Art Speaks, so RUMBLE!

I cherished painting last night at the Rumble House.  Stories from Paris were my first stories of the day because, rising early, I had a coffee in my hand and some free time.  I clicked on the news.  Sigh.  Twelve human beings killed.

In the past, I’ve been appalled with satire that was posted on social media regarding MY GOD…MY JESUS…MY LORD.  There’s no way on earth I could understand the inhuman approach to such disturbing images that got a ‘big laugh’ from the throngs of the Faceless Facebook personae.  At the time, I was struggling.  At the time, my Mom was struggling…she was struggling for breath in hospital, having been afflicted with pneumonia.  No one loves/loved Jesus more than my Mom.  So…how did I feel about the public hatred for Christianity…the insensitive portrayal of MY Saviour?  I felt hurt…attacked…defiant.  But, how did my actions play out?  I expressed my point of view on the subject.  I shared my feelings.  I confronted and even celebrated my faith.  I understood that not everyone sees things my way and that doesn’t make me a lesser being and it certainly is no deficiency in the other.

Given who I am, I doubt that I would truly appreciate the perspective or satire shared by the Charles Hebdo weekly newspaper.  It’s just not in me to poke fun at any person’s faith or ideas.  However, what was accomplished by mowing down the lives of human beings who were simply expressing their opinions in a democratic society, can only be described as shocking and deeply disturbing.  I was left speechless as I thought all day about how much I treasure my freedom to express.

So…what did I paint?

I thought about a few different contexts and melded them.  I knew exactly what I wanted to paint.

For one reference, Grampa Moors used to spend hours watching Loonie Tunes, his favourite being The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.  Grampa, after a day in the woolen mill, would pull down his suspenders and turn on the cartoons, laughing in his way (I can hear it right now, as I type),  while a whole row of youngsters curled up under his arm on the sofa while he did.  I don’t think that there was anything more violent in my childhood than watching this miserable, but somehow hopeful, coyote, blown up again and again or clobbered at the base of a huge ravine by a giant boulder.  He always got up.  Something about the aesthetic and characters of this wee cartoon, reached into me yesterday…and I remember the cartoon with a great deal of affection.

Who might possibly paint a portrait of this violence…and make it seemingly banal and even humourous?  OH!  I KNOW!  Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675)  This would be somehow satirical…right?  How could I build upon this?  The artist paints an artist painting Wile E. Coyote…hmmm….what if the unsuspecting artist has as his possible undoing,  his own subject matter!  A bit of tension.  I KNOW!  Dynamite!  And so the connections developed…I sought out a reference where the subject is Johannes Vermeer, painting…here it is, Vermeer At Easel circa 1662-1668.

vermeer-at-easelI hoped that I might adjust the composition…and modify, knowing full well that I wasn’t going to be able to pull a Vermeer out of my bum in 2 hours.

So, in the end…I positioned the figure on the panel so that I had that space in the upper third…I KNOW…I will include the word SATIRE, for those people who need it spelled out for them.  It DOES SEEM that a lot of people don’t understand OR appreciate good satire.

In the end, I am grateful for the generous bidding that took place on the piece.  I thank Rich and Jess for hosting on a relatively quiet night…grateful for Jennifer and Andy because I always enjoy a good conversation…for Mike who had some interesting things to tell me about Paris…for Gavin who drove me to the station…for Claire, former student, who showed up for her first paint night and for Robb who purchased this piece at auction, but best of all, the offer of rides/support/coffee and just general generosity. I’m richly blessed by this community. (although the set cost for an adult fare on the C-Train IS ridiculous)

Photo taken by Aaron Feser who is addicted to distraction.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this one by Robb or his buddy…not certain…but, I love it!

Vermeer Paints SatireAnd..this piece of You Tube video…just because I love this song almost as much as Jack White does.

Loving the Bogners

It’s a beautiful thing to have friends who journey the years with you…while not WITH you exactly, they are in your heart. Everything I’m about to write comes from the rewriting of memory.  It’s interesting that when Randy Bogner sits down and recalls a story or two, it seems to me, that those stories can be completely different from the ones that I recall.  But, such is life and its richness.  In telling stories, people can create something new each time…you know what I mean?  If you don’t share a zillion years then you don’t get to discover how this works.  One must laugh and enjoy these experiences.  They are the blessings of lives well-lived.

