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Monday, November 29, 2010

In with the OLDE, now, in with the NEW !

I have pretty well completed all the Olde icons on my new mandala and now am adding those from the present.  Can you guess what some of them may be ?
But, a nice thing about it is that much of the Olde is still there.

I don't want to give away what the centre essence is, yet, because I want it it be a surprise when the circle is complete.
I decide on what will be in the centre at many different times during the course of its creation.
For example, I know right away what it will be or , do not know until the very end.  The centre of the current one in progress came to me last Thursday.  That' s how it happens : it is truly a eureka moment !
It's as if the mandala has a mind of its own.
So, I move forward with the NEW, and hopefully I will have it all wrapped up in 3 days, ready for its debut !

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

" Little by little......

" Little by little the bird builds his nest."

" Petit a petit l' oiseau fait son nid. "

And little by little Toronto grew out of nothing.  A blank page, just like my mandalas.  Buildings were initially made out of wood and a lot of that timber was cut down in Downsview leaving the location with a loss of many, many, many varieties of trees.  This has been noted on " The Downsview Flying Club " Mandala.To this day, Downsview is rather barren in some areas.  The wood was used for fuel, buildings, and shipbuilding. And as time went on, many of the buildings burned down because of those wooden structures.
And so more articulate architectural styles were introduced using brick and stone.  I have included many on this " Olde Toronto New " mandala.  Many classical styles were chosen for their strength as seen in european buldings which architects of the 1800' s saw prior to coming to Canada.  And many are still with us 200 years later.
If you have time, I hope you are able to walk around the Olde Town of York streets ( Front to Queen/Parliament to Yonge ) and you will see the beauty before your own eyes.  Look for the plaques on designated Heritage Buildings.  You will look up and see the richness in the handwork and be amazed that dedicated people have saved these gifts from our heritage. Try to appreciate the effort and hard work that went into their making. 

( Please excuse the missing accent marks on petit, as they are not available on this keyboard. Thank you.
  I shall try to rectify this in the near future. )

Monday, November 22, 2010

Many have followed their dreams in Toronto.....

From across the archipalego in the Bering Strait they travelled along, following a liveable climate and
available foods.  Being as resourceful and diligent as they possibly could they trekked on as they came closer and closer to Lake Ontario.  They followed the animals and rivers and creeks all through to the shores.
12,000 ago we were covered with a glacier and as it gradually melted ( Was this the first sign of global warming ? ) it left land forms and temperatures which attracted the first human dwellers of southern Ontario.....the fluted point peoples. From as far back as 9,000 years , evidence has been found that people
lived and hunted and sought a better way of life.

My Old Toronto New mandala begins right at that time, follows these people and their ways up until the earliest europeans arrived in the area.  Layer upon layer upon layer upon layer our city was built and the layers are easily on view throughout , if you really look.  In a way everything has changed, but when one examines closely....nothing has changed.
And I will show you how that is in my mandala-in-progress.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Moving Down to the Lake, East of Yonge Street, West of the Don

So now I'm down at  Lake Ontario  between 1793 and 1899.......

........with so many dreams floating in the air !
Life wasn' t easy but these dreams kindled the new immigrants' hearts and gave them strength which kept them moving forward.
Nothing was impossible, nothing couldn't be accomplished.
Buildings were constructed, both great and small.  They are all treasures of our past here in Toronto and bless the people who helped to keep many of them standing to this day.
All were noteworthy because each man's dream was being fullfilled.  Each man wanted what we all want : to  to be successful, to be filled with confidence and hope, and to make our mark.....
from the brickmaker to the blacksmith to the shoe-shiner.
And so I am laying out the area of Olde York - mandala-style and
it will be a swirling journey through the struggles and achievements of that time.
It will inspire.

I will begin at the very beginning ( well, as far as I know ).
 How far back do you think that goes ?  How many treasures will I uncover ?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

" The Downs View Flying Club "

The Downsview mandala is now complete as of November 3, 2010 !
Sometimes working 'til the wee hours of the morning, I plowed forward and reached the finish line at 1:15 a.m .

Downsview is bounded by Wilson Avenue to the south, Sheppard to the north, just west of Keele Street  to the west and Wilson Heights/Allan Road to the east.

I have spent the month of October working on it and after hours of research, walking in the area and sketching, I finally came up with a design which hopefully incorporates most of the elements of Downsview , past and present.  I plan to post a mini-version of it soon, along with the rest of the tribe.

 Olde Toronto New is in the works, but for some reason I was called to create Downsview first of all.

Yonge/Lawrence is also moving along, with some of the research having been completed.

A recent commission is to produce a New York City mandala and I hope to have it ready by the end of November.

Please don' t forget to check out Dave LeBlanc's ( the Globe and Mail Architourist ) article written on October 1, 2010 :

Here Dave writes about my " Toronto Neighbourhood Mandalas " and each week his delightful columns tell about Toronto's treasures of the past and present.