Friday, 31 July 2009

Teen in Sheeps Clothing

Here's my latest in progress.

People ask why I'd spend so much time on a picture then add the details that I will eventually add to turn it into the bizzare. With each work I hope to capture the personality of the individual. In this situation this particular teen is embarrased to give her mother a kiss or hug goodbye at the bus stop, but has no problem walking around the front yard with Lambs Ear leaves [Stachys byzantina] stuck to her head. That's a teen for you.

Monday, 27 July 2009

"Wild Thing" Complete

"Wild Thing"
Coloured Pencil on White Stonehenge
I need to work. I dropped the kids off at art class and found myself jealous that they are in the class instead of me. Well, maybe jealous isn't the correct term. I'm excited for them and felt that gnawing energy in the pit of my self waiting to explode out if I didn't do something artistic.
I used to envy people their passion for whatever it was they were passionate about. Some work, some a hobby, some a type of volunteer work that they do. I never understood that kind of dedication to something, previously.
In the Bible it states that we have all been given a gift. Even from a very early age I questioned what this gift might be. Is having no discernable gift a gift?
There's always one in every group. You know, the kid that is good at every single thing they put their hands on. My Three of Four is like that. She has many gifts. She also lacks the passion necessary to foster a serious growth in the many areas that she's giften in. I pray for her she finds that passion for something.
I think that I've always had a passion for art, but was too obtuse to know this was indeed my passion. I suppose that I always believed you had to be naturally very good at whatever your passion might be. Hello! I didn't even think that maybe you have to start off bad to get good. You improve due to your passion for that activity.
It starts as a twinge. Perhaps triggered by a song, mood, story, other artworks done by someone else. It quickly turns to an eagerness to get my hands on something to create with. It expands into my whole core. A fidgity energy spreading through my limbs. I feel frustrated and like I might explode into a million bits if I don't create .... something.
Of late my garden is beautiful. This is where my creative energy has exploded to. I haven't had time to dedicate to creating on paper. Also perhaps my confidence is waning as it does from time to time. Even with something we're passionate about we need affirmation that what we are doing is good. This is where I usually take an art class or workshop to assist me in getting over my blocks. There are none in the immediate future. They start in the fall.
Serena does a drawing a day. Perhaps this is a good way for me to start since I don't see any naked people walking around my neighborhood waiting to be drawn. I'll have to wait for that until the fall expressive drawing classes at the art school. Unless of of you wants to volunteer;-)

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Oh happy time! The gloriously hot full rays of the sun came out today. It was the best 20 minutes of July. Wonder when we'll see it again.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

I Want Heat--A Corny Poem

Oh summer sun where have you been?
I see you not today
Your warming rays and smiling face
They seems so far away
My kids are stuck inside my home
The rain continually falls
I want them to go out to roam
Not wreak havoc in my halls
When will the weather turn hot
Like most summers in the past
One where I'm parched and sweat alot
And dehydrate real fast
Ah yes, I miss those good 'ole days
When I could sit and complain
Of those scorching burning rays
Leaving me red with pain
Please return blissful heat and sun
We want you THIS July
Summer will soon be done
How fast summer time does fly.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

City Dog

Hunter is a city dog. He is not a country dog. He is not a hunting dog. Hunter IS a city dog. He likes his creature comforts.

We drove along the gravel roads with fields of long grass and wildflowers swaying in the wind. The scent of sun kissed flowers permeated the air. Wildlife, farm animals, birds and butterflies dotted the landscape. It was lovely.

We were headed up to our extended family's estate, to visit with family who were staying there from out of town. I could feel the stress of city driving melting away as I drove past waving farmers sitting atop tall farm equipment. This is a calm, friendly, slow paced place. I would enjoy two days of this bliss. Someone else would not.

"Come Hunter!" I bellowed after trying to have him exit the vehicle for approx. 5 minutes. You see, this place smelled familiar to him. He'd been here before. He hated it then as much as he was hating it now. The country!

We pushed, pulled, begged, cajoled and finally he begrudgingly left the car. He was not a happy dog.

