More on Paper and Ink

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FLYER FORCE! Really?  Forced Flyers!  Flyers Flying! Wind carrying paper to the ridge, to the pond, along the highways.  What are we doing?  A technological society…PHONES IN FACES!  People rarely look up….are they ever really present to their present company?  Why is it that flyers must be delivered to door steps?  Why don’t you look on your phones! What is the cost?  You can call to cancel your delivery.  I have many times.  And yet, with each new child employed to wrap the danged things in elastic bands, the address is not noted and again they arrive.  Each month I bow to pick up my neighbours’ flyers because they are ignored until the elastic bands rot and fall off and then the paper blows away.  Where do you suppose this paper blows? What have we become?

Please put pressure on these businesses to discontinue this form of advertisement.

?????????? ?????????? ??????????Frank’s Flats Flyers

One Bag Season Start 2014

Shredding and the Story of My Life

A way to rid myself of a preoccupation with accountability and keeping records is experiencing a big shred.  For about five years I had to be accountable with my records for reasons outside of my control. (and no, it was NOT the tax man) During this period of time, I did not throw away a single receipt and I became an expert at storing, organizing and archiving every financial record that came in or out of my life.

Once I had established these routines, I had the most difficult time letting go of this responsibility or unlearning the ridiculous habit of recording/filing and storing all of this paper baggage.  In fact, it took me about ten years to heal enough to relax and let go and now, just recently, to shred.

As I emptied the binders/notebooks and stacked the records in front of me, I experienced a great sadness that I had felt such a responsibility to account for my spending to this degree.  Unlike regular budgeting and tax preparation, this stack of paper was something more.  And recently,  as I shred each paper, I remember that, at this same time, I was mothering three children, working full time, actively participating in church ministries and trying to make a go as a professional artist.  How ridiculous that likely late at night, I was taking such pains to keep meticulous records.

My advice to others… be cautious of demands that might be made on you by ‘the other’.  Did these records assist me or benefit me in any way?  I’ll leave you to ponder this.  A scriptural passage from last week’s readings comes to mind…Mark 12:17.

??????????Three bags full later, I have half a stack left. (and yes, I wish I had a fire pit…is it legal to burn documents in a fire pit?) Regardless, my heart feels lighter and one entire file drawer is empty.  I will always have an impeccable method of storing my records and I will keep items for the suggested period of time.  However, they will have their purpose and NOT carry excess weight.

DSC_0866  On a lighter note…shredding has another meaning, one I was not familiar with.  I never said that in popular culture, I was astute.

Recently, I came upon an article on line about shreds…as in musical shreds.

From International Business Times January 24, 2014, this.

You would believe your eyes but not believe your ears if you watch this version of One Direction’s “Story of My Life.” The hit song by the most popular boy band has not sounded as awful as it does in this video. The musical chords are all out of place and the vocals are just too bad to listen to even for a few seconds. But before you start making your opinion about your favorite boy band; let’s tell you that the boys of One Direction are the latest victims of a “shred” video! Let’s find out what this new term “shredding” is.

When a famous musician/boy band gets their popular music video dubbed in by really bad singer, it’s called “shredding.”
Here’s a shred…

I’m smiling as I shred…

Losing Peanut

My readers knew that my beautiful tabby, Peanut Meister, was sick.  I wrote a cat story as I struggled with his health, visits to Dr. Marty and possible outcomes.  In the end, Peanut became very sick here at home (I will spare my readers the details) and after observing a list of observable symptoms, I knew that Peanut was struggling.  Thirty six hours later and before our Thanksgiving weekend, I made the difficult decision to ‘send him to heaven’, as Dr. Marty puts it.  As you likely would guess from my writing and approach to nature and life, I am not in support of the death penalty, abortion or euthanasia…personal views of mine alone.  So, when it comes to the decision to have a beloved pet ‘put down’, the decision comes with huge struggle and laboured consideration.  It’s a time when it would be great to have a partner to support or argue my decision(s).  But, more and more, I realize that decisions have to be my own and I have to make them with my own sense of right or wrong.

Where Peanut was concerned, my daughter informed me that we could have our vet make a house call.  This was something I did not know and in a very short time, on that horrible Friday, Dr. Jennifer Hewitt and her beautiful assistant, came to our home.  I am grateful for the respect and compassion that were shown to our family on that day.  And while it was another very sad time in my life, I felt cared for and felt that Peanut was genuinely cared for in his final hour.  Thanks also, to Dr. Martin Lovo, who always cares for my pets with a big heart and to Amanda who is the very best on the front lines.

We are all faced with difficult decisions, every day.  I’ve just shared one of mine.  Peanut, along with Laurie-dog, Edgar and Piper, before him, will remain in my heart and in the heart of my family forever.  As one of our pet-family, he brought 15 years of joy and fun into our lives.  Thank you to McKenzie Towne Animal Clinic, under the Horizon Veterinary Group.

