Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Subject matters.

Really feelin' this portrait of Frederick Gustavus Burnaby by James Tissot. Frederic Burnaby was a really interesting character who sought balloon ascents, travelled to Spain, worked as a correspondent for The Times, set out on an expedition to Sudan and the nile, and even completed several horseback missions through Russia. Wow!!! what and an interesting character, no wonder Tissot painted him like this - regal, confident and relaxed. And that leg!!! move over Angelina!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Comfort food.

photo J. Dias

I learned how to make a bunch of stuff this weekend. The best guacamole, an east coast fish bake with mango salad, sautéed shrimp, and chocolate molten cake with raspberry coulis!!!

© photo J. Dias

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Heck yeah it's ugly, but how awesome is this jacket!!!
The funny thing about objects that are specific to a certain period, in this case the 80's, is that if enough time passes we see it differently. There was a time when it would be considered "normal" to wear this but today it's more of an artifact loaded with nostalgia and irony. Now we can appreciate it as a garment representative of the fashion of a time gone by. I remember when this style of jacket was popular, but even back then I also remember thinking it was kinda gross, flashy and ultra tacky . However through the filter of 2012, I can see and appreciate it's colour, pattern(s) and construction. Don't get me wrong, it still looks like a clown and a beatnik threw up all over an otherwise boring bomber jacket, but that's seems to be part of it's appeal. So I'm left wondering about this concept of changing perceptions around trends and objects. What will appeal to us 20 years from now? what will we find boring? what will we find ironic?  

Friday, February 24, 2012

Richter's PAINT.

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I saw the movie "Gerhard Richter Painting" which was featured at the Reel Artists film festival at Tiff Lightbox in Toronto. I've been a long time admirer of Richter's work so it was a real treat to see the master at work on a BIG screen. The added bonus was that the crowd in attendance was full of artists and art enthusiasts. It's not very often that you get to watch a movie with that kind of company, so yay!
Although I expected the documentary to be better than it lived up to be there were some great moments. l especially loved the sound, like when Richter dragged thick paint across, and over, the surface of his work. God Bless PAINTERS!

Monday, February 20, 2012


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Designer and professor Kaj Franck created the "Heluna" collection for Arabia of Finland. The animals come in a bunch different colours and sizes, all of which are quite beautiful. Wouldn't it be great to see these perched on a shelf every time you open your fridge? now that's fun in every pour!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Few Facts about Sad Plants

"Every sad plant has a pedigree and story. Each one has something to say about our erstwhile aspirations and current failings as mothers, lovers, friends, and keepers of the domestic realm. Who knows precisely why these plants are sad? Who knows what fate awaits them?" 

- Kyo Maclear

The cool thing about good art is when your confronted with it but don't have all the answers spelled out for you. Nancy Friedland's show 'Vigil' at Katherin Mulherin's space in Toronto does that for me. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

FACE time

Kinda infatuated with great portraiture like this of Cornelis van der Geest by Anthony van Dyck. Van Dyck has to be among my top 5 painters of all time. Look at how he captures humanity of the sitter, those eyes...that skin tone. A great example of what the medium of paint can achieve!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Amanda Nedham in Fashion!

I'm so excited that All Saints, one of my fav U.K. based clothing companies, has picked up my friend Amanda Nedham's designs. Kudos to All Saints for having the vision to seek out and collaborate with young artists. I showcased a sample of Amanda's work in a post last week because she was featured in Juxtapoz Magazine and now this! Wow Amanda! your on a roll!!!
Womens tee's can be found here and guys here. Go get em!

Kors Spring 2012

via Vogue

My friend Kathleen said she would wear everything in Michael Kors Spring 2012 line. I took a look and I can see why! If women dress like this then bring on SPRING already!

Ceramics Designer - Gunnar Nyland

Gunnar Nyland is quickly becoming one my favourite Scandinavian designers. He worked as artistic director for Rörstrand where he became well known for his innovation in stoneware glazes. His oeuvre of work is quite diverse ranging from folkloric to contemporary, all in keeping with a simple and elegant aesthetic.

