I’ve always been attracted to Charlotte Rampling but not in that way…
…because she embodies that “wow factor“ in the same admirable fashion that Cate Blanchett does and Katherine Hepburn did. Very attractive but not in a conventional sense, in a much more interesting manner, smart, confident, a talented actor and so very chic – her own stylishness. Her stage play Neck of the Woods just wrapped at HOME, Manchester, as part of the Manchester International Festival on July 18.
Words with Charlotte Rampling – on working with wolves, the power of the audience and what she means when she calls herself an artist.
Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? We all are, it seems.
Charlotte Rampling on the WOLF…
“I think humans have a very profound relationship with animals. Wild creatures are more mysterious to us – we can’t actually approach them so that makes them enigmatic, that’s why we study them and do art pieces around them. There is a lot that goes in people’s imagination about wolves, starting from the basic stories we hear all the time. There is a particular fascination – from the thought that one must be scared or wary of them, to the cultural idea of ‘the big bad wolf’. They have a strange character, they are mysterious, maybe more so than other animals.”
Charlotte Rampling on the power of the AUDIENCE…
“The study of an audience is very important. We are doing it for them so we want to get the best possible angle for them, and to bring them in. You feel when an audience is getting distracted or not quite following, and then you have to really start to understand why they are not with you. Yes, I think that is what live performance is about; you are facing an audience and you are saying it to them. It is not like you are in a play and playing to the people you are playing with; here you are playing to the audience so you must have them with you at all times. If you don’t – well, they are like a pack of wolves and they will take the play away from you if you are not careful. They will turn it into something other. If you let the audience go, you have lost the moment, and essentially you have lost the play.”
Charlotte Rampling on being an ARTIST… “All my life I have followed the thought that if I have already done something, why would I then want to do it again?” So unless the film is really intriguing then to me, it is just another film. I have always gone off the track and have looked at things that I can do that will allow me to see the world in a different way. It is just a basic form of curiosity on my part, to want to discover something and find another way of doing things. What I found is that as you get older your mind actually doesn’t get any older, you just get older physically and you obviously have more experience. Now that I am working with a lot of younger artists, it is very intriguing, as I am able to bring my life with me to the stage. There is a young French artist I am working with called Loris Gréaud. We did a film together with David Lynch called The Snorks, which was an extraordinary project based around animals that live so far underneath the sea that no one has ever seen them and they let out energy through electrics. The relationships that you have with other artists after you have done all these projects brings you into another world, and to me that is what living creatively is all about. I am not an artist per se even though I would love to be, I don’t do sculptures or the like as that is not my profession but I know that I can infiltrate what I have into the works of others.”
BC Blueberries are in season and aside from eating them as is I’ve been incorporating them into recipes like blueberry pancakes, loaves and muffins. My next door neighbour was nice enough to bring me some hand picked berries (that someone else other than she hand picked but it was still nice) so the least I could do was bake a blueberry cake and give her half. Here are two recipes that are easy enough to make and trust me; Berrylicious!
BLUEBERRY BUTTERMILK PANCAKES FOR TWO (or 3-4 people if you add an omelette and sausage/bacon):
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda, a little salt,
¼ cup coconut powder (optional)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla bean paste
1 ripe mashed banana (optional)
1 cup of mixed fruit (blueberries + mango, blueberries + raspberries or just blueberries)
1 cup of buttermilk, shaken
Mix all together
Spray grill with coconut oil spray (or if you don’t have it, use butter)
As soon as the grill is hot drop in small batches – 3,4 at a time. You can tell it’s hot when you add a bit of water to grill and it makes a sizzling sound.
Fry gently turning once (about 1 ½ minutes per side when it just starts to bubble). I sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on the up side before turning over – as in the photo)
Dust with icing sugar (always optional) when done. Serve with pure maple syrup naturally.
Makes about 10 medium size pancakes
BLUEBERRY LEMON BREAKFAST CAKE
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 ¾ cups Blueberries (Stir 1 Tbsp. of flour to the berries so that they don’t all settle to the bottom on the pan).
