Higher States – Lawren Harris and His American Contemporaries Road trip with Ford Canada

Higher States – Lawren Harris and His American Contemporaries Road trip with Ford Canada

Yesterday, Ford Canada invited a few bloggers for the Preview of the “Higher States: Lawren Harris and His American Contemporaries ” in McMichael Gallery (Canadian Art Collection) in Kleinburg, Ontario, before it opens Today to the Public. Being the New Girl in Canada I am in a for a treat, as I have zero knowledge about Canadian Art and this is a great opportunity for me to get to know the Art History of Canada. I’ve had this vision as a kid that maybe, someday I will be an Abstract Painter. I thought about this when I was five-year-old staring at my masterpiece which I believe was my mum’s different colours of nail polish and our white wall as my canvas. My mother on the other note screamed her heart out, not because I was a genius gifted child but because of the mess I’ve done and that was basically the end of my Abstract painter career.

Moving forward, I invited a friend of mine whom work I adore so much, She is an artist of a sort. A Fine Art Film Wedding Photographer who’s living the dream I once thought would be my career. I was actually a fan of hers when I just moved to Toronto and looking for people to aspire. She recently started blogging and reached out to me, met for a cup of coffee and just like that we clicked right away. It’s always hard to make friends when you move to a new place and you’re so much older. Everyone seem to have their set of friends already whom they’ve grown over the years. I am so happy to welcome her to the blogging community also because I get to have someone I could trust and share the same passion for photography and well girly things too. Her name is Therese and her lifestyle blog is www.mayreese.com where she shares her secrets, love for food, fashion, photography and her super adorable dog whom I would love to kidnap sometime. Or if you wanna see her fine art photography you can check it out here: Artiese Studios.

Going back to the event, I was given the Ford Escape to use and to be loaned over the weekend. Sadly I can’t drive yet because I haven’t passed my G2 License, So Therese drove it, and my beau will be driving it while we have it with us. Everyone met up around 10:30 am for Brunch at School, Before heading to the Gallery at 1 pm.

The Exhibition is about celebrating the abstract work of iconic Canadian Painter Lawren S. Harris. The exhibition focuses on the evolution of Harris’s paintings from landscape to abstraction while living in the United States between 1934 and 1940. Harris and a group of his American Contemporaries shared a commitment to the spiritual in art, inspired by Wassily Kandinsky and the Transcendentalist writers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman.

The Exhibition is from February 4 to September 4, 2017 (I’m giving away tickets! Stay tuned till the end of the blog post) It’s also comprised of approximately seventy paintings. I took some photos for you to preview as when you get there you are not allowed to take photographs!

I also recently Tea Latte’s since I cant drink coffee this has been God Sent! – I’m sharing a few recipes too soon…

The yummy French Toast of Therese which I keep poking. It was so good! I ordered a salad lol

The Crispy Fried Chicken Waffles. – House’s Favourite

The Kale-Butternut Salad with Goat cheese and pomegranate.

And a side of Smoked Salmon for moi ….

Now that everyone is full, we’re good to go…

Kleinburg, Ontario is one of the gorgeous towns near Toronto. Therese promised to show me around next time as it was freezing cold and we don’t really have much time available due to our whole day activity! But not to fret we have so much art to discover and fun artwork to do.

My gorgeous designated driver, not that I was gonna drink since it’s a driving event.

We rode our car for little over 40 minutes to our destination listening to Sirius Satelite Radio installed on our Ford Escape.

And stop over for some OOTD shot. A road trip wouldn’t be complete without stopping over and going down your car to adore nature.

As soon as we arrived we were taken to Upper Level Galleries where the Exhibition is at.

We got to Meet the whole team of McMichaels and Ford Canada together with the Guest Curators Dr.Roald Nasgaard and Gwendolyn Owens who worked so hard to make this exhibition possible.

And our Tour Began….

I was told that this was one of the most famous works of Lawren Harris.

And this one too, Abstraction 119 ca.1945

Marian Dale Scott “Cement No.1, 1939”

Who doesn’t know Georgia O’Keeffe? She is one of the most significant and intriguing artists of the twentieth century, known internationally for her boldly innovative art. Her distinct flowers, dramatic cityscapes, glowing landscapes, and images of bones against the stark desert sky are iconic and original contributions to American Modernism

With Everything in the Exhibition, this was by far the most intriguing piece that caught my attention.

The work of Thomas Wilfred who was a musician and inventor. Best known for his light art he named lumia and his designs for colour organs called Clavilux. Wilfred was not fond of the term “colour organ”, and coined the word “Clavilux” from Latin meaning “light played by key”.

If only i was wearing white it could have been perfect! I am always attracted to any form of moving art.

Going back to the paintings…. as people were already ahead of us. I sat here for over 5 minutes.

And that was the end of the exhibition.

As we finished our tour, we were whisked away to a little cottage for our Surprise Art Class.

