Outside the Box | St. John’s

It’s been a good week with a few simple joys:

  • Sunny Sunday and Monday
  • Cycling and walking outdoors
  • Watching beautiful winter birds in the harbour
  • A walk and coffee catch up with a friend
  • Chatting with family and a longtime friend
  • Discovering new public art
  • Finishing a good book and starting another good book
  • Organizing my digital images (see below)

I organized my digital images of public art into themes and will post them in small batches. I named one of my themes Outside the Box for all sorts of painted boxes. Here’s the first batch.

Outside the Box

I photographed the following five utility boxes when I went for a walk in St. John’s, Newfoundland. There are seven images since the “Jellybean Houses” utility box has different paintings on three sides.

Picture 1: This is the front view of the utility box with painted houses and doors on actual doors.

Jellybean Houses – front

Picture 2: Side view of the same utility box. I like the painted flowers at the bottom. There is an actual green door behind the box, to the left of the picture.

Jellybean Houses – side

Picture 3: The back of the same utility box. Again, I like the painted shrubs and flowers at the bottom.

Jellybean Houses – back

Picture 4: An octopus in nice water bubbles.

Octopus

Picture 5: Quidi Vidi is a picturesque neighbourhood in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Quidi Vidi

Picture 6: These two boxes together show St. John’s Harbour. The wall behind them is a mural of sea life.

St. John’s Harbour

Picture 7: A violinist in bright colours; a sample of the rich music culture in St. John’s.

Violinist

As I reviewed my pictures, I am reminded that travel provides many gifts: Anticipation before the trip, participation during the trip and recollection after the trip. Going through my pictures brought back fond memories of my walk in St. John’s.

Where Are the Doors?

The paint hides the door handles and locks on these utility boxes. They are there if you look closely. Visit Dan’s Thursday Doors for more door photos.

Weekend Coffee Share

I’d love for you to share whatโ€™s been happening, simple joys from your week and/ or favourite public art photos from around the world in the comments or Weekend Coffee Share linkup #103 InLinkz below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Copyright ยฉ 2023 natalietheexplorer.home.blog โ€“ All rights reserved.

111 thoughts on “Outside the Box | St. John’s

  1. leannelc January 20, 2023 / 8:17 am

    Hi Natalie – we have quite a few utility boxes that have been turned into murals in our area. It’s such a great idea because they’re necessary but ugly additions to the urban landscape, so anything that makes them prettier is a win. I think my favourite of yours is the violinist. Thanks for another great party.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 6:35 pm

      Hi Leanne, I’d love to see the painted utility boxes in your area. I like the implied movements and the bright colours of the Violinist painting. Thank you for linking up. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  2. Karen January 20, 2023 / 9:17 am

    A good week indeed. That’s a very creative idea for utility boxes. My favorite is the harbour & sea life. Next is the colorful jellybean houses with the flowers & shrubs. #Weekendcoffeeshare

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 6:38 pm

      Karen, I’m glad you like these utility boxes. I think the artists did a great job with many subtle details in each painting. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  3. Darlene January 20, 2023 / 9:44 am

    I love these painted utility boxes. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 6:39 pm

      Darlene, I’m glad you love these boxes. I have more to share next month. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bernie January 20, 2023 / 10:17 am

    I totally missed these when we were there or they are new. We have many done here in Saskatoon. I will have to think about including one or two of them the next time I walk in the city and get some photos. Bernie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 6:41 pm

      Bernie, I found these boxes along Water Street, by the harbour. I’d love to see painted utility boxes in Saskatoon. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  5. Kirstin Troyer January 20, 2023 / 10:31 am

    I love how you said a week with a few simple joys. I’ve been reading a lot of posts etc..about finding joy in the small things, in tiny moments, in simple things. I need to organize my digital images. I love those images. Love the octopus as I’m reading a book right now called Remarkably Bright Creatures and it’s about an octopus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 6:47 pm

      Kirstin, I think simple joys are more abundant and sustainable than big moments. I’m glad you love these utility boxes. I like how small bubbles were painted with the Octopus. I have Remarkably Bright Creatures book on hold at my library. I look forward to reading it.

