May 31, 2016

Watercolour Card

 May 31, 2016

I've been doing a little blog spring cleaning. After three years and just a few changes here and there it was definitely time. A favicon would be nice too.  I've also been thinking of starting an art blog, but as you know they do take time. For me, time probably better spend painting since I can't seem to stick to one subject.

You may remember the Maestro from an earlier post.  Because the painting was not working for one reason or another, I ended up painting three versions.  I didn't want to throw out the birds because I put a lot of work into them. Thanks to a suggestion from my lovely friend, Soma I decided to make a card.  My rotary paper cutter is small, but I managed to cut the card stock and it looks straight. (I've seen so many beautiful cards on blogs that I visit. I could use a lesson.) Thankfully, I was lucky to find card stock in my craft supply suitcase and an envelope that fits.

Although this suitcase looks new, it reminds me of old travel cases.

I love the pictures on the inside.
I may make another card and paint the background, or perhaps I'll make a shadow box. Watercolour paper would work too. Perhaps I'll find a treasure to help me out inside the suitcase: a case full of surprises, almost magical it seems, because I toss a few things in now and then and rarely look inside.

I added a few original watercolour flower cards to my shoppe yesterday.  There's one left. I am hoping to add more prints to the shoppe this fall, so I better start painting.

Enjoy the week!

May 24, 2016

Drawing From Nature

May 24, 2016

A new to me wildflower. I think it's Bellwort.

What a wonderful weekend. Needless to say I was out and about admiring all the new growth.  Just  look at those greens! I recently read that nature walks are one of the best things to do for your health.  Apparently being out in nature decreases stress and is instrumental for sound mental health and overall well-being. I wanted to say: really? I mean really! To me that is self evident. (Although I have met people who absolutely detest leaving the sanctity of their homes and gardens and they are well and happy souls.) Speaking of gardens, they are another refuge...a sanctuary in the midst of it all.  It must boil down to what ever makes your heart sing. For me, that can be nurturing a house plant too, but I do love to take a walk in the woods. It renews and invigorates and, for me, is absolutely essential.

* * *
Last year on a walk through the marsh I met a grandfather (?) with a teenage girl who was boo hooing profusely about the bugs, (where where they?) the heat ( it was hot) and on and on it went. Secretly, I send her a message of good will, hoping that if she calmed down enough she might notice something to appreciate...something to pique her sense of curiosity and wonder.  Of course, I also wanted to say crease and desist, but I thought, as the fussing increased long after I should have been out of ear shot, that just might take a village.  ;)

Wild geranium
 A fungus surrounded by Solomon's Seal


Now and then I randomly decorate a few of my shoppe order envelopes.
Walking Fern. Difficult to tell which end is which. They creep along the ground.
I hope to paint these two soon.

Lately my ipad often refuses to let me leave a message on your blogs, and sometimes it's difficult to tell, especially if you have comment moderation on.  So if you haven't heard from me in awhile it's not because I haven't been trying. (I've used my other computer recently.)  What's surprising is that it doesn't seem have much of a problem if I try and post a comment on WordPress...what's up with that?  

 Enjoy the week...

May 17, 2016

Spotlight on Urquhart

Beautiful covers.  To the right a wonderful painting by Emma Hesse.

It's been awhile. I hope you are all doing well!
Did I mention we had snow yesterday and may have a bit more tonight? It makes me laugh because what else can you do.   Only in Canada, eh? No, I won't say, pity. So tonight I will, once again, cover the tender annuals that I apparently planted a little too early and hope for the best.

I found this post in my drafts. I don't think it's been posted before and it's time to write about books.

While I haven't read all of Jane Urquhart's novels, I have read several. 
Urquhart's latest novel is written from the third person omniscient point of view and while that view often reveals much, it can also, given the right mood and subject, obscure.  

When I began reading Urquhart's latest novel, my first reaction was O, no. Why? Because of the subject matter, but I soon knew I had to carry on, to discover the how and whys, and in the end to understand as much as can be understood in such an emotional complex world where layers revealed do not necessarily lead to a neatly tied up ending.

Conflict, the only engine than can, moves a story along, but it can also divide. In real life and in novels we have no way of knowing how a tragic event will affect people. In this case, how the characters might react and how those reactions might be played out against the backdrop of Ireland. (A beautiful landscape with an elegiac past that seems to rub off on the novel's characters.)

There's a lot of movement in the story and very near the end of the book we find Tamara stranded in the passengers lounge at Gander International Airport in Newfoundland, Canada with only a mural named Flights and Its Allegories (it's really there painted by Kenneth Lochhead for immediate company.  Forced to wait in the lounge for three days and three nights, ( yes, a definite biblical reference) imprisoned by smothering dense fog that snuffs out the outside world, Tamara reflects on her relationship with Niall and with the help of the work of art that she's been absorbing, she clearly knows as the fog lifts and the world comes back into focus what to do. 

As I read, I kept wondering why the book was titled Night Stages. This revelation came very near the end, and although I usually do not give much of novel away, it amounted to drowning ones sorrows or sufferings. In fiction and in life, that is generally a dangerous thing to do because it never works. "The best {only} way out," as Robert Frost put it, "is through."

Jane Urquhart's range is panoramic.  Besides novels, she writes poetry, short stories, and she has also written a biography about Lucy Maude Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables.

Enjoy the week...

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