OTTAWA GALLERY CLEANED OUT
Little-known Ottawa art gallery gets every single piece of art stolen on opening day!
From The Ottawa Citizen
"In the shadow of the National Gallery of Canada, thieves made away with an entire exhibition of artwork hours after it was unveiled.
It's a strange, $20,000 art heist that has the members of Ottawa's Blink Gallery art co-operative shaking their heads in disbelief.
The art -- paintings, sculpture, jewelry and photographs -- was shown to the public Sunday afternoon at Header House, a small stone building in Major's Hill Park owned by the National Capital Commission. The art pieces were mostly small, with a price limit of $500, displayed in two small rooms.
"Sunday was great. We had at least 150 people come through here," said artist Karina Kraenzle. "It was a great day. It was perfect. The work looked beautiful."
At the end of the four-hour open house, several artists saw the building being locked and the alarm set.
"We rattled the door. We could tell it was locked," said Ms. Kraenzle.
Monday around midday, one of the artists stopped by the building to retrieve one of her pieces and was astonished to find the walls bare, the art gone. The only thing left in the summertime gallery was a fridge. Even the labels above the artwork were gone. There was no sign of forced entry and the alarm was intact.
The co-op's members got an e-mail with the news.
"At first I thought that's not possible. We were all kind of in shock last night," said Ms. Kraenzle, standing in front of the locked building yesterday afternoon.
"It almost seems like an inside job," said Ron Whate, a new artist in the co-operative who didn't have any work in the building. "It was very efficiently done. They didn't disturb anything.
"This was our summer residence. Our own little art gallery," said Mr. Whate. "It's a real heartbreaker. We may have to cancel for the summer.""
The Blink Gallery
has put up photos of the missing art on their site for anyone who might have information.
As someone who considers himself an up and coming artist of some sort
, though I don't know if it will ever be more than a hobby, I must say that it probably does really, really suck to have your art stolen.
On the other hand, not to make too much light of a bad situation, it, in a twisted way, can be considered a compliment to think that thieves consider your art to be something worth stealing. Let's say that I had had some of my work displayed there... would it be worse to have had it stolen, or to be the guy whose work was left behind? I'm not too sure, really.
I noticed the Blink Gallery site
also includes a contact address for a selection committee, so I might just get in touch with them and at least ask what they think of my work (the more recent stuff) if not to offer one or two pieces to fill up that now-empty space. They might not consider it good enough, but it can't hurt to try.
THE ANT-FILLED BASEMENT HORROR!
Ugh. The ants have arrived in my basement. I mean, unless you seal yourself in some kind of sterile, controlled-environment in a laboratory, a few insects are pretty much an inevitability in any house, no matter where you live, and I've certainly seen ants in this house last year, which was my first summer living in Nepean.
But this year we have carpenter ants that are pretty motherfucking huge by ant standards. Okay, they're probably only about maybe a centimetre-and-a-half long at the largest, but that's big enough to at least raise the "Is that a cockroach?" alarm if you see them out of the corner of your eye.
And what is the sweet, delectable treasure they seem to have zeroed in on and targeted with their antennae?
My Loblaws Exact store-brand mouthwash. You see, the downstairs bathroom I use doesn't have anything in the way of counterspace beyond the edges of the sink, so we have to keep the mouthwash and shaving cream and other toiletries on this wooden shelf, and the mouthwash bottle tends to leave a stain at the bottom, so, since we don't own this house, we put a cushion of paper towels below the mouthwash bottle to keep it from staining the shelf. And, over time, those paper towels get saturated with the little drops of mouthwash that dribble down from the cap after each time I wash my mouth
or have an extra late-night nightcap when the beer alone doesn't quite do the job
Well, one of those little scout ants finally discovered the lake of "Cool Blue Mint" mouthwash soaked into the paper towels, and he went back to the colony, which we believe is located somewhere above the basement ceiling, and told everyone there, and now there are dozens of ants on and around the shelf. I tossed out the old paper towel and replaced it with a fresh unsaturated layer, but they remember that it's there, and they keep on coming. Since they can't get the sweetness from the paper towel anymore, they try and get it from the sides of the bottle itself, and I usually find three or four of them on there anytime I pick it up. When that happens, I usually take the bottle to the sink so that the ants can have an encounter with "Mr. Faucet" and his associates "Mr. Drain" and then "Mr. Sewer".
