December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I wish you all happiness, good health, success, and a fulfilling blogging life for the next year!

December 19, 2011

Where to Buy Your Gourmet Food in Toronto

Whenever I want to buy deliciously prepared food, find an excellent selection of cheeses, add a quality olive oil to my collection, sample some interesting sauces, taste a variety of aromatic teas and coffees, discover a new type of organic snack, or buy a luxurious box of chocolates for my friends, I don't need to bounce around different stores all over the city. I can just pop down the street and visit Max's Market at 2299 Bloor Street West in Toronto.

December 17, 2011

Our Christmas Tree's New Friends

When I was little, I would take out Christmas decorations, which I have inherited from my grandparents, and I would have conversations with each one of them. After moving to Canada, our family had to buy our decorations all over again, because we couldn't transport fragile, breakable things. We have decided that, each year, we will try to find something unique.

December 15, 2011

Speaking of Politics

Some of my readers have asked my opinion on the subject of what's going on in Russia.

As you might have noticed, I usually don't touch on political topics, for the simple reasons that I'm not very good at it. I think people ought to be public only on the subjects that they are good at.

December 11, 2011

Closer to Christmas

I love it when weekends start a little earlier - for example, on a Thursday. This weekend began just like that, with a visit to my Italian friend Emanuela. She made me some tiramisu herself. I probably shouldn't say that every Italian women is an excellent cook, and when you eat something made by her, your state can only be described with the word "Heaven". It's very convenient when you have such a friend living across the street.

December 8, 2011

The Story of a Little Boy

It’s a tough situation when a little boy shows up in a house inhabited mostly by grownups. These grownups have no idea about the interests of a modern child around the age five. What books does he like? What cartoons does he watch? Does he even watch TV? What food does he eat? What kinds of things, in general, entertain kids today?

December 5, 2011

To toss or not to toss?

Twice a year - before Christmas and before Easter - I clean up my home, and conduct ritual disposals of old items. I have to admit that I don't part with them very easily. Depending on how I acquired them, I think about it, even if I don't use this thing, it carries a lot of memories. The most horrible moment is when I feel so sorry for that object that I put it back in the closet and fail to use it for another half a year. What can I do about this habit?

Do you part with objects easily?

November 30, 2011

And Hope For All The Best!

I would like to wish you a happy first day of winter. Today, we have gotten the chance to witness our first bit of snow. It stayed only for a short time, but it reminded us that we are about to enter a few months of seeing it frequently.

November 27, 2011

Santa Claus Parade in Toronto

These photos are from the previous weekend. The truth is, this weekend was devoted to getting ready for a group exhibition, which is opening next week. Since it was rainy, and it was already dark at 4 o`clock, I wasn`t too upset. Especially since last week I had managed to capture an event that is anticipated not only by the children but also by the adults of Toronto.

November 23, 2011

Five Simple Rules For Living With Cats

If you have a cat, then you may know that the first rule of living harmoniously with him is to understand that he has a tail. If you forget about the tail even for a moment, it will definitely turn up under your feet. The cat will run off with a scream, and you will spend the rest of the day (if your cat has been with you for a while) or even week (if you have acquired the cat recently) feeling like a heartless criminal, unworthy of taking care of such a noble creature.

November 20, 2011


The calendar is stubbornly indicating that it is November.

November 16, 2011

Blue - Canadian Edition

The colour blue makes a delicate, cool, and long-lasting sound. It`s always the colour of the sky, the sea, and blueberries. Not a single shade of blue can irritate me or put me ill at ease. Blue and I are friends, despite the fact that, in my paintings, I still haven`t found my perfect blue.

November 11, 2011


Japan has come into my life when I was a teenager. One of my good friends, whom I describe in this post, helped me discover it. It felt like I was a sea explorer, standing on the deck of a ship which has just floated out of a thick fog, only to be faced with a sight so extraordinarily beautiful – a land of poems, prints, classical theatre, the culture of admiring sakura blossoms, netzke, origami, architecture, kimono, unique literature, history, and mythology. Ever since that time, Japan has never left my heart. Whenever it felt like I know something about Japan, a multitude of new information would bring me out of that certainty. Although I often wished that I could say – many years later, having read so many books – that I know something about Japan.

I have been very lucky to meet Noriko in Toronto. I found that she is able to express many aspects of Japanese culture that are impossible to put in words. Noriko is the kind of person you’d always want to be around – and watch her performances. As a former ballerina and current instructor, she doesn’t just create choreography, she comes up with elaborate pantomime.

November 6, 2011

Golden November

This weekend had given us the remaining gifts of a golden autumn.

November 4, 2011

Marc Chagall: Joy in the Middle of Chaos

Yesterday, I have gotten the chance to see one of the paintings by Marc Chagall, which had captured my imagination a long time ago.

November 1, 2011

The Latest from High Park

The weather was changeable today. Since sunshine appeared now and then - and we're about to have a period of rain, according to the forecast - it was impossible not to get out for a half an hour to enjoy nature in High Park.

