Saturday, December 27, 2008

"You Just Gotta Believe!"

"Santa "Bob" of the Crossfield Fire dept. "

Please note, I have changed the Heading photograph so as to
highlight "Santa Bob" of the local fire dept.
He loves being Santa and is rarely out of his suit all December.

On Christmas Eve Maura, Bob and the boys picked me up in Crossfield and we headed out on Limit Ave to the overpass to get to their place.
Well, wouldn't you just know it, we saw Santa beside a Fire truck a street up from my place.
Of course we made a detour so we could see him.
We got to the Fire truck and Santa came over to Bobs Truck Shaughn got out and Santa spoke to him!
Needless to say this was the moment of truth to Shaughn.
But the story doesn't end there!
We all got back in our truck (Marshall slept through the whole thing)
back to Limit avenue and the way home, until we passed the next street!
And there he was in a matter of seconds there was Santa again and the fire truck making sure that all the little boys and girls would go to bed before he started his official rounds.
"How could he do it so fast?" asked Shaughn. " He was on that other street just a moment ago!"
"It is Santa, and he is Magic" answered Shaughns Mother.
The next street we passed and there was Santa AGAIN!
By this time Shaughn was beside himself and by this time a complete believer in Santas magical powers!

The town of Crossfield has a Fire Department with three trucks, and this group of dedicated men (all volunteers), take the trucks and drive up and down every street in town saying goodnight to all the children, letting them know that the secret to a good visit is being in bed and asleep at the right time.

How wonderful these men are, and how wonderful for all the children in our town!
For the Volunteer Fire-fighters of the town of Crossfield, Alberta I have this to say....
May you all be blessed with safety and good health this coming year.

Please know that your kindness to our children meant so very much to this six year old boy.
In this day and age, Magical powers that are actually seen are the greatest gift of all.
Shaughn will never forget The Christmas Eve that he actually saw Santas' Magical powers, that he could be in three places at the same time.
You just Gotta believe!
I hope that Santa was good to everyone this year.
I hope that the most meaningful thing about your Christmas was seeing
A child in awe of the power of the season of love.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

"We are what we make our world!"

"Winter Dance"
Acrylics on sealed Mdf Board

I wish for you Peace, Happiness and Warmth
In the coming year.
Be well and enjoy life.
Smile at a stranger, Smell the air.
Laugh and Dance.
Hug a child, and tell someone just how complete your life is with them in it.
Grow a flower, bake cookies.
Look up Compassion in the dictionary.
Learn to live it!
But most of all
Be Thankful.
We can have a good life if we allow ourselves to .
The world around us cares.
One person at a time.
Slowly we can add our input to a positive world.
Collectively it works so much better.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Best Little Restaurant in the county!

"Side Street"
Crossfield, Alberta
Acrylics on Canvas
12" X 24"

Often we are pleasantly surprised when we go into a restaurant!
It might be the decor, or the setting, and often can be the food!
Yep, even in this day and age, we do have places such as this one that serve wonderfully home-cooked meals.
Shepherds Pie, Chicken Stew, Roast Chicken with all the trimmings.
Topped off with a spectacular home made dessert such as Apple, Raisin, Cherry Pie.
Maybe a Home-made cream Puff slathered in real whipped cream,
and or a home-made Danish, cookies and date squares!

Everything in this little Jewel is Home Made!
They don't even have a deep fryer!
So, no French fries, and or fried foods.
Just old-fashioned made from scratch meals.

The decor is homey and pleasant.
The staff is wonderful and the coffee is always fresh!
The place is always packed with the regular coffee drinkers in the morning to
the working men in from the fields and or Job site outside.
Huge servings of hot nutritious food.
Every one eats everything up and the plates are left bare.

Patsy, (the owner) will be getting this painting for Christmas from her staff.
I painted it just for them.
And for her, a woman that has a right to be proud when she says.
"I own my Own Restaurant"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It is just a matter of how you see it!

