Galleries

Collection: Payphones (vol. 5) – assorted / Japan

Hello to the people in the future,

What follows are public telephones created in a time when phones did not roam freely and in pockets.

To make a call, one would either enter a specially-created booth (or box), or simply stand close by as the receivers were tethered to the phone unit by a short cord, then insert a variety of coins depending on the location called (local, domestic or international) or in some cases, use a purpose-made phone card, or even a credit card (though doing so often exposed one to fraudulent actors).

Perhaps you have already imagined the unsanitary nature of sharing a phone handset (placed next/close to ear and mouth of course) with strangers – though perhaps this increased “herd immunity” despite being rather unpleasant. Note that oftentimes the coin return slots were checked for forgotten change but the miner was surprised to find discarded chewing gum, or even-less-savoury items, instead.

This gallery is simply random examples, captured “in the wild” in various locations globally. Additional volumes of similar collections provide additional examples – both international and domestic (to Canada / USA), as well as hotel house phones.

Continue reading Collection: Payphones (vol. 5) – assorted / Japan

Mom’s Foreign Travel Treasures (Happy 75th Birthday)

Oh Mom, there are so many thing to tell you about this last year… the short is: for the first time in a loooong time, i have hope, optimism and a bit of peace.

Last year included a trip to Logan to deal with the rest of your items including the missing Agatha Christie books (still missing), green glass (duly distributed) and various bins of letters, treasures and papers. Long weeks at Anders’ place sorting it all as best as possible. Had hoped to scan, inventory etc everything but gave, as you’d say, “a lick and a promise”.

Assembled boxes for sons, brothers, and Lonnie Gee, Doug and Dan et al to spread memories around the world. Learned so many things about you! Flight attendant job applications, letters from Grandpa and Lorayne, records from your college days (so many colleges), oh made office supply kits for the Grandkids, and loaded up all your stationery/letterhead/letraset/postcards stash for me. And using it all too.

Also (almooooosssstttt) finished dealing with the conundrums with Service Canada (a true bureaucratic nightmare of nonsense) and your headstone should be arriving anyday from India (thans Uncle Bob) – i designed it and am so proud to do so. Also your ashes are well on their way around the world with stops in Pacifica, Logan, North Van, Pe ELL, Olympia, Nusa Ceningan, Sarpsborg and so on. Anders did a great job getting little vials filled up.

Big news: your wedding dress is getting altered and put into service for dear Ryoko (you’d love her) and, i ordered (finally!) my own kilt. Royal Stewart with Cape, formal sporran, Prince Charlie jacket and socks etc. April 20-21 will keep your ashes with me to feel your energy in some weird (totally not macabre way).

No doubt this week is tough every year as the anniversary of Dad’s death/funeral and your birthday all at once. So i write and make documentary art. So much more to tell you but must be careful of my energy and screen time.

So, in doing this all, i did photo-inventory many of your travel treasures. Sharing here to keep your story alive.

Speaking of “your story”, got your blog and Flickr and Ancestry all backed up. Learned a lot about impermanence of the internet. Frustrating as i want to be meticulous but also realize perfection is entirely overrated.

On to the treasures.

Fondly, davey

 

 

      

 

Post’d: postcard fronts, Feb. 2018, vol. 1

Post’d: postcard fronts, Feb. 2018, various

While i love sending postcards, i also love the postcards themselves – each has its own artist story behind and all of that. Yet postcards spending their infinity in a shoebox without fulfilling their destiny is rather sad. As such, i compromise by snapping a quick shot of the front before dropping into the time/space portal wormhole to intended (and thrilled no doubt) recipient.

This batch was scribbled upon in Feb. 2018 in Ubud, Indonesia upon postcards acquired from various Asian locales (including museums with European paintings). 1st in a series for archival purposes, as well as ephemeral amusement.

Post’d: postcard fronts, Feb. 2018, various

Continue reading Post’d: postcard fronts, Feb. 2018, vol. 1

Europa (unfinished) / sketches and remixes – vol. 3

Fields out of train window – somewhere in France, 2005, watercolour pencil on paper, 11″x17″

In 2005, i wandered Europa (Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal) by train, car and tram. Along the way, i wrote an extensive cycle of poetry, and completed a solid dozen or so paintings (acrylic, watercolour and charcoal) – some of which you may have seen along the way.

