Art in the Open

Art in the Open was really fun. I gave away the 300+ dumpstered new shirts, shorts, backpacks, and bandanas in under 2 hours, met a bunch of people who loved getting free stuff, and had some great conversations about commercial waste, big box stores, etc. Also met with a couple of people who told me about their dumpstering adventures as well, which was cool.

I made a little video showing the progress of the shirts going from 300 to none.

I’ve neglected talking about gardening this year almost as much as I have neglected the garden. Happily, things are still growing well. It’s good to know what can out-compete weeds, ha ha. The dry beans Black Coco are stars, as are the black chickpeas and the spaghetti squash.


Quetico Part 2

OK, here is another post I wrote over a week ago, during my artist residency in Quetico Provincial Park when I didn’t have access to internet.

August 6
I’ve been working in the Quetico artist studio pretty consistently for days, though stopping to swim out back pretty regularly too. Tomorrow is a final day trip on the canoe, and then an open studio and a workshop. Then my time here is sadly over. I completed 4 prints – two that will stay in the collection here at the park, and two that Friends of Quetico is purchasing to auction off in Toronto in the fall. Here are pics of the pieces I made based loosely on photos I took of fungus, pine needs, lichen, etc. during the canoe trip. Also some pictures of the studio that I wish I had more than 2 weeks in.

Here are the four pieces I created while at Quetico. Two are staying at the provincial park gallery, and two are being auctioned off by Friends of Quetico in Toronto this fall.


Quetico Residency

I wrote this last week, but I didn’t have internet access, so here it is now:

My second northern Ontario artist residency – this time at Quetico Provincial Park – has been really amazing so far. Travis and I spent 5 days canoeing in (a small part of) Quetico’s huge interior of hundreds of lakes connected by portages and at least one shallow, sketchy, lilly-padded swamp river. This wilderness park is hardcore about not putting signs by the portages or anywhere and otherwise minimizing traces of humans. Quetico is a little over 80% of the size of the whole province of PEI, so that’s pretty cool. I think this was the most remote wilderness I have experienced, including canoeing on the Yukon River and backcountry hiking and camping in Tombstone in the Yukon. It was really beautiful and fairly strenuous – one 1km portage and several at around half-three-quarters of a km, sometimes in succession.
In the interior of the park there were islands covered in blueberries and a new lake to swim in every day. I am gushing, but it’s been a really special experience. The last night in the interior, we camped on a small island between two rapids, with ledges of lichen-covered rock to perch on and watch the water.
Now I am back in this luxurious artist studio on a lake near a park ranger station, and nature centre log cabin, etc. I have another week to work on art stuff inspired by my time here, host an open studio, and lead a workshop. So, yeah, I am having an incredible time, and I want to come back. And I think I have gotten over my childhood aversion to portaging, (it’s much easier as an adult than as a 7-year-old) even if I still prefer paddling.