One time, I found two ants under the rim of the cap. At first, it actually looked like some kind of shit stain until I remembered that I hadn't, as far as I can remember, stuck the mouthwash bottle up my butt. Those ants were quite ingenious, going where the taste of the dried-up mouthwash is probably at its most concentrated outside of the contents of the bottle itself. It's probably a good thing I drowned 'em on the odd chance they might have used their mental prowess to plot something more sinister. Like what happened to Bobby Hill on that one crazy first season episode of King of the Hill
where the queen ant used pheromones to control his mind.
I laid two Raid ant traps, one on the shelf and one on the ground, but those things take a couple of weeks to work since they work through sterilization rather than straight extermination.
The creepy part is that a few of the ants have escaped the bathroom and explored further in my basement. I saw a couple on this new crayon drawing I've been working on, and one made it all of the way right here to the computer table where I'm typing this
, which is like ten full metres away, clear on the other end of the main area of the basement.
And, best of all, I have to sleep down here, on the plush green chair with the ottoman, tonight (Friday) and tomorrow night (Saturday), with the ants. Why? Because my brother Nick is visiting from Toronto and he brought his girlfriend along, so his girlfriend is sleeping in the guest bedroom while Nick is sleeping in my bedroom, which is probably the better sleeping arrangement than the other way round, so that Nick doesn't have to explain all of the Cardcaptor Sakura
crap in my own bedroom to her.
They're in town because of my sister's "surprise" (not really, since she was preparing her house for it) baby shower tomorrow. We went along to her house Friday afternoon to help her get the house ready. My father replaced the screen on the screen door that had been mutilated by my sister's Bengal cat, Maya, my mother cleaned the bathrooms, and I got to move baby furniture out of the living room and blow up balloons. Moving the furniture was fairly easy, since the crib was still in pieces and the diaper table wasn't too heavy. It's the blowing of balloons that I have difficulty with. Not the blowing, which is easy. I blow all the time. I'm king of blowing, and I performed this blow job quite masterfully. It's the tying of the ends of the balloons that I can't stand, since it invariably entails cutting off the circulation to a couple of fingers for a minute or two, while I try to get the end of the balloon through the loop that's already being occupied by my thick fingers. Tying knots just doesn't come too naturally to me.
Also, I stubbed my toes on this "Alpine cat scratch" thing that my sister's cat has, and the thing looks flimsy but is built like a damn brick and my toes still hurt twelve hours later.
But we got to have KFC for dinner tonight, with plenty of leftovers, so today wasn't all bad.
My brother Nick will be hanging around Ottawa a little more in the near future, since he finally got accepted into med school at the University of Ottawa, provided he take a summer course in BASIC organic chemistry that is more or less exactly the equivalent of the CEGEP-level organic chemistry class he took at John Abbott College a decade ago. My sister says, since the first two years of Ontario universities are equal to the two years of Quebec CEGEP, the UofO should accept his CEGEP Organic Chemistry credits, but... eh, you know, bureaucracies. I don't think I'm ever going to attend University of Ottawa myself, since I don't have those kind of academic credentials, but, since I go to the anime club there, I know the campus quite well now, and it's a fairly nice campus (not as nice as McGill, though, but Ottawa doesn't have a Mount Royal to give its universities spectacular vistas) and it's centrally located, only about a five-minute walk from the Rideau Centre. But, even though he'll be in the same metropolitain area as us, we won't see him that much more than we see him now, since he'll be very, very busy at med school and he'll still be living on his own.
I've been drawing the past few days, and I've been playing Gran Turismo 4
a lot again, picking up where I left off after I got sidetracked by Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
. But another reason why I haven't been blogging too much this week is because I have been working on online albums. Over in my Fotopic gallery
, I've started an album of pictures I've taken at the Canadian Grand Prix of Formula One in Montreal in 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2002
. It's going to be a "photo a day" kind of deal, because I just have so many photos to scan, most of which aren't nearly as interesting as the one of Ralf Schumacher, back when he was with Jordan-Mugen-Honda (with the Bensons & Hedges colours), spinning his Formula 1 car out at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve's Senna curve
that I put above, and I'm a procrastinator so the only way I'll ever scan all of these half-decent shots of F1 cars is if I do it one a day.
Also, I've added dozens of more photos to Flickr account
, where my photos can get the attention they don't really seem to get on Fotopic, so, if you're a Flickr member and you're reading this, please feel free to add me as a contact and I will do the same. Not that I have any private photos up there for you to see whatsoever.
Oh, and do you know what commercial I can't stand?
