Art Crawl Season
Pender Island Art Crawl
Last year we went to Saltspring
Island for the Apple Festival
. The Gulf Islands are
well known for their artists, and I quite enjoyed an open studio
day on Denman Island
back in 2009
. Not wanting to repeat the Saltspring
Island trip again the following year, I did some research and
found that Pender Island does an art crawl. While there is
no direct ferry to Pender Island from Vancouver, you can transfer
on Mayne Island and make a day out of it. I talked to my
parents about it and they could join us from Victoria for the day
We were on the ferry in Tsawassen by 9am for the run over to Mayne
Island where we did a transfer to an Island hopping ferry that
took us to Pender. We arrive on Pender at 11am, just before
the Art Crawl started and met my parents who were walk on ferry
passengers from Victoria.
I had a plan for which artists to visit (there were 21 stops
available), but on the drive from the ferry to our first stop, we
noticed the Pender Island Farmers Market was up and running.
I actually visited Pender
Island for the May Long Weekend back in 2003
so it was fun
seeing a repeat. At this point, I discovered that my parents
have only visited one Gulf Island (Saltspring) in the 35 years
they have lived in Victoria - this is only their second Gulf
After a quick snacks run, we drove to our first artist - Morgan
Warren. Morgan has a yurt on her property which is both a
studio and a gallery. I was also surprised to find my Mom
already has three framed paintings from this artist from when the
artist lived in Sidney, BC. It was lunch time so we drove to
Thieves Bay Park for picnic lunch.
After a quick lunch (the art crawl ends at 4pm), we got on the
road to visit some more locations.
I don't take photos at every artist I
visit, but our next studio - Karin Kocha Campbell - was very
photogenic. The artist does weaving using natural materials
which matches well with her native plant nursery business.
Her materials were extremely photogenic.
Next we visited Hope
. This was a dedicated studio on a small
working farm. This artist was busy - while we were there she
had a continous stream of visitors coming to see her new works.
We visited Thuja Wood Art
- a husband and wife artist pair at their
home. There home was amazing (a front pond full of dragon
flies) and the whole property (home and some buildings) was built
using straw bale construction. The wood art had a very
limited selection (one piece) because his most recent gallery
showing had sold out. The weaver was very kind to Claira and
let Claira learn how to use the loom. Claira really enjoyed
We visited a few more artists, but 4pm
does come rather quickly and we had a 5pm ferry to catch.
While driving back to the shopping area
mid island, we happened upon a small herd of Island deer outside
of a community tennis court. Island deer are funny - they
are tiny compared to mainland deer and they don't seem to get very
stressed when humans are around. (They chose to sit down
right next to a tennis court with people playing).
So we worked our way back to the Ferry
terminal (Nara did some homework in the car), back to Victoria and
then back to Vancouver. Sadly, we missed the 7pm sailing to
Vancouver (we were the first car to not get on) so we had a long
wait in Swartz Bay. Overall, I was pretty impressed we could
do a day trip to a Gulf Island and actually do something with the
day. Maybe next year we'll try Mayne Island!
Victoria for Thanksgiving
I don't know when it became a tradition, but
we do often go to Victoria for Thanksgiving. This weekend is
usually the last weekend of the farmers markets so we decided to
stop by the Market at the Saanich Fair grounds to see what was
still in season.
I have a soft spot for vegetables and Claira has a soft spot for
When I was a kid we used to go up to Sooke Potholes in the
summer. A lot has changed since then - the grounds are now a
park and there is good parking and access. The kids didn't
bring their bathing suits so they could only run around on the
I was lucky to spot an American Dipper on
the shore. These small birds aren't that rare, but they can
be tricky to photograph because you usually notice them as they
are flying away, up the river to creek. I happened to
already have my camera bag out so I was able to get some nice
I did have a hike in mind - I wanted to see the Todd Creek
Trestle. This Trestle is part of the Galloping Goose Trail
but we had to take a side trail to walk up to the trail bed.
It's been really warm and dry in Victoria - the ferms in the
forest were withered from the dryness.
After our little hike up to the trestle and back, we drove up to
the bigger potholes. The rocks are quite slippery as Nara
demonstrated by uncontrollably sliding into the river. Oh
well - at least it was warm out.
We got the kids back to the car and Nara wrapped up in a
jacket. Good trip down memory lane!
Quick's Bottom Park
Quick's bottom has a sign at the side of the road that I have passed
easily 100 times, but I have never visited. This trip, that changed!
The park has a fast trail through the park and large grasslands.
There wasn't a lot of birds now, but in the spring I'm sure this
place is busy.
Being Thanksgiving, we did have a
Thanksgiving dinner. Claira wanted photos of her center
The Gardens at the Horticulture Center of the Pacific
March 2005 - my first monthly blog
but for nostalgia I wanted to visit again. My last visit was
spring which has no shortage of beautiful things to photograph,
but this was fall which would make things a bit harder.
