Wednesday, 30 November 2011


It's hard to believe it's November 30th!!!!  I have been remiss in my promise to myself to be consistent with entries to this blog; consequently I find that it's been more than a month since I have last made an entry.  I was suppose to be back on track by now!!!!  The whole purpose of this blog is to help me...and possibly help some of those who read more consistent about allotting time to creating art and improving technique, etc.  Doing is the best way to improve, build confidence and ultimately create better pieces of art.  For me writing helps build up creative's a way of opening up and letting things flow.     

I can't exactly say where the time has gone nor can I say with any honesty that I've accomplished a great deal in that amount of time.  What I will say is that the following items give a pretty good idea of what I've been up to: 

1)  It's been a great Fall here in the Peterborough area so all the days that were sunny and warm, or just warm, I played golf, walked Rachel all over the place, enjoyed our property on the river and generally spent most of the daylight hours outdoors. 

2)  David did much of the same...only he played a lot more golf than I did, but didn't walk Rachel as much as I did.  He also spent the best part of a week at our friends cottage and did a bit of kayaking...although he picked a week that turned out to be wet and on the cool side; thank goodness the sauna was up and running and available for him to use between quick plunges into the late October water of Toad Lake. 

3)  David had an operation on November 14th to remove two of the three plates that were installed in his right leg when he broke it two years ago.  The plates had been giving him a great deal of grief so his surgeon said it was time to get rid of them.  He's been able to put full weight on the leg since the surgery and tomorrow he will have the staples removed so he'll be able to start hitting the gym within the week I would think...slowly at first of course but the goal would be to get as strong as possible so he can get back to golf ASAP...maybe early Spring!!  Hallelujah to that!

3)  Our evening hours are spent reading or watching television or visiting with friends. 

But enough lolling's time to get seriously FOCUSED!  

I've never been very good at getting things done or endeavouring to start new projects without a many others I work better under the gun of a deadline and often produce my best work (and often can multi-task better, too) when the pressure is on.  So through total procrastination on my part I now find myself with a deadline that I must adhere to.  Many, many months ago I promised a friend that I would do a painting of two of her favourite horses (which, sadly, had to be put down last year) and her dear old boxer who is a constant companion when she's with her horses.  I never promised the painting ASOP; however, I did indicate that I'd get it done at some point! 

In the late Spring, using Photoshop on my computer and photographs my friend had given me of her dog and the horses I developed a pleasing composition for the painting.  I sketched the composition on a new white canvas and that's as far as I got! 

The beautiful weather of Summer came and went and the Fall has now come and gone...there's been golf, kayaking and a September Wedding in Tofino, B.C. that filled the days with planning and fun but not so much as one drop of paint was placed on the canvas!  The painting was obviously on 'the back shelf' even though it was sitting on my easel in the middle of the studio...dust was collecting on the top surface!  Not a good thing!   

My sister, Julia, and I have gotten back into the routine of painting with Fran every Tuesday afternoon at Averill's house and it's been good to get back to being together to work with our favourite mediums.  Averill does the most amazing things with watercolour, Fran works wonders with watercolour and/or ink and Julia manipulates oil paint like an Old Master.  We have fun having lunch together then we move up to the studio to create, chat and listen to the happy purring of Averill's beautiful cats!  It's a friendly time and most days we get quite a lot of work done; on other days we may spend most of the time just chatting and enjoying each others company and our different views on various subjects.  

Every artist should have a group of people to spend 'creative time' with.  I never used to think it was important but after having been involved with three other artists for the past four years I find that I really miss it on the odd occasion that we have to skip a week for one reason or another.  I also found that after taking a break during the summer months I was anxious to get back to 'the groove' and also in finding out what my artistic friends had done over the summer and to share notes and photos and ideas of what the painting days ahead of us will be full of.  