As if he was an expected guest, the deer flies automatically attached themselves to his face. Then the wasps joined the party and a few mosquitos just because they could. They weren't bothering the people one single bit. They only had eyes for Mr. Hunter.

Each time during the two days I walked within 20 feet of my vehicle there would be a dancing black lab excitedly waiting at the car door. Hoping, pleading with his eyes to bring him back to his happy place in the city. When I turned away he'd then slowly drag himself back to one of the cottages where he could hide away from the bugs. Although he could get away from them there, he still didn't like it. It didn't have a Starbucks where he could go for a pastry snack on a walk. It didn't have other dog friends to play with and romp around the fields in a carefree way. But most of didn't have his bed.

Today we're home. Back in the city. He's had his snacks, walks, met his friends. He's back in his bed. His happy place. Back in the city.

Friday, 17 July 2009

I had a race on the way to art school yesterday in front of Parliament Hill on one of our busiest streets during rush hour. It was against a horse towing a buggy. He won. Big cheater didn't always stop for red lights. When he did stop, he'd start ahead of the light turning green. No matter how hard the driver tried he couldn't keep him still.

The kids don't want their classes to end. I think the instructors probably will be happy for the weekend to come. Some of the kids are definitely a handful and I wonder what their parents do with them when they are at home. I'm surprised that one particular child hasn't managed to accidentally kill herself yet.

This afternoon is the big "art show" for the kids. There's great excitement when all of their work is unveilled. One of the fathers told me the other day his daughter wouldn't let him enter the class when it was time to pick her up for fear of him seeing her work before the official showing today. She's 6 or 7.

I've just finished a painting called "Wild Thing." This is a miracle considering there has been very little time for art since the kids have been off school. At least for me to do art. They haven't stopped.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

We've been swimming in birthday's here of late. As for myself I've just recently turned the big "40" .... again. I recommend trying it more than once. It's much better and less shocking the second time around.

I was looking around the downtown core of our city today thinking that I'm not is such bad shape for someone my age. At least when I'm not falling off my bike I'm healthier than many. I just might make it up to 100 after all.

My Grandmother always wore her age like a badge of honour. Often revealing it to those she'd come across knowing that she'd leave them awestruck. She always did look a good 10 to 15 years younger than she was. She seemed to stop counting in her 90's. Not because she was no longer proud, but because she hasn't got a clue how old she is now. I'm hoping my brain ages better than hers.

Her mom lived to 102 and was as sharp as anything. Cheated in cards too! You've gotta watch those little old ladies! They're sneaky!

I look forward to next years 40th birthday. They aren't so bad once you get the hang of it!

Thursday, 9 July 2009


VE over at VE's Fantastical Nonsense was posting about ghosts today. It reminded me of one of the many of our family's own ghost stories. It goes as follows:

It was bed time and as I tucked in One of Four I had an uneasy feeling. There was was a corner in the room where at ceiling above her bed that just seemed.....darker than the rest of the room. I had the strong urge to get her out of the room and not allow her to sleep in there that night. There was a dark uneasiness about the corner and instinctively I wanted to grab her away from it.

I've heard peoples stories. I'm a rational individual. I get a giggle when people tell me about their UFO sightings, ghosts and ghouls. I convinced myself that I was being silly and left her to spend the night with the darkness in the corner. I then tucked myself in and drifted off to sleep without giving it another thought.

About 4am I heard footsteps to the bathroom. Being a light sleeper because one of the other children in the house is a sleepwalker often found using drawers or chairs as the toilet, I awaited their return to bed before settling again to make sure all was alright. A few minutes after One of Four had returned to bed I found her back up standing at my bedside.

"Mom?" she asked with a slightly alarmed voice.
"Something rubbed my face."
"What?" I asked
"Something rubbed against my cheek" she replied.
"Honey, you were dreaming."
"Nooooo! I was awake. I went to the bathroom and when I got back into bed something came up to me and rubbed my cheek. I didn't see anyone so I came in here." she said excitedly.

She slept with us the rest of the night.

A few days after that she described seeing a disembodied head floating in the darkened furnace room of the basement. The head had a white ponytail. It was indeed translucent with bright blue eyes. She wasn't afraid of it and wanted to show me.

