Outside the Box | People

This week I resumed organizing my digital images. Today’s batch includes five utility boxes designed and painted by three Toronto-based artists. I organized these images under the Outside the Box | People theme and listed them by artist’s last name below.

Gary Taxali’s Designs

Gary Taxali is a Canadian contemporary fine artist and illustrator known for his iconic retro style pop art and illustration. The following two “Good Fun” boxes have subtle differences between them.

Gary Taxali’s design, Box #1 – Front view
Gary Taxali’s Design, Box #1 – Side view
Gary Taxali’s design, Box #2 – Front view
Gary Taxali’s design, Box #2 – Back and side views

Colin Tea’s Design

Colin Tea is a Toronto-based artist who is also known as Colin Turner Bloom. The design is meant to transport those passing by into the tranquility and beauty of nature.

Colin Tea’s design – Front view
Colin Tea’s design – Back and side views

Madeline Yee’s Designs

Madeline Yee is a Canadian illustrator and animator. The designs on two back-to-back boxes feature people activities in the neighbourhood.

Madeline Yee’s design, 2022
Madeline Yee’s design – Box #1
Madeline Yee’s design – Box #2

Weekend Coffee Share

I enjoyed checking out the designs on these boxes and discovering Toronto-based artists. I usually look up the artists after my walk to learn more about their art portfolios.

Did you like any of the above designs? For more door photos, visit Dan’s #ThursdayDoors photo challenge.

I’d love for you to share what’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 #115 InLinkz below.

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Murals in Chinatown

A few weeks ago I cycled to Toronto’s Downtown Chinatown or West Chinatown, then walked along Dundas Street West to photograph murals that I’ve seen on another visit.

The history of Toronto’s Chinatown stems back to the late 1870s. Although the West Chinatown (Dundas Street West/ Spadina Avenue) is more well known, there are also East Chinatown (Broadview Avenue/ Gerrard Street East) and other Chinatowns in the Greater Toronto Area.

Here are five huge murals in Chinatown, located on the south side of Dundas Street West, between Beverley Street and Spadina Avenue.

1. Mural at Number 397

Located at 397 Dundas Street West, this mural features people and young children. I took photos of it in four sections. Unfortunately I was unable to find the artists’ names.

Mural at Number 397, section 1
Mural at Number 397, section 2
Mural at Number 397, section 3
Mural at Number 397, section 4
Mural at Number 397, sections 2 to 4

2. The Great Wall Mural

Located at 421 Dundas Street West, this mural was designed and painted by Blinc Studios artists Allan Blender, John Nobrega, Rick Sauve, Brian Broders, Jesse McCuaig and Ming Lau in 2013. It features the Great Wall of China and is the longest of the five murals. I’m sharing six sections although the mural has about a dozen of them.

The Great Wall mural, section 1
The Great Wall mural, section 2
The Great Wall mural, section 3
The Great Wall mural, section 4
The Great Wall mural, section 5
The Great Wall mural, section 6

3. The Forbidden City Mural

Located at 433 Dundas Street West, this mural was designed and painted by Blinc Studios artists Allan Blender, John Nobrega, Jesse McCuaig, and Elaine Teguibon. It features two fierce lions outside the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.

The Forbidden City mural
The Forbidden City mural
The Forbidden City mural

4. Milky Way Mural

Located at 449 Dundas Street West, this mural was designed and painted by Blinc Studios artists Allan Bender, John Nobrega, Azadeh Pirazimian and Jieun June Kim in July 2017. It features the Chinese fairy tale of the Herd-Boy and the Weaver-Girl.

Milky Way mural
The Herd Boy
The Weaver Girl

5. Dragon Mural

Located at 493 Dundas Street West, the Dragon mural was designed and painted on a metal surface by Blinc Studios artists Allan Bender, John Nobrega, Jesse McCuaig, Azadeh Pirazimian, Chris Brown, Frannie Potts and Mohammad Jaberi in 2016.

Dragon mural
Dragon mural close-up

Weekend Coffee Share

It was a fun walk to see the murals in details. The list of artists shows that it was a team effort to paint them. The finished murals look beautiful, coherent and impressive. They’re my contribution to Terri’s #SundayStills Out of this World photo challenge and Jo’s Monday Walk.