"Parked for the Winter"
It has been bitterly cold here for the last while.
While we rarely have to put up with this type of weather for long periods
(Chinooks come in and warm us up frequently)
We are not big on leaving the comfort of our homes when it is -30C.
I took this photo of Marshalls favorite truck yesterday!
It looked so cold and lonely.
Soon it will be pushed and dragged around the yard again.
But for now it sits waiting for the
warmer weather and my Littlest grandson play with it!

Shaughns Gingerbread house
Shaughn and I decorated his annual gingerbread house last night.
It was a surprise for his parents to see when they got home.
He loves doing things like this, and takes the decorating very seriously.
Note the candies on the snowman closest to the Left side of the house.
Maybe more is better?
I love this time of the year, and creating with my older Grandson.
What better cheer can one wish for?
Hope you all are enjoying the days before Santa comes.

Monday, December 1, 2008

22,000 Acts of Love in 45 minutes!

Last night the "Calgary Hitmen" (Minor hockey league) had their annual
"Teddy Bear Toss!"
The game plan is .... all is good at the hockey Game untill the first goal is scored!
Then the Teddy Bears fly!
And fly and fly!

Last night 22,000 Teddys landed on the ice for children in Albertas Hospitals
and, because of this, no child is left without a new Teddy for Christmas!
It is Magical and wonderful to see all those Teddys flying through the air!
Enjoy the pictures that my daughter took st this event!
One photo is my grandson Shaughn (On the left) and his friend Jake (Right) smiling with glee at the whole event.
Have you ever seen 22,000 Teddy Bears in one place?
(Looks like a whole lot of people won at this Hockey Game)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sky Ice Water series continued

Sky Ice Water #2

Sky Ice Water #3

"Sky Ice Water #4"

The above paintings are Acrylic on Water colour paper
11" X 7"

These three little lovelies took me over a month to complete.
As I have said before, there is a certain beauty in the starkness of the ocean in the Arctic.
The sky and water seem to be one with only the ice separating them.
The ice takes on the blue hues of the water, and under the dimness of the midnight sun
the colours are breathtaking.
I hope you do enjoy these.
I was in rapture while I painted them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Fourteen Trees on a River Walk"

Acrylics on Canvas
12" X 12"

Finished Finally!
Another experiment that turned out so well.
I am pleased with myself.
The challenge to myself this time was to paint a winter scene with no shadows.
In the winter here we have Gray days, no sun, just cloud cover, so there are never shadows.
With three colours I did it!
I used:
Phthalo Blue (Green Shade)/Titanium White & Paynes Gray
(All Golden Heavy body Artist Acrylics)
Paynes Gray was used only for the trees.
With proper shading/mixing of the Blue & White I was able to achieve many variences in the snow colour.
tehehehe, Sometimes I surprise even myself!
I think I am getting better at painting Winter in my style.
Coffee time now!
Be well all

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Lake Louise Has Frozen Over!"

"Lake Louise Has Frozen Over"
10" X 10"
Acrylics on canvas

I painted this today.
I have been studying the Group of seven (plus a few more) and am totally enthralled with the style that these fabulous artists painted in.
Everything they do/did was perfection, and so cleanly painted.
I have tried in this painting to achieve a detailed work without using any details.
If that makes sense.
I tried to let the colours and hues of the paint work for itself.
Hope you like it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gotta love Moonlight and snow!

"Manitoba Moonlight"
10" X 10"
Acrylics on Canvas

Seems like my Winter series are very popular.
People just love them and they offer a glimpse of the Magic of winter
without having to be cold!
This little beauty (again) is based on
my Manitoba winter nights and walking my faithful dog Ben in the late evening.
Hope you like it!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wheels that turn are amazing things!

My Grandson when he discovered that the wheels on his McDonalds Hot wheel car
still spun around after zooming it on the table.
He had never seen anything like it before and was totally
mesmerized by them spinning.
What joy little Men bring to our lives!
Especially him.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Sky Ice Water #1"

"Sky Ice Water #1"
Acrylics on canvas
8" X 16"
Kuujjauk, NWT

Still on my Winter series.
The sky and water seem to be one, while separated by ice flows
in the Arctic.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Finished and signed.

