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The first real weather of the season is rolling in. Colour? Gunmetal. Payne’s Grey. Ivory black. Smudged charcoal. And I feel a kind of a thrill. Long ago, at the beginning of my painting, I spent 2 years using only black and white paint. Like Georgia O’Keeffe, I later read. Greys? I have them…..

Contemporary bodies..

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Art Historical re-imaginings… I can still hear my Art History professor Josephine Jungic (also my friend, so missed) saying – “oh, what have you done to Duccio??”.. with a smile…

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More recent details made large, and a lesson learned – when you buy black paint, from anywhere, make sure you buy enough – black is never the same black. Ever.

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I wish I knew where this painting was……….. a rare loss. I try to know where all my children of the soul have gone.

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Is it my destiny to love this coast so much?

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All I know is, I don’t fear the grey. I think it is most subtle, silvery, deep. And full of potential. We need dark to understand light, as simple as that, and as complex.

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Ella is a Wild Dog in the Woods, or so it is reported to me – I wish I could see her leaping the logs and trails with grace and strength and exuberance. But this day, I’m glad I wasn’t there to see most of her disappear down a hole in a log – luckily no bear waiting for her at the bottom! There was some debris though, which must have tickled her ear causing an entire night of head shaking, ear flipping and scratching. Mournful brown eyes pleaded for help.

Still greatly bothered in the morning, there was nothing to do but take her to the Vet. Well, she wouldn’t stay still, so the Big Drugs had to come out. And what did they find for $300?  A hair.  And Poor Ella was a woozy, ill mess for the next day and a half. Perhaps she will re-think her Acting career.

I must say, she held still for a lovely long sketch.

And Sammie – I think he was just keeping her company as she slept it off. He’s good like that.

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Pups, friends and family…

 

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Days were long, and hot – sometimes too hot – but even with all the hours in a day to play it feels like it went so fast. The studio got cleaned (can you believe it??), a birthday came and went (delightful gifts of moths and wine and food with friends) and a new chair arrived so that more things could be done all in the same area (so many thanks, Marlene).

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Still, some sketching got done in between lounging around in lawn chairs.

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Now we are officially into Fall. This time, for me, is a time of cool, clear energy. A time to integrate changes and move forward. A time to flourish.

Now that the firewood is in…. :)

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It has been super muggy here in the PNW this summer. Some days I feel like I am walking through glue… so, what better thing to do than find some objects – a feather, a wood disc, a flower – and spend the humid afternoon sketching. From tight to loose, the last sketch in the welcome cool of the late afternoon, was a sunflower. Soon Fall will approach, bringing shorter days and sweet cool air, and my naughty body will take advantage of perfect temperatures to do bigger, more ambitious work. But for now, the bits and pieces of coastal life must suffice as subject. And the sound of the warm ocean is soft in my ears. Dog Days, sweltery sunsets.

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She got me drawing with ballpoint pens. Blobby, cheap, ubiquitous Bic pens. And I am telling you, as satisfying as it is to finish a page like this, the technique is Not easy. In theory, it is similar to the Tommy Kane crosshatch style, but I found that the meditative quality of time was much deeper. Maybe because the detail, the “hatchiness” was finer, took longer, made me able to enter that zone where you are sketching, but also hearing the birds, smelling the ocean, noting the sun passing and the light changing – in fact, this day on my back porch will live forever on this page.

Not a bad use of sitting on a butt all day, if you are MS heat-bagged anyway, hey? I love summer in the Creek.

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Not only the most fun I have had on the sketching side of things, bags of entertainment for girls who love pencils and pens, but then they use one of my drawings on their website.

Sweet.

Of course I’m signing up for the third round….. :)

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Sandra has been a sketching demon lately. She doesn’t live far from me, but it is a ferry ride, so mail is an occasional necessity. This time I said, if you are sending me something, make it pretty! Indeed she did. It is a wonderful kind of thrill to open up a mailbox and be greeted by something so fun, so personal, her beautiful drawings peeking through the boring bills… super smile that day!!

Around the same time I developed an interesting conversation about art and printmaking – with a fellow MSer from the opposite side of the world.. Tasmania. Through Pinterest, of all things – who knew? I hadn’t really expected a connection to be made on such a huge internet platform, and I am even more delighted that our exchange of experiences continues and has even inspired actual tangible … Mail Art.

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Gorgeous Mail Art. Postal Magic.

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It was a fantastic Mail week….

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… now my turn for outgoing!

 

 

 

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Telegraph Cove Resort is a perfect little horseshoe of magic, if you happen to be in the process of learning a new way to travel. I mull over a few different ways to tell you about this journey to the far north end of Vancouver Island… such as — Was it a Sketch Voyage, A Soul Journey, A personal Wobbly Marathon? I could say much about these aspects and probably will in future posts, but right now I’ll just try to keep it simple.

It was Fabulous and Fun….!!!

It looked like this from our window:

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And this:

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It was so concentrated, and I could scooter around every bit except for the small entrance to the marina – almost a full circle of boardwalk. Voices laughing, hints of French and German amongst the conversations, not a TV in hearing or sight. Eagles and Ravens and Bears.. and more. Rustic, historic, and bags of charm. Peace and quiet.

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A bit of a surprise to herself, my companion Kim learned to sketch. She is already a maker of fabulous encaustic books, I didn’t think it was much of a stretch.

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Sketching and bookmaking in the Restaurant

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Kim’s sketch of a Kayak

I can’t travel the way I used to, but it is a big fat waste of time to work up a misery over that fact. Better to embrace the extra planning, the limitations-that-aren’t and ignore any pinchy faces – mine included. There are many magical places yet to be found, without and within. It was hard……. and it was easy, and many people made it happen, so lucky am I.

Heartfelt thanks to the Supreme Helpers of Freedom:

Travel companion, Gimpy driver and Sherpa – Kim Oka and her Pug Ruby.

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The generous loan of the Ford Escape  with Air Con!! by Jenny.

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All the sweet people who lifted/pushed the scoot every time I was stuck. Which was alot. You all wandered off as if it was nothing :)

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Julie. You know. <3

 

 

 

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On the longest day of the year I sat in my sun-filled yard and sketched this blackberry flower. There are scads of them, a gajillion, I would say, their robust prickled vines snake out and grow visibly as I sit there – at least it seems so. I believe we are in for a bumper crop this summer, which is very good, because once they are picked, bagged and frozen they will be most welcome on the shortest day of the year.

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