Wednesday, October 31, 2012


This is what I'll be sporting today when I go into town to shop at the CoOp and, yes, I made it. 
I LOVE Halloween. I'm very sad that I can't go out and hit up the neighbourhood any more but I tell you, when those grandkids eventually get here (and what's life without hope) LOOKOUT! 
I often think that I would have been very happy in a career in the Special Effects sector of the movies. Or making muppets. Yep, that'd been frelling awesome. 
But there ya go - woulda, shoulda, coulda. 
For many years I volunteered myself as the decorator of the local town hall Halloween Decorator.....which was a HUGE undertaking. I ended it after turning the hall into Hogwarts from Harry Potter along with Diagon Alley and Platform 9 3/4 and, the biggest feat, the Cave of Secrets.
 That creation just about did me in. 
So tonight after my trolling (oh, pun so intended) around town, I'll be ensconced in front of the DVD player for a Marathon of Halloween movies, including my fav - the Nightmare Before Christmas. 
I'd have liked to work for Tim Burton too.
Better than that - I'd like to BE him! 
Trick or Treat!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Huh? Wha'?

I spend a lot of my time in what you might say is ignorant bliss. 
I'm pretty much painting away the day and what goes on out in the big outside world generally passes me on by. 
Now, I'm not totally without a cognizant reality check - I listen to CBC, Canada's awesome radio station, and that pretty much clues me in to the shenanigans and jaw-cracking inhuman activities that go on out there. And the good stuff too, may I add.
But that's on the weekends - best radio programs on then!
Ok, all that aside, I'm most generally tuned into talking books and some good jazz. And I have mentioned a few times that out here in the boonies of the little remote place I live, I don't have TV reception - that suits me just fine too. After the month in Victoria where I was 'hooked up', I found out again just why I don't miss or even need it. I mean "Honey Boo-Boo", "Storage Wars" ? ? ? I rest my case.
Fine. Cool. Understood.
But every once in a while I get brought up short by something that proves just how out-of-touch I am.
Such is the case when I tapped into my Facebook page this morning and found out from all the excited posts, that there had been a huge earthquake up in Haida Gwaii (7.7!) and a resulting Tsunami warning with evacuation last night. 
I was painting. TOTALLY unaware. 
A couple of things come to mind with this. 
Firstly that perhaps me living out of town and so removed from warning systems is problematic. 
And two: am I actually going to clue in to the fact a major event is taking place just as the water is sweeping in the door to wash me away?
(May I add that I have a large Survival Tote in place in the van with food, clothing, gear etc. I am not that ignorant)
Anyheadinthesandasusualway, what is the answer to this crazy situation?
Darned if I know......I think I'll keep painting until it comes to me.

The pic: Good old Calvin and Hobbes by the awesome Bill Waterson. Pure genius. Don't forget you can click on the image and it will enlarge.
Grab a cup and read the comics!