Detail of the Ballerina;

"Moonlight Becomes Her"
Acrylics on canvas
11" X 14"

Finally I have finished "Moonlight Becomes Her"
My experiment with metal leaf paper has proven to be a great success.
What was/is not a success is the abilityto photograph this work in a manner that truly shows the real beauty of it.
The Silver/Copper Leaf just shines whilst taking any photograph even without a flash!
In actuality the silver lines in the water are hair thin, but look so cumberson in the photograph!
"Well, (She says) I suppose this is one work that will be appreciated fully by those that can and will look upon it in person."
You will notice that the horizon is not flat. I opted to do this as it seems like this can be an "Other Worldly" painting, and one wonders if we are looking at the moon from Earth, and or looking at the Earth from somewhere else.
The way the Moon glimmers is more indicative of how the highlights show.
I hope you like it!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"Moonlight Becomes Her!"

"Moonlight Becomes Her!"
Acrylics on canvas
10" X 14"
I am working on a new painting.
Something very different for me.
The works of Howard Cowdrick
(His blog is listed on the right)
have inspired me re this, and eventually, this will become a
multi/media work.
I am excited, as I am venturing into a completely different area with painting this time.
Watch for up-dates on this one!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Winter Moonlight"


I think I have captured that wonderful electric blue/white that surrounds me, when I go for a walk in the moonlight on a very cold (Clear) winter night.
I have found in my life (so far) that nothing, absolutely nothing about nature reaches my soul more than these Winter night-time walks.
It is as if you are one with the universe.
Everything is quiet, and I am in awe at the spiritual beauty surrounding me.
And, if the Northern Lights are flashing, even better, but those lights could never be emulated with any semblance of recognition.
You might say that I have painted a "Feeling" as opposed to a scene.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I can do it! (if you help me)

Yep, I love chocolate, and I love cake!
(Dad seems to think differently though!)

The play structure "Safetied" so Marshall cannot get to the top.

I want to go higher

That mouse will be mine !

Who needs chairs?

I have it open, what now?

I can do it!

My Teddy and me!
(his birth gift from his big brother, and he will not sleep without it!)

My Littlest Grandson!
I have the joy of being a grandparent to two wonderful little boys.
One is six and in grade one, the other is 15 months.
The little guy is determined to do what he likes when he likes.
Now this is not a bad thing, but he likes things that most kids his age cannot be bothered with.
He likes computers, calculators, phones, and most things that have buttons that give you a display!
Not too long ago we got him a toddlers computer with a mouse so he would leave the "Real" computer alone.
Nope! Not good enough. He is aware that Daddys computer, and his big brothers DS are "Real" Computers that have real displays and real sounds, not the baby stuff. At a year and a half he knows the difference, and will not be side-tracked.
Looks like he will need his own Lap-top soon.
He knows which keys get a response when pushed, and how to bring up a picture!
When he plays outside, he can't be bothered with rocks, and stones, nope he wants to explore the world, and walk.
He wants to climb and climb he does.
Right up to the top of the Play structure and on the platform on top!
With a big grin he totters up high with the "I am the King of the World" look!
And our hearts are stopping just thinking about the consequences of him getting up there all by himself.
Well, we blocked off the ladder, and he was fit-to-be-tied!
Major temper tantrum then.
He figured out how to remove the boards blocking the ladder, so Lattice work went up at the entrance atop.
And he knew that climbing was useless, 'cause he could not get in.
His tenacity is wonderful, but he requires constant watching because he will not give up.
He is (already), a problem solver, and can and does figure a way around roadblocks that his parents implement to keep him out of trouble and danger.
I love his determination and when we walk around the driveway
(A long way for a very little boy)
his hand in mine gives me such joy!
His mother was like this as a little girl, and I am so very much enjoying my littlest grandson.
I am in total denial when I see him and he can do no wrong.
("Muggle" to her two bestest little men!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"The Rangers Cabin"

Another test in shading and depth perception.
This time with snow, this painting is not finished as of yet,
but I wanted to post it to show
that I have actually gotten better with my depth!
I have finished this painting and the image is of the final work now!
Snow is a hard thing to paint, as it is never white, and always has shadows.
The mountains in the background were painted in, and then covered with a wash of white to make them recede.
I think I have achieved
(for the most part)
What I set out to do!

