John Moors (1876 – 1918) Recent Connections

This is a very brief post that serves only to express gratitude for the recent and generous connections I have made related to my Great Grandfather John Moors (1876 – 1918).  What a wonderful thing it is to have cousins discover my writings and research and to respond!  These Paternal relations include Charlene, Jacqueline and now, James. Thank you, for your connection. For about 15 years, I’ve been fanatically engaged in research on both my mother and father’s sides of the family.

Some would ask, “Why does it matter?…or… “What does it all mean, anyway?”…but, there is something innate within me that wants to know who my people are.  It is a weakness.

Long-story-short, I have always looked for a photograph of my Dad’s Grandfather, in uniform.  Every Remembrance Day, I was disappointed that I had only the image of his wedding day.    He died and is buried in Etaples, France.  He was lying in General Canada Hospital #51, when during the night, a bombing raid orchestrated by the Germans, decimated most of  the location and killed John Moors. I’ve thought that he should be remembered. Don’t get me wrong.  I was happy about having the wedding photograph…but, imagine my excitement when, randomly, Charlene sent a photograph over the internet from her home to mine…and to, in a flash, have my Great Grandfather’s visage appear face-to-face with me on a screen in 2018.  GAHHHHH!

Enough said…first, our family’s single archive up until now…my Great Grandmother Mary Eleanor Haddow Moors in the center front and my Great Grandfather John Moors back right.

wedding jpg best copy of Great Grandfather John Moors

I took this photograph of a photograph that my Auntie Eleanor had hanging in her home.  When it comes to gathering family history, I’m not super fussy about archival quality of images.  It’s a simple blessing to have  moments of history sustained and easily available to as many family members as is possible and as quickly as possible.  I think I’ve written about this before…that ‘in the day’ how would family members even include one another in these histories?  We are sooo blessed!

Here he is!  My Great Grandfather!  What a handsome man!  My father said he had striking red hair, much like my own Grandfather Moors did and now, my own beautiful daughter.

John Moors Great Grandfather

I’m hoping that Betty Silver’s daughter has an opportunity to see this as I know that she was on the look out for the very same image, saying (as other relations remembered) that a large framed photograph of John in uniform hung in the family dining room.

Second to this, Charlene shared what looks like a younger image of this John.

John Moors Great Grandfather 2

He looked dapper.  I try to imagine as I look at this image, that here is captured the 13 year old who came by ship, on his own…a British Home Child who worked very hard on at least three farm placements including Elora and two outside of Guelph.  This was likely taken during his Hamilton days.

And finally, a family photograph including my own Grandfather John Moors, his young brother Robert (Bob), his sister, Grace and his mother, Mary Eleanor Haddow Moors.  Mary Eleanor had striking dark eyes and hair…I see a lot of my father in her.  This would have been taken some time after the passing of their father and husband John Moors.

Grandfather John Moors

And finally, something that I just received tonight…icing on the cake!  My first cousin once-removed, James, has provided photographs of front and back of John’s military medal.  I’m so grateful that unlike so many families, this object has been cared for and cherished so that now, so many years later, all can enjoy.  Blessings on my family for their generous work.  My cousin, Teddy Witbeck, has been doing a remarkable job working on our family tree on Family Search.  As we continue to piece together our history, his work can be accessed.  Trust me, you will have a great head start that way!

Love you all.

John Moors back side medalJohn Moors medal front

I’ve written away and had much support attaining John’s military record…this medal assignment was included there.

John Moors (17)

Mr. Man-Moth Flies In and Out of Rumble House

This post isn’t a tribute as much as it’s an expression of my heart felt sympathy for the loved ones who knew well, loved, shared experiences with, worked along side beautiful human beings who recently lost their lives, while making their way somewhere on blustery roads in Saskatchewan.  They lived, created, inspired…were fun and funny…sometimes despairing…sometimes challenged and challenging…I just feel sad that they are gone.

Among them, Michael Green.  Over the next long while, Calgarians will be discovering so many reasons why we miss him.  Some of this was felt at Rumble House last night, a visual arts space where artists of all walks can gather and paint with wild abandon.  As Larissa so eloquently shared last night, having struggled personally as a result of the High River floods…ones art is sometimes all that gets a person through the struggles.  “My art saved me.”  Enriquito has his story.  Dave has his story.  Frank has his story.




