Tyler of all trades

April 9, 2021

“I need a lot of varied projects to empty myself out creatively,” says artist, Tyler Hays. Hays paints, makes furniture, ceramics and designs clothing and homewares all under the BDDW brand that he founded back in 1995. His Duchamp inspired urinals are the most beautiful latrines I’ve ever seen. And if not for the price, I’d buy twenty of his warm and nostalgic mugs. Hays brings humour and whimsy to his paintings. There’s a fair enough of weird running through all of them. Odd little legs make this table feel like its part sea creature, and I think every home should be lucky enough to own an Abel Club Chair. It’s the grandpa of chairs. Have a look around, there’s so much to see.

glass act

April 8, 2021

Her work is marked by a sense of ornate lavishness, extravagance and flamboyance combined with eccentric deviance,” reads artist, Helle Mardahl‘s bio. Sign me up. Mardahl’s multi hued glass creations are like jewels for the home with colours such as violet, caramel apple, milky rose and dark grape. Give me a bon bon cocktail glass for my fresh raspberries, and this bubblegum pink vase for my sweet peas. I’m not always drawn to glass art, but this work blew me away.

draft

April 8, 2021

We need a certain distance from an experience before we can write about it. There are rough drafts, for sure, but the final edit only comes with hindsight. Everyday, in my head, while I walk, I am writing drafts. Rough drafts on what it feels like to not have seen my Mum in over a year. Rough drafts on recovering from burnout. Rough drafts on moving masked around your own home when your child tests positive for Covid. Rough drafts on the maddening injustices and inconsistencies of pandemic life. Of life. In between drafts, I seek out beauty. I seek out artists doing imaginative things. I seek out stories of humans stretching beyond their comfort zones. Of finding silver linings in the struggle. La Parachute is one segment of the grapefruit. But a vital one. It’s where I come to escape, to explore. To prepare for my next draft.

mixed media

April 7, 2021

It’s not just that Sabine Finkenauer is prolific, it’s that she travels so fluidly and consistently from one medium to another. Cloth, paper, wood, metal. Finkenauer achieves a levity and playfulness throughout her work. Her heart flowers make mine go boom. There is a delicate simplicity to her collages, and to her whimsical sculpture work, too. Have a look around, Finkenauer’s work may brighten your day, too.

Around and around we go

April 6, 2021

UMBERTO PASTI’S Moroccan hillside garden.

SERGIO SISTER’S colourful wall mounted boxes.

RIITA IKONEN’S brilliantly surreal world.

A Small Octagonal Pavilion Tent.

Audrey turns her hair into a mini pillbox.

SERENA MITNIK MILLER’S playful, geometric watercolours.

Lake Erie based master glass blower, PETER GUDRUNAS.

ALICE WAESE’S weird and ethereal jewellery.

Romantic frocks by Cecilie Bahsnen.

reclined

April 6, 2021

I know very little about Marisa Berenson, beyond the fact that we own the same Valentino skirt. I bought mine at a small vintage shop on Avenue Road for less than $100. I’ve worn it once –– to my daughter’s Christening –– and once may be enough. It’s beautiful; white organdy, appliqué flowers, long to the ground. Elsa Schiaparelli was Berenson’s grandmother and she was the first model to pose nude in Vogue. On a day when I am feeling as glamorous as a non-reclining seat on a low cost carrier, I bring you this fabulous image of Berenson, fabulously reclined on a fabulous sofa.

scribbler

April 2, 2021

I’m a big fan of Mary Matson‘s fresh and colourful style. The Santa Monica based artist has collaborated with everyone from Alex Mill and J.Crew to Kate Spade and Frances Valentine. These blue animated scribbles caught my eye the other day, as did this image of cut fruit. Her aesthetic –– a mix of Matisse, David Hockney, Keith Haring and Alex Katz, to name a few –– is happy making. Truly, have a scroll through her work, you’ll feel brighter by the minute. “I’ll start with an idea, or something just catches my eye—a pile of striped shirts on the floor that looks like an ocean or a group of socks that looks like a school of fish.”

glass act

April 1, 2021

Julia Condon‘s handmade celestial mobiles combine crystals, semi precious stones, beads and blown glass sourced from India, Mexico and Cornwall. The combination of colours, shapes and materials is so lovely, and some even light up. Here, one of Condon’s mobiles hangs in Nate Berkus’ daughter’s room. The mobile below is made up African resin beads, quartz crystals, coral, jade, amber, gold, wax and stainless steel. It’s quite beautiful.

remember me

March 31, 2021

I’m familiar with almost every memorial tree, bench and park in the Annex, and a fair few beyond our borders. Anyone who walks with me regularly knows that reading the commemorative plaques is a bit of an obsession. How do you distill a person into a sentence or two, capture their spirit in a stanza, their life’s legacy in a rhyming couplet? “Jay Macpherson enriched our world,” says a commemorative plaque for the poet in a parkette at the corner of Dupont and Avenue Road. “And mountains for David were made to see over,” are the words written on David William Priddle’s commemorative bench on Willcocks Street. “In loving memory of Barbara Ann Ward, from her devoted husband of 57 years.” “Michael J. Walker read here.” Some of my favourites are in the Philosopher’s Walk. Gordon Bruce Cummings “walked this path in happiness.” Pablo Neruda’s Soneto de la Noche appears with a dedication from his family. Leo Zakuta, “much loved professor and tennis player. Iconoclast. Gentleman.” I think it’s a beautiful tradition, and a lovely way for a person to live on. These people are on my daily walks, and I feel I know them. “You were the sunshine of our lives, and always will be,” reads Samya Maiko Al-Kholani’s bench beside Robarts Library. Very often, it’s the simplest ones that move me the most. “Daddy.”

Around and around

March 30, 2021

VIVIAN SUTER mixes paint with mud, rainwater and fish glue.

NANCY & BURT‘s Yunomi style teacup.

How to make hot cross buns.

CELIA BERNARDO‘s floral spring frocks.

Peonies as big as fried eggs.

GEORG ÓSKAR infuses his paintings with humour and childlike enthusiasm.

“If I can give one piece of wisdom to my children, ‘it’s just be your biggest fan,'” actor, MARTIN SHORT says on Off Camera with photographer, SAM JONES.

GARY CALTON chronicles his solitary walks around the North York Moors.

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