“Real” Estate: doing the Can Can

Try to contain yourself as you have a browse through some luxury lifestyle homes for those who like to think “outside the box”  for price souring housing solutions.

Numerous shipping containers are artfully arranged in a starburst pattern for this Joshua Tree Home – the brainchild of London based Whitaker Studio.

These home are made from shipping containers. That’s right. Some ranging from small “tiny house” structures featuring a single container to larger, more ambitious projects that combine numerous containers that result in opulent luxury homes. These shipping container spaces offer something for every budget and lifestyle.

Affordable Housing – two shipping containers built on a low budget.
California-based Kubed Living offers multiple different shipping containers such as this 160 sq. ft. studio built from one container.

I just spent a little time in a winery built out of two shipping containers with windows cut out large enough to have a view of the vineyard.  I couldn’t believe it!

Canadians looking for a chic container home can contact Alberta based Honomobo . Built from rigid steel to provide durable, efficient living space.
Toronto based Storstac is in the business of selling new and used shipping containers. This one is made from two containers.
The main floor includes two shipping containers that saddle bag a wedge-shaped space .  I’m still trying to wrap my head around this one.

Every time I see a container now I envision what the inside would look like if I wanted to make it into a home.  The way things are going you just may see them becoming more mainstream.

Intriguing; No?

 

 

ART from the Heart

Is your house lighted or a dark prison? Are you living in every room or only one?  Are you living on a small level or listening to the call of your soul?

These are words from Jan Maccormack, a talented artist friend who resides in Sechelt, Sunshine Coast, B.C.  

I’m so impressed with Jan’s colorful and soulful paintings that truly come from the heart.  If I had to select only one, I’d have a tough time choosing.  Jan’s creativity results from her obsessive, experimental & restless nature. She paints using many different styles. They’re all so beautiful and uplifting...just had to share them with you.  

The Gateway in & out of this Incarnation (Series) by Jan Maccormack

The more lit your Soul, the more clearly you’ll see through illusions.  Allow yourself an inspiring glimpse of the bigger picture. Capture your creative visions, dreams, insights and intuitions as they are amplified.  Paint them, draw them, write them, dance them, cook them, pour them, sew them, mind map them, sculpt them ….. whatever embeds and imprints them into your heart, your psyche, your soma and your memory banks.

As of now… commit to lighting ‘all’ those rooms in your psyche.

You have the genius of heightened perception, seeing things, knowing things, and being there. The blessings, the grace, the heart’s wonder are full.  As this way of being ripens and matures, you draw the same kinds of marvels and wonders from others which makes it possible for the vibrancy to spread, grow and effortlessly bring this world alive!

I am thankful for existence today. I am grateful for where my life is, at/in this moment.

Where to find Jan’s ART:

Websitewww.janmaccormack.com

https://www.facebook.com/janmaccormackartist

https://www.instagram.com/janmaccormack_artist/

 

 

 

Café Portrait

Here is where the specific categories I’ve created for this website keep getting blurred.

Where do you put coffee and eye candy?

Photo: d. king

Unique, unexpected, creative, inspiring…Art with a side of Coffee.

An establishment like Café Portrait in Vancouver’s West End is so much more than just a place to grab a coffee or croissant. Sidenote: the pistachio croissant is the best I’ve tried.  It’s also a breakfast/brunch spot and an art gallery unlike any other.  The entire café is filled with original portraits on the walls, tables…even in a corner with hoodies and coffee cups available for purchase.

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

Told you so!

https://www.cafeportrait.com/

1120 Denman Street (close to Davie)

 

 

 

Celebrating the genius of Van Gogh

Once upon a time in Arles I found myself sitting in a Café Terrace along with my late husband Don. It is a memory that I will treasure forever. It was as if we were in a dream. On that starry night it became clear to me how someone could be so inspired to paint.  It was here in Arles, a city on the Rhône River in the Provence region of southern France (once a provincial capital of ancient Rome), that Vincent Van Gogh famously found inspiration to paint.

