Well it's Monday...time for painting number 18, this time a humpback whale. This time I wanted to challenge myself further by removing alizarin crimson, napthol red and pthalo blue from my palette and I'm pleased with the results.
Whale is known as a nomad and a healer. They are highly perceptive and nurturing, reminding us that in order to heal we must love ourselves and others, knowing intrinsically that we are all connected.
These days I've also been reading a ton of fiction (currently 'The Art Forger' - So. Good.) and have been very fortunate to read one great novel after another, here are two recent reads:
When God Was a Rabbit
by Sarah Winman
This story revolves around the relationship between a brother and sister from England beginning in 1968 but also incorporates a few major happenings in the world throughout their lives. What I enjoyed most about this story is the way each character in the novel responds to both positive and negative situations in their lives. Full of quirky and interesting characters, I was enthralled with the story from beginning to end.
by Lisa Moore
Set in eastern Canada, February opens with the sinking of an oil well off the coast of Neufoundland and follows the lives of one family and their response to the tragedy. First of all, I tend to enjoy stories set in the east coast and secondly I enjoy stories that move back and forth from the past to the present and because it was beautifully written, this was a real treat. It is a novel about how the past forms us...which I believe whole-heartedly...but also how we can overcome anything.
Whenever I'm out with friends or family (in this case, my lovely husband) I become all philosphical...well, maybe I'm always that way as I was labelled a 'dreamer' by parents and teachers. I like to think of myself as reflective. Anyway, while we were out I saw this sign "How will you ever choose?" which I know was in reference to the menu, but it felt so much deeper than that.
I have always wondered what my next steps should be as I travel on this path. Am I making the right choices? What do I want the end result to be? And yet, I always know that whenever I stop and allow things to happen naturally, not only am I not frustrated and anxious, but the most wonderful things happen and I tend to have the greatest time. A reminder to be present. I don't know why not only do I need to be reminded of that daily, but constantly throughout each day.
I also recently read an article about the combination of opposite traits that make-up a Creative Personality and I find myself constantly fluctuating between every one of these ten sets of traits:
1. Energy / Rest
2. Smart / Naive
3. Playful / Disciplined
4. Imagination / Reality
5. Extroverted / Introverted
6. Humble / Proud
7. Masculine / Feminine
8. Rebellious / Conservative
9. Passionate / Objective
10. Open / Sensitive
No wonder I struggle. The times when I'm away from my studio are always the most difficult. I know I need that time in my sacred space to remain grounded, to live in the moment. I need to figure out how to carry that balance with me wherever I go. To allow. To let go. That's when beautiful things happen.
So, last night as I was going to sleep I was thinking of all the things I'm grateful for, as always, but this time, instead of thinking of the usual, like my family (for which, of course, I am always beyond grateful), I began to think of the little things...
* reading at bedtime (a favorite pastime...really, reading anytime)
* a warm buckwheat filled bag at my feet
* looking at the moon outside my window
* cuddling under cotton quilts
* my cozy flannel pj's
* a warm (finally) and sunny day (and evening)
And I slept like a baby. :)
My eldest daughter has the strangest fascination with gnomes, and in fact, this past Christmas I had one carved for her by the lovely and talented Linda Cote. He's a cute little guy that fits into the cup holder of her backpack so she can take it wherever she goes. When I had painted the birch trees in her room, after being absolutely thrilled, the first question she asked is, 'Can you add a gnome'?
It's all my fault. When she was a little girl, we walked down a path to her elementary school past a small group of trees and shrubs. In spring, as the flower petals fluttered to the ground I would say, 'Did you see the fairies?'. When my husband would walk her she would tell him that it was the fairy glen and that she had seen them herself. Unfortunately it began to frighten her to think of these little creatures travelling around so I signed out a book from the library about gnomes to show her how cute and funny they really were...and thus, the fascination with gnomes was born.
And so I added a little gnome to her room. He really does look cute swinging from the trees. P.S. I am actually still working, just on a couple of projects I can't share yet...
My baby girl (aka 'Thing 1') is finally home from University and I'm so excited. It's good to have my girls nearby. Though I do believe I may be sharing my studio space with her and possibly her friends when they stop by...not complaining...not one bit.
Our meal at Il Forno was probably one of the best meals I've had out in ages. My husband is a great cook so I tend to compare, especially when it seems as though we're spending too much money on food that tastes so much better at home. This meal started out with portions of the lightest calamari, tender meatballs, flavourful Italian salad and finally the wood-fired pizza along with a delicious glass of red wine. I ate way too much. And then finished with a creamy homemade cheesecake. Best one I've had in ages.
After a nice long, evening walk with my husband I was finally able to get back to my studio where I've been working on a project for a friend. I have an idea of the finished product, a very loose one but it seems to be coming together. I've been sketching out ideas with the work in progress while I wait in cafes for friends (I tend to be early) and know the colour palette I want to incorporate. Can't wait to share it.