Archives for category: Sunshine Coast

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I find many gifts from birds in my back yard. Being enclosed by Cedars, Maples, Fir trees and Alder, the circle of grass attracts quite a lot of bird drama and I have found all kinds of feathers. Even once, while wandering with the dog, my eyes to the ground, I discovered an entire tiny nest, carefully woven together with a shred of plastic construction tarp. Still perfect.

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But a few days ago, in my front yard, I was startled by an unusual visitor – a full grown Heron landed in the tangled mid-branches of the towering cedar tree, right next to me – perhaps only 10 feet above my head!! I think I might have said “Whoa – Hello!!” as it shifted and shuffled, and maybe something else like “Be careful there…” since it seemed a danger for long wings to be so tight in the tree. I know for sure, after gazing at it for a few eternal moments, I said “Could you leave a feather for me please?” Then it squawked and flapped and lazily flew.. away.

The next morning…..

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Heron Magic, if you ask polite. 🙂

 

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When the clouds roll away on a coast spring day, everything gleams with fresh intensity.

Feather on blue blog

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I’m busting out the tubes.

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Even though my mind is moving toward Italy, I haven’t ignored this beautiful coast summer. I have spent pleasant hours on my pretty back deck, enjoying my flower filled pots and O’Keeffe inspired wall art.

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I  scooted to the Roberts Creek pier and had a fine 2 hours of sketching the copper roofed house across the creek.

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But the best day of all was when instead of going up the lane back home,  I unexpectedly turned the shoprider down towards the lookout at the end of my road and started a sketch of the view. Suddenly, I heard a huge whooshing blow – a woman on the beach below started yelling “The Whale!! The Whale!!” so I peeled out to a more open point and there it was. Or at least there was the spray and a huge hump of a grey back, moving slowly, following the tide line toward Sechelt.

I could feel it – I’m sure.

Mesmerizing.

Magic.

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A great day indeed.

 

 

 

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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..

Medici chapel pose detailblog

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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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Tight to loose

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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Mourning cloak blog

Last June one of these beautiful friends landed on my shoulder.

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It was a lovely surprise, but I didn’t think too much about it, I just thought it had been battered and tattered in the cool wind and rain. This spring, when I saw a fresh strong butterfly in the shrubs around the Arts Centre in Sechelt, I did a little digging

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They are born with the tatters, they are native, and were possibly given the poetic name “Mourning Cloak” by Scandinavian or German settlers, though no explanation as to why. It doesn’t matter, I love the name. I also think it amusing that Nymphalis Antiopa is a brush-footed butterfly, called this due to their hairy front legs. 🙂

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This afternoon, minding my own business in my front yard, I was reading a Coté Sud in the warm sunlight. I am not usually a fan of the drop-by visitors, but I don’t mind the quiet furry ones.

This would be my definition of Serenity.

Tiger moth blog

First Rule for surviving the inevitable miserable portion of a BC Coast winter: don’t look out of the window. Seriously, anywhere else but. Or you might see this:

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..or this:

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You are probably saying to yourself, Oh look, Snow – how pretty! Just what I said… for five minutes. This is not that pretty kind of snow – this snow is wet and slushy and heavy and brings down the tree limbs onto power lines so that you are stoking the woodfire all night long to keep the deep, damp chill at bay. Very Icky. No ShopRider is going down the ramp, and a wobbly person like me is definitely not going to try to maneuver in the frozen muck. A soaking wet ass is not good for a person’s dignity, best to avoid the extremely high probability in this weather.

So, once the blankets are hung over the draughty windows, (you think I’m exaggerating, don’t you?) I find it best to turn my gaze to faraway places. Luckily, I have friends who Travel. For instance, Lisa at sell your tv and come to the cinema has just spent a marvellous two months in India, and I could not resist sketching the most beautiful moth she saw on the wall where she was teaching.  The exotic sights of Ahmedabad will sooth a shivery soul.

And Julie, over at Kitchen Culinaire is gearing up for her yearly trip to Paris, so pictures of Madelines and markets and the Eiffel Tower are gracing my laptop monitor… dreamy!  A lucky group of people are in for a tour of great deliciousness, and I will be following along every step of the way. She might even spy another stamp shop while she is there and think, “I know someone who would want these..”

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Speaking of postal inspiration, I have even received a postcard from Myanmar this winter – I’m pretty sure this cancelled stamp is as close as I will ever be to this enigmatic country. Though never say never…

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I affix these happy bits of travel to the board in my thinking room. A nice warm fire cheers up the house, and colour fills my grateful eyes.

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In fact, last night when I was absentmindedly staring up from a drawing, my eye caught a corner of vintage pale blue… but I couldn’t think who had sent me this bit of Florida sunshine.

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I flipped it over, and was reminded of a particularly difficult birthday, and the warmth of many friends who made it completely better.

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Winter? What winter… in fact did you know the light is already coming back??

 

 

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Blog post 100.

A new sketchbook to begin the New Year.

A deep feeling that journeys, of the inner and the outer kind, will fill 2014 with days that are always creatively engaging…..

Be Here Now… because Here is Fantastic.