Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh bla Dee Oh Bla Da Life Goes On Bra LaLaLaLa Life Goes On

I was at a huge family wedding that went from Friday evening to late Sunday afternoon this weekend. And at one point, as I looked around me,I was struck by what "family" means in this day and age. From me; who was once married to the groom's stepdad and mother to his stepbrothers; to the father of the groom with his new wife ; the grandfather of the groom with his new wife and the children of that union who were sisters with a 23 yr difference to the groom's mother; to the ex mother-in-law; the new mother-in-law ...whew! You just about needed a flow chart! But what joy was around us all. The fact we could all gather there to celebrate such a moment of life's continuity and all have a marvelous time together, well, the United Nations pale in comparison. It was pure magic to be a part of that.

How the idea of what constitutes family has changed. And I expect that as the way families are made now what with more interracial marriages and same-sex marriages and adoptions of children from other lands, they will continue to be redefined.

Fantastic. I'd like to think that as the lines blur more and more between the peoples of this world that it will make for a better place. That war will disappear because your aunt and cousins or your brother's family are no longer considered enemies because they come from another part of this world.

It bloody well gives me hope. This world is not as bad as those merchants of chaos lead us to believe.
So, love does make the world go 'round, we ARE all family and I for one, shall keep on believing in the bright side of life.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Ok Ok.....call the white coats.....but I really do think these are much better....redone faces on paintings 1 "Thursday's Child", 3 "Walkies"and 4 "Green Thumb"

Who's on First, What's on Second and I don't Know's on Third.

I think I mentioned that I take my paintings to bed with me before. I really do, but it's not as weird as it sounds. My bed is built into an alcove and as such, is enclosed by 3 walls. The wall at the foot of my bed has a picture hook in it where I hang my canvases to look at while I ready myself to sleep. That way, I can see how the painting is progressing and what needs changing or work out the color scheme I think will work best or just generally continue the artistic process. And my mind wanders as I "make up stories" about my painting. This seems to be especially true with the latest ones - "the Rita Series" and now the "Bathing Beauties". I think because the inspiration is from actual photos of young women now certainly long dead - I wonder about their lives and what they were doing that brought them to this particular studio to have this photo taken and how now, almost 150 years later, I'm using this image of them to create with. It's a strange feeling. Made me wonder if some image of myself or something I've created will be viewed by a future someone who will be inspired too. I read a science fiction book many years ago titled "Dream" (I think), which had an artist whose paintings "came alive"....now there's creating! The figures she painted would suddenly pass her by on the street...and being as she lived in New York, no one ever really realized that the strange "woman/lioness" or "man/eagle" was not..um..human. Anyway, what this little wondering lead me to was that in my readings of all and sundry, I know there is a Quantum Science experiment happening that is trying to make "anti-matter", the most powerful substance known and what is believed to have caused "The Big Bang" that started all this life-as-we-know-it. So, trying to be brief, if this is made then conceivably it would be used to create another "daughter" universe to ours......talk about playing god. Or maybe "we" are a "daughter" universe ourselves from some other beings experiment. Certainly that would be "in God's image", would it not?
The mind boggles when you envision the many universes we supposedly have (oh I love Quantum Physics!) strung out like beads on a necklace.
After all the whole process of "creating" does seem somewhat (forgive this ) "godlike" to people from my experience. And I've certainly heard folks say "it looks so real!" or feeling a strange life-like eminence about paintings or sculptures or what have you. It ties in with my belief about the early paintings in caves that were viewed as having the power of gods. Those Artists were imbuded with the power of creating the life around them.
Well, I don't claim to be anywhere as powerful as that. But I'd enjoy the experience of passing by one of my paintings "in the flesh" so to speak.
I wonder if they'd go for a coffee?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

First of the new series "Bathing Beauties"

Inspired by a collection of old french postcards.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Listen Up,EH!

While I paint in my studio, I have the radio on and my choice of listening pleasure is the CBC. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, for my "not Canuk" visitors. What a fantastic station this is! I've listened to a plethora of subjects from science and intellectual debate to comedy and dramatic plays. And late into the night the rest of the world is invited to share what's going on in their countries. Last weekend I had an eye opener on the state of our Oceans to stories by the greatest raconteur ever - Stuart McLean. DNTO brought me new music and thoughtful humor and I get to find out what's up in the world of new technology on SPARK. I hear interviews with great inspiring Canadians, young and old. I get to go to Quebec and be immersed in our "exotic" counter culture ( and practice my feeble french) I hear one of the best multi-subject "talk shows" ever - Q. I am enthralled by the history of music that shaped our world. I get Jazz, I get Classical, I get old Rock and Roll, I get Contemporary, I get everything!