Where we were about to make our own Abstract Painting, I see now that my dream of becoming one does not end when I was five!

Some of the pieces for inspiration and opera music playing on the background. Seems fitting as I was just on a show the other day if you were on my Instagram stories.

We’re doing Arcylic painting! I have never tried it so I’m super excited.

Therese and I grab a seat right away by the window, giggling like kids.

We were instructed to draw and do some cut outs to be placed on our bond paper before doing in on our canvas.

here are some of the cut outs I was thinking at first, But since still inspired by the moving light art I’ve seen, I have chosen these cut outs to be my guide.

We didn’t really have much time left for the art class, We were only given 40 minutes to paint. It was the most fun I’ve had in ages. it was surprisingly relaxing and brings out so much happiness. Everyone checking out each other’s work and laughing so much. Everyone was so positive and happy.

And tada!!! My finish product. Not the way I wanted it to be but Hey it’s better than my mum’s nail polish and a wall. haha Definitely doing a “Wine and Paint night soon!”

We left the place at 5 pm with our Ford Car for the whole weekend.


I’m giving 3 Admission Tickets To MicMichael Canadian Art Collection. I have provided the website above. Each ticket is for one family, good for 2 adults and 3 children under 18 years of age. So 3 people will have the chance to visit the Gallery. They also have other Exhibition going on which you could check HERE. All you have to do is leave your email on the comment section below or send me a private message on my Instagram and I will announce the winner on Thursday. I can’t wait to see your entries.



  1. February 5, 2017 / 12:49 pm

    Love your pictures Darlene!

  2. Filipa Jackson
    February 5, 2017 / 6:30 pm

    It looked like such a fun day, I am sure whoever wins these tickets would be thrilled

    Filipa xxx
    PlayingWithApparel.com | Instagram

  3. February 7, 2017 / 3:53 pm

    Now this is what I call a great tour! So much beautiful art to see and lots to do. I can tell it was quite fun for you. Thanks so much for sharing with us!


  4. February 7, 2017 / 7:03 pm

    Wow what a fabulous art collection! I love art. I wish I could win the tickets to attend!! You both looked beautiful and the food looked amazing too!

  5. February 7, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    Wow what a fun day and adventure. I love that you dreamed of being an artist when you were little and it’s so amazing that you met a blogger already and became quick friends. That is amazing that Ford let you take a car and explore and go to the museum. The artwork is amazing and looks like something I would appreciate. The food also looked so good!! I’m glad you had a chance to hang out with your friend and also take a surprise art class. Xoxo, Christine

  6. February 8, 2017 / 10:21 am

    Now this was a Canadian adventure worth the name! You really got to see and experience so much and being new in Canada it must have been a real thrilling experience. I loved all the contemporary art as I’m a huge art junkie, but also all the nature shots. I’m glad Ford Canada invited you to this trip!


  7. February 8, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    This is so cool! I love going to museums, but I have a greater love for older pieces. I always find that when you immerse yourself in art, there’s something wonderful that happens to your soul. I love the fact that you also got to do a painting there too! I wish this was in the U.S.!

    Maggie S.

  8. February 8, 2017 / 7:10 pm

    Hey Darling:)
    Amazing Trip and the Food looks sooo Tasty:)
    Loved the Art as well:) Beautiful:)
    Happy Week
    Kisses Karina

  9. February 8, 2017 / 8:59 pm

    Looked like an awesome day trip! I’m interested by those works by Thomas Wilfred! Great use of his moving artwork to take photographs in front of. What beautiful shots!

    xo, Jo

  10. February 8, 2017 / 11:46 pm

    The exhibition looks really good. So many moving pieces. I can imagine painting in that studio would be so inspiring too! Looking out to that view.
    xx Jenelle

  11. February 10, 2017 / 10:43 am

    I’m the same as you! I’m from Canada (been here my whole life) but I rarely know anything about Canadian art and culture! It’s so nice you got the chance to really explore and take in the history of Canadian art! It makes me want to get out there and visit this place too haha!


  12. February 10, 2017 / 1:02 pm

    wow, it seems like you did a lot of stuff here during your road trip! first of all, love that tailored jacket, and second, YUM to all the food!! the artwork there looks fantastic too. I was at a lot of museums myself over the weekend and I just have a newfound appreciation for it 🙂

  13. February 10, 2017 / 1:42 pm

    This sounds like an amazing experience babe! happy to see all your adventure thru this beautiful pictures!!!

    Happy weekend & big hug, Xx Gina

  14. February 10, 2017 / 3:50 pm

    hello dear!!!
    Such a great post and nice organized trip., where you can meet others should be awesome.
    Love your military blazer look.
    You’re fabulous.
    Sending love from Italy

  15. February 10, 2017 / 11:52 pm

    Looks like you had a lot of fun on this trip. The food looks so bomb and the painting that you guys drew at the very end look so beautiful and abstract!