I for one have a collection of photos that I took while in Tofino that I know will become subjects of some of my paintings.  It was interesting to note that all of us were glad to be back at our 'work stations'.  We all have ideas up our sleeves for new compositions that will stretch our abilities and help us gain another bit of confidence in our chosen mediums.  It's all fun...and even on the days that one of us, or heaven for bid all of us, doesn't feel 'inspired' then we're there for each other and before you know it we're all absorbed in our work again or deftly trying to solve one creative problem or another through serious and often tough but friendly critiquing. 

Anyway it's thanks to this bit of weekly routine with these creative women that I'm back to working on the 'promised' painting again.  However, I've found just working on it once a week isn't moving it along quickly enough so this week I've brought it home and will take it back and forth to Averill's until it's finished...hopefully the week before Christmas!  Between yesterday and today I've managed to get a good number of hours into the process and so I feel I'm there's a good chance I'm going to meet my personal deadline.  The plan is to work a few hours or more a day and get back into making this sort of routine a 'natural habit'.  

No matter what your art medium is you have to treat it as though it's like keeping fit.  Your body needs exercise on a regular basis...nothing as strenuous as a marathon run or an 'extreme workout' in the gym; a good walk every day will do it.  If you're in the habit of doing something physical every day and then all of a sudden for one reason or another you have to stop for a long period of time it's often extremely hard to get back into the 'habit' of doing it again every day.  Everybody's experienced that I'm sure.  Well, taking a break from your art...whether through a holiday season or due to 'creative block' it's often very hard to get back on track.  It requires a lot of conscious effort to get the creative juices flowing again and sometimes the best way is to visit galleries, read books about the type of art you love to create and also spend time with creative friends.  It works for me!


Now that I'm back on track, creatively, I also realize that tomorrow is the First of December.  We had our first bit of snow today...I mean the kind that stays for more than a minute on the grass...and it's been bitterly cold; so I guess I can officially start thinking about the Christmas season...not about the commercial aspect of it but the message that the Season carries. 

This past week I got to thinking about Christmas cards.  I love sending Christmas cards each year and most years I try to create my own cards.  With today being an age of emails, iPhones and text messaging sending anything by mail seems dated and old fashioned, but I still think it's very special to receive a Christmas Card in the mail.  When you see a bit of familiar handwriting it's like 'being touched by someone'.  It's a small gift to hold and to treasure.   

I went through my old files and have included a few of the cards I've designed over the years in this blog...some go back as far as 1985.  I love to write Christmas Cards because it gives me a chance to reminisce about the family members and friends that I have that are not close enough to visit over the holidays and it allows me to connect with them and give them a sense of why they are so important to me.  It's also a very pleasant way to relax, enjoy a cup of tea and think about the 'non-material' things that I have that make me and my family very fortunate.  I'm blessed and I try very hard never to forget that.

The messages in my cards always include thoughts of loved ones that are lost or absent during the holidays. The wording is different depending on who the card is being sent to but the message is always the same and it's universal...because we must all care and love one another no matter who we are or where we are in our lives.

Peace, Joy, Love, Faith in One Another, Caring, Hope, Patience, Empathy, and Charity to Those Less Fortunate than Ourselves are the things that come to mind when I think of this Wonderful Season.  We must all try to keep these notions close at hand so that they are there when we have cause to use them...they are gifts that are easily given and all come with a great reward...a Peaceful Mind because we've given from The Heart.  As we move into another New Year we should all try to keep these 'seasonal' thoughts in our minds because you never know, you may have an opportunity to give freely when you least expect it.  


For those that have come this far with me today I commend you!  You will be pleased that I now realize I've come to the end of another day (it's well past 11:00 p.m.)...and finally to the end of this blog entry.  I hope that I haven't taken too much of your time nor bored you intent is never to do that.  I wish only to stay creative and in turn pass a small amount of inspiration onto you.

