Friday, October 31, 2014


Good Morning! I am back and ready to dish.
As you know - you loyal readers - I did my first out of town art 'trade show' - The Ottawa Art Expo.
Let me share my trip with you through photos……it's a long one…so buckle up…..

Leaving Toronto with a glint in my eye, a bow tie in my suitcase, all the hope in the world,
a car stacked with art, and a pumpkin latte!
Husband was my official photographer -
- as it is difficult to drive, drink coffee, take photos and pray for good luck
- all whilst driving!
Driving along the 401 can make a person thirsty.
Husband took MANY photos of the water towers…..
For lunch, we stopped for heese and bacon.
It was 'heese-y!
Oh….before I go any further…..I guess I need to mention the 'climate' in Ottawa.
Maybe I can let these headlines tell the story:

Sufficed to say, it was NOT a great time to arrive for fun and frivolity.
It was a very sombre mood…even a day later!
No… was not the lockdown bedlam that was reportedly happening, but it was definitely not the best weekend to be there…..selling art……and enjoying the ambiance of the city.
It felt like the reaction in Ottawa was that YES….it is a terrible tragedy….but we keep on….business as 'usual' as much as possible.
It seemed almost perfect that I had created this piece for the show:

Thankfully Ottawa is VERY resilient!
Me? Not as resilient. ;-)
We arrived around dinner time, and walked to the Market to check out tourist-y dinner places!

The War Memorial and the streets were still shut down….
But at least we caught a glimpse of Andy Coop!
Yes…..he is tiny……and almost translucent…….
Anyways….past the press lines and such to the Byward Market….
Nothing like drowning your sorrows in a bowl of tortellini and grapes in gorgonzola sauce!!
This is what I wanted our hotel to look like:

 This is what our hotel ACTUALLY looked like:
Inside our hotel room was a clean and large mini-apartment that was trapped in 1973…..I enjoyed it a lot…..

This was over the bed…..
because there is nothing like bald expressionless Albino creatures playing jazz to help you drift off to sleep!
Nope….not creepy at all.
Inspecting the oven….or preparing for the worst case post-show scenario……
You decide.
Yes….I ready every book on this shelf!!!
This was the Johnson control….for… know…..controlling my Johnson……
 The next morning, we decided to make the best of our tie despite the bad timing. We got up early to check out the Nature Museum:
Pay no attention to the Elephant Man in the foreground.

Such a beautiful building!!!

Terrible acting!
I do not look sufficiently scared, I just look kinda constipated!

Oh dear….
Look close up on this one… that an ARCTIC SCORPION??
I found the perfect stone for my new ring…..
hint hint….
Learning how to work in the submarine….so that if this art thing fails…
…..I can fall back on that…….RIGHT??!!??
Is that a volcano in your pocket……
……..or are you just happy to see me?
My favourite photo of husband and I.
We look so hot here.
Ok….so then off to help set up at the Expo……

BEFORE my booth came together…..
Yes…..BOOM…..that was my aisle.
I was gonna put the BOOM in booming business!
More from the BOOM aisle….don't mind the dusty rose coloured ceiling.

About 70 something artists!
At these kind of fairs there were a number of people I knew.
Here are some of the booths near me!

Debra Tate-Sears had AMAZING work on slate tiles!
Eryn O'Neil makes LOVELY work…..
Day 2 bow tie was NEW! (It has mini robots on it!!!)

Lisa is amazing!!!
Nice to meet Alison Fowler
 Others around me that you should check out….
There were tonnes of other great things to see.
Oh…and here is a clip of some video of me at this show…..just in case you missed it on Facebook (please ignore my many chins, my wildly gesrturing arms, and my inability to look at the camera) :

All in all -- an excellent calibre show.
I was REALLY impressed with how well it was organized. Just a fantastic job to all who made it happen!!
Now….I know what you are gonna ask next……..Rob… did Ottawa receive your work?
Well…….the truth is there seemed to be a great reaction. 
I haven't seen people so surprised in a number of years. 
I got a lot of almost 'shock' at how 'different' and 'unique' my work was.
I have to agree, that in that show, my work was unmistakably 'different'.
NOT to say that there wasn't a lot of great work at the show…..there was just no other work that felt even vaguely like mine. That should be good news, right?
Unfortunately, I think the tone of the weekend was set by the events leading up to it.
There wasn't a lot flying off the walls, and I think my work would be better next time, when people are more "comfortable" with my pop-art-y style!
Will I enter next year? It is a distinct possibility. I will see how this week shakes out….
Usually there is a certain amount of post-show business that happens!

So other things from my trip to Ottawa that I wanna share...
Yes….it's modern art….and by modern….I mean….terrible...

Amazing Architecture -- EVERYWHERE!!!!
I liked these jack-o-lantern heads in each window!
 I wanted to share more of the photos of downtown - but this post just got too big……and besides - I may need them as reference shots for new paintings!!!!

Super Zesty….yes…..that is also my stage name….

BEST cupcakes I have had in AGES!!!!
The Cupcake Lounge.

This was the drink list in our hotel - I had one of each!!!!

Nope…not Paris…..but still rather lovely!!!!
I did not put a lock here - I gots no secrets!!
This was strange to me.
Not sure why?  
Not as strange as this store…..
I now call my husband Mrs. Tiggy Winkle.
(No, he does not enjoy it !! ;-)

MASSES of people show their respect at the War Memorial.
All the news outlets were still there!
This is for Cindy.

I went into this store…..sadly they didn't sell what I THOUGHT they might sell!
While I slaved away all day, husband enjoyed these 2 lunches…..the first was at MLT DWN.
He could not stop tailing about how INCREDIBLE his grilled cheese was!!!

….and he also checked out the Poutine Festival that was happening that weekend!
I kid you not.
Yes….it made me feel bad for myself….but I was hoping I would bring home the bacon!
I didn't even bring home ACTUAL bacon…
So many poutines - so little time
GOOD FOR HIM!!!!!!!!!!!
We left early on the Monday, so I really didn't get to see that much of the city.
But what I did see, I did like a lot!
I look forward to going back!!! 
There was lots to see and do - and lots of cool places to eat - that I didn't get to!!! 
Look out Ottawa - I will be back…..hopefully next time with a little less horror to start off with! :-)
We drove home through Perth (to visit relatives):


I will eventually have to paint one of the photos husband took as we drove around Perth!
We also stopped at the Big Apple on the way home…..
We went there after we first met 14 years ago……
I know, I know, we look exactly the same!!!!!
This little diorama was neat!
I had to apply for a job as an apple picker to pay for my trip.
Pretty sky…..full of pie……my oh my….bye bye.
(I wanted to make that a Haiku…but couldn't make it happen!)
So that was my trip to The Ottawa Art Expo.
Thanks to the city of Ottawa for persevering in this tough time!
Thanks to John and David who helped us out with accommodation. It was much appreciated!
Thanks to the organizers of the show…….you should be proud of your hard work.
Thanks to all my artist neighbours and friends for making the days more fun.
And thanks to hubby for….well…..everything.
OH….and thanks to you readers for getting through this HUUUUUUGE post!
Have a great weekend y'all!

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