Rumble House: August 19, 2015

CalamityRumble House has managed through a summer of floods, four of them…hail and hassle of every sort.  Rich and Jess have managed to negotiate their way through the number of revisions that had to be made to the space, based on damage of infrastructure.  They have done a great job and the space is beautifully changed, more spacious and organized.  It’s been a strange summer for me as well, having to react to a number of events, beginning with my Max’s injury and then my own broken foot on July 2nd.  Rich and I were talking a little about calamity last night and we agreed that sometimes calamity causes our greatest creativity and active engagement.  We go places.

Some years ago, my son and I traveled a journey that I loosely named our ‘Manifest Destiny’ journey.  I finished watching four seasons of Hell on Wheels recently and the trip that James and I took wove through several of the locations featured in this series.

The trek began when we dipped south to visit Sainte-Marie among the Hurons where eight Jesuit missionaries lived, worked and were eventually martyred.  To stand in this place is to recognize, with complete clarity, the collision of two cultures both operating from a sense of protection of their own ways and intentions.  It is an example of colonization and all that can be anticipated as a result.

We then crossed the border into the United States, drove through the land where Dances With Wolves was filmed, saw Mount Rushmore, traveled through the Black Hills, all while listening to Louis L’Amour stories on book tape.  We stood overlooking the hills of Little Big Horn.  We slept in a cheap hotel room in Deadwood and we drove through the Bad Lands.  It was an amazing trip, ending with the sharing of a jug bottle of beer in Billings, Montana.

Wonders 93 Little Big HornI’ve written about Deadwood before.

It was another place riddled with a history of the ‘wild’ west…and so much of it rooted in tragedy.  It was the first time that I really thought about a lot of things.   There were huge issues that I had already read about, feeling very sad about the choices of the past, but helpless to change any of them.  One of the personalities that came to mind once we hit Deadwood was a woman of the west, Calamity Jane.  Last night I painted from one of the photo references that is an early portrait.  Thank you to Teresa for purchasing Calamity at auction.

Last night I painted her.

Kath's Canon August 19, 2015 Calamity Jane Rumble 024 Kath's Canon August 19, 2015 Calamity Jane Rumble 021I am grateful for the people I bump into at the Rumble.  They have become ‘characters’ of my own life…friends…hard workers…creatives.

Calamity Jane…what is fact and what is fiction?

What is the history that we are creating as individuals and collectively?

Kath's Canon August 19, 2015 Calamity Jane Rumble 001 Kath's Canon August 19, 2015 Calamity Jane Rumble 004 Kath's Canon August 19, 2015 Calamity Jane Rumble 005 Kath's Canon August 19, 2015 Calamity Jane Rumble 007 Kath's Canon August 19, 2015 Calamity Jane Rumble 009 Kath's Canon August 19, 2015 Calamity Jane Rumble 014 Kath's Canon August 19, 2015 Calamity Jane Rumble 016 Kath's Canon August 19, 2015 Calamity Jane Rumble 018 Kath's Canon August 19, 2015 Calamity Jane Rumble 020

create! in the East Village

Wendy Lees invited me to explore painting as one of the offerings at the Golden Age Club this week, Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Director of a recent initiative to use ‘creation’ as a way to connect a community, create!, Wendy has designed community drop-in art and craft workshops in the East Village.  For an excellent overview on the physical re-invigoration of the area, please see the Take A Tour section at the bottom of the link here.  Click on the wee orange icons.

Present location and with gratitude, a sunny art space on the 2nd floor of the Golden Age Club in East Village awaits you with coffee and cookies too! — at East Village Calgary.

Photo Credit: Michelena Bamford

Photo Credit: Michelena Bamford

I have written a few times about Wendy’s Love Art in Calgary tours and am a huge fan of her passion and her projects, both.  We have become well-bonded through her designs and this is one of those friendships and experiences that I am truly enjoying as one aspect of the gift of retirement.  From one of Wendy’s communications, this…

“My main focus right now (well one of them) is to secure funding for the ongoing work which I am doing with create! I am doing this through soliciting for private donations (large donors) and with a couple of grants through the Canadian Red Cross and the Calgary Foundation. I have a lot of support for this project from Druh Farrell’s office, from the East Village Neighbourhood Association, from the Golden Age Club and from many other organizations and people.”  I also know that Wendy has enjoyed huge support from Nina’s Hear’s My Soul Cafe, #107 535 – 8th Ave SE.

While I need to tighten up the facilitation of materials and the clarity as I speak about the technical aspects of colour, I think that the experience of working with such a diverse and interested group was wonderful.  Parts of the activity were specific and controlled and others may have been too open-ended.  I’m reflecting on all of it.  The truth is, it’s important  that each person pick up something new to mull over…and it’s also so important for me to learn something so that I might grow.  What Wendy is doing is such a blessing for all of us.

P1140705 P1140706 P1140707 P1140708 P1140709 P1140710 P1140712 P1140713 P1140714Thanks to friend,Michelena of Wolf Willow Studio (workshop leader and inventor of wonderful things) for bringing a youthful gaggle along with her and buying us a ‘mother load’ of fries to celebrate afterwards at Gina’s in the Golden Age Club.

P1140715create!

“When you start getting people’s creative juices going, then they start making creative solutions to other problems.”