My point being; what or where else can you get such a banquet of ear treats? We should be standing up and yelling our pride in what is one of the finest examples of everything Canadian, everything that makes this country so wonderful. (yeah, I'm proud to be Canuk!)
The CBC should be classified as a National Treasure - instead of having to fight cut-backs and loss of funding. Not to mention, that in a country as huge and sprawled out as ours is, this is sometimes the only way we have of knowing what's going on in the rest of Canada. Certainly the opportunity to travel in person to the many varied places this country has is, well, problematical for the vast majority of us but CBC brings it all right to your door.
So, CBC, this is my shout out to you. Thanks for 40+ years of great radio. You've followed along with me wherever I've gone. You are the background sound to the play of my life so far.
And, boy, it's been swell.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Time For Moving On....

"Green Thumb" Rita Series #4

This is the last one of my Rita Series. I feel it's time to delve into a new series that I've been thinking of and I'm not feeling that overwhelming desire to keep this one going. Interesting how in the flick of a paintbrush all can change. I was certain that I would be painting "Ritas" for a long time .....huh. Perhaps the "demons' have been laid to rest; I did have an poignant moment during this last one with missing Mom and realizing that she truly was gone. Few tears and regrets....

Ah yes.

Anyway, I have found a whole bunch of old 1920's photos of "Bathing Beauties" that have me interested - all mostly posed in the Photographer's studio and very "saucy" allowing for the morals of the day. It's the looks on their faces that I hope to capture.....now that I feel I've worked out painting faces with these ones (witness the 20 odd attempts with "Thursday's Child") And as well, I admit to thinking that these Bathing Beauties will be more popular out here on the coast......yep, we are commercially motivated like everyone.
SO! Looking forward to waking up with the focused desire that a new subject brings!
There's the secret to life - always having a new goal to excite you, motivate you and give you the excuse to buy more canvases!!

Monday, September 7, 2009


I'm thinking tonight about Inspiration. The actual "what is it" of the whole magical process inspiration seems to be. I'm really fascinated by how you can be turned on, so to speak, by the strangest thing or smallest hint or fleeting moment that leads you into an amazing process of creating. I guess this is sparked by the newest painting series inspired by the old photos of my mom I have been working on. For myself, inspiration has always been visual but I do admit that I've known some very inspirational folks too. That's more of a "if they can achieve that despite or look at what they achieved" thing.
It's a hard "thing" to pin down. I'm not even sure I can elucidate what it is I'm trying to say about inspiration. My dictionary describes it as "a supposed force or influence" ...italics are mine. Even the Oxford Dictionary doesn't know what to say. I have sketch books going back almost 20 years full of "inspirations". All I know is that right now I feel swallowed by this. The latest painting is actually making me weep with missing my mother for heaven sake! She's been gone 25 years!
But it's so wonderful to be feeling this way! I found myself wishing I could magic up a sponsor/patron that would just make it easy to ride this series for as long as it takes. Unfortunately I have to pay the bills/eat so I will have to take on "other" paying projects and I'm so scared that my inspiration will fade away.
Where are the Medicis when you need them.

4 U 2 Red. I Spek Enlis.

Boy I just know I'm going to sound just like my parents with this topic...how the hell did I get here so fast.....
Anyway, I see more and more replies to posts written in "text-ese" lately. And it makes me wonder if in, say, another 50 years that the written word will become obsolete. Sort of like what Shakespeare or Chaucer sounds and looks to us today. I read a book many years ago by the writer Ridley Walker where he envisioned some future post apocalyptic world where dogs could speak and when they spoke in the book, he wrote in this kind of "phonetic garble" and when I see text messaging it really reminds me of that book. ( yet another science fiction book eerily coming to life) It's a bit disconcerting to think how we will be reduced to communicating in a half symbol/written shorthand. Mind you if our world is becoming smaller due to Internet connectiblity...perhaps this is the way we will need to talk. Many (and I mean many) long years ago my mom learned to speak "Esperanto" which was a constructed international auxiliary language invented by L. L. Zamenhof ( look this up in Wikipedia for the whole quite interesting story)
My point being is that I'm sad to think most of the glorious languages that inhabit our world will become an esoteric study someday, like Latin. Are we becoming lazy with language? Is this a reflection on the growing illiteracy rate? Does anyone use a dictionary anymore? I know it's a struggle to find a decent dictionary in bookstores......and that seems astoundingly ironic. I know for sure spelling is becoming increasingly poorer.
I don't know; maybe we will just morph into "mind melding" with everyone. It'll all be pictures.
Ha! Another reason Artists are so needed!
We will be the fun guys to "talk" to!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Persistance + Perfectionism = Pain In The Ass

Well....what needs to be obviously pointed out here? Face attempt # oh god 20 or so(?) by now.....sigh.

Save me from myself.