Friday, April 6, 2018

Toronto Waterfront Trails & Tribulations

Music Garden, weird animals by me (beats another selfie)

Actually, it was a lovely perfect day, a long weekend day, Easter Friday.  It's a tradition for us, my husband, myself, and my brother to hop on the TTC from his condo and ride the rocket into downtown Toronto.  From there, the options are wide open.
This year, we disembarked from Union Station, headed due South, and hiked the waterfront trail westwards (and I do mean to use the word hike).  It was a fantastic day.
We had our first lunch stop at the Music Garden, where the brilliant aqua colours of the Muskoka Chairs invited us to park our bottoms for awhile; so there we sat, munched homemade pumpernickle bread, topped with gouda and brie cheeses, and, between bites, bloviated on the state of the world while watching the world go by.  It was warm enough to comfortably eat lunch, and cool enough to want to get moving again when we finished.

As usual, I ogled everybody's dogs.  Lots of frenchies, yorkies, and little dogs (appropriate, to the location), along with, surprisingly, the occassional lab or huskie accompanied by an camo-clad boot-footed human loaded up with fishing gear. Once or twice, I saw a suspected cousin to Sonic (island dog, carribean street dog--they have a certain 'look').    Sonic's Blog for the canine curious

But we also spent a lot of time ogling the yachts, the schooners, the riverboats, the ships, and the general marine environment of the docks.

Many boats still in their winter wraps, trees were brown sticks, the grass mudy tan, sky mostly grey, the water turquoise, so any spot of colour stood out.

Harbour Front Toronto

The Music Garden was all shape and structure, barren lawn, snaking branches, rustling golden grasses, we'd all but given up on flowers, until down in the mud I saw a spot of bright blue.  It was not a candy wrapper, it was Russian Squill or Scilla, tiny brilliant little blue bell like flowers. Now, our eyes primed, I found a handful of snowdrops, creamy white with lime dots, and then a patch of moon pale hellebores, a little tattered but luminous beneath a barren tree, spring has begun.

We ambled onwards and into Trillium Place, the newly landscaped and beautifully reclaimed Ontario Place parking lot. It now sports grassy rolling hills, native trees & shrubs, paved pathways, a curved iron firepit, a rock wall with caves.  We ate the remainder of lunch, bosc pears, seated on the rock wall. The view of the  skyline and lake was fabulous. The water was blue and flat, punctuated by a lone kayak, banana yellow.

Trillium Park and Toronto Skyline

And then we wandered into the abandoned zone of Ontario Place, not looking it's best, especially in the dead end of winter, but at it's heart, a little inlet, and a pond, with an artificial islet, and on that islet a pair of swans, building their nest.

I hope most of Ontario Place gets refurbished. Expo-67 was a time of great hope; the structures built then and still standing now reflect that.

Photo collage of Ontario Place structure (yes, the sticker was up there) & Toronto waterfront
you just can't get away from American Politics.

After Ontario Place, we continued west, a little less gracefully than before.  The sky continued gray. We watched pintail ducks diving, we sat on a bench within sight of Sunnyside Beach and the sugar white Palais Royale, the Mississauga skyline, Burlington, and even the stacks of Hamilton in far blue horizon.

Shivering in chill of the off-shore breezes, we ended our break and shambled-stiffly-northwards in search of food and seating. An hour later, we were in the rough-hewn walls of The Dogs Bollocks,where had a delicious and HUGE meal of fish and chips and escaped just as a rather young rowdy testosterone (and soon to be beer) fueled crowd flooded in.

We rode the rocket (yep, that the's cute word for Toronto Subway) to brothers home at the end of the line, and then onwards to my own place outside of the city.

About the images: the photography, collage and illustrations are my own (Ingrid Schmelter aka kaslkaos), please respect copyright, they represent many years of practice, education, more practice, dismal failures, successes, dissappointments, expenditures, replacements, curses, tools, materials, messes and the occasional triumph of excellence. If sharing please give full and prominant credit, and link to this blog (, and/or my etsy site (  If you wish to use an image, contact me for pricing/rates, personal, or commercial. Thank You Awesome People.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Coffee At Tims-Sketching from Life

Who doesn't love coffee? Okay, plenty of people. Maybe you prefer tea. I'm a coffee person.  And I love the whole "sit in a coffee shop" thing.  And where I live, Tims, as in Tim Hortons is the best game in town, comfy, predictable, cheap.  I realize my choice of coffee shop says something about me. Nowadays, everything is a tribe. Apparently even the android vs apple (I'm android, btw) can tell you a lot about someones politics. I'm not going to tell you about my politics: I'll just say that in the Tims vs Starbucks, Android vs Apple, as always, and everywhere, I simply do not fit in, I buck the stats.  
This was not supposed to be the subject.
There is no subject.
I'm just trying to pepper this post with a few words to go along with some not so random sketches.
These are quickies surreptitiously executed while sipping coffee at Tim's. They are digital drawings, pen to tablet, but other than the medium, no different from traditional gesture drawings.
They are quick, because people refuse to hold still.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Has Spring Sprung for You?

