It rained this morning, but the sun was out by the time I caught the bus downtown. I don’t mind visiting the Vancouver Art Gallery on a busy Saturday. I have a membership, so I can always come back to see what I missed. Picasso is on the first floor, so it’s been particularly busy this summer. I stood and watched him paint on glass with white paint for a while, but then I took the elevator to the top floor. When I go to the Vancouver Art Gallery, I want to see something that makes me want to make my own art. But if I can’t see that, I just want to see some Emily Carrs.

That’s what I found on the top floor, an exhibit called “I Had an Interesting French Artist to See Me This Summer.” The paintings by that French artist, a surrealist painter named Wolfgang Paalen, weren’t my thing. (They probably weren’t Emily’s either; she didn’t get surrealism.) But I learned that the French surrealists loved Northwest coastal indigenous art. I watched some footage of the Paalen’s trip up the BC coast in the late 1930s. I spent some time with Emily Carr’s trees, and that is all I need to be happy.