First duplicate - and the thing I really wanted to see - was the
Zen garden. When I visited in 2015 this garden was just
built - the rocks were clean and the stones were very well
organized. Seventeen years later, the garden is still there,
but it has certainly evolved. Rocks and lanterns had moss on
them. Trees and shrubs grew up and filled in the
space. The rock garden got a new island.
Second duplicate - there is a zig-zag bridge up from the zen
garden that I have a photo of in 2015. The light was quite
dappled (contrasty) so the people really stand out in these shots
compared to the bridge.
Lots of familar things, a few new things. We were quite
surprised to see a large outdoor bonsai exhibit. The trees
are amazing, but the micro details - the moss, the lichen on the
bark - really made made these exhibits something special.
Being a Garden, there is lots of plant
details. I got out my macro lens and probably could have
spent an hour poking around details.
Sunshine Coast Art Crawl
My first Sunshine Coast Art Crawl
was back in 2019
. Just like this weekend, Helen was
working the weekend so I had the kids and I made a reservation for
the ferries a few months in advance. This time I had a bit
of a plan - arrive closer to start time and then spend the day
driving North. I timed my day to hit the Northern limit just
as the crawl ended and then I would turn around and drive back for
the ferry. It's amazing how much closer everything seems
when you have visited this part of the world before.
One of our favorite artists (Greta) shows at the Ian Tan Gallery
which is close to our house. This kids have always liked her
paintings because there are little games (count the crows) and the
images are so warm and inviting. Greta showed the kids
around and we visited her neighbor as well!
Last time I was on the crawl I heard about "THIS IS IT DESIGN /
URS" - I giant studio with a long line of cars parked out on the
road. This year still had the long line of cars, but I knew
it was worth a stop in. The artist studio is huge - larger
than many homes - and full of interesting projects and
tools. They had a huge overhead kiln that was running just
warm enough to make the giant space warm even with the door
propped open all the time.
The kids do like to get involved and I found one of the artists -
Wolfpup studio - was running a demo. We hung out and played
a bit of soccer until the demo was ready to go and the kids got to
do dyeing using Indigo. The kids were both happy with their
We continued driving north and reached our point of apoapsis for
this trip at Elly Van Alfen show of her quilts.
Nara's Science Fair Project
Nara's school does a science fair
project. Last year, her project was looking at pollution and
it's impact on brine shrimp. One night I drove out to a toy
store in Coquitlam to buy 6 sea monkeys kits. Another day
after school we went to a rock shop to buy a rock made out of
copper pyrite. We introduce a variable amount of tailings
and then counted how many shrimp survived at the varying
This year, Nara wanted to measure the
potential of using seaweed to reduce the concentration of
pollutants. To do this, she needed keep the seaweed alive to
measure it's performance. That meant she needed a life
support system for her seaweed. We started with cooling the
water. Nara started by wiring up a power supply.
The power supply was then mounted to a
project board so we could attach additional components. We
didn't have the correct little screws to mount the power supply so
we used holes through the board and zap straps to secure things.
After next we mounted a peltier junction
chiller (used for active cooling processors) and a small
temperature controller I already had. Lastly, we wired in
the small immersion pump to get the cooling water through the
We did a test run and the chiller could
bring 2 liters of water down to target temperature (11°C) from
room temperature in less than 10 minutes. Our target setup
had 5 x 2 liter test containers and another 10 liters of fresh
water to cool down the containers. All of this was in our
cooler in our living room.
Next up, we need to make sea water. There is a product
called "Instant Ocean" where you can measure in their powdered
salt and mix up salt water. A bit of measurement and our
salt water was ready.
Next up we needed to make our
"pollution". The pollution we were modeling was agricultural
run-off. We found water soluble fertilizers and tried to
figure out the correct mix down ratio. For our first round
of testing, we discovered we actually got the concentration wrong
- at least 10x stronger than we meant. Oops.
Next up was measuring the concentrations in the water. We
used kits we bought from an aquarium store to measure each of our
5 test containers every night.
Last but not least, we needed
seaweed! Our local beach didn't have a lot of species
choices, but there was no shortage of sea lettuce on the
rocks. We picked a few choice stones with a healthy seaweed
growing on it and took it home.
Nara cleaned up the kelp, we measured it
and then put it in the tanks.
We ran for about 6 days before we
realized we messed up the chemistry. The next week, we tried
again with a better procedure and got solid results. Thanks
for all of the fun Nara!
Tags: art crawl(6), market(6), gulf island(4), Sunshine Coast(3), trestle(3), popsicle(2)
People: Claira(5), Lloyd(4), Nara(4), Janet(3)
Last Modified Thursday, December 22nd, 2022 at 21:20:38 Edit
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