Heard sandhill cranes crooning in the woods yesterday.

It's warm and brown and squishy on the trails (that is hardly an
enticing description).  The lake is two shades of grey, off-white &
slate, as it reverts to it's summer liquid self.

It feels like spring, and it sounds like spring. The woodpeckers are
test-rattling on various surfaces in the neighbourhood, and starlings
(grrr-invasive species here) are making their sliding whistle sound.

If I try hard not to think about the climate change thing, I'm
enjoying the sun and the warmth.

About the image: this one started with a photo of a rain fogged car window, snapped for the sole purpose of eliminating the "blank page syndome", then drew all over it digitally, s-pen, artflow app on a galaxy tab.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Getting them to the finish line

It's been awhile since I last blogged.  I need to stop whining about Sonic aka Crazy Dog & Time Thief Extraordinaire.  While he steals my time the way other dogs steal sausages (he's polite about sausages but greedy about time) he also inspires.
So I have a bazillion fun sketches I should put to lino but haven't.
In the meantime, I finally unearthed my printmaking studio which was buried beneath a mixed mountain of scrap paper, coloured paper, cat-chewed paper, dust bunnies, missprints, reprints, finished but squashed by cats (again) prints, and started monoprints.
Once I finished my archeaologie, spoke sad goodbyes to the almost rans as I pitched them in the recycling bin, sorted through the good, the bad and the ugly, I got back to work.
I don't know where, or how, to restart my blogging, but I miss longform words; sucked into the facebook vortex, I pretty much lost my ability to form longform writing; turns out I'm not alone, much has been confessed by the facebook veeps, and ex-veeps but I'm not here for that, I'm here to get going and MAKE MORE ART, and share it, and yes, hopefully earn some cat kibble (and sausages) for some of it because surprisingly and maddeningly these things do not drop out of the sky like manna from heaven but instead take time (did you hear that Sonic?, time, I need time).

this one made it to Etsy , there will be more...

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day

Sketchbook, graphite, ballpoint pen, oil pastel.

And, yah, I'm a mean dog mom, and I DID make Sonic wear a fru fru belly dance coin scarf so that I could get me a Cute Dog Christmas Pic, (man up, Sonic)<--he an="" br="" christmas="" crap="" does="" expression.="" have="" making="" me="" s="" she="" sweater="" that="" ugly="" wear="">

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Silent Night

From my sketchbook, these start as quick pencil sketches to get things going,
followed by ball-point pen (surprisingly, this has turned out to be my favourite art tool for the past several months)
And layered over with lots of thick oil pastel colours.
For the traditional, Merry Christmas, or happy Yule, or Fruitfull Soltice, or whatever.
My take on this time of year, is to say and do THANK YOU's to folks around me, and take the time to look up, and around, and appreciate this fantastic planet we inhabit along with all of it's other critters, like and unlike us. 
The sun will come around again, summer follows winter, light follows darkness.  Hold those thoughts in your heart.

And, oh man, I do love snow....hoping for lots of the fluffy white stuff.

Friday, December 9, 2016

My Dog Did Not Eat Me--but he is a time thief

Ball-point pen, sketch book & my Christmas bookmarks

More bookmarks.  These were drawn in ballpoint, scanned, inkjet printed, hand-coloured in sharpie and tape laminated.  The dimensions of a bookmark are quite the challenge.

And my time-thief, because he has a way of making sure there is nothing else on my mind.  This is he, life sketches, outside with a bone.  Trying to get him to stay out a bit so he can grow himself a winter coat, as he shed right back down to his tropical naked belly through the summer.  Text reads--Sonic & Bone/& squirrel watching/baby it's cold outside--let me in.

At least he's very much a fun dog.  High drive dogs are mixed blessings indeed.
15 seconds of fun

I'm doing dog agility instead of Life Drawing this year.  The cost is about the same.

Have fun dear readers and thanks for looking, and for sticking around while I play with my dog.


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