I hope to have one more blog entry between now and the Christmas/New Year's holiday; but in the event I do not get back to it until the New Year I will say this: 


Friday, 14 October 2011



Well, here it is…Saturday and we’re homeward bound from Vancouver.  When we left the little apartment on West 12th, where we were staying, it was a grey and overcast morning.  But Alex picked us up and stuffed all our items into his truck and whisked us off to the airport.  It was good of him to take the time and a bonus to be with him for the short trip.  Precious moments that I wouldn’t have given up readily.

Our time in British Columbia was pretty special and won’t ever be forgotten.  The ‘together’ time that Joanna and Alex organized for us with her parents was to be commended.  Seven days of getting to know each other was made easy by J and A allowing us to stay with them in a wonderful cabin at Tofino.  For the most part the weather co-operated favourably and while there were some pretty wet days from Wednesday to the weekend of the wedding it was great to be there and to take advantage of the elements as they were thrown at us. 

We spent many hours riding the stretches of beach on bicycles and one day we, 'the four grownups', actually braved the Pacific.  Joanna’s parents donned wetsuits and managed to use boogie boards to ride the waves and enjoy the water in relative comfort.  David and I weren’t as warmly equipped but went into the 12 degree water wearing only our bathing suits.  We stayed in long enough for two short boogie board rides on our tummies then called it a ‘chilly experience’ and opted for watching the others do their thing in the water.  We at least ended up with 'bragging rights' that we had actually gone into the Pacific Ocean!

The days were lovely and we spent them well…exploring and enjoying the beautiful surroundings that Tofino has to offer.  We dined out a few times but mostly we ate back at the cabin where Alex (who has become an excellent cook) and Joanna prepared fabulous meals for us.  The fare always included fresh oysters, crabs, prawns, salmon and all good things.  We lived like kings/queens and got thoroughly spoiled!  A very good life indeed.



BOUGHT LIVE from the



The wedding weekend was really special…even though it was filled with periods of cloud cover and sometimes heavy rain.  But nobody really minded and the celebrations started with all of the guests arriving at Middle Beach Lodge…a very beautiful resort that overlooks Chesterman and Cox Beach and has views of Frank Island and the Pacific that are endless.  There was a barbecue for everyone to enjoy on the Friday night.  The food was over the top in selection, quantity and quality.  The drinks flowed and the atmosphere was fun.  Afterwards those less familiar with the terrain were led down a dark and winding path, and over a nasty jumble of rocks down the cliff to the beach.  It was a bit of a scary walk since we didn’t know where the h… we were going but trusted (in our case) the young women that were leading the way.  The girls were actually leading David, who, with three plates and 14 screws in his right leg due to a nasty fall two years ago, was feeling a little unsure of himself to say the least! 

As gifts from the bride and groom we had all been given little flashlights in the shape that resembles a Beaver and it was an amazing sight to see all the little flashlights blinking, like many fireflies, as more and more people joined the gathering on the beach.


We eventually arrived at a protected spot on the beach where a bonfire was lit and the party continued to acquire a much livelier atmosphere.  At around midnight or so, by way of a much easier route up the steep and rocky cliff, we returned to our room at MIDDLE BEACH LODGE.  The younger people REALLY enjoyed their party...we were told it didn’t end until close to 3:00 a.m.!!!!

SEPTEMBER 24th, THE WEDDING DAY turned out to be a mix of rain, cloud and a smidgeon of sunshine.  Those who were surfers took advantage of the weather and the big waves by spending the morning riding waves, or trying to, until they got pinched for time and had to run up from the beach to don their wedding attire.  At 4:00 the Groom, his Best Man and Ushers, the Maid of Honour and the Bridesmaids, and all the guests gathered in a room made cozy by a fire blazing in the beautiful stone fireplace. We held our breath and waited quietly for the bride to ascend the stairs with her father.

Andrew was elegant and handsome as he looked lovingly and proudly at his daughter, Joanna, who looked stunning and was radiate in her winter white gown that set off her colouring and her beautiful red hair.  Her shoes were a wonderful surprise…they were bright turquoise!  The bridesmaids wore turquoise and carried mixed bouquets of flowers and carried deep red/orange shawls later when they were outside having photographs taken.  The colours, turquoise and orange, were chosen by the bride to reflect the colours of the area…sea and sky.