October 30, 2011

Halloween in High Park

This Monday, you will be able to find various extraordinary characters and creatures walking the streets of the High Park community. There will be many of them. They will be of different ages and sizes. There will be much laughter and shrieking. Of course, from every corner, you’ll be able to hear the classic “Trick or treat.”

October 27, 2011

And what about women?

Since my blogger friend, Pet, asked me this question, I decided not to put it off. At first, I thought I would make a series called "The Woman in the Window".

October 26, 2011

Men on Duty

This is Patrick from Saint Martin. I would like to introduce him as well as some other wonderful men I have met in different cities - Moscow, Havana, Paris, and Toronto. These are the places where they live and work.

October 24, 2011

Sunshine in the Fall

If you visit Webster's Falls Conservation Area at a time when the sun is shining, you should definitely choose a trail to take a long walk, waving your arms in the air, and reciting poetry. It would be better if it happened in the company of friends who know poems in different languages. This makes things even more fun. Whether it's the objective truth or just my imagination, the rhythm of fall can be felt in the rhythm of poetry.

October 21, 2011

Friday Fishing

Of all the paintings that have been stolen from museums or private collections, the one I'm most upset about is Jean-Baptiste Oudry's masterful oil painting "La Vie Calme avec le Canard Blanc", otherwise known as "The White Duck".

October 19, 2011

The Solitude of Prime Numbers

I feel a sense of unease whenever a young author wins a prestigious award. How often are we going to hear the name of this author after this event? I get the feeling that such people are set up to astound the world once and then dissolve into the air.

After reading The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano, I realized that there are exceptions to these rules. I will anticipate his next book with impatience.

October 15, 2011

The Duchess of Alba and Sunnyside Avenue

What business do I have thinking about the Duchess of Alba’s recent marriage, at a time when I am preparing for my next exhibition; at a time when my father is experiencing serious health problems, and when I myself have to go through regular sessions of acupuncture, massage, and physiotherapy due to overworking my shoulders, and finally, at a time when I still have to expand my energy on finding a new place to live? Not to mention, there are the everyday chores. What exactly concerns me about her diamonds and pearls while I’m cooking my carrot soup?

October 11, 2011

Cranberry Fields Forever

This long weekend was a real Thanksgiving present to Ontarians. Sunshine, sunshine, and more sunshine spoiled us for all three days.

October 7, 2011


The number three is a magic number - there is no doubt about it. It's no coincidence that so many authors used it in the titles of their works - Dumas's The Three Musketeers, Three Men In a Boat by Jerome K Jerome, Three Sisters by Chehov, and Bertold Brecht's The Threepenny Opera.

October 5, 2011

Danger Lurks in High Park

Recently, on one of my walks in the park with my husband and the camera, I noticed a big, beautiful bird that I decided to observe. What unfolded can be seen below.

October 3, 2011

Why I Adore the Night

I’ve decided to take part in the “Why I adore the night” challenge, which has been started by Hila in her blog - le project d'amour

If you were to disregard the experiences of another person, as well as the traditional, historical and literary aspects of interpreting the night, my version would resemble the painting “The Moonlit Night Over the Dnieper” by Kuinji. You can take a long walk on such a peaceful, warm night, listening to the sounds that surround you, approaching and drifting away. In the night, movement seems more serene, and each insignificant sound becomes bigger and impossible to ignore.

September 30, 2011

Her name was Lola

A little while ago, I made a post about the green dog, and it made me recall another story, which I would like to dedicate to my blogger friend, who loves dogs - Veronique aka French Girl in Seattle

September 28, 2011

The Season of Butterflies

This year, the transition from summer to fall is happening gradually, smoothly, and agreeably. It’s warm, and, sometimes, there are some slight, unbothersome showers. You find some trees specked with red-yellow leaves. The season of butterflies is in full swing in High Park. I understand that, each leaf that detaches from the tree and tumbles slowly through the air speaks of the transitory nature of life.

September 26, 2011

Chasing the White Rabbit

I associate the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland with time. It seems like you’ve done all your tasks, and almost caught up the time by its tail, but soon it turns out that this is only an illusion, and there are as many things to do ahead of you as there were before.

September 23, 2011

2011 Toronto International Film Festival - Guest Post by Dasha Kotova

The middle of September is a time that’s both exciting and stressful for Toronto film lovers. When the Toronto International Film Festival rolls around, it’s time to brace yourself for tough decisions, long lineups, pushing and shoving, and general crowdedness and confusion in order to get to the films that have captured your interest. Last week, I spent a significant portion of time doing just that. And my schedule was hardly anything compared to some other film reviewer that I know, for whom staying up till 3am during TIFF and then waking up a couple of hours later constitutes business as usual.

September 20, 2011

September 18, 2011

Inspired by David Lynch

Viewer discretion  is strongly advised. This post includes photographs of dissected cheese.
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September 15, 2011

A Simple Wish

Underneath my windows is the road that schoolkids walk down to get to the nearest elementary school. Same way as, in Venice, there is a Bridge of Sighs, I call this road the Road of Crying. Sometimes, without intending to, I witness many dramatic scenarios that happen to these young people - particularly the first graders. However, the story that happened yesterday was particularly cute, and I would like to share it with you.