¾ cup sugar
½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup sour cream (14%)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice – approx. 1 large lemon)
In a small bowl add dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, soda & salt)
In a medium bowl cream butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla extract & beat with an electric mixer
Then in three intervals add your dry ingedients to the wet mix adding 1/3 of the sour cream & 1/3 of the lemon juice – beat until smooth
Then fold in the blueberries and lemon zest.
Add a few fresh berries to the top of the pan
Bake at 350F until done – about 45 – 55 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean).
You can dust with icing sugar if you like – it always looks prettier. They also freeze well so you can thaw them when the weather gets cold to remember the warmth when you made them.
As a new gallery of Kandinsky’s work opens in New York, we examine key lessons that can be learned from the legendary painter and art theorist – which is perfect for what MATTERS for life in general.
The career of Wassily Kandinsky ranged from theorising colour and geometric forms in completely new ways to painting some of the first abstract paintings as well as writing books on completely new concepts in art. Simply put, Kandinsky was ground breaking in the ways he divorced himself from typical norms of old school fine art and broke new ground by taking inspiration from everything to music and human emotion, reinterpreting these topics into colourful artworks and brilliant theoretical books.
The latest gallery of 150 Kandinsky works at The Guggenheim in New York traces the artist’s aesthetic evolution and contribution to the abstract art movement, from his early days working as a painter in Munich to the last era of his career in Paris. Here, we look at what we can learn from the storied artist, from living a colourful life to knowing the value of contrast.
Let your STYLE evolve
Kandinksy knew the true value of having confidence to move from one aesthetic to another. Though primarily known as an abstract artist, he often experimented with different forms of abstraction with much success. During his Blue Rider period, his paintings were large and expressive, with markings that varied in shape and size. But his Bauhaus period saw paintings that were centered on controlled geometrics and sharp lines. He turned the classic saying of “Do one thing and do it well,”on its head – and that lesson can be used for fashion advice or life in general.
LIVE a colourful life
His paintings offer the anecdote that living a colourful life is always better than living a dreary one in only black and white. As a highly spiritual artist, Kandinsky saw colour as emotional therapy and injected much of it into his paintings. In his book, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, he wrote, “Colours on the painter’s palette evoke a double effect: a purely physical effect on the eye which is charmed by the beauty of colours, similar to the joyful impression when we eat a delicacy. This effect can be much deeper, however, causing a vibration of the soul or an “inner resonance” – a spiritual effect in which the colour touches the soul itself.” On an off day, we can always imagine ourselves living inside a Kandinsky painting.
KNOW when to take a break
There’s no doubt Kandinsky was a hard worker. He produced hundreds of works and painted until the last few years of his life. But he also knew when to take a break from his work. One day, an exhausted Kandinksy decided to take a walk. When he returned to his studio, one of his paintings had been accidentally turned upside down by friend and fellow artist Gabriele Münter. Without recognising it as his own, he proclaimed it was “of extraordinary beauty, glowing with inner radiance.” This moment was said to change his ideas about painting and open his eyes to abstraction. Taking a break or stepping back from a big project can make one see things in a different light– especially if someone else gets involved in the most unexpected ways.
BELIEVE in the power of contrast
There’s a reason why black and white striped tops forever remain a wardrobe staple. Kandinsky recognized the power of contrasting colours and shapes early, assigning hues emotional qualities and using them to balance each other out. “White and black form the second great contrast, which is static. White is a deep, absolute silence, full of possibility. Black is nothingness without possibility, an eternal silence without hope, and corresponds with death,” he wrote in Concerning the Spiritual Art. Similarly, Kandinsky’s paintings often play with contrasting shapes: long, sharp lines juxtapose soft orb-like spheres and curves. Life wouldn’t be as beautiful without the best of both worlds.
The INNER self matters
If all of Kandinsky’s beliefs could be condensed into one, his biggest theory would probably be what he called “internal necessity.” His paintings were colourfully stunning but they weren’t just based on pure aesthetics. As well as believing in a form of communication between the artist and the viewer, Kandinsky believed in total self-awareness. He committed to his feelings and senses and often theorised that shapes and colours were attached to his own emotional feelings. For example, he felt the circle was the most peaceful symbol – so he used it to create his own codes throughout his work. He also considered black as the colour of closure. And with this system, he created not just beautiful work, but his own language that was completely one of a kind and representative of a singular person.
