I hope you're all wearing your Irish green today! I know I have my green on ... easy enough for me since green is my favourite colour :)
March Break is now over and done and my son has been sent off to school with no skip in his step. He really enjoyed his week off, and so did I! We rounded out the week with a bit of fish tank shopping for him. He picked up another Bala shark (he has one already, but thought he might like a buddy), and a few more tetras and swordtail fish. They've all settled in well.
We visited the McMichael art gallery in Kleinburg, Ontario on Saturday. My husband was able to come with us for that visit. The McMichael gallery holds numerous Group of Seven paintings, which I just love. I've always admired their paintings, particularly Tom Thomson's, and my parents used to take us to this same gallery when I was young. Many of the paintings are of scenes in Algonquin Park, which is our favourite camping destination. To see these paintings is to feel the essence of northern Ontario. I was rather struck with the realization that so many of these paintings were done in the winter (or maybe spring), with lots of snow on the ground. It makes you wonder how chilled they must've been after a day of painting out in the cold ... sitting still for hours with a paint brush in your hand can hardly keep you warm for long. If you visit the east side of Algonquin Park at Achray campground you can visit a cabin that Tom Thomson stayed in during he trips to the park. Also you can see the view where he painted "The Jack Pine" ... which actual pine was chopped down for fire wood just a while ago. We've visited these places and also the cairn erected in his memory on Canoe Lake where he drowned.
|The Jack Pine by Tom Thomson|
|Cairn on Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park (my photo)|
There are other painters' works in the galIery as well. another of my favourite painters is Emily Carr from BC. Such dramatic work, and both her paintings and the paintings of the Group of Seven still look bright and vibrant today. Some of the Group of Seven paintings are over 100 years old, and they still hold a very modern appeal to me. I picked up a couple of books written by Emily Carr as I enjoyed her written comments accompanying her paintings as well.
There is a special exhibit on now of East Coast artists, including paintings, photographs and carvings. It was quite good and I particularly enjoyed Mary Pratt's paintings. Her written comments that accompanied the paintings were very humorous and she's probably quite a character in real life. She paints from photographs she has taken herself. When she was a young mother she would see a still life in her home that she wanted to paint, but felt she never had time to stop everything and paint it just as she saw it with respect to lighting etc. She was raising four children at the time so she was a busy lady! Finally, she started taking photos of the things she saw and then would work on the painting from the photo when she had time. This way she didn't lose "the moment" and was able to capture it on her canvas. I'm so glad that she found this way to work around her domestic life because she really is an extraordinary artist. Her paintings are described as still-life realist, and apart from the actual painting, I found her subject matter so compelling. She's painted such ordinary objects, but with great attention to the lighting details and has a real gift for painting glass and liquid ... everything just sparkles. I really enjoyed her part of the show. She did some life paintings as well, and there was a particular painting of her daughter in her wedding dress that I thought was sort of heartbreaking. The look on her daughter's face is just so anxious, and you have to wonder if it reflected how the daughter was feeling about her upcoming marriage. Anyway, if you ever get a chance to see Mary Pratt's work, it's well worth viewing. Her paintings are at the McMichael gallery until April 27.
|Source This is one of her paintings of "Jelly Shelf" |
and she talks about the beauty of the clear jelly as it sits on the counter in the sunshine.
You can see more of her paintings if you click here
I have no photos of my own to share of these works as cameras were not allowed.
It was a nice day out. Apparently, the winter weather is going to break this week, and we'll be heading into above 0C regularly. Today was again down to -18C this morning, but I hope it warms up a bit when the sun has a chance to warm things up!
And speaking of Algonquin ... we've put our beloved Swift Algonquin 17 canoe up for sale yesterday :( I'm very sad to see it go as we've paddled many happy waterways in this big baby. Our kids were just tiny tots when we first bought it. But now that it's only my husband and I in the canoe, we've decided to go with a smaller, lighter version which has been ordered from Swift last month. I'll miss our beauty though ... all 65 lbs of her (won't miss her weight).
Thanks for stopping by!
|My Shamrocks :)|