31 Dec 2013

Happy 2014

Today ends this very interesting year.
I have produced quite a bit of very interesting work, I traveled and met wonderful people, have seen many fascinating documentaries, read terrific books and ate good food.
There is a lot to be grateful for.

Ottawa again is a very cold place so we scarf, and layer and wear coyotes on our heads.

Some beautiful, joyful, grateful being joined our lives this year;
Quite recently in fact.

This is Lola, a stranded young Main Coon, whom I rescued with a help of a young man in our neighbourgood. Almost four weeks with us and there is a hint of a little body now, below previously just skin and bones.

And there is sooo much good nature there in this little body.

Happy New 2014 Year Everyone!

21 Dec 2013

Christmas - another reason to be creative

It is the 21st of December, and the Christmas will definitely happen this year and it will surely be a WHITE one.
I am enjoying again my last year's acquisition, a glass nativity, placed atop a vintage doily.

I also look at other Nativity scenes that people make that are just soooo wonderful.

This "conceptual" Nativity scene has been sent by my friend Monika:
des.: Emilie Voirin
And here is the Nativity that can melt any heart:
Wooden peg dolls clad in felt, walnut shell for a Baby Jesus crib!!! 

This music goes well with the spirit of contemplation.
It is sung by divine Monserrat Figueras, R.I.P. who uncovered and restored an ancient voice of the times of Middle Ages and Baroque.

Previously I had written about her HERE

With this video I would like to wish Marry Christmas to all my friends, colleagues, clients, neighbours, fans (!), family members and accidental visitors on this page.
Sorry for this vid disappearing for a while but here is another source:

Mareta, mareta, no'm faces plorar 

Lullaby (Catalan)

Mareta, mareta, no'm faces plorar, 
compra'm la nineta avui qu'es el meu sant. 
Que tinga la nina hermosos els ulls, 
la cara molt fina i els cabells molt rull. 

Marieta, Marieta jo es cantaré 
una cançoneta que ta adormiré. 
Dorm-te, neneta, dorm si tens son. 
Dorm-te, neneta, dorm si tens son. 

Mommy, Dear Mommy, Don't Make Me Cry 

Lullaby (English)

Mommy, dear Mommy, don't make me cry, 
Today is my saint's day, so buy me a doll. 
Let the doll have beautiful eyes, 
A pretty face and very curly hair. 

Mary, little Mary, I will sing you 
A ditty and I'll lull you to sleep. 
Sleep, little one, sleep, if you're sleepy. 
Sleep, little one, sleep, if you're sleepy.

19 Dec 2013

Lucas Cranach the Elder, still leading...

The most frequently read post of this blog is the one on Melancholy and the paintings of Lucas Cranach. I admire his painting and that of his influence. 

Lucas Cranach the Elder, Portrait Study of a Young Man, c.1530. Paper, 26.2 x 19.9 cm.
Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum. Detail. (Foto: Heydenreich, cda)

Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Apostle Peter, c.1515. Panel, 26.5 x 17.5 cm.

I couldn't resist and would like to dedicate those two close-ups from his paintings to my fellow Cranach fans.
Lucas has clearly made a transition from Medieval to Renaissance.

The eye of the Apostle Peter s how so much more three-dimensionality and the crafted reflections of the room in a shape of the cross bring so much more narrative to the painting.
Those are a part of a Cranach have been found on a wonderful site http://www.art-in-duesseldorf.de/

One envies the rich European culture scene....

18 Dec 2013

Andy Warhol & Digital Art

You probably already know that I love Andy Warhol. It is not a love at first site, but it is a love at old age - low, hot flame, no smoke and smolder for years....

I must share this find, this is Andy working in 1985 on a Commodore Amiga, taking a digital snapshot of his model and creating a digital portrait. (below)

Reminiscing: our first PC didn't arrive probably for another 3-4 years, it had a drive with a swapping size of about 80 MB, upgraded to 120! Wow, soon a scanner followed, a miraculously slow but sure early flatbed Microtek.
Boy, I love remembering the excitement digital technology brought to the creative - art and graphic community.
The Aldus PhotoStyler was just such a GREAT thing.
PhotoStyler was developed by the Taiwanese Ulead Corp and then bought by Aldous Corp.
This and soon marketed PageMaker became the pillars of digital publishing. Soon afterwards Adobe took over.
Unforgettable Aldus logo

Aldus Magnutius
gave us printed Italic type, established modern semicolon and a comma.
I remember wearing the Aldous engraved metal pin in the lapel of my gray jacket (yup, we all wore jackets with rolled sleeves then...)

