Monday, March 31, 2008

Another Canadian Gem.....

Only 11 more sleeps until Ryan and I head back to Canada for some homeland-recharge time, and what better time to recognize yet another of Canada's cultural gems?

Today's Canadian gem was actually suggested to me a couple of years ago by my astute and taste-full husband, Ryan, who discovered Canadian author and playwright, Roberston Davies while we were living in Vancouver.

I didn't actually start reading Davies' work until recently and thus far am only into the third novel in his Salterton trilogy, but already, I'm hooked. His stories are so contained and yet so delightful. His characters are wonderfully full and surprising and make for good companions during my daily escapist lunch breaks. (Plus doesn't he just look like someone you'd want to be your grandpa?)

Davies, who in his 82 years produced 11 novels, 11 plays and countless essays and literary critiques, is definitely a Canadian author that is worth checking out. His books, although generally grouped into trilogies, are fairly quick reads and can be read separately. Check him out (I know the library here in Columbus has copies of a lot of his novels) and be sure to let me know what you think!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Funny and Awesome vs. Interesting and Pretty

Two weeks ago I headed out to the C-Note art show at Junctionview Studios. The evening was great and Jacqui, Karl, Jessie and I got to see lots of great art, each entry for sale at $100.00. As we perused the different pieces: color filled canvases the dotting the walls, sculptures arranged just so, mixed media projects, something soon became apparent. When you're looking at art that you might BUY, art you might actually OWN, conversations about art can become a lot more practical.

If you were to visit the Louvre, or the MOMA, the art there (for the average person at least) is definitely not for sale. In those instances you can have a healthy sense of distance from the pieces you're looking at. You can sit back on your intellectual haunches and evaluate art on a much more theoretical level. You can gazed deeply into the Mona Lisa's eyebrow-less face and talk about the angles, the lines and the history behind the piece in a very abstract way. All a conversation like that costs you is the time it takes you to think. Relatively cheap depending on how fast your brain works.

How different would it be if you could take Mona home and hang her in your bathroom?

On some level, that night, for the four of us gallery hoppers, it boiled down to the simple question: "Do I like this art enough to buy it?" Or maybe even more simply "Do I like this art?" Once you start asking those questions it's soon becomes apparent that on a gut level people look at art in very different ways and want to own art for different reasons.

For example, Karl loved certain pieces almost entirely because of what they communicated. What did the art say to people? Is that something he wanted to say as well? Some of examples of pieces he liked, aside from his very favorite, included: 1) a funky painting featuring a post apocalyptic scene with tiny, bug-like man shouting into a megaphone at a chimpanzee silhouette made of stars floating in the heavens and 2) an an impressive painting done in airbrushed spray paint featuring a skull about to blow out the candle on a birthday-esque cupcake. As he's said to us before Karl would describe his taste in art as "Funny and Awesome" with an optional level of "Does it rock?" and the pieces he enjoyed most highlighted those descriptors perfectly.

Across the spectrum Jacqui and I were looking at things on a much more aesthetic level. If Karl's personal taste is "Funny and Awesome" we might be more "Interesting and Pretty". What was the design of the pieces? Looking at the colors, shapes and lines how did they make us feel? Would a certain painting match the colors in our living room? Some of our favorites pieces included: 1) A four panel photography piece featuring close ups of vibrant green grass and 2) a large, mottled brown canvas with descending rust red numbers (9,8,7,6....) painted from top to bottom along one side and in in center a blood red heart, detailed and anatomically precise.

(Jessie was probably somewhere in between Karl and Jacqui and I loving many of pieces that Karl was fond up but also appreciating the aesthetics and careful craft of others.)

Later Jacqui and I were confounded to hear Karl say "I don't really think about what color something is." and in the same way I'm sure he was mystified as we said things like "I love the different shades of brown, it looks like they used tea to dye the canvas." or "Is the design of this human heart too life like to hang above our couch?"

Totally different approaches to art. Neither one wrong, or better, just different. And all because we had to ask ourselves the practical question: "Do I like this enough to buy it?"

I don't know exactly what that says about the cross over between art and consumerism, or the world of ideas vs. brass tacks reality but it was interesting moment of realization and brought into focus how subjective art can be. It also makes me think about how living in community with people especially with people who enjoy art can really open you up to being influenced by people's personal tastes, and artistic bents.

For example, I'll be honest, while memories of many pieces I liked from C-Note are fading, the images of Karl's star spangled chimpanzee or Rancid Yack Butter Tea Party are proving hard to shake.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Hey everyone!

Just a reminder that this Thursday is Third Thursdays with Amanda Anderson and Erica Carlson, who will teach us to make sushi and tempura! We hope to see you all there! Check out our website for more details (

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Well, I just thought I would continue the posted about C-Note(Wild Goose Creative Loves some C-Note). Anyway, I headed down to C-Note on Friday to check out the art and perhaps to purchase. While, there Jessie and I saw a few things we liked, but decided if we were to buy anything, it would be the giant piece that said Rancid Yak Butter Tea Party. The piece is blue with cutout clouds and a cut-out area that said Rancid Yak Butter Tea Party. It was also roughly 56"X 50" for $100 dollars. I'll pause while you recover from jaw-dropping savings. So clearly, I should have purchased it immediatly, but I'm less of a hundredarie than you might think, and I panicked and fled. After a soothing beer at Cafe Apropos, I was ready to drop the hundo on the awesome piece of art. We drove back up to Junctionview, feeling triumphant and I strode confidently to where my new art was hanging. And that was where I saw it....a little sold tag. Awww..Dang. Well...I guess the early bird and you snooze you lose and all that. Next Time, Rancid Yak Butter Tea, Next time.

