Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Walk to the AGO Turner Exhibition

Recently after a breakfast at the Mars Diner on College Street, John and I ducked down Lippincott Street on our way to the Art Gallery of Ontario.
 We love the little workmen's homes on Lippincott
 although we were surprised to find new structures there
 and on Oxford Street as we headed east.
 As we came to Augusta Avenue on our way through Kensington Market we turned right at the Big Fat Burrito restaurant.
 Crossing Spadina Avenue we walked along Cecil Street with the Ukranian Church in the distance.
 A last jaunt down Beverley Street to the AGO brought us past the grand old yellow brick buildings above Dundas St West.
 We'd come to see the exhibition of work by J.M.W. Turner, Painting Set Free. We were particularly floored by his gorgeous watercolours. This is Ehrenbreitstein, 1841.
 Funeral at Lausanne, graphite and watercolour, 1841.
The Blue Rigi: Sample Study, around 1841-1842.
 Goldau, with the Lake Zuh in  the distance: Sample Study, graphite and watercolour, 1842
Turner's in that abstract vein are well represented.  Peace - Burial at Sea.
 Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth making Signals in Shallow Water, and going by the Lead. The Author was in this Storm on the Night the Ariel left Harwich, exhibited in 1842.
 The mix of abstract visions and hazy apparitions is quite overwhelming. Whalers (Boiling Blubber) Entangled in Flaw Ice, Endeavouring to Extricate themselves exhibited in 1846, oil on canvas.
 Rough Sea with Wreckage
 Ancient Rome: Agrippina Landing with the ashes of Germanicus (detail). c.1839. oil on canvas.
 Let's end our visit with two wonderful watercolours. Rain Clouds, around 1845, watercolour on paper. (above)
 and the gorgeous  Bedroom in the Palazzo Giustinian (the Hotel Europa, Venice), around 1840. watercolour on paper. This is a perfect selection of Turner's late paintings. The watercolours would have made a fab show on their own. The vast collection of Turners at the Tate London can be overkill, this whets the appetite perfectly.
 Back on the street, John and I headed down Sullivan to admire artist, Charlie Pachter's home. I think the mix of old architecture with this modern look works very well. 
 Maybe that's what's inspired some other new building. This one at the corner of Sullivan and Huron.
 i liked this view of OCAD down an alley between Sullivan and Grange.
 The east corner of Grange and Huron. I have lots of memories from the late 60s, early 70s here.
A quick hop west across Spadina Avenue and we were headed down to Queen Street West and our regular route home.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Royal Winter Fair, 2015

John and I went to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair yesterday.
We started in the barn with the domestic farm animals where we found this sheep in a protective coat
and these charming white-eared goats.
Those goats are certainly cute!
Fun signage abounded.
We liked the on-site camps of the farmers involved
and the sometimes glamorously decorated stables.
When we crossed to the Horse Palace
beautiful Clydesdale stallions were being judged for prizes. Sometimes posing,
sometimes being trotted around the ring
for the judges to consider.
Here's John with the rest of the audience.
The judges
were moving around
to choose a winner
whilst the visitors watched.
As we left the Clydesdale mares were about to enter the ring.
Before we left we had to check out the winning pumpkins and squash
and fruit and vegetables.
This area always reminds me
of the country fairs of my youth in Southern Ontario.
Wonderful to have it happening in the big city.
Soon we were retrieving our bikes from under the fluttering maple leaves and on our way home.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wendy Tancock at the Vienna Bakery

In the 1990s, Wendy Tancock did a series of spectacular windows for Gay Couillard's Vienna Home Bakery on Toronto's Queen Street West.
Bill and I used to eat there regularly and fell in love with Tancock's work at first sight. I hurried to document it. When I finally met Tancock I discovered that like many artists she was not documenting her own work, so I put myself on the job. December 1993.
Here is a close up of the December 1993 window. I love how strong the paint looks on the plain brown paper. And I love the blackboard effect of the white on black.
 Wild blueberry blackberry pie, in season now. August 1994.
Real pumpkin, order now. October 1994. 
 Same window a month later with sandwich board. November 1994.
Now in season! Wild blueberry pie -- pie heaven! September 1995. 
Dial a pie! November 1995.
Dark fruitcake, rum soaked! No candied fruit.  December 1995. Note the Tancock t-shirts on the wall at the right.
Wild blueberry pie! in season now. September 1996
 a = apple, p = pie, n = num-nums. don't wait, order now. November 2000.
A picture from inside the bakery, with a wall of Wendy Tancock ceramics. Those are also Tancock's labels on the jars of jam. Thank you Wendy for a great run of window designs.