Reworked Florals

IMG_3329Queen Anne’s LaceIMG_2620GrassesIMG_2634Columbine

IMG_2639Morning GloryIMG_2654Columbine

Some older photographs I have reworked using a number of iPhone and iPad apps.

The Queen Anne’s Lace image reminds me of old tintypes.

I love the coloured ones because they have a very retro look. They remind me of old Technicolor postcards.

Home-made iPhone Macro Lens

After reading a few posts about using the lens from a laser-pointer to make a macro lens for your iPhone, I decided to try it out. I took the lens out of the pointer, used a medium-sized paperclip to hold the lens, and placed the paperclip between my Roots case and my phone the lens can then be adjusted over the phone’s lens. Hey! Presto! A macro lens.

I would like to build the larger microscope but I am carpentry-challenged, so may have to have someone do that for me.

I have done a little experimenting and here are a few of the resulting images.


IMG_3494Macro of one of my polymer brooches

I’ve really latched onto the bright colours, courtesy of the Mextures iPhone app.

Paintings this week

The creative juices have really been running of late. The following are some new and ongoing pieces. The first photo is really bad but the colour is closer to the correct colour. Following are several details.

18×18 acrylic paint and metallic foil.

10×20 acrylic paint

8×8 acrylic

New paintings

Two new paintings. These are ones I am keeping for myself. The first reminds me of one of my father’s copper enamels.

Both are 10 x 20 and the medium is acrylic.

Christmas Presents

This year, instead of the usual calendars and home-made cards, I’ve been rather Scroogie when it comes to non-family. However, I have reserved my home-mades to family. I did give the my two nieces and nephew a donation in their name to a couple of causes and organizations that they wanted to support. They will also get a small gift for under the tree. My Mom will be getting the “Roses” sign I made in my craft class.

The couples in my life will be getting paintings inspired by another projects I started in my craft class. It isn’t done yet (I don’t think). but here it is.

Here are some details from this.

My niece and her boyfriend will be getting this painting (for some reason, the shape went wonky when I photographed them so they are a little cropped).

My brother and his girlfriend are going to get this painting.

And my sister and her husband are getting this painting. Of the three, it is my favourite and the colour is slightly greener… It is difficult to get it right in my editing software.

Child Haven gala fundraiser

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me to go to a gala fundraiser at the new Ottawa Congress Centre. It looked pretty swanky and I was concentrating on what the heck I was going to wear to it that I forgot yo look at what organization the fundraiser was supporting. It was only after my friend mentioned the son of someone I know quite well that it occurred to me that the organization was Child Haven. I checked, and sure enough it was. The odd thing was that I had decided that I was going to go out to Maxville today to drop off some cheques to Child Haven for amounts I had raised at my birthday which I had announced that people could donate to Child Haven instead of giving me a card or a present.

Quite apart from having to make the trip all the way out to Maxville, it meant I could give my cheques in at the gala and also be able to make further donations by buying at the silent auction.

Last year at the event at Tudor Hall (it’s a conference hall that has nothing to do with the Tudors and doesn’t even look like a Tudor building – though we were joking this evening that it is the site of Ottawa’s only Tudor jousting ground), I spent a fair amount of money and bought quite a few things, including a wonderful wool rug with a “flayed Man” design which is a common motif in Buddhist iconography. This year I put my name down on a six items, I think, in the silent auction. I let two go because people I knew were bidding against me. I ended up with 4 other items, two of which I was the only bidder on, and two where others had bid against me. One of those I had to snatch the bid away in the last 30 seconds of the auction.

I ended up with these items…

Lord Ganesh, brass figurine

Brass and copper prayer wheel

Thangka – Hand-painted wood (front)

Thangka – Hand-painted wood (back)

Silver and “amethyst” locket

(I think it is just glass, considering what the reserve bid was for it)


I can’t even remember when I made this postcard… years ago. I came across it the other day, scanned it and started twiddling around with it on my photo software. I’m only posting the original and one of the versions. The rest can be found here.

Found it!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted something which included some of my father’s copper enamels. I mentioned that I wasn’t able to find a dish that we had. I was able to find it, finally. Here it is. Sadly, it has a little chip in it and it is a little bit scratched. But I love it. It’s supposed to be an ashtray, I think and we used it for that for decades.

More art

One of the other artworks that managed to survive (one of the few) that we’ve had around the house since I was little is an etching. The frame finally gave up the ghost before we moved and I have since taken it out of the frame. I have to find an art conservator who can tackle damage caused by the less than neutral framing that is has sat in, possibly since it was framed back in 1932.

