Sunday, 18 September 2011


RCMP Musical Ride warm-up

I could spend hours watching horses -- in fact, it's hard to keep me away from them, which is probably why I like my volunteer gig down at Stampede more than ever, now that I get to go back and wander through the barns.

There's an old picture of me being put on a pony and led around a ring, next to my aunt and uncle's home in Surrey, BC: it was the summer I was three, and it was my very first ride. I still remember how I excited I was that day, and it never changes or grows old every time I'm near, or on, a horse.

RCMP Musical Ride warm-up

For me, watching the RCMP Musical Ride do their warm-up was the highlight of last Sunday's adventure to Spruce Meadows. Not that show jumping isn't OK -- it is -- but to see these lovely horses gracefully trotting and cantering, especially without the music, was the highlight of the day there.

RCMP Musical Ride warm-up

O Canada!

And making the transition from a rather desultory walk to a trot and perhaps even a gentle canter has been in evidence at home and in the studio as well. I had my in-laws out for a too-short visit right before my adventure to Spruce Meadows, thankfully with excellent weather, and completed, at long last, a small artist book last week.

lifeshift #2

lifeshift isn't exactly the book I started out to make: it was originally going to be partnered with I will wait for you in the forest. But when forest was accepted into the Alberta Society of Artists touring show, and sadly, irrepairably damaged as much as my life as well, the book now stands on its own.

lifepath #3

There will be three copies when I'm finished -- the punching of all those individual little holes is taking a toll on my hands -- with different found leaves on each cover, and enclosed in a small box with a drawer. It's the featured book in my upcoming advert in Artist Book News, and I'll be putting together a small video of how it works shortly. It's double-bound, with a handmade wire spiral binding on each of the two long edges, and the pages are interleaved.

It felt great to be back working with paper, words, and images again, and I'm sure there will be more to come.

My most commonly used expression lately seems to be "I don't know," although to be more accurate, perhaps it should be "I don't know the specific details yet."

But I am working on them....

Friday, 2 September 2011



Calgary has an annual festival known as Globalfest that was held recently -- lots of multicultural entertainment (such as this flamenco dancer I caught on the beer garden stage) and a different country invited to create a fireworks display on selected evenings.

I had gone, back in its early days, when the cultural component was scattered around various community centres, but it seemed like such a hassle. The organizers must have thought so too, because it's now all in one place (Elliston Park, in southeast Calgary).

Fireworks #4

The night that the Phillipines were providing the combustible entertainment, a friend of mine rang in the afternoon, asking if I wanted to come along, as they had an extra ticket. So, since I lead such an unexciting social life, I said yes and took the camera along.

A good decision, as it turned out, as they ended up winning the People's Choice award: I certainly had a good time, although the press of the crowd got to me after awhile.

Fireworks #5

And today marks six months' of being alone: it's not one of my better days, but that shouldn't be surprising. As I wrote in a show proposal the other day:

Instead of looking further down the road to where I want to go, my work is concentrating on the never-ending now, trying to inch forward between the black hole of despair and the mountains of yarn, fibre, and paper I have accumulated. An artist’s life is not a tidy one, but my drive is to at least clean up some of the looser ends before leaping of the next artistic precipice, creating new works that incorporate the past and the present.

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