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

Friday, 24 February 2017

5 cats 7 planets

What a balmy few days it's been- by winter standards that is.

The mist that moved in from the east dissipated in the light of day.
And I saw a robin!

I turned and was startled to find two cats in our great ash tree

a yellow eyed female

and a yellow eyed male

Our neighbour's cat, who seems to be in this basement window all the time, watched on.

The tomcat was too shy to put on his Cheshire cat smile
though he posed well for a Wonderland tale

In my naïveté I thought I'd be of help to the beleaguered female, but she was just as shy,
and out of the tree she was more vulnerable to him, hence the scream that drew me back outside, the hissing at him from the neighbour's front yard, and finally running away. I regretted I got involved.

I took a picture of our house from their driveway, and returned home

to find our sweet boys cuddled up together on Wally's office chair.
I teased them by opening the windows which was a treat for us all.

Next day:

This morning's sky was weird, but it promises to be an equally lovely spring day.

Muji kept me company with some thoughts of his own to mull over

a handsome boy in profile

please forgive another shot of my handsome boy

Meanwhile Babu did his best to harass me into an early breakfast

two hungry boys

I've been doing a bit of early spring cleaning, or rather tidying, so I will share these stained kitchen table doodlings

and the other side- obviously in a bunny sort of mood.
The writing says: "The light of a thousand stars all around you"
I don't know what was on my mind that day, but it is good to remember.

Incidentally, Wally told me last night that SEVEN Earth-sized "exo planets" (meaning outside our solar system), 3 of which may be inhabitable, have been discovered just under 40 light years (235 trillion miles) in the Aquarius Constellation. I had to laugh, obviously in a "how does this affect me" state of mind. We talked about how long it would take us to get there by present modes of travel. LifetimeSSS! Yet, truly it is a fascinating thought that one could stand on one of these new planets and see a sister planet as close as our moon, sometimes closer.

It turns out, having gone to NASA's site, that there is are several discoveries of other possibilities of inhabitable planets. Still, the bigger trick, as I see it, would be to see us evolve into the enlightenment such a gift would warrant.

peace on earth