I add new pieces on a near-daily basis, but I don’t always update the main blog page.
I’m particularly proud of these fuchsia flowers, as they remind me of the basket that graced our back porch every summer, just outside a window where we could sit at the breakfast table and watch swarms of hummingbirds feed. Google says a group of hummingbirds is called a “charm”, which is absolutely perfect.
This work is available on a variety of items such as mugs and cushion covers. Please click on the image for more info.
50C Clinton Street
Dinner for two with wine, tax and tip: $275
Accessibility: one step at door, washrooms in basement, outdoor seating in summer
In this first real year of “back to normal” after the pandemic, it’s interesting to see how we’ve all adjusted. Time, having both stretched and compressed concurrently, has given us all the opportunity to reassess how we want to be in the world. For the team at Casa Paco, the answer to that is smaller, homier, and more familiar.
The space on Clinton just north of College has been many restaurants over the past decade, from Acadia and Red Sauce to a few others in the time since. As Casa Paco, the small room is covered in wood paneling, potted plants, and a collection of old photos, brass plates and knickknacks that give it a 70s vibe like you might have found in a neighbour’s or family member’s rec room or enclosed back porch, minus the musty smell and the poorly hidden box of old girly magazines. It doesn’t hurt that the Sunday afternoon we’re there the big front windows are wide open and the soundtrack is a collection of laid back 70s yacht rock songs; stuff I hated in my youth but which I now appreciate more given they sound so much better on a proper, modern sound system as opposed to a tinny AM transistor or car radio.
Playing with the palette knife brush in my digital painting program, and making fun modern pieces. I suppose I should have put borders on each image before uploading them, but they’re kind of fun anyway.
I progressed from being too restrained to maybe a bit too heavy-handed with the various effects by the last piece. I can never quite figure out when to stop – what’s too little, or too much. And I still want to use all the colours, and it kind of pisses me off to use a controlled palette but I’m learning.
55 Adelaide Street East
Dinner for two (includes beverages, tax and tip): $250 – $300
Accessibility: steps at street entrance, washrooms on main floor
Growing up in Halifax in the 1980s, a close proximity to the ocean meant that my family ate lots of fresh fish, but we certainly would never have considered eating it raw. I knew about sushi, but my experience of it did not extend past the scene in The Breakfast Club where Molly Ringwald’s character brings a selection for lunch. Which, in retrospect, is a little dubious, right? Did she have an ice pack in her bag?
When I moved to Toronto in 1987, my roommate Sharon and I would often go out clubbing and walk home. We walked a lot, and often far. Our weekly walk home from Psychedelic Sundays at RPM to our flat in Kensington Market (a walk of around 45 minutes and close to 4 km) often took us through the downtown core in the wee hours. We walked past Nami, and the blue neon wave above the front entrance, dozens of times, regularly wondering what Japanese food was really like. “I bet it’s really ‘fancy,’” one of us would inevitably say. “And expensive,” the other would reply.
While the ensuing decades has made sushi and Japanese cuisine not just accessible but downright normal or basic, I’d never gotten around to visiting Nami. During my time as a food writer, it flew under the radar, never needing to do any overt promotion. So when the name showed up on this year’s list for Summerlicious, I waved off my usual suspicion of the annual promotion, and we headed to Nami for an early dinner before a concert in St. James Park.
This collection of bats and moons is made with a variety of different polymer clays and glitter to create a realistic moon surface. Each piece glows in the dark and shimmers and shines in the daylight. Small pendants and earrings (2.5cm diameter) each feature one bat from a collection of five styles (earrings and an intentionally unmatched pair), while the larger 7cm moon pendants feature three bats of different styles. All are lightweight and easy to clean and are incredibly striking, especially in the dark.
One of the things that inspired me to try my hand at painting (in any medium) a few years back was wanting to paint lush, colourful florals. The hanging garden, or the idea of a garden so full of vines and blooms that it begins to escape the confines of a trellis or fence and breaks free to another space, ideally one that is austere and plain so the flowers are even more of a delight because they are so unexpected, is something that I have aspired to achieve.
This is a first attempt, in Corel Painter, and while it certainly has imperfections, I am absolutely delighted with it in spite of (or maybe because of) that fact. Some of these flowers don’t actually grow on vines, but, hey, art is all about imagination, right?
Still playing with different tools on a variety of painting apps, and trying my hand at work inspired by other artists. I had a lot of fun making these graffiti-inspired pieces. They can be printed on a variety of things and found on the Digital Art section of this site.
It’s almost Pride month, and with it, a whole plethora of fun events celebrating the 2SLGBTQ+ community. To honour that, I’ve made a bunch of Pride-themed pieces, now in my Etsy shop, including these two fabulous bib-style statement necklaces that I refer to as Caterpillars.
They’re lightweight, easy to clean and store and just might double as a low maintenance pet. Available in the traditional 6-colour rainbow flag version or the 5-stripe pastel Trans Pride flag.
A few of the abstract floral works from my Grandmother’s Garden collection have been uploaded to various print on demand sites and are now available on a whole slew of things from clothing to paper products to decor items. I was especially happy with the way the artwork turned out on some pieces from le Galeriste – these are really lovely scarves, dresses, skirts, and tops (some are even reversible!) that would be perfect for summer occasions such as weddings.