Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Art attack

Yellowknife is full of incredibly talented people. It never ceases to amaze me how artistic the people are. It's like you have to be quirky and artsy to live here.
Not to say I'm either of those things... well, maybe quirky, but definitely not artistic.
I've decided to give it a try, though.
I've been easing myself in by doodling on construction paper with Sharpie markers and a couple of weeks ago, I even branched out to painting.
My roommate and I decided we needed to spruce up our bare living room and dining room walls, so we recruited four friends for a painting party.
We all had a canvas, some of us two, and we sat around our living room creating art together.

It was amazing.
I haven't painted since I was in my Grade 9 high school art class -- I don't even want to say how many years ago that was.
In a way, it was actually like a mini art class, but without the pressure of being graded.
We had Ian to tell us about colour and shading and whatever else we wanted to know. We also had Katherine talking about strokes, acting like she knows something about "doing art."

Here are the finished products:

I painted the tree with the sunny background and the green abstract painting with all of the circles.
With the success of our last art party, we've decided we'll hold another one next week, but this time we want it to be more collaborative, so we are going to have everyone contribute to each painting.
We're thinking, each friend will bring a canvas that they will start and after a certain amount of time, they'll have to pass it off and it will continue going around the circle like that until we think the paintings are finished.
And then at the end of the night, everyone will take home the painting they started.
Being self conscious about my own artistic abilities, I think a collaborative approach will be an awesome way to just let go and try new things.

I was actually at an art show tonight that is a great example of this.
The work is by the Drawing TeamS (DTS), which Ian is a part of.
Basically, a group of people get together, eat dinner and then sit around a paper-covered round table and draw whatever comes to them. Then, as the paper gets more and more full, the artists start melding their work together into one cohesive piece.
I have been invited to take part a few times, but honestly, I'm intimidated.
Maybe after my second art party I'll feel a bit more confident and take advantage of the opportunity, but for now, I think I'll stick to my comfort zone.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Well, we made it to Inuvik, but I sadly didn't see much of it.
After arriving in the Arctic village, I came down with a terrible fever, cough and headache, leaving me drained and miserable.
So instead of taking part in the Muskrat Jamboree, I spent the weekend sleeping on Kira's couch.
Sadly this means I don't have photos to share from Inuvik. But rather than dwell on the unfortunate circumstances of this weekend, I've decided to write a happy post about an adventure I went on last weekend.

Reaching water

Although we started our ice fishing trip with four vehicles, only two made it to our destination -- the ones with four-wheel drive.
In search of an unknown location, recommended by someone's colleague, my friends and I followed a blinking dot on a GPS further and further onto a snow-blown Walsh Lake.
Creeping along the unplowed snow, my new-found friend Linh put on a reggae song and confidently steered the car to our destination -- or close to it -- as the rest of us bounced around in the backseat, watching to make sure the SUV transporting the rest of our crew was still en route behind us.
When we arrived at our chosen fishing hole, we took out three ice augers to create it.
I think this would be an easy task anywhere other than the North. But here, the ice is at least five feet deep, which means five feet of manual drilling -- that is unless you have a fancy gas auger.

We drilled, we scooped out the ice shavings, drilled again, chipped away the ice to widen the opening and then drilled even deeper.
The process went on like that for what felt like forever.
Halfway through our three holes, we had all worked up such a sweat that we had to peel off our parkas and sweaters, leaving a few of the guys in T-shirts.

Although I was getting miserable from the monotonous butter churning motion of working the auger, when we reached water for the first time, there was a sense of great satisfaction.
There were high fives, smiles, and triumphant poses for the camera.

I think the only thing that could have topped that exhilarating feeling would have been catching a fish, a triumph that sadly went unattained, despite Ian's constant jigging and checking.
I guess this just means I'll have to head out for another ice fishing adventure before the ice disappears. And if I still don't catch a fish, I've been guaranteed I'll hook at least a few this summer.
All I know is, I'm not giving up until I have one on the barbeque.