I also started a load of other pieces which haven’t had a day in the easel yet — mostly because i like to let art ferment but also because i can never decide which medium to use to “finish” these. Acrylics were more exciting in the white hot moment of creating en plein, watercolour teases my rather clumsy and aggressive touch and i am tempted to use simple black ink and make something colour-able by kids and adults. Not sure how to go about this as its not a technique i am polished at (yet) but these do need a life beyond a shoebox.

Maybe you kind folks and artists can offer a word of advice or idea?

Regardless, they are nowhere near and as such, lonely and sad. So, here are rough drafts in ragged spontaneity and various forms and mediums.

This is Vol. 3 of a few (last one i think), pardon repeats and redundancies.

Fishing boats on beach – Salema, Portugal, 2005, pencil on canvas sheet 11″x17″

bonus: another version of Fishing Boats near cliffs in Salema, Portugal. copied and coloured

Looking out a window with a beer, v.1 -Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 2005, pencil on paper 11″x17″
Looking out a window with a beer -Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 2005, pencil on paper, copied and marker’d, 11″x17″
Garden, fountains and steeples – Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 2005, pencil on canvas, 11″x17″
Sleeping human on train with wine – somewhere in Belgium or France, 2005, pencil on paper, 11″x17″
Laneway, door #24 etc. – Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2005, pencil on paper, copied and marker’d, 11″x17″

Healing: mementos of pedicures

These days – what with the Fibro and CFS/M.E. etc. – slowing me down, I find activities to get me out of the house which requires doing not much but sitting.

While pedicures may not seem like a medical therapy, and they’re certainly not, self-care is important part of my healing journey.

Indeed, when feeling frustrated and early days of the illness, I made a list of things I can do which involves sitting down, but get me out of the house, and leave me with a feeling of satisfaction. These include making scrapbooks, seen matinee movies, sitting in parks under a tree, getting my beard professionally trimmed rather than chopping at it myself, as well as pedicures.

As such, on all my healing journey is, I find pedicure places to massage and soothe my feet, trim up my nails, and leave with some colour on them. This often elicits a strange response from the practitioners as painted toes aren’t as common for men as they are for women certainly, but I find a practice quite enjoyable. In some cases, I paint my toes the colour of a local flag or other traditional local schemes, otherwise I stick to shades of blue and green.

For the record: Indonesia and Thailand definitely have the best pedicure practitioners (is that a thing?), But I’m also eager to try pedicures in Vietnam as many manicurists in the USA, come from Vietnam.

In India especially, they thought my practice of painting toes was very strange, as such i did myself (very poorly yet joyfully nonetheless). In Nepal, they were low on supplies. Once or twice, i enjoyed a pedicure whilst at sea.

I first started this practice at the advice of a lady who took me for a pedicure in Vancouver before going to Jamaica the first time at that time, I had Jamaican flag painted on my big toes (not sure i have a photo…).

Sometimes i take photos of my toes, not all the time, here are some of mah big ole ugly feets. Sometimes i forget and just take snap of the old colour before replacing.

No annotations since i don’t expect anyone will look or care, i mean really, its just photos of my feet.

Continue reading Healing: mementos of pedicures

Post’d: postcard fronts, Oct. 2017, vol. 2

Post’d: postcard fronts, Oct. 2017, various

While i love sending postcards, i also love the postcards themselves – each has its own artist story behind and all of that. Yet postcards spending their infinity in a shoebox without fulfilling their destiny is rather sad. As such, i compromise by snapping a quick shot of the front before dropping into the time/space portal wormhole to intended (and thrilled no doubt) recipient.

This batch was scribbled upon in October 2017 aboard a ship. 2nd in a series for archival purposes, as well as ephemeral amusement.

Post’d: postcard fronts, Oct. 2017, various

Continue reading Post’d: postcard fronts, Oct. 2017, vol. 2

Artifacts (youngtime): Scout ID, Camps, Lessons etc. round-up, including “Mr Fun” award

Surrey (BC) Parks and Recreation Commission aquatic program ticket #2636 – year unknown – Mon-Fri 12:00-12:30 July 2-13. No Refunds.

Indeed, youth and childhood is often laden with activities of various sorts… some ad hoc as it were, others organized in some formal manner or another.

This round-up contains evidence of the latter in the forms of artifacts from swim lessons registration card, summer camp maps, scout ID cards and camp photo and importantly, a certificate proclaiming me as “Mr. Fun” at some summer camp with a Troop of which i have no remembrance. Carry on with the fun!

