Friday, October 29, 2010

Hallowe'en Masks

I haven't been producing much of import in my studio lately so thought for the next few days I would share with you some Hallowe'en 'art'.

Part of the fun of Hallowe'en when I was a youngster was producing a paper bag mask.  Since groceries were carried in string or paper bags .... had plastic been invented?.....we had plenty of those. 

I had a friend, who had never ever painted or coloured such a bag do up these works of art.  Can't imagine anyone from my era not having painted a paper bag mask. 

These creations could become quite elaborate with string glued on for hair, cutout construction paper appliques....whatever one could contrive and gather.

These 'masterpieces' are also used on my other blog where I visit Hallowe'ens of the past:- turningpointsandidentities

Thursday, October 28, 2010

No Artwork Today - Just Glorious Sunsets

I will admit I have been feeling somewhat despondent. Not a ‘Woe is me” … and, so sorry if that is what I conveyed. Once I digested my health information and started getting downright annoyed I decided, as Jerry suggested, “this man doesn’t know me”, nor does he know what I am capable of!

And of course I should never have played Vivaldi’s Cello – a recent gift. Just a wee bit too somber!.. However I just had to listen to Yo-Yo Ma playing on a 1712 Stradivarius cello using a Baroque bow. Ask me if being in such masterful presence didn’t leave me feeling more than somewhat insignificant. I should have opted for a ‘Stomping Tom Connors”.

So I packed my bags and headed for my cousins. I really don’t know how such a small body contains the heart of this woman. She greets each day as a new day, full of spirit and anticipation of what the day might hold. Her generosity is bottomless giving freely of all material goods she may have as well as all her attention and love. When I am physically ill she arrives with her potions, lotions, vitamins, special teas, rubs and lots of TLC. She knows who I am and what I am feeling without speaking; she asks for nothing and accepts each roadblock as a challenge. We can talk, walk, laugh, cry and be silent together. Just to be with her and share the person she ‘is’ was all the ‘tonic’ I needed. .

So time to ‘pull up my socks’ with new determination and get on with the art of living!

Thank you for the encouraging words from all who commented. I really didn’t mean to sound so bleak!  Your words were so appreciated and will I am certain help me to stay the course!

No art work here today, just a couple photographs, while I work away at my next few blogs ….all about Hallowe’en … and take another look at this ‘humongous’ (sp) canvas weighing over me. This canvas had me feeling like the ancient mariner with an albatrose ‘round my neck – my own doing of course; it is a very large canvas …. But it is not a roadblock!

I truly am blessed in more ways than I can list. Friends and family and love. Blessed with a passion for art. There is no ‘leaking’ roof over my head, I have more than ample food on my table….I still have my mobility and my sight! Just need to fine tune the ‘heart’ a bit! Really, when I sum up where I have been, what I have been fortunate enough to experience …. I am indeed one of the luckiest people today!  And blessed to be able to view sunsets such as these from by balcony and from a Kawartha lakeside shore.

Sorry, not much of a blog today; will hopefully do better tomorrow.

Thanks to you who read and comment. So appreciate hearing from you.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Day to Wander

No artwork today…just a day blowing off steam!

Several issues have cropped up in the past few days which have left me in an ill frame of mind! According to the medical specialist I saw yesterday whether or not I have a ‘mind’ or anything else in the future is questionable. His prognosis was indeed not positive and has left me quite angry. After a sleepless night turning over his words I’ve decided to accept his prognosis as extreme and alarmist. Will stick to my general practioner’s verdict and do my damnedest to think positive.

So that’s that.  A second incident occurred which is indeed most troubling. I received a credit card in the mail. Not a fake card with a made up 1,2,3 number. A complete card with actual assigned number, expiry date …. The works. I did not apply for such a card, would not even consider such a card. Why would I want to pay 29.5% to some company for using their card? I recently had my wallet stolen while in the local library; luckily I had little in the wallet; only a bank card which I immediately cancelled. In this day of identity theft the receipt of this credit card has left me with a very deep feeling of dread.

What else may turn up in my name without my authorization? Somehow or other 'my person' feels violated!

Another recent occurrence has also set me on edge. In Canada one has the option to invest sums into a Registered Retirement Plan; money to be held until retirement. This helps reduce income tax by about 30% for the year of contribution.  I took out such a plan, simply because I was earning very high dollars at the time and it was an opportunity to save and reduce taxes.