Alex, the groom, was dashing in his dark suit and crisp white shirt.  He and the gentlement attending him were handsome and beautifully dressed for the occasion; but were tie-less and only wore flip flops on their feet.  A statement to further enhance the fact that the celebrations were taking place in an environment which is always controlled by the raw elements of nature…the surf and the sand; the wind, the rain and the sun. 

The wedding vows were deeply emotional and personal and brought tears to the eyes of most guests…very special moments for every one.  Afterwards the party began and it was a great party!  Wonderful food, fun speeches and lots of dancing and laughing.  Very impressive in a natural and intimate setting.


ALEX and JOANNA in the SETTING they LOVE to be in




The BRIDE and the GROOM from the DONUT MOUNTAIN and
the original knitted donut which became a temporary

The day after the wedding David and I returned to Vancouver for a few days to enjoy what the city offers…galleries, shops and restaurants.  Ula and Andrew were gracious and made us feel at home in their city and they were also most generous to let us use their wonderful little apartment.  We had marvelous dinners out with them and were joined by Joanna and Alex when they returned from Tofino a few days after the wedding. 

We had a pretty fantastic time and will treasure the fun we had and also be thankful for the fact that through Joanna and Alex our family circle has become bigger and also been enriched by the joining of these two vibrant and wonderful individuals.


As you can see by the dates on this blog there has been a large space of time between writing the above entry and today.  That’s because I’ve been trying hard to get back into a more consistent routine here in Peterborough after having spent such a wonderful time in Vancouver and Tofino.

After re-reading the above entry I mentally re-visited the entire sixteen days we were away.  David and I were extremely lucky to have experienced such a good time over that period of time.  But more than that I personally pinch myself every day because I feel that our family, which has now become bigger since the wedding, has been truly blessed…our lives have been so good to this point and I see no reason for it to not continue.  We are all strong and caring individuals so I know that the ‘links of the chain’ are solid and secure and there will always be comfort in that. 

Last week was Thanksgiving Weekend…a family weekend. David and I were able to celebrate it with family that lives close to us and raised a glass of wine to all those who weren’t with us.  But, many times during the course of the three day holiday I stopped to think of those less fortunate than we are and made a silent wish/prayer that some how, some way their lives might improve…one day at a time.  The poor, the sick, the lonely and the ‘broken’ men, women and children that for some reason have been handed a more difficult path to follow.  I’m not a religious person really but I do have faith in human kindness and it would be my hope that those in need of food, shelter, warmth, kindness and love will be given a ‘lift’ of some sort to help them continue on without getting totally ‘lost’.

Years ago when I was a small child I was given a gift from an aunt.  It was small bookmark with three pretty coloured ribbons on it.  At the end of each ribbon was a small charm…a cross, a heart and an anchor.  The symbols of FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY.  I carried it everywhere, but alas, which is often the way of small things, it got lost.  However, I’ve never forgotten what the symbols mean.  Ocassionally, in this rat race of a world we seem to be living in it’s hard to actually work those precious things into our lives.  But we all…and I include myself in the word 'we'... must try harder to keep these symbols in our hearts to remind us of others 'needs'.

Well, this is unbelievable!!!it’  Is already 2:00 p.m. and the morning has become mid-afternoon!!!!  I had determined I was going out to use part of my morning up by weeding the front flower bed…but as it turns out it's been raining off and on and the draw of writing and my computer have controlled me.  How I love to write…and this blog is a great catalyst for me.  I write to ‘get it down’ and I write to ‘help inspire me’ with ideas that come clearer with the written words.

I’ve been content today doing what I like to do…'musing' while sipping tea, eating a croissant lathered with honey and peanut butter and listening to “mellow jazz” on my little internet radio.  My dog and two cats lie sleeping close by.  Can’t get much better than that!

