Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chris Parson's Dew Garden

I still have the images from "The Cave of Forgotten Dreams" in my minds' eye and am still in awe of our incredible need to make marks. I was watching Zoe go down to the stream the other morning, leaving a trail in the dew, and thought of this wonderful piece by Chris Parsons. According to the book "The Garden Book' published by Phaidon, he uses a large rag brush over the close- cropped lawn. He takes the photo from a nearby tree. Love that, and love what he says about dew. " Dew looks its best in the sun because it glitters. These works last 3 to 5 hours.

On another note I want to thank Seth Apter  on the Altered Page, for all his work and especially for "Buried Treasures", a blog post about buried treasure ie. unknown or undiscovered bloggers. Here is the link [Link here]. I am having fun discovering new blogs. Again, Thanks Seth.
@ Chris Parsons' Dew Garden, 1991

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Our Need To Make Marks

Call it what you will;, line, marks, scribble, drawing, we love to make them. Always have and always will. Yesterday John and I saw a wonderful movie "Caves of Forgotten Dreams" about the 32,000 year old drawings in the Chauvet cave in France. The sublime simplicity of these drawing is breathtaking and incredibly moving. I really urge you to see it and found a link on YouTube for the trailer [link here]. As we walked Zoe last night, we were still talking about the movie [always a good sign] and realized this was our lineage.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Entering Another World

This lens is bringing me a lot of joy. It's been like getting a new pair of glasses and seeing clearly again. This world is all glowing color and light, with patterns and shapes and textures I never suspected.
Stamens from Oriental Lilies

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Yesterday I spent the day photographing some of the new work. I am trying an idea a friend suggested and doing the shots outside. I set up John's old easel, place a large panel on it and using magnets attach the work. I put the easel with it's back to the sun and seemed to get the best light between 9 - 10.30 am. In the past I have found any of my work with encaustic a nightmare to shoot well. There are always glare spots and reflections, and while these are better, they aren't there yet. So, please, any one with any suggestions I would really appreciate it.
Tulips detail for Val so she can see how encaustic looks on photos

Thursday, July 21, 2011


And the living is easy....One of the all time great songs. I remember my Mum and Dad loved Ella Fitzgerald, so this is for them. [link here] Meanwhile Zoe and I are swimming in the pond while John takes a photo before joining us. Hope you're living is easy too.

P.S. There are now 5 baby robins in the nest, Mama and babies are doing well and we are all feeling very proud. [link here]
Swimming in the pond with Zoe

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sneak Preview

I haven't made a grid in a while and so in order to avoid grid withdrawal, I decided to make a sneak preview of 4 pieces for the up coming show. Each work is 20 in. x 20 in. on a 24 in. x 24 in. support and sealed with encaustic.Top left is the seed pod from a lupine, top right is seed pods from a geranium "Johnson's Blue", bottom left is the bud of an Indian Paintbrush and bottom right is Johnson's Blue again. Love how fuzzy and furry these plants are.
sneak preview

Sunday, July 17, 2011

There is an Earwig in My Facecloth!

Ugh, well actually it was in John's, but that's right beside mine. I hate earwigs. Can't figure out what use they are at all. Do they eat mosquitoes? Are they food for bats? What is the great plan for earwigs? Out photographing early this morning and guess who was in the nasturtium. Pincher's ready. Yup, my favourite critter. Please someone; tell me why we need earwigs.

Earwig in my nasturtium

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weaving Bright Torches

Caught this spiders web out of the corner of my eye while eating breakfast on the patio.These spiders are really busy right now, maybe it is the heavy dew which makes them so apparent in the early morning, but I swear that they were not there when I went to bed and while you and I have been dreaming, they have been busy; really busy. Myth has it that spider wove the dream of the world that has become our reality. In that weaving are all the threads that make up our life and how they get joined together in often mysterious ways. Some say it's the web of fate to get caught up and become spiders dinner. That's enough to make you think about how you want to live your life. At a memorial service a friend attended last week, this was quoted in the eulogy. "I want my life to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. Life is no brief candle for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. [from A Splendid Torch by George Bernard Shaw].
Spiders Web

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Crown

I have been watching this grow for the past week and finally realized last night what it reminded me of; a crown. It's another view of echinacea. But something is bothering me, I am sure I have seen this image or a similar image before. Does any one have any ideas? My memory says it was a drawing so am off to persue some of my books. Maybe The Hortus Eystettensis. I have a very condensed; make that very, very, condensed version and have put it on my wish list. Maybe Taschen have brought out a facsimile. No, I just checked, off to buy a lottery ticket.
Crown of an echinacea

Monday, July 11, 2011


This is not what I started out to write about, but after spending the day ironing, so to speak, my encaustics, and looking out the window rather longingly at the garden, and noticing the change in the echinacea, and telling myself I better get some photos before the shapes were gone for another year; I finally did get some photos and I think you can see why I didn't dare wait another day. The pattern is incredible, can you see the S in the second photo?, so is the color, as the bud looks chartreuse and green to me and I know the petals will be a soft magenta and the crown will be a deep, dark almost black, and I think I should stop this sentence right now.