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Voted Most Likely

My dear friend, Bob, was in town and from the time we met up at the Central Branch Public Library, last weekend, until we got to my place to share dinner, we were able to fit in a few art events.  I’ve posted about Bob before.  We met at ACAD, sharing a third year studio space and conversed our way through many lunch hours.  A lot of time has passed since 1998 and he has had a seat at many Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. Likely our most memorable event was meeting up in Paris to enjoy art together and then some relaxed time in Monet’s part of the world, Giverny, France.

Over the years, I’ve commissioned Bob to paint several pieces for me, the most important being the ten magpie paintings through my final months of teaching, one to represent every season and one of Pauline’s window looking out onto Kootenay Lake.  My treasured teacher from the University of Lethbridge is easily remembered each and every time I look up at the painting.

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Painting by Robert Melville: Blue Glass Looking Out on Kootenay Lake

Painting by Robert Melville: Blue Glass Looking Out on Kootenay Lake

P1130993Bob and I walked over to C2, where the exhibition Voted Most Likely curated by Kim Dorland is happening and then I took him on to have his first ever wander of the Esker Foundation.  Borrowed directly from the C2 description…Contemporary Calgary has invited Kim Dorland to guest curate an exhibition of artists who currently call – or have previously called – Calgary “home”. Featuring the work of emerging and established artists working in a variety of mediums, Voted Most Likely includes Chris Cran, Bradley Harms, DaveandJenn, Mark Lawes, Erik Olson, Annelie McKenzie, Tiffany Wollman, Pamela Norrish, Kent Merriman Jr, Stacey Watson, Kiarra Albina, Matthew Mark, Jeremy Pavka, and Chad VanGaalen.

DSC_0938 ?????????? DSC_0935 ?????????? DSC_0933 DSC_0932 DSC_0931 DSC_0930 DSC_0929 DSC_0928 DSC_0926 DSC_0922 DSC_0921 DSC_0920 DSC_0919 DSC_0918 DSC_0917 DSC_0916I have decided that I much prefer attending these art exhibits in the quiet of my own time rather than during the busy and sometimes crowded opening events.  If you are in the mood, however, openings are a great opportunity to meet up with the artists and converse about their process.  Why not do both?

Regardless, it was a beautiful thing to meet up with my friend from Vancouver and share in delightful conversation about the work.

Grade Two Explores Emily Carr

I had a placement this afternoon where the class, in fact, the entire school, had opportunity to watch a morning theater performance, “Emily Carr – Small Wonders” performed by
Canadiana Musical Theatre.  So, it only made sense that I follow that with an art extravaganza in the Grade 2 class.  This class has been helping me with my french lately and this has been great fun.

The inspiration for this lesson comes from Hilary Inwood.  I’ve been pouring over her stuff the past couple of weeks, absolutely in love with the types of small books, and works based on nature and ecology that she has been writing about and creating.  She has a large publication list and I encourage my friend-educators to look her up.  As my readers know, I’m quite big on picking up litter and being a steward of my environment.  I harvested from my own recycle bin and cut up three cardboard boxes this morning to be used in this activity.

First, we got the projector warmed up and watched a couple of short movies about Emily Carr, the artist.  While the children enjoyed the morning performance, they didn’t have opportunity to learn a lot about Emily’s art.  As we looked at several tree and landscape images, we talked about the wind and about the blowing shapes, in the sky, on the land and in the trees.  There was a bit of chat about British Columbia and the big tall evergreen trees and imagining walking through the woods there in the dark.

Before recess, we opened nine factories, most having two factory workers, but some, having three. I reused chart paper that was set aside in the art storage room, as factory place mats, deciding to use that for collage paper later on as well. Here, the students prepared a lot of collage papers in the approach of Henri Matisse, to be later selected and used for creating a personal landscape in the manner and energy of Emily Carr.

So, the factory workers went to work, using white, yellow, turquoise, green and blue tempera paint blocks and large brushes.  A helpful tip is to keep paint blocks out of the individual cupped containers as those are very tricky to clean.  Instead, I just set them out on palettes or margarine container lids.  Much easier to wipe off afterwards. Reminders to the students: “Stroke, don’t scrub, your brushes.”

?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????Time for recess!  Over the fifteen minutes, the collage papers dried and I cleaned out the water containers, the brushes and the palettes.  Ready for students to rumble!