It was the Aldus logo, with an exquisite image of the 15th century Venetian printer, publisher and typographer - Aldus Magnutius.

I couldn't get over loosing this object.
Adobe did a beautiful, really community building things. Like calling the graphic working space ART and actively working towards proud, distinct, excited graphic art community.
I am so happy to have been a part of that.

The loss of impetus and minimal activity in the area of graphic design and print nowadays is very sad.
The new media are great and exciting by their sheer speed and proliferation, but still - there is nothing more tantalizing than the sight of beautifully designed and type set printed page.

Here is the vid that led to the out-pour of my fond memories:

16 Dec 2013

Winter weather report

For those of my Possums (yes, I adore Dame Edna) in various parts of the world, just a quick weather report.
Here's how Ottawa looks in winter. At least my neighbourhood, more or less...

When we still had wet snow...

When we still had fogs...

Now it is all white, everyone knows how it looks, but at least there is lots of sunlight.

My kitchen window cut frosted films act as "pink shades", the world looks always more...

10 Dec 2013

J.R.Villemaire - worth admiring

For many years I had pleasure of generating fine art photographic print work for this local photographer - Jules R. Villemaire.

Various series of work, different view points and technical output but always the same - dispassionate, keen observer, looking for this moment in light and time that describes the now and then.

Jules R. Villemaire,
digital photographic archival print on photo paper,
scratch-resistant lamination,
mounted on Sintra (ARTzink Studio)
I rarely show or comment on the work of my clients, but Jules is very special.
He is now a senior figure in the photographic arts milieu, often closely connected with the Franco-phone circles, which possibly accounts for his work not being widely known.
Jules is one of the people who walks very lightly on this Earth, not carelessly but on a contrary: gently, attentively and creating little damage around.

I have written previously on Jules work http://artzink-studio.blogspot.ca/2013/02/jules-r-villemaires-fine-art.html

More info (regrettably again, only in French) can be found on Jules website:
I should let you know that you MUST take a look of this project: ...deconnivence
Women seen sensuously and delicately, respectfully and seriously beautifully!
Wow, did I say that?!?!

These two relatively small works above are shown while still at my Studio.
At the present time they are installed at the Voix Visuelle on Beachwood St, as part of the group show, a fundraiser for the art centre.

The exposition opens on the 18th of December and I will definitely post a detailed invite.

8 Dec 2013

Design Event

This is a worthwhile event: The Big Design Market, held at the Royal Exhibition Building. Incredible venue for over 200 incredible designers.
I wish I could have spent the entire day (or weekend!) there.

brought by: Janis Nicolay of Pinecone Camp, via Poppytalk
The Royal Exhibition Building is a pretty magical place.
Completed in 1880, it's now a World Heritage Site.

Of course, regrettably, this event is not in Ottawa but in Melbourne, Australia....
In this part of the globe, we prefer to play out our frugality stunt - à la wartime England.
Some of my colleagues, renown designers, artists, photographers in Ottawa work in stores, as security guards or moved with their 80 years old mom. Those lucky ones with major disability enjoy welfare support so lean that it excludes one from any creativity. (except perhaps writing on paper, with a pencil)

The good thing is, that our banks report another run of fantastic earnings!

24 Nov 2013

Mads MIkkelsen by A.Dragan

Much appreciated, much emulated both in style and colour.
Both Mads Mikkelsen and Andrzej Dragan.
Amazing portrait...

By the way, did I say it is -11C and snow on the streets of Ottawa?

20 Nov 2013

Mother's watercolours on canvas

Canvas Birch trees and the Oak tree, iron gate...
Curiously, two of Mom's relatively small files resulted very interestingly in larger format than other watercolour files - printed on canvas.
I am still working on the rest of the display of her works, those two present themselves tastefully...

9 Nov 2013


The good news is that I found the photographed images of another of my Mother's watercolours. This unassuming Still Life is delicate and speaks of the tender moments when she felt inspired to paint. 

I have reproduced it in larger scale today to a beautiful art print.