I met Randy what seems THAT zillion years ago.  It was through those years when I had a beautiful and young circle of friends early 70s, in Lethbridge, Alberta.  I was blessed to be able to meet and live with my dear friend, to this day, Gloria. These were the years of EOF projects, Employment Opportunities For Youth and several of our group were employed teaching drawing, clay and painting in tucked away places, like the Civic Skating Rink.  I remember listening to one teacher-friend reciting poetry while sitting on a table and at the same time, braiding a bracelet.  I remember riding my bike every where.

Given that my family had moved east again, as was my father’s military obligation, I found myself plunked into a world that was strange and unfamiliar to me.  So, along with the new, that same bike would regularly be parked up against the outside wall of a variety of churches, finally resting up against the brick wall of St. Patrick’s parish and so began my journey toward becoming a Catholic.

These were the days of hippie earth children, long hair and the White Album.  Randy’s hair was admired by everyone, given that it extended the full length of his back.  And he was/is a tall drink of water, so that’s saying something.  Cabarets were also big and while I didn’t drink, I enjoyed the lively music and dancing late into the night. Hmmm….a good time to inject some music. S’alright…you needn’t listen to the entire album, but you might set it to play while you’re reading this nostalgia.

These were the years of back yard visiting, Yukka Flux and communal foot washing/rubbing rituals.  It was a different time.

I remember, as well, that Randy played classical guitar so beautifully and during gatherings there would be this amazing sound going on while our friends talked over it.  These were the days when we had it ALL FIGURED OUT and we were going to change the world.

Glo was/is the one who I must give credit to making sure that, over the years, we all stuck together…stayed in touch…were informed on births, deaths, marriages and she is a blessing to us all!  For example, she created this collage of photographs, some distant past and others from 2000.  Her card…I save them all…is dated August 25, 2001.

Glo Collage

Gloria's WedingI lost touch with Randy for a chunk of years as he disappeared into the Slocan Valley…lived with a family of wonderful brothers and sisters and created pottery.  This, from the outside, appeared to be a spiritual quest for Randy and contributed to his forever-formation as a Christian, I’m certain.  We joke about the only visit I made out to Slocan, along with my daughter and a then-boyfriend.  The ‘Shack’ seemed to be so tucked away in the trees of the valley, that from the bottom of a dirt road, I started calling out to the trees…”Randy!  Randy!  Are you there, Randy?”  It turned out to be a beautiful visit, however other-worldly.

A few photographs, snappled up without permission, to illustrate Randy of those days…late 70s-early 80s.

Kiln Opening Randy Bogner Hobo Late 70s or early 80s Hobo the dog Slocan Valley Randy Bogner 1983I am blessed in that I have been the recipient of a couple of pieces of pottery created by Randy.

What happened after that…I don’t know.  Years passed. Gloria, again, became the reason I reunited with Randy and his beautiful wife, Jane, and their girls.  A lot had transpired for the Bogners before this meeting.  But…not my story to share.  It was such a blessing to meet Jane and now to know her as a true Ya Ya.  Wonderfully warm and generous of spirit, I can now say that I’ve had opportunity, along with Glo, to share much home made bread, soup and pastries with Jane’s family. Another family that loves dogs as much as I do!  Jane is a wealth of knowledge, especially around book recommendations and always has the right question to ask to inspire and to provoke thought. I admire Jane’s ability to cook, and especially delight in her baked goods, but I’ve also had opportunity to look at her art portfolio and I still look forward to a paint-out opportunity. We share many laughs when we are visiting the Bogners and I’m so grateful for these times.

The last huge body of work I painted was an exhibit titled The Places I Have Been, hosted by the Wallace Art Galleries and the Bogner family, Glo and several of her friends came out to support me.  I don’t know what I’d do without friends like these.  That collection of landscapes somehow represented, also, the landscape of these friendships and what they have come to mean over time.

Oil Paintings 2

2010 Visiting the Bogners

2010 Visiting the Bogners

2010 Bogners

There’s That Warm Bread!

2010 Bogners 5

There’s That Home Made Soup!

