Autumn Diptychs, Portland

A photographer I’ve recently come across on Twitter got me thinking about diptychs again. I haven’t shot any in ages but I love shooting two separate images and creating an even more interesting composition from the combination. I shot these three while Boris and I were in Portland a few weekends ago.

A Scattering of Leaves
A Scattering of Leaves

Leaves and Boris Feet
Leaves and Boris Feet


Please visit the OneSee daily photo project by Jessica Bell for more diptychs. She inspired me to start looking at the world with fresh eyes.

A Weekend Away on Galiano Island

Boris and I were in need of a short getaway from the city and after exploring our options we settled on a weekend trip to Galiano. I’ve always wanted to visit Galiano Island but it’s taken me almost six years of living in Vancouver before I could get around to going. We took transit to the ferry terminal in Tsawwassen on Friday morning and caught the 10am ferry direct to the island. Boris’ friend Christian Nally met us on the other side, with a welcoming smile and a car he would end up lending us for the weekend.

Our first stop was lunch at the Flying Black Dog, a small food caravan serving freshly made delicious food which we sat in the sunshine to devour. Christian suggested a hike up Mount Galiano as our next activity, since the weather was good and we had time to kill before checking into the B&B. So off we went through mossy cedar forest along overgrown trails that wound up and up to the very top with a magnificent view of the surrounding Gulf Islands. We saw many birds up there, small ones in the trees and large ravens and an eagle riding the wind above. Not far from the bottom of the trail is the original cemetery with gravestones dating back to the mid-eighteen hundreds. The cemetery has a lovely view out over the water and not far off was a small island covered in a colony of seals basking in the late afternoon sun.

the view

Tree branches

The Bed and Breakfast we stayed in, Sands of Morning Beach, was a lovely spot to wake up to. The front of the house looks out onto Morning Beach and the morning light shining on the water was just stunning. The owners of the B & B have multiple feeders set up in the trees to feed a multitude of birds so the view is also filled with non-stop bird watching. I saw at least five or six hummingbirds zooming around at high speed, plus goldfinches, crows, sparrows, juncos, chickadees, and many more I’m not sure what to identify as. On the inside of the house there is a pet Senegal Parrot named Mango, and two energetic small dogs named Howie and Pogo.


Saturday we spent our day driving around the island exploring whatever we came across. Galiano Island Books is one stop in town I highly recommend. They have an excellent selection of books, and one very demanding cat that commands customers for attention with a loud yowl. My favorite part of the day was having a picnic in sunny Spotlight Cove, with me exploring the tide pools looking for tiny crab while Boris sat on a log reading a book.

I also enjoyed our stop at Stone World, a fantastic Bodega Ridge landscape of standing stones and ritually decorated rocks created by stone carver Steve Ocsko. His wife Barbara gave us a tour of the indoor studio explaining the evolution of Steve’s carving work, which led to a fascinating and inspiring conversation about geology, art, and using the internet. Along with the stone sculptures the studio had many lovely found natural objects, such as a wasp’s nest, a hummingbird nest, the largest barnacle shell I’ve ever seen, and much more. It was a fascinating visit and Boris and I really hit it off with Barbara. Stone World seems to have an odd reputation with locals, or at least that’s the impression I have from talking to people. Lots of people know of it but have strange ideas because of the standing stones, and so they haven’t visited themselves. Our friends were surprised when we told them about our visit and what we found there (nothing weird, that is).

standing stones

Our hosts for the weekend, Christian and Martine, invited us for dinner with friends at their place on Saturday evening. It was a cozy time spent laughing, talking, eating and playing games. Martine runs a catering business on Galiano and as you can imagine, she makes delicious food. Part of the meal was a dish of lentils cooked with bacon, which is something I’d be happy to revisit again since I love both lentils and bacon. Boris was hijacked by Lili, Martine’s six year old daughter, shortly after our arrival and she had him bouncing around on the rebounder trampoline which was fun to watch.

Sandstone formations

Our final day on Galiano was a rainy one, but we went out exploring anyway. A walk around Morning Beach with Howie the dog revealed interesting formations in the sandstone and a large water-carved cave to take shelter in when the rain came down hard. There were tiny gardens of succulent plants on the top of large boulders which were very colourful and beautiful. Our last stop before departing the island was a drive on Bodega Beach Road which led to a hike down a slug covered trail and then to a view overlooking the Strait of Georgia with rainy Vancouver across the way.

