Monday, 29 April 2013

Moving Peter's "Homage" Sculpture

My late husband, Peter MacElwain, made this beautiful sculpture nearly 20 years ago and it was shown in a number of sculpture exhibitions in several places in the United States. It was originally titled "Homage to Kant", but we always referred to it as the "Homage". After the last time it was shown in an exhibition, Peter moved it to a spot in our back yard where it has sat ever since. Peter died about 2 years after he moved it there.

Recently, I was contacted by Philippa, who is opening a sculpture garden near her gallery in St. Eugene. She was interested in showing a piece of Peter's work and I suggested the "Homage" would be the best bet. Philippa and her husband and 2 kids and our friend Mac came to my place on the weekend to move the "Homage".

But it wasn't easy. First, Mac tried to drive his truck back to the part of the yard where the "Homage" was sitting so we could load it on. But the ground is very wet still from the melted snow and his truck got badly stuck in the mud.

We tried to push his truck out but to no avail. I asked my neighbour, who runs the dairy farm across the road, if he could help pull Mac's truck out of the mud, and he did. Phew! (Thank goodness for good neighbours with big tractors!)

We decided to use a different road. It would mean having to carry the sculpture a little farther, but at least the truck wouldn't get stuck. First, we had to tip the sculpture over so we could disassemble it.  

All hands on deck for this work. Here, Philippa, her husband Nik, Mac, and Philippa and Nick's son are all gently lowering the "Homage" down....

...and over she goes!

Then the "Homage" is taken apart into 3 pieces. Peter designed the sculpture to come apart this way to make it easier to move.

The pieces were carried back to where the truck was waiting to load them up. Thankfully, the sculpture is made of aluminum so they were not too heavy - but still it required a lot of muscle-power to move them.

And finally, they were all loaded on Mac's truck and trailer, secured in place, and driven to Philippa and Nik's gallery. Now they have to be cleaned up, painted and reassembled, which will be done next weekend. A lot of hard work but it will be wonderful to show the "Homage" again.
I will write more about this upcoming outdoor sculpture show at the Skelly Gallery, soon. Here is a link to a poster for the show

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Spring in the country, spring in the city....

When I was at my place in the country recently, I enjoyed this wonderful sign that Spring is finally here - crocuses blooming in my garden.

At my apartment in the city, I know now that Spring is here because I am able to go out on my balcony and enjoy the warmth and sunshine.

Aaahhh! Goodbye Winter - and Hello glass of wine while sitting on my chair outside!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Painters painting, model modelling, ......

Last Saturday, I got together with four artist friends for a wonderful afternoon of painting from the model. We do this every two weeks and it is always such a pleasure since it allows me to get my "art-brain" in gear again. Here two of the artists - John and Aino - are concentrating intently on their work. I don't think they were even aware that I was taking their picture.   

And this was our amazing model for the day. He held the pose for hours and did a great job keeping his head steady and his body still. We were all in love with his fabulous leather jacket - great lights and darks and texture.

John's painting was, as usual, outstanding. He managed to get the essence of the model and the great leather jacket, in about 4 hours.

At the end of the day, the model got to relax with a glass of wine - a reward for all his hard work. Bravo - well done!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

A Dear Little Deer


Last Saturday, I was driving down a country road and suddenly saw this pretty little deer, munching on grass in a field. Cars were zooming by, but she kept eating and was oblivious to the traffic. When I got out of my car to take her picture she didn't seem afraid, just curious. What a delight, seeing this dear little deer on my weekend in the country!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

That's More Like It!

For the past week, we have had definitely better weather in Eastern Ontario. The sun has been shining, the sky has been blue, the trees are budding, it is getting warmer. Ahhh - that's more like it!

People look more relaxed and happier as they walk around. Winter coats and boots have been put away and lighter clothing worn. It is a pleasure to walk across this bridge when the sun is so bright and makes these marvelous shadows.

There are a lot of people in the park on sunny afternoons, sitting on the benches or walking along the paths.

Another sign that Spring is here: the restaurants in the Byward Market have set up outdoor seating for patrons to enjoy the beautiful weather.

This sign on the street in front of the Murray Street Restaurant says it all.  Spring has Sprung! Yippee! 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Night Mosaic

This amazing mosaic of images appeared in the windows of the building across the road from my apartment building this evening. There was a dance rehearsal and one of the dancers was practicing near the window in the bottom left corner. At the same time, the sunset was reflected in the window panes where the shades had been drawn. Beautiful effect!

Monday, 8 April 2013

A Gift that is a Step Up!

This past weekend, I visited my family in Toronto. While I was there, my daughter-in-law (Michelle) completed decoration on a gift for me - a small step-stool with the footprints of my 3 grandchildren on top. I helped her do this, which was a lot of fun. We started with Charlie, who is 3 1/2, and painted the bottom of his right foot yellow. Then Michelle held him while I pressed his foot down in the middle. We did the same thing with Max (5), painting his foot blue, and finally with Georgia (4 months) painting her foot pink.

Here are the possessors of two of the feet on the stool - Max and Charlie - playing a game on an iPad.

And this is Georgia, held by grandma, who enjoyed printing her little foot in pink on the stool.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Hope On a Cold Day

It has been bitterly cold the last couple of days. Like most people I know, I have felt rather discouraged that the beginning of April is feeling more like January. This morning when I walked to work, the temperature was -8 degrees (Celsius) but with the windchill it felt like -15. Then, I spied something poking up out of the soil as I passed by someone's front yard.

Bulbs are starting to grow! Oh wonderful! Despite the bitter cold, there is new life stirring under the ground and starting to emerge.

Later, I walked over the bridge and noted the progress of the ice breaking up on the Ottawa River. Another sign that spring and the warm weather will eventually arrive, albeit slowly this year. Thank goodness for the little things that give us hope!

Monday, 1 April 2013

An Easter Weekend Walk in the Woods

This past Saturday, on the Easter weekend, I went for a walk in the woods with my friend Holly. We went to Voyageur Park, which still isn't open - but we parked outside the gate and entered the park on foot down the long road toward the river.

It was a beautiful day - sun shining, blue skies, and the snow was really starting to melt. There were many little creeks full of running water in the woods. I love the contrast between the nearly black water and white snow.

We passed over a bridge at one point and looked down at the ice breaking up and the very high spring run-off.

Despite the fact that the park was closed, other people had entered the park like we had. We encountered about 4 or 5 other groups of people also walking along the road through the woods. These two men had very serious-looking cameras and were taking photos of birds.

Holly and I had a lovely afternoon walking along, looking at things, talking, just breathing the fresh spring air. We even saw a deer jump across the road in front of us at one point but, alas, I didn't have my camera ready at the time. It was nice just to be with a friend on a beautiful early spring day.