Saturday, October 20, 2012


I'm going to dive into a topic that is.....well, difficult. It's difficult because I have to admit to an ugly side of myself. 
But, then again, I think it's a side we all share. 
I would suppose that most of you have heard about the young girl, Amanda Todd, who was a victim of bullying and took her own life last week. Her story has galvanized the world right now - and the spotlight is shining on the toxic behaviour of bullying. And just how tragic the result can be.
I'd like to speak about my own experience with this. 
Let me start by saying I'm often amazed by the saccharine espousal of many about the innocence and loveliness of childhood. Perhaps I'm coloured by my own rather bleak time back there but mostly I remember the horrific terrorizing we kids perpetrated upon each other. Boys would pulverize each other with more blood than a chain saw horror flick; girls would whip each other with their skipping ropes to the point of raising welts. Jeezus, we were Lord of the Flies personified.
Here's where my dark confession comes out. I was a part of the systematic bullying of a young girl back in Grade 4. For some inexplicable reason 'Betty' was singled out by the class for taunts and name calling....brutal kid crap that tears apart anyone who has been in that particular hell. What was it about this girl that made her such a target? Who knows......the victims of abuse are picked for the most obscure of reasons. But I was swept up in the complicit condoning of picking on her. I knew it was wrong. But I also remember being immeasurably relieved it wasn't me as the target. 
I often recall her breaking down in class one day when the taunts just became too much. 
And the shame I felt. 
But I never spoke up. 
I think this is the scariest part of this ugly behaviour - that so many are afraid to speak out. We are afraid to become the target ourselves. 
And I did become a target. 
In High School - Grade 9 if memory serves, I became the unwanted focus of a boyfriend that was very angry when I broke up with him. I ended our 'relationship' (and that's in quotes because who the hell has a relationship at 14) because he was physically abusing me - oh, the feeling of cringing shame to admit that I allowed him to take me into dark garages and even one time, the crawlspace of a local corner store so that he could screw me. His way of punishing me for finally refusing him was to line up his buddies beside the door I walked out of to head home after school. When I emerged through those doors, they began to cat call and taunt me with the cries and hisses of "Slut, hair pie, ugly bitch" as I walked by. 
I will never forget the absolute horror I felt walking those steps. The mind numbing, blood draining, horror as I knew everyone was watching and listening. 
For the next 3 months I would hide after school in whatever place I could find until 5 o'clock - making absolutely sure no one was around before I started out for home.
There was nobody I could turn to - girls were judged VERY harshly for that kind of behaviour back then in the late 60's and no other girl wanted to be associated with me. I became the pariah. I recall being abjectly lonely for a long time. 
Is there a point to my story? I'm not sure what I can say - I think that sometimes it just feels so hopeless to know this base brutality still goes on - I mean Gr. 9 was 45 years ago for crying out loud! And Gr. 4 was even longer than that...! But bullying still goes on. Is it a part of our ugly human side to pick on others? The saddest thing to realize in all this is people who bully are victims of bullying themselves. 
I live in hope that we can be better.

The painting: "The Bully" by Willem Van Mieris, 1638. There you go, we've been acting dishonourably for quite some time apparently.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Coo-EE! Here I am!

Did you wonder? Or was it just another blogger gone south as far as you could see......well, I have to admit that my 'bloggy blab' has dried up of late and I was pretty much feeling a real disconnect with the whole thing. After a while it just becomes onerous to have to think of something new and hopefully interesting to post about. I mean, even with a mind as twisty and a life as bizarro as mine often seems, even I run out of things to say.
And thank all the powers that is so, right? (*snort*)
However, you can count on one constant behaviour > I will always be painting something. 
So here it is....the newest one. If you recall, I've been trying to incorporate a 'beachy' type of theme into my paintings, in the hope of engendering some west coast kind of feel and, more truthfully, some sales. 
We shall see. 
Title: FETCH - Acrylic 36 X 42 

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Fool On The Hill and Everywhere Else...

Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you’re going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you’re crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.
Oh, yeah, we're cool. Hanging on to Dignity by a slim thread. 
I did this the other day - well, truthfully, I was completely lost in my world of I-haven't-a-clue-where-I'm-going and was walking around like this for the better part of an hour - no, seriously. I even had a map. Sadder still. Then, to top it off with a cherry of subtle nut-job, I asked a store owner the street I needed. Except it was the wrong street. By the time my are-you-sure-you-have-one brain got that detail figured out and reversed direction to go back to whence we started; I had to walk by that store owner again, by the way; almost an hour had gone by. 
It defies belief that I have lived this long.
Anywhatagoofway, all this had me musing on crazy behaviours we do when we are feeling foolish. 
You know you do them. That strange action that supposedly proves you actually meant what you were doing or have a great reason why you were doing it. 
I think it might be better just to laugh uproariously and carry on. I have to add that I'm getting pretty used to Dignity leaving me faster than fleas from a  washed dog. Witness my sitting in a 'farting' chair at the local Arts Society meeting. I'm the President. Supposedly occupying a position of note. Chairing (oh the irony!) the monthly meeting. Meanwhile the chair I'm in has one of those unfortunate cushions that emit embarrassing sounds whenever you move. Basically I lost it and collapsed in one of those 'laughing-so-hard-I'm-in-danger-of-doing-something-else-even-more-embarrassing' moments. I don't think anyone else was as amused as I. 
What the hey-ho. Might as well laugh.
And perhaps choose another chair.
The illustration is an vintage Postcard from 1910 about April Fool's Day. I happen to love that she has this come-hither smile while carrying a dead fish.