Monday, September 15, 2008

"Shading is the answer"

Acrylic on Canvas
8" x 10"
I have often looked at paintings and wondered "How on Earth did He/She do that?"
Lately I have been following Landscapes and have been amazed at the way the ground is painted, how the trees/bushes are separated and individual while they could seem to be all one.
At least for me they were turning out that way.
Well, today, I finally figured it out!
Plain and simple shading.
In the ground in this painting I have Yellows/reds/greens and gray!
(And a whole lot of shading.)
The tree in the back is separated from the bush and that bush is separated from the one in the foreground by the stream and shading as well.
And again, a whole lot of colour!
Maybe I am learning.
There are some things I look at and love, but have no desire to paint!
There are others that I strive to learn.
I like painting, and I hope it shows.
'Cause, you really can teach "Old Dogs" New tricks!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

And we are six and in grade one!

Already for school
Shaughn speaking with his other grandmother
First day in grade one!

This year my grandson began classes in the "Real School"
Grade one in the main building. He has already been given the honour of having one of the shovels hanging on his BIGGER than everyone elses' coat hook.
I gather the shovels (three I think) are in grade one so the snow on the sidewalk can be removed (with the caretakers assistance of course) by volunteer grade oners!
He is an astute Little Man, and believes that if you follow the rules, you will do well.
(A trait instilled in him by his Mother & Father.)
He wants to be able to read better, is not crazy about Math, and still hates colouring!
He will try his best, as, again he knows hard work has its' rewards.
(Doing his "Chores" every night nets him a Quarter per chore which is paid every Saturday!)
His chore money is saved until he has enough to purchase something that he wants very much. He MUST earn all his money, and this weeks shopping trip netted him a Lego Star-Wars fighter with a unique four armed creature.
$23.00 in all, and he worked & saved every penny.
I think he is on the right track.
Mind you, he "Is" my grandson, and I see no faults in him, that is a job for his parents, not me.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

"And Sloane makes three"

"And Sloane makes three"
Acrylics on canvas
8" X 12"
Sometimes the very best things in life are not evident!
The things we cannot see in a painting are what makes it whole.
This is my niece on her honeymoon walking to the beach in Italy.
Her new husband is following her, (taking her picture)
I saw the original photograph and thought
"How like Ainslie this is"
She is a determined woman, a smart woman, and a beautiful woman!"
And I love her.
I wish her and Julian a lifetime of sunshine and sandy beaches.
And they will have them
They work hard for what they want.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Getting it right!"

Full Painting
This is a partial close-up of my latest work. It belongs to a series that I call Botanicals.
The challenge of letting the idea flow to a canvas is great.
Composition/size/colour/ style all have to be taken into consideration.
While the process (after completion) seems easy, the intensity of
"Getting it right"
is always there.
(Full painting is just above)
An artist is never satisfied with her work, even after it is supposedly finished.
Something always looks like it could be clearer/deeper/more defined and added to.

Saying "It is done" is a form of getting it right, and when you not only say It is done, and then leave it alone for good,
you have accomplished a work of art.

Stopping at the right time is crucial.
Hopefully I have learned this.
I have a lot of beginnings in my life every day.
Very few ends, as life tends to go on.
Here's to digging in your heels and saying
Once in a while it is not a bad thing to do!

