The Poetry of Being There: The Distillery District

This is my first post for The Poetry of Being There, aimed to share interactive 360 panoramic views of art exhibitions, artists’ studios and places you might like to visit. If you haven’t used an interactive 360 panorama before, please see here for instructions.

The Distillery District, Toronto  |  November 2013

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 2.23.22 PMI love the Distillery District. It’s where I went on my first date with Rick in 2008. We went to Balzac’s Coffee and then hopped around to a few galleries. It’s a terribly romantic place now, but it wasn’t always like this. I remember shooting films here in the early 90’s because it looked so rundown. Goooderham&Wort’s was a defunct distillery that Artscape worked to restore and preserve the Victorian industrial architecture. Now there are lots of artisan and designer furnishing shops, and great places to eat like Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill. In the summer, a trek to the Distillery is a great way to get out of the city without getting out of the city. The area hosts regular summer and winter holiday art markets and there are usually wedding photos being taken on any given weekend –a busy place indeed.

If you go, be sure to stop by SOMA Chocolatemaker and try the chocolate covered almonds (among other things). Delicious! Also, the Fluevog Soes flagship store is there – be careful though – the shoes are irresistible! I’m addicted.  BTW, that’s my partner Rick in the big black coat. He might have new shoes in that shopping bag …or chocolate …or both. We go back every year on Novemebr 2nd for our anniversary.

Other places of note while there: Jane Corkin Gallery, Pikto, Julie M Gallery,

If you go, or if you’ve been leave me a comment and let me know which places you like best so I can check it out the next time I’m there.

To see other Interactive 360 panoramas, see The Poetry of Being There.

Conversations with Winnie: Thieving the warm spot.

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Winnie: This spot is nice and warm.
Me: Winnie, out of my spot in the bed.
Winnie: No. You left, no savzies.
Me: Move.
Winnie: But look how comfortable I am.
Me: You’re totally faking it.
Winnie: No. See? I am snoring too.
Me: Out.
Winnie: Oh, I see… You are not convinced.. Okay… watch this big sigh.
Me: I’m gonna go make coffee.
Winnie: Okay. I’ll keep this spot warm. ..No, wait! I will come with you.

Capturing A TimeLapse Painting: College Baths Road, UK

I was recently asked to make a painting for someone who would bring it as a gift to London, UK. Since it would be small I figured it wouldn’t take me long so thought I’d take the opportunity to create a timelapse of the work in progress. I used a little piece of freeware called Gawker from I like it because I can set the intervals between frame captures (30 seconds, a minute, etc.) and when it’s done it will generate a little video file I can easily import into any video editing software. I used FinalCutPro, but you can use Adobe Premiere or iMovie or even use the free online creation tools now available on YouTube.

I painted this in one sitting (about 4 hours). The music is from a THE PEEL SESSIONS of a little known defunct band called TWA TOOTS.

NEW Summer Social Media Course @OCAD


Writing about social media and teaching workshops for artists and cultural organizations for three years has taught me a lot about the social media marketing needs of artists, musicians, designers and cultural organizations. It has been rewarding to work with visual arts and cultural institutions to develop social media policies and implement strategies and watch the ‘a-ha’ moments when possibilities are created. I have had the pleasure of participated in panel discussions about social media and the arts and have met some really smart people alone the way. It may then comes as no surprise to hear I’ll be the instructor for one of OCAD U’s newest Continuing Studies courses beginning this May.

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Social Media for Artists & Designers is a four week affordable course for any artist or designer who wants to know more about using social media to raise awareness of their practice, turn engagements into work or sales opportunities and continue to reach even greater audiences through various social media platforms.

There are only 20 spots available and half of them are already filled. For $250+GST, you can not beat the value of this four week course. If you are interested, you can read the full course description and register here.

Feel free to contact OCAD U’s office of continuing studies or email me if you have any questions.


VIDEO: My TOP 5 TOOLKIT Suggestions for Neighbourhood Arts Network

Back when I was the Social Media Director at Akimbo, my good friends at Neighbourhood Arts Network asked me to participate in a night at the Gladstone Hotel, talking to young artists about best practices for self promotion using social media. While we were there they asked me to jump in front of the camera and offer my top five tips for using social media. Here’s what I said:
I look at everything as a potential learning experience so here’s what I learned from participating in this event:

1) It is harder than I thought to sound smart on camera –especially in one take.
‘ Ummm…”
2) There were a lot of people who needed the information I knew.
3) I love teaching people new things.