Beautiful prints via David Cross' flicker page

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Drool Worthy.

images via Freeforms site

The next time I'm in NYC I'm going straight to Freeforms. I mean OMG!!!
how great is this stuff!!! The sad part is that it will be a 'strictly look can't afford' policy for me.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Weekend!

A lot of shovelling but it's all so pretty!

The old movie theatre on the Danforth is now a Tim Hortons (coffee/donut chain in Canada), love the original facade!

Love this Victorian collage! Every bit of it, including the background, is all Butterfly wings. The colours are still so remarkable.

Vintage locks, make for a great display. Don't you love grouping like objects.

Love, love, love! this vintage Swedish ceramic fish(will post the manufacturer later). You have to see (and feel) this one in person to really appreciate it.

My two favourite felines Chelsea and Milo

all pics by ©J. Dias

Saturday, February 11, 2012


When people refer to having a God given gift, Whitney Houston truly had it in spades! The first time I heard of Whitney Houston was when I saw the video for "You Give Good Love". Even though it was forever ago it feels like just yesterday and I remember thinking, wow! who is she? I knew at first sight that she was something SPECIAL!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Good things come to those who THRIFT.

It was a crazy busy week! so glad it's the weekend. I was practically chained to my desk and didn't get a chance to do much more. With so much on my plate, I needed a little play time in my local thrift store. So glad I did because I scored this awesome pair of solid brass lamps. Man they are heavy! like around 15 pounds each!!! The tag states they are American made in Paterson New Jersey in 1978 by Westwood Industries. Although I don't really have a spot for them in my place I had to snag em' because I could tell that they are real quality pieces, and at $9.99 each, helloooo SCORE!!! so loving brass these days!!!

photos by ©J. Dias

 Okay so maybe I have a little hoarding problem, but are these great or WHAT!!!

Currently Obsessing.

So feelin' this vibe! Designers Ryan Korban and Lauren Flax styled this amazing Upper West Side Residence. The chandelier and mirror are amazing!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Amanda Nedham DRAWS.

The Apology 1

Death Shall Have No Dominion 1

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I'm very excited that my friend Amanda's work is featured on Juxtapoz Magazine's site. She's SUPER BAD-ASS talented, VERY smart, thoughtful and all around GOOD PERSON!. She explores her keen interest in literature, historical tradition, cultural anthropology and storytelling (to name a few) to weave together and form a dialogue with mark making. She carefully considers so many elements and renders a level of detail that I can't even imagine a human hand can deliver. Yet with all of those loaded references, careful planning and arduous delivery she manages to keep her work wonderfully ambiguous and in a beautiful state of play. I cannot adequately articulate everything I feel and think when I see her work, she's just AWESOME! You can check out her work here

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Get me to the French!

I haven't been to Paris in almost five years but I still dream about Pierre Hermé.
Toronto has many excellent Pastry shops but none quite compares to this place. "Buttery-rich puff pastry, rose-flavoured almond paste, compote made with raspberries from the Haut-Vivarais region and litchis." that's the description directly from the Hermé site. I love me a good buttery croissant, folks I need to get to this and stat! How much is a ticket to Paris again???

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My one and only.

Peter Paul Ruebens "The Artist and his First Wife, Isabella Brant, in the honeysuckle Bower" 1609-10
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

There are many painters who just blow me away! Right up there in my top 5 of all time has to be Ruebens. His understanding of paint as a medium of sublime revelation is just BEYOND! The self portrait with his first wife Isabella Brant (shown above) was done early in his career. It's a wonderful example of both technical skill and his innovative blending of conventional formality with human naturalness.

Studio Space.

photos by ©J. Dias

I remember a period in my life, not too long ago, when I balanced a full time job, managed my home life, and completed a university Project Management program, all while maintaining studio practice. Maybe it's because I'm getting older but lately I find the juggling act a lot tougher than it used to be. I don't make art anymore but I think about it all the time. It's more than finding the time, it's about creating space, both physical and mental, to be able to make work. I miss my old studios and the great memories around that time, I hope I can find my way back soon.