The students entered, rosy cheeked and eager. I projected the following image for some sketching in their sketch books.  I also demonstrated how when we draw evergreen trees, we don’t have to draw all of the individual branches, but can draw big clumps of branches all at one time. Among the Firs 1931

Among the Firs 1931?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????To begin our compositions, we sorted our papers into two big piles on the floor, like piles of leaves.  We talked about the way the wind blows most of the time…side to side…this way and that…most of the time it’s not going up and down.  So, I initially requested a vertical composition (up and down), with the wind motion being wavy, but side to side.  “Mix up your papers, guys, to get lots of variety!”  I had brought a long a bag full of cardboard cut to size (different sizes and shapes) for compositions and a variety of tree trunks, strips also cut out of boxes.

I showed them Above the Gravel Pit by Emily Carr.

AbovetheGravelPitThe results…ta duh!

With advanced and Division II classes, you might add three layers of hills (foreground/middle ground and background)…and several trees.  At all grade levels, given time, you might also want to add textures/shading/highlighting onto the tree forms with oil pastel, before gluing.  Because this is a young group and I am a visiting teacher, one tree did the trick!

Thank you, Grade 2, for the magic of an afternoon making art!

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Losing Elma Flaherty

Elma slipped away without my knowing.  Within our family circle, she had been a forever-friend and I can not remember life without her.  And then, after my knock at her door and my entry into her home, I discovered her chair was gone.  Her things were gone. Elma was gone. And no words were left behind.

Elma passed on April 8 of 2013.  I was sitting next to my beautiful Mom in Belleville General Hospital the day that Elma passed away.

At Thanksgiving, I remember Elma because for most of twenty-five Thanksgivings, maybe thirty, Elma was sitting at my feast table, with my children and our friends.  I will remember her again this year.  I love you, Elma, and may you rest in peace.

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Elma Repairing my toilet seat. IMG_5677 Thanksgiving Dinner 2008 035 Elma in Barons July 2 2010 IMG_5565 P1040853 P1050042 P1050049

 

Big Moon

Moon walking…cello…Morag…notes reaching up into the sky…river sounds…dry grass under foot…cold nose…trumpet…owl answering again and again…quiet voices…clouds lit up from behind…stars, bright against the dark sky…openings between the clouds…peace…music energized by sensory intake…drums…spirit…stories…engagement…mystery…community…Fish Creek Park.

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Grateful for Good Food

I just sliced some meatloaf and set it down on fresh grainy bread, slathered the bread lightly in butter and mustard and served it up with a dill pickle and a cold glass of milk.

Every day, I am grateful for the blessings of good food and water.  These are among our basic human needs, but certainly I know the difference between the abundance I enjoy and the discrepancy with what is available to most members of my global human community.

This past summer, I was blessed to have my father with me and together we enjoyed many culinary delights, both on the road and here at home.  Over the past five years, my father has become an amazing cook and he has many pointers and recipes to share.  It is a joy to sit down with good company and consume amazing food.  As we approach our family Thanksgiving feasts, let us remember to be grateful and, when possible, let us share of our abundance.

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The Nuisance Grounds & Listening to Derek Beaulieu on 93.7

I was thinking about writing a poem as I was depositing my trash bag into the bin today, Another hour or so at Frank’s Flats, and I was left feeling that I had entered into the personal narrative of a community…browsing deep into the sock drawers of strangers.

Driving home, I heard Derek Beaulieu, Calgary’s 2014 Poet Laureate, reading his poem, Please, No More Poetry on 93.7

For a moment, I second-guessed myself and thought it would be a waste of time to write.  But, only for a moment.  And then I decided, instead of Netflix, I would go ahead and write a poem.

October 5, 2014 Frank's Flats

October 5, 2014 Frank’s Flats

 

The Nuisance Grounds

My feet sweat inside my
rubber boots
and the sun shines,
lighting up other people’s waste.
Those other people
leave no more secrets.

Five more granola packages today
and three plastic pudding containers.
I didn’t find the spoons.
Many pages of coloured paper announce the deals
for this week and weeks before.

A bag of human defecation wrapped and tied
neatly, left under a tree.
McCafe cup, broken plastic bits.
Coloured straws, other-worldly in
natural surroundings.
Red hawk calling from above.
Ducks, skittish, paddling out from shore.

This is other people’s nuisance.  Not yours.
Bags with yellow liquid swishing at their bottoms.

Bags with brilliant logos of Wal-Mart,
Home Depot
mostly, today.

A long length of bubble wrap
dazzled dots in the light,
wraps around and hugs a
tree…larch…autumn…beauty.

Styrofoam falls apart
at my pinch, a myriad of white spheres
separate
and
fall
into the grass.
I’ll have to be more gentle next time.

It’s at this point, I think about writing
a poem.

I am at odds
because there is no one to blame.
This is not yours.