I’ve been thinking about buying a new helmet for my scooter for the past three years now. Most of the ones I’ve come across are geared towards men.
A matching helmet did not come with my vintage-inspired creamsicle lookingscooter so I’ve been wearing one that a friend gave me (so that he could buy a nicer newer model) that is all scratched up and doesn’t really suit me. Mine is ‘real’ vintage but not in the good way. I can have one painted to match (that’s too matchy) or just buy a new one but every time I go to check them out I think the old one is good enough because the newer ones are just as ordinary. I don’t want something that looks like I’m riding a Harley and I don’t want one that looks like I’m riding a horse either. Maybe I should create some fashionable helmets for women with scooters? Or maybe I’ll just buy one of these:
Dubai-based digital designer jyo john mullor has realized a series of helmet designs that appear to leave the human head totally exposed to outdoor elements. The trompe-l’œil effect brings about the illusion that a series of different people with shaved heads are seamlessly integrated into the plush, yet sturdy protective gear. Four variations include a motorcycle cap with ears and earrings, a simple bicycle style with shaved brunette hair, and a vintage safety hat with attached goggles stretching over the surface of the skin. Although not yet physical objects, Mullor’s ‘custom made helmets’ provide a look at the possibilities of extreme personalization, and would guarantee a double take on the road.
Just had to do it! Did you really think I was going to let one more week go by without posting a few more photos of my two BFF’s? (best furry friends).
Little did I know that Jack loves Thai food and I’m told he goes nuts for rum/raisin ice cream but I wouldn’t know because I’ve only given him french vanilla. I suppose I can always add rum to it, if he likes overproof. Now I have him on a different diet (one with much less alcohol) and have asked for joint-custody….at the very least.
Playful Jack likes to sleep curled up into a little ball with Jia Jia’s teddy bear. Good thing Jia Jia is so generous with his toys. It’s hard to keep the bed tidy but I don’t care about that as much anymore. I always cook an early dinner for them and walk them several times a day. They keep me occupied and they’re the best good company. I feel like they’re both old souls. Poor Jack does not have a warm coat for when the weather gets colder so I may need to buy him one…hee, hee.
I know just the place in Yaletown!
I’ll try not to post photos of them for a while….no promises though!
In the meantime here is a new board I created on Pinterest for these two:
Have you heard of Graham Norton? OMG his show is so funny. Of course it would be, he’s British Irish!
It’s been some time since I got enthusiastic about watching a talk show. Even though Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel are funny, smart and talented hosts I get tired of the same routine and the same guests who seem to jump from one show to the next and the stories are all the same. I used to love watching “Chelsea Lately” until Chelsea Handler’s wisecracks became predictable and a bit rudely over the top. I think Jon Stewart was brilliant on the Daily Show (HateWatch anyone; super funny) & David Letterman’s finale was hilarious. I stopped watching the late night talk shows but that’s mostly because I’m usually in bed before they come on.
Recently someone turned me onto this BBC guy Graham Norton (the graham norton show) because of an episode with Jim Carrey talking about Dumb and Dumber to, actor Jude Law starring in adventure thriller Black Sea, and actress Tamsin Greig, on stage in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (loved the original film version) & Jeff Daniels. I like the way they all interact together as if you’re sitting in someone’s living room…of somebody famous that is. I’m always interested to find out what Jim Carrey is up to because I’ve always been a fan and especially since having met him on a handful of occasions on account of a mutual friend – from an intimate dinner to an intimate Malibu wedding and a few house parties. He’s no dummy to, obviously quick witted and has a spiritual side not many people are aware of. He’s got the best energy.
Even if you only watch the first few minutes (but try to stick it out for at least 10 minutes) it’s guaranteed (in my opinion) to make you laugh. WATCH THIS:
Comedy is good for our health therefore we need comedians, especially now.
