Tuesday With the Tree

Sketch 2005

I forgot my camera for today’s archive…so, I dug out a journal page that might serve as a substitute for just now…something on rich weighty paper, a sketch of a tree.  I really enjoyed Marilyn’s company while painting today.  She worked steadily, applying the gild to the textured bark. I managed to include an additional 200 saint’s names on the wall and in stepping back, realized that I had created a bit of a ‘net’ with the warp and weft movement of the lines.  I like the idea of this net stretched out across the piece…sometimes we need to be captured when we fall.  We also sometimes need to be lifted up from a place of despair, loneliness, worry or fear.  We all need that sometimes.

My Parents Come to Mind

Tribute 72 x 48 Oil on Canvas

The thing about converting old photographs and slides to digital is that the images bring up so many stories of places and people who have shared life with me.   I’ve not been blogging so much recently just because the act of archiving is such a time-consuming activity on its own.  It is a joy to come across particular images that remind me of the beauty of my life.  For example, I came upon some flower paintings and I thought of Mom and Dad.  The notation on the exhibit titled Tributes: A Show of Garden Paintings, reads…

“This exhibit is a tribute to the loving hands of my parents…to their dreamscapes…to their palette of exquisite colour.  I have no other way to acknowledge this thing that they did right, but to try to paint it.  These works are sentimental for no other reason than that it is with great sentiment that I experience the memories.  The recollections of flower and vegetable beds across two nations are on the surface.”


Sun Dazzle

Romp! Run! Go!
Laughing woman and smiling dog,
up to their knees, racing!
Crunching through the snow’s skin,
wind blown and captured in waves;
the weatherman’s story from

Muskrat, perching on pond’s edge,
dark form instantly sliding
into water at the burst
of their movement.
Energy is joy exploding!

Blue sky, stretched canvas
on a white sea of ice.
Yellow-gold grasses etching a circle
around the pond.
The dog following, explores
hiding places.

Sparkle. Dazzle.
Squinting and laughing,
the tears roll down
her cheeks,
light echoed on everything.
She cries
for the beauty of it all.

People Help the People

“People Help The People”
(originally by Cherry Ghost)

God knows what is hiding in those weak and drunken hearts
I guess you kissed the girls and made them cry
Those Hardfaced Queens of misadventure
God knows what is hiding in those weak and sunken eyes
A Fiery throng of muted angels
Giving love but getting nothing back
People help the people
And if you’re homesick, give me your hand and I’ll hold it
People help the people
And nothing will drag you down
Oh, and if I had a brain,
Oh, and if I had a brain
I’d be cold as a stone and rich as the fool
That turned all those good hearts away
God knows what is hiding in this world of little consequence
Behind the tears, inside the lies
A thousand slowly dying sunsets
God knows what is hiding in those weak and drunken hearts
I guess the loneliness came knocking
No one needs to be alone, oh, save me
People help the people
And if you’re homesick, give me your hand and I’ll hold it
People help the people
Nothing will drag you down
Oh, and if I had a brain,
Oh, and if I had a brain
I’d be cold as a stone and rich as the fool
That turned, all those good hearts away

People help the people
And if you’re homesick, give me your hand and I’ll hold it
People help the people
Nothing will drag you down
Oh, and if I had a brain,
Oh, and if I had a brain
I’d be cold as a stone and rich as the fool
That turned all those good hearts away

Joan Miro: Off the Wall!

"Escargot, femme, fleur, et etoile", Joan Miro 1934

Automatism…that’s the fancy word for letting go and letting it be…whether the art is rooted in a mark, a feeling, or a dream.  It is a letting-go.  Inspired by one of Miro’s pieces, the grade eight and nine students fell into a rhythm of invention. Joan Miro was yet another artist who was so engaged with the heart of his soul that he struggled.  Yet, his work is laden with a sense of celebration and childlike creation. 

One Wall



I love words. I love to sing them and speak them and even now, I must admit, I have fallen into the joy of writing them. — Anne Rice

The Forever-Question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I spent a day with kindergarten children…and it got me thinking…


When I Grow Up Lyrics Fever Ray

Karin Dreijer Andersson

When I grow up, I want to be a forester
Run through the moss on high heels
That’s what I’ll do, throwing out boomerang
Waiting for it to come back to me

When I grow up, I want to live near the sea
Crab claws and bottles of rum
That’s what i’ll have staring at the seashell
Waiting for it to embrace me

I put my soul in what I do
Last night I drew a funny man
with dark eyes and a hanging tongue
It goes way bad, I never liked a sad look
From someone who wants to be loved by you

That would be....a COLLECTOR!

I’m very good with plants
When my friends are away
they let me keep the soil moist
On the seventh day I rest
for a minute or two
then back on my feet and cry for you oooh oh

You’ve got cucumbers on your eyes
Too much time spent on nothing
waiting for a moment to arise
The face in the ceiling and arms too long
I wait for him to catch me

Waiting for you to embrace me




I went to the mailbox after a day of guest-teaching in a junior high social studies classroom and found Hollee’s card.  She wrote to me about finding a card that I had sent to her.  It was waiting in her mailbox, among a stack of bills… “personal mail amongst the bills is a gift”,  she wrote.  And today, I feel the same.  I am looking down, this very moment, at Tom Thomson’s Byng Inlet, Georgian Bay (1914-1915) and I am happy for this correspondence!  As I sat down to write about writing…I picked a few of my favourite cards/notes off of my book shelf to include them in this photograph.   I will treasure these always…and there are many others tucked away for safe keeping.  After a time, some folk toss out their correspondence…as you might guess, I don’t do this easily.  I enjoy, as much, the sentiment or the intention of the note, as the medium for that message.  I am grateful for all correspondence.

Letters from Temuco, Chile

I frame correspondence, display it and finally, I file it in my Significant Others archives.  The letters and cards from my friends and family over so many years, is a narrative about our life journeys…the story of faith, support and friendship.  I do not take your choice to send me a note, lightly.  I honour that choice, always!

A Homemade Card to Celebrate the Birth of My First Born, 31 Years Ago

Lasting Friendship


This is one of the three icons that our Parish has acquired.  As I was exploring some of the methodology involved in writing an icon, I came upon this most amazing site, where the traditional methods are very precisely outlined.  I continue to be intrigued by the process, as much as the result!  If my readers are interested in the historical significance of icon-writing, this is also a great resource.  The gold speaks to me about LIFE and LIGHT and it is an element that resonates throughout the other colours present in the writing, in the warm rich earthy greens, blue and red.

I wanted to incorporate gold into the Tree of Life, as well.  I think it will add relief to the piece and that, given some staining with a darker purple,  it will show off the gnarled texture of the tree’s trunk.


“If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.”
Tennessee Williams


New Artists Welcomed Before the Tree of Life

It was a beautiful afternoon spent in the St. Anne’s Room!  When there are other like-minded artists who will join me in prayer, conversation and painting, it makes the experience such a blessing!  Helen joined us for a visit also.  And when Helen joins me, I always learn something!  Not a verbose entry here…but, an opportunity to express my joy and gratitude.  Topics we chatted about were…halos, wings, angels, Padre Pio, Sarah, Isabella, Philip, Saints, Litany of the Saints, brushstrokes, brush scrubbing, gloss medium, history, the colours gold and purple and their symbolism, royalty, virtues, obedience…I’d say that was quite an interesting afternoon!

A prayer that the two young children shared with me.

Angel of God
My guardian dear
To Whom His love
Commits me here
Ever this day
Be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide. Amen