Monday, September 29, 2014

Fun and Games

I am in Ontario visiting with my Mastermind. This essential ingredient in my life keeps me on track and challenges me to take new directions. We also have a lot of fun. Today we visit Niagara Falls and begin the journey home for another year. We are an unlikely group of friends. When we began four of our group of five declared openly we did not enjoy gatherings of women and had no desire to belong to one. That was six years ago. Since then we have created a mindtrust which allows freedom of word, thought and being. It is a safe place to take off any masks we might be wearing. At times they are gently removed so we might see ourselves more clearly and make better decisions as a result. We have grown so much and we find we are still stepping into new territory each year. There is a school of thought that suggests we have a choice to grow or to die. If we choose to remain where we are, stop learning, stop trying new things we begin to die. In my choice of profession I can see myself growing for a very long time. Life is good.

Monday, September 22, 2014


So did you figure out what was missing? Yes! The reference photo! My imagination had improved the image so I was somewhat disappointed when I actually found it. Nevertheless it did inspire some movement on the watercolour. My progress came to an end with another unforeseen circumstance. Dividing my time between painting and organizing my space I now have all of the heavy pieces and most of the storage cupboards in place. Moving the last significant table into its permanent (I like that word!) location I bent down to install the bolts and discovered light peeking in under the wall. The cement must not be level because the wood of the wall and the floor do not meet. Thinking about how I had installed the shelving with bolts into the studs, how I had put my paper in the storage unit and how heavy my filing cabinets are, I dropped the wrench and walked out. Terribly disappointed again I chose to give myself some space to think and perhaps find a solution that would not involve moving everything away from the walls. Disappointment descended into depression with the realization I would not meet my deadlines and this job is best done before I leave (in case the snow flies before I come back). I am in Toronto for a week beginning tomorrow. I bought some spray foam insulation then sat down and read a book. The respite helped me move back into an attitude of gratitude as I enumerated all for which I am so grateful. The job is done. I did not move anything and there is no more light seeping in through the cracks (no mice, no winter wind!). Life is good.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Missing Piece

The best laid plans of mice and artists! So I knew where to find my watercolours and where to find my brushes. I knew where to find the paintings on which I was working. I even had the lights and the water in place. Can you tell what is missing in the image above? So what does one do when something is missing? Rant and rave? I used to. This time I sighed and stepped back. There was no point in continuing in the direction I had planned so what next? While doing something else I will find what I need. There are only about fifty boxes to unpack and put away. Putting away is a little difficult at this point as the storage shelves are not in place. That is it! Install some storage. Since I really did not want to add sawdust to the atmosphere in my studio and it was raining I decided to go with the steel units which would fit nicely beside the large door opening to the west. As the pieces were rather heavy I chose to take them apart, move them to the location, move the boxes that were in the way and reconstruct them on the spot. Once set is now bolted into the wall. The second set is in bits all over the floor. I have not figured out how to level the footing as they have been cut at different heights against the holes through which I install the bolts. I might just use a little wood under the offending shorts. Have you figured out what is missing?.... Life is so good.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Studio Workspace
I am not as young as I used to be. By the time we had everything in my studio/gallery I was ready for bed. There is nothing wrong with taking a nap in the afternoon; in fact it is necessary at times. Taking care of me allows me to function more efficiently later. Later meant returning the moving van. I must admit I am not quite so enthusiastic about driving a twenty-foot truck as in my former days. I am thankful I did not hit anything although there may be some new scratches on the roof. Alleyway trees are not as well pruned as those on the street. Twenty feet is long. Every time my husband indicated that I had backed the required distance I was ready to go another ten feet at least. I am not used to leaving a vehicle hanging out in the middle of the road or blocking it entirely. There was one huge advantage to this particular van: a lift. The heavy stuff, and there is a lot of heavy stuff, easily made the distance between the ground and the truck bed. The heavy-duty dolly also helped enormously. The rest was muscle and the crew took care of that. All I need now is a little rearranging…

Monday, September 1, 2014

Creating an Eye

I had forgotten about using the preliminary sketches for “Proceed” as instruction tools. Above you see the results of combining the two photos. Light is always tricky unless the two references are in the same light, which they were not. Finding the balance between the composition, in this case the figure should be lighter than the surroundings, and the point where the object looks like it fits into the scene, is a challenge. Sometimes it requires input from fresh eyes. Getting together with other artists who are willing to critique work honestly and generously is invaluable. We meet approximately once per month although I am not sure that will be possible this month. One of us is into harvesting, the other teaching, yet another travelling and I am moving. The storm is brewing. This week is moving week. It has been a long time in the making and my studio/gallery is finally complete. There are still a lot of finishing touches to be done yet it is time to relocate from my present rented space. Renovating and relocating are both nerve stressors. Combine them and there is a need to create an eye in the storm. My usual eye is immersion into paint. I will do some of that today. As the window closes on the opportunity I will move into inner stillness through prayer. Hug a tree and move forward. Life is good.