©Kathleen Moors

Art Walking in Calgary

Here’s the thing.  From Thursday on, each and every week, I tend to be out art-walking, usually some time just after Max-walking.  But, for some folk, this might be an activity yet to be enjoyed and so I thought I’d jot a quick post about it. Each and every year, the city invites Calgarians out for an event titled Calgary Artwalk.  This year, the celebration of our 31st anniversary took place on September 20 and 21.

Art Walk

I think that what this event attempts to do is to knock down a particular kind of boundary that seems to separate art from viewer OR artist from viewer.  It is an imagined construct that comes out of some odd sense of mystery or entitlement.  Sometimes I think that the public might even imagine that art-walking isn’t even fun.   Artwalk is about the accessibility of visual art to the general public.

Because I’m ‘a single’ in the world, art-walking provides the perfect pastime.  In fact, I met another single person at the cross walk heading for the opening of VANISHING ICE: ALPINE AND POLAR LANDSCAPES IN ART 1775-2012 at the Glenbow the other night and we shared a pleasant conversation about her living in New York previously and how she has a difficult time taking in all of the possible events that this city offers over time.  Art-walking provides for opportunities to meet people you might not have bumped into in any other setting.  It also helps artists reconnect with friend-artists who are important mentors and inspirations.  This happens regularly for me.

Back to Artwalk…I had booked myself into several different things (some art related-some not) that particular weekend, but since I was flying along 9th Ave at some point, I knew that I wanted to stop into Collectors’ Art Gallery to view my friend Douglas Williamson’s recent work.  There was only one person in attendance at the same time and he was in a deep conversation with the owner about the status of ‘real’ art and the gallery scene.  Another magical thing about visiting art galleries is that they are generally quiet places where you can be privy to some very interesting dialogues.  If you are someone who enjoys a more rowdy visual arts activity, attend a Gorilla or Rumble House event and see those boundaries removed at warp speed.  These can be noisy places.

The work featured in the exhibit, FOUR, was varied and elegant, but I was drawn immediately to Doug’s work.  He has tremendous ambition while exploring the traditions of very technical painting, through both process and directional lighting of his subject matter.  There is always a bit of a back story, so I don’t make assumptions about his work.  Usually he is exploring a theme of utmost importance to him at the time and uses his subjects, most often still life objects, to communicate a message.  His works are always thought provoking.

Circle the Wagons by Douglas Williamson Photo Credit: Douglas Williamson

Circle the Wagons by Douglas Williamson Photo Credit: Douglas Williamson

The Answer

The Answer by Douglas Williamson Photo Credit: Douglas Williamson

Heh…I was in the neighbourhood, so I crossed over to DaDe Art & Design Lab where Greg Fraser and Darcy Lundgren were flopped out on a comfortable sofa while guests gathered at the fancy coffee bar in the other room.  Always amicable and welcoming, we shared a laugh and then I went strolling, taking in the whimsical and layered works of Darcy Lundgren.  This is a go-to place for art, design, furnishings and general inspiration.  Handy to lovely eating spots (my favourite…the Dragon Pearl) and good music (The Blue’s Can and Ironwood), this is a fascinating place for a wander.

DSC_0635 DSC_0634 DSC_0633 DSC_0632 DSC_0631 DSC_0630 DSC_0629I highly recommend the current exhibit in the Glenbow Museum, Made in Calgary: the 2000s, where you will enjoy powerful work by our contemporaries.  Still on my list, Contemporary Calgary’s exhibitsHomecoming/Kim Dorland until January 18, 2015 at the Stephen Ave. Mall location and Voted Most Likely curated by Kim Dorland at the City Hall location.

Some art venues provide opportunities for art talks, as well as hand’s on art projects and these are advertised in FFWD as well as through the individual websites.  The Esker Foundation provides some of the most intriguing talks/events and I highly recommend you visit their website for registration through Eventbrite.  Recently, I heard Dick Averns speak on the topic War Art Then: War Art Now.  I enjoyed perusing his collection of family and other artifacts and learned about the Canadian Forces Artists Programs. Fantastic!

On a more local community level, I recently attended, along with my besties, an exhibit of art works at the Fish Creek Library where we enjoyed samplings of wines and cheeses provided by Springbank Cheese Company.  Calgary Public Art programs are varied and generous.  All you need to do is purchase a library card.  A must!

In conclusion, I find myself, this weekend, enjoying a lengthy sojourn on my red sofa, drinking ruby red grapefruit juice and blowing my nose.  Having participated in the Martin Sadlon Scholarship Fundraising Concert and Art Battle/Auction on Friday night, the weekend has been a Netflix fling ever since.  As a result of my current situation, I have missed the recent opening of Sculpture at Trepanier Baer and the opening at Jarvis Hall Fine Art.  Art-walking is something that needs to be done in moderation as it can take you over and can be hazardous to your health!  I am sitting here laughing at that.  (Pulling a tissue from the box.)

Art Auction Martin Sadlong