I will not go further with this blog today.  There's some food for though here and I feel there’s enough to this blog for the moment…tomorrow I may write again.  So until next time move through the seconds, hours and days with HAPPINESS and may every smile you freely give be returned with one just as warm.

CHEERS to all!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


SUNDAY, September 18, 2011

TOFINO, B. C. is a wonderful place and I really feel so comfortable here.  The beach, the walking, the bicycle riding, the wonderful landscape.  And, of course the beautiful waterscapes that are continually changing all day.  There’s such a different kind of ‘heartbeat’ here compared to an urban area.  It’s a lighter, more casual rhythm and consequently it’s more relaxing…less stressful.

The beaches that are close to where we are staying are called Mackenzie Beach, Chesterman Beach and Cox Bay

David, Ula and I took bikes out today and we cycled for several hours on the beach and enjoyed watching the surfers as they were continually challenged by the way of the water.

For the local surfer’s it was a bit of heaven here today.  At this time of the year when the weather brings in bigger and more powerful waves the air is charged with chatter and anticipation by the surfers of how they will try to conquer the waves.   Apparently the time to run to the beach with your surfboard changes by an hour every day during this season.  Today the beaches were dotted with black wetsuit clad figures as they approached the waves then flung themselves on their boards and hand paddled themselves out to sea.  (By 5:00 p.m. the waves were up about 4 metres.)

From my vantage point with my little camera I could only capture a landscape with bobbing specs floating on the white waves.  But standing watching these young people displaying such agile and acrobatic displays of confidence against one of the world’s strongest natural elements…the sea…is in itself exciting and made me feel very much ‘in the moment’ with them.  Some managed to ride the waves while others tried and failed only to get back on their boards and paddle back out to wait for another wave to crest.  Even when the day turned to dusk these black bodies would try one more time; then eventually, one by one or two by two they would pick up their boards and emerge from the foaming water and wander back to their cars or their bicycles and head for home.

As a by-stander it is a very surreal experience watching the black shiny bodies of the surfers and the breathtaking views of the spray and the foamy water surging around the dark, rough rocks.  It’s lovely in the sense that you can recognize that these surfers are totally drawn in by the power of the ocean and that they swim out to ride the waves as a lover is drawn to his/her beloved.  There’s a magnetism that somehow cannot be controlled…it just has to be accepted.  But how small we are in the scheme of things.

We explored many of the rocky areas of the shoreline.  We were awed by the views and delighted by many of the small impressions in the sand which were made by various sea creatures.  The beach is strewn with barnacle bits, luminous shell pieces and the interesting pulpy leaves and long stems of kelp.  The wonderful rock formations are Mother Nature's sculpture...they rise up from the sand and surf like great animals and the trees that manage to grow on the rocky islands reach tall and strong to meet whatever blows their way...always moving with the rhythm of the wind.

In one area we found many beautiful/ugly starfish.  Ugly because of their slimy jelly-like appearance; beautiful because of their unusual colours.  They get tossed up on the rocks during high tide and end up being trapped in shallow pools or crevices as the water recedes.

Nature is most fascinating.  We also saw thick areas of kelp moving back and forth in the deeper water of the bays but alas no sea otters were seen.  I’ve done carvings and paintings of water animals that are typical of those found in the fresh water lakes of Ontario…mink and otters.  But the otters I’ve seen are much smaller than Sea Otters and I would really love to see some in their natural habitat.  Below are two pieces of artwork that I have done depicting animals that are more familiar to me.

The mink that I carved in this beautiful piece of Chinese Pink Soapstone was inspired by a family of mink that lived close to the shoreline of our cottage and I loved to watch them move silently and quickly through the high grass and bullrushes then slip silently into the water and disappear under the dock or into the crevice of a rock then reappear again further down the shoreline.  There beautiful bodies were always sleek and shiny and often glowed in the late evening as the sun disappeared from the sky.
The River Otters in the painting below were inspired by the otters I've seen in fresh water lakes of Ontario and I interpreted them in my own way with pen and ink and added acrylic colour for the ripples in the river.  


