Friday, August 15, 2014

Editing and revising your paintings

I have been using Robert Genn's tip for revising my current painting. Bringing it out of the studio to a different space gives new perspectives on colour, value and design issues.
Having done this three times, I decided there must be a more efficient way, though multiple trips up and down the stairs made for good exercise!
So, here is my solution - green tape notes on what I feel I want to change.  Hope it may help someone out there.

Artists have to eat too! Zucchini from the garden, new potatoes, wild red currant jelly

Call them veggie latkes, fritters, whatever. With a little sour cream and a dollop of barely sweetened currant jelly, they make a yummy change from muesli :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Dinner on the patio - roast pepper and goat cheese ravioli with fresh from the garden basil, still-green lily buds,raw zucchini, scavenged purslane and, last but not least (as it is the true measure of the height of summer) - the first ripe tomato of the season. Shared two ways, a delight to savour.
It makes the March planting in the kitchen windowsill all worthwhile.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Darkness still rules, yet I hear a regular symphony of song. The morning birds are composing. I am grateful to them. YES!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Love these installations!

Ah, subways. Some people plug in. Others stare. Some smile. Fewer draw portraits on their paper tickets. But at least one did. And that's what opened my eyes to the possibilities in drawing.
So, every year, I make the February trek to Toronto to check out The  Aird Gallery for its drawing exhibit. And each time, a new idea springs out to grab me. Not always  " new" in that no one has done it before. But new in that it is pushing the boundary or twisting the vision of what drawing is. Lines, media, dimension, colour. How many permutations can there be?
This year is somewhat different. I have not yet seen the show. I am in the kitchen at home, morning coffee in hand. I click the "jurors" link. Since they are the ones who determine the vision behind the show, I like some insight into their choices. 
Ed Pien is the outside juror. He is an artist I am not familiar with. He works in Toronto. I follow his site links.  From reflections of the nightmarish paintings of the Italian renaissance - think Bosch - to ethereal spaces filled with heritage stories, line and light.... Must go to the studio - experiments to try out....

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Arm knitting - a "real" alternative to Continental or American?

Check out the link below and see what you think. As a knitter with tension problems (no pun intended) I find this method hilarious. What if you pull the yarn too tight and can't get it off? When the second row is in progress and the telephone rings, how do you answer? I'm sure all sorts of scenarios will come to mind as the day progresses. Oh well, I have a lot of cedar dust to vacuum out of carpets and curtains - don't ask, and, yes, I know I should have covered them up. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Personally, I think the technique is more suited to hammock construction.

A "real" alternative to Continental or American?

Friday, December 20, 2013

No lights needed

Dinner is not quite cooked (I love oven meals!) so I wandered upstairs to put in a few minutes in the studio. To my surprise (but no one else's as I tend to be easily waylaid) I never got past my husband's office. And no, I didn't intend to stop to use the computer, but when I saw the beautiful natural ice glistening on the lilac branches, I couldn't resist sharing it.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

So on aime tricoter .... et la belle France, continue...

Having spent my allotted half hour at the "Purple Purl" on Sunday, I am freshly supplied with beautiful yarns.
After a hiatus of double digit years, I am doing the sock thing. The last pair - and first - so, by logical deduction, the ONLY other pair I have ever made, was when I was in public school. If it weren't for my classroom teacher Mrs. Sheardown, I probably would never have developed the ability to approach multiple needles and tangled yarn with any semblance of confidence.
Yeah and kudos to teachers everywhere who manage to squeeze the practical arts into the more scholarly ones!!
P.S. "They're toe up" socks, so I can try them on as they progress. What a fabulous idea. Another thinking outside the box solution.

French Girl Knits Video - classy knitting, food and travel - Can it get any better?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

CFS 61st Annual Open Juried Exhibition invitaion

The second in my "Cider House Series", bearing the stunningly original name "Cider House II" (the sequel to - can you guess? Yes, "Cider House I") will be part of the show.
Over 50 of us hope you will be able to check it out!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Notes on Writing - a mostly hidden art

I write "mostly hidden", but then so are most of the arts. How many hours, days and years has it taken each artist to arrive at the finished product - be it a dance, sculpture, symphony, or novel?
If you are crafting a written work, here is the first in a compilation of sites loaded with hints, prompts, watch-fors and, as a perfect reason of procrastination - er, research - some exceptional writing.

The Write Practice - Joe Bunting
I just read “LOVE IN A TIME OF MEASLES” a short memoir by Clint Archer. Must reading for parents of young ones. 