"Somewhere between the cobblestones and some church, according to Eddie and Angel, and this really cool oompahpah band that's into hiphop, that's when I realized... that I'm some fucking twit no one likes to be around because I can't stop blathering on and on about the gimmicky special features on my overly-complicated MP3 cellphone that Rogers makes me pay far too much extra a month for the privilege of using."
The thing that bothers me the most about the unsarcastic version of that commercial is that is how the "Cell Phone boor" becomes the center of attention for people who can't get tickets into the stadium where a World Cup "football" (meaning soccer, for those of you in Rio Linda) match is taking place because he is playing clips of goals on his tiny cellphone screen. Uh... hello, Rogers, you are aware that there is this amazing technology that has been around for the past two-and-a-half decades called "handheld LCD televisions", where people can watch the ENTIRE game (provided that there's a TV station in the city broadcasting the game, but if it's a city with a stadium, there almost certainly is) without paying any service fees whatsoever (other than the cost of the AA batteries, duh). And... uh... those kinds of cell phone services exist in Germany too, so they probably don't need a Canadian "Cell phone boor" with his magic screen to be able to see what's going on inside the stadium.
And the people that wrote the ad probably have never actually been in an actual major European city during the World Cup. I was in Copenhagen, Denmark, for a weekend during the 1998 World Cup, and, one of the nights that I was there, the Danish team was playing against an African country. I believe it was Nigeria. In the main town square of Copenhagen
there were literally, I'd say, easily, at least a hundred thousand people watching the game, which was being played in France, on several giant-sized Jumbotron-type screens similar to those you see at a Formula One race. I doubt that Copenhagen was the only city in Europe to offer citizens the opportunity to watch that glorified game of kickball that Europeans get "all up ons" about in such a manner, and everyone else just stayed home and watched it on TV. Watching it on a titchy little cell phone screen seems like only an absolute last resort thing to do, and I'm sure some of those tech babies that need the overly-complicated gadgets will opt to watch the World Cup games that way regardless, but I don't think having such a cell phone will suddenly make you the hero of the crowd because it's not like the only other way the European denizens will ever get to know that their team has scored will be from the town criar. Nor will it make the European lassies think that your penis is any bigger. Sorry.The politically-incorrect ending to my "World Cup crowd in Copenhagen" anecdote is that Denmark won the match and then I witnessed some Danish football fans assaulting a couple of stuffed dummies that were like life-sized rag dolls with rather racist pitch black skin and nappy hair that were wearing Nigeria uniforms, punching them, kicking them, and tearing them apart. Not that I in any way approve of beating up black men, even symbolically in effigy form; I'm just telling you what I saw.
THE LAST CRATE!
My mother went shopping and bought me the last crate of Vanilla Coke... okay, probably not the last crate anywhere in the world, but the last crate at the McDaniel's Independent supermarket on Meadowlands, near Merivale, in Nepean. She also hasn't seen any lately at the Loeb's on Merivale.
So I'll have to ration these twelve cans out, carefully choosing which thirst situations are Vanilla-worthy the same way that Elaine Benes got the final crate of her favourite contraceptive, the sponge, from the pharmacy after the company that made them pulled them because of some cancer risk and then she gave anyone who she wanted to sleep with an exhaustive test as part of a stringent screening process to see who is "sponge-worthy".
I tried the replacement, Black Cherry Vanilla Coke, a couple of weeks ago, and it had a smooth cherry taste that sort of tasted like someone melted cherry ice cream in Coke; not bad, but I didn't find it as good as even regular Cherry Coke, let alone regular Vanilla Coke.
My dog, Luke, and most of me as seen in the mirror tiles in the main corridor. It doesn't have anything to do with Vanilla Coke, but I had the Ricoh Caplio camera out anyway and it seemed like a cool angle.
LOOK WHAT MY MOTHER GOT ME!
For future drawing projects:
Yup, a 96 pack of Crayola Crayons!
With a built-in crayon sharpener!
And, yes, I did sign my name on the back. Just in case anyone else who hangs around in my basement mistakes my 96 pack of Crayolas for their 96 pack of Crayolas.
You can never be too careful.
I don't care how old you are, that's a sight that never ceases to be awe-inspiring, all those crayons lined up in rows, like a garrison of young military recruits fresh from training camp, about to be deployed on the battlefield that is the 56 by 71 cm piece of drawing card I will break them in on. Few will make it back to the box intact.