Yes; it was exactly as in the famous painting.  Except for the plumbing, nothing had changed.

IMAGINE you are in a dream, and in that dream you find yourself surrounded by the most breathtaking scenery you’ve ever envisioned while listening to hauntingly beautiful symphony. And as you move along, the scenery keeps changing and you’re engulfed by images that transport you to another time and place.  A place you would prefer to stay in for as long as you can. A place with sunflowers, sunshine, cafes, color, possibilities and extremes. 

This, in so few words, pretty much sums up Imagine Van Gogh that is now taking place at the new convention center in downtown Vancouver. An exhibit unlike any other. 

On this page you get a glimpse of the works (all photos taken by me – d. king) although it’s much better to be there in person for the total sensory experience.

After a tremendous success in Paris, Imagine Van Gogh opened in Montréal in 2019 followed by Québec and Winnipeg in 2020, and Vancouver, Edmonton and Boson in 2021. Visitors discover more than 200 of Van Gogh’s paintings, including his most famous works, painted between 1888 and 1890 in Provence, Arles and Auvers-sur-Oise.
For tickets:
 

Elements of Design – Residential Art & Architecture

If you love style, architecture & design, here’s a unique and fun way to kill a little time while getting a luxurious dose of total home inspiration…

T. Jones Groups – Elements Estate, Vancouver

Focusing on the residential sector, we step into the world of luxury and extravagance to celebrate the best in design, outstanding architecture, interior design and product designs.

I loved perusing through all the categories of the International Design & Architecture Awards and then placing my vote for “best of” in each respective category.  You can too, until March 19th (link below).

Who are they?

The International Design & Architecture Awards, are hosted by design et al, a leading UK interior design magazine. Their aim is to commend design, recognize talent, create opportunities and quite simply to offer inspiration.  That to say the least, is an understatement.

These Awards are not judged by a panel. Shortlisted entries are presented online, and voting is open to industry professionals as well as design et al readers, clients and customers. Only 16 projects are shortlisted per category. A unique part of their voting system is that votes have to be cast in every single category, which in turn, gives all shortlisted projects maximum publicity from international industry professionals.

T. Jones Group – Elements Estate,  Vancouver

I’m delighted to learn that Amanda & Cameron Jones (friends of mine and my sister from T Jones Group) have received 5 nominations for their @elementsestatevancouver project.  Looking through the photos we can see why.

Amanda & Cameron Jones

Elements Estate has received 3 Interior Designs Category nominations;
Cat. 13 – Kitchen over £150,000
Cat. 18 – Best Living Space
Cat. 29 – Residential Project Value over £5 million


Plus 2 Property Category nominations;
Cat. 4 – Luxury Residence
Cat. 19 – Residential Value £10 million +

A bit more on T. Jones Group and some of their amazing projects:

T. Jones Group. Elements, Vancouver

T. Jones Group represents their clients From Conception to Completion.

When you are surrounded by beautiful scenery, the standard for every project is raised. Vancouver, British Columbia pushes that standard to its absolute limit. The sights are breathtaking. Inspiration is everywhere.

And yet, the T Jones Group builds homes that set them apart from their neighbors. The passion brought to every project is sustainable because the goal remains the same: Learn what the client truly wants, and build it better than they ever imagined.

I love this…

The T. Jones Group has built a foundation dedicated to philanthropy. The Jones Family Foundation.

A project most near and dear to us has been building a four story residency in Tanzania for young women in school in the medical field. We also funded the building of fresh water for the town.

See link below for more info. on Tanzania project:

International Design & Architecture Awards Voting is NOW open until this Friday MARCH 19TH

https://www.thedesignawards.co.uk/category/design-architecture-entrants-2020/

Home

 

The Artful Photography of Janet Slater

Capturing the ordinary and making it extraordinary.

