Tuesday, 14 February 2017

an old fashioned blizzard

Well, I said I loved snow...
and we got it!

out back through the vestibule door window

through the stair landing window towards the ash tree

out the bedroom window

Opening the front door in the afternoon shows the lavender reflection off the front door.
Later that night, the drift is a bit higher
and that lump on the hanging door mat is taking on a definite curve.

looking down the ramp, the streetlights cast some cool shadows 

The Chinese Chimes snow dipped

the snow still falling

The flash makes the snowflakes look like bubbles

In the late night kitchen I got a blurry but sweet shot of Babu happy to have me return.

As I sat down I made clucking noises to get Babu's attention who still had one ear on the front door,
wondering what was going on out there.

He still avoided looking at me though my lip popping and clucking distracted him

finally, the nose knows

and he deigned to look at me, sweet little boy (though one ear was still on the door)

The next morning the kitchen window was not so snow covered
(coloured glass "friendship balls" by Muskoka artist Simon Bisley)
(the larger plastic ball has a light in it which we forget to click on; I like it's moonlike quality)

The neighbour's car is almost completely swathed in snow

as is his back yard

Wally carved a path out from the garage and was long gone to work when I arose.

The wreath on the front door is barely recognizable;
and the curve on the hump of snow on the hanging door mat is more articulated.

The Christmas lights around the front door are unrecognizable lumps

There's a lone crow in the ash tree. Where is his family?
They usually stay in family groups. 

I worry for the wild creatures who must survive this difficult time.

Muji wonders what I'm up to as he follows me about the house.

The hydrangeas are up to their necks, the garden bench is completely covered, somewhere to the left of that round bush.

Muji waits by the hand weights.
The wedge of snow on the roof of the walk out basement is impressive.

I did a little watercolour experiment in the afternoon and brushed on some red dye ink that blobbed out ...

as I practised with my new Mermaid Markers.
The dye inks are not lightfast, but their brilliance makes them a juicy material for personal use,
and of course, reproduction.
Also shown is the Inkredible fountain pen which I used for outline here, a water soluble fountain pen ink which must be considered when adding water media.
Both products are from the irrepressible Jane Davenport, an Australian art journaling guru
who is promoting her new line of products at Michaels, an art and craft supply store in the United States and Canada. 

I pass Muji on the staircase as I return to the computer to prepare these pictures for you.
He looks so baffled today. Maybe it's the S N O W ! ! !

I leave you with two quotes that speak of self love, the conduit from which love is derived:

“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual,
you have an obligation to be one.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Happy Valentine's Day my dear readers

Friday, 10 February 2017

a time to be present

No use letting a week of February slide by without a post when this month is already so short. And good thing that it is since we seem to be getting our winter in one big dose.  Last night a royal blizzard started while we were out, the wind blowing the snow sideways with constant vigour. It was exhilarating. We thought the streetlights beyond might be out, but they were simply darkened by the onslaught of billowing snow.

Those of you who know and/or who have read me know that I love, LOVE, the snow. Maybe it is because I was a winter baby.

My sister and I were raised on the art of Breugel, a favourite artist of my father's (among others like van Gogh and Homer Watson) so that scenes like this beyond our yard, of the hayfield in winter

remind me of Pieter Bruegel the Elder's, Hunters in the Snow (Winter), 1565
This video helps us to see so much of the story, the narrative, but what I love about it is the colour,
the rich, muted colour of a northern winter

You can barely see our cement garden bench behind the hydrangeas, almost buried in the drift

Babu has sought out Wally's chair for his afternoon nap

and Muji has that dazed look just before he nods off as I write this post

Here is the start of an acrylic painting that I started yesterday.
Those muted colours have taken hold!

a pleasant midwinter time to hold our sacred essence in grace

peace on earth

Thursday, 2 February 2017


Who'd a thunk! Our forecast of 1-3 cm. (barely an inch) turned into a lovely 5 to 6 inches of snow.

beautiful, wonderful 


This morning I stepped out the back door, careful to avoid the drips from the leaky eaves trough,
thrilled with the lacy pattern it made in the receding snow

The hydrangeas wearing their winter caps

casting lollipop shadows

pattern and texture

and more pattern in crosshatch

the view from upstairs, beyond the hayfield with vapour rising from the little river in the ravine

and a mixed media play day with watercolour, fountain pen and Sharpie paint pen

what a love-ly way to start February.

peaceful thoughts, pulling the moment up short with conscious breath
keeping it light

l i g h t

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Halifax classic and funky

Squeezing in my last post for January, I have our trip to Halifax to share with you- somewhat- as we covered a LOT of ground.

The snow flurries forecast were gone by the time we hit the road.
This incredible refraction of light made for some exciting eye candy.

There's usually a remarkable display of steam coming off this wood mill.

It's woodlot is thinning out this time of year.

Coming into downtown Halifax, one can see a bit of Halifax Harbour and Halifax's sister city, Dartmouth, across the bay.

I've rarely seen someone actually wearing the famous Hudson's Bay blanket coat,
and now that I do, it looks fabulous.

Here a Navy woman appears to be waiting for her ride.

Because we were driving, I cannot always tell you the name of these marvelous historical buildings that Halifax is known for, but, boy, are they substantial.

Aren't sliced off building remains fascinating...

A view down Granville St. towards the Halifax Wharf
that hosts all kinds of events and festivities in the summer.

And looking back up Granville St.

EY (Ernst & Young LLP, tax advisory) and RBC (Royal Bank of Canada)
This must be the financial district (duh)

Down by the sea as we are, a down coat we see
Omg it was cold and windy.

a statue of Joseph Howe

Here is Wally as we organize ourselves for our walk down Hollis Street

The wonderful façade of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

How it is dwarfed by the modern buildings,
yet it was the huge one its day.

the wonderful bas relief and mouldings

our destination: the art supply store for NSCAD (Nova Scotia College for Art and Design)
The dizzying height of the BMO building (Bank of Montreal)

and Halifax's tallest building 1801, which houses many businesses, right beside the former

I was happy with these angles caught quite by accident from the car

A wonderful rendition of the Lion and the Unicorn
I didn't know that these creatures represent Great Britain,
the lion, England, and the unicorn, Scotland

The magical entrance to the historic Bank of Nova Scotia building that I've shown you in past posts.

Outside that same entrance.
I must have been on the move not to get better shots of this wonderful place.

Wrapped like an art installation, but I would venture it's more like a non-art insulation.

Rock Candy. Wouldn't you think this was a rock bar? I was surprised to find out it was clothing.
I would have checked it out if I had known enjoying kitsch as I do.

Crossing Sackville and more construction

After our visit to yet another fabulous art supply store it was now almost dark just after 6pm.
Not bad for a longer span of daylight. (I'm always a sucker for Christmas lights.)

Wally the strongman

We didn't realize the strongman was outside Freak Lunchbox
a fantastic candy store with lots of oddball kitsch

We went in to marvel at the array of colour and wild graphics

"Cats Love It"
(yah, right)

the hand painted counter like old circus signs

and finally, the last of my pictures as we headed back to the car
this amazing painting on the side of the building. You must understand that I took this from across an empty lot, painted on a building that was about 3 stories high. Quite a feat!

I hope you enjoyed this small slice of our trip to Halifax. Wally thought he might like to live in this town again as he once did when he was a young man. It certainly has a great energy with its art college being right downtown and so much vibrancy and youth culture, but I have to say that I prefer my quiet country life, happy to visit the city and happy to come home again.

And that's January. As usual, it is trying to snow without much sticking.
Let's have a lovely February. Doesn't the word just glow with red hearts?