And, even as an adult, that wax smell is no less pleasing now than it was when I was 6 years old.
Each crayon has the colour listed in English, Spanish, and French on ths side. Not all the names are literal translations of one another. There's this one grayish-brown that I'd describe as being roughly the colour of... how should I put this delicately... stale dog shit, that, in English, is "Tumbleweed", in Spanish is "Arena" (as in bullfighting?), and, in French, is "Rouge Bordeaux". But it's not remotely red, not even in Bordeaux. It's not even borderline red, like the brownish-red colour that used to be called "Indian Red" in the days before people got overly sensitive about such things. I think the colour that used to be "Indian Red" is now called "Bittersweet" ("Douce-Amére"), or maybe "Mahogany" ("Ocajou"). Speaking of red, there is now a colour called "Radical Red", which, I presume, is for young Communists for when they need just the right red to color the flags in their murals of May Day marches. Some of these fluorescent glow-in-the-light type colours are barely distinguishable from one another, like they're almost the same colour with a different name on the wrapper. I can hardly discern the difference between "Atomic Tangerine", "Vivid Tangerine", and "Neon Carrot". And "Salmon gray" appears to be no more, replaced by a colour called "Timberwolf". At least if I ever have to draw urine in crayon form, I have "Dandelion", the yellow whose French name is far more descriptive: "Pissenlit" (literally "piss in bed", which is what they call the dandelion flowers because of the dandelion's diuretic qualities).
I don't know if my next drawing will be in crayon, though.
I would like to continue my "London widescreen" drawing series, probably with my photograph of Admiralty Arch
, though the idea of drawing this photo I took crossing Haymarket street, with a BMV and a Mercedes both coming towards me
, is growing on me. I also have this great idea for something else to do with Piccadilly Circus
, though, this time, it won't be a straight drawing based on a photo. That's all I'll say about that.
Or, maybe I'll get an early start on my crayon drawing of the Enron Ferrari 360 Modena
that I want to draw for the "Adults who play with crayons" mail art exhibition.
After more than half a year, and a lot of procrastination, my coloured pencil drawing of an Asian girl snapping a photograph of an Austin-Healey at a classic car display on Peel street in Montreal in June 2001 (during Canadian Grand Prix of Formula One weekend)
is finally finished.
It is a drawing that is, at the same time, both of the Austin-Healey car, and of the act of photography... ooh, it's like two drawings in one. And I like that there's the metaphorical "glass slipper" that is the photograph that the Asian girl took that could identify whomever's back it was that I drew, if I was ever to find it.
I started this picture way back in September, worked on it off and on until about December, procrastinated, and didn't really make a serious attempt to finish it until the past week (mid-May 2006).
What caused the procrastination in the start was some of the smaller details on the Austin-Healey's grille. I just got frustrated and quit (getting a Playstation 2 helped to distract me from finishing it). I eventually decided to just try and approximate what I see to the best of my ability and not worry about it being perfect, perfect, perfection.
The Peugeot 505 in the background doesn't look too real, but I kind of like that it turned out to be almost like a caricature of what pretty much all Peugeots from the past two decades look like to me.
It's not quite photorealistic, but I think it's the closest I've come yet to photorealism, and I consider it a step above my London drawings. The perspective is a little dodgy, but I think I had the camera set at 28 mm, the widest I could get, so the actual photo of the girl taking a picture of a classic Austin-Healey car
looks like that too.
I dedicate this drawing to You're Under Arrest
creator, Kosuke Fujishima, because the amount of detail that he puts into the automobiles he draws definitely inspired me to do the same here.
I'm proud of this drawing. Maybe I'll go hang it in the National Gallery, right next to Ottawa native Tom Green's painting, "Tiger Zebra".EDIT:
Oops, forgot the obligatory links to the drawing in my Fotopic.net gallery
, and my Drawings album
.The same picture housed on a couple of different servers, just for image search ranking purposes.
A colored pencil drawing of an Asian girl snapping a photograph of an Austin-Healey at a classic car display on Peel street in Montreal in June 2001 (during Canadian Grand Prix of Formula One weekend).
A coloured pencil drawing of an Asian girl snapping a photograph of an Austin-Healey at a classic car display on Peel street in Montreal in June 2001 (during Canadian Grand Prix of Formula One weekend).
A coloured pencil drawing of an Asian girl snapping a photograph of an Austin-Healey at a classic car display on Peel street in Montreal in June 2001 (during Canadian Grand Prix of Formula One weekend).