The other news are simple, yes, it is snowing today.
Mottled mass of wet snow and grass.
Wet, white, and there is more and more and more of it where it comes from....

1 Nov 2013

November 1st - Nasturtiums

It was sunny and amazingly warm around noon today.
Strong wind that caught this southerly air is surely going to bring cold at the end of its circle.
But in the meantime it is great. We did not loose power.

The last Nasturtium and Calendula were picked up few days ago, just before the frost.

They are now wilting.
The colours are still stunningly vibrant.

Calendula officinalis - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-024.jpg
Calendula Oficinalis

31 Oct 2013

Indian Summer

The weather was great yesterday, warm, sunny, I walked from the Can War Museum via beautiful Lorne Street. As I was turning to Lorne I  met one of my favourite colleagues and clients Alexei, he mentioned this amazing patisserie that should be located somewhere near...
Et voila: Macarons Et Madeleines (macaronsetmadeleines.com) is really there.
What a great place!
A ground level of an old house turned into "the butler's pantry"-like place.
Chatty, lovely propriertor serving his sweet, reasonably priced creations within a great ambiance of his parlor. Fab, fab, fab.

M Et M is located a little further down that street, but you cannot drive in from Wellington. Too bad for his business.
You need to meander from Booth or Preston St via Primrose, but it is worthy it...
The tall tower at the back is the Dominican College.

The weather was so amazing that the question is whether it is Indian Summer.

This is Indian Summer (Babie Lato) by Jozef Chelmonski, Polish 19th c painter.
Almost a cult painting in Poland, peasant kids lying on the ground, basking in the last outpours of warmth when the "life is easy".
I photographed just this fragment, the painting can be seen at the National Museum in Warsaw.

Plik:Chełmoński Indian summer.jpg

27 Oct 2013


My visit was a visit to History, of me, my family, the people I know.
A fellow blogger shows archival images of the city that is so much of my and my family history is:

  • The metal Eagle atop the Renaissance Ratusz (City Hall), after the liberation of Poznan was placed back by my grandfather's sister's (aunt "Tiralla") husband

    •  Fara, an amazing church, filled with brown-red marble where my Sis Lul was christened:
      Fara then and now, my grandparents lived just a few blocks from there...
      It is where we used to go to Sunday mass

    • The Church on Fredry Street, where my favourite uncle was married and I fell asleep during the ceremony...
      Where the building is on the very right side of the photo after the war stands one of the most interesting examples of modernist architecture - Okraglak (Rotonda)

      File:POL Poznań Okrąglak.jpg
    •  Okraglak, in the sixties and seventies on the righ side was located amazing Bar Rio, serving even in the hardest time delictious coffe and Vienese Cheesecake and tone of other superb sweets...

    • ulica Wodna (Water Street) is where water was being brought to town from the river, centuries ago, my grandmother and I were going there to a meetshop, after that - to ulica Grobla (Levee Street)

      The tall building at the end of the street was not there after the war, the trams were also not going there, but the gas lanterns I do remember in Poznan.
      When I was very small I saw once in the evening a lantern man turning on the lamp, I knew the moment was magical.
    • Adria Restaurant, my grandparents' favourite Sunday afternoon hangout place before War. After the war, everything changed...

    • All book photos from a friendly blog
      With Ika's permission. Thanks for sharing

    24 Oct 2013

    Old Wooden Skies

    More reminiscing from the visit at my Parents.
    My dad still holds on to his old wooden skies.
    They hold important part of the family history: my Sis and I played and skied on them when we were kids. My Sis Lula once severly "hugged the tree" skiing down the hill...

    They look a bit like this, it's a vintage photo from the 40-ies someone posted on eBay:

    This is such a well sought item among vintage bloggers, especially Scandinavians.
    The often hang it prominently in their modern or rustic fashionable dwellings.

    I did not have a chance to take a pic, there were in a darker spot of the storage, but here is a beautiful film on the traditional making of wooden skies.
    Don't mind it's in Norwegian, you will understand every bit....

    Ole Kristian Ødegård makes skis the old way. Click Here for video
    This vid shows you that there is no excuse for those who want to ski, have no $$, are in the wilderness away from sport stores, have no time to shop but have the following:
    a shed, a pot of boiling water, a saw, plainer, sandpaper and alike...