 

2013 Visit With the Bogners and Meeting Juno

2013 Visit With the Bogners and Meeting Juno

House Concerts

House Concerts

Room for Dessert? YOU BET!

Room for Dessert? YOU BET!

Quiche, Home Made Bread, Salad and the Glo's Gift of an Orchid

Quiche, Home Made Bread, Salad and the Glo’s Gift of an Orchid

2014 Visit With the Bogners

2014 Visit With the Bogners

I could go on and on with photographs and anecdotes, but suffice it to say today, Sunday, I’m grateful to the friends in my life.  I’ve appreciated your support, your humour and your genuine love all of these years.  Let’s remember always what these years have meant.

A Gift From Kansas

When I returned home after time spent with my father, this past summer, I was determined to interview my paternal aunties about my family.  I had never felt such an urgency to record their stories as I did after losing my Mom, her laughter and her memories.  The thing is…once a person collects the archives, the narratives, the recordings and the photographs, it’s important to sort them into some concrete ‘container’.  They need to take a shape.

This morning, my camera battery is plugged into the wall recharging.  My tape recorder is set to pause at minute 22 of an interview with my Auntie Ruth Rollingson…my ancestral record from Dick Chandler (sent to me by my cousin, Anne) is open to L400 William Thomas Haddow and I am so excited and blessed, I am bursting at the seams!  Auntie Ruth speaks about her memories of my Great Grandmother, Mary Eleanor Haddow’s crocheting and her obsession with good manners and courteous behaviour.  Later, I will publish this recording here, as a part of the provenance of today’s MAGIC!  But for now…I have to write about yesterday’s delivery.

Mary Eleanor Haddow, with her family.  She is center back.

The Haddow Family

The Haddow Family

My grand Uncle, William Thomas Haddow (usually called Tom), married Emma Stafford.  (much more to be said about Emma…as well as her brother Charles, who apparently ended up a well known photographer in Calgary and archived by the Glenbow Museum…but that will have to wait).  Tom and Emma had two little girls; Agnes Mary (Mae) and Edith Emily.  When Edith married Robert McKeown, she received as a gift, a crocheted table cloth from my Great Grandmother Mary Eleanor.

Mary Eleanor Haddow on her wedding day to John Moors

Mary Eleanor Haddow on her wedding day to John Moors

Yesterday, I received a box delivered to my door, from my beautiful cousin Anne who lives in Kansas…you guessed it! Wrapped in tissue, lovingly, and with photographs that provide treasured provenance, the table cloth.  I broke out into tears AND hoots of every sort.  My cousin, Margy, joined me at the feast table as I retold the story for her.  I am so blessed beyond belief.  I ran my fingers over the delicate crochet, knowing that this was made lovingly by a woman I treasure simply through the few stories that remain of her.  I am grateful to you, dear Anne.

This photograph shows the table cloth in use sometime in the 1940s and includes young Anne, with her mother, Edith.

Photograph provided by my cousin, Anne.

Photograph provided by my cousin, Anne.

This next photograph shows Edith’s son, Gerry, enjoying a Christmas feast some time in the mid 1950s. An exceptional photograph…with a very special table cloth.

Photograph provided by my dear cousin, Anne.

Photograph provided by my dear cousin, Anne.

And this morning…warmed by Christmas light, the beautiful gift of a table cloth, to be treasured forever as a special remembrance and reminder of the power of family and of Christmas love.  Your generosity amazes me…I cry as I type these words.

P1140479Now, this treasure has been tucked away, to be kept safe for future generations.

 

Where are you, Auntie Eleanor?

Somewhere in our interview, Auntie Eleanor told me that she received names from both of her Grandmothers…Mary Eleanor Haddow Moors and Mable Burrows Elliott. Eleanor Mable, of anyone, brings to mind my own Gramma Moors.  While our time was so short, I have to say that I absolutely loved having Auntie Eleanor all to myself.  It seems that when families get together, they are all about LOUD and CRAZY…so much food…so much laughter and fun.  On Tuesday morning I reveled in having quiet conversation with this dear dear soul.