"S" pattern 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hope x 4 x 5

Just after the tsunami and earthquakes stuck Japan, Donna Watson wrote a very beautiful and moving blog post called "Surviving on Hope". In it she talks about how people all over the world, but especially Japan, struggle to recover their home, family and community in the face of devastation. And in the post she uses the image of a nest, as a place of safety, trust, home. After watching the dreadful news from Somalia, of drought, starvation and migration, I watched the robin who has taken up residence on our front porch, lay her 4th batch of eggs this year. Her first nest and eggs got knocked down by mistake when the fellows were repairing the eaves trough. The next day she was rebuilding [in a safer location]. And we have watched the little ones learning to fly across the rafters. J. went out yesterday to start scraping to repaint and found the nest full again, for the fourth time. This time with 5 eggs.
the 4th batch of robin's eggs

Momma  Robin

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Maya Plant

Years ago, when I started the big studio garden, friends were very kind and gave me all sorts of plants from their gardens. So now, it really is a treat to walk around and greet all my old friends in new incarnations. Maya Lightbody was a good friend and mentor to me, in the studio and in the garden, and one of the plants she gave me I have always called the Maya plant because I could never remember it's name. So if any one recognizes it please, could you tell me it's name. It's a big plant, the kind gardeners like to call architectural, with a very round clump of deeply serrated leaves about 3 feet high, and the slender stocks hold the cluster of 3 flowers per stem another 3 feet above the leaves. As you can see the flowers are a pale yellow, about 1 inch in diameter, and wave merrily on any breeze.
Maya's plant in flower
Maya's plant forming the seed head

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Lovely Messy Studio

Well, it's full steam ahead, getting ready for this unexpected exhibition. Good thing I did not leave the studio entirely for the garden as I do most summers. This summer is the first in 10 years where I am trying for a different balance, both studio and garden. Being a compulsive, or maybe that is obsessive, sort of person I usually love doing only one thing at a time, but this year it's time to expand my horizons to TWO. So here are some studio photos from yesterday. When you enter the studio [you are looking west] you are greeted by a tailors' dummy wearing my apron, which I can never find because I never put it back in the right spot. Now I can find it. Next photo on top is one of my work tables, actually an old one of John's, that is on coasters so I can move it around. At the end of the table is the growing stack of finished prints and beside it my big printer, tastefully wearing an old T-shirt that I use to polish the prints. Bottom left is the west working wall; I tend to work on this wall but right now some of the images for the show are drying. At the bottom left of the photo you can see another work table, with my irons, heat gun ect; all the tools I need to seal the prints with encaustic. The bottom right photo [looking south] is the view out to the garden from that table and where I am spending most of my time these days. And in the center is another work table, beside a niche in the concrete for my treasures.
Studio shots, July 4, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I would love to dazzle you with my intellectual vigor and rigorous art  but to tell you the truth I am BLANK and EMPTY. Huge week in the studio, with several more to come, getting ready for an unexpected opportunity, so please forgive me for today's post but I can't think of a thing to say. Oh, yes I can. As my fellow paper lover and bookie friend, Fiona [link here] taught me "Go well".
 48 in H x 48 in W, acrylic on canvas thought. 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pencil In Your Agenda

Ryszard Litwiniuk and I are exhibiting from August 12 to September 25 at Gallery Art Sutton, Sutton, QC. Not sure when the opening is but will let you know as soon as I know. I really like Ryszard's work and I am expecting our works to compliment each others. "With Litwiniuk’s sculptures, nature is the force and source out of which built structures grow. Litwiniuk ingeniously relocates nature. His animated sculptures look like insects or small woodland creatures. The wood structures that emerge out of the body of the tree appear as if they have adapted to a specific habit" [from the Karsh-Masson Gallery website]. To see more of Ryszard's check out his blog [link here]I will be exhibiting works from my new series, tentatively called"Sophia's Garden" some of which you have already seen.

Ryszard Litwiniuk, Open Concept. Wood and steel.

Rain Tripdych, mixed media, 24 in H x 64 in W, 2011