Which mural do you like?

I’d love for you to share what’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 #109 InLinkz below.

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Outside the Box | Animals

It’s been a good week with spring-like temperatures, plenty of sunshine and blue skies from Saturday through to Tuesday. I cycled most days and walked every day. On Wednesday, the daytime high temperature reached 14C (57F) which is unusual for mid-February here.

I photographed the following five utility boxes on my walks. I organized them under my Outside the Box | Animals theme and listed them by artist’s name. Most of them have different designs on the front, side and the back so two pictures for each box.

1. Raccoon by Jeff Blackburn

The raccoon is holding a camera like a tourist as this box is near St. Lawrence Market, a tourist-friendly area.

Raccoon – front
Raccoon – back

2. Pets by Tak Bùi, 2017

The design hopes to celebrate the affection humans have towards the two most popular pets. I spot a monkey, do you see it too?

Pets – front
Pets – back

3. Stinkpot Turtles Toronto Return by Jungle Ling, 2019

The design attempts to draw attention to the Eastern Musk Turtle or the Stinkpot Turtle which only grows to 5″ long. They once were common in South Eastern Ontario in our muddy flats and shallow rivers. Such habitats continue to disappear due to human activities.

Stinkpot Turtles – front
Stinkpot Turtles – back

4. Fish by Charles Weiss, 2015

The vertical design shows bright contrasting shapes of Lake Ontario fish. The largest fish is the Chinook salmon in two different colour patterns (brown for fall and silver for summer).

5. Birds by Avril Wu, 2021

Soft images of birds on the front and a striking crane on the back of this box.

Birds – front
Crane – back

Weekend Coffee Share

I enjoy these designs that highlight animal life around me. Which design(s) do you like?

I’d love for you to share what’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 #107 InLinkz below.

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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 what’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.

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Happy New Year 2023

I would like to wish everyone a healthy, joyful, and fulfilling new year. I hope you had a lovely holiday season. Mine was enjoyable and relaxing. Nature has given us here a gentle start to 2023 with light rain and mild temperatures, high 4C or 39F, on New Year’s Day.

To ring in 2023, I watched the 15-minute fireworks display launching at midnight across Toronto’s waterfront. I celebrated New Year’s Day with a healthy breakfast, a gentle yoga session, a good lunch, a bike ride, a delicious family dinner, chocolate, and an intriguing book. It was a wonderful day!

Forecast and Outlook

My activity forecast for 2023 follows nature’s four seasons: Quiet reflection and preparation in winter (January-March), emergence and new beginnings in spring (April-June), abundance and growth in summer (July-September), and gentle wrap-up in autumn (October-December).

I have an optimistic outlook for 2023. While we don’t know what this new year will bring us, I know there are at least three things that I can and love to do:

  1. Maintain my health and fitness in various ways.
  2. Show support to family, friends and community.
  3. Explore and enjoy life via my hobbies and travel adventures.

On the Blog

During my break, I did some blog housekeeping behind the scene and on my Home page:

  1. Changed my blog header image from a beach to an island.
  2. Updated the pages on the menu at the top of my blog.
  3. Updated the widgets on my blog sidebar.

I hope to continue documenting my explorations and discoveries with pictures on my blog. I have a few outings in the queue to write up. For this week, I am sharing a recently painted mural that I discovered on one of my walks. I like its nature theme and cheerful colours.

The Bathurst Quay Mural featuring artwork by Shawn Howe depicting birch trees growing against a purple, pink and orange sky with a stream surrounded by rocks in the foreground and a large moon or sun in the sky.

Bathurst Quay Mural, 2022, by Shawn Howe
North side
West side

Weekend Coffee Share

I continue hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (WCS) linkup which includes the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC). Welcome to WCS linkup #101! This weekly linkup allows bloggers to come together to share what’s been happening, simple joys from their week and/ or favourite public art photos from around the world.

Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own WCS or PPAC post each week and then sharing your link in the InLinkz dashboard or comments below, anytime between 8:00 am Friday morning and midnight Sunday night (Canada Eastern Time). I look forward to hearing from you.

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