Sunday, July 12, 2009

arresting my eye/i at the toronto outdoor art exhibition

i usually go to the outdoor art show at city hall every year. i like checking out the art, and there is so much of it to see! sometimes i will go expecting to see friends there, and never bump into them. sometimes i know people exhibiting and i never manage to find their booths. this year, there was lots of beautiful stuff, and signs at the tents suggesting that you get the artist's permission before photographing their work (only right and polite). i did take a few photos this year but it's hard to capture all the striking pieces of art that are gathered together here. there is always a great mix of media though i'll usually gravitate toward the paintings. sadly, the piece of paper on which i wrote some of these artists names is not making itself readily apparent so i won't be able to tell you everybody who was responsible for this great stuff. if anybody recognizes an artist, shout out. and if any artist happens to come along and find their art here and would like me to take the photos down, just let me know.

first up some photos of julia hepburn's dioramas. i fell in love with "fausta", a diorama of hers in a boutique, and then saw more at this show last year. i love her projects because they are so wonderfully bizarre and detailed. i can lose myself in her little scenes for a long time and i wish i had some in my house. i really recommend looking at these pieces in the largest image size possible. i can only put small sizes here, or they won't fit on my blog but you can find larger versions of these photos by clicking on 'em.

these last two i tried to get a little closer so you can see the detail of the tiny books..

these next two photos of beautiful and delicate ceramics are just a sampling of great work by an old friend, ms. julie moon. she also gave me one of those lovely poppy pins. i know you're envious.

here's where i start to lose it on the artist names. i have no clue who this was by. it was beautiful though. we saw a lot of painting on plastic? plexiglass? it's interesting to see the trends that emerge at the art show each year. this was definitely a medium that was being used a lot.

i really liked these paintings. the artist had an eastern european name. i think the initials were m.j. or m.r. i love the texture of these paintings. if i was to write a gothic novel i think i would like him to do the cover. the first one of these three was initially my favourite, but now i am leaning towards the third.

corry was a big fan of these bees painted on reclaimed metal cabinetry though after she cooled somewhat and i warmed. i thought it was interesting that he seemed to paint on them as is (spills and stains and marking were kept intact, rather than cleaned off). i want to say the artist's name is brian turnbull? trenchard? but i don't think it is. something like that though.

this was a very popular booth -- mixed media metal art. i can't remember his name. first name started with a t. it was a busy people-filled art show, so inevitably you are seeing shoulders in some of these photos.

these were neat but hard to photograph. again, can't remember the artist's name. the pieces were made of books that had been treated in some kind of wash, and they all these little cut-out windows in them with almost a holographic ghostly image inside. you can barely see the woman in this one peeping out. i am always torn when books are used as a medium for something else (i think the same artist had created a bunch of purses with old hard cover book covers) but these were really allusive, and i liked them.

it was hard to get a clear shot of this fibre art but i thought my bird-lovin' friend patty would like it. it was a like a lovely curtain of hemp birds. i think it won a fibre award too.

i think the initials for this artist were a.o. but don't quote me on that. i really liked this little metal forest. it kind of broke my heart. funny how art is like that. corry was musing on it too when she went crazy for the bees. sometimes you can never understand what it is about a piece of art that draws you to it, and yet it's capable of drawing you close over and over again.

sucker for pop culture that i am, i left these three by jason edmiston, for last. i really enjoyed the fusion of the cereal monsters with the classic film versions -- while it seems to me that those cereals were inspired by the films this painting really makes the iconography meld together. look at bela lugosi/count chocula! and who could resist the creature of the black lagoon in a bubble bath? while i was standing there a boy came along with his mum, and said, "that stormtrooper is the coolest" and i turned to him and agreed emphatically. it's nice that there are always kids at the show, it gives them a chance to see that art isn't stuffy, or stuck up, or always meant to be shut up and away from people. it gets a chance to take a great big breath of open air and saturate one place until it is bursting at least once a year in toronto.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

the beguiling: a character

he has the most peculiar personal energy. i think that it's benign but being in his presence is like accidentally walking into a hall of silence. it's as if he emits a dampening field, and your voice is swallowed whole by his calm. or perhaps it's like stepping into a pit that is padded at the bottom, encircled in egg cartons, and just deep enough to blot the sounds above. he carries the aura of a library quiet with him; he exudes it.

it's a curious thing, being around him, or i guess more properly, for him to be around us, sucking in all the noise as he stands there. of course, he will speak quietly of authors he's lured me to but doesn't press his favourites too hard. he wants to know if i read french. he knows about books that i don't know about, and he tells me about them. i rarely answer his questions directly because words seem to resist even being formed when he's around yet he always seems to know what it is i'm seeking. when he sees me there is always a pile to go through, and he always makes me an offer i can't refuse. sometimes i avoid him because of this.

rarely, he hazards a joke (at least i think it's a joke), and i laugh into the well of him, but he doesn't acknowledge i have got it, or even twitch. he has floppy hair he runs his hand through, and rimless spectacles. he's already a character in a book but he goads me to write about him. he has sent me on many journeys, and blotted me out. i like being blotted.

Friday, July 3, 2009

goodreads review crossover 1 - p.g. wodehouse

it appears i can copy and paste my thrilling goodreads book reviews right here into my blog. saves me double duty in a pinch i suppose. i should note that the star convention is goodreads' rating system, and not always satisfactory. in this case, wodehouse gets six of five.

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit by P.G. Wodehouse

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
another one that draws the guffaws from a disgruntled girl. :) the greatest complaint i can make about these books is about the titles: jeeves' feudal spirit is referenced in other works, so it doesn't really help to distinguish this story from the others. it might better be called "bertie grows a moustache" or "a lot of preamble about a darts tournament we never even get to witness", "how aunt dahlia tried to sell off her magazine because she was tired of always begging for cash". a very funny book.

View all my reviews.