The Bard.

With a beautiful summer evening to myself, I went slightly snap-happy while wandering the gorgeous gardens in Stratford, Ontario. More to share later… for now, the main man, Mr. Shakespeare:

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Artists at work.

My skills in sketching with sidewalk chalk are limited to basic shapes (triangles, ovals, hearts), the alphabet, and if I’m feeling really creative: stick figures.

Not so for these folks! Here, a few of the talented artists at this year’s Cambridge International Street Art Festival. These photos were made near the end of Day 1. Though I couldn’t make it back to see the finished pieces on Day 2, no doubt they’ll be posted on the festival’s website shortly…

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There were five permanent installations this year, but I arrived in time only to catch one of these graffiti artists at work. Look for these beautified walls in another post!

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Feelin’ groovy.

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On the side of the highway near Hamilton sits a little shop called Grasshopper Imports. They sell imported pottery and garden ornaments, clothing and trinkets that appeal to the bohemians in the crowd.

Most people in the area know the place, even if they haven’t visited, because the owners made one stand-out choice when they set up shop.

They painted rainbow spirals on the exterior walls.

June 17 (1 of 3)

Naturally, this photogenic wall has been on my must-visit list, and early in the spring I finally stopped by for a few clicks. I had the kids with me at the time, so we made some fun portraits with the wall as a backdrop.

I also took the opportunity to try a couple of slow-shutter techniques. In the top image I moved the camera in a circle during the exposure time, and below, I zoomed instead. I liked the dreamy, painterly images that came out of it. I thought they could work as an interpretation of this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge of Focus (in this case, just the opposite).

June 17 (3 of 3)

Though my daughter would’ve loved to bring home a giant clay pot shaped like a frog or several pairs of dangly mineral stone earrings, we didn’t buy anything that day. But now I know where to find authentic Mexican Baja jackets and handblown glass swizzle sticks, should the need arise.

We’ll be back, Grasshopper. And thanks for the memories.

 

Detours and diversions.

Today I took a wrong turn while driving through Hespeler. As I’m learning, though, it’s hard to discover anything new by always travelling the same road.

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It’s a good thing, too, because had I turned right instead of left, I wouldn’t have captured a door to share in Norm’s weekly feature, Thursday Doors.

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The facade of this building has a slightly different vibe than most art galleries, yes?

Back at home (I managed to get there without getting lost again, in case you were wondering), Google informed me (herehere and here) that the Underground is a gallery, store and studio headed by Ean Kools, a local street artist.

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As it happens, earlier today I picked up a flyer for the Cambridge International Street Art Festival, taking place this June. I had missed the festival last year, but I do plan on wandering the streets to check out this year’s gathering of artists as they work their magic (maybe I should bring a map?).

Thanks, as always, for visiting.