  It takes a little getting used to not to forge ahead when the regular light turns green, as we used to do.  I noticed some tourists laughing when they saw these lights.  Perhaps, they think special lights for cyclists are a strange phenomena, but truly, I believe they save lives.
 Just one more reflection, 
 before I take you to this nearby building, Vancouver Fairmont.  Bill and I spent a long time trying to figure out the words repeated on each floor level. 
 Even looking at my photos later, I missed a couple of the words.  Perhaps you will do better at that than I did, but in case you are curious, here is more information about those words.
 Bill and Black Jack waited while I took those photos.  Just as I returned to them, I caught this beautiful kiss.  Yeah, you guessed it.  My heart soared :)
This little girl with the angel wings gave us a great smile as she passed us.  And her mother wore blue :)
 We sat for quite a while listening to this fellow.  I learned that he is Matt Lennox, and has now left the group, Sons of Granville, to move his career forward as a solo artist.
He was using an interesting set-up (that I can't name) that allowed him to set up a percussive rhythm (right hand on guitar and foot, I believe, also involved), input that, add a repetitive melodic motif, and then improvise a melody over that.  I recorded one of his improvised solos, an impressive one that I may share with you in a later post.
 As we sat, I loved the sun's rays.. 
 falling over these grasses,
 and yes, you guessed it, more reflections in the buildings.
 Children were attracted to Matt's music.
 In spite of some sagging diaper distractions,
 they were happy to explore the sounds as well as the contents of his case :)
 This passer-by, decked out in one of Vancouver's finest fashion ensembles, certainly caught my eye.
 I do hope the footwear (and coat) had a purpose other than the "cute" factor.  It is my theory that paws are better off unfettered, but we didn't have a chance to ask questions.  The poodle did appear totally comfortable. 
 I took this scenic shot of changing colours before we finally moved on..
 to see one of Vancouver Biennale's new works.  (No link, as I think this info is fairly clear.)
 Bill explored it..
 quite thoroughly (Black Jack, not so much)..
 and remembering these moments..
 still brings a smile this morning.
 I'll admit that I wasn't immediately entranced by the work's beauty, but it did sort of grow..
 on me.  I'd be most interested to know your initial response.  A young girl visiting from France gave me her camera and asked me to take photos of her in various poses between the two pillars.  She helped me to see it in different ways and I loved our short conversation.  Definitely one of the pluses of getting outside each day, exploring our surroundings, and coming to small understandings with others who do the same.
 The pond beside that art is one of our favourites.  Here, you can see the busy route that leads to the Lions Gate Bridge and the North Shore.  I love that the two worlds manage to share space..
 so harmoniously.
 Black Jack found the pond much more interesting than the art.
 Dying light told us it would soon be time to head home,
 Bill made sure to check out a running path for holes that Black Jack (or I) might fall in, 
 so that she could have a good run..
 before we left.
 This bloom on a tree near the pond was one that I've never seen before.  Any guesses?
My last two shots caught a little blue in a pond reflection..
 and some light hitting buildings across the water.  Another good day, as I often say :)  Thanks for stopping by.  Head on over to Sally's meme for lots more blues.  A very happy "Blue Monday" to you and yours!