Saturday, 21 July 2012

Perambulatin' at the Paint-in

I've been making my way down to the annual Moss Street Paint-in nearly every summer for the past twenty years.  I used to take elder daughter when she was a little girl; one year, she made about half a dozen drawings ahead of time and presented them solemnly to selected artists along the several blocks between Fort Street and Dallas Road.  They were gravely and graciously accepted.

This year, I'm in the company of younger daughter, who enjoys the paintings and sculptures well enough, but enjoys the buskers and many dogs even more.  Moss Street is very much a residential street and all the kids who live along it are ready with lemonade and water stands, or band and orchestra instruments.  One small boy in a lemon-yellow shirt and bare feet, hollered soulfully and mostly on key, while a girl his age stood next to a music stand, either waiting her turn or ready to turn pages.

We started at Fairfield Road this year, making a tour of the Moss Street Market which is held each Saturday in the summer on the grounds of elder daughter's first elementary school.  Carrying a small bag of local German butter potatoes and munching on cupcakes, we turned south.  As you can see from the photo above, Moss Street is milling with strollers and it seems to be packed, but when you're in the in midst of it, there's actually plenty of room to breathe, stop, and look.

One of the first things that made me stop was this collage by Tricia Hodgins. It made me think of stained glass windows, and Demeter.  Sweet peas are her favourite.  You can see more of what Ms Hodgins does at her web site.

When I'm at any art exhibit, indoors or out, I usually let myself wander and see if something calls to me.  A few blocks farther, I found myself moving toward an extraordinary painting that exuded movement and the city of Victoria itself.  I recognised the viewpoint as being westward down Fort Street towards the water of the Inner Harbour.  The buildings lean in as a woman dressed in a style that reminds me of the thirties (not that I was ever there) walks a rather proud small dog north.  I can tell by the shadows that it's mid-to-late morning.

The other paintings were equally vibrant and whimsical (younger daughter loved a trio featuring a biking rabbit, a hula-hooping cat, and a pogo-sticking dog), and all had titles except my thirties dog-walking lady.  I suspected that this was because the painting had a buyer.  I found Linny D. Vine's blog, and discovered that the painting is called "Downtown Spot".   You can see it here. If you explore the blog, you'll see a lot more, including the paintings younger daughter liked.

The Paint-in features over one hundred and fifty artists, and I've yet to make it through the whole thing.  After a while, the steady use of all five senses and the odd fact that walking slowly is more tiring than striding purposefully takes its toll.  I could feel younger daughter switching off somewhere past Faithful Street.  Time to escape up Cook Street and field questions about our stickers.

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