Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Spring Travels 2016 _ Part III & IV - Ottawa & Sherbrooke


After 5 days  in Montreal we left on Friday and headed to Ottawa. Now our dear friend Anne-Marie we had seen twice last year she already discovered the beauty of Nova Scotia. I was thrilled to visit her and her new partner Mathieu and of course the cutest puppy ever: Peeta.
We spent the weekend exploring the Ottawa Tulip Festival, the National Gallery, Ethiopian Food and just had a good time relaxing with good friends.  

Soooooooo many tulips. 

Not pictured here are my swollen eyes, wheezing breathing and overall allergy misery. The tulips were not the issue, but all the tree pollen thick in the air. Allergies in Ottawa were worse than I have experienced them in 5 years. 

Goofing around.

When we planned our trip to Ottawa I luckily came across this article.
And found out that Picasso's Vollard Suite of 100 Etchings is on display at the National Gallery while we are there. Seeing all 100 Etchings in one place is already very exciting. And I knew the imagery from books. But seeing them in person was truly a fantastic experience. They were like sketches from a sketchbook, often exploring the same images from different angles. People and Stilllife set ups that may have shown up in his paintings. I loved seeing that Picasso dated many of them on the plate but didn't take into consideration that of course the image would be printed mirrored, or maybe he did but did not care, so all the dates are written backwards. Seeing the shift in his line work from etching to drypoint, where all of a sudden his lines are not as smooth, he is fighting the metal as he is scratching into the plate creates a personal connection between the artist and the printmaker viewing the prints. Understanding the processes and techniques makes the exhibition even more intriguing to visit. If you are in Ottawa, go see it. Even if you dislike Picasso. Go see. 

A piece that I enjoyed revisiting at the National Gallery was this painting by Dali. I am always blown away by the very small size of his works. His works have been sold as Posters so much that people always expect the actual paintings to be equally as large.
 The dude has a lobster on his head, of course it is awesome, but what fascinates me is the minuscule details painted at a small scale. The close up below is the section of this painting where he portraits his wife. She must be about 1 inch tall in the painting, but the detail on her jacket will blow you away. 

Seeing so much art makes me hungry. We went and stuffed our faces with AMAZING Ethiopian food at Habesha Restaurant.

There was much goofing around with our friend Peeta before we left town. 

Thank you Anne Marie for having us and spending a few days with us. We enjoyed every second of it! And Mathieu, you are pretty fantastic!


The last leg of our trip before we arrived back in Halifax was an overnight stop in Sherbrooke, QC. The great Darren Turner and Marie - France Raymond put us up for the night. Scott went for an ATV ride around the area and I went horseback riding on my old friend Merlin and for a trail ride with Marie-France and Justin. It was awesome!

We left Sherbrooke on May 16th at 6 AM. It was -2C and snowing.
Between my stay in Kelowna and then this, I experienced a temperature fluctuation of 32 degrees within a week and a half, all in the same country. Canada is an extraordinary place!

We made it home by 6:45 pm Atlantic time. 

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