Chateau Laurier, Ottawa” “26 V 32

I’m not sure how it came into Mom’s hands. Possibly a gift from a friend or something she bought back when she came to Ottawa first. Since she arrived in the early 1950’s, it certainly must have had at least one owner before her. Possibly she knew the artist, Frederick B. Taylor.

Frederick B. Taylor
Born in Ottawa, Ontario, 27 July 1906
Died in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, 21 April 1987

Frederick B. [Bourchier] Taylor, artist, was born and raised in Ottawa. He studied architecture at McGill University, where he was taught drawing by Edmond Dyonnet, RCA and graduated in 1930. After travelling in Europe on an architectural scholarship, Taylor returned to Ottawa where he studied drawing under Ernest Fosbery, RCA. While at McGill, he developed his interest in skiing, which he had begun in the Gatineau Hills around Ottawa, and became a member of the Red Birds Ski Club, Montreal, and of Kandahar, the British racing club. During the early 1930’s he taught himself etching and became known for his etchings of skiers in action.

Taylor went back to England to continue his art studies in the mid-thirties and attended the Byam Shaw School of Painting and Goldsmiths College of Art, studying under F. Ernest Jackson, ARA and Stanley Anderson, RA. While in England he married his cousin Miriam Magee, in 1936. After returning to Canada in 1937 he began to specialize in portrait painting and taught drawing and modeling at McGill’s School of Architecture 1940-1943. During the War Taylor tried to interest the National Gallery and other federal government departments in an industrial war records project. Although he was unsuccessful in getting official support, he pursued the project himself, getting passes to sketch in the CPR workshops in Montreal and in Canada’s shipyards and other war industries. He exhibited his portraits of factory workers in factory lunchrooms and sent an exhibition to the Workers’ Educational Association in Port Hope, Ontario, and the Labour Arts Guild in Vancouver.

During this period Taylor became a member of the Labour Progressive Party as well as helping to found the Federation of Canadian Artists. He had become a member of the Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engravers in 1934 and became a member of the Canadian Society of Graphic Arts in 1943. In 1948 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, becoming an Academician in 1966. After the war, Taylor turned to sketching Montreal street scenes and exhibited regularly at Montreal’s Dominion Gallery, although he continued to do paintings of workers into the late 1950’s. He travelled to the USSR in 1951 under the auspices of the Canada-Soviet Friendship Society and in 1954 made his first trip to Mexico. He married his second wife, American artist Nova Hecht, in 1955 and in 1960 settled permanently in Mexico. He died in San Miguel de Allende in 1987. (Library and Archives Canada)

The Library and Archives Canada has a fonds which contains a number of prints of local Ottawa landmarks, including one of the Chateau Laurier. Mine doesn’t have an edition number in the corner but it is dated.

Taylor was also a War Artist, with several pieces in the National War Museum collection of war art.


Last week, I posted an update abut something I posted a while ago for Photo Hunt.

It was about a powder compact my mother had and had passed along to me. As I had said, I had tracked down a possible artist for the enamel image on the front, Karl Drerup. In last Friday’s post, I mentioned that I had been contacted by Karl Drerup’s son, Oliver, who, quite coincidentally, lives here in town. He invited me to lunch (Dim Sum) to pass along some catalogues of his father’s work. It was a lovely lunch and I had a terrific time and I learned a bit more about Karl and the piece that I own.

The catalogues are wonderful!

Here are a few favourites from the first catalogue.


"Two-Part Panel"

"Multi-Part Panel"

The last one reminds me of some of my father’s work, particularly one that is in The Firestone Collection of Canadian art. Unfortunately, it isn’t one that has been photographed. It used to hang beside the bathroom door in the Firestone house, before the collection was sent to the Ottawa Art Gallery. My father’s piece was called “Embryo” and was a mixed-media piece (Enamel, copper, acrylic and sand on canvas). The only piece of any size that I have is this one.


In recent years, I have been able to put it up on the wall but it used to scare the crap out of me when I was a kid. Apparently, it was something he did while he was teaching prisoners at Kingston Penitentiary copper enamelling. Mom tells me that it was of three prisoners.

I do have a dish, as well which we haven’t unpacked, yet. It is an abstract design. Over the years everything else has been lost. I remember jewellery, belts, small dishes. I have no idea where they all went. Had I had them, they’d not have disappeared. Anything of value, either monetary or of family meaning I still have. So much just simply disappeared (or was broken).

And… I JUST looked further at the Ottawa Art Gallery website and see that last year, from May 8 to August 1, they had an exhibition which featured the very piece of my father’s that I mentioned above, “Embryo”…. Had I known I would have gone. Jesus.

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