Monday, November 27, 2017

Before I forget November

Maybe, because it's the last month before the holidays, or maybe because so much happens in it, November seems to speed by every year, and almost become unmemorable; neither Autumn, nor Winter, an in-between month. Of course, I'm talking from the point of someone who lives in a big city in the northern hemisphere. But I'm getting carried away about, and by, November. It is still here and I will mention a few more Consular events lest I forget them.
After the beautiful opera singing, and quality films, there was the Consular corps lunch. It always surprises to see that most of the consuls are still male. The consular corps has no equal representation rule since it's up to each country to decide. Serbia is very progressive, as they have posted many female diplomats all over the world! I was lucky to sit at a table surrounded by the most charming consuls there.
Then there was the, " Grand-Messe", Church concert partly organized by the Romanian Consulate. Very nice choir and 4 gorgeous solo voices!
The work at the house is taking much more time than expected and so I have some extra time to write this little public diary/blog while overseeing the workers, etc., and much less time to go to my studio to paint. Who would guess that one new shower was so much dust and work!
But this week I certainly plan to finish my painting of lovely T.J.
Writing this feels so private that I have to remind myself of the possibility that someone else might read it. It's a very modest foray into the internet world. Like an apartment with an open door, but you didn't send any formal invitations.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

November colours and Consular Events!

It seems that November is the busiest month for all kinds of events; a flurry of activities before the winter sets in! Apart from National days there are musical and movie events. I missed the German National day in early autumn, as I was in Europe, but I came back just in time for the well attended Turkish National day! The Ambassador to ICAO spoke a few words in Serbian to me, as he had previously been posted in Belgrade.
What really impressed me was the recent "Soirée Lyrique Consulaire", sponsored by the Spanish and Uruguayan Consulates. The competing young Opera singers displayed such incredible talent! It would be hard to choose a winner!
The Italians also held a Soirée musicale that weekend with beautiful Italian arias.
The first Argentinian Consular  Film Festival was a real treat with a very amusing film called "Me casé con un Boludo"; very well acted and humorous. Congrats to the Lovely Argentinian Consul General and her team for organizing a very successful opening with free tickets for the night!
Apart from this, November has been beautiful with many orange/mauve/grey sunsets set against a cerulean sky, which I find particular to this month! That combination of colours inspired one of my paintings 2 years ago, and is slightly present in the new painting I am working on now! I hope to finish it while we are still in November!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Sumptuous colours at Moroccan Celebration

The colours of Morocco are very inspiring to an artist, and those colours were in full view in Montreal for the Moroccan Kings's day! Who needs to travel, when countries comes to them on such grand occasions! It really felt as though we were entering another world as we climbed the decorated staircase and were warmly greeted by hosts in their National regalia.  The beautiful Consul General was dressed in a flowing embroidered silk robe, as well as many of the other ladies present! The meal was a masterpiece to behold, but it was served quite late, though worth the wait for those who did. Everyone was friendly and in a good mood, even though no alcohol was served. All in all, a multicoloured visual treat! I will certainly use some of those colours in my paintings.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Art and guests on Swiss National Day

When I found out that the Swiss were celebrating their National day at the Museum of Contemporary  Art here in Montreal, I invited my daughter, a talented multidisciplinary artist, to accompany me!
We greeted the lovely Swiss Consul General with her husband, the Consul and his wife,  and then went to see the exhibition. We enjoyed it thoroughly and then went downstairs to get a bit of food. That's when the problems started. The space was too small for so many and the food was in the middle on a tiny table with hordes of hungry people waiting to get at it!
I will not go into details of the impolite woman who pushed her way, and insulted my daughter.....I will only say that we left without having tasted any food!
If I may suggest anything, it is that invitees to these events be more polite. Also, it might be a good idea to have some appetizers passed around so that the guests don't have to wait around the table impatiently.  I don't know who the Caterer was, but the job could have been done better, to avoid hunger and confrontation.
I am sorry that this was my daughter's first experience of a Consular event, and that she left it feeling hungry and disappointed, but she was right. Some of the guests were missing manners and some of the men were missing gallantry!
Of course, this does not reflect on Switzerland, but mainly on the society here! The superficial attitude of the guests was quite opposite to the mindful depth of  some of the Museum's exhibits, which many of the guests had the privilege of seeing. How is it possible that one experiences art and then fights for a grape? I guess That is art in itself.
Upstairs we experienced mind expanding Art  in peaceful quiet, and downstairs, mind shrinking rudeness of  high society crowded into a small space.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Why are we here, the eternal question

Even a Rabbi on TV asked the question of what it's all about! Who can give us the answer?.....Gaugin asked it on one of his paintings....did he answer it with that painting? I guess anyone's answer to the question is valid!
What would a criminal say? The same as an artist or a scientist? Of course religion should give us the answer, but if it did why are there so many religions and why are they all competing?
All there is to do is ask questions and work towards answering them....I think there is a slight answer in my portrait painting of A. I love it so far; there is a purity of character as well as a reserve.
Answers are infinite, but perceptions of them are temporary

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Relaxed atmosphere at Egypt's National day celebration

I was surprised how relaxed the celebration for Egypt's National day was! The space was small enough to create intimacy and large enough to host so many people. Everyone was friendly and in a great mood. But most of all, the food was marvellous. It was more than a cocktail! It was a full and plentiful dinner of the tastiest Egyptian specialties. Bravo Consul General, Amal Salama!
Each event I have been to so far has been unique; a small portal to the celebrant Country.
I was happy to invite my lovely Egyptian friend, M, and she certainly enjoyed it.
The next day, I gold plated a small canvas for my next portrait......

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

So many Consuls, so little time

After each Consular event, the impressions are vibrant and fresh. Writing a blog regularly, takes mental power and a wish to be heard, rather,..read. I just write on occasion, mostly as loose record keeping.
The work that we, Honorary consuls do, is in a way intense and not necessarily rewarded.
 The last few weeks have been busy....the Fête National in Quebec and here in Montreal. It was magnificent in Quebec City with Premiere Couillard and his lovely wife. The scene seemed perfect; mostly because of the weather, ambiance and enthusiasm! It was good to have lunch in one of the many nice restaurants afterwards.

Mayor Coderre was more than generous, both times! He has a warmth and appeal that is sure to get him elected again.

The Greek Consul General was in great form at the Fête nationale reception at City Hall! His language skills are impressive and he has an archaic profile!

I loved talking with the Lithuanian Honorary consular pair...they are so nice...and not to forget the White Rabbit of diplomacy...he draws everyone towards him, and soothes them, like a true violin maker!

Finally,...today I painted! But it was on a commissioned painting for B, which I promised last year! If he only knew how many hours it takes to paint his Ferrari winning Formula 1. Painting cars is something I'm doing for a friend...because my true talent is painting people. But there is a person in the car, and that gives it personality!

I'm really looking forward to the portrait of A.