September 13, 2011

For Dolly

Dear Dolly,
While you are in college he is doing this.

September 12, 2011

Journey to Niagara Falls

I was surprised to realize that, living in Ontario and all, I haven’t told you anything about the Niagara Falls yet.

The area around Niagara is a unique place, known for its vineyards, fruit orchards, and incredible organic vegetables. This time, we came for peaches and tomatoes.

September 7, 2011

The Details of Everyday Life (Toronto edition)

If you live by the Louvre or the Colosseum, it must be easy to take a beautiful photo at any given moment. But even if I lived near some magnificent mountains or beautiful old buildings, I would definitely try to capture the joy in the little details of everyday life.

Such moments and objects can pass by pretty quickly if you don't pay attention. Each of them can be interesting on their own because of their transitory nature.

September 5, 2011

Say Mi-Yelk!

The fact of the matter is – if I had enough money (as you’re well aware, artists are known for always being in need of cash), I would have cleared out this entire store; I would have bought every single thing without exception. But what were some of the things that captured my heart especially?

September 1, 2011

The Green Dog

When I first saw the works by Zhoy Chunya, I immediately remembered one particular story.
Perhaps this is a legend that appeared in the Soviet Union at the time of the strict censorship in all printed materials of the nation. Very often, it was the editor who carried out the role of the censor. And, very often, it was the editor’s personal attitude towards the author that determined whether the book would and the illustrations to it would be approved.

August 29, 2011

The Summer Is Not Over Yet

For me, the summer lasts as long as there is nice warm weather outside. Right now, I tend to glance at the calendar now and again, in order to make sure I don’t miss the deadline for a certain exhibition. If there are no deadlines to keep track of, then there’s no reason to even know today’s date. In a similar fashion, I have no interest in people’s age. Perhaps this is because I’ve met people in their 80s who wouldn’t climb trees only due to their physical inability to do so, and who wouldn’t toboggan down every snowy slope they encountered simply because they didn’t wish to frighten everybody around. The most important thing is to be young in your spirit, isn’t it?

August 25, 2011

Steve Martin the Author, and Objects of Beauty around High Park

Eric Fischl - "Steve Martin"

I’ve been meaning to get to Steve Martin's novel An Object of Beauty  for a long time. Now that I have finally read it, I don’t regret a single moment that I spent on it.
I say this for several reasons. The first – this is the story of an ambitious young woman without a privileged background or connections, but it bears no resemblance to the typical Cinderella story. I wouldn’t recommend this book if you just want to read about the triumph of ambitious young women. There is certainly an element of hope in the story; it just isn’t as straight-forward.

August 22, 2011

How We Saved a Frog

Sometimes, when it just rained, and you go to take a walk in High Park, you can see a multitude of frogs climbing out onto the sidewalk, for reasons I cannot fathom. They prevent the human visitors from stepping as carelessly as they normally would, and keep nearly getting under the wheels of bicycles. Some of them are tiny, while others are more imposing.

August 19, 2011

Red Colour in Toronto

I have never seen so many red walls, rooms, and doors than at this point in my life, when I am hunting for a house. At these moments, I recall the episode from Sex and the City when Mr. Big, having left his wife, painted his walls red. It was the symbol of transitioning from a beige life to something new and exciting. Please don't think that I am against red walls - maybe someday I will change my preferences for white Scandinavian style, and then I might also paint my walls that way.

Could anybody confess to having red walls - sometime in the past, or currently?

August 16, 2011

Lucian Freud - the Gurdian of the Idiosyncratic

I often think about the simplicity of certain images. What could be simpler and even more cliched than a girl with a cat? I would recommend that each art student would try to work with this subject at least once in their life.

What other typical subjects would you recommend to an art student as an exercise?

August 14, 2011

The Theory of Relativity and the Theory of Probability - no casualties

This isn't my photo - its function is to draw your attention.

If you mix two theories together, the cocktail will look something like this. A tree is going to fall on a day when there's hardly any wind. It is going to fall in front of the entrance to our apartment building, which is usually full of baby strollers, grandparents, and visitors.

The tree is going to fall on a moving van, which just happened to be parked in the wrong place and in the opposite direction. 

August 11, 2011

The End of the Week

There have been so many important, unimportant, funny, and sad things going on this week that I’m afraid there’s a bit of a mess in my head. It’s necessary to let all the thoughts and events find their proper place in my mind, and to throw away that which doesn’t belong. That’s what the weekend is for!

August 8, 2011

Coffee Shot, Anyone?

I can’t conceive of a morning without a cup of coffee. It needs to be very hot. The first sip tumbles through my entire being, letting me know that the day will turn out to be wonderful after all. The delectable coffee aroma caresses my nostrils, laughing off my doubts that things have the ability to turn out just fine.

August 4, 2011


I dedicate this post to my first follower, who lives with her husband in Perugia, Umbria, Italy. Her name is Sarah Elizabeth. This young family expecting their first child!
When you visit her blog you will see what an angel she is. With this post, I would just like to wish her all the happiness in the world. I  would also like to let her and you to know that I already have photos for the next post - Three :)