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/

 

Vancouver International Film Festival 2020 (VIFF) Online

VIFF 2020 starts tomorrow

This film festival is something I look forward to attending and blogging about every year.  The lineup has always been excellent and it’s nice to sit with and bump into the same familiar faces. No doubt this time is going to be different.  The familiarity of sharing a cinematic experience with a crowd is on hold for now and we’ll all be happy when things return to normal and we’re able to sit together again.  So until then…

British Columbia’s biggest annual celebration of cinema is just around the corner.

From Noon on September 24 to October 7th, film lovers province-wide will enjoy over 100 feature films and events showcasing exciting, groundbreaking and provocative cinema and creators from around the globe.

You’ll be able to watch this year’s stellar line-up from the comfort of your home via VIFF Connect, VIFF’s new online streaming platform. For the first time, audiences across BC can watch VIFF curated cinema and viewers around the world can tune into our Talks and Conferences.

Stay in the Loop

SIGN UP FOR VIFF NEWS  

Check out the amazing films/documentaries/talks:

viff.org

 

Art + Accomodation

I love the idea behind a brand new boutique getaway in Palm Springs aptly named the

ART Hotel

Photo: d. king

I say “getaway” instead of “hotel” because it’s the kind of place you will want to stay and linger for longer than a weekend.  Maybe a month or more? It’s easy to get inspired in a place like this.  It’s bright and bold so not for the faint of heart, or at least color.  A perfect place for artists.  The owner is in fact an artist, designer, author among other notable achievements.

Photo: d. King

Photo: d. king

Bookings for the Art Hotel will begin in January 2020. In addition to rentals, Turco also wants to use the space to host hybrid art exhibits/pool parties that will raise money for public arts projects.

Photo: d. king

Tracy with my Layla at Animal Samaritans Yappy Hour at the Riviera Hotel.  Tracy designed the dress she’s wearing.  Stunning – both she and the dress!   Photo: d. king

Coming soon: the Tiki hotel – another Turco project.

Take a peek inside here:

https://www.desertsun.com/story/money/business/2019/10/25/take-peek-inside-tracy-turcos-new-art-hotel-palm-springs/2452045001/

Questions + Answers with Tracy here:

http://www.avenuemagazine.com/space-and-places-a-qa-with-interior-designer-tracy-stern/

Mural in the Making – painting a story

Let me introduce you to extremely talented Canadian visual artist Kris Friesen.  Everybody has a story.  He can paint yours.

The header today is the finished mural at the Greek restaurant Koutouki in the 124 Street neighborhood of Edmonton. It depicts a colorful streetscape of busy life in restaurants and cafes in Athens.  By Kris Friesen.

I love painting split scenes that show wildlife above and below a water line. From left to right in this river mural are: a coyote, tiger salamander, Canadian toad, mallard ducks, silver redhorse, river shiner and beaver – Kris Friesen.

A smiling drummer in traditional African clothing performs in the foreground of this mural, celebrating the Kaleido festival in Edmonton – Kris Friesen.

This group portrait painting depicts four generations Canadian military service with five members of the Scott family, from the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War 1 to Combat Engineers in Afghanistan. Where the oldest generation did not meet the youngest, and a photograph would be impossible, all are painted shoulder to shoulder in this portrait – Kris Friesen.

I first met Kris about 15 years ago when my husband and I commissioned him to paint a wall on part of our outdoor courtyard after seeing his work on the outside of a gelato shop on Commercial Drive in Vancouver.

Jia Jia lying by the first mural flanked by real rocks, shells & wood flowers.  Photo: d. king

Our friend Jackie was anxious to take us to this new place for the best gelato in the city, but as good as it was we were more mesmerized by the lifelike Italian scene depicted on one whole side of the building.  The attention to detail was amazing. Actually, it was the best mural we’d seen to date and it got us thinking about how we could incorporate something personal to our own outdoor space.  So I got in touch with the shop owner who let Kris know we were interested.  Unfortunately the shop along with the mural is no longer there.

We had some ideas, Kris painted a story board and voila, our idea came to life.  A bit Santa Fe, a bit Wine Country and some water and mountains off to the distance.  And of course, an expanse of sky.  When we sat out there we felt like we had a special view of everything we like.  And it was after that that we wondered why on earth we hadn’t asked him to paint another wall.  We pondered that idea for several years.  Then we decided to move on it.

