Saturday, 3 March 2012


Saturday, March 3, 2012

It seems it’s taken me a number of months to get back to this blog.  All I can say for an excuse is that for the most part there hasn’t been a whole lot happening since the Christmas/New Year’s Season that’s been particularly interesting to write about. 

The weather conditions in the Peterborough, Ontario area have been considerably lack luster these past months and while I am no longer a fan of deep snow drifts and cold weather I do miss the beautiful winter landscapes that we had years ago as ‘normal’ for Ontario. 

The world certainly seems to be hanging crooked on it’s axle these past years because the weather conditions around the globe seem to be changing and areas that normally don’t get extreme weather conditions seem to be getting the worst of winter this year!  A huge problem worldwide because it’s causing serious concerns particularly in countries where people are not equipped to handle these extreme changes in the weather.  My heart goes out to those poor countries where the weather has caused destruction and death this year and especially to those extremely poor areas where people have difficulty trying to survive in the most ‘normal’ weather conditions.

In the area where I live we are truly blessed that on the most part we have little to worry about and we are safe, warm and dry most of the time.

With regard to my art, painting in particular, I have been in flux for the most part; however, I have managed to complete two paintings over the past month or so.  One, a diptych, that was inspired by something I saw on television and the image stayed with me.  The second was inspired by a photo I saw years ago and simply re-invented the composition to suit me and to fit a horizontally shaped canvas.  I have included a portion of each painting for you to see.  I’ve also included in this blog a few other paintings I’ve done over the past years that give the feeling of space and/or distance.  

I mentioned that I’ve been in flux with my painting for the past little while, the best part of a year really, and lately I have been questioning my ability as a painter.  As an artist I go through periods of self-doubt about my talent or direction and that is a very common thing with artists of any type; be they musicians, writers, painters or sculptors.  Occasionally we doubt our ability to produce ‘likable’ pieces and sometimes this throws us into a bit of a slump that’s difficult to come out of.

Recently I’ve been feeling a bit that way and unfortunately have listened to the comments of others and have taken them to heart.  HOWEVER, this past week I all of a sudden had a ‘lightbulb’ reaction to my own art and it was this:

‘Listen to the comments of others but DO NOT TAKE THEM TO HEART.  Do what you want to do, develop your technique the way you want to and continue to paint!  Get lost in the positive action of creativity, follow your own direction and remember: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE EXCURSION!’

So I’ll continue to paint when I’m in the mood and develop my own technique.  I enjoy painting in oil and recently many of my paintings have been of landscapes that are open and airy, with vast expanses of distance.  I love open spaces and lots of air around me so it only seems reasonable that I would paint that sort of thing.  My technique is a little unorthodox since I’m basically self-taught and just go with the flow of my imagination.  I work in layers…basically a lot of underpainting…in order to complete a painting and love to use a dry brush technique on my final layer.  My favourite brushes being filberts and fans of several sizes.

There’s a lot to be said for a day that is blustery and overcast…such as this one.  I’ve just come in from taking Rachel for a short walk around the neighbourhood.  Every few yards she would pull on her leash and try to head back home…can’t say that I blamed her.  In the end she won out and I turned around, too and we headed home. 

The wind has been brutal for the past 24 hours.  I have just noticed that our Canadian Flag, that usually flies so proudly over the Otonobee River, has lost the binding on it’s outside edge and is raggedly flapping around.  Personally, I feel it is a sacrilege to fly a flag that is damaged or faded so I must purchase a replacement as soon as possible.

Speaking of Canada…my mind turns to the fact that my husband and I are seriously contemplating a major move…from Ontario to B.C. – quite possibly to Vancouver Island.  We are only at the beginning of this thinking but we do believe that it’s not a question of ‘if we move’ but rather a question of ‘when we move’.  All very exciting and frightening at the same time.  So if I’ve talked about flux at the beginning of this blog entry with regard to my painting then I guess you would say that in general I’m in flux about a lot of things right now.  But when I think about it all it’s a very positive state of flux so it’s a pretty neat place to be in! 

Of course a move of such distance has to be carefully considered. We are trying to weigh all the possible things that could become deciding points for this endeavour; the sale of our house in Peterborough, the cost to purchase a house in Victoria or somewhere close to Victoria and of course the actual cost to physically move us there.  Will we be able to maintain/replace a lifestyle similar to the one that we have here?  Big question and the answers will be very interesting…especially at a time when real estate out west is so expensive. 

We are not in a hurry to make this move so if it takes us up to two years to do it, so be it!  We’ve got plenty of things to do here while we bide our time for the right ‘window’…and besides, GOLF SEASON IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!!!!!

In the meantime I’ve got a painting that I should finish and there’s some pieces of soapstone waiting for me to start carving when the weather turns nice in April.  So my days will be filled with creativity, dog walking, ball hitting and the occasional dream of heading west!  All in all a pretty good life indeed!

As I may have intimated earlier in this blog, I rather enjoy days like this.  A day that is overcast and not so promising outside is usually a good day to relax and reflect on things and generally take comfort in being inside where you can relax and not worry about anything.  I find these days particularly inductive to being creative…I especially like these days when I’m in my studio because with it’s north/west exposure the light is constant and easy to work in with no extreme shadows or bright areas.  But today it’s perfect for sitting near the window in the living room which overlooks the river…with my dog asleep at my side and my mind going over a multitude of things.  Today I’m thinking of a chance in the very near future of not ‘leaving something familiar’ but ‘going to something new and exciting’.  I’m thinking forward about my art, my husband’s and my life together and in general our whole lifestyle as we know it now and where we are going in the future…and it’s all very positive.

Well, on that note I think I’ll go and put the kettle on and prepare some tea.  With luck I haven’t bored you, dear reader, with my ramble and that you’ve been able to find yourself in the same place as I am right now.  Everyone of us has something to look forward to no matter how trivial or unrealistic the goal may be…just remember…