Wednesday, January 28, 2015

More Coultice Park


Art, I make art, sometimes I don't know what I make, or why.
Sometimes something moves me and forces my hand, a new thing, a new place.
Right around the bend, here, at home, so close to the hub of the city, is such a place. I am afraid, very much afraid that this place will break my heart.
It's name will be Coultice Park. It does not, yet, officially exist. But the land is there, the trees, and the hills and the grasses and somewhere, buried in the mud of the tiny sloughs that dot the properties, green frogs and leopards frogs and toads wait for their spring awakening. This land will break my heart, already I feel it. I love it, deeply, since I took my first tentative steps on the what were lush verdant grasslands. Bitter fear and trepidation to see it marred with it's first hint of scars from the cutting treads of machine tires. Just little cuts, here, and another cut there, one at a time, two at time, droves. They are coming, word gets out, not everyone's idea of a good time is a walk in the park. A section of fence has been erected, a small token of feeble protection against the onslaught. Now there is a sign, small, bright, unmistakable, ignored. Motorized vehicles prohibited, Pededestrians Permitted. It is almost poetry, and as mournful. I've seen what can happen in a single day, and I've seen the permanent destruction that can be wrought in a summer of freewheeling fun. They leave a brownland behind, brown and barren, rutts that will take decades to grow anything better than the most tenacious of weeds, and those sloughs, I don't want to think of what can happen if they get to them. So yes, this land, this place that is yet to have an official name, this place that was donated in trust for environmental stewardship may yet break my heart. My heart beats faster in fear, everytime I think of it, everytime I hear a machine speeding past, wondering, are they going there, to the edge of the fence, where they forced their way in through the shrubs, are turning and whirling, and revving and digging their wheels and treads into the soft thawing soil beneath. I hope not, I hope not, I hope that by spring, when the thaw comes, they will have the decency to leave things be, and leave the grass to be grass, and bullrush to be bullrushes and the shrubs to grow and thrive and shelter seedlings of trees and leave places for flora and fauna to flourish and leave space for this artist to breath and dream and pass through, leaving nothing behind but thoughts.
Or break my heart.









posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, January 26, 2015

What happened? Where did all my words go?


January 24th 2015
What happened? Where did all my words go?
Oh boy, I think I have forgotten to play. It is so very good, to open up this program, with a screen that shows a softly rendered image of a Lake Superior evening making it's grand entrance. The beach is Gargantua Harbour, and it is empty, and it is serene, the waves are long sloshing undulations, many meters across horizontal space with only inches in rise. Slop, sloop, silence, slosh.... Silence, splish, silence, silence, silence. slip, and on. Night is falling, sun peaks through a gap in a thick low ceiling of steel gray cloud, and tints all with pink, and peach and amber. Night is falling, and the chill settles down and firms it's grip, splish. The beach looks inviting, crystal clear water, countless litres of drinking water, there for the taking, silence, not even a fish to rise to the surface, not a buzz of insect wing in the air. It is September, and in Superior, September summer is abruptly over, and winter is just around a very sharp bend. Amazing what gazing at an image can bring to mind.
Remind me to continue taking photographs, remind me to take the time now and again to look at them.

About the image: this is a screenshot of my writing. I write on a tablet using something called Jota, a basic editing program. You can write novels (plural) on pocket sized devices. You can also waste alot of time if you have access to the internet. I have my wifi turned off right now. It would take a small but significant effort to turn it on again. This keeps me from distracting myself and surfing meaningless forum posts on the webs, or my 'etsy' stats, or my email, or my facebook, or did anyone heart my stuff on instagram. Destructive narcissism, that, like a corrossive acid eats creativity. So the wifi is off, and so my fingers keep typing. I have a keyboard too. I love the tippity tap the keyboard. I learned to touch type in Grade 9 highschool. I learned to touch type because I dreamed of being a writer, of novels and stories, sword and sorcery, and or, cutting, socially conscious hard hitting sci-fi. Touch typing seemed like a sensible stepping stone in that direction. No one had computers. I learned to touch type in the days when electric typewriters were a novelty. I learned to touchtype on a mechanical thing with sticky stubborn heavy steel keys. My pinky fingers where muscular and well-developed in those days. I still love to touch type. It feels good, and easy skill, and if the words are in my head, there is direct flow of them onto the screen, thought made tangible, instantaneous. Touch typing feels terrific.
posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Dear Blog, and readers

Dear neglected blog, it has been a long time, hasn't it. I have not been faithful, I have been flirting with instagram, Instagram is flashy, trendy and fast and requires so little on my behalf. Snap a pic, pepper the post with appropriate hashtags, instant gratification.
Blogs require time and thought and words and sentences and paragraphs that flow together and begin and end rounded out with sumptious middles. I'm not sure if my performance is up to those standards. I get anxious, and then my thoughts dwindle to impotent trite fragments. And so, dear blog, it has been many months apart, many months without any kind of contact, intimate or otherwise, and a blog, is nothing if not intimate. A webspace of infinite space for words that tumble and flow, clash and bang, meander and hurry through the passages of our lives revealing so much to those who can read between the lines.
Whew, that was fun. I miss my words. Thanks, Michelle, for asking. Yes, I'm fine. I have been busy, all good things (see instagram), but the blog has ended up last on the list of things to do. Somewhere along the line, I turned it into a chore, as if it needed a useful purpose, and if failed to fulfill, then it would be last on the list of things to do. I will rethink that. And get back to blogging (so I say) as a creative space that has no purpose beyond itself, with or without readers, it exists, a diary, a journal, a place to share thoughts small and large, trite and (I can hope) profound. Well, no, not the last, 'profound' triggers that performance anxiety, just writing it causes brain shrinkage. But I will leave it and dare myself to be brave, next time, or maybe later.



posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Meet the Neighbours—Urban Sprawl


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Pen and Ink, technical pens, sharpie, miniature art, “Neighbours: Be Kind to Our Four-Legged Friends, Stop Urban Sprawl”
The suburbs are moving in, displacing the residents. Many of those residents have four legs and not all of them cute, but they need space too.
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Pen and Ink, technical pens, sharpie, miniature art, “Meet the Neighbours: Eastern Coyote x Wolf, Part of Your Rural Landscape”
I’m sure these coyotes see me far more often than I see them. They are very good at lurking at of sight, keeping themselves safe from harm, but as I am, they are powerless against habitat destruction.
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Pen and Ink, technical pens, sharpie, miniature art, “Buck: Eldred King Forest York Region, Meet the Neighbours: White-tailed Deer”
Yes, I did see this deer, drawn from memory. He stood in the forest a good long time, just silently watching, waiting  to move, ready to spring away should our leashed dog catch wind of him. My dog is old, and the deer was upwind, so she remained clueless to the enticement.
I’m glad I live very close to the York Regional Forest Tracts, as they probably won’t be bull-dozed anytime soon.
That’s my rant, in words, but mostly in pictures.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

First Snow

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Here it is. The first snow of the season, and it sure is beautiful.

This was on Saturday morning, and it sure made sitting by the fire a cozy experience. It wasn’t quite enough snow to ski on (close, though) but it looked so beautiful, it inspired a few drawings.

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Looking northwards as drove across Bloomington Road, it was like a winter wonderland postcard.

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Inside Walker Woods in Uxbridge, the trees were all sparkly, but there were still some gold leaves on the trees, and on the ground. The leaves on the paths melted the snow.

The drawings are technical pens and sharpies. I messed with them a bit in GIMP, more for image protection then enhancements.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Life Drawing Tuesday

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Life drawing, session with live model, 9x12 sketchbook paper, coloured pencil.
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The poses are getting longer, this was a one hour pose, which for me is long, especially when things are not going well. I was, artisticly, a little stiff and cautious, which is not good for my style.  The black and gold (top) drawing, is my favourite of the night. Basically, it was almost time to go, so I had to hurry. The rush to get things in brought in the spark I like to see. Maybe next time all will come together.  But it’s all good practice now matter what ends up on the page.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Open Your Eyes, Meet the freshwater Bryozoan

Cristatella Mucedo
Cristatella Mucedo, Bryozoan (and selfie!!!)

No this is not ‘the worst selfie ever’ although I do have to confess that the medusa head is mine.

It's not everyday that you see something new, especially if you are 'past your 'best before' date' which I am.  After a while, been there done that sets in, well, not quite. I do seem to maintain a good deal of curiosity about the life forms around me, but pictured above is a critter I have not ever encountered (or even heard of until a few weeks ago) in my life. Wow, a brand new life form!!!

So 'what is it?' you ask.  Those green fuzzy caterpillar things (not the wild woman hair silhouette) are underwater critters that creep along on submerged rocks and plants.  They are Bryozoans, and frankly, I still can't explain them properly, so here's the wiki Bryozoans and after much sleuthing, I even narrowed things down to Cristatella Mucedo, a species that inhabits cool northern freshwater lakes and rivers.
Beautiful pics of the critter here:  http://astronomy-to-zoology.tumblr.com/post/52316344890/cristatella-mucedo-is-a-unique-species-of
And info here: http://winvertebrates.uwsp.edu/Bryozoa_images.html
Because while I am fascinated by science, it is NOT my area of aptitude.
But the cool thing, the really cool thing is, they can MOVE!!! Which may explain why the configuration seemed a wee bit different from one day to the next.
But not mentioned in the links, but experienced by me, they react to touch. Because of course, I could not resist touching a new thing, like reaching out and saying 'hi' to a new species.  The feeling was not mutual. More like 'EEEEEEEK!!! RUN!!!' but they can't run. What happened, when I gently touched a strand, is that it seemed to flatten/collapse at the touch point, that continued in a chain reaction like dominoes down the length of the strand.  15 minutes later it looked just as fluffy as it's original form and it's untouched comrades. Interestingly, the next morning when I repeated the experiment, the reaction was more like 'OH BOY, HERE WE GO AGAIN, SIGH' in that it flattened briefly only at the touch point. Sort of like it realized I wasn’t worth going into flat out panic.  I guess I’m just not that scary afterall.

So, there is my close encounter with (for me) a new life form.
It’s probably no surprise that this sketch came out of my head shortly after.
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From my sketchbook, miniature art with sharpie, “Invisible World”

Also seen
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up close and personal. Common enough, but amazing when seen through a digital enlargement. It looked plain dull green to my eye.

And below, from the same weekend, Thanksgiving, spent with friends at their woodland home on the Magnetawan River, and yes, the bryozoan was found in the North Magnetawan Branch, for those who like to know these things.
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Train crossing, on the way to Three Snyes, Magnetawan River
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High water, Three Snyes, Magnetawan River

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