The message written in the painting is:  THERE IS MORE THAN BLACK AND WHITE IN THE STREAM OF LIFE.  In simple terms:  I believe that if you look closely at everything you see then you will see much more than you imagined!  Life can be complicated but that's what makes it interesting. 

On that note I'll close this blog...
and anyway it's now Monday, September 19, 2011…and we are heading to another beach…Long Beach a short drive from where we are Chesterman Beach and   Alex and Joanna are looking for bigger swells on the Ocean.

By the time we get home Andrew and Margaret will have arrived from the Vancouver via Horseshoe Bay Ferry and from Nanaimo to Tofino.  They’ll be tired because it’s the first time Andrew’s driven to Tofino so they’ll be travel weary when they arrive.  

I’ll start another blog in a day or too…in the meantime BE HAPPY!


Tuesday, 13 September 2011



MONDAY:  Today is LABOUR DAY MONDAY and for most Canadians it signifies the end of the summer.  It’s a time when thoughts turn to starting a new term at school, starting uiversity or even getting back to an old or possibly a new job.  A time of beginning a new and different year of learning, growing and in the process moving forward with one’s life.

After spending more than 60 summers at one of Ontario’s most beautiful lakes I recall many Labour Day Mondays that I could hardly function because I was so sad to be leaving the cottage and the lake.  My young years were all spent at a family cottage and I learned to swim, water ski, canoe, sail and just generally BE a kid during the hot months of July and August.  As I grew into my teens there were late nights of Monopoly and mornings that didn’t start until I arose at Noon!  I had many friends at the lake and our schedules were busy and full of summer activities that were all fun.  While in my late teens and early twenties there were summers that I couldn’t spend the entire summer at the lake because of various jobs that I had…but I was always happy to spend my one or two weeks of vacation time at the lake. 

Later, after I married, my husband and I bought an island property of our own at the lake and over the course of many, many years we built a wonderful cottage where we raised our son and enjoyed summers away from the city clamour.  We built the cottage ourselves out of necessity…lack of money.   My husband was very capable with whatever tool, manual or electrical, that he picked up and I was good at hauling wood, holding things in place and drawing up details of how things should look.  Our son was great at keeping me company while I went back and forth to the mainland with whatever supplies, food or wood, that we required to make ‘the cottage’ happen.  We kept that cottage for more than 30 years then we sold it to some wonderful people that appreciated what we’d built and bought another piece of island property.  By then our son, as much as he loved the cottage, the lake and Ontario, had determined that British Columbia was where he wanted to plant his feet, so my husband and i renovated the derelict cabin that was on the property and turned it into a ‘luxury one-bedroom’ cottage for just the two of us.

My summers at the lake allowed me to not only enjoy the cottage life but they also gave me inspiration for my artwork.  I carved stone and painted to my heart’s content.  Many of the pieces I produced during those years reflected my love of the lake, the elements, the animals and birds and the children that enjoyed being part of that. 

Scattered throughout this blog I have included some photos of past works that I may never have done had it not for being in a lake environment.  

Many of the pieces I created during those summers have either been sold at art shows or given to family or friends as gifts.  But I have tried to keep some sort of record over the years so that I can look back on what I’ve been able to accomplish as an artist.

I hope you find these entries interesting but even more than that I hope they inspire you to possibly go down a creative road that you’ve never thought of before.
Unfortunately, two years ago, due to unforeseen circumstances we had to sell our wonderful little cottage.  In spite of it being a sad decision for us to make it turned out to be a good one because we, again, found people that appreciated the property for what it was and what we’d built into it and we were happy to sell it to them so that they can now enjoy the lake the way we did.

After many wonderful years our cottaging days are over but for me the glass is never half empty…it’s always half full.  We always seem to have something else to life is very good.