      Like

      • Kirstin Troyer January 21, 2023 / 9:48 am

        I’m halfway through the book and I’m enjoying it. It just got to a part that has me going “hmmmm…..what is going to come of this”. I like when authors make a statement that makes me try and figure out what is going to happen next.

        Like

        • Natalie January 21, 2023 / 10:06 am

          We can compare our opinions after reading the book ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Scribble and Scran January 20, 2023 / 11:44 am

    I find it amazing how you find new art every week. Just love the colors, and the art on something so functional

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 6:51 pm

      I’m glad you love the colours and art on these utility boxes. I have more to post next month. Fortunately, Toronto has a very rich art scene.

      Like

    • Natalie January 21, 2023 / 8:48 pm

      I got an error message and was unable to leave a comment on your blog.

      Like

  7. restlessjo January 20, 2023 / 12:45 pm

    The Jellybean houses are so cheerful and I really like those atmospheric ones of St. John’s too. Sounds like an excellent week, Natalie ๐Ÿซ ๐Ÿ’—

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 6:56 pm

      Jo, I’m glad you like these utility boxes. I enjoyed walking up and down the streets in St. John’s to see the Jellybean houses and public art. My camera had a workout, too ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great weekend!

      Like

  8. Amila January 20, 2023 / 12:58 pm

    wow! These are colourful and very clever ways of making utility boxes attractive. Thanks for sharing all the photos. I’ve never seen such painted utility boxes in Singapore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 6:58 pm

      Amila, You’re welcome. I’m glad to share something new to you. Painted utility boxes are popular in Toronto. I’ll share more next month.

      Like

  9. csuhpat1 January 20, 2023 / 1:10 pm

    Love the jellybean house. Very cool utility boxes. Love them. Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 7:00 pm

      Patrick, I’m glad you love these boxes. I’ll post more next month. Thank you for linking up. Have a great weekend!

      Like

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 7:20 pm

      Dan, I agree. St. John’s has lots of cloudy and foggy days so bright colours are good antidotes.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 7:22 pm

      Jill, I’m glad you like these boxes. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thistles and Kiwis January 20, 2023 / 2:13 pm

    I just love these! I’m going to keep my eyes open for things like that from now on. Thanks for a lovely, bright start to my Saturday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 7:23 pm

      Barbara, You’re welcome. I’d love to see painted utility boxes or public art in Wellington. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  11. Maria January 20, 2023 / 2:40 pm

    Fascinating utility boxes! There’s so many details on each one of them, I have a hard time picking a favourite. They are all great! Thank you for a good start on my weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 7:27 pm

      Maria, You’re welcome. I’m glad you like these utility boxes. I think the artists did a great job painting them. I like colours as they just brighten our day and the subtle art details are delightful discoveries. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maria January 21, 2023 / 2:44 am

        Thank you! Indeed! Great uplifting colours ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Retirement Reflections January 20, 2023 / 3:04 pm

    Hi, Natalie – Travel definitely does provide us with many rich gifts. I love these paintings – they are so vivid and creative!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 7:28 pm

      Hi Donna, I hope we both get to travel more this year and beyond. I’m pleased you love these paintings. I’ll share more next month.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Liesbet @ Roaming About January 20, 2023 / 4:04 pm

    Iโ€™m a fan of public art, especially colorful street art. Itโ€™s so nice that boring utility boxes are given new life this way. We just drove through the smallest, off-the-beaten track village here in Colombia and many walls of buildings were adorned with colorful scenes. Such a surprise and joy to find murals everywhere!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 7:35 pm

      Liesbet, A coat of paint is an inexpensive way to beautify a space. I saw a lot of murals when I was in SA, especially in Chile. Some of the SA mural artists have settled in Toronto as their art is well appreciated here. I hope your SA journey is going well. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Joanne January 20, 2023 / 4:26 pm

    Those are lovely! I like that more and more cities and town are incorporating art.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 7:36 pm

      Joanne, Street art has become more popular in cities and towns. I’m glad you like these painted utility boxes.