It’s summer and hot as hell which means less clothes, which means more skin, which means wearing sunscreen. That’s right, it’s the mid-July obligatory sunscreen post.
Here are some natural sunscreens (they all meet the Environmental Working Group’s eco standards for a more natural alternative) that are the SPF equivalent of having your cake and eating it too:
Purple Prairie SunStuff: thick and creamy (maybe not necessarily the adjectives you want associated with your sunscreen) with a “distinctive” smell but will do in a pinch (and…no chemicals…so there’s that).
Soleil Toujours Broad Spectrum SPF 30: the gateway mineral sunscreen for newbies: user-friendly (unlike that contouring kit you bought) it absorbs really well into your skin. Only drawback is that it’s not as natural and detoxifying as other products on the market.
Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Sunscreen: the word “botanica” is so pretty that it almost cancels out how thick this one rubs on. Happily no fragrance or parabens but water lovers beware: it’s only resistant for 40 minutes.
Nature’s Gate Sport Vegan Sunscreen: calling all vegans—this mineral sunscreen rubs in real nice (for a mineral sunscreen) and is 80-minute water resistant, which means you can run in and out of the super cold surf pretending you like it as many times as you’d like. Bonus: little to no fragrance.
Jurlique Sun Specialist: good for face AND body (hello multitasking) and absorbs pretty quickly. P.S. sadly it doesn’t feel as moisturizing as some of the others but def not a deal-breaker.
And on a more serious note, Lisa from the Garance Doré blog had some questions about the efficiancy of organic sunscreens: Is there a possible downside to going organic? Do they effectively prevent skin cancer? Are there any ingredients in the all-natural versions that could have weird side effects? She talked to Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, Co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, DC to get some answers:
Can you tell me a little bit about your background and why you believe sunscreen is so important?
The risk from the sun is cumulative, so it’s always a good idea to wear sunscreen (no matter how old you are or how much previous sun damage you have).
Are the chemicals in regular sunscreen really that bad for you? If so, what are they (what ingredients/names should we be looking out for?) and what are the negative effects?
The negative effects, if any, of sunscreen have been debated for years. There is no scientific proof that they are harmful.
What are the benefits of using organic sunscreen?
The organic sunscreens are usually less irritating.
Does organic sunscreen prevent skin cancer and sun damage as effectively as regular?
Yes, when used properly.
What is the potential downside of using organic? Is there one?
It’s more expensive than regular sunscreen, therefore people might skimp on the amount they are using, which could lead to a lower SPF than what is on the bottle.
What ingredients (good and bad) should we be looking out for in organic sunscreen?
Pure mineral zinc oxide is best.
For someone transitioning to natural sunscreen, what is your advice?
If you have sensitive skin, even so-called “natural” sunscreens may irritate it, therefore you should start slowly.
Aside from sunscreen, what other measures should people be taking to protect themselves from the sun?
As the weather gets warmer, I would recommend transitioning to a foaming or glycolic cleanser in the summer to keep the pores clean, an antioxidant serum in the morning before SPF and at night, a glycolic or retinol to keep skin turning over. These ingredients will make skin a little more sun sensitive, so use an SPF of at least 30 and wear a hat.
There. Now you can all get back to figuring out whose rooftop/backyard/stoop/front porch you’ll be hanging out on tonight.
Do any of you have any good organic/all-natural/chemical free sunscreen goodness tips to share?
DON’T FORGET THE SHADES:
My latest sunglass obsession are these tortoise/pink cat eyes from Kate Spade. I think they look terribly chic! These catty IT girls definitely pull off the look very well.
It’s been many years since the fashionable boutique on 4th moved to new headquarters in Kerrisdale. Happy to have them back in the Kits neighbourhood! Fab was one of the first little shops to bring designer jeans from L.A. and New York to Vancouver and what’s so funny as it so happens, is that when I surprisingly stumbled upon the store once again I was wearing a pair I had bought from them that I hadn’t worn in years. By coincidence I just pulled them out of the bottom of my drawer and said “hey, it’s been a while…let’s see if we can still get it on.” What’s even better is that they still fit and look as good as new. I realize that the items I did buy from them then, I still have and they did not go out of style.