At a certain age the government insists the plan be converted to a RIF – in a RIF you are required to withdraw monthly sums; with the government getting their belated taxes back at the rate of 10% at withdrawal; and additional tax when filing tax returns based on the total withdrawals for the year.

Okay, fine, I know I have to pay the income tax. But now, the banking institution has levied a service fee of $56.50 for withdrawals that are not included in the monthly withdrawals. So, if you wanted to withdraw an additional, say $100. $10 would be withheld for income tax, the bank would keep their $56.50 and you would have the whopping sum of $33.50!

The bank fees really upset me. The money earned by financial instutions is mind boggling – and they need more! My 92 year old mother is right! I didn’t believe her but I do today. Her philosophy – for all the interest you will earn on a bank account; you will ultimately relinquish in some way either to the government or the institution. How absolutely right she is … think I will adopt her institution  “hide well in a safety deposit box!”.  Or do as another senior I know who 'stuffs in a sock".

Haven’t quite blown off enough steam to approach the artwork in my studio. I think this will be a good day to walk the trails and hopefully my walk will discover remnants of a time when 29.5% interest rates did not exist and 'banks' could, sort of, be trusted to be on your side; and noone wanted to steal your identity, they were busy enough establishing their own!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Art and Missed Opportunites

Do you ever have days when you know you should have, could have and didn’t and missed a golden opportunity.

Yesterday was such a day. The city was banked in fog and as I drove along I constantly saw pictures ready for the taking. Still some blazing trees softened and glowing in the foggy atmosphere. Corn stalks waiting in the fields dripping wet with a special colour only seen when wet, great burnt umber brown fields! The sky was a rich opalescence through the foggy mist dripping with hints of pale yellows, oranges and blues; a truly wonderful pearly shimmer!

No, I passed by. On my way to my son’s – the colours and fog will be just the same on his land I thought. To be honest, I was looking for easier fields to photograph, I wouldn’t have to reduce my speed (which I so love) and stop, constantly in and out of the car to snap the photos. Easier to take the pictures at his house. He lives on the river surely all will be the same.

The fog had dissipated by the time I reached his house and most of the trees had shed their leaves. So Missed! A terrific photo opportunity because I was looking for ‘greener’ fields as it were; a more convenient way to take photos.

My grandson and I wandered to the back of their property to snap pictures anyway, I snapped several and then passed the camera to him as he was right down the bank on the river’s edge. He had spotted a muskrat den and want to record on film. All done he passed the camera back, I missed the pass and the camera wound up in the water.  So again today.  The lower city is shrouded in a bank of  fog and I have no camera.  Looks like I'll miss the opportunity again today!

A hard lesson learned! There is no easier way, no convenient way, to produce a work of art whether on canvas, paper, metal or film. If we miss that magical moment of creation it is lost forever. So, to the easel today – don’t want to miss this moment. Oh yes, and have to shop for another camera, no hope for this one.

The painting included here was an opportunity I didn't miss.  Walking through a local conservation area I was taken with the special bronze of leaves remaining on the giant oak trees.  I snapped and produced this painting from a photograph.  I experimented with a 'bronze' colour oil paint and the painting is quite interesting with direct light, the leaves really do glisten bronze!

I'm off for doctor's appointments this morning and running short of time.  Will not be able to post on my other blog.  Have a great artistic day and ‘grasp the moment’ with enthusiasm.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pinting en Plein Aire

I have three unfinished canvases floating around my ‘studio’ – spare bedroom. One I’ve shown here already, the glowing aspen – and it’s still on my easel; I’m waiting for the paint fairy to come in overnight and finish it for me!

A second one I include here today. I painted this one en plein aire while vacationing on an island in Georgian Bay. I hauled all my equipment over rocks and roots and trees. Siddled down the side of a steep incline and perched on the edge of a straight and steep rock outcrop high above the edge of the water to paint this! I have never been successful painting out doors but am so determined to become competent at this approach to painting. For me, photographs never adequately capture the spirit of the scene, they cannot seem to translate the living breath of the landscape one wishes to paint.

I’ve been looking at the work of other plein aire artists. They describe very adequately what they are doing and make it look so simple and they do it ‘simply’ and with confidence. I’ve even attended a week long workshop painting plein aire for six days!. The instructor went away with seven … count them… wonderful canvases. I went away with seven discards!

