When I began selecting a Word-of-the-Year as annual guidance many years ago I also read about creating Vision Boards on then singer/songwriter Christine Kane's blog. This seemed like a great solution to my small addiction of clipping photos and words that I was drawn to out of magazines. And though I don't necessarily refer to these images often after their creation, it does seem that the things I dream of do come to fruition. I don't create a new one very often, only once every few years, but it tends to help me narrow down what it is that I really want to do, and how I prefer to live. It's been interesting to look at these again after all these years as one of the images I had included, a cabin in the woods, kind of resembles my house now that we've recently had our siding re-done and the garden is beginning to fill in. I highly recommend this to everyone...it's fun.
Foamflower (also known as laceflower) is an evergreen plant that grows in moist woods and along streams in the boreal forest with flowers that range from white to pale pink. Indigenous peoples sometimes used these plants medicinally to treat open wounds and as a wash for sore eyes as well as a diuretic. It makes a great groundcover but does not tolerate drought.
This was probably the best birthday gift I received this year...my friend Jackie sent a few 'selfies' from our time together at Red Deer College in the mid-eighties and they make me so happy. Jackie, Karouna & I were almost inseparable in college and though we were all so different it was the time of my life. I learned to be happy just being who I was and doing what I loved. I think of my daughter who is now the age that I was in these photos, attending post-secondary school, figuring out without a doubt who she is and what she is meant to do and I'm so proud of her. I'm glad she has more confidence than I did and the commitment to stick with it in spite of challenges. I still had so much to learn, and still do, but it was the first step to being who I am today. A huge step for me that I know was the impetus to growth and especially to trusting myself. Good memories.
Two years ago I was asked to share how I felt grateful for the girls and women in my life (I added a few men in there, too) and today, as I turn the corner into the final year of my 40's I am even more grateful for the privilege I have had to meet these people and the support of the women (and men) in my life. Remembering this in the quiet of my studio early this morning has been a great way to begin my birthday...
If you are wise, you will show yourself rather as a reservoir than as a canal. A canal spreads abroad water as it receives it, but a reservoir waits until it is filled before overflowing, and thus without loss to itself shares its super abundant water.
Throughout the years I've received wonderful artwork as gifts, pieces that were very personal to me and so I decided to incorporate them - along with a favorite quote - into an altered book, in turn creating my self portrait.
My daughter and I went to enjoy some Menchies ice cream the other evening (yum!) and decided to take a walk down 8th Avenue as the banners were up again for the summer. It was a beautiful night and I was excited to see my birch trees in front of Shoppers' Drug Mart...it really is the little things that make me happy.
Nodding onion is a member of the Allium species and is the most common species in the Rocky Mountains. I've always loved the candy pink stripes and nodding heads on these wildflowers. Traditionally the bulbs were eaten either raw or cooked, used as flavoring for other foods, and dried for use in future meals. Bears and ground squirrels also enjoy these treats. The term 'allium' is Latin for garlic, which stems from the Celtic 'all' meaning 'hot' or 'burning' because of how onion irritates the eyes.
Top: Delree Dumont, Erin Conn; Row 2: Brenna Miller, Lisa Sierra, Amanda Toszer;
Row 3: Samreen Junaid, Jennifer Pyykonen, Tracy Laxten; Bottom Row: Michelle Wiebe, Karen Pennifold
Seven years ago my friend Sherry and I began a conversation about a painted chair project as a fundraiser for the arts in Airdrie. Today we unveiled the latest edition of chairs that will be distributed in businesses throughout the community - Airdrie Public Library, City of Airdrie, Genesis Place, McArthur Fine Furniture, Good Earth Cafe, Brewsters, Home Hardware, TD Banks - then on September 1 they will be exhibited at Crossiron Mills until the Gala on September 12. This is my final year on the Committee so it's been a time of mixed feelings...nice to move on to new projects but sad to see our baby go.
Sometimes I like to create two pieces that work as companions but aren't a diptych or necessarily meant to be together. It's a great way to work on slightly different compositions and colour palettes while experimenting with pattern and of pushing myself in a bit of a new direction. In this case, I used a different palette of blues, reds and yellows (the primaries) while still utilizing those same three basic colours - in the first I used ultramarine blue, cadmium red medium and cadmium yellow medium (my traditional palette) and in the second I used pthalo blue, napthol red and hansa yellow. I like to see how the different palette affects the look and feel of the work. I'd like to know...which do you prefer?
There are times when I become overwhelmed with the busyness of this life lived in a rapidly growing place and I long for a return to the wilderness. My home in the north, surrounded by boreal forest and the Churchill River and an abundance of lakes or, even a return to the Rocky Mountains that I am fortunate to view out my window. I feel a need to be cradled by nature and silence and to be removed from a society that sometimes requires explanation and more than I feel that I can give.
I long for a simpler life, though really I know there is no such thing, but rather I just need to remember that the simplicity is inside me. Growing up in the north wasn't easy but it was wonderful to be surrounded by the knowledge that I could be alone, really, truly alone when I needed it. Nestling under an evergreen building moss fairy houses, lying under the birch trees watching the leaves catch the sunlight, sitting on a large rock with a good book, swimming in the pond or paddling a canoe on the lake. I dream of home.
AIRdirondack Art Project