Sunday, 31 December 2017

Hurrying to Union Station, Toronto on a rainy night

A few years ago, 
I used to work at a small downtown office just off Yonge Street in Toronto

One night after work, 
I was hurrying to Union Station to catch a GO train home, 
while it was raining

The CN Tower was lit in green and red,
And the sky was a spectacular blue and purple!

That's a GO bus on my way to the train station

This is a view walking from Yonge Street towards Union Station, 
past the Union Station GO bus terminal

I started this painting earlier this month (December 2017),
And have some finishing touches to do tomorrow,
Hence it's postdated to 1st January 2018.

Happy New Year to YOU, if you see this post!!

16"x 20" oil painting on canvas

"The arm of flesh will fail you, Ye dare not trust your own" - George Duffield

Growing up in Africa, I used to sing this ...
Wonder if anyone in North America sings these old hymns??

The lyrics are based on the dying words of Dudley Atkins Tyng
who was removed from his church for speaking against slavery.
Written by George Duffield in 1858

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Winter walk at -35° C

*** Updated 5th Jan 2018

This is not a Christmas decoration. It is an icicle
Never stand underneath a roof with one of these.
It's a weapon of ice destruction!

We are only two weeks into winter, 
and they say tonight it's going to feel like -36° C
so decided to go for a one hour night walk to experience 'extreme cold'

That's a nice skating rink, made out of  ...
.... ice
But there's nobody skating

Not a soul in sight, anywhere.
Not even a rabbit.

I must admit, at -35° C it does feel a bit cold

Stay warm folks!


Winter walk at -27 ° C on the 26th of December

Love evening walks in winter.
No coyotes or rabbits today ...

When you go walking, you don't need parking!

In some places the snow is more than a foot deep

There's a certain shade of pink and purple in the winter sky!

Happy Boxing day folks!

Sunday, 17 December 2017

"The Christmas spirit is not what you drink" - Ian Anderson

"Once in Royal David's city,
Stood a lonely cattle shed,
Where a mother held her baby,
You'd do well to remember the things he later said,
When you're stuffing yourselves at the Christmas parties ...
... The Christmas spirit is not what you drink"
- Ian Anderson

A Christmas Song by Ian Anderson from the Jethro Tull Christmas Album 
available on iTunes

Friday, 15 December 2017

Painting Peaks of the Canadian Rockies, Yoho National Park, British Columbia

The Canadian Rockies are stunningly beautiful, 
and there are so many places you wish you could spend more time 
taking in the breathtaking views.

This is a view of the peaks in Yoho National Park
when driving from Takakkaw Falls towards Glacier National Park of Canada.

If anyone can please tell me the name of the peak in the distance, 
I'd be truly grateful to you!

I used these three triple zero paint brushes from India, 
which have varying degrees of wear,
to paint the pine trees

Lately I've been enjoying painting clouds!

16"x 20" oil painting on canvas

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Canadian Landscapes - Limited edition 2018 wall calendars featuring my paintings

The new 2018 Mini Wall Calendars have just been printed.
Some of my latest landscape paintings are featured in this 6.5" x 8.5" calendar.

Printed on satin paper stock, 
this limited edition has been crafted in small quantities, 
and has Canadian holidays marked.

If they are still available, you can get these calendars here

Sunday, 10 December 2017

How I ended up buying a pair of battery booster cables

As I stepped into the gas station to pay for petrol, a tall lady who was with her young daughter, 
asked me if I had the cables required to start a car. 
She pointed to her large van that was parked outside at the pump, which she was unable to start.

I told her I didn't have the cables, and proceeded to the counter to pay for the petrol I had just filled.

I was suddenly reminded of how I got stuck just a few weeks ago when the battery on my car died. 
It was then that it occurred to me that I must help. 
So I asked the cashier if they sold these cables, and she took a set of battery booster cables off the shelf and gave me the price. 
Being a small store, the tall lady overheard my conversation with the cashier, and said that she wasn't able to buy the cable at that moment without checking with her husband.