"Ummm.....let's just hang out upstairs for a while. I've got sooo much to do! It's 4pm and I have to get supper started." I suggested
"But mom....I want to show you the head!" Oh boy! I was spooked. Had the rubbing the face think had not just happened I would have in a second.
"Naaah! I think I need to stay up here right now. Don't worry about the head. You just have a fabulous imagination honey. It was just a reflection from the window. The neighbour must have walked by then." I said this knowing we had no white haired neighbour and there was nothing to reflect anything where she saw said spook.

A couple of days later I was standing in the hallway in front of her bedroom. I felt the hairs on my arms stand at attention. I instinctively looked up. There from one end of the hall racing to the other I saw the same darkness. I heard nothing. As it passed overhead I felt an urgency. Whatever it was was in a great hurry to get to it's destination. I felt a sense of annoyance at being rushed coming from overhead. It was 4pm and it was late! I knew these were things that I wasn't feeling myself but where radiating from above. The darkness never returned. (knock on wood;-)

A few days later when pondering the whole thing I got to thinking that the old lady across the street had passed away about a month prior to all of this. She had had cancer and her son had cared for her and his father as they both lived their last days and died in that house. We never spoke. Her son was a bully in middle school in my class and had changed very little in all of these years. I don't think he recognised me when they moved into our neighbourhood and I didn't help him remember. They were a very anti-social family and kept pretty much to themselves.

I would find his white haired mother with bright blue eyes and a ponytail often standing in her yard staring across at us when we played in the front yard with the kids. I'd offer a wave never to get one in return. She never wavered in her stare and stood watching us for the entire time we would remain outside. She had no grand children of her own to my knowledge.

I don't know. Maybe she just had wanted grand children of her own. If it was her

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Mr. Hunter's Happy Places

Look at this poor little face. He has one less happy place tonight. Actually two.
Mr. Hunter got Kennel cough this past Spring at the "dog park" and the vet told us never ever, ever, ever, EVER to go back there again as long as we live! Dog parks are what keep vets in business. We've not been back since.
He stopped at White Mocha's house for his manditory treat and guess what....a hideous black fanged creature has moved in. Blah! He looked quite frightened by this new member of the household and refused to step past the entranceway and ate his snack with some trepidation. The black fanged creature was just as horrified by his presence and hissed a warning.
Oh well, he still has "Cheese Slice Bob" next door and "Scooter Vivian" with dog treats in her basket. He managed to find an inground pool at the home of "Bandit," one of his dog friends and went for a swim yesterday. He was a bit alarmed when he realized he couldn't climb out, but Mr. P. yanked him out by the collar and he enjoyed his swim. He's a dog that knows all the best spots to hang in the neighbourhood. When he manages to accidentally get left out, I know all of the places that his stomach leads him.
P.S. He wants to know if anyone has any good recipes for cat meat?

Monday, 6 July 2009

Kurt makes some good comments that I'm going to reply to:

"I like a CFL for the one light we leave on when we're not at home, because it uses way less I hate to be that guy, but global warming causes "changes in the distribution and intensity of [weather] events," not warmer weather."

We've had CFL's melt in a socket and shoot sparks around when it blew. More than once. No, it wasn't a problem with our electrical system or sockets. The fire marshall told us that they are looking into the safety of these bulbs as they have had many complaints about problems with these bulbs such as these. I won't leave them on when we go out. At least not indoors.

As for the changes and intensity of weather events. Haaaaa! That's might be the argument but I think in past millenia the weather patterns have been a lot more unstable than they are today. I would imagine today things are fairly quiet compaired to long ago.

As a kid I listened to the CONSTANT warnings from scientists, including David Suzuki who were predicting global cooling and the next ice age. The fear mongering was good for a time to pad his pocket and others like him. Once that fear wasn't noticed they needed to find a new "cause" to panic the public with. Hence "Global Warming" which is now "Climate Change." Remember acid rain, ozone layer, etc.... they've got to find something to get us worked up about or they're out of jobs.

As Marilyn Mansen said in Bowling for Columbine, it's all about "Fear and Consumption."