P.S. Yak Butter Tea is a delicious Tibetan treat, try it!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

C-Note Art Show moved to next weekend!

Due to the Blizzard of 2008, the C-Note Art Show at Junctionview Studios has been moved to next weekend, Friday, March 15th from 7-10:30 and Saturday, March 16th, 7-midnight. We hope to see you there!

Friday, March 7, 2008

C-Note Art Show Reminder!

Hey, all! This is just a reminder that the C-Note Art Show is happening at Junctionview Studios on Saturday, March 8th from 7:30 - Midnight! Come early with your $100 cash to get the best pick of the pieces!

(And, if you happen to see some jewelry you like in a frame on a wall, buy that and help support Wild Goose Creative...and make me happy!)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Oh Canada!

So, I recently heard that there was a rumour going around that the founding members of Wild Goose Creative are all Canadian.....

I did not start this rumour (although I do think it's awesome) and, I must admit for the sake of accuracy, that it isn't true. In actuality, I am the only citizen of Canada amongst us; my husband, having lived there, could maybe be considered some sort of honorary Canadian, but if we're being official, it's just me. And, I, being the sole Northerner among us, feel it my duty to call attention to some awesome Canadian art that Ryan and I have recently been discovering.

Ok, first some quick reasoning. I feel like too often Canadian pride lies in a counter-American sort of culture and I think it's a shame. Canada DOES have it's own culture. And, there is a lot of awesome stuff happening in Canada and I would love to see the pride of Canadians be found more in what they CAN do, rather than in the ways they're different from their neighbour to the south. I also know quite a number of Americans that at one time or another have said that they wish they were Canadian, and some who will sometimes pretend to be Canadian so that foreigners won't despise them.

So, for the sake of both Canadians and Americans, I'm going to start a little serial post where I'll tell you about some Canadian things that I think you should check out, whether you're a Canadian trying to boost your pride, an American trying to fool Europeans, or anyone else wanting to broaden their horizens.

And now for the first Canadian gem. I would love to introduce you to the all-too-incredible Stuart McLean and his CBC radio program, The Vinyl Cafe. If you like podcasts/storytelling, you will love this guy. I was first introduced to him back in high school by one of my dear Canadian friends, Kirsten, who had the forsight to know that his humour and stories would steal my heart. He is definitely the best storyteller I've heard and his characters have become like fond relatives.

If you're heading on a long trip, or are just looking for something fun to listen to, download one of his podcasts, sit back with a bag of ketchup chips and some good Canadian chocolate, and enjoy.

And, look out for the next installment of Canadian gems...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wiener Dog Art?

In my youth, between the ages of 11 and 16 ,I managed to amass a vast and varied collection of wiener dog themed art.

To explain, since the age of three I had pined after a wiener dog of my own. Thanks in part to the children's book, Whistle for Willie, my dog of choice was cemented into the still tender synapses of my young brain, through colorful pages full of whimsical, wiener-y fun.

As I got older my passion for wiener dogs, fueled by my acquisition of my very own puppy one Christmas, spread to my budding understanding of art. It made sense to me at the time that since wiener dogs were the best thing on the planet then naturally I should seek out as many artful representations of them as I could. And so my collection grew.

It started as the stuff of youth: stuffed animals, beanie babies; but as my taste in art matured, my collection grew to embrace more substantial pieces: paintings, framed photographs, and a vast army of wiener dog statues. If you had stumbled into my bedroom circa 1996 you would have been greeted by a wild and festive menagerie of wiener dog figurines.

The figurine collection, the piece de resistance of my artistic arsenal, featured an impressive array of wiener dog diversity. The statues encompassed a spectrum of various hues: ruddy red, ebony and tan, tawny and sleek, and a litany of poses: reclining, casual basking, alert readiness and my favorite--military straight like an attentive meerkat.

For the most part my mother was my main supplier when it came to acquiring new pieces and for years after my singular passion had subsided she would still sneak in a photo here, a tiny statuette there at birthdays and at Christmas.

Looking back now I don't really know what to make of the whole thing. Was it art? Kitsch? If there was craftsmanship to be admired in any of the pieces of my extensive collection was it all negated because they tended toward"collectibles" or because of the narrow subject matter? I don't know.

I do know that I couldn't bring myself to throw any of it away. I'm probably one of the few 26 year old married men who boasts such a collection. If you come to my house these days you can still still see remnants: a tasteful black and white photograph hangs on my living room wall, a cast iron wiener dog door stop, my favorite statue now serves as a classy bookend.

And of course if I really think about it the real masterpiece is and always has been Oscar, my spry now 12 year old puppy. A true example of artistic form, function, and aesthetic beauty.

March Third Thursdays!

March is upon us! Let's hope it brings with it some sunshine and warmth!

One thing it will bring is SUSHI!

Here are the details:

Where: 2595 Summit St, Columbus, OH 43202
What: Sushi with Amanda Anderson and Erica Carlson
When: Thursday, March 20th (first day of spring!) at 8pm
Cost: Suggested donation of $5

This month we will be dedicating our Third Thursdays event to the art of the table. Amanda Anderson and Erica Carlson will teach us how to make sushi and vegetable tempura (and yes, we will get to eat it all when we're finished!) There will be something for everyone from the adventurous to the reserved, so come check it out. We'll also be using this Third Thursdays as a jumping off point for our new monthly series, Too Many Cooks, in which will embrace culinary skills as an art form and learn from a different expert in the field each month. More details can be found soon on our redesigned website which goes live March 6th!