I went to Rumble House with a bit of a heavy heart.  Earlier in the day I had seen an image that Frank shared on social media.  It was the image of the most spectacular and exotic moth.  I was thinking about the absence of beautiful beings and about what their journey must be once letting go of the body.  The body, through gravity, lives a part of its life grounded.  Beings interact with other beings through voice and touch and smell.  This is all so beautiful and I think that through such recent news as this, we are reminded to cherish the lives that engage us every day.  Look, with care, upon the work of others.  Value their creativity.

It is worth your while to read this poem in its entirety.  It’s lovely.  Thank you, Jess, for purchasing this piece at auction.  Thanks, Bruce and Enriquito.  Thanks for the image, Frank, and we miss you.  The moth struggles toward the light.

The poem, The Man-Moth by Elizabeth Bishop

Here, above,
cracks in the buildings are filled with battered moonlight.
The whole shadow of Man is only as big as his hat.
It lies at his feet like a circle for a doll to stand on,
and he makes an inverted pin, the point magnetized to the moon.
He does not see the moon; he observes only her vast properties,
feeling the queer light on his hands, neither warm nor cold,
of a temperature impossible to record in thermometers.
                     But when the Man-Moth
pays his rare, although occasional, visits to the surface,
the moon looks rather different to him. He emerges
from an opening under the edge of one of the sidewalks
and nervously begins to scale the faces of the buildings.
He thinks the moon is a small hole at the top of the sky,
proving the sky quite useless for protection.
He trembles, but must investigate as high as he can climb.
                     Up the façades,
his shadow dragging like a photographer’s cloth behind him
he climbs fearfully, thinking that this time he will manage
to push his small head through that round clean opening
and be forced through, as from a tube, in black scrolls on the light.
(Man, standing below him, has no such illusions.)
But what the Man-Moth fears most he must do, although
he fails, of course, and falls back scared but quite unhurt.
                     Then he returns
to the pale subways of cement he calls his home. He flits,
he flutters, and cannot get aboard the silent trains
fast enough to suit him. The doors close swiftly.
The Man-Moth always seats himself facing the wrong way
and the train starts at once at its full, terrible speed,
without a shift in gears or a gradation of any sort.
He cannot tell the rate at which he travels backwards.
                     Each night he must
be carried through artificial tunnels and dream recurrent dreams.
Just as the ties recur beneath his train, these underlie
his rushing brain. He does not dare look out the window,
for the third rail, the unbroken draught of poison,
runs there beside him. He regards it as a disease
he has inherited the susceptibility to. He has to keep
his hands in his pockets, as others must wear mufflers.
                     If you catch him,
hold up a flashlight to his eye. It’s all dark pupil,
an entire night itself, whose haired horizon tightens
as he stares back, and closes up the eye. Then from the lids
one tear, his only possession, like the bee’s sting, slips.
Slyly he palms it, and if you’re not paying attention
he’ll swallow it. However, if you watch, he’ll hand it over,
cool as from underground springs and pure enough to drink.


Elizabeth Bishop, “The Man-Moth” from The Complete Poems 1926-1979. Copyright © 1979, 1983 by Alice Helen Methfessel. Reprinted with the permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. (because the Poetry Foundation provides for a share on Facebook and Twitter, I’m hoping this means that I may share the poem)

Source: The Complete Poems 1926-1979 (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1983)


DSC_2474 DSC_2473 ?????????? ??????????

January 21, 2015 at the Rumble

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of letting your ideas float while painting.  This past week, I had a dream…something about seeing a face looking up out of the bottom of a well.  It was dark down that hole, but I could still see the face.  Instead of being made of rock, the walls were made of lush green foliage and plant life.

  “Green is symbolic of communicating care on a subtle, energetic level. When we dream of green, we are imbued with a magical ability to transfer knowledge by unorthodox means. Green facilitates growth, love and healing by mental stimulation. Greeks believed intelligence came from the heart. This combined with the green of the heart chakra talks to us about emotional intelligence and communicating with an open heart. I realize I’m being vague here, this kind of ethereal communication isn’t easily identified. However, we can look to mother nature for help in explanation. She speaks in viridian tongue – communicating a sea of burgeoning growth – all expressed by the color green. When we dream of green we’re experiencing levels of healing and growth that are subtle. It’s time to concentrate on the areas of our lives that need to flourish. Once we hone in, and begin to express our identification on an emotional (heart) level, our growth will be exponential and immense.”

I have no idea what was going on or who it was, but I’ve heard that all characters that one sees in a dream are the self.  I would consider this character to be a shadow person.

