Muskoka Manor

Muskoka Manor, 12″x14″, oil on canvas. For sale on etsy.

For those of you unfamiliar with Ontario, Muskoka is cottage country just north of Toronto.  It’s a lovely place, but I won’t go there as it’s north of Barrie, Ontario and I won’t go north of Barrie, Ontario. The issue is that I tend to attract wildlife.  Skunks, raccoons, snakes, and of course, bears.  The last time I ventured north of Barrie was for a friend’s wedding.  It was a lovely wedding, held at a resort near Muskoka. It had a nice beach and plenty of beautiful scenery, but when I walked out into the parking lot of the hotel, I encountered a mother bear and two cubs.  This was on the heels of staying at another friend’s cottage in Muskoka and encountering water snakes and spiders the size of quarters.  Spiders the size of quarters may sound like nothing to people who live in warmer climates, but the one advantage of enduring mind numbing cold six months of the year is that we tend to go without that kind of creature.  Except, well, north of Barrie. So, this is what I imagine Muskoka to look like in the winter with a polka dot horse and pet pigs wearing warm sweaters.

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Garden of Allah Hotel

Garden of Allah Hotel, 10″x12″, oil on canvas. For sale on etsy.

The Garden of Allah Hotel has captured my imagination for many years.  It was a hotel located in Hollywood, California, on the Sunset Strip and was well known for having many celebrity guests like Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Ernest Hemingway. Even F. Scott Fitzgerald lived there for a short time in the late 1930’s. It was the kind of place where a party began on the terrace, and by early morning, the party was in the pool- suits, gowns and gimlets be damned. It was built in 1913 and it was gone before the 60’s even arrived.

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