It is at moments like this that I need to decide quickly ... 
... there are people waiting behind me in line to pay for gas ... 
I'd never used booster cables before, not sure how to use it ...
... and .... 
... I had a lot of reasons not to buy it ... 
... but I bought the cables. 

Learnt how to use the cables, and got the lady's car started in less than five minutes. 
She said "Thank you so much for your help! We were on our way to church"
I gave her a few tips on where she could easily replace the battery at that time in the morning. 
She said "Thanks, GOD bless you!" and she was on her way.

That's how I ended up buying battery booster cables.

If you need someone to get your car started, call me, 
and I'll be there for you!

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Why is some music so hard to find?

Somehow the music I am looking for is usually not available on CD or MP3 or in any format,
on iTunes or on Amazon,
or anywhere for that matter.
Except my cassette tape!

This particular version of Island In The Sea (1987)
 features Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler along with Willie Nelson

Saturday, 2 December 2017

A day at the Cranberry Christmas Market in Mississauga

I rarely take part in painting exhibitions or art shows, and in 13 years,
this is the 2nd time I've taken paintings out of my home art gallery.
This is the Cranberry Christmas Market in Mississauga. 

Thanks to the Mississauga Arts Council
we had a great time meeting neighbours, friends, artists, 
and listening to the stories behind their artworks,

And guess who came by ...

Our Mayor is a very gracious person.
I wish her success in everything she does for our beautiful city!

Signing the guest book

Our Councillor with a painting

More photos from my 1st exhibition in Canada!

This maybe my last art show, as I focus more on art, than on show.
You are welcome to visit my home art gallery!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Painting Cardinals on the Birch Tree in our Backyard

Prompted by the cool winter evening breeze,
the two cardinals in the backyard,
And an amazing Christmas carol from 1582,
I couldn't help but paint!

These two cardinals and many others, 
are regular visitors in our backyard throughout the year

Love the angelic voice of Andrea Alonso in this particular rendition of Personent hodie
You can get the song on iTunes

This is a painting on Canadian birch wood

The male is singing ...

And the female is listening 

As the winter evening turns to night

16"x 20" oil painting on birch wood

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Listening to the flute of Ian Anderson and painting Where The Yoho and the Kicking Horse Rivers meet

"In the clear white circles of morning wonder
I take my place with the lord of the hills" 
- Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) 1972

Here's a short video I took at this place

Where the Yoho and Kicking Horse Rivers meet
24"x36" oil painting on canvas

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Replaced the timing chain in the Audi A3

The EPC light came on 4 times yesterday even after resetting the codes.
And sometimes with the Check Engine light bold.

After getting home, there was a vibration in the engine and got all these error codes.

And occasionally with the Check Engine Light flashing. 
So turned off the car, and parked it for the night.

Next morning, there were no error codes.
Got an immediate appointment with folks who I know, 
(it takes weeks to get an appointment with a dealer)
drove down to their workshop,
and after a diagnostic scan,
Got the car back home the same day!
Moral of the story - never believe what the computer tells you.
All those codes were misleading, especially the EPC over the last few months.

Always investigate the source of the problem.
Thankfully I know folks who have been fixing Audis for many years!

Saturday, 18 November 2017

A time for everything

"There's a time for everything.
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace."

- See Ecclesiastes 3 for the full list

Truth is, it's all in GOD's time, not mine!

And now it's time to rake the leaves!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Forget war, make peas with paneer and minced meat

Ground beef is something we always knew as minced meat.
It's different from mincemeat, which is dried fruit & spices

Cut paneer into small cubes, and fry in a little oil till it's golden brown like shown below, 
and set aside.
Chop onions, garlic, ginger, a couple of Thai red chillies, 
and stir fry till light brown, 
then add minced meat, peas, salt, 
clove, cardamom and cinnamon powder, 
and fry, 
and keep covered for a few minutes till the meat is cooked

Turn off the heat.
Add the paneer, and mix well, leave covered for a few minutes, then serve.
That's it!

One of the easiest dishes to make, that's also tasty and quick to cook!