Given a two hour time limit, painting at the Rumble House does not always allow for a real resolution to a painting, but rather, allows the artist enough time to put the idea down in an instant.  Most of these works would be considered sketches of a sort.  I did not achieve the depth in this painting that was in my mind.  This would have required many more layers.  I tried to create the sense of coming out of depths quickly, by painting central dark to outward light auras regardless.  I got a quick snap shot, but not the result I had hoped for.

The inspirations that were drawn from the wheel of doom included 1) a whale breaching 2)  These


DSC_1843And 3) hmm….something inspired by a Dylan Thomas poem.  Each evening at Rumble House, as was true of the Gorilla House, these inspirations may be included/explored by the artists in their works or be ignored all together.

Some of the real highlights last night were having ukelele music flowing live out of the heart of Emma Rouleau in the house.

Nina, of Hear’s My Soul Cafe was in the house, along with her friend, Steve.  The two of them had a bit of a bidding war on my piece, but Steve managed the final bid.  Thanks, Steve!  It’s ok…Nina left with two fantastical pieces, one painted by my artist-buddy, Jennifer and the other by a new-to-the-rumble artist, Nick.  Both, beautiful works!

Here’s the lovely Nina with Jennifer Stinson’s work.

DSC_1852It was good to talk to you, Stacey and to learn that you read my blog.  It always surprises me when people connect with my writing.  So, I was grateful for that.

Thanks to Andy for pulling over to say good night.  And, I had a wonderful chat with another artist (I want to say that her name is Lorraine…please send me a message and let me know your name!) (LOUISE!!  Her name is Louise!  She read this and contacted me!  So happy about that!) at the doorway, as I was leaving.  She is a woman after my own heart.  Priscilla, yes, I am coming out of the grief and I have appreciated your inspiration along the way.

Thanks to Steve, who generously purchased this piece at auction.  Now, off to teach grade threes!  We’re painting images based on the Taj Mahal today!  Stay tuned!



DIY: The Sketching Begins

Moving beyond white, I’ve applied two coats of colour to the pieces and I’m now beginning to create the art.  I thought I’d continue with the theme of this earlier painting that I’ve hung in my bedroom and incorporate the autumn leaves, as well as some mountain ash berries foliage and a couple of sparrows.  We’ll see how that goes.  I have begun to block in some areas for colour.  Because I’m using acrylic paints, I don’t want to apply yellow over a green or blue.  I find that yellow is very translucent and will not be pure unless applied to a white ground.

P1080135This is the fun part.  The first coat of base colour (a periwinkle or lavender blue) has been applied to the other vanity and I’m in the house drinking a glass of water before the project continues.

P1170992 P1170993 P1170995


In the company of create! creatives yesterday, we celebrated the experience of the Helping Hands mural and then, once back at the Golden Age Club, stepped into our paintings through a discussion about the illusion of space and creating depth.  I wanted to reveal to the participants some of the most basic mysteries behind trompe l’oeil and creating depth through one and two point perspective. I wanted to fiddle around a bit with block lettering and show some tricks to bring flat shapes into the three dimensional realm.

I had been thinking, as I drove down to the East Village, about a famous piece that was based on the number seven and wished that I had an image to show the class.  I had decided that since it was Friday the 13th yesterday and a full moon as well, I wanted the subject of the paintings to be the number 13.  Unfortunately, on my drive home, I remembered that the painting that had come to mind had really been based on the number 5, The Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth. It causes me a big laugh at the keyboard as I type this admission. Regardless, I will bring a stack of my art books down to class next month and share the image, based on the poem by William Carlos Williams, The Great Figure.

The Great Figure

Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
fire truck
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
Sour Grapes: A Book of Poems
Four Seasons Company: Boston 1921

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


P1170179 P1170180P1170182 P1170183 P1170187 P1170188 P1170189 P1170190 P1170191 P1170192 P1170194 P1170195 P1170196 P1170205 P1170206 P1170207 P1170208 P1170209 P1170210 P1170211Thirteen


Love Notes

P1150418 P1150419 P1150420My cousin, Margy, received Love Note #11.

I sent off the last two Love Notes two days ago, apart from the one that I have kept for myself.

P1150403 P1150406 P1150408 P1150409 P1150411 P1150413 P1150414I painted the series in 2004.  It’s difficult to believe that already ten years have passed.  Their story follows.