    22 Oct 2013

    The Eagle Has Landed

    Ok, ok. After a few weeks of browsing the eagle has landed.
    It was indescribably wonderful to see my parents, my sister, my old school buddies and meet new friends. Warsaw was beautiful, powerful, busy, generous, historic and elegant.
    I enjoyed every bit of the visit.

    I was able to take some photographs of my Mother's older watercolours.
    There isn't too many of them left, some were lost in a portfolio many many many years ago, many selflessly given away, only few are hanging at my parents' so it was a great priviledge.
    I am intending to create a small collection of reproductions made with fine art papers.

    Miraculously obtained (kudos to Malgosia J-Z) fat spool of white linen sewing cord will be soon in my busy hands.
    Another lucky buy - a thin spool of black linen cord will work it's magic to bind wonderful pages of art prints of the collections into portfolios.

    This is an old portrait of me, my Mother took pride in tending to my braid, I did cut it off gladly probably at the age of 14. I felt it was soooo untrendy...
    Regrettably this and few other small work had to be shot through the glass, so the repros won't be very large.

    This small watercolour was with me ever since I remember.

    This was an idealized portrait
    of my Sis Lul and I "as young ladies", painted years later. This was sooo much fun to see it again.

    Mom and I went several times to the National Museum, the Old galleries were sublime.
    The Neatherlandish collection was great. I took some shaky pics with my ipad.
    A small exposition of Canaletto's paintings was amazing. Great job with framing - all luminous turquoise sky blues were extrapolated onto the frames.
    I cannot describe hose great it was. Breathtaking.

    More notes to come...

    Oh, just quickly. When I came back, my Favourite Neighbour have me what?
    A small collection of vintage English Ironstone plates.
    Greenish and brow-green tones. Something I would never buy, but the group is is delightful that I shall keep it with love.
    Can life get more fun than this?

    The antique yellowish sugar-bowl is an earlier find...
    Also English made.
    Bottle stopper - a souvenir of the Polish Boleslawiec Ironstone ceramic manufacture. Contemporary, but suits the little four-piece Collection very nicely. Bought in Wilanow.

    Airport review?
    Warsaw - great, Frankfurt - great,
    Pearson - brrrrrrr....

    14 Oct 2013

    Thanksgiving 2013

    Thanksgiving - I am away from my Canadian home,
    so celebrations will be postponed - 'til Nov. 11 perhaps?
    November 11 is an important date, it is St. Martins...

    This beautiful tall crock comes from Finland. It has been with me for over 25 years, a gift of my much missed Finnish friend, Satu.

    The iron stew pot - Japanese-made, Korean store-bought.

    The rustic tabletop?
    I think, it is Mexican-made.

    9 Sep 2013

    I am searching for the inspiration - our old porch at the front of the old and almost "historic" house. Today I have found this, again on the indispensable Obsolete site:

    This is just a French architectural model - probably a part of a builder's showroom display.

    2 Sep 2013

    End of summer

    There is this interesting exhibition and I am wondering if I should see it.
    I have already seen "The Mill and the Cross" film, based on one of the "Breueghels".
    Beautiful film.

    With the end of the Summer I need to report on the significant gardening successes.
    From the squash seeds fed to squirrels in winter and fallen on the ground - something like this, spontaneously grew this summer.

    I have recently let it hang from the wire support that earlier served the peony.

    The squash is green and the size of a baby's head.
    And I am as excited about it as a young mother.

    ONE gladiolus bloomed in the container, it was a gorgeous plant nevertheless. The pink of the flowers was almost effervescent.

    30 Aug 2013

    Emotional Response

    This is why we prefer finding and doing things we are familiar with - the create the sense of familiarity and security - a desired although highly unreliable emotional response...

    I admit I am getting a lot of entertainment, free of charge, sometime at 7 am.
    Today we were waking to a life performance of "O sole mio" - not professional but valiant nevertheless performance. Whether one of our neighbours finally came out of the closet with this talent, or an enthusiastic guest...
    Well, I am betting on a newly moved neighbour whom I do not know yet...

    More positive emotional response?
    Vintage inspiration from the net below:
    via Antique Daisy

    Do you think you cannot get enough of opera singing on Saturday morning?
    By now, "O sole mio" was run several times and so was "Nessum Dorma".
    I guess you  may say Ottawa is resuming it's colourful phase.
    Graphics Fairy
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...