What’s new at FAB: some things are better tried on. I can now spot something that doesn’t quite go WOW on the hanger and know it will look great on and become a staple. Bonus – this time everything is under $100. They still sell jeans just not with the high price tag.
2151 West 4th Ave. (between Arbutus & Yew)
Welcome back – we missed you!
They have some fun retro styles perfect for summer, lots of hats, accessories and even some choice nail polish colours by “Butter London.”
New Restaurant & Winery Review:Sometimes it’s nice to be among the first to try a new restaurant and sometimes it’s best to wait because they’re still ironing out the kinks. The latter wasn’t the case with the new Italian restaurant Baccano Osteria which was formerly known as “Smoking Dog.” The evening went very smoothly and the friendly service was excellent even if my server didn’t know all the pasta shapes I kept asking about from the menu. I was among the first people to show up for their soft opening last Saturday having spent the last few months walking by on my way to the gym, talking to owners (Cal & Patrick Corsi of Quattro) and observing their day to day progress. And anxious to try a good casual Italian place in my Kitsilano neighbourhood with an inviting outdoor space. Here is what we ordered:
A glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to start (not very Italian but it was hot out).
The bread is made on site and because of that it’s very fresh, nice & crusty.
Jumping ahead to Secondi: Garganelli Spinci with swiss chard, spinach, shallot, butter, pecorino pepate, bread crumbs (very Italian, rich and satisfying). I would order this one again.
Also tried Due di Maiale – Citrus scented pork belly & grilled pork loin with crispy pancetta, spring peas, faro and pork demi. The belly was more tender and it was a good dish if you love pork but I was not totally crazy about the veggies because I don’t love peas.
Dessert: I had a tough time making up my mind between 3 out of 4 desserts on the menu. I ended up going with Torta al Cioccolato (translation – Chocolate Torte, ha). Dark chocolate mousse, amarena cherries, licorice creameaux (this sounds more French), panettone cake. I like this better than regular chocolate mousse because it is a lot denser. In short – rich and decadent – just the way I like it! I promised to be back before too long and I will keep my promise. Plus, I have to try the other three desserts.
A short while before dinner:
I had the opportunity to try a special wine tasting at Village Wines (a few doors away). Don Triggs of “THE Jackson Triggs” was pouring wines from his new winery Culmina which is located in Oliver, British Columbia in the Okanagan wine region.
With a little help from famous winemaker Pascal Madevon (of Osoyoos Larosefame), Triggs has placed an emphasis on pure quality with these wines. The label is already picking up accolades left and right and already selling like crazy. Legendary tastings such as this one only happen once in a blue moon. He has a lot of stories as you can only imagine and was going fishing after the tasting with his twin brother Ron (on the R&D wine label with him – looks like photo was taken a few years ago).
Here is what we sampled:
Decora – Decora, which by the way is latin for pretty, accurately summarizes this straight Riesling. Perfectly balancing soft acidity with bold, bright fruit flavour, it’s a work of art.
Saignee – Sure, this is a delicious dry Rosé, blended from Bordeaux varietals and displaying unprecedented complexity, but what’s got people talking is its glass cork. Is a cork still called a cork if it’s not made of cork? Focus! This is Culmina’s hottest seller so far, and it’s easy to see why.
R&D – We trust Don Triggs with a big red blend, so we were excited to try this one, which wasn’t around for Culmina’s first vintage. A little more casual in its presentation, it’s Merlot-dominant, rich but smooth. I purchased a bottle.
Hypothesis – This Meritage is one of the many reasons we trust Don with a big red blend! Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon are handled perfectly here, bringing out as much fruit and spice as possible while remaining finely tannic. In other words, is about as good as a BC red gets.
What a wonderful ending to a sunny Saturday after a nice bike ride over to Folk Fest. Love days like this.
Baccano Osteria: 1889 West 1st Ave. (at Cypress) PH: 778-379-6920