Thursday, 25 February 2016


Hello friends, on a dreary mid winter afternoon in Nova Scotia. The wind and rain do take their toll.

Babu and Muji are having a cozy respite last week.

Muji hasn't been well- again
but happily, he is somewhat stabilized, with a healthy amount of energy
Babu was in a good mood and stretched out in front of me

The snow in this picture from that day has all but gone
as we endure the rumbling of wind all about the house
the boys in their usual mid afternoon repose

It occurred to me that I could capture Forget-Me-Not Cabin in the raindrops on the screen.

Seeing the cabin in surreal distortion,
without the screen, it dawned on me how common it is for us to mistake

our limited perception for all that is
one last look at the boys, still dozey, who went right back to sleep.
It is our duty to extract joy from life, as humble and dreary as our individual experiences can seem at times.  "Seem" is the operative word.  Looking for the beauty in the most commonplace things- presence- can elevate our experience of our lives to a level of miraculousness. 
A sense of wonder and gratitude and joy complete us as we honour our experience and the experience of the lives around us.
"What you're looking at is a myosin protein dragging an endorphin along a filament to the inner part of the brain's parietal cortex, which creates happiness. You're looking at happiness." (image source unknown)
(thank you to Jenny Mendes where I retrieved this GIF)

Monday, 15 February 2016

mid-winter greetings

Good Afternoon on Family Day, made a statutory holiday here in Nova Scotia last year.
It is bright and COLD.

at least it has stopped snowing for a little while
 sleeping angels a few days ago
later, Babu did a little bird watching 

my sweet boy by the light of the back window
the next day Muji got a brushing out and nails clipped,
then stayed in this position for almost an hour, drowsy, like anyone might get at the spa
I finally had to "cry uncle", i.e. "I give up"
a late night pen and ink sketch while watching several videos about Cecil Beaton
Make sure to catch the slide show at the bottom of this linked article
 and the most intriguing remarks about his subjects alongside the slides.
In parting, thank you to those of you who responded to my last 2 posts; much appreciated!
warm mid-winter thoughts


Friday, 12 February 2016

artist trading cards for free- Birds and Tudor Roses

A lovely morning with wisps of snow blowing about. Forecast: flurries.
Even so, the sun is out and that makes the cold, -10 c. as I write (feels like -20, probably because of that ever present humidity from the ocean), tolerable.

My sweet Babu is back on the bed after his campaign to wake me for 3 hours for his breakfast.
It all seems like past history when I see his loving face, dear boy; it's not his fault that his mealtime is at my mercy.
Muji's all settled out after breakfast too. He's taken to "roaring" after he eats, like he thinks he's a lion.
That's just weird after these last two years together.
He's still my angel cat and I love the sweet hairball.

Here are the ten ATC's completed, yet to be varnished and separated.
I have two spoken for. Where are the rest of you?
Please leave a comment and your contact info through to the end of Sunday for your free Artist Trading Card in the mail. It's been a fun little project and I'd love to share it with you-
with my love

Thursday, 11 February 2016

ATC free for you

I woke yesterday too early with an idea that kept nagging at me to get up.
As many of you know, I am not to keen on the business end of things. I know I am so lucky to have Wally's support in this.  My commitment to my art has intensified his own and he is devoting stolen time from home improvement to his oil painting which is so good for him.
Anyway, my idea was to make some artist trading cards- ATC's as they are known-
inspired by the mixed media bird drawing I did in the previous post-
 to give away to those of you who would care to leave a comment at the bottom of this post with your email address that I can send you one- FREE of charge.
Yes! I just want to say thank you. Thank you for following my adventures in creativity and the encouragement it gives me to have you regularly checking in. There are about 20 of you. Surprise me and leave a comment and your email so that I may get your mailing address.
 I would love to do this for you.

So many people get up early to see the a beautiful dawn like this.

I was mesmerized by the growing light

and the colour it brought

Muji kept me company by the window

as the clouds flamed

to an amazing orangey pink

and the sun finally came up lighting the stage as people drove to work. Wally was long gone.
Looking southeast down the deck a short while later, the clouds clearing
By mid morning I had my ATC's drawn out: Birds and Tudor Roses
on 98lb./160g Canson mixed media paper
Instead of drawing the divisions, I lightly scored them with a knife.
You can see the beautiful Platinum pen I drew these with (without a pencil guideline) in pigment ink.
This was the progress I made by early afternoon. I will show you this finished sheet tomorrow.
Please consider signing up.  I would like to thank you with one of these little cards, signed and dated.
 I will keep this offer open through Valentines Day
let's call it a little mid-winter love offering.


Wednesday, 10 February 2016

focus on the beautiful

Can it be Wednesday already?? Ten days into February and I'm losing track of all the snow storms. Yesterday's ended with a foot of snow; that's almost 30.5cm. I'm feeling the cabin fever that comes with too many days shut in as footing is so dicey for walks.

This is what I'm doing instead...with thoughts of spring.
ink and watercolour with a bit of white gouache
focus on the beautiful for it sustains

Friday, 5 February 2016

a mizzly, drizzly, snowy, rainy, blizzardy Friday

Good Friday afternoon to you.  Are you ready to make the most of our first February weekend?
This is a tidying time for me, organizing and setting up better systems for a stress free life.
In the meantime I've finally prepared the second batch of photos from our trip to Windsor last Saturday.

Looking north across the Avon River as we leave Windsor.

The Avon is a large river that empties into the Minas Basin, a large bay off the Bay of Fundy.
Here is the western  farm dotted shore just north of Windsor.

Loving the magical winter scenery as we drive home
a beautiful windrow 

tall hilltop sentinels 

deeper into the valley as we see the north mountain in the distance
two neighbouring farms as we get off the highway and drive through Grand Pré
westward into Wolfville
with its quaint homes

and grand ones: the Blomidon Inn 

a Wolfville darling
and finally from that day, the Wolfville Civic Building
The weather has changed vastly since Saturday, with lovely warm sunshine as you know from my last post, and then, as is so typical out here, another change yesterday- fog 

one of our winter baskets that we got vastly reduced after Christmas

and another one to brighten the view
which has since changed from this drizzly morning shot to snow and back to rain again.
I missed the cardinal hopping about behind the bench, and the blue jay shot was too blurry in the trees. The seagulls seemed to be playing with the crows over the field for a bit. Definitely a respite for all the little creatures. Now I'm hearing a winter storm warning. And so the pendulum swings.

It's a good day for a snooze as Babu makes the most of it for this sleepy portrait.
Muji is sleeping somewhere else
I'm hoping to have artwork to share with you next week. It's my favourite time of year for working indoors with the view less obscured by leaves, warm and cozy in the house.
making our happiness a priority as an act of lovingkindness to ourselves that spreads outward like ripples in a pond sending out the energy of lovingkindness in ways we may never know