For a zillion years, Auntie Eleanor and her beloved husband, Uncle Ted, hosted our family reunions.  There was always a campground bustling with fun of every sort, a family program in the afternoon to show off just what an insanely talented family we have, big meals and candy toss.  So many golden memories come from our family reunions.  In the days of being a wee little thing, my most precious recollection is of our Grampa Moors sitting on a chair all by himself…his huge family sitting perfectly quiet in front of him on the grass.  His eyes watered with his smile…he tapped his toe…held both hands on his knees…his racing cap on…looking out upon his family…and sang Froggie Went a Courtin’.  He knew all of the words.

John Moors Hanging With a few of His Crazy Grandkids

John Moors Hanging With a few of His Crazy Grand Children

Auntie Eleanor told me that she didn’t remember much of anything.  Hmmm…funny…as we connected with one another she spilled out all sorts of little narratives.  It was pure magic.  That evening, I slept out at the farm…all alone with Max.  It was funny, but at the same time frightening because it was dark and perfectly silent.  I wanted to go out and buy myself a snack, but I was afraid to leave.  As I write, this sounds ridiculous.  My second cousins, Kecia & Mack and their beautiful baby, Maverick, delivered chips, dip and a can of pop and just hung with me for a while…that was awesome!

When they left, I took photos of the photos on the walls.  I felt surrounded by the spirits of my ancestors…very powerful experience indeed!  Thank you, Auntie Eleanor.  I love you.

George Elliott and Mabel Burrows Elliott

George Elliott and Mabel Burrows Elliott

My Great Grandfather, John Moors

My Great Grandfather, John Moors

My Great Grandmother, Mary Eleanor Haddow Moors

My Great Grandmother, Mary Eleanor Haddow Moors

This…from my beautiful cousin, Margy…daughter to Auntie Eleanor…a treasure to me in my deepest soul…this free write is something that she wrote ages ago.  I cried when I first read it, but it sort of captures what happens when our family gathers.  While the shape of our family changes over the years as we lose precious members and gain so many new babes, the love remains the same, forever.

Tents, trailers, cars and campers, sleepless nights, babies screaming, pancakes in the morning, soothing. eggs, bacon and parade, duck pond, and the creek, stinky suckers float on by, laura screams, we’re all insane.

Family in one space, generations multiplied by genes of persons past, I don’t wonder anymore, your ears, your lips, your skin.  Aunt Ruth,  always here, feelings, love, connections, Our family made from all that’s good and all that made us strong. move over now, get me cake, this program will be long.

God has made us one, you have my eyes, energies, blood that pulses through our veins, we are the same, different, strong, loving arms embrace, come and sit, you are so beautiful, sit down, spend some time.

pains, children, love, divorce, disease, wisdom, who is who? great aunts and uncles, getting old, sadness seems to flee away by memories of love, hope, hearts and blood flows through our veins, with all the world we stand apart, brought together by our hearts.

how is it that we fit so well? friends are in, so are we, they feel right, everyone will it better, united, open, fresh and new, old ones, young ones, blessing on the food,

dig in, bottomless pots of heaven sent. salads, salads, feed my sheep, in a line we go to graze on carrot cake, barbeque beef, Mom exhausted, wouldn’t have it any different. chinese salad, pasta too. Baked beans, grandpa, chocolate cake, belly ache, fruits and greens, bowls of color, left over food, feast continues far past noon.

Kids with tap shoes, clogs and strings, made up songs they will sing and family grins, French, english, hip hop dance, pride, laughter, sweet, kind, upside down on the table, puppets talking, let’s go on, parts and pieces glued together, flexibition, poetry, babies sit on grandma’s knee, Aunt Jackie holding two or three, there’s jamming in the kitchen

Here’s the show, the drums, the sticks, music played, with energy, and laughter fills sacred air and hence the divine, togetherness, thrill of thrills, here we go, old times, gay little eskimo, a froggy went a courting go. sit still, quiet say the mothers. tradition has it place.

rodeo and competition, candy throw, run and play, peanuts for our uncle bob, coffee on, he drinks the pot. cousins, sisters, aunts and uncles, grammas, grandpas, brothers, hope you make it, distance time, life beginning, life change and happens, who is sick? and who is able? what age are you now,? heart to heart, eye to eye who’s your Father? never mind, I see it in your smile.

