Saturday, December 26, 2015


Inspired by a book on the 1979 Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, I had an overpowering urge to recreate the colours of that exhibit in Atelier Ivaan.  You have no idea how hard it is to find exactly the right blue.  Luckily, there's Helder, who works at the hardware store across the street. Helder did a little computer artistry and came up with an exact paint match for me.

I intended to do the painting a little at a time, but a burst of energy overtook me today and I decided to have a painting marathon.  Well, maybe it was looking at my social calendar for the next week and realizing that if it didn't get done today, that back wall wasn't going to paint itself while I slept.

It reminds me of a smart remark of Ivaan's:  "They said it couldn't be done. So I didn't do it."

The photograph on the wall is, in itself, a total treasure.  It's a 2006 limited edition called Miracle of Order, by our good friend John Bladen Bentley.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

THE CHALICE CHALLENGE: Never Be Caught Holding A Broom

So I finished the chalice last night.  Here's how it looks now.

It was a lot of work, but I think it was worth it, and I'm pretty sure Ivaan would be pleased with the result and proud that I had completed it on his behalf.

However, as I quickly discovered, there's more where that came from, and I wonder how old I'll be before I finish restoring all the other items Ivaan's favourite priest had hidden away in  the dark corners of the Cathedral.  I often think it's ironic that the least creative mortal on earth has ended up carrying on Ivaan's legacy, so it's almost unfathomable that I could be restoring liturgical vessels in my spare time.

As Ivaan said, "Never be caught holding a broom."

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Today it's been seven years since Ivaan's death, and before I head to the cemetery to cover his grave with evergreen boughs and tuck him in for the winter, I thought I'd share a photo of him lounging on the pool deck at a hotel in Havana, shortly after a hurricane.  The wind hadn't completely died down, but he was determined to enjoy every ray of sun available to him.

This was the last time I let Ivaan choose a vacation destination. That's all I have to say on the subject.

Miss you lots, Ivaan. And I bet you miss me too.