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Euphorbia Waringiae"

"Euphorbia Waringiae"
16" X 20"
Acrylics on canvas
I am working on this right now.
It will be a companion work to go with
"Papaya" & "Split Leaf Philodendron"
(Both featured elsewhere in this blog)
I have always wanted to do a series of like minded paintings.
Actually, I am thrilled at how wonderfully these works are turning out.
Maybe I have found a niche?
No matter I am enjoying, and that is what counts.
The only interruption has been the making of a wee tiny Light saber
(Darth Vaders none-the-less) for my grandson to replace one that mysteriously got lost.
Darth must have a Red Light saber! So now he does, and my abilities have now increased ten-fold in one little mans eyes!
One might say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder in all seriousness.
At this point in his life, my art means absolutely nothing to him.
Now that is an accomplishment.
Be happy everyone
It is not what we think about what we do that is important.
It is how we make those that we love feel that really counts.
At least it is to me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A monthly Challenge

Yep, this little painting is part of a regular monthly challenge @ Wet Canvas.
Every month we are given a different photograph and if we choose to,
we paint it..
It is so interesting to see the different styles/ways and techniques we all use to achieve our goal.
The real challenge for me, is that I promised myself that I would paint every different strokes photograph with my Art knives until I complete a painting that looks somewhat like the original reference.
This month I didn't do all that badly, and am rather pleased with what I accomplished.
It is not a work of art! but, it is a beginning
and I will do better next month (I hope)
(Who thinks that no matter where you are in life, new roads are exciting places to explore)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I think it is done....

Acrylics on canvas
16" X 20"

....But then again, no painting is ever really finished in an artists eyes!
Seems everything needs tweaking, a glob of paint here, a new line there.
But it is important to know with anything that we do that there is a time to call it done!

Without ever saying,
"I am done this now!"
we would never get the chance to enjoy our work.
We would never be able to share our accomplishments with everyone.
We would never be able to move on to new challenges and endeavors!
So I am done this painting now.
I do hope it pleases you!
(Who is already thinking about her next challenge)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What is the "Pot of GOLD" really?

I watched a spectacular rainbow the other evening.

It began behind my daughters home and ended up landing right atop
the neighbours barn (3/4 mile away).
Now was the pot of gold the Farmers barn?
In this day and age when Farmers struggle to keep their farms, one wonders
if most people realize their plight?
Do any of us think about farmers when we eat much of the abundance on our
Do we realize that being that they are on the bottom of marketing chain,
that they receive the least of anyone for the food they produce?

Do most people realize what one Harvester/seeder/combine costs now?
How about pest control, Government standards set up to protect you the consumer?
How much more today do these regulations cost the farmer?
Their income has not risen per unit in many years, because as they may get paid more as opposed to ten years ago, the operating costs have risen 100-fold.
So Maybe the neighbour farmer has a Pot of Gold in his barn!
If so, he sure worked hard for it!

If you ate today....Hug a Farmer!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Brothers and families

I have three brothers.
I love them all so much.
They are Kind, intelligent and thoughtful.
And they all have daughters two of them have sons!

My older brother just attended his daughters wedding In Connecticut.
One wonders about the thoughts of a father when his precious little girl gets married.
One wonders about the pride of looking at a little girl as a woman and hoping that all will be good in her new world!
One wonders.
Especially when thousands of miles separate them.

Another brother has two girls & one son, and is now a grandfather to five little ones (four girls and one little boy)
He is as well a father/grandfather of exceptional qualities.
Loving,kind and gentle.
He loves his children and his family as a whole unit.
Nothing separates his love for his children

The third brother has one daughter, and he has just become a first time grandfather. Big, burly and gentle as a lamb when he holds his newest little girl.

I love my brothers, all three of them are educated,kind,compassionate men.
All of them are full of love laughter and kindness.
All of them have worked very hard all their life.

I am the luckiest of sisters.
I have three brothers and each and every one of them is a wonderful man!
I love you guys, you all have always inspired me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Excitement with a new project.

Acrylic on canvas
16" X 20"

I have begun a new painting.
Yep, the excitement is there. When I begin something new, everything from the size of the canvas to the colours is all encompassing in my mind constantly. Quite often the beginning process will take me about a week.
I think of an idea, brush it off and say "No way!" to myself.
Next thing I know it is back in my mind, and I am mulling over the potential/possibilities in my mind. Again, I brush it off. I pass my painting area, and check out the sizes of canvas I have on my shelf, and think "Weeeeel Maybe" and again brush it off. I browse Google for ideas, start a rough sketch in Paint, and think
"Heck this may just work."
I leave it alone, all the while it is in the back of my mind. Then I get serious, and start to accept/reject ideas, colours and shape and form.