This in a nutshell is what best describes the photography of Janet Slater.  You can see for yourself in the splattering of her work shown here on this site.

I had the pleasure of meeting Janet this past summer in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.  We had dinner at a mutual friend’s house.  I was amazed at her creativity, imagination and ability to capture small details.  It’s the small details that an experienced photographer uses to capture emotion and turns it into an art form. And so, it’s not just another sunset, another beach shot…you get the picture (pun intended).

Janet shows a lot of diversity on her web page so I had to pick and choose which ones to showcase here.  That alone was a challenge.  Her interest runs the gamut of architecture, nature, ballet, bridges and barns…and more.

Did you know that it wasn’t until the 1940’s that photography was accepted as an art form?

Alfred Stieglitz ( American photographer, Author; The Photographer’s Eye, Art Dealer 1864-1946) is credited with getting photography accepted as an art form.

Obviously a different effort put forward than painting or sculpting, although the capture is what defines the art.

It’s the peaceful moments in a noisy world. The element of surprise and the unexpected. It’s the calm before the storm, the water droplets, the perfect and imperfect smiles and a sparkle in the eyes; these are some of the short-lasting emotional moments that makes every photographer’s dream shot.

Janet was awarded the FCAPA (Fellowship in the Canadian Association for Photographic Art). A high honour in recognition of her high standard of photographic  achievement. More on the link below.

You can browse more of her work and also make a purchase at:

https://janetslaterphotography.smugmug.com/browse

FCAPA Award at:

https://capacanada.ca/janet-slater-awarded-fcapa/

Feel Good Feelin’ Music

I’ve been meaning to post something about my talented, beautiful singer/songwriter friend Jenni Doyle ever since I first met her in Palm Springs the last time I was there.  She and her husband live in Vancouver and also have a home in Palm Springs.

I feel like I’ve known Jenni a lot longer than I have because I’ve heard so much about her through two friends that we’ve both known forever, although these two other friends have never met.  Our mutual friend Susanne has written lyrics to some of Jenni’s songs, while our other mutual friend Michael, wrote music for her album “Night Angles.”

Talk about a small world and having something in common aside from our love for dogs and Palm Springs.

Her single “Only One Cook” was filmed at philanthropist Joe Segal’s breathtaking waterfront mansion in Vancouver and directed and edited by Dave Benedict. Jenni’s make-up by Safina Kataria.  Photo from her website.

Jenni has been entertaining people since the ripe age of two, when she donned her first pair of tap dancing shoes. After her early years in musical theatre and dance, she was accepted into Canterbury High School for the Arts in Ottawa, which then led her to Vancouver where she studied acting at Vancouver Film School. In the years to follow, Jenni was one of the top 25 finalists out of 4,000 girls, to make it onto the Global T.V. reality show “Popstars.”

This experience propelled her into the music industry, where she worked with producer/songwriter John Dexter (Carly Rae Jepsen, Bif Naked, D-Cru). She recorded two songs on the D-Cru album “Into the Future” which was released in stores across Canada. She went on to sing in a duo called “JeLL” where they performed their “Night Angles” songs and  “The Star Spangled Banner” live on ESPN in Los Angeles. 

Jenni has also had the honour of singing “Oh Canada” and performing her Shania Twain act in front of thousands of people at B.C. Place. 

With Gloria Macarenko, longtime host of CBC Vancouver’s supper-hour television newscast at 6:00, and Tina Turner and George Michael lookalike performers. Jenni does a tribute to Shania Twain. That’s her up on the screen.

Jenni also shared a heartwarming story about meeting her cute little Shih Tzu named Bella.  This is her second Bella.  Her first Bella passed away from cancer at a fairly young age.  Jenni loved the dog and was completely heartbroken.  About two years after Bella’s passing a friend suggested it was time Jenni get another dog.  She wanted another Shih Tzu. When she went to look at a litter of pups one got very excited, ran right up to her and jumped into her arms.  The owner said the dog’s name was “Bella.”  On her birth certificate was written “Bella Comes Back.” True story!