However by then Kris had unfortunately for us, moved to Edmonton and we dressed up the blank wall with a wall hanging and later on a mirror with plants in front.  We felt it needed something.   Fast forward to this past summer when I found Kris’s website and sent him an e-mail not even sure he’d remember me. Surprisingly he did.  By this time he had moved to Duncan, B.C. – at least it was a lot closer.  I told him my husband had passed away and that we had been talking for years about wanting to get him back to do some more art.  Luckily for me, Kris was Vancouver bound for several days just recently so we discussed the wall.  I thought Spring would be a perfect time to start however Kris was going traveling for a while and not sure exactly when he’d be back.  Since the weather was good and considering how well the other mural held up over the years, I decided to go ahead.

I wanted the older mural to be extended around the corner and a few other things added to the much smaller blank wall area; which would have not been in the original plan.

The work in progress:

Always start with a blank canvas

Draw it out for a rough draft

Get started.  Looks a bit sketchy.

Starting to take life

Just about finished.  I have to leave a little bit to the imagination.  There’s a few missing little details.  Group of photos: d. king

Mural Mural on the Wall – I’m very happy with the finished result.  He even put another protective coating on the first mural which had held up very well and re-painted a few things on the upstairs deck.  Oh yeah; he also painted some rocks, sagebrush, flowers, gekkos and butterflies on the upstairs deck.  Looks great.

Here’s a small sampling of his other diverse original works of art.  Kris not only paints murals. He started with that, however now he paints on canvas and panels mostly.

This painting of a Chinese flute player that has been called a fairy or spirit by some members of Edmonton’s Chinatown – Kris Friesen.

This Asian elephant moves forward into a stream of water while throwing up an airborne stream of dust. As much as I like the contrast between air and water my understanding of elephants suggests they might like it more, as their trunks can provide a unique medium between the two – Kris Friesen.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge saw Canadians advancing uphill against Germans defending their hardened positions. The mural depicts some of the terrible conditions Canadian troops would have experienced as they gutted out their rolling barrage. To emphasize the challenges soldiers faced I made the direction of the mural up and to the left, the most uneasy direction to look if viewed by a westerner, as we read left to right and downwards – Kris Friesen.

First Nations peoples utilized Alberta resources long before Europeans arrived, like this painting of a spring fishing camp, where walleye and pike are caught and prepared with stone tools at a northern stream. Fish that are not cooked or smoked are placed on wood racks to dry in the sun, while nearby two people seal a birch bark canoe with spruce pitch and bitumen – Kris Friesen.

Website:

http://krisfriesen.com/

 

Hidden treasures

where Art meets Fashion…

Here’s a story about a most remarkable renovation/restoration

This is something else I’ve been meaning to post because not only is it highly unusual, it’s extraordinary.

The 17th-century oil painting discovered behind a wall during construction of the Oscar de la Renta boutique in Paris. Credit: Julien Mignot for The New York Times

A new Oscar de la Renta boutique in New York was undergoing renovations three months ago when something unusual was discovered on the second floor. When workers were clearing out garbage and debris at the end of the space on that floor, something seemed definitely amiss.  As they were clearing and resurfacing, something else resurfaced.

Something had been hidden behind a wall, and it wasn’t asbestos. It was a 10-by-20-foot oil painting of an elaborately coiffed and dressed 17th-century marquis and assorted courtiers entering the city of Jerusalem.

The restoration is expected to be done by May. Credit: Julien Mignot for The New York Times

Teams of restorers swab away some of the varnish to allow colors to come through. Credit: Julien Mignot for The New York Times

Full Story here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/21/fashion/the-treasure-behind-the-wall.html

 

 

Tammy’s Wall Art

I’m inspired by other people’s choices of home décor including artwork.  Art tells a lot about a persons personality.

Artist: Michael Poitier from Montreal

My friend Tammy (who obviously has a penchant for champagne, dogs & Palm Springs) has invited me over for several really scrumptious dinners including the one where I first met Daniel (the artist) and his partner Karl.  In fact, this dynamic duo was responsible for re-designing Tammy and her husband David’s beautiful condo which is also situated on the same golf course.  There’s something tranquil about facing a golf course.  Tammy and David reside in Palm Springs for the winter preferring to escape the rainy (and now snowy) Vancouver landscape.

For this post I wanted to feature some of their artwork

by Gary Dorothy; Imageville Gallery  (this is in their hallway)

Will Alistair in the living room.

Pamela Masik original.  If you look closely you can find images of people + animals.

Artist: Connie Townsend

Artish: Connie Townsend.  Bichon pets Timbit & Lily Bella in a car that used to belong to Tammy. fyi: they weren’t really driving.

Tracy Verdugo

How about you? Are you inspired by other people’s artwork?