Saturday was a sunny warm early spring day here. I was on my way to my studio and walking pass my usual path which just between the Campbell house museum and Canada life building ( a large insurance company). As I looked down I see some early tulips had just open next the the fence by the Canada Life building . I took out my camera to take a few shoots. As I was leaving a uniform security guard was already waiting for me: he informed me there was no photo allowed at their property.
Somehow I was not surprised because it happened to me every year and always happen on the weekend. I figured he was just bored and had nothing much to do to pass his time and decided to harasses me. Since I already took my shoot without protesting I smile and left.
As to Canada life I had hundred of photos of your building both interior and exterior I took the last twenty years. I will post them and share with them with the web world!
Today is earth day however earth day is an everyday project for me:
A few summer ago, we had a long garbage strike in Toronto. Every morning as I arrived at my studio I see the small mountain of trash left over night on my street. After my inspection and to discovered they were mainly coffee cups from the Starbucks at the corner of my street.
I decided to take this annoying and unsightly matter in to my own hands. I started to collect those coffee cups and used them to created art. To my surprise, many of those cups were still half full with coffee. Before, I It became my daily routine of picking them up on my way to my studio. I would first wash and clean and then make whatever came to my mind that day. I like the feel of the paper cups and discovered they are great to work with. Everyday, I would come up with new idea to use those cups. Eventually, I have a whole body of recycled art all made from those coffee cups.
Here are some of my Starbucks coffee cups art for Earth day.
I used to collected stamps in my youth but lost interest with it because I had become disappointed with what Canada post has to offers. Recently, I started to create my post cards and stamps. I would hand paint the postcards and stamps according to my interest, things had more meaning to me. This one is a 5”x7” post card and stamp of the CEO of RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) Gord Nixon. I don’t know Mr. Nixon but RBC is the largest and most profitable bank of our land. In fact, his name came to my attention only last week because a long time RBC employee gone public with story of him along with 44 bank workers had been terminated by RBC.
Those bank employees’ jobs been outsourced to a foreign company which brought in temporary lower paid workers from India. With no future jobs in the horizon and uncertain future but they still had to train their replacement workers. After complete their training in Canada those workers will return to India and work for RBC from oversea. Since this story came out and we found out this has been the dirty little secret among the banking industry and other big corporations. More sad stories came out from former employees with similar experience of losing their jobs to outsourcing. As the outsourcing backlash became more intense and RBC was the face of the profit driven corporations with little royalty to its employees and facing the worst public relationship nightmare.
Mr. Nixon has no choice but came forward to offer a public apologize and promise to review their outsourcing arrangement, and the affected employees will be offered comparable job opportunities within the bank.
Today, I took a break from my daily painting instead work on some recycled art. I been making art to fit into some boxes I collected. My idea behind them is one need to open the box to find out the content inside and it need no framing at all which make it easy for storage and shipping.
This one is a white shoe box from Aldo shoe; I like it came with a string handle and I can even hang it on the wall with. I made this paper cut out scene of a lucky bird escape from the chipmunk which I titled as “the great escape”. The art in a box is 5”x11”.
Yes, we have snow here in April! We had a winter storm yesterday, first was the freezing rain then snow, it seems like winter just refuses to leave. I guess spring will have to wait. I painted this tulip watercolor hoping the real ones will come soon.
Ever since, I started working on smaller works about a month ago. It is my goal to finish at least two paintings a day. Somehow it became my obsession to keep the daily painting going. Every morning, I would up at 5:30 am and by 7:30 am I would arrived at my studio before the before anyone else in my building. I would not go out again until at least finish one painting.
I had a good day yesterday; finished three paintings before 5pm!
Last Friday, I came down with a cold. (During the Easter weekend the furnace at my building was broken and we had no heat for about four days) At first it was just a few sneezes and my day just started. I thought it must be just the early morning cold air causing the squeezes. I kept on painting but the sneezing just getting worst and my nose was running. And then, I realized I was sick with a cold. However I never thought of stopping and go home to get some rest. I made some tea and carry on thinking maybe I could overcome the discomfort by just ignore it
Well, it worked, by the end of the day, after finished off two paintings and more tea my cold was gone.
I used to paint large paintings and some work would take days, weeks or month to complete. The idea of able to finished a painting a day it just seem impossible to me. Last month, I decided to paint some smaller works for a change and discovered it is rather relaxing and fun. I set my painting size around 8”x10” all painted in watercolor. Most of the days, I could finished at least two per day and I would go home and satisfy and happy of what I had done. I guess I am an accidental daily painter. This one is my latest a cat portrait, watercolor on paper, 8.5”x10”.
If anyone is interested you can see more of them on my face book page.
We are having a long winter here in Toronto. As we into the month of April the temperature still remains very cold. We still have some snow left on our lawn. When I seeing the spring flowers post on face book by friends on the west coast it makes me envy of the spring they already enjoying
Luckily, we have a wonderful green houses at Allan Gardens. I went last week to catch their Easter flowers show and since then I been painting spring flowers all week. It is my way to feel better and to kick starts the spring.