Boy Scouts of Canada 1975-76 “Dave Olson” (note signature)

Continue reading Artifacts (youngtime): Scout ID, Camps, Lessons etc. round-up, including “Mr Fun” award

Collection: Currency (variety, expired), vol. 4

Austrian-Hungarian: 1 Krone (1916). Overprinted in black color "Deutschösterreich" (front)
Austrian-Hungarian: 1 Krone (1916). Overprinted in black color “Deutschösterreich” (front)

Once upon a time… humans moved away from bartering things and services on an ad hoc basis and came up with a default transaction medium which became known as money. First coins (well, maybe something before, likely made of clay) denominated by an arbitrary, yet commonly agreed-upon, value – often made of metals which were deemed to be rare/shiny/valuable.

Then after (perhaps admitting the arcane value of metals and needing something handier to tote around) eventually created paper bank notes – first with value attached to aforementioned shiny metals, then again arbitrarily assigned a transactional value by central banks and governments.

Austrian-Hungarian: 1 Krone (1916) (back)
Austrian-Hungarian: 1 Krone (1916) (back)

To me, this is neither here nor there, i really don’t have an opinion about the “importance” of money. Indeed, if you value such “wealth” so much, go forth and acquire in exchange for your time, talents or conniving – or simply create your own currency, print it and rally folks to desire it as a means of exchange. This is commonly done in form of community notes, “virtual” currencies (often managed by Blockchain tech), or even various commercial operations making notes, coupons or points systems.

My point in sharing this is: Very often, these banknotes – both contemporary or deprecated – are lovely specimens of design art and printing technology (granted the reason is usually to thwart counterfeit versions polluting the general population’s trust in the monetary system). I very much enjoy the loveliness of printing “things on substrates” – the values to me are non-important (aside when i need to purchase eggs and bacon) but rather the artistic-ness and the totems decided by a society to represent their culture/country (often historical figures of various repute, significant events, important buildings or cultural motifs) are a source of endless curiosity. Additionally, the stories the bills imbue, often soaked quite literally into the fibres, as well as the journey the note took to your hand or pocket and/or the travel one undertook to acquire… are what sparks my interest.

Reichsbanknote (Republic Treasury Notes) - 100 Mark, circa 1920 (front)
Reichsbanknote (Republic Treasury Notes) – 100 Mark, circa 1920 (front)

As such, i gather these notes, photograph for the historical record and my own amusement and, evidently, to share with you.

What follow is Volume Four of several in an on-going series – this one featuring currencies no longer in circulation for one reason or another including some which are vagaries of war-time provisional governments or otherwise difficult to identify exact origins. Also Nicaragua.

Reichsbanknote (Republic Treasury Notes) - 100 Mark, circa 1920 (back)
Reichsbanknote (Republic Treasury Notes) – 100 Mark, circa 1920 (back)

Continue reading Collection: Currency (variety, expired), vol. 4

Post’d: postcard fronts, Oct. 2017, vol. 1

Post’d: postcard fronts, Oct. 2017, various

While i love sending postcards, i also love the postcards themselves – each has its own artist story behind and all of that. Yet postcards spending their infinity in a shoebox without fulfilling their destiny is rather sad. As such, i compromise by snapping a quick shot of the front before dropping into the time/space portal wormhole to intended (and thrilled no doubt) recipient.

This batch was scribbled upon in October 2017 aboard a ship. 1st in a series for archival purposes, as well as ephemeral amusement.

Post’d: postcard fronts, Oct. 2017, various

Continue reading Post’d: postcard fronts, Oct. 2017, vol. 1

Artifacts (youngtime): Chief Scout’s Award – evidence / letters, photos, certificate – ca. 1983

from left Dave Olson, various RCMP and Judge, Bob Olson front, Brad Coleman far right – receiving Chief Scout’s award, 1983

In Canadian Scouts, the highest accolade one can achieve is the Chief Scout’s Award. Requires a whole load of badges and tasks and whatnot – sorta like the US Eagle Scout i suppose.

Anyhow, as it goes, most Scouts earn this on their way out and onto Ventures (the next age bracket group) but diligent as i am, earned at a young age (was told youngest ever but no way to verify) and attended the ceremony (requiring special permission apparently) along with older brother Bob and pal Brad Coleman. Must been 1983.

What follows are artifacts and evidence to this point.

(As obvious) this is a letter from Governor General who is apparently the Chief Scout of Canada) acknowledging earning of eponymous Chief Scout’s Award.

Continue reading Artifacts (youngtime): Chief Scout’s Award – evidence / letters, photos, certificate – ca. 1983