Succulent plants

It was a lovely weekend away, and much needed for Boris and I. We managed to cover a lot of ground on our short trip, but I’d be happy to go again and see more.

A myriad of subtle ways


My horoscope from Free Will Astrology is pretty kick ass this week:

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): If you really knew how much you were loved, you would never cry again. A sublime relaxation would flood your nervous system, freeing you to see the beautiful secrets that your chronic fear has hidden from you. If you knew how much the world longs for your genius to bloom in its full glory, the peace that filled you would ensure you could not fail. You’d face every trial with eager equanimity. You would always know exactly what to do because your intuition would tell you in a myriad of subtle ways. And get this: A glimpse of this glory will soon be available to you.

My weekend also falls under a similar category of awesomeness as the above words, and so I give you Five Good Things from the weekend:
1. Swimming in the ocean every day. It was just enough to get me over some of the discomfort I feel when in the ocean. (What lurks below me in the water?!?)
2. So much delicious food to eat, from Dungeness crab, to fresh cherries and apricots, to fresh from the oven cakes. Yum.
3. Daily naps to catch up on all the sleep I lost to the previous weeks heat.
4. Watching Vancouver recede as we sped away at dusk on the Granville Island water taxi to Bowen Island, and the moon and the city lights danced upon the waves.
5. Getting away from the city and spending time with good friends.

Jellyfish are Pretty

Jellyfish are pretty

Good Things:
1. Having a weekend that was busy, fun, and restful.
2. Hanging out at Blenz writing letters, drinking hot chocolate, and doodling on someone’s arm.
3. Getting inspired to work on a new project and it’s due in two weeks.
4. Spending time wandering the city, hanging out with a friend, looking in art stores and galleries.
5. Finishing the roll of film that I’ve had in my pinhole camera for ages.

(How’s that for some dull blogging? I wrote this while I was a tired zombie.)

Angel & Devil

Angel & Devil

Good things from the weekend:
1. Beautiful dahlias from the Kitsilano Farmers Market.
2. Walks and talks to and from Jericho Beach.
3. Fresh made egg pancakes with sugar and lemon.
4. Laughing over my seat adjustment antics in the truck with Hendrik.
5. A long leisurely Sunday afternoon.

Plum Cake

Plum cake
Recipe for Plum Cake from Anne Mann.

Good things
– sending off my registration form for an artist retreat, Artfest, in 2009
– meeting my weekly artistic goals of collaging and self portrait shooting
– an exhilarating yet terrifying ride on a scooter around Bowen Island
– having a mutually inspiring talk with an artist on Bowen who also works with collage and photography
– working on a shot I hope will get accepted into a group show later this fall in Portland

Not-so-good things
– continuing to procrastinate over a few too many things related to my personal work
– feeling the distance between myself and friends I thought were close ones
– not quite being able to get over the negative interpretations
– feeling really out of shape
– worrying about money (which is like the stupidest thing in the world…)

Collaboration Across the Miles – Directions

Collaboration across the miles - Directions

This is the second in the collaborative series I started back in June with my friend Kai. She moved to China a few months ago and as a way to keep in touch I suggested we do a photographic collaboration. We take turns selecting the themes and also putting together the diptychs.

Kai is on the right Rachael is on the left.

The gentle art of fallen petals.

The gentle art of fallen petals

I’m still here. I’ve been extremely busy for the last month between work, and getting my show together, so blogging has gone by the wayside as a result. The show opens this Thursday, and I will write a bit more about it later this week…

Cultivating virtue

Beautiful buddha1000 paper cranes

VIRTUE will be genuine when one cultivates oneself.
VIRTUE will thrive when one cultivates oneself with her family.
VIRTUE will grow rich when one cultivates oneself with his village.
VIRTUE will abound when one cultivates oneself with her nation.
VIRTUE will flourish universally when one cultivates oneself with all people under Heaven.
Chapter 54, Tao Te Ching

My friend Amy sent me this quote as a follow up to a discussion we had shortly before I left Portland. We are thinking of doing a project together, that is if we can each make the time, and figure out how to do it…