Love Notes

A Series of 12 Paintings



In 2004, I took up running along the ridge and down on to the lower trail along the Bow River.  I had stopped to take a break at a random point.  It was shady.  I was completely alone, and to the right of me, the river flowed a blue green.  I bent to tighten my laces, when at my toe, I saw a single rose.  Bewildered, I picked it up and held it in my hand, looking.  I spoke out loud at that time and said, “If this is some sort of a sign, Lord, thank you.”

I had lost at love again.  It had become a ritual with me in my life.  This time I was stumped and struggling to get back on track.  The rose was a gift for me, a gift of healing.

Just next to the path and under some trees, I found a bench.  I decided to sit and rest there for a time.  I didn’t notice them at first, but there, hung by ribbon from the trees, were eleven roses.  I gasped.  All of a sudden, I felt that the space, the landscape and the river were more sacred.  Something had happened at this location or someone special/an event had been remembered.  I sat quietly for the longest time.  Instead of continuing on a run, I turned for home, the rose still in my cupped hand.

I decided to paint a dozen roses…nostalgia, memory, love, symbols…

Eleven people have now received a Love Note…I have kept the one.  The process: I flipped the paintings over in a grid of twelve and I wrote out my own love note, left to right, from top to bottom.  Writing had, over the years, become an essential practice for me...this, along with exploring the visual world…objects…landscape…faces.

four by three

One to TwelveThe painting at the top left was titled Love Note #1, all the way to Love Note #12 in the bottom right.  If you received a Love Note, it was because something in you lit a spark in me.  This was a very random, but time-impacted process.  It would take an amazing moment in the gyre of life to bring the owners all together so that they might read the complete note on the back, something that connects all of you!

The original rose that I found at my toe remains in my studio, a reminder of the lessons taught in my favourite book, Le Petit Prince par Antoine de Saint-Exupery.  If you received a Love Note, I would love to hear from you…and hear about the moment when you received a painting gift from me.  I would enjoy reading your love note to me.

P1150422 P1150423 As time passes, I lose friends.  I hold onto their memory in words and images.

P1150426 P1150427 P1150428

Gorilla House LIVE ART Battle: January 9, 2013

Sheesh! The concepts drawn at the wheel of doom were absurd, the strangest combination of unrelated blah blah yet to be struggled with and that is for sure!


“If Nancy Knew What Wearing Green and Yellow on Thursday Meant” by Joe Brainard

From 1963 to 1978, Joe Brainard created more than a hundred works of art that appropriated the classic comic strip character Nancy.

"If Nancy Knew What Wearing Green and Yellow on Thursday Meant" by Joe Brainard

Photo Credit Unknown but located here.

Second…from The Onion, America’s Finest News Source,

Authorities Abandon Search For Missing Girl After Finding Huge Bass While Dredging Lake

Photo Credit Unknown but Located Here

Photo Credit Unknown but Located Here

And finally,  Joan Miro’s Image, The Potato

The Potato by Joan Miro, 1928

The Potato by Joan Miro, 1928

Now…I ask you, what would you do with that?  Quite honestly, at the moment the concepts were drawn, I was more consumed with a conversation shared prior to the spin of the wheel.  I had chatted with a few people about insomnia…my daughter struggles with this and at times, I do as well.  For two nights I hadn’t slept.

This led to a visit about dreams…wakefulness…consciousness and sleep.  It always happens at the Gorilla House (the visits, I mean)  So, when we began to paint, I had to deal with one gentleman’s dream and Miro gave me the entry point for doing this.  The dreamer found himself pulling wiggling worms out of his shoulders and pitching them down on to the ground…a nightmare…the setting, looking at himself in the mirror after having had a shower.  Seeing the worms in the reflection, he pulled them out one at a time.  A question at waking, “Was I really asleep when that happened?”

For the rest, my painting speaks for itself.  It is just so bizarre!  The missing girl…in yellow (no green), left while dredging.  Apparently, it was more important for the authorities to snapple that large bass!  Miro…amorphic shapes, line, text and colour palette.  THE BASS…a fish…unrealistically large in context with the other dream-like figures.

Thanks to Jessica for purchasing the piece at auction.  Just to let you know, Jessica, ashes from a Sweet Grass smudging in my studio were incorporated into the ground.  This painting will be a blessing-painting.  Thanks to Harold for propping up my piece while I snapped a photograph.  Thanks to Karen for a taste of red wine when I had no coin.  Thanks to Kells and Deb for quiet conversation.  Thanks to Jenn for Cadmium Yellow Medium.  And thanks to Bassano del Grotto!  Thanks be to God, for a safe drive home through a blizzard and too many centimeters of snow!  Readers…may you have sweet dreams and know that they have a story for you, if you but take the time to ponder them.