I just heard this song Feel Good Feelin’ for the first time yesterday.  I thought since the title has Feel Good in it, how appropriate for an uplifting Friday note.  Hope you enjoy it even if you’re new to country music.  Be sure to check out the Kelowna, B.C. scenery (and the tattoo on her arm in the very beginning).

Have a great weekend!  The last one before Christmas.

https://www.jennidoyle.com/

December Daze

Lumière 2020                Photo: d. king

 LUMIERE IS A SERIES OF ARTWORKS INSPIRED BY LIGHT AND ARTISTIC EXPRESSION.

We enjoyed the colourful display of public interactive artworks in Vancouver’s West End during the day and also in the evening.  Something festive and uplifting.  It ended November 30th.

Davie the Bear and an Orca Whale. Standing at 24 feet tall, ‘Davie’ is a bright, inquisitive and playful grizzly bear.  He joins a series of other nature inspired art works at English Bay that pay homage to BC’s wilderness.  Davie hopes to shine a light on the story of BC’s grizzlies.  For more info you can visit: http://www.grizzlybearfoundation.com            Photos: d. king

Stanley Park is home to one of the largest urban Great Blue Heron colonies in North America. These majestic birds have been nesting in various locations in Stanley Park as far back as 1921. Created by MK Illumination, standing 13 feet tall and boasting 10,320 lights, the heron pays tribute to Stanley Park’s Great Blue Heron colony.  It is an amazing sight to see these birds building their nests.  Photo: d. king

What the World Needs Now            Photos: d. king

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – at Vancouver Art Gallery     Photo: d. king

Bute St., Vancouver     Photo: d. king

 

 

 

 

 

Remember This December, That love weighs more than gold!   – Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon

Chemainus: small town; big charm

It’s easy to see why this open-air art gallery draws visitors from all over the world. 

This is only a splattering of photos taken with my Samsung phone camera a few days ago.  See story below.

Like many others right now during this pandemic craze, I’m tending to stick closer to home.  Well maybe not always too too close; but close enough.  At the very least I’ve been discovering places in the province where I live that I have either never been to and wanted to visit, or haven’t visited in such a long time, that I can’t even remember when I was there last.

Such was the case a few days ago when I took the ferry from Vancouver to Vancouver Island with my boyfriend Paul and Layla, my sheltie.  The reason I decided to go in the first place was to look at the possibility of getting a companion dog for Layla.  I was very interested in getting another male sheltie who lives on the island. However, without going into detail it sadly was not meant to be, at least for now…so we decided to make a little holiday out of the situation.

We took the ferry boat one way going there and another way coming back with stopovers in some quaint little towns…Ladysmith, Chemainus, Duncan and finally ending up in Victoria to take the ferry back to Vancouver.  The weather for November was excellent and the scenery very picturesque.

And speaking of picturesque…I was aware of an abundance of story-telling murals in Chemainus as I had been there once before, but I had no idea that it is known as Canada’s Mural Capital. And I don’t remember seeing nearly as many as I did this time around.

I was blown away by how this proud seaside community shares its heritage and celebrates its history through art on the sides of stores, restaurants and private homes. The creation of one mural and sculpture after another which began in 1982, has turned this tiny town into Canada’s largest permanent outdoor art gallery.  And might I add… when was the last time you stood in front of a “Subway” sandwich shop or “Canada Post Office” in admiration?.

You can follow the yellow footsteps (like the yellow brick road) on the sidewalks to locate all the murals.  Although we did it by chance and decided to spend the night in a hotel there so we could enjoy the town the next day.

Town History:

When Chemainus was established in 1858, forestry was the principal industry, and it is still central to its life.  The townspeople were concerned about the future of their one-industry town so looked to economic diversification as a way to thrive.  As it has a natural beauty setting to begin with, it made sense to expand as a tourist spot so The Chemainus Murals Program was born. 

