Roycroft Motto: Nothing is of any value excepting that which you create for yourself, and no joy is joy save as it is the joy of self-expression.
1909 Roycroft Motto Catalogue; Digitally enhanced scan
My trip to Victoria was absolutely wonderful. A highlight was meeting with the owners of the Waterglass Studios and fellow blogger, Hostess of the Humble Bungalow, to talk about our love of all things Arts and Crafts. I’ll be sharing a tour of Suzanne and Patrick’s home and shop as well as the home of their good friends who I would venture to say have one of the best collections of Arts and Crafts movement pieces in BC.
You know those times when you meet someone and you feel like you’ve known them all your life? That’s why visiting with master craftsman Wil van der Pijl and his wife was such a great pleasure. It was also a wonderful opportunity to see his stunning wood motto plaques as well as all of the other home furnishings and items he has handcrafted.
Our friends treated us royally over the three days to fabulous food including crepes with whipped cream and fruit for breakfast, a lovely steak barbeque and our favorite type of eating on Saturday, antipasti and wine. They also introduced us to Chocolate Shop Red Wine for dessert–and yes, I thought they were crazy and just couldn’t believe that a wine could taste like chocolate. There is no other way to describe it except heavenly….rich, dark chocolate tones and cherry bursting onto your tongue and palate. Our friends purchased it in the US and brought it home but we are trying to find out if it is available for purchase somewhere here in the Lower Mainland. They also treated us to an hour of kite flying. They found out that flying a kite was one of my bucket list items when they visited last time and decided to surprise me. Once my kite was up in the air I couldn’t stop laughing and it really did make me feel like a kid again.
Then we headed off to the Royal BC Museum for a special evening, The Museum Amplification project. This immersive, performative installation featured 10 groups/artists who performed while we were able to wander freely through the exhibits. It was a challenge as my hip was very sore and we didn’t get around to seeing everything but spoken word poet Jeremy Loveday on the Discovery Ship was my favorite with one of his last poems of the evening entitled, I Think of the Children. It touched me quite deeply and has remained with me since.
I smiled when he referred to “snot nosed wonders” as he swiped his hand under his nose in the child-like gesture, I thought of my brother when he referred to “worm cutters” and my daughter with the words, “kindergarten chemists stirring up everything in their lunch kits”. In one line he talked about how each morning children awake, ”further from God and closer to the forgetful strength of adult-hood” and I couldn’t help but think of how children lose their innocence, especially in this day and age full of violence-visions of 9/11 and the Boston Marathon flickered quickly through my mind. The last few lines of his poems spoke directly to my heart, ”child, hold on to your wonderment” and “let the dandelions of your heart grow wild.” It is those final words that have stuck and caused me to deepen my commitment to pursuing my dream of painting fine art. I enjoyed all of Jeremy’s poems and even though this was my first experience with performance poetry something tells me it won’t be the last.
Since the weekend was a “retreat” I spent a goodly part painting. There is nothing that quiets my soul and forces me to take care and be present more than putting a brush to canvas. Before heading to Victoria I took at big step and joined the New West Artists group and that means I can participate in an upcoming showing called Art Squared 2013 to be held at the Network Hub in New Westminster’s River Market from June 7 – 9. I have completed two canvases and plan on finishing a few more. On June 6, New West Artists group is also hosting Visual Verse 2013 where artists and poets are matched up–after being introduced to Jeremy’s poetry, it is definitely an event I need to attend.
The Roycroft motto above just seemed so appropriate and resonated with me today because of the joy of self-expression that characterized my entire weekend in Victoria.