P1090272 P1090273 P1090275 P1090276 P1090277 P1090285

Gorilla House LIVE ART: September 5, 2012

Oh my gosh…this painting was a struggle! This is one where I would like to see time lapsed photography of the process because it evolved so much over a two hour period.  The concepts were flunkies (or some such thing) from night school, bikes and seven hearts.  I decided to focus on a single theme, the seven hearts.  The midnight riders of last week had frustrated me a tad, so I knew that I really didn’t want to tackle that one.  Night was also a concept that I didn’t want to take on.

So…first of all I related with the number concept of ‘seven’.  I think that I’ve always seen that as my ‘lucky number’.  Hmmm…what is that?  I’ve never won anything because of the number seven.  It has not played any pertinent role in my life!  Why would I even perceive it as ‘lucky’.  Ooogie boogie…really!

Anyway, embedded in the piece is a portion of chapter seven from each book in the Old Testament…they read from Genesis, right to left…and then on into the Gospels…ending though, in Luke.  This was a bit of a time USER, so, do I regret it?  No.

Next, I applied a prism of tissue as my ground, from top of composition to bottom, beginning with violet.  This was a decision that, in the end, haunted me because I struggled with colour scheme throughout the exercise.  I had seven roses in my mind as an actual depiction, but when I used my red…it was just too warm when placed on top of its violet and cool blue surroundings.  In retrospect, I would have sketched in my space for the roses and built the texture up to and around the foreground, developing the roses from the very beginnings.

This is where the push and pull began to occur.  I placed the primary rose too low in the composition and too central.  After applying generous paint, I then had to remove it and altar the placement.  Colours began to muddy and I thought that I was in trouble.

I ended up pulling a wash of gold over most of the piece to create unity and then worked pthalo blue into the bottom third to push back the remaining tissue story (yellow,orange and red), leaving just enough of an underpinning to resonate with the red in the roses.  I changed the placement of the primary rose left of center and built gestures of six others to pull the eye through the composition.  Sigh…

It was during the final five minutes that I resolved the composition and that in itself, was a relief.  I find it very interesting that a single decision in colour or the placement of an element may steer your piece into a direction that doesn’t work and then you have to pull the entire composition BACK or remove the element.  It’s a push and pull thing throughout the experience.  The entire process left me wasted.  I’m smiling as I type this because the truth is, nothing can be more wonderful than being given a challenge and then seeing it right through to the end.

Thanks to Paul and Emma for purchasing the piece at auction.  As the result of the challenges I faced, the piece ended up with a sense of multiple layers and a rich textured surface.  Let us not even speak of the colour!

Thanks for the photo, Belinda!!

I can only hope that someone at the event caught some images of the process.  I would really enjoy seeing how I progressed through the piece.  It’s one thing to tell the story, but it would be quite another to see it.  This is the benefit for the people who attend the Gorilla House!  They are able to observe the process as nearly 30 people create amazing work.


Talking about life…art…wood…dreams.

My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living. Anais Nin

I DID Make A Peter Mason Smile!

I continue to keep ALL of my readers updated on the search for the photographer, P. Mason of the two Polar Bears, shot in 1989.   I will spare you the image.  Or should I?  I heard back from another Peter Mason.

Hi Kathleen,  I do get some random queries from time to time, but this did make me smile. Sorry no its not me. There are a few p mason photographers (one in LA, owns but 1989 was a while ago i guess.

Good luck.

Peter Mason Photography Ltd
Skype: PeterMasonphotography
Mobile : 07774 496414
On 11 Jan 2012, at 02:14, Kathleen wrote:
This is very random, I know!  But, have you ever photographed polar bears?  I have come upon a photograph signed P. Mason 1989 and I’m trying to track down the artist.  Thanks for your help…beautiful work on your site!  Kathleen
I decided to continue to publish the image and the dated signature, in the hopes that someone might recognize their work, even if, as Peter Mason states,  1989 is a long time ago!  To create a bit of variety, I’ve decided to format the photograph differently.


Beautiful pelicans…a huge v formation, perhaps forty of them less than fifty feet above us…sound of wings whistled in rhythmic up downs up downs up downs…long beaks…our necks strained back to look as they passed over us, southeast on the river…magic…my son and I quietly talking to one another by the campfire.