Our government is at a loss to understand why the Canadian people aren't getting upset about the H1N1 (pig flu) virus. See though....we're starting to catch on. Few people are believing their dire warnings. They need us to feel panic about something. We aren't falling for this one. Sadly though, when a bad one does hit no one will believe them!

There are so many scientists who are actual climatologist (unlike Suzuki and Gore might I add) who disagree with the climate change argument. I'm with them.

Now why not do something about pollution. That something I would agree with.

P.S. I think Kurt might kinda like being "that guy";-)

I'm Cold

Global Warming my ass!

This time of year I should be dripping sweat and burnt to a crisp. Our summers are very humid and hot.....usually.

These past two years have been cool. Coat kinda cool. Today is Sunny and warmish with absolutely no humidity. It's one of the few sunny days we've had. Our high's for the week are better suited to our fall than summer. I fear that week of hot days a while back was the only summer we might get. They're calling for a cool, rainy July. Blah!

You know what really kills me is they try to blame our cool weather on global warming too. Get real people. Pollution is a problem. Carbon dioxide is not.

BTW, while I'm at it.....Edison was a genius. He had it right. Why change to a sub-standard product when a better, safer, cheaper one is available. Compact fluorescent lighting it terrible. As an artist there is no way I can work with one of those horrible lights. Our province leader Dalton McGuinty is a complete idiot. (And a really big liar, liar pants on fire...but that's not important here.) He will ban the sale of incandescent bulbs by 2012. Hopefully we'll get a chance to "ban" him before that. If not then I'm going to stock up on the good stuff. I can't wait for our MPP to come campagning at my door next time around. [insert sinister evil laugh here!]

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Happy Independence Day

July 4th

You lucky dogs you! If only Canada could shed the monarchy too! It's got me thinking about things that I like and don't like about being tied to Britain.

Things I don't like:

When the royals come to visit it gets charged to the Canadian people. I'd rather pay for a vacation for myself, not for her. She's got more money than anybody I know. Let her pay for the trips.

The Governor General. She's very expensive to keep. I can't think of a darn useful thing she does other than spend money and cause controversy.

We have to spell many words the British way. Colour, grey, omelette, pyjamas, cheque, etc.... (and here you thought I was just making spelling mistakes.) Being a "coloured pencil artist" does have some drawbacks.

Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles. Man, people don't get much more unattractive than that! Woof!

Things I like:

.....Anyhow.... Happy Independence Day America.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Canada Day In A Nutshell

Well now that Canada Day is over and the desparate quest to find a good Canada Day cookie has passed, I expect the Canadian traffic to this site will drastically slow. (Translation for non-Canadians: Canada Celebrated it's 142nd birthday on July 1st.)

We spent part of the day on the hill wading through a sea of red and white. (Translation: We went to Parliament Hill which is in Canada's capital, not Toronto! Every one was dressed in Canadian Flag colours which adorned maple leaves.)

Despite the threat of rain the crowd seemed to be even larger than last years. Well, except for on the hill itself. It seemed quiet compared to the rest of the core. The GG was speaking and then they had some music. (Translation for non-Canadians: An immigrant from Haiti who had duel citizenship from France and Canada gave up the French citizenship when there was an uproar when she was appointed the Queen's representative in Canada. At one time she and her husband were believed to have interests in the separation of Quebec from Canada. Although she seems like a lovely person, her speech was quite boring. The better musicians play later in the day and the music mid-day sucked so every body went shopping in the market area instead.

Sarah McLauchlin was singing later in the day and adorned her anti-seal hunt t-shirt. I wonder if this was for the GG's sake. If so then get a life Sarah. Like everything else, if the numbers aren't culled then problems arise. They aren't hunted in an inhumane way anymore and there are people who use them for food as they have for generations. (Translation: Michaelle Jean, the Govenor General, ate raw seal not so long ago on a visit up north. This caused an uproar and who friggin' cares!)

We went to see the fireworks at 10pm. We watched it from the Champlain bridge, not wanting to go downtown as the numbers of revellers triples by evening. The kids enjoyed it but it seemed less spectacular this year then last. All in all it was a fun day. (Translation: Big Booms, lots of people, but less miles away. Lots of fun.)