Short Stories: 10 Tips for Creative Writers - a page in Jerz's Literacy Website, which has interesting  news on learning in general


10 Things Every Writer Should Do in a Novel

Friday, October 18, 2013

On the subject of "Artists earning a living...." and "learning another language"

How animation can improve the experience - whether a first, second, or tenth language - whether you're 2, 30 or 90! Imagine how we can use this as a resource to keep culture alive with our children when our family members dwindle or are not accessible. Besides, it's more entertaining than many sources.
Kudos to the creators of such fabulous resources for language learning. No shoot-em-ups necessary.
I found this through YouTube Book Box Rosa Goes to the City 
Choose your language. Choose your book.
Woops - internet allowance exceeded again! This sort of work makes it even more tempting to dump TV in favour of unlimited internet.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quilting in "a line of posts", not the stuff you sew with

Rather than make the same mistakes as others have already done, why not make use of the online community of learners and teachers? The vast array of quilting videos has kept me busy for the leisure time of several days, and contributed, I'm sure, to the "over-use charge" warnings from our internet service provider.
Hoping this ongoing thread will save you a few bucks and a few minutes, here is my first summary.

The cheapest, easiest and most portable of all - felt yardage draped over a door, leaving a goodly overhang over the back ("inside the closet" face) so that it doesn't fall off when you open the door!
IF:  (Low expense, low time = LET from here on in)
you have no closet door (I removed mine to insert a rolling sewing machine table)
Try using sheets of styrofoam duct-taped together (like the ones your kids made for science fair displays).
These can be folded if you hinge the panels correctly. I'm also told they can be put under beds - unfortunately that is my paintings storage space. Hmmm....continuing...
you want or are somehow restricted to a small sewing table quilt design board, just big enough for a quilt block or section, use a folded (think teepee rectangle of scrap cardboard trimmed and covered in felt or flannel (or a chunk of that camping picnic table cover, flipped over) with extra for the folding flange bit
IF: (HET = (you guessed it - high expense, high time) If you or someone near and dear to you is inclined towards woodworking, make "fake" doors or frames attached to the wall studs with sturdy hinges (here think poster or rug shop displays) making yourself a giant "quilt book".  Nobody said you can't have a dream.
Time is your main constraint, but the bank balance is not,
just go out and purchase a ready-made design board and have it delivered to your doorstep. I guess this is the High Expense, Low Time or HELT version.

                       ("Deep Peace of the Quiet Earth to You" - a small wall hanging I worked on recently)

... in which there are more watercolour demos

Go ahead - follow the links! Why should I be the only one enjoying the day so much?

resist, pouring, fingers, fab! - Lian Quan Zhen
finishing dark tones in architecture - Geoff Kersey
line ink drawing with loose watercolour wash - Joanne Thomas
breaking the rules of watercolour - Shirley Trevena
starting a painting and repairing mistakes - Shirley Trevena
textures - Hazel Sloan - "Watercolour is a suggestive medium"  -  Hazel Sloan
watercolour portrait of a child - Hangel Montero
quite simply - amazing portraits! - Guan Weixing

I'll add more, but the windows are calling. They are in desperate need of a wash!
I'm back... (No, I am not a miracle worker. SOME of the windows are washed. I like the "bit now, bit later" system. It allows for more fun stuff in between)

water - resist, blur and a touch of finger smudge - Barry Herniman
large close-up florals - Birgit O'Connor
creating accents or "power points" - Sterling Edwards
vibrant water reflections in calligraphic style - Soon Y. Warren - my personal favourite style :)

This is probably a good place to stop for now.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Une poème de l'âme

Poussière d'Or
de Jérôme Minière

Un homme est allongé sur un lit
On croirait qu'il dort,
Mais c'est la vie qui s'enfuit de son corps.
Nous nous tenons en cercle autour de lui
Mais nous ne pouvons que pleurer.
Bientôt il sera sec comme du bois mort
Alors qu'hier encore il bâtissait une maison
sur le bord du fleuve.
Une poussière d'or est remontée
jusqu'à son coeur
Et lui a fait voir la mort.
Une femme est allongée sur un lit
On croirait qu'elle meurt, mais c'est bien
la vie qu'elle donne ici.
Nous nous tenons en cercle autour d'elle
Et nous tendons les mains
pour dire bienvenue
Au petit qui sort des bras de la mort.
Une poussière d'or
Est remontée jusqu'à son coeur
Et lui a fait voir la vie.
Il ne reste qu'à pleurer
de joie ou de peine.
Quand la mort et la vie transportent
ceux qu'on aime.
Sur un fleuve sans rebord,
éblouissant et profond
Horizon où tout passe et s'évanouit.
Une poussière d'or
Est remontée jusqu'à notre coeur
Et nous n'y comprenons rien.
Nous sommes comme des cartes
sans échelles ni légendes
Qui s'inventent des histoires
pour comprendre,
pour savoir par quel bout il faut prendre,
Ce qui n'a jamais pu s'apprendre.
Voyageurs sur une ligne
de paquebot intérieur
Pour une croisière vers ailleurs
Ballottés au gré des vagues.
Les gens naissent, les gens meurent
Sans raison disparaissent sous la surface.
Une poussière d'or
Est remontée jusqu'à notre coeur
Et nous n'y comprenons rien.

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