I read and absorb, make notes to myself on ‘how to paint plein aire’. Ultimately when I arrive on site all is forgotten and I am fighting to capture a moment. Having written this I think I’ve just identified my problem with plein aire…I’m fighting my abilities and painting my fears.

When I am in the sand dunes with the wind blowing, the grasses swaying and the waves rolling I feel a part of the landscape. My very being is consumed with the scene. I do not think of colours, paints, time or place…..just the vision I see and feel. Perhaps that is the first note I need to put on the top of my paint box when painting other than in the dunes …. Relax and enjoy the feeling of the moment and approach with confidence.

My second attempt is another plein aire of a golden autumn.

Maybe someday the two aspen kicking about will become paintings I can say are ‘not too bad’. Looking rather dim right now though; I think they both will wind up discards!

Visit my other blog for the continuing saga of survival in a Northern Ontario town: -turningpointsandidentities

Friday, October 22, 2010

Work In Progess - Reworking Canvas

Well here I am. A work in progress! Now that doesn’t sound right does it? I suppose I am a work in progress …. however I present here my painting in progress

This is the canvas of golden aspen I have decided to re-attack! And it is indeed a work in progress. Now there are many styles of painting as I am certain you readers are aware. Well, I’m inventing a new one here….it’s called ‘progressive painting’. A bit here, a bit there! Sort of a like a progressive dinner…appetizers at one home, main course at another etc. Remember those. Then you arrived home and finally cooked a full meal!

Sorry, I digress.

I may have bitten off more than I can chew with this canvas. It’s 40” x 36” and although I am trying to use the largest brushes I have I am finding it ‘Large’!

Also, painting basics dictate I should be painting the background first…then foreground. I am finding with this one I must paint the middle ground first….the evergreen forest area is where my darks are concentrated and perhaps if I resolve this area the rest will follow smoothly. We shall see.

Anyway here is progress of a sort. Hopefully more to show you tomorrow.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Artistic Foundations

I was reading a blog today posted by artist Bruce Sherman and I would recommend his post to anyone struggling with their artistic journey and to anyone needing a 'refresher course' in Art 101 through to 401's!  Having been away from the production of art for twenty-five years, I need all the refreshers I can get!

Although I have an art degree and have been trained in all the basics of fine art; I am struggling, not knowing where I am going with my art work. The vision, the spirit is always present but the translation lately has left much to be desired.

In his post, Bruce talks about laying the foundations. Looking at the elements of structure … whether line or blocks of interest and colour. I won’t repeat his post as that would indeed be shameful of me. But I do want to say his blog has prompted me to look at my artistic ‘foundations’.

Totally lacking! I’ve become lazy and ignored what I know to be the basic building blocks of a good piece of art work. Capturing the essence of the vision is not just slapping on paint and hoping for the best; although I guess some artists have achieved great canvases this way. It hasn’t worked for me. I am attaching a few sketches done when I actually paid attention to structure and form and movement….and this is where I need to return.

Thanks to the post, I hope I can make a return to applying the basics in my translations and will be spending much more time thinking and planning  what I am doing rather than just 'blundering' through.

The daisies were captured in a matter of minutes; freshly picked from the field and just a sketch but I feel one with a little 'life'!
When I sketched this weeping willow I was taken by the mass of the tree and how it seemed to be segmented into different parts and the way it floated on the wind; I tried to capture the essence of the tree in the space it occupied . I spent the time and looked and tried to 'compose' the sketch.   Just a sketch ... more lively that anything of late.

Another approach I used a decades ago and abandoned, was using a 'block' approach.  Breaking the subject into flat planes and proceeding from there.  I had forgotten all about this until I read the blog mentioned here.

I have also posted today on my other blog; seems to be a time for remebrance.  Remembering art skills and youthful journey in Northern Ontario.:-turningpointsandidentities

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Frosted Windowpane

I’ve always been fascinated with the frost patterns and when I saw this on my cousin’s storm door two winters ago, I just had to try and capture it.

So often the patterns resemble a forest of ferns, other times they just swirl and revolve. They are truly dream scapes.

This was painted on canvas first some acrylic texture then painted over.  The photograph of the painting is not the best; the colours are actually more vibrant and glowing.

It has fortunately, or unfortunately sold. Unfortunately because I had to part with my ‘dream canvas’.


This blog is linked to my other blog where I talk about winter preparations during my growing up years:-

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hoar Frost on Trees, Winterscape

Talking with my mother in Timmins, Ontario this morning and she tells me snow is on the way overnight.  This starts my season of 'homesickness'.  Love the winters in the north and the winters when I grew up. 

