Saturday, August 21, 2010

more from the 365 Art Card Project


A selection of 6 from my 365 Art Card Project:

So here is a selection that has been percolating for time.  The lower left makes me hanker to do a larger work, but it’ll have to wait for winter. I prefer to work on seasonal projects and it is high summer here, although there are signs that it is soon to pass. The baltimore orioles and hummingbirds gather at my feeders, a sure sign that their migration has begun, and the crickets have gone from none, to one, to nightly symphonies. Myself, I feel rushed, harried and hurried, as if there are a million and one things left to do and I’ve yet to begin any of them.

Which, of course, is why this post is very brief.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

E Minor


I’ve been out of blogging for awhile. It’s summer, I’m busy, and I sliced my left index finger. I believe a large portion of my brain resides in my left index finger, as I haven’t been able to concentrate since. It still feels fuzzy, one week later, and while the doctor said I’d be able to play guitar within seven days, I’m not about to try it. I suspect, like many a straight edged cut, it’s healing very slowly. Without giving too many details, I was busy slicing up paper/art to size getting ready for the show. I suppose I became over confident about my technique with an exacto knife and steel ruler, as I was 1/3 of the way through my finger before I realized my mistake. I’d only taken up playing guitar again after a 30 year hiatus, so I basically panicked about the whole thing.

In guitar, that left index finger is one hugely important digit. And that’s where Murphy’s Law comes into play. My guitar has been languishing in the closet for many years. Occasionally I’d miss it, but realized that there was a long road back to being able to actually play it again. And then my husband received an electric grand piano (workplace incentive program). Well, while I enjoyed hearing him practice, a little green monster reared it’s ugly head at the same time. I wanted to make music too. And so, I realized I had a perfectly good, and grossly neglected musical instrument of my own, so I polished it off and set to practicing. It was like starting all over again, but even after four days there was real progress—and then !snick! the all important digit was rendered temporarily useless. And, at least for guitar (today is the first day back to 10 fingered typing) it still is. I’ll be practicing right hand exercises, and visually memorizing musical notes and finger positions. And, after perusing my books, it turns out there are two chords (and only two) that I can play with my remaining fingers—E minor and G major, except G is technically beyond my reach. At least I have something to practice.

So, that’s it. If you were wondering, this is why I’ve been neglecting my blog and your blog. Hopefully, the brain will slide back into its proper housing.  Mostly I’ve been procrastinating on things I need to be doing for the show; framing, & cutting paper, all of which involves knife work (I’m sure you understand my reluctance); but I’m investing in some better, safer knives/mat cutters, because using a straight edge and a naked blade is an accident waiting to happen. I wish no repeats!

PS. Thumb position is REALLY BAD form, but I was taking the picture with my right hand at the time.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

In the Company of Adventurers


Borrowing a title from Canadian historical literature here. In the Company of Adventurers is a part of a history of Canada, by Peter Newman, quite engaging and exciting. When I visit my friends on the Magnetawan River, I feel like the adventure continues. Here’s Rike, clambering across the rocks, scaring the pants off her husband, “what can I do, she just goes ahead and does these things.” he says, flapping his hands and looking resigned.  She’s about 20 years my senior but I confess, my rock scrabbling days are over. There are places I will not follow. Of course, perhaps I’m just more cautious.


And, while enjoying the trails, we girls got quite excited about the giant green caterpillar.  While the men stroll off ahead, we engaged in a joint ‘photoshoot’, Vogue for invertebrates.  Later, we pored through their HUGE collection of field guides and discovered this is the caterpillar of the Polyphemus Moth.

Bees, flowers, spiders, frogs, etc… also merit equal treatment, and we kept our eyeballs and cameras busy.


Alas, I couldn’t identify this one. Cute as a button, and singular, I didn’t do what it takes to get a decent i.d.. Basically, picking and slicing crosswise would have given me some important information, like scales or pores, colours of same, and colour of flesh, texture, etc.. But I had no heart to destroy such a photogenic subject. Perhaps Rike will find and identify it at a later stage in its life.


And while Rike stopped often for scattered brambles, I passed them by. The berry picking up at Magnetawan (north of Parry Sound) is slim compared to the Brugelesque feast I’ve been treated to at home.  The red raspberries we small and few, the black berries anaemic and sour. Unspoiled by plenty, Rike found these stingy morsels all delightful. The picture above is a mixed handful from my home stomping grounds, York Regional forest. Juicy tart thimbleberries, succulent red raspberries, and delicious blackberries. This mixed handful was a connoisseurs treat.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Spring in Glen Major Tract


Image: 9”x12” mixed media/coloured pencil on 90lb watercolour paper, using coloured pencil, watersoluble pencil, watercolour, acrylic gel medium and fine sand.

As I’ve said, I had a great deal of trouble this spring making the transition from concentrating on printmaking back to my coloured pencil work—art is NOT like riding a bicycle. But the green disaster is behind me, and here is another piece belatedly finished (I prefer to work within the seasons).  Once again, no green used in this picture, honest. A variety of yellows and blues make for a more nuanced green; mostly lemon yellow, peacock blue, and electric blue in Prismacolor. Gosh, I hope they never discontinue electric blue.


Detail, for texture.

This one goes with themes I explored in Real Alchemy, being that chlorophyll has, over a scale of millennia accomplished the most significant atmospheric change for this planet. Of course, our lust for fossil fuels is putting homo sapiens into a good position for ‘runner up’.

Maybe all of it surfaced this spring, walking through rain dampened woods beneath silvered skies.  The greens of spring had such a glow and depth to them. Blog watchers will probably even be familiar with this scene, as I’ve tackled it in various smaller formats on a number of occasions. In particular, this is from Glen Major Tract, along it’s southern edge. Recommended hiking territory, by the way. I think I’m done with it now.

And on to summer.

PS. Summer being full on, I’ve been doing summer things, like visiting, swimming, and enjoying the woods, so I’m a bit behind on blogging, both visiting yours and posting to mine. Enjoy the summer, all.


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