Now that we no longer have our cottage we are able to enjoy the city property we own in a way we never had time for before because we were always rushing off to the cottage!  We can turn our energies into making and keeping this property a lovely place to enjoy twelve months of the year.  We consider ourselves fortunate enough to have a place where we can swim and kayak in the summer and enjoy the beauty of a frozen river during the long river months…and know the amenities (shops, bicycle paths, parks, medical facilities, the Y, etc.) are within a few blocks away!

But none of this stops me from remembering the wistfulness with which we closed up the cottage each and every LABOUR DAY MONDAY as we said our final goodbyes to the lake that had nurtured us through the hot months.  Memories of those marvelous and eventful summers and of those sad last days of the season will be with me forever.

Families have always had good times in summer and the lazy, hazy, crazy days give way to happy times; especially for the young.  As you can see by this entry, several of my paintings have come to mind when I think of summer,  kids  and beautiful watery scenery.  

As I write this I can hear our next door neighbours, who have just returned from their cottage,  unpacking their car…the Labour Day departure having been accepted at some point early this morning.  I can only imagine the traffic on the highways today…


WEDNESDAY OF THE NEXT WEEK:  It's been over a week since I wrote the above...Can hardly believe it!!!!  Below are pieces of art I have done over the years...picked totally at random and in a few weeks AFTER I RETURN FROM MY SON'S WEDDING IN TOFINO on VANCOUVER ISLAND I will write another blog and add more photos.






Monday, 29 August 2011


This is a collection of a number of different sessions at my computer.  I’m better at collecting thoughts when I can write them as I have the time.  I’ve not dated each entry but simply typed the day on which I wrote it…in essence, I’m treating this blog more like a journal.  (Don’t think you have to read this post all at once…it’s not that serious, you can always come back to it…I just want to put  some of my thoughts out there to help myself and possibly inspire you, too…or at the very least make you think about the creative side of yourself as you go through your day.)

THURSDAY:  I’ve just come in from kayaking around the small lake that’s near our house.  My timing is good because there’s something in the air and I feel that rain is coming and the river is waiting.  There’s been a change in the wind and the clouds are turning the water a steely blue and the beautiful Canadian Flag in the backyard is becoming agitated.  It’s lovely out there and in spite of the fact the lake is surrounded by the city my time on the water is always pleasant and quiet.  I’m lucky to live in a wonderful city where I can spend my time near the water and watch the ducks, geese, muskrats, beaver and all other forms of nature or I can take advantage of the city and shop, go to outdoor concerts, enjoy art galleries or just walk along beautiful paths with my dog.  There are boundless things I can do in this area…and as you can tell I love it here.

This is the best time of the year…mid-August…the nights are cooler and the mornings require a light sweater while we read the paper on the verandah.  But, the mid-day sun is warm and we  can still swim in the river, ride our bikes or do any outdoor activity we want to without being too hot.  And the Fall flowers are at there best and look cheerily out from the garden beds in the many parks and walkways that wind through the city.  Sure, it marks the end of summer but it’s a bonus time of the year!  There are beautiful colours in an ever changing landscape, and local fruits and vegetables are at their best.

I enjoy looking at natural things…it makes me feel balanced.  I see art in almost everything I look at.  Small compositions that catch the eye.  Everything has a balance to it…think about that next time you look at something…anything.  Right now I’m looking at my neighbour’s Feather Grass.  It’s tall and it’s very delicate looking.  The wind is blowing it but for as much as it blows one way when the wind stops the Feather Grass moves back into the opposite direction…like the pendulum on a metronome…until it stops and the next gust of wind comes along and causes it to sway again.  There’s balance in the movement.  The tops of the grass are a soft camel colour while the stems are green except at the bottom where they are the same colour as the ‘feathers’…again, balance.

Well, the rain I was so sure was coming turned out to be short-lived and it looks like it’s going to be a calm and lovely evening.