      Like

  15. Denyse Whelan Blogs January 20, 2023 / 6:33 pm

    When I am more organised, I can add photos to albums of kind…so I love your idea to do this, and of course it makes it so much easier to retrieve. I loved the simple black backgrounds and colours. Joined in today with my Sunday Stills post about my visit to Pearl Harbour in 2006. Thank you for the link up. Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 7:40 pm

      Denyse, Thank you for linking up. I feel much better after I organized my public art photos into a few themes. It’s fun for me to think of names for my themes, too. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Erica/Erika January 20, 2023 / 10:17 pm

    Happy New Year, Natalie, Very clever the titles you are using to organize your digital images. St. Johnโ€™s does not disappoint. You captured fun, beautiful, and colourful photos. Great points about the gifts of travel. Thank you for my smiles and a positive beginning to the weekend.๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 20, 2023 / 10:31 pm

      Happy New Year, Erica/ Erika! It’s great to hear from you. I hope all’s well with you. I’m glad my post gave you smiles. I feel so much better after organizing my images into a few themes. Once I post them on my blog and have a backup, I delete them from my phone, getting ready for new adventures, new travels and new photos ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Marsha January 21, 2023 / 2:54 am

    I love your public art theme, this week, Natalie. Those are all fancy and fun boxes. Our boxes in Prescott are all painted drab tan and match the wild grasses and the rocks. It sounds like you had another great week in paradise. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 21, 2023 / 9:52 am

      Marsha, I’m glad you love my public art theme. I have more painted utility boxes to share ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll post another batch next month. I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marsha January 21, 2023 / 10:39 am

        So far. I got up too late to start my online line dancing class and to beat my husband to the tv. I think early morning is too early to line dance! I’ll look forward to some more out of box thinking next week. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

        • Natalie January 21, 2023 / 12:07 pm

          Maybe inline dancing videos on YouTube so you can use your laptop? I’ll post more utility boxes in three weeks as I have other topics to post between now and then ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          • Marsha January 21, 2023 / 2:10 pm

            I need to take some more pictures. I’m out of topics right now.

            Like

            • Natalie January 21, 2023 / 5:23 pm

              A nature walk is usually inspiring and gives lots of photo opportunities.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Marsha January 22, 2023 / 10:38 am

                That is true. My nature walk yesterday was around the mall six times. That gave my partner and I 10,000 steps.

                Like

                • Natalie January 22, 2023 / 6:31 pm

                  Well done, Marsha! Keep up the good work and enjoy fun chats with your walk partner.

                  Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 21, 2023 / 10:04 am

      Sofia, It’s incredible what artists can do with paint, even black and white as in your mural photo. Thank you for your contribution.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. anexactinglife January 21, 2023 / 10:03 am

    These are great! Our city believes that when utility boxes are painted with street art, they are less likely to be tagged or otherwise graffitied, because one artist will not disrespect another. As seen in your images, and here too, the principle doesnโ€™t hold 100% but Iโ€™m sure it makes a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 21, 2023 / 10:13 am

      I think it’s working. I’ll share some painted utility boxes in Toronto next month. The artwork on the Toronto boxes is in good condition and not defaced by graffiti. There is a Graffiti Alley for those who want to create graffiti.

      Like

  19. Ally Bean January 21, 2023 / 10:27 am

    Oh my gosh, look at those utility boxes! Never have I ever seen any like them. Very cool beans

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie January 21, 2023 / 5:25 pm

      Glad to share new cool beans with you. I’ll post more painted utility boxes next month.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 21, 2023 / 5:26 pm

      Thank you, Regina. Good to hear from you. I hope you’ve been keeping well.

      Like

    • Natalie January 21, 2023 / 5:28 pm

      Glad you liked these utility boxes. Have you visited your friend in St. John’s? I enjoyed my visit there.

      Like

    • Natalie January 21, 2023 / 5:29 pm

      Thank you, Pam. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

      Like

    • Natalie January 21, 2023 / 5:31 pm

      Thank you, Deborah. I like those boxes, too even though tan or beige is not my favourite colour.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Antoinette Truglio Martin January 22, 2023 / 10:05 am

    Fascinating pictures! You know how to capture magical places.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 22, 2023 / 11:58 am

      Thank you for your compliment.

