Friday, 31 May 2013

last day of may

Who knew? It was only 3 weeks ago we found out that we're living in Apple Blossom Festival headquarters here in Kentville.  We thought it was Berwick, a lovely town down the road, that brands itself "Nova Scotia's Apple Capital". But apparently Kentville has a long history of being the centre of Nova Scotia's apple country here in the Annapolis Valley.

The finishing touches on roadwork were pursued with a vengeance this week.  The rumbling this truck of asphalt made outside vibrated our house as if it was actually grading the road as it went.

Here comes the roller truck bring up the rear of the first phase of the parade!

I thought  I'd give you an update on the parade of beans we have going in the backyard.
Aren't they a sassy bunch marching between the bamboo columns of the parade route?
Here a Portobello mushrooms hides among the spinach
a gift from using the spent mushroom compost in the garden
In the meantime, on the side of the cabin that overlooks the garden... remember the rhubarb flower that I hoped Wally wouldn't take off in order to encourage more rhubarb leaf growth?  It has decidedly split into two stalks.

Rhubarb Flower Stalk #1
And Rhubarb Flower Stalk #2

Look who I found dead centre when I had a closer look
the world abounds with life; in the animal kingdom it's mostly insects
I'm such a sentimental fool. I found myself tearing up when I spontaneously named this picture
Forget-Me-Not Cabin

Beyond Forget-Me-Not Cabin there lays a lush carpet of Lupins

Another Gift from the Past that calls "forget me not"
I am fairly overwhelmed by the bounty that is our new lot in life. As I write this I sit in front of a giant bouquet of perfumed lilacs on the kitchen table. I am seriously "happy as a clam"
a natural garland by Mother Nature

a bouquet for this moment in time
more purple in the garden
a coup this spring- a concrete sheep with one ear
it seems very Victorian to me, and I think of William Blake's
"Little Lamb, who made thee?"
a sketch while watching a most charming video of a baby elephant cavorting in the ocean
 for the first time.

the sketch framed with the die cut top of a commercial pie box
And that's [about] all folks, as Bugs Bunny would say. This has by far been the most beautiful May of my whole life. I haven't enjoyed Spring for years because of the blackflies followed much too soon by the mosquitoes in Muskoka. It was always the time of revving up for tourist season, and leaving my cherished freedom to slog it out in the pottery studio with deadlines and orders and production on my mind.  I guess one could say I worked hard to get here, but many people have worked much harder than I and continue to do so. I guess I am just one of the lucky ones. I highly recommend luck, especially the kind one makes oneself, being positively oriented to open doors and opportunity. Don't deny yourself the innate pleasures of being alive. There is wealth in the smallest of pleasures.

This morning I couldn't get an old standard off my mind. I listened to a few versions, and decidedly liked this one the best:


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

carnival comes to town

So OK. You probably know by now if you have been visiting here for the last 7 1/2 weeks, that I've been on a virtual adventure in an online class called Mermaid Circus which is available to join til the end of August, at which time the class will evaporate into the ether. There has been a lot of talk amongst this happy crowd about resurrecting it, or something like it or something altogether different but the same in energy. I have never witnessed or been a part of an online experience such as this. The cup has certainly runneth over.

So inspired are we classmates, that many of us have discovered or resurrected our own creative energy. I include myself as you may remember how at odds I've been with my muse. So, though the circus is still not my "thang" LOL, I ran away this morning to "join" it, or more correctly "enjoy" it as we discovered a carnival had come to town.

Of course, carnivals don't really come to life until evening, so I got to see this world from a different point of view

Going midmorning meant a more surreal perspective as I got to watch the "carnies"
 fine-tuning the rides.

Workers everywhere

This fellow thought he recognized me from last year, but how can that be?
I've always wanted to meet my doppelganger

Of course there's no better excuse for pumping up the saturation of colour
than the stands at a Midway

I've had a lifelong love affair with kitsch
Take kitsch and mix it up with reflection as this popstand window offers
and that makes me very happy
The Bowler Roller

How about an elephant ride?
The Carousel
Cool Kamikazi Light Bulb Shadows
The Ferris Wheel

The Zipper Backlit

I loved both these shots so you get 2 for the price of one:
The Zipper facing into the Sun
 Hamburgers Fries Poutine
Poutine (pronounced pooTEEN) is a Quebec delicacy that has swept Canada consisting of homefries (now French fried potatoes) layered with cheese curds (now shredded cheese) and gravy (now out of a package). Delicious either way, naughty either way.
And finally, WATER
The mermaids are going to get a good dose of this. One of the things our teacher have encouraged us to do is to use our own resources, even photocopying past favourite paintings of ours to incorporate into our collages. Why has this never occurred to me before?
As you can see the weather has been gorgeous, so it's been a hard day to sit indoors and colour correct pictures, but all worth while in the end for now I can refer to my own work, not forgetting that there are many many artists who have created for the circus/carnival. These rides and toys and booths didn't come out of nowhere!
Happy Day

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A day trip to Halifax and La Sirena Gorda

It wasn't the best weather for working in the garden 2 Saturdays ago so we took the afternoon off to go to Halifax.

With no particular plan, we found ourselves right at the south end of Halifax at the beautiful gates to Point Pleasant Park.

It was a touch too cool for a walk

and besides, I was hungry, so we ate our picnic lunch in the car with this magnificent view at the Harbour Look Off on the other side of the park.

what a well-to-do neighbourhood surrounds the park, mostly made up of older houses, and this humble cottage

It's rare that I show other people's art, but in fact this was a group effort by children at the Nova Scotia College for Art & Design's (NSCAD) Open Doors that we accidentally stumbled upon.

I was really taken with these bright colours, colours I've been seeing in the Mermaid Circus online class I've been taking, so I found myself buying some neon acrylics later in the day.
George's Island (there's a story there but I don't know it) as seen from a window at NSCAD
and a little sailboat sailing off to the right of the island
Downtown Halifax on a foggy Saturday afternoon
brick shadows of a bygone wall

art is all around you

No wonder Wally doesn't want to take the bridge home... you can't tell where it goes!
Now here's something that's only recently dawned on me.  These containers that come loaded with goods from other countries, piled on ships up to 10 boxes high! are the very containers one sees on a train.  And then all those trucks that haul freight all over the continent, those "Tractor Trailers" ? The trailers are also loaded with these containers. See the giant cranes through the fog, like creatures out of Star Wars?  They lift the containers out of the ships and stack them once again on top of each other in the freight yards. Amazing.
many blurry and/or foggy photographs later, we make our way past the Avon River at low tide

and up our street, home.

You can hardly tell the difference between that day almost 2 weeks ago and today, except that there are more leaves on the trees and our little garden is coming along. Yesterday Wally put in the tomatoes and some blueberry and raspberry bushes. He's still trying to figure out where to put the little peach tree that stands in its pot in the far corner.
and me, well today I've been sketching La Sirena Gorda, the Fat Mermaid, our latest exercise at
Blessings All