SUNDAY:  The last few days have been spectacular weather-wise so I’ve spent much of my time outside…kayaking, swimming and I actually got in a game of golf.  But today it is cool and overcast…more like the late August days we’ve ‘normally’ had over the past several years.  Part of the reason there’s been a drastic change in the weather from yesterday is because Hurricane Irene has been tormenting the Eastern Coastline of the U.S. and Canada and has blown some of it’s furious wind inland.  I do feel badly for all those people that have had to batten down hatches and then watch much of their belongings cast away in the storm…some of the videos on the news have been shocking.  It makes one realize how small we are in the scheme of things when it comes to the natural elements…we are so small and powerless at times.

Today I’ve been milling some ideas around in my head for some jewellery designs and while nothing has taken total form for me yet I’ve got some good ideas and ones that I will probably take further.  One of the things I am considering is a medallion of a Canadian Lynx.  I’d base my design on a piece of sculpture I started last year but was unable to finish because of a crack in it that was deeper than I had originally thought.  My disappointment in not completing it was great; however, I think a silver pendent of the beautiful animal could be quite stunning.

ALREADY BEAUTIFUL carved in Chinese Soapstone
Another idea I want to run with is that of a Phoenix.  I have done a sculpture of a Phoenix in Chinese Green Soapstone and it was a wonderful thing to carve so I thought a similar design or a completely different design could be done in silver as well.  I took a couple of ‘casting in silver’ workshops last winter and fully intend on taking more this winter and also plan on working more fully with silver in the future.  The reason being  that I can work small and work in wax which is totally along the line in which I like to work because it’s three dimensional and there’s really no limit as to how much you can carve to make a piece interesting.



As I look around the house at some of the art I’ve done over the past years, in search of inspiration for silver work I’ve come upon some of my favourite subjects.  Many years ago while I was at the cottage and the Kawartha Lakes area was in the grip of a rainy session I was unable to work on my stone carving outdoors so rather than waste the days I turned to the age old art of papier maché.  Using coat hangers as armatures and strips of newspaper saturated in flour and water I worked over a period of two days on a group of characters that have great appeal to me…the beautiful Red-tailed Hawk, the wily Red Fox and the smart and whimsical Chipmunk.  I sculpted them with personalities and ended up with a vignette that’s kind of fun.  The hawk hangs from the ceiling close to the fox and the chipmunk and while one might say that these three creatures could be unfriendly toward each other in nature I have made them appear as friends.  It was a fun thing to do and with the use of some acrylic paint I was able to make these life-sized figures look quite convincing!

The cooler Fall air will start to dictate my clothing decisions soon.  It’s time for pulling on favourite sweaters, comfy jeans, warm socks and leather boots…my favourite way to dress.  Cozy clothing and crisp sunny days to enjoy the outdoors…that combination can’t be beat!  It makes such a difference when the air is cooler…everything looks and feels sharper…colours and tastes!  It’s great to be able to spend time driving around the countryside and stopping to take pictures of all the beautiful sights Ontario has to offer.  I’m not a great photographer and I only use a small digital camera but I get a great deal of inspiration from the photos I take.  By working on my computer, of which I couldn’t live without, I am able to get some interesting compositions by combining different photos.  I love working this way…using ‘artistic license’ or ‘borrowing from Peter to pay Paul’…in order to create just the right background or mood I want for a painting.  This pre-painting workup of ideas just adds to the overall enjoyment of doing the actual painting.

MONDAY:  I’ve read over this post and decided it’s time to actually ‘post’ it.  At some point within the next day or two I will start another session of ‘run-on’ entries but for now I have things to do that don’t involve my computer or the chair in which I sit…there’s the mundane (laundry, housework, gardening) and the fun (a golf lesson…fun, maybe?!) yet to fill my day. 

Hope you’re having a good day no matter what you are doing, where you are doing it or who you are doing it with.  Smile through the day and don’t forget to share your smile…if you do you’re guaranteed to have a REALLY GREAT DAY!