Now stand quiet, hold it still, seems the same, just new faces, children, family, other races, permeates, with resounding pleasure. Cecil’s boat, and strong wind, take it home, no fun again. disappointed children.

freedom to be who you are, who’s your partner? who’s the star?, who affords such a car? circles, squares and dirty looks, just be forward, don’t be shy, get another plate, here we feast together, have a smoke behind the barn. I’m sure you’ll find another.

fishing like they have been given, grandpa moors, river banks, lakes and roadside fishin. breeze, smells, don’t stay long, mosquitos, flies and black eyed suzannes, come back just in time for seconds. adults sit in shelter, wait, guarding home, home, always there’s forever.

genes, talents, eyes, hair, lips and disguise, I fit in, so do you. come back and stay awhile, you are a puzzle piece, without you there, I wonder why.  I have your butt and you have mine, Moors they say, what about this nose I carry, it’s a guess, it’s from genetics, blood and cells, make impressions, we are tied with heart of hearts, we are strong, weak and needy, we have life, we have freedom.  Life is good, we’ll meet again if God is willing

In this photo, the two lovebirds that started it all, John Moors (my grandfather) and Florence Elliott (my grandmother).

John and Florence Moors

John and Florence Moors

A portrait I painted just yesterday of my Auntie El, to celebrate her 90th year….she is now 91, going to be 92 in January.  I love you, Auntie.

The Pleasures of Beautiful Food: Thank you, Jenny

Mom and Dad used to stop and have a piece of pie at Jenny’s Country Lane Coffee Shoppe & Restaurant.  Dad always mentions the coconut creme, but the day I went along with him, I had my favourite, lemon meringue.  It’s a tough thing, losing the person you love and for countless reasons.  One of the difficult things is returning to the places where you shared your conversations…the places where you shared beautiful food…the places that you, as a couple, shared with friends and family over many years.

One of those places, for my Dad, is Jenny’s.  Located in the lovely town of Stirling, on Mill Street, Jenny’s is occupied by ‘regulars’ and exudes friendliness and good aromas. On that particular day, everything about the experience of having pie at Jenny’s was different because we didn’t have Mom to share it.

North of Belleville, my parents loved sharing the drive to Stirling together.  Honestly, my parents enjoyed sharing ANY drives…and usually they found something entertaining to do before they turned their car around again to head home.

Jenny is busy writing down a wee history for me to include here, so stay posted. I hope that if my readers are out that way, they might stop in.  Jenny’s is open Monday – Sunday 5:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

P1110337

Mom used to buy little gifts and spiritual books in this neighbouring shop, Hearts To God

Mom used to buy little gifts and spiritual books in this neighbouring shop, Hearts To God

Stirling Jenny's Country Lane Interior Jenny's Country Lane Pies

Opening Doors

New, this morning, is a Global Collaboration based on an inspiration I received the other day from my blogging friend, John Clinock at the Art Rat Cafe.  I am inviting all of my readers to send along a photograph of one of the memorable/quirky/special/most amazing doors in their lives.  Include a location, a photo credit and a brief account of what that door means to you.

John tells me that there are DOOR BLOGS.  I’d love to hear from a blogger of doors, as this is just a spark and I’m really profoundly curious about the doors that people have opened, both metaphorically and physically.

To see what I’m talking about, please peruse the beginnings HERE and thank you for participating.  Share this with your friends!  Painter Lady

Paris: Blue Door Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors

Paris: Blue Door
Photo Credit: Kathleen Moors

Erin’s Card

I learned that I was pregnant with Erin and Lorraine took my photograph. This was before the day of ultrasound photographs! Trust me…my small seahorse is floating in a primal tide!

Recently my daughter and her husband went to London on vacation.  This meant that she was away for Mother’s Day.

 

It was only yesterday that I discovered her card, tucked away in a drawer in the sideboard.  These are the wee surprises in life that make it so magical.  If our lives are marked by such surprises, then we are truly blessed.

There have been many struggles, as much as celebrations in our lives.  But still, there were the hours of reading Dr. Seuss books and rolling play dough together. 

There were costumes to find and create.  There were cookies to bake.  There was dancing in the living room.  When I found this card, I remembered.

Happy Birthday, Elma Flaherty!

