Jan 10, 2016

Hello From Ontario !

It's pretty cold now here in Ontario !
But we were in sweaters Christmas Day !
Son-in-law lighting my tree in the fog 2 weeks before Xmas Day
I don't like a green Christmas, but in my old age I am starting to appreciate the light clothing and dry footwear ... and the lack of ice !
So unseasonal!  Rainy now and any snow we had has quickly disappeared.
Fresh snow in the forecast for the next few days ... just looked out my window and it's a blizzard out there !!!

I am not going to bother you with a year end review. I am, however going to thank you for following me this year. I have been a little absent these last 3 mos. but hope to make up some time by telling you that I have been busy clearing house, including all the little places where household clutter resides. I have now started work in my new studio ... it's such a big room and I feel a little insignificant when I'm there, but I'm sure I'll get used to it !

I must mention my biggest accomplishment this year ... I lost 52 pounds !!!!!!!
I finished the program Dec. 17 ... right before Christmas ! Very hard to resist all the good things that abound, but I managed to be very good, tasting everything that I wanted to, and I communed with several glasses of Merlot along the way ;)
BUT ... I kept walking several times a week ... a kilometre each and every time. I'm feeling very fit for an almost 68 yr.old and the weight loss has been so good for relieving the stress on my joints. I can now do stairs like any normal older person ;)
My goal now is to take off 20 more pounds by counting calories, eating small portions and to keep walking ;)
Judy, a classmate and new friend, drove me to classes for 24 weeks ! ... below is just a small token of my appreciation that I made for her. She loves the colour.
approx. 5" x 12"

approx. 4"x8", str. stitch, x-stitch and fly stitch,
various found/saved yarns, ribbons, beads,
some free-motion machine embroidery

Now, for the surprise of my life !!!
Two days before Christmas I received an email from a friend, in which was a forwarded message from a woman that I last saw last about 45 yrs. ago. 'Phyllis' was wondering if I would like to take possession of a painting that her mother had commissioned from a young 18 yr.old teenager in 1966.

paint missing :(

love these two little women  !
That teenager was me !
Phyllis's mother had commissioned me to paint a Spanish Street scene for her. Phyllis was about 10 yrs. old when the painting finally came to hang over her mother's couch in 1967. This painting is nearly 50 yrs. old !  (My mother's friends were very supportive of this young teenager, afflicted with Rheumatoid Arthritis since the age of 11.)
I knew my benefactor had passed away a long time ago and I often wondered what had ever happened to the painting. Phyllis said that her brother had inherited it and after time it came to her ... but she had no room/place for it (17"x47") and wanted to contact me to see if I would like to have it back !!!  Small world ! A friend of a friend ... and now back with me !
It has lost a bit of paint (probably due to my inexperience with oils ... had never had a lesson before) ... and most of it was painted using a palette knife. I don't know what I'll do with it, but I do have some spare rooms now ;) I cannot recall, for the life of me, what I had used as resource material ... can only guess that I had spent some time going over books in the library ;), long before the internet.
It was at this time that I met and started dating my high school sweetheart, so painting wasn't much of a priority after that ;)

My last bit of exciting news ... gr. baby # 12 on it's way ... just received the news yesterday ;)

Dec 31, 2015

To A Happy New Year !

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a new book ... write a good one !
... Brad Paisley

Dec 15, 2015

Christmas Greetings

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all !

I hope the very best to you and yours and fully plan to be back in blogger-mode for 2016 and will share an exciting event that started 50 yrs. ago ;)
Be well ~ Be safe

Nov 16, 2015

Two Fridays

My 'first husband' & I have become empty-nesters (have I mentioned this before ;););) ) for the first time in 41 years. Other than attempting to 'cleanse' our old house from top to bottom since the end of September, we have taken no fun time together. But Fri. the 6th of Nov., we promised ourselves a trip to the McMichael Gallery  (wikipedia) in Kleinburg. This gallery is devoted to Canadian Art and, in particular, to our iconic Canadian painters, The Group of Seven. 
I stupidly thought photos would not be allowed and left my camera in my vehicle. Not so, but the weather was so nasty that I just couldn't send dear 'first husband' out to walk all the way back to the parking lot (raining like cats & dogs ). Instead, we soaked up the atmosphere and strolled leisurely for 3 1/2 hrs. through gallery after gallery, stopping often to gaze out the windows at the natural surroundings of this fabulous place, inside a forest. It was warm inside, luxuriously quiet, the staff were very friendly and informative, and the place was a feast for the eyes.. 
The gallery has opened up some of the original family home and we we in awe of the size of this original home. In this section, was the 'This Home Was Made For Christmas' display, a newly acquired collection of original Christmas cards. The Group Of Seven did these during the winter months, when not out painting in the bush or paddling their canoes to yet another fantastic, site. It was a very strict 'no photos' when it came to these Christmas Cards ! And, they were truly beautiful ! So, if you have been in the habit of making your own cards, keep at it ! ... you never know who is compiling a 'collection' and you may be famous one day :)