There was much preparation for winter in the North when I was young; but the wonder and beauty of the primeaval surroundings made it worth while for many I am sure. I speak of winter preparations in part of my other blog; but here I would like to share with you the spectacle that makes me 'homesick'; even this late in my life. 

If one is an early riser in Northern Ontario one can often enjoy the quiet beauty of a frosty mornings in all their glory.  This painting remembers hoar frost as it glistens and dances on trees along the shore of Kamiskotia Lake near Timmins, Ontario.  As sunlight bathes the trees one is treated to a 'dance of diamonds' with golds, reds, yellow and blues!  Truly one of the wondrous moments of a Northern Ontario winter. 

Just one of the types of frost in the north country; there is of course the ground frost or 'permafrost' that penetrates deep into the ground. 

Just wanted to share this moment of silent wonder with you.

This blog is linked to my other blog where I speak of winter prepations of years past: - turningpointsandidentities

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Revisited Canvas, Colour and Colour Theory

I am beginning another attempt at the golden aspen I started a year ago and abandoned!

I’ve also set aside the original sketch and pulled some photographs taken on an autumn day in the northern woods last year. We will see!

I fear my second attempt is not starting quite right either. I know I should be sketching in burnt sienna, identifying lights and darks before progressing but I found I was not getting the coverage I needed since I am overpainting last year’s canvas….so I am hoping this tack will work.

How I envy the ‘painter a day’ artists who would be able to take this subject and in no time at all; and seemingly without too much effort, have a completed work of art. It will probably take me several days to work this one up; to sort out the colours, the lights and darks, the point of interest!  Here we go again!!!! Painting without knowing really where I am going!

I have the vision and know what I want to say as a rule, but as soon as I get into colour I bog down. Knew I should have taken that ‘colour theory’ course when in school. But no, what was there to know about colour.

Oh so much I am lost trying to sort it all out! There are harmonious colour schemes…and they break down into monochromatic, analogous and complementary. I think I can handle monochromatic….maybe that is what I should be doing….black and white paintings!

Then there are split complementary, triad, tetrad and key colour. Okay, I can handle key colour……one colour throughout. So key colour and monochromatic – maybe they are for me!

There are primary..okay; secondary, okay – then tertiary, warm and cool. There’s hue, value, tint, tone….and on the list goes. I’m lost. Truly lost.  I’m afraid I’ll just have to go with my gut on this one for better or worse! Will keep you posted, it may be another discard.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Time to Paint

These hands haven't been producing much lately.  At least not in the artistic sense.  They've been busy with fall housecleaning chores and a lot of doing nothing!

Time to get back to what matters most to the owner of these hands.  Well, perhaps not most, because certain people in my life matter most.  But my residence is now spiffy clean and I can concentrate on my art.  I cannot concentrate with household matters on my mind!

And from the painting included here you can see I am revisiting an old canvas I started last fall and abandoned in disgust.  I had decide to portray a canopy of gold; I wanted to show an all enveloping golden I eliminated the foreground and moved right into the branches of these lovely aspen.  It didn't work!
I find that often I lack the expertise or knowledge to translate what I am feeling to paint and canvas.  Perhaps a little more concentration or involvement of 'self' is required.

So back to the 'drawing board'.  I took out my original sketch of the scene; one familiar in the Northern Ontario landscape at this time of year.  I studied, contemplated, mused over this sketch last evening and I will make one more attempt and include some foreground and just see where it goes.   Today I will attempt to translate more spirit rather than object on the canvas.....I hope!

Wish me luck, I feel I may need it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Beamer Trail Sketch

The best laid plans of mice and men!  First my grandson took ill with the same ailment as his both were confined to home  yesterday.  And the weatherman - well he lied!  A lovely, brisk sunny day turned into cloud, drizzle and eventually heavy rain.

So I hiked on my own yesterday and chose the Beamer Trail above Grimsby, Ontario.  I opted to travel the 'down the gorge' trail that runs along the creek.  A difficult trail as it was covered with wet leaves and heavy outcropping of rock.  Definitely easier down than up!  Despite the intermittent drizzle it was a lovely day and I did manage one quick sketch before actual rain fell.