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My dear and treasured friend, Elma, turns 95 on February 19.  There are some people who mark your life with blessings again and again, and Elma is one of those people for me!   I include Jadea Kelly’s music here as a beautiful sound to enjoy while watching our Elma’s slideshow. :0)

Tonight we shared family dinner and I knew, once I waved my goodbyes at the front window, that I must recognize some of the years that we have shared…I love you, Elma Flaherty!

Front Entrance, Goodbye February 5, 2012

Memories

Hollee Card 1971 Sophmore Charles M. Russell High School, Great Falls, Montana

So…I found Hollee Card!  And, just today, we shared in a lunch at Pho Dau Bo in Calgary and took up where we left off in 1971.  It was such a beautiful time.  I will treasure this day forever.  Lunch was relaxed and conversational…such a rich collection of remembrances and present-day experiences! I remember that ours was a friendship of JOY. Hollee’s life work has been with L’Arche.  She has treasured family and has supported them through a number of challenges.  Today, over lunch, I felt emotional because after so many years, we are still at the heart of things, unchanged.  At lunch, Hollee shared some homemade ginger snaps and so we enjoyed a cookie with our tea before departing on a bit of a dog-walk and a visit with Hollee’s auntie and uncle.

Kathleen Moors Senior 1973, Charles M. Russell High School, Great Falls, Montana

Ginger Snaps and Hand Shadows

Hollee, Kath and Gucchi Christmas 2011

Gucchi: Looking Her Best

My Mother’s Hands Have Made…

Advent…and I think of my mother and father every day.  This morning, before setting out on my hill-walk with Max, I have uploaded just a few photos of things that my mother has done with her hands over the years.  I have some other items to share…her sewing and her crafts, but this is a beginning.  My mother’s hands have been busy…and the fruits of her labour have been beautiful, enriching all of our lives.  Little did she know as she made these things, that her children would be treasuring them always.  As I lit my first purple advent candle this Sunday, I thought of Mom, Dad and my sister and brothers.  I love you, dear family.

My Mother's Letters 1970s

 My mother wrote me beautiful descriptive letters.  In this letter, dated September of 1974, she described the changes in the Catholic church, St. Patricks, in Sherbrooke, Quebec.  She described my little sister as she was the flower girl for my auntie’s wedding.  Mom had a way of bringing me close to her heart, even though I was at such a distance.

Detail

 Mom described how she was preparing for yet another bazaar for her church…something that she did each and every year right about this time.  She ‘worked herself to the bone’, she would say…and she did.  Now days, surprisingly enough, I almost feel that her urgency was coming from a place deep within her.  I didn’t know that at the time.

Cross Stitch Reflections

 Mom’s stitches were so even, so careful.  She did several cross stitch pieces…it was a phase she went through.  So many years ago, when we were very young, she did very tiny petit points.  I marvelled at her patience.

Loom Weaving

 It broke my mother and father’s hearts when Mom had to let go of her weaving loom.  It represented better times…it represented Mom’s joy of weaving…of good health.  Mom’s weaving was very special to her.  I still marvel that she could figure out how to set the warp strands.

Detail

 Mom was ALWAYS knitting.  She knit each member of the family an irish knit sweater, toques, scarves and winter hats of every variety!  Some of her patterns for hats were so bizarre that I used to really wonder about them! I remember one that was like a latticed pumpkin pie and another, a vertically striped stocking hat…just where did she get these ideas?  I did not appreciate or treasure these objects enough and would give anything to still own one of them so that I could give them to my daughters.

By My Mother's Hands

 This is a profoundly complicated pattern…but something that my mother gifted to me.  I will treasure it always!

Sleeve Detail

 While most were going to the wicker store to purchase their baskets, my mother was weaving her own.  She learned several different techniques and then work shopped and taught others.  While Mom and Dad lived in Brampton, Ontario, I remember visiting and having Mom teach me how to prepare, soak and weave in this manner.

Authentic Weaving By My Mother's Hands

 This was Mom and Dad’s Easter gift to me…

Detail

 Corn husk dolls were something that my mother created, with a flourish.  These little ladies, as well as many other folk art pieces filled her home and provided generous gifts for family and friends.  While there are many other hand-crafted items that Mom created, these photos capture a wee taste of my mother’s abilities.  I love and cherish my mother’s hands!

Corn Husk Doll