Friday, 18 March 2016

Abstract thoughts


Despite a couple of brief snow showers in the last few days, spring is definitely early here in Calgary, and few people are happy about it. Farmers and ranchers are desperate for more moisture on the land, and many of the political jurisdictions surrounding the city have implemented restrictions on open burning. Last year, a careless smoker started a large grass fire south of the city that was difficult to snuff out.

It's also the season when Canada geese start staking out their territories, and usually the prime areas are still covered in snow: definitely not the case with this pair (above) I found near the Calgary Zoo last Saturday though.

Mountain Ash, Close-up #1

Although cloudy, I took my lunch down to eat along the river: it was good to get outside -- I was at a class experimenting with colour at the Esker Foundation -- for some fresh air and an opportunity to shoot a bit, since I'm trying to use my camera more between my travel adventures.

The beavers had obviously stopped by this spot along the pathway as well.

Spot of colour

In some ways, it was difficult to find something to photograph, with the brown grass and the bare tree branches, so I was glad to see this colourful jogger come into view.

And when I returned after lunch break, I brought some of the colours from outside into my afternoon creation.

Faster than the eye can see

Wednesday, 2 March 2016



And so begins my tenth year with this blog.

Even though the focus has transmuted from being "all about the work" to encompass how "my life has changed the work," I appreciate how it has helped me sharpen the language in and out of the studio of what, how, and why I've taken this road.

Picnic zone

It's also the start of my sixth year of being alone, and I am finally back to the point in my artist's life where I've mostly returned to where I was "before": studio days are long and productive, with a number of pieces close to completion, two residencies upcoming this fall (one by invitation), and other exciting happenings on the horizon.

Where once I couldn't fathom reaching the end of the week, I'm now organizing myself for 2017.

Patch of life

In the past, major shifts in my life in the last have often revealed themselves in the amount of time I end up writing, and I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about why. Sometimes, it's been here on the blog, but mostly, it's been in my journal.

Since I returned from Nassau, when I took it with me on the high-speed boat trip to the private island, I've really been churning through the pages. I think one reason is that it got somewhat damp when my plastic bag was not 100% efficient at keeping out the moisture from the sodden towels in my carrybag, and there is much scientific evidence that the sense of smell can evoke some of our strongest memories.

The faintest whiff of the sea when I open it to write with my fountain pen releases fond memories of that day, as well as my adventure to Lasqueti last November, and I am seized by the peace and inner stillness from those times. Those adventures have become, in fact, gifts that keep on giving back to me.


There was not a dissimilar revelation yesterday, when I made the pilgrimage to Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, with the granite plaque and memorial forest that celebrates the wee mannie.

I realized that the most important change in the five years has been that I have gone from having a black hole devour my life, to having a life with a black hole in one corner. While I still have hysterical moments when I edge close to it, I've learned to not lose myself entirely to it.

Falls Wall (video)

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