Before the days of digital cameras, I owned a 35mm camera.  I found lugging this camera with all its acoutremets bothersome and very seldom carried on my outings.  Now I have my digital camera constantly with me.  So, yesterday I snapped 75 pictures and my sketching again suffered.  Unless the subject is a sand dune or an old rotted tree, I can not see the 'vision' in front of me. 

I think it is time to leave the camera tucked away in my backpack until after I have successfully completed sketching.  It is time, as you can see from this sketch, to hone my sketching skills and that is where my creative juices will now be concentrated. 

This is the start of the trail, the crest of the falls as it plunges down the escarpment.  Never got close enough to the falls to get a picture of the spectacle.  The trail seemed to miss that, unless there was a trail I missed.

The lovely autumn colours are fast disappearing and today's rain will bring down more leaves so am doubly glad I hiked this trail today.

A view of the water as it cascades over enormous slabs of rock.  There are many, many such drops along the creek.  I was keeping track but lost count for they seem endless. 

It's a long way back to the top!
Not Yet
Maybe around the next bend!
        Success!    It was a long hard upward hike but worth the day!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bruce Trail and Post Thanksgiving

I'm starting today the 'calorie wise' way.  Injesting more calories after yesterday's feast with a slice of  both apple and pumpkin pie a la mode....for my brunch!  And the 'turkey trot' continues with yesterday's guest of honour as I make turkey pot pies from the leftovers and turkey soup for my son who has one doozy of a fall cold. A failing of mine, if there is dessert in the house I will start breakfast with dessert!  Consequently I do not make desserts except when company is coming!

But no fear, will work those calories off tomorrow as I head out with my grandson for a day's sketching along a portion of our wonderful Bruce Trail.  The trail runs from Niagara Falls north to Tobermoray on the Bruce Pennisula on Lake Huron.  We of course only walk a portion close to home....not too certain yet whether we will walk the Ancaster or Grimsby trail.  Will leave that up to my grandson. 

Today's photos were taken along the trail in very early spring with the waterfalls just at melt and icy, muddy trails.  Any time is a lovely time to walk the trail but it was especially nice on this walk as we were the only ones to brave the icy inclines.  We were rewarded with wonderful finds we will undoubtedly not notice tomorrow; the beginnings of new greens, a hummingbird nest and gleaming mosses. 

Tomorrow will be ablaze with autumn, and if the weather holds as predicted a wonderful day.  Will not post tomorrow as will be gone the entire day. 

One of the pics included here is of my handsome grandson; my pride and joy.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Thanksgiving Turkey Made in Canada

Here he is folks....Thomas R. Turkey....the guest of honour at today's feast. poor think was missing half a wing so had to foil that.  Lest I offend anyone with the name I have always called my turkey Thomas and R. for my initial!  So dressed, trussed, seasoned and in the oven.  Half hour later than hoped as I neglected to put a catch try under the apple pie and had to clean oven first.

We'll start with homemade butternut squash soup served with a dollop of yogurt and maple syrup....the real stuff!  And on to turkey, dressing, potatoes, baked squash, green beans and carrots mixed with butter, lemon and a dash of brandy; and not to forget broccoli au gratin!  Plus rolls, beets, reslishes, pickles.  Oh, yes, cranberry sauce and cabbage rolls.  Think that should weight them down for a day or two!

I do my thanksgiving dinner on Saturday as my children have in-laws and their father's to attend as they will be doing the 'turkey trot' for two more days.

We will be taking dessert away to my son-in-laws sisters as she is having a dinner today also .... so time for the turkey to settle before the pies, cakes and creams.

Tomorrow I am going to sleep all day and eat nothing!

Yesterday Jerry was wondering if 'anything' was made in USA or Canada anymore.  I do know Thomas is Canadian - he came from a farm near by, but I cannot attest to his feed, I hope it was Canadian.  I have some thoughts on imported goods to our country; perhaps tomorrow. 

Friday, October 8, 2010


I know it’s fall….because it’s Thanksgiving. The colours as the deciduous trees don their harvest golds, reds, yellows, oranges and russets giving the Thanksgiving time of year a special glow! The smells - the farmers markets with the heady aromas of newly harvested apples and pears. The pumpkins in the fields all glowing a miraculous orange; the hay bales awaiting entry to the barns! The anticipation of a feast!

I understand some of my friends across the pond don’t celebrate this holiday. Oh what they are missing!

I won't bore you with the history of thanksgiving origins, just a summary of how this day of celebration came to be.  In Canada we attribute the first thanksgiving in 1578 to Frobisher who had been sailing the Arctic looking for the evasive Northwest Passage. His thanksgiving was for a safe homecoming; after having endured the arduous journey he held a feast for all.