Then, Friday, Nov. 13, we headed to Ontario's 'West Coast' ;), to the shores of Lake Huron on a cold, wet, fiercely windy day.
A crowd of spectators on the shore ? nope ... Inukshuks ;)

"About 200 stone way-markers, known as Inukshuks, have spontaneously assembled at Goodrich's Cove Beach during the past few months." ...read the headlines

"A town making good from rubble, a community rebuilding what was broken. That would be Goderich after the tornado of 2011. And it would be Goderich now, as a spontaneous collection of iconic Canadian way-markers has also become a metaphor for the town's resiliency. 
In August, someone assembled a few chunks of concrete into an Inukshuk figure - a free-standing human-shaped structure common in Canada's treeless tundra - at Cove Beach.
Now, hundreds of the stone markers populate the area and have become a tourist draw.
They've also now become the subject of controversy ; the town has been alerted to a possible lawsuit after an elderly woman, who leaned against one, brochure hip when the structure gave way."
These were the headlines and we had hoped to see these structures before the 'law' came into play ... we were not disappointed ! Except that, the wind was so strong, there on the beach, that I did not venture out of the car, instead relying on my zoom lens to get a closer look. Rain and lake water joined forces as soon as I opened my car window ... camera and handler barely able to stay still enough in the force of the wind ... and both soaked ! 
Even supporting my camera on the window edge did not help much.

those waves are 6-8ft. high !

                  two other views down to the beaches of Lake Huron
Please excuse the raindrops and the blurry pics ... today would have been a better day to go there ... 13C and sunny !

Nov 7, 2015


Magic, Healing, Creation

If a raven totem has come into our life,

magic is at play.
Raven activates the energy of magic
and links it to our will and intention.

With this totem, we can make great changes

in our life;
the ability to  take the unformed thought
and make it reality.
The raven shows us how to go into the dark

of our inner self and bring out the light of our true self;
resolving inner conflicts which have long been buried.
This is the deepest power of healing we can possess.

You may think I have gone off my rocker but ...
I finally got around to reading more about what my interaction with 'my' raven could have meant, to me, personally. I am still in awe.
Now I can say that several days after my interaction with 'my' raven, thoughts of an estranged relative popped into my many trains of thought and several days after that, this estranged person asked to 'friend' me on Facebook. I am torn as to what to do. Something tells me that another bout of ill health has occurred or is about to, for this person. 
Past history reared it's ugly head and reminded me of all that had resulted in this separation in the first place. 
Is healing on the way ? Will forgiveness make all better ? Or will forgiveness be another easy route to more bad behaviour ? Will I be sorry, in the long run ?
Am I bothered by this estrangement ? No.
Would my life be more enriched ? ... I don't believe so.

I think I have to think this through a lot more .... where are you Raven ?

Does anyone else have a 'totem' ?

Oct 18, 2015

Inspired !

It was Studio Tour this weekend and my friend, Helen, dropped in and dragged me out to see a few friends in their studios. I didn't need much convincing and it was a beautiful cold, fall day ... I was washing windows and floors, so jumped at the chance to visit them, with her. I don't normally do this 'studio tour' thing ... I always feel studio spaces are a private affair and hesitate to drop in even though it was a weekend of open studios. I am so glad I went ! Aren't other artists inspiring ? I think/hoping this is the shove I've been needing !
I have a whole floor at the top of my house that has been recently vacated by my daughter and her family (8+ yrs. there) and I am anxious to move my studio, (closet), up to the larger room that has a double closet across one end and is 19 feet long ... wowee ! I don't even want to wait to have it painted ;) !!!
So just home now and Ive pulled up some photos to show ... because I have been inspired by my artist friends !!
These are sketches that I did while away camping;  I tend to write a lot above/beside/under my sketches telling myself how? why? what? where? & when? ... any bit of history to go with them helps me 'paint' a better picture.

 My iPad was leaving lots of shadows ;)
This was the day that I needed to deal with the actual colours in the rock ... and how to make them appear wet.
 A show is coming up in the near future where I will attempt a thread painting of this beautiful, young  woman, my gr. grandmother. 'Maggie' died when she was 36 yrs. old, 11 days after giving birth to her 7th child. The baby survived and the children were separated. Her oldest daughter, my grandmother, was kept on the farm to help raise her 3 little brothers ... she was 13 yrs. old. Her sisters were taken and raised by aunts. The 7 children eventually were reunited and became very tight in their adult years. Two of the boys were bachelors and the third only had one girl child ... so that surname petered out.
I can see that I need to make her face a bit fuller and her neck a smidgen shorter ... being able to enlarge my sketch on a big computer screen, straight up in front of me, is such a great tool !
I have done a bit of research on her outfit ... I suspect this was taken on her wedding day ... and I am pretty sure this was popular in her mother's day, so probably borrowed ... and it is a dark colour with a stiffened batten burg lace collar. Lots of work on water-soluble coming up !