      Like

  21. Jackie January 22, 2023 / 11:25 am

    Fun post as I recognize most of them, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 22, 2023 / 11:59 am

      You’re welcome. I had fun going through my travel photos.

      Like

  22. E.W. Bennefeld January 22, 2023 / 2:46 pm

    I have been catching up on various chores and appointments since I was last here. New activities will include my signing up for a `2-week Artist’s Way course through UWisconsin via Zoom, which I have done periodically throughout the decades, although the private AW groups seem to have vanished. I also have been planning, during this past week, a personal theme for February’s National Haiku Writing Month. Health has precluded most photography. Hoping to turn that around, once the air quality is better. Thanks for the pretty pictures! Lovely to look at!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Natalie January 22, 2023 / 6:10 pm

        Lizl, Your new AW and writing activities are excellent for winter. Hope the air quality improves for you. Thank you for linking up.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 22, 2023 / 6:12 pm

      Brenda, Thank you for your visit and comment. I’m glad you liked these boxes. I’ll share more photos of painted utility boxes next month.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 22, 2023 / 6:33 pm

      Those small details like the bubbles are delightful.

      Like

  23. Janet Alcorn January 22, 2023 / 8:37 pm

    I love the idea of prettying up utility boxes! So bright and cheerful.

    And it’s always fun to look through photos and enjoy the memories of a trip. Glad you got to do that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie January 22, 2023 / 9:55 pm

      Janet, I’m glad you love the idea. The painted utility boxes are popular here. I’ll share some more next month. I don’t see your link in InLinkz which is optional. I wonder if you encountered any error or forgot or you just wanted to leave a comment without adding your link.

      Like

    • Natalie January 22, 2023 / 9:50 pm

      PR, I had fun thinking of theme names and felt better after I organized some of my public art photos into a few themes. Thank you for your PPAC contribution.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Robert J Jr. January 23, 2023 / 11:19 am

    Very cool. Iโ€™ve seen many painted utility boxes in urban areas. The murals can be quite stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 23, 2023 / 5:07 pm

      Thank you Robert for your visit and comment. I’m glad you liked these boxes. I have a photo collection of painted utility boxes. I hope to share another batch next month.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Alison January 23, 2023 / 4:13 pm

    These are gorgeous and really makes a walk more interesting and colourful. I love the ones of St. John’s Harbour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 23, 2023 / 5:09 pm

      Ali, The ones of St. John’s Harbour are quite clever and realistic. I walked by that harbour when I was there. I hope your stay in the UK is going well.

      Like

      • Alison January 23, 2023 / 5:33 pm

        Thanks Natalie, my visit is hard as my mum has dementia and my dad has pancreatic cancer so not sure how long he has or what will happen to my mum, it’s very hard but I’ve been fortunate to have them for so long

        Like

        • Natalie January 23, 2023 / 6:36 pm

          Ali, I’m sorry to hear that. It is hard. I hope you’re able to enjoy the present moment with them. Take lots of pictures and videos.

          Like

          • Alison January 24, 2023 / 4:13 am

            Thanks Natalie
            Yes I should ๐Ÿ˜Š

            Like

    • Natalie January 23, 2023 / 5:10 pm

      Thank you Ali for your link. I’ll be over to your blog shortly.

      Like

  26. Terri Webster Schrandt January 26, 2023 / 4:18 pm

    Sorry I took so long to read, Natalie. Sounds like you had a great week! I don’t envy you having to go through photos, but what you selected were beautiful. That container art is really something! Glad you could enjoy some sunshine, I’ve forgotten what it looks like. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 26, 2023 / 5:50 pm

      Terri, I go through my photos in small chunks of time when I feel like it so it’s actually fun to do. We’ve had more cloudy days than sunny days, mild temperatures and not much snow in January until a major snow storm yesterday. Downtown Toronto got about 5 inches of snow but by this morning the main roads and sidewalks are already cleared. I hope the sun returns to your area and mine soon.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 27, 2023 / 10:51 am

      Teresa, I’m glad you liked the utility boxes. Your murals are great finds. I like their bright colours, large size and variety. Thank you for your PPAC contribution.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Teresa January 27, 2023 / 5:30 pm

        Always my pleasure to share!

        Like

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