Thursday, 23 March 2017

spring to winter

Greetings again from our snowy Springtime wonderland.

The pictures I have to share today encompass the drive home from our successful trip to the eye doctor and our wanderings thereafter. Because I had so little charge to my battery I delayed taking pictures til we reached the heights of Mount Uniak on our northwest trip home to the Annapolis Valley.

The skies were wild again and the light low
so my pictures are somewhat blurry, but the majesty was worth recording.

Here we see one of many wind turbines

Ridiculously gigantic, I always want to call these "windmills" with their
surrealistic milling of the wind

I'm afraid my pictures don't do justice to the awesome grandeur of these cloudscapes

As we came down from the mountain, the trees changed and the farmfields began
This view is to the northeast

Looking like snow, these are outcroppings of gypsum out of which less and less "gyproc" (drywall) is made as synthetic gypsum is actually cheaper to make.
I am pleased with my Canadian version of a Gainsborough painting.

Now we are passing through Windsor and one of my favourite buildings, this abandoned textile mill, Nova Scotia Textile Limited, which is for sale many years after someone tried to renovate it.  Wally and I spend a minute fantasizing about living there and opening a gallery. I tell him (again) about my trip to the artist David Hockney's textile mill in Saltaire where he realized a similar dream

We come, eventually, to the flood plains of the Avon River with a view to Blomidon at the end of the North Mountain.

The Avon and Blomidon both "spill" into the Bay of Fundy.

We see more and more tidy farm fields, but as we near home the rain that has been spitting all along, turns into sleet and then to snow and by the time we leave the grocery store near home it is seriously snowing very wet fat blobs of snow. I'd run out of battery by then.

But here's what it looked like by bedtime.

I think I'm the only one left, besides the polar bears, who loves it.

The next morning, this morning,  the ash tree still adorned with a few Christmas ornaments

The other ash tree poses like a ballerina in her frothy tutu

The hedge is deliciously sugared

And the back yard and beyond look like February again

Beyond the hayfield to the ethereal forest's edge

Babu keeps me company

always on the lookout for something moving, the snow narrowing his pupils to slits

was that a bird?

I was surprised to find a Coptic stitched sketchbook at the dollar store ( 4 bucks) and knew I wanted to use it for fountain pen drawings, this one embellished with gold paint pen.
The cheap paper buckled with the wet paint and bled along the ink lines but I don't mind.

I hope our visit finds you well and taking pleasure in The Gift.

Monday, 20 March 2017

happy spring equinox

Ho Ho Ho
Merry First Day of Spring!

About 3 inches of snow fell last night.
Fortunately the freezing rain forecast hasn't come.

The boys were quite intrigued by it all.

"Oh NO! Garbage Bags!"
(It's garbage pickup day)

Muji gives me a "Do you know what's out there?" look

I know it's been a while since I posted. Sometimes life gets in the way.
This time it was the death of a beloved friend.

I cling to the beauty around me for affirmation.

These beautiful creatures came out to graze in the field behind our house about a week and a half ago.

Keeping a watchful eye/ear on the road beyond

then moving on

so lucky to have them nearby

A weekend drive through Kingston to our favourite health food store in Greenwood took us by that same 1940's style bungalow that I've shown you each time we've gone.

We pass over the Annapolis River where I barely get a shot over the guard rail

a mansard roofed cutie on our way

Back at home Wally advised me to go see what the cats were up to.

a Muji Babu yin yang circle

another day with Muji in the zone

We have been trying to amp up the energy around here. March has been so changeable between rain and wind and snow and sweet bright springlike days.

First Day of Spring 2017!
I can relate to this little mouse on Google's first day of spring GIF
 who drags a bit of spring home only to go back to sleep.

In our desire to distract ourselves from some of our realities, we wandered one evening into one of our local secondhand stores where Wally found this sweet old typewriter "made in Holland".  He brought it home and cleaned it up, getting it in fairly good working order. The @/¢ on the far right hits the metal casing, the same problem someone online has, and the ? is just a period missing its top squiggle. Not so bad for $10.

Made in 1957, it was meant as a portable. It practically matches Wally's metal utility table that he found several years back in Muskoka making a happy mid-century modern pair.

I have been working in my Jane Davenport mixed media journal with some of her product, most especially her dye ink Mermaid Markers that create an intense, though not lightfast and certainly not water-stable, colour.

On the right hand side I subdued the brilliant background I showed you last time with a coat of gesso which allowed me to work with water over the highly resoluble inks. I built up this imagined portrait with hobby quality acrylic paint, more dye inks, some pencil crayon and a little bit of Jane's new watercolour line which I savoured opening, taking off the individual wrappings like a box of fine chocolate.

The page on the left didn't survive my too heavy handed application of gesso so I began laying tissue again with matte acrylic medium which makes a fine glue as well as a ground to work over. We'll see what comes of that.

So this is the mixed media portrait thus far with both of Jane Davenport's watercolour palettes above and a box of Faber Castell watercolour pencils which I didn't use, but that's how messy my desk gets. What I did use that I forgot to mention above was a white Sharpie paint pen for the highlights.
It's so easy to overwork these mixed media things. One is dazzled by the choices.  I find the biggest lesson to learn with all creative works is to let go of what was and embrace what ultimately is.

come to think of it
that's the greatest lesson of all

Monday, 6 March 2017

spring is a-comin' in

It's been a month now that I've been hearing about Spring in Great Britain, wondering what that would be like in February.

We've had a good dose of it ourselves with torrential rain and balmy, above freezing temperatures.

Our garden bench began to resurface as did the bits of kale that went under last month.
I spy more cat tracks that traverse our yard.

The Hens and Chickens seem to have multiplied

and the deer, too, numbering five now, these two just beyond our laundry line.

After a couple of weeks of rather balmy weather, the temperatures plummeted.
But it's only a matter of time...

Tick                                                      Tock

I've got my boys to keep me company

Aqua Eyes

Muji in a particularly loving mood

about to crawl right up onto my shoulder; he can't get close enough

The deer showed up 3 days later

See what I mean about what the warm temperatures wrought 

And though slower to melt in our backyard, the bench appears to rise out of the snow

Occasionally Wally gets a weekday to work on the house. Right now he's outfitting the closet that he's rebuilt, drywalled, floored and primed, with different level rods and a shoe tower.
It's like building a mini room.

We usually get a high five from Muji when our backs are to him as we face the kitchen counter.

Last night Wally called me to catch a glimpse of the deer out back

Wary of intruders,

they begin to move toward cover in the ravine

Before long I was calling Wally to come check out the rosy glow in the southern sky

before we returned to preparing our supper

and yes, I've been trying my hand at my new supplies.
I've laid down a mess of dye ink on both pages but the one on the left got a smattering of torn tissue and napkins, overlaid with liquid matte medium, a reworkable surface which is what I'll definitely do, taming this busy surface with some gesso, etc.
 To be continued...

Almost a week into March, I will try to check in sooner next time. Til then, wishing us

the courage and the presence of mind to be kind

starting with ourselves