Tourist in My Own Town

Studio Diary: June 2, 2017

Today I am filled with gratitude for so very much, which seems both auspicious and appropriate for the beginning of this new and much-desired venture into sharing my Studio Diaries. It may take me a while to find my feet, to stay unattached and experimental, to fill it with the truth of my creative life and exploration as it is right now without making it to precious, to let myself sketch and wonder and imagine and explore, to truly let this be a diary – unfettered and free.

Justin at Georgia OKeeffe

Justin is home after a week visiting his father in Curacao. It was so good for him to go and so weird for us to be apart. We, in fact, couldn’t remember the last time we had been separated. We Skyped every day and throughout the week Justin would send me fun pictures of his adventures, from the surprise of iguanas to grocery shopping with his dad.

My fear of flying made the beginning and the end the hardest part of the trip, even though it wasn’t me that was getting on the plane! On each travel day, I loaded Justin’s flight number in a flight tracker and watched with anticipation, sending love to the flight and everyone on it. I am so thankful he arrived and returned safe and sound.

Georgia O'Keefe at the AGO

Today we went on a wonderful Saturday adventure to the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario. This year I decided to become a member and I am so thrilled I did. In fact, I quickly took advantage of a special offer and signed up until 2019! There is such joy in not only being able to go whenever I like but also to share. I went to Mystical Landscapes three times, once by myself, once with Justin and once with Shannon. Plus, I’m surprised by how much I feel like (and like feeling like) a part of the gallery.

I knew I would enjoy this exhibit and I did, especially the abstract pieces and yes, of course, the flowers. I was captivated again and again not only by colour but also by composition. The velvety richness of Georgia O’Keeffe’s oil paintings made me want to give the medium a try.

Even more than the art, I was fascinated by the artist. I searched through the gallery’s write-ups for clues about who she was. I was struck by her strength and her presence. I wanted to sit with her at a table under the night’s sky with a glass of wine or a cup of tea and listen to her talk about her life and her work. I will follow the threads of this desire.

Lion Velvet Door

After our visit to the gallery, Justin and I kept with our tradition of going out for a bite and chatting about what we had seen. Of course, we also stuck with our tradition of taking a while to choose a place to eat! It didn’t matter. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and the temperature was idyllic. We walked by our old apartment building right behind the Art Gallery and through our old Queen Street West neighbourhood. We remembered Justin’s late night walks and remarked on how so many of the stores and restaurants on the street had changed.  We reminisced about Taro, The Tequila Bookworm and Velvet Underground. (The photo is of the door to that nightclub.)

We stopped for a coffee and looked on Yelp to find a local spot we might like. We decided on Beast and it looked like a treat but by the time we got there it was too late. They were wrapping up their lunch service. We put it on our list for another day. In fact, it inspired a really fun idea, which I will be writing more about. Perhaps you’ve seen people create their 40 in 40 lists – 40 things they want to do in their 40th year. Justin and I have decided to do a similar list based on the years we’ve been married – our 15 in 15! So far we’ll be making homemade gnocchi and going to the Scarborough Bluffs.

 Lunch at Canteen

For today, we ended up at Canteen on King Street, sitting on the patio with a view of the CN Tower and having a lovely meal. It was so good to be together, to have walked 10,000 steps in downtown Toronto, through old haunts and new finds, and doing it all together.

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