September 29, 2015

Fun with family!

Living as an Artist Abroad has many, many perks, I get to travel, a lot and I get to experience new cultures from the inside. But the are some down sides as well and one of those is being away from your friends and family. Luckily we get to travel back to Holland at least once a year and on top of that my family and friends come over to visit quite a bit too. My moms were here in the last week of August and just this past week my aunt and uncle visited from the Netherlands.

I always love these visits because it means I get to do all the fun stuff Montréal has to offer, like eat smoked meat at Schwartz and hang out at Jardin Nelson in the Old Port. My moms have been here quite a few times so they've seen all the major sights. That's why I took them for a drive through the Eastern Townships on their last visit.

For my aunt and uncle it was their first visit to Montréal so naturally we went to all the main sight. We were super lucky with the weather both for our trip to downtown as our trip to the Laurentides. It was so much fun to show them around the city! I've lived here long enough now that it is starting to feel a little bit like 'my city' and I like showing her off! 

One of the highlights of the week was our visit to the Jardin botanique where the yearly 'Gardens of Light' provide stunning scenes. Again the weather was amazing, warm, dry and almost no wind so the reflections in the water were flawless! If you haven't had a chance to see the 'Gardens of Light' for yourself you should definitely go seen them before November 1st. Oh and when you do, buy your tickets upfront on their website because the lined can get quite crazy and when you've already got your ticket you get to pass the line and enter right away! 

September 16, 2015

Muddy moats and 'draw bridges'

I think the weather is mocking me, we're back in Montréal and the sun is shining, perfect weather to wash off all that mud! Oh was it ever muddy out there in Toronto! When driving into Toronto on Friday everything was fine, the sun was shining, not a claud in the sky, well.... maybe a few clouds but nothing major, things were looking good.

One sleeps later, and it is pouring rain! Which, as you know, is awesome when you have to set up your tent and bring in your artwork. Oh well, we're in a park, there's grass and we came prepared, we brought tarps, and actual floor tiles! We're going to be fine... Errrr.... Riiiiight....

Turns out there's a lot of bikers in this particular park, and they have to go off the pathways to avoid the people walking there. So the first meter of what used to be grass next the pathway, is now sort of a secondary dirt path or at least that's what it was when we checked things out on Friday. This morning it's more like a muddy river, looks like my booth is going to have a moat!

Moats are fun and all, when you're in a castle, but when they prevent potential clients from entering your booth, not so much. In the mean time my neighbour has come in with a super fancy 'draw bridge'... really, it was super fancy, look...

All we had was a blue tarp, which by itself wasn't going to solve our moat problem. Luckily my amazing husband has strong Google foo, he found a hardware store only a couple of blocks away and, white knight that he is, he didn't mind a quick trip in the rain to find us our own fancy 'draw bridge'. 

Ok, it might not have been as fancy as my neighbour's bridge, this particular hardware store didn't sell wood (and we wouldn't have been able to carry it in the car back to Montréal anyway). But it worked! People were able to enter my booth without drowning and as a bonus it kept my booth relatively free of mud.  :)

On Sunday we only had rain in the morning, the rest of the day was nice and dry, until 6pm obviously, the weather was mocking me remember. Right when is was time to pack up the rain gods decided we could use a little sprinkle, just because it's nice to pack up a soaking wet tent, you know :)

Despite the rain the brave people of Toronto did come out to enjoy some art over the weekend! It was not as busy as it might have been had it been dry, but I was surprised, and pleased with the turnout we got. You never make a ton of money on the rainy ones but we did relatively well so I'm happy. 

Obviously it would have been nice to have had the clear blue skies that we had on Monday for our drive back to Montréal but then we wouldn't have had our amazing 'draw bridge' and that would be a shame ;-)

September 08, 2015

Being busy and colourful...

Things are busy, busy, busy, but... it's a good busy :D Basically, when you work as an artist full time, any busy is a good busy ;) The Queen West Art Crawl is only 4 days away! So preparations are in full  swing! Today I have to pick up a couple of new pillows that I ordered for the occasion, my pillows are produced by a company located in the Belgo building, so I'll have to make a 'quick' trip to downtown Montréal today :D

There are So many things to do before leaving for a show like this, there are paintings to pack, price tags to make, packaging supplies to find, oh so many things! And then there's the challenge of loading everything and the kitchen sink in one single car! Luckily we drive an SUV, but even then I'm not sure how we're going to fit everything! But that's a challenge for tomorrow, today I have to make sure I tag every single item off my list before packing it!

Before I do that though I Have to tell you about my weekend. On Saturday my husband and I participated in the Color Run night, this 5K (it was more 4.5K but oh well) was run on the Formula 1 circuit in downtown Montréal. You basically run the course while people throw coloured powder in your face, yes, this sounds insane and yes, you have to remember to keep you eyes and mouth closed when you're running, but it's really, really fun! We had a blast!

After the run there was a party with music and more coloured powder to throw, I felt like a living abstract painting afterwards! The trip back home in the metro was particularly entertaining. Leaving the track the metro was packed with fellow runners, all looking equally colourful, but the closer we got to home the more people were giving us very odd looks.

Leaving a trail of coloured powder we made it home and after a shower and some laundry only my running shoes have traces of coloured powder left. So now it's time to head back into the studio and cover myself in some new colours, we can't be looking too normal now can we? ;)