Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Some people in this area get upset when the deer invade their gardens. Most people accept that the deer were here first and build fences around that which they wish to protect from nibbling. I think sharing the place with beautiful animals is worth the effort. Except maybe the skunks... ask Bruce and Kirra about the unfortunate skunk incident (or why skunks resemble black cats in the dark).

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Don't worry, Be happy

Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” An article on CBC radio said that happy people are much more creative than sad people. I have learned to develop an attitude of gratitude and I have much to be thankful for. Quick, think of five things that make you happy. Better still, send them to me.

My five are:

Drinking coffee in the morning. I have two cups, each with two teaspoons of sugar and a generous dollop of half and half, just the way my Dad taught me to drink it when I was four.

Seeing wildlife every day. I have seen white tail deer, mule deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, cougar, grizzly bear, black bear, badger, herons, swans, Canada geese, eagles... ..some just a glimpse, some farther away than others (thank goodness) but everyday something and it always makes me smile.

Having pets. They are entertainment and companionship. Currently there is Kirra, The British Columbian squirrel chaser, and Jinx ,the cat.

A car that works well. There is nothing worse than not having wheels.

The advent of warm weather. I can hardly wait for the grass to turn green.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Collage Papers

I am inspired by my new DVD from creative catalyst by Anne Bagby. I love her work and now I am going to emulate some of her techniques. She is holding a workshop in Calgary that I would love to go to but, I hate driving in Calgary and I would have to find a room etc., etc...So I ordered her DVD instead. Creative Catalyst makes some rather good videos. I own Polly Hammett's , Carla O'Conner's and have borrowed Carrie Burns Brown and find them very good. Expect more collage pieces soon.
Warning: DVD's can be very soporific! Do not watch them in a big cozy chair after lunch unless you are actively seeking a nap!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hannah's Hat

This wonderful girl showed up at Pynelogs last summer looking glorious in her cocky hat. This is my rendition.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I try to use more subtle color schemes but my hand is having nothing to do with it. This is one of my entries for the "Meaning of Green" show at Centre 64 in Kimberley. This was based on a photo taken at the flower arranging class that my daughter and I attended last summer. Everyone made wonderful arrangements!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Who Knew?

Does the phrase "Quando omni flunkus, moritati" in fact mean "when all else fails, play dead"?

"Clench" conte crayon on paper, 11x14

The short answer is no, it does not.

In fact, this phrase appears to be part a Canadian sketch comedy show called The Red Green Show. It might be funny, but it is definitely fake Latin.

First, the Latin word quando is always in a question. It is never used in a circumstantial clause.

Second, Latin has no letter K, except in the word Kalendae, meaning the first of the month - and possibly in words borrowed from Greek. So flunkus is simply not a Latin word.

Omni means "all", but it is singular dative or ablative.

Moritati makes no sense to me at all.

To really say in Latin, "When all else fails, play dead", try the following.

Cum omnibus cecidisti, concidisse simula.

Which translates back to English as "Whenever you have failed/lost in all efforts, pretend to have fallen/died."

If you have latin questions. check: http://www.vocabulary-lesson-plans.com/latin-phrase-when-all-else-fails.html

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy first day of Spring!

When Paintings Go Bad!

This is what happens when you don't do your thumbnail value sketch, or determine a focal point. However, I wasn't sure where this painting would go so I just jumped in. Now, I think I will go back over it and try to make it more of a "painting" and stop worrying about reproducing a photo. I was trying to go for a more subdued palette but I don't like it over much. The background color splits right about the middle (big no-no). Green has to be the most frustrating color to deal with, I can never get it to look right!!Oh well, we'll see what happens.

Hey all, My work is being featured in Jack Magazine: http://www.jackmagazine.com/
an internet magazine edited by Mary Woodbury, wife of Bruce's nephew Morgan Woodbury. Mary is from Indiana, just a skipped rock from were I grew up. Check it out, it's full of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, videos, etc.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reprise: Almost Two

This is one of those paintings that hangs around on my wall and drives me crazy. I went back in and changed some of the background colors. I may go back and kick it around again eventually. I like the couple and the look of that era. I still remember my brother going to prom in his white sports coat.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

See what I'm eating now!

I blend a couple of tablespoons of crushed flax seeds, hemp hearts, lecithin and powdered greens with some yogurt and a little homemade jam for a fruit flavor. It looks disgusting but actually doesn't taste too bad. My naturopath has me eating this daily. I figure I should have a really shiny coat pretty soon.

I also made a couple bottles of homemade Bailey's liquor to celebrate St. Patrick's Day yesterday. It is even yummier!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

When all else fails

I made a few art cards last summer. This is one of my favorite quotes from that great Canadian icon, Red Green.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Heritage building

I made a 12x12 painting of the heritage building that sits on our property as a gift for a friend that is celebrating her 60th birthday. She has always been after me to paint it, so I painted it for her. Kirra insisted on being in the picture.

Faye Phillips had this wonderful quote on her blog (she has loads of wonderful quotes).
"Let your hook be always cast. In the stream where you least expect it, there will be a fish"...Ovid
Check out Faye's blogsite. Just click the link on the right

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Springtime in the Rockies, -22 C

Twenty two below is not that bad unless there is a breeze. Then you have to cover up your nose and mouth which makes your glasses fog up so you can't see and you trip over frozen chunks of old snow. It was so cold walking into a stiff north wind yesterday that I had to keep turning around and walking backwards because my eyebrows hurt!
I know I'm a wuss. I can remember -40C when I lived outside of Edmonton almost 30 years ago (urk). I try not to think about that.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

For Lori, progress

I'm posting my beginnings because my friend Lori said she liked to see how paintings develop. After painting steadfastly for an hour, I am taking a break to lift weights and walk the dog and think about how to proceed. I am always amazed at how many decisions get made in my head. But there are always changes that can only be made when you see them on the canvas.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Getting Started

I need to get six new paintings done by the end of the month. I am starting off with a chair series for two reasons. One, I'm hoping these will serve as a warm up to get me back up to speed. Two, they are inspired by my brother, the king of chairs. Mike has a 3 bay garage that he cannot get into for all the furniture, etc. that he has bought at auction and is awaiting his refinishing. He also has about 50 chairs that he has stored in the basement of his house in Springfield. Old chairs are similar to old cars in that they have an innate character and I prefer them rustic to shiny.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Reasons I haven't been painting

There is no good reason! I find that after I come back from a trip, I go through a little nesting frenzy. This time I bought a new pink flowered duvet for the guest bedroom (the old comforter was pretty worn). I made chinese lantern curtains to go with it. And I like the silly shaggy block quilts that are being made, so I made one for our bed to match our curtains. I learned that a king size quilt takes up a lot of blocks.

Now that I have that out of my system, I may be able to get some paintings done. Except the brilliant sunshine and longer daylight hours entice me to work in the greenhouse and clean house (probably because it illuminates the dirt!).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

In the Pink

Weird, I thought sure I had posted this painting before. Oh well. I seem to really crave pink and orange for the last few months. What can I say, it makes me feel happy. Morgan has a wonderful sunny living room in her turn of the century apartment. It's great to just hang over the sofa and watch the action on the street below. The three flights of stairs are a good workout!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Touch of Green

I hate when I fall off the wagon and don't paint for a while. The inertia is nearly overwhelming. However, I made this because I had a big blank space on my kitchen wall (a lot of work out a shows, fortunately) and I was trying to "prime the pump". Plus, I found this ugly old painted canvas in my closet and thought it could be better purposed.

Grief is not set aside in a day or a week. I am fine, but I do miss my Dad at the oddest moments. I can only try to be there for my daughters the way he was always there for me.