  16. February 11, 2017 / 12:50 pm

    Your story about your nail polish is so hilarious! Your trip sounds so amazing! I really love this exhibition! Also, all of your food photos are stunning! I think food photos on blogs are 100% my favorite! Have a beautiful weekend!

    Manda | http://EvocaitvelyChosen.com

  17. February 11, 2017 / 3:55 pm

    Great post, looks like you had a great time there! The photos are just gorgeous, I love the quality. Btw, which lens did you use, I love the depth of these shots. Thanks for sharing this amazing post.

    Cheers, Eliza | http://www.fashion-confession.com

  18. February 12, 2017 / 1:55 am

    First of all, I love both of your outfits. Your military jacket is so cool, and her leather pants and scarf combo is perfection! Second, what an amazing day trip you guys had. The cafe is so cute with yummy foods, and the art was beautiful. Your painting is definitely better than most of mine haha.

    -Lily from With Love Lily Rose

  19. February 12, 2017 / 6:09 am

    Dear Dar,
    I am so unbelievably amazed and inspired right now ! I love how you wanted to be an artist at age five and I actually think I may have had a similar experience with nail polish and a certain white rug canvas. I love that you got to share this experience with your wedding photographer friend who I actually feel I know now that I have enjoyed all your instastories!! The pictures you did truly are masterpieces that belong in a museum and the outfit you wore could not have been more perfect! You are a total class act in your style, creativity and personality !!!

  20. shalini
    February 12, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    It look like you had a wonderful time at the event. I absolutely adored your outfit, especially the military jacket you wore and bravo to the fantastic artwork you created. Also, I wsa kinda drooling over the food pictures. xo shalini http://www.styledevotee.com

  21. February 12, 2017 / 4:48 pm

    What a fun day! I love connecting with other bloggers and making new friends. I wish I could check out the gallery – too bad it’s so far away from me…

  22. February 12, 2017 / 9:22 pm

    Looks like this trip is so much fun! The food looks so delish and the exhibition is awesome 🙂 Hope you enjoyed yourself ~

  23. February 12, 2017 / 10:30 pm

    You looked like you had a wonderful time. I am loving that SUV a lot. I hope to get an SUV for my next vehicle.

  24. February 12, 2017 / 10:37 pm

    This seems like an amazing getaway round trip with a bestie! It is so wondering to be able to connect and click with someone right away, I am so glad you’re so welcoming:)

    I am so amazed my Thomas Wilfred’s work! I love the lumia light art from him, it is so interactive !!

  25. February 13, 2017 / 1:35 am

    I loved reading your post, it sounds like the perfect event and such an adventure with Ford Canada. I love connecting with other Bloggers too, but sometimes it takes time to become friends. I am so glad you both became friends so quickly and had a fun time together. I am totally inspired by both of your outfits, such pretty winter shots. The food also looked so delicious, I have always wanted to try Chicken Waffles. And Darlene you are such a talented painter, I loved the piece that you painted. I wish I lived closer so I could check out the gallery.




  26. February 13, 2017 / 4:51 pm

    All the food and artwork looks great. I will have to check out your friend Therese’s page and also check that give away as well!

  27. February 14, 2017 / 1:42 am

    I love reading travelogues, the photos can really transport you to each of the destinations. Your photos are so wonderful and thanks for sharing your road trip! The Ford looks like the ideal vehicle for the colder days and that color is so perfect.

    ~ xo Sheree
    Posh Classy Mom

  28. February 15, 2017 / 11:52 am

    Girl, you definitely know how to travel in style! I adore your military coat and that fried chicken waffle looks so tasty! Have a lovely day! x


  29. February 15, 2017 / 4:45 pm

    Ahhh – what an amazing road trip!! The food, your outfits, so fabulous!! PS – I love your Instagram feed too!

  30. February 15, 2017 / 5:39 pm

    This event looks so fun, I am especially intrigued by the moving art- it looks so mesmirising! So fun that you were given the car to drive around in too- I’m loving your boots. Also, that fried chicken waffle has earned its place on my food bucket list 😉

    Rachel xx

  31. February 15, 2017 / 7:25 pm

    Nice post! Love all of your images, they are very well taken . Your look is gorgeous, that military coat is so me! and I love the way you styled it. I’ve never been in Canada but it is one of the places that I would love to visit, hopefully soon.. Congrats girl, looks like you had an amazing adventure.

    Have a nice rest of your week!



  32. February 15, 2017 / 8:43 pm

    This looks so fun! I love any time of brunch gatherings. Gotta get that license girl!

  33. February 15, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    Hi dear,
    The event looked so good, loving all the pictures!

  34. February 16, 2017 / 4:45 pm

    looks like you had an extremely busy day and fun at same time too! Loved all pics and thanks for sharing arts photos too

  35. February 18, 2017 / 10:12 pm

    Looks like you had such an amazing trip and how fun to get a car from ford to drive around for the time! I drive a ford myself and hey are such comfortable cars!

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