I sure am not one for political rants, I actually avoid the topic. These days its really hard to avoid.
Thinking of Duffy and Wallen. We're we not staring at them both for like 20+ years on our nightly news as they reported on the nasty, no good, low down snakes in the grass politicians in Ottawa? Wasn't it these two who we trusted for our reflections on the important goings on across this great land of ours? Didn't we see "Duff" at least weekly telling Loydd (Robertson) about that crooked absentee Senator who was only present in the Senate 26 days of the year and the balance in his Mexican villa on taxpayers dime?
It's one thing to be a politician turned Senator, it's quite another to have been a pundit who becomes a Senator and sets new standards of corruption.
I'm not even touching the whole pension aspect (stay calm, stay calm, 123456...)
I wonder if Duff and Wallen's old bosses at the news desk are wondering about the expense accounts these two had while in their employ?
Supposed pillars of our society, made of poor cement.
Camp "X", as it was known, was Canada's own top secret high level Spy training facility, and it was located on the shores of Whitby, bordering Oshawa. Like the Avro Arrow Camp X was dismantled and bulldozed into the lake, all that remains today are the trees and a bunch of pits on the hillside from the hundreds of bombs they tested on the property. It was the beginning of the James Bond series of books and a popular Movie called: "A man called Intrepid".
Here is my impression from an afternoon on the site today, the last witnesses to our incredible history;
The Trees of Camp X
8"x10" oil on masonite
I will be doing a series of small paintings of Camp X both as it was and as it is. You can see them on my webpage dedicated to the camp and it's memory, simply click the image to go.
Three Yellow Tulips
8"x10" oil on masonite
Every year something amazing happens right outside my front door. As the ground thaws and the buds pop everywhere, the tulips are always the first to announce that spring is hear.
I am not your quintessential flower artist, neither do i wish to become known for them but I do enjoy painting things that present beauty in colour to my eye. Tulips have been doing that for years. Back in my watercolour days I did many of them. Now, with the power that oil has in presenting colour, like no other, I have embarked on some floral works.
I hope they bring happiness to someone as much as the flowers themselves have brought to me.
Cullen Gardens and Miniature village
this sketch: Cullen Gardens 8"x10" oil on masonite
I like to ride my bike, and from time to time my rides take me through what once was the Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village in Whitby, Ontario. If you are from the Toronto area and are over the age of 40 then you probably know the park well. There were two destinations everyone went to Whitby for, one was the Whitby Go Kart track and the other was Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village. We sure did. Then when I married and we had children it was a regular outing to take a stole through the miniatures at Cullen Gardens.
The tiny buildings, the little people figurines, the fire hall, the school, and who could ever forget the train? That train track wandered all throughout the miniature village. It was especially wonderful to see at night. Lights sparkling, the sound of the train on the track as it approached. Wonderful!
Cullen Gardens was sold a few years ago. I guess the Daughter of the founder decided it was too much to manage, or the $6,ooo,ooo.oo was too attractive to resist, so, the Town of Whitby handed over the cheque and Mrs. Cullen rode off into the sunset. Who can say she was wrong?
Well maybe not wrong but what a sad departure of such a treasure. We cannot even say the town would preserve it, even though they have done a wonderful job of maintaining the gardens, it remains a sad shame that the experience was allowed to fade.
Now there's talk of a health spa taking the property, still, it's fading even more.
Si I will be doing a few oil sketches like this of various parts of the Gardens that still exist to some degree or another. I hope you enjoy them.
If you have recollections of Whitby's Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village, I'd love to read them and see your photos. Post here if you like,
The Artists Journey
This is my blog page and it is where I get to be the opinionated man that I really am. The views are my own.
I invite your replies and comments, on my virtual welcome mat.
This sketch above became this finished painting below
The Pine Tree Painter.
How did I become known as the Pine Tree Painter? You could say I paint a lot of Pine Trees, that would be true. I paint a lot of other things too, but Pine Trees, Spruce Trees, Birch and others seem to be a continuous string in what i do. I just like the way they stand there like a custodian of the land. or a greeter to nature. So, I continue down the path with the Pine Tree Painter name on my head, It's ok.