Archives for category: Roberts Creek BC

Redbird web

January has rolled into February. Winter cold has remained at bay – in fact, it has been a typical balmy West Coast Winter… so far.


It seems to me the sketching moments have been plentiful. Self-imposed challenges of Sketchbook Skool Bootkamp and Kim Oka’s 30 day journaling have provided practice and entertainment on damp evenings.

Red Pepper


Weather even broke into brief sun, and a rare trip to a dear friend’s welcoming home was actually realized. By me, alone. My mountain to climb, and I did it. I was well rewarded. 🙂


When one doesn’t have to hang sheets and plastic over the doorways to keep the heat of the fireplace trapped, (also known as Art Ghetto decor) and when the toilet seat is actually room temperature every day…(yes, last January was a bit trying) the subtle layers of a coast winter can be relaxed into, enjoyed even. Especially if you have a friend  or two to share the fire.

Ella Jan 2015 web

On a calm afternoon I scooter to the pier, smell the ocean, feel the sky, watch the water flowing under the Robert’s Creek bridge.




February begins. And the sun is now rising before 8am and setting after 5pm.

Detail: Mandala

Detail: Mandala

Gently exciting.




The people gathered at the mouth of Roberts Creek, fragile boats in hand. They are here to set intentions for the New Year, to float away the encumbrances of last year, to invite in the wishes for this year.


The one on the left is my boat, an Origami Sampan, inspired by Kim Oka’s enthusiasm. She was the BoatMaster. I made three, one each for me, Robert and Janet. Sue Bailey tucked a wish into the prow of my boat. I think intention boats can take unlimited requests, but her daughter Hannah had secretly made her a boat too, so she was well covered. Robert braved the rocks to take our boats to the water while Janet and I watched from the pier. With candles lit, they are surprisingly swift as they silently fly over the waves and out into the Salish Sea. Can you see them?


Mine said, “Fear Out – Faith In” and had my favourite Joni Mitchell lyric…  We are Stardust. We are Golden. We are Billion Year Old Carbon.

And the first day of a New Year feels so good.


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..

Medici chapel pose detailblog


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…

Duccio_St. Therese3blog

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.

Madonna dark faceblog


Jenny's Notteblog

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


Is it my destiny to love this coast so much?


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.


Sm black opus 2014 013blog

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.

Broken butterfly blog

The original tattered butterfly was a gift from a friend, more than a couple of years ago. “Hey, I found this on the front of my car.. thought I would save it for you.”

My friends know me well.



…on their way out the door…



Now for studio clean up. Yikes!




I took my regular scoot down to the end of my road today,  to catch the late afternoon sun on a spectacular day – but a beast blocked my way.

Digger blog

A digger, and quite a big one, is perched ready to do some damage to something … maybe the empty little house, which I know is slated for removal. Too bad. Or maybe it will crawl down to the ocean and attempt to tame the logs tossed up by the winter sea – a futile effort, the ocean will just put them back when it wants to.


So, my camera was turned from the sublime blue view to the scratches and mud of the machinery. I must admit, I find the abstract roughness quite attractive.


But I know I will hear the grinding and growling tomorrow, and I won’t go down that way until it is finished.

I turn around, and on the way back up my lane I see the fragile perfection of a Dandilion ready to let go its wishes. To me, neither more or less beautiful than the beast.


Black Opus Sept 2011 600blog

…that I love what I do, even though I sometimes – actually often – don’t know why I do it.

Black Opus Sept 2011 591

Black Opus Sept 2011 592blog

…that I love where I live…


even though it is not perfect…

Black Opus Sept 2011 594blog

Black Opus Sept 2011 606blog

it is perfect for me.

And I have learned that perfect is gone forever from me in its physical manifestation, yet oddly enough..

Black Opus Sept 2011 604adjblog

… I have acquired so much more

worth sharing.