Care and Creative Expressions: 500 Years for L’Hotel Dieu

Initially I wasn’t keen to visit a heritage hospital and convent in Beaune, France.  Like many folks, I associate hospitals with dull institutional places that ..do great work for people from birth to death. There is no North American equivalent like L’Hotel Dieu  —  very old and with past health care public service for 500…

Awestruck on La Rambla and Beyond: Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona, Spain is like Vancouver, British Columbia  –millions of tourists pour into each city every year.  After four days, we still had not exhausted its rich treasure chest of sights and experiences.  Inevitably visitors end up crossing or on its main pedestrian street, La Rambla. It was my first time in Spain whereas for Jack,…

Blogging is My Truth-Telling

Sometimes I wonder  if I am a rare, geek blogger:   I date photos on my personal blog.  What a dork.  Do people really care about photo dates? I can’t help it.  It’s about truth-telling –things I’ve seen, propel me to tell stories.  Stories of truth.  My photos are part of truth-telling. As Witness to the Marvellous…

Humanities and Arts: Talent and Creativity Redefines Logic

Whenever there are cutbacks to classroom time, courses or extracurricular school activities for: the arts, theatre, music, creative writing, I’m concerned. Arts, Humanities Touches Daily Life:  Highest and Mundane Details Those snickers about people who major in philosophy, history, literature  –university / college programs which don’t provide a clear-cut path to an immediate job, I wonder:  …

Warming Up to Bison Art and Branding

A sign of an entrenched native prairie animal icon, is  a hulking, ugly bison stamped into Alberta handmade soap.  Not that I’ve seen a salmon icon on Pacific coast local soap  –yet.  Pacific coastal soapmakers might find dolphins and whales more romantic iconography for beauty soap products. Not Exactly Cuddly While the bison isn’t cuddly nor evokes…

Reject Not at First Glance : Stained Glass Church Art

Two decades ago, I tossed out my 30-lb. stained glass artwork into the garbage a few years after I finished two stained glass art courses.  I dubbed the art piece, “Spring Thaw”. “Spring Thaw” was hoisted out into the garbage room,  because I thought it was unworthy of transporting 4,000 km. in moving  to Vancouver from Toronto.  Yes, it was…

Small and Suave: Dijon Lures with Charm and Wonder

If North American urbanites could have cosy, yet sophisticated and relaxed cities like Dijon, France, we would all be happier and healthier. Timeless, Relaxed Elegance Dijon is like a timeless elegant lady, yet sitting relaxed in a polished, antique chair. She wears a silk blouse with a pair of worn jeans and stylish deep red…

Creative Alchemy of Making Unfettered Art. Part 1 – Visual Art

One of the glass barriers I want to shatter every time when creating art, is my own inhibitions. That blank canvas, tabula rasa, that snow-white endless blank computer screen or empty writing page either begs an artistic watermark or taunts me to sully its virginal purity. Making Art, Take a Risk of Falling Last year, a blogger-writer and…

Easy-Peasy or Daunting: Getting to Local Art and Attractions by Bike, Foot, Transit

A long while ago, I was  volunteer blogger for Tourism Vancouver’s blog, Inside Vancouver.  My special self-chosen niche, was flogging outdoor Vancouver attractions, reachable by bike, foot or transit. So I zoomed into fabulous outdoor art, parks and scenic vistas.  Metro Vancouver is abundant with an array of  jaw-dropping scenery, galleries and historic sites clustered…

Balancing Between Active and Brain-Based: Your Passions For Life

Awhile ago, I wrote a blog post on discovering your favourite exercise, a sport or your physical activity that dovetails neatly into your lifestyle and personality. A sure bet you will want to take up that exercise several times per week for health, fun and for a long time. Brain-Based Passions Well, at the other…

Mountain Leaf and Light Dancing

Art and poetry are mere light and colour shadows, whisper-thin metaphors of Nature.  Here are some paintings and haiku I fashioned. Windswept leaves flung Down mountain, spin freewheelin’ Water cradles home. Translucent layers Fold a mountain range,  Copper-flames burnish gently. Glory gold glitter Rustles stories and dream-light Cast a fairy spell.

Paint My Heart in Autumn Red-Gold and Orange

So far, there’s only one painting I’ve done, stoked by warm memories of Ontario’s stunning autumn leaf colour.  Swaths of flaming orange, red and gold paint forests, in parks and trees along streets and attract many walkers, cyclists and  car trip drivers.  While Vancouver, BC maps cherry blossom viewing locations every spring,  in autumn, Ontario…

Crafting My Personal Blogger Infographic

After stumbling across Piktochart and free template, I cobbled my first personal blogger infographic. Clearly I am behind:  I didn’t know resumes could be dolled up as an infographic. Here’s more information than you’ll ever need.  I spent too much time having fun. You might have to increase your Screen View to 125 – 150% to read this…

Cycling Fires My Five Senses, Inspiration

While I was blissed out during a wonderful Christmas  baroque music concert, it suddenly dawned on me why I bicycle day after day. Year after year.  The frenzied violinists with half closed eyes in their  Zen trance while teasing music from their strings,  was akin to cycling as a great sensory experience. Cycling –An Easier Sensory Journey Cycling is…

Prairie’s Declaration of Horse Love in Art

Alberta loves to trot out its love for horses in visual art, equestrian arts and competition, as well as rodeo events. It wasn’t until I moved to  Calgary in the prairies, where I’ve met more ordinary folks in this Canadian region,  than Toronto or Vancouver, who have family members that own and ride at least…

Salmon Art Leaps Into Pacific West Coast Imagination

Salmon is king in Vancouver  –in local cuisine and in art.  After a few days wandering in the city or anywhere along the coast of British Columbia, you are bound to stumble across salmon swishing through water or jumping up in sculpture, murals or mosaics.  Salmon iconography is in Salish coastal Indian art, outdoor contemporary…

Hanging Onto My Broken Mother Tongue

It may be weird, but I don’t even know Chinese words for “please” or “good-bye” .  Yet I dutifully check off Chinese, as my mother tongue on Canada’s census form.  Am I delusional about my own Chinese fluency? Does that mean I come from a rude, brusque family? Meh.  Maybe.  Each family has their own…

More than Just Dragons- Art on Chinese-Canadian Experience

Don’t get me wrong: I love dragons. A dragon pops up often enough:  whenever there is a celebration or poster flogging a Canadian Chinatown event or something involving Chinese-Canadian history or culture. I love the dragon for its aesthetic drawing power –in parades, dance, paintings, textiles, rugs, sculpture and jewellery. Dragons in Canada- Convenient Icon? However, I…