The subject from the beginning has been the community’s heritage, reflecting the history of the First Nations people and their life here, and the unfolding story of settlement by the families and individuals who built the community. 

World renowned Vancouver Island artist Emily Carr’s legacy is depicted in a special Emily Carr Mural Series.  It’s really beautiful.

The name Chemainus is believed to have come from a legendary First Nations shaman and prophet who survived a massive wound in his chest to become a powerful chief.  Tsa-meeun-is (Broken Chest).

If you’re looking for The Mural of the Story…

Going by the official mural guide I can look through and tell you by number what each mural means, however I think it best you go there and discover for yourself… if only because it really is worthwhile.

ART/Film Reviews

MY REMBRANDT and MARCEL DUCHAMP: the Art of the Possible – part of Vancouver International Film Festival’s (VIFF) Music/Art/Design series.

MY REMBRANDT

This documentary lets us in on how the materially privileged, despite possible pretenses to the contrary, lust over rare “objets d’art.”   Does their material desire to possess rare works of art amount to little more than the fleeting privilege of being able to flaunt their worldly status and/or smarts to others, or is it for national  glorification?  Perhaps both.

It successfully parts the privacy curtain and offers us a peek behind it into the lives of Europeans with old wealth, an American with new wealth and big state-sponsored art gallery curators in Holland and France and elsewhere.

The idea is simply that the documentary isn’t just an art film about Rembrandt paintings aimed at the art crowd. It’s a documentary that not only offers insight into the ruthlessness that can play out in the high stakes international art world when it comes to finding and buying masterpieces; it also offers insight into Europe’s first selfies, in that only the wealthy could afford to commission artists to render their portraits for posterity.

From the VIFF Catalogue:

One of the “old masters,” Rembrandt van Rijn is considered one of the greatest painters of all time, and in the elite world of art collectors, his work is – almost – priceless. Oeke Hoogendijk’s captivating and elegant doc is both an enchanting glimpse behind the curtain of this privileged universe, and also a deep dive into an art mystery that rocked Rembrandt fans across the globe.

From a Scottish duke’s personal affection for a coveted portrait, to an American couple who have tried to get their hands on as many of the artist’s paintings as possible, Hoogendijk reveals what “my” Rembrandt means to each – nostalgia, heritage, beauty, obsession and, for many, the satisfaction of exclusive ownership. My Rembrandt also details the heated legal battles that proprietorship can entail. The film follows the youngest Jan Six (whose forefather Rembrandt painted), an art dealer convinced that he has found two previously undiscovered Rembrandts – a bold claim that, like everything in the art world, doesn’t come without a price.

Marcel Duchamp: The Art of the Possible

What makes a work of art “art”? Good question. Should it not be in the eye of the beholder?

Marcel Duchamp, who was regarded as “the godfather of modern conceptual art”, challenges this question. You might say he pushed the limitations of the definition of art by focusing on the observer of the art.

Born in the late 1800s in a small town in Normandy, Duchamp would go on to almost single-handedly revolutionize the art world with his fascination with the “fourth dimension” and developments in science, technology and mathematics.  His unusual works were initially shunned and misunderstood by the mainstream, but later incorporated into pioneering movements like Cubism and abstract expressionism.

From the VIFF Catalogue:

The Art of the Possible is a mesmerising account of Duchamp’s life and work, showing how his radical rejection of 19th century ideals paved the way for innovation in dance, literature, music and the visual arts. An impressive array of experts and researchers bring Duchamp’s legacy to the fore, as archival footage reveals a charismatic – at times cheeky – visionary who was light years ahead of his time.

Marina Abramovic and Jeff Koons are among the artists and experts celebrating his life and work.

Presented by The Audain Foundation

Of these two documentaries, I much preferred “My Rembrandt”

Until October 7th you can order tickets to stream online with VIFF Connect:

https://viff.org/