In the United States the first thanksgiving has been attributed to the settlers at Plymouth Plantation in 1621. And over the years immigrants to both Canada and the United States have added their traditions and celebrations to Thanksgiving.

A time for celebrating the harvest, for gathering in the fruits of one’s hard labour; and for the settlers it was hard labour - clearing land, tilling and planting - growing with hand hewn implements, backbone, brawn and determination. A time to say thanks for the harvest and the support of friends and family; although the harvest was not sufficient to see many through the hard winter months ahead of them.

Of my many passions in this life, one is cooking for family and friends. and I love Thanksgiving for this opportunity to do just that. I’ll start early Friday to prepare the meal; making many dishes ahead of time….cabbage rolls can be made ahead, pastry for pies ahead of time and on the list goes. I will be cooking for two days. I love to have as many people as possible for Thanksgiving although the numbers are dwindling now to family members. I always found it a great time to celebrate with friends who may otherwise not be able to attend a Christmas feast. I will not be able to prepare as much as past thanksgivings … my daughter has her husband on a rigid diet and exercise regimen; she is determined he will not depart this earth before her; but she will allow him one piece of pie…no cream though! And, my daughter-in-law has my son on a strict diet … because he does not exercise!

I am very thankful for these wondrous people in my life; and especially thankful my granddaughter will be in attendance. She writes her law entrance examinations that day; so I know she will be thankful by the time she arrives for dinner!

I have always asked those at my table what they were most thankful for – just in case anyone thought they were going to get away with a free ‘gorge’….no sir, I wanted to hear the ‘thanks’. I don’t believe Thanksgiving should be consigned to strictly eating. It has been interesting over the years the comments that were made - from prosperity during the past year, to improvement in health, to finding new friends, to sharing with family… and finally my eldest son who was always, always most thankful for the turkey and pumpkin pie; and still is! I believe we should be thankful every day, if only for having been given the chance of another day – but at least Thanksgiving brings this to the forefront of our mind.

It is with joy in my heart that I prepare our feast; it will include homemade pickles and relishes; all dishes made from scratch in my kitchen; prepared with love for those who will share. All are welcome to my table for Thanksgiving. And on this blog I give thanks to those of you who show tolerance for my blog and who have supported me throughout this year as I quest after producing my form of ‘art’.

Happy Thanksgiving whatever your heritage or religious affiliation; take time to celebrate a day of 'thanks'.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tree Roots, Studio Space

I've just completed two full days of clean up in my spare bedroom I call ‘studio’. How do other artists do it I wonder.  Do so wish I could work in a cluttered environment because lately I haven't been able to find 'me' in this room never mind the tool I am seeking!

I have never seen such a collection of ‘stuff’. I am still sorting but the hard labour is done….I finally resigned myself to the fact that ‘yes, the walls do need freshening…with paint’. So I assigned this task by mixing two left over pails of paint together….adding some water and voila…..a new wall colour!. Strange colour, definitely not a white walled studio...but certainly freshened.

Now let me tell you what a task that was. In this room I have a file cabinet, an old butter box containing rolls of discarded canvas and rolls of drawings. A somewhat large kidney shaped computer desk; an enormous wooden drafting table; a roll about table where I keep brushes and paints handy. A high stool. A large cardboard carton filled with wrapped glass and other large drawings…….and many, many discarded canvses piled about….plus two easels …one studio h-frame and one tripod. I had to move everything from one wall to middle of room, paint, wait to dry, return objects and next wall! That is it! The next time the walls are painted in this room I will no longer be its occupant! Oh, and by the way; the closet is equipped with shelves I have assembled which also hold various and sundry art materials.

Moving this ‘stuff’ about I discovered an early watercolour which I include here.

Changing subjects….what is it about trees and their roots clawing at the earth that attracts artists. I’ve seen several artists lately with photographs and drawings of such trees.

Is it the texture, the rhythm of twining roots, is it the will of the tree to survive against all obstacles? What inspires an artist to take on this subject?  I have several about this room and cannot seem to discard them, try as I may. I remember the instant I sketched, painted or photographed each one. I remember the location, the day, the atmosphere, my mood. Maybe all of these aspects are what attract artists to half dead or dead trees or their roots.... Better yet, what attracts the buyer to purchase this subject?