I plan what I really want and just know that I will never be able to accomplish this!
I walk past my Easel and pop a canvas on it. Look at it, and wonder "Will it really work?"
And again I leave it for a while. I go back and if it is a subject that needs a background, I paint what I think will work with my minds eye and the finished painting.

Transferring the sketch is the next thing done. And again I leave it for a while.
Then, I begin to motor....I am relentless until I am finished. Time has no relevance, and Sleep patterns change, eating times vary and the painting becomes an obsession with me.
I take small breaks sporadically (usually play a computer game or something of the sort.)
I go back to the painting and am amazed as it unfolds! Some how, without fail everything lands where I want it to, and it is as if from my brain to my paintbrush there is a direct connection that allows no interuption in the flow. It kind of paints itself.

Now the amazing thing is that often, the end result has nothing to do with what my initial idea was.
But, I am always happy with the final work, and am at odds with myself in wonderment in trying to figure out just how I actually was able to accomplish this work of art!
Heres to new beginnings in our lives, and may the end results always be pleasing to you!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Another day another painting & more Gesso!

Well, I have begun another painting.
Yep, and I am not sure even already if I have begun it right.
So back to the Easel, and Gesso!
Now there are some tools in any trade that are considered mundane!
For a mechanic it may be.... a screwdriver....for a house painter....a brush and for a
secretary....a computer.
We all use these things and we tend to take them for granted.
For myself, an artist, my thing is Gesso!
I use it a lot. It is the great divider between right and wrong. It covers up mistakes, cleans canvas' and does a fine job of allowing one to begin anew if the original approach is all wrong.
Oftentimes we start a project and once we are into it, we realize that we are heading in the wrong direction.
Hopefully every person has a "GESSO" solution to these problems.

It is often not the finished product that has any meaning, but the path traveled to the end.
We all need some sort of Gesso in our lives, and if we are lucky our problems can be solved by using this product in one form or another.
When we hit a snag that will not allow us to correct our mistakes and gesso is not the answer, it is then time to re-think our approach and start anew.
Yep....toss out the old ideas, and start fresh!
Here is to fresh starts in your life.
May they all prove fruitful!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The plan begins to come together....

Well, my daughter has designed the invitations for the "Little Mans" birthday!
Back stage passes on which a lanyard will be attached so the guests can hang them around their necks.
Of course they are Laminated!
She has so often commented that she is not artistically inclined.
I think these took a fair bit of imagination.
What say you?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Some things are just so Pretty!

"Split Leaf Philodandum"
Acrylics on canvas
I just finished this painting.
I have always wanted to do one like this, but never knew how the effect was achieved.
I do now....Glazing, lots and lotsa of glazing!
I am so pleased with myself.
You can teach old dogs new tricks! :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A work of art by an Inspired woman!

I have "known" Rachel for about two years now.
I have never met her,but, we have become very good internet friends.
Rachel is a photographer, she says she is not professional, I say maybe not!
But, what I see when I look at her photography is beauty, be it a bug a child a bird or the smoke of a candle the moment after it has been snuffed out.

She inspires me, and quite a few works of art that I have produced ("Rachels Hosta" for example) have been inspired by her photography. Rachel sees the world for me so very often!
Her lens points to and picks up a second in time that can leave a person breathless.

My friend Rachel has a serious disease, and it has not once stopped her from being the consummate Mother/Wife/Teacher/Photographer!
Rachel is a determined woman, a woman that sees beauty in the strangest places, records it, and shares it with the rest of us that are in awe of her work!

Next time a work of art catches your eye, stop!
Stop, and think about what went into the making of it.
Think about who it was that made you look and smile!
Think about a world without people that inspire us!

Thank-you Rachel, I just adore you!
Rachels photography can be viewed here: