Monday, December 31, 2012

Who Is Rhoda Colville?

Today, on the news I heard, Rhoda Valentine (nee Wright) Colville, died at the age of  91 years, on December 29th, 2012. She was a talented artist and poet, wife of renowned Canadian painter, Alex Colville, his muse, and subject of many of his paintings.

Looking at Alex's paintings of Rhoda, I always sensed he was very much in love with her. They were a handsome couple indeed.

My years of attending many Art History seminars, and learning about numerous artists, has been a great education. What was and is often, more interesting and compelling to me, is the many women artists, the wives of those male artists, who unfortunately in most instances, there is little to nothing known or even mentioned  about these talented women artists, their lives and the art they made. Many women artists seemed to live in the shadow of their husband's careers, due to the cultural mores of the generation and times. Fortunately times have changed however you still have to dig for historical information regarding women artists.

I searched for information on line about Rhoda Colville. I found some basic facts, and mention of her talent as an artist and poet. She attended Mount Allison University, where she met Alex Colville. They were in the same fine art class. She wrote a booklet of poems entitled, Rhymes For Alex, dedicated to her husband.

I found this fine and lovely photo of Rhoda and Alex Colville  in Wolfville home, taken by artist, Tim Lowly. They both look very happy and of this I am certain they must have been, after seventy years of marriage. In this soon to be New Year of 2013, it is a rare and beautiful thing to see  love like this between two people. Here's to Rhoda and Alex, and creative love. Long may it live.
Alex and Rhoda Colville

Friday, December 28, 2012

Shin Dong-hyuk Escape From Camp 14

Here is an incredible story, based on his best selling book, Escape From Camp 14, told briefly in this TED talk, by  Author and Journalist, Blaine Harden about, Shin Dong-hyuk, who escaped from the North Korean Camp 14, one of several camps that exist in North Korea though the Korean government denies there are camps.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Life Death Life Cycle

Caitlin Doughty is a Los Angeles, CA. mortician and a writer who started The Order of The Good Death in 2011. I heard an interview with her on CBC radio for a second time. The first time I didn't listen as intently as I did on this occasion. Why I paid close attention today was because a close friend's brother-in-law died just a few days prior to Christmas. I came to the realization that I think deeply at Christmas about those that we love and loose to death, under very difficult and painful circumstances, that perhaps we can ever imagine.

Amidst the Christmas festivity, and celebration of the birth of the Christ Child,  present to me, is a pervading sense and reminder of death. This may sound morbid, but I have come to realize this is all part and parcel of  cycle of life. It is what Jungian analyst, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola  refers to, in the story about Skeleton Woman, as being  the life-death-life cycle.  There is life after death I believe. I am not just talking about Heaven or the after life, but the kind of life we choose to live when we can face our fears surrounding death, confronting and accepting our mortality.

 I am someone who has personally experienced a lot of death with the loss of a husband at the young age of 27, loosing my mother in 1995, after one year of sobriety, and then ten years later loosing my father and my older brother within two months of one another. In considering what I have lost and what I have gained, I am amazed and so grateful to be able to celebrate on January 2nd, 2013, nineteen years of contented sobriety.

The death of my loved ones has given me an appreciation for life and a wisdom that I would never have otherwise. I learned many hard lessons from death and continue to do so. What I have gleaned from these lessons, I have to share, pay it forward, in hopes of perhaps helping another, the way others have so generously helped me.

I remember many years ago reading, Love and Will by Rollo May. He makes some profound statements that have long resonated with me, about the relationship between Love and Death. This is clarified for me is his quotation from  a letter written by Abraham Maslow, who was recuperating from a heart attack.

" The confrontation with death-and the reprieve from it-makes everything look so precious, so sacred, so beautiful that I feel more strongly than ever the impulse to love it. My river has never looked so beautiful....Death, and its ever present possibility makes love, passionate love, more possible. I wonder if we could love passionately, if ecstasy would be possible at all, if we knew we'd never die."
"Death is always in the shadow of the delight of love."

He speaks as well of the other side of the death and love relationship.

 " The obsession with sex serves to cover up contemporary man's fear of death."

At one time death was not so much at arms length as it is today in the twenty first century, much to our own detriment.

When I first came to the realization I am somewhat preoccupied with contemplating thoughts about death, especially around this time of year, at Christmas, I didn't really want to admit this to myself. However today, after closely and intently listening and reading what Caitlin Doughty has to say, I can  better embrace my thoughts and feelings about death and mortality. I now understand  and know this is healthy and normal considering what my life experience has been.

Caitlin says, "Many of us have thoughts of death, but we don't see them to the end. We get stuck in the loops, reliving the scary part over and over but never the resolution."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I have a subscription to a great blog called, Artsy Shark written by, + Carolyn Edlund the Executive Director of the Art Business Institute. The blog is a very practical and informative, and strives to enable emerging artists to educate themselves about the business side of being an artist and much more.

Here is a wonderfully helpful article about one my favourite nemesis, procrastination. It was once aptly put but some of my very favourite comedians. 
Procrastination is like masturbation.  At first it feels good, but in the end you’re only screwing yourself.
Monty Python

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Prayers For Newton

My passion for creativity always has coincided with what I considered  to be my life long vocation, as a Youth Care Worker. I was very involved in the field, for approximately twenty years, for most of my working life, on the front lines with troubled youth. At one point I made the commitment and became a foster mum, or what was officially referred to as a, Therapeutic Parent Counsellor, which meant I would take on the most challenging kids, with  serious behavioural issues, living in my own home. Suffice to say this eventually became an impossible situation, primarily because my foster daughters and I did not receive the kind of support we were told we would have. I had no illusions about how the system is basically self serving, as I saw many youth and their families fall between the cracks, however I expected more, but my experience ultimately culminated in being greatly disappointed and disheartened by what is a broken system and a broken society.

During my years as a front line Youth Care Worker with troubled youth, many  would be of the opinion these kids were the worst of the worst, with every kind of diagnosis, classification and label included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
 The challenges I faced as a Youth Care Worker did not lie with the youth I worked with, but with the glaring reality of systemic problems and the overwhelming, ongoing  failure to provide these youth and families, with real, affective and  available help and support , in particular in the areas of aftercare, poverty, drug addiction and mental health services, that were and are gravely lacking. I have been personally affected and touched by most of these issues throughout life, in one way or another, and I believe this was one of the main reasons why I felt, being Youth Care Worker was my vocation.

Growing up as a troubled youth, art and creativity provided me with a refuge,  an opportunity to express my suppressed, repressed thoughts and feelings, so much the result of hurt and dysfunction. A life long involvement with the recovery process, from  this very personal experience, combined with my creative skills and a desire to be pursue art, and a few caring adults,  made all the difference to enable me to use these insights and skills as a Youth Care Worker , and I found it very helpful to the youth I worked with every day. It was much easier for them to talk about themselves through their art they had created, developing a sense of  awareness, esteem, healing, and self empowerment. These are great conduits for positive change and understanding.

The most significant thing I consistently and painfully became aware of, as a Youth Care Worker is knowing what a serious crisis we have among our youth today, and I am afraid we are failing them in ways I am not certain we will ever be able to avert. I am always hopeful, however not so optimistic in light of the current events within a world that seems to be lost on the wrong road, and on a collision course with destructive pursuits, instead of social justice, human rights and peace.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Are Video Games Art?

As a creative woman , who lived through the second wave of feminism, I have  been committed to feminist goals, ideas and issues throughout my life and within the art world, and I have long been aware of the sociological, political, institutional and cultural contexts , in which art is made and presented. I especially became more acutely aware of these in a profound way, after returning to University to complete my Bachelor of Fine Art Degree, having been out of school for thirty years. I was privileged to have had the experience of being taught wonderful art history and art seminar classes by Professors with a feminist and contemporary perspective. It was truly an eye opening and educational experience in every sense of the word. I came to discern how things have progressed for  female artists, but in some ways regressed.

That said, I was compelled to write this post after listening to a CBC Q debate, regarding the upcoming exhibition, by  the Museum of Modern Art, where numerous video games are to be displayed and considered as  art. The debate was about video games and whether they are art or not; between Guardian art critic, Johnathan Jones, who wrote the article, Sorry MoMA Video Games Are Not Art, and President  of Rhode Island School of Design , John Maeda .

 I had to listen to the debate twice, because of my initial negative gut reaction toward  the aptly described, dismissive, Johnathan Jones. Upon listening a second time, I concluded, that he epitomized the historically perpetuated, misogynistic, narrow minded perspective, that negates the kind of open mindedness,  required to foster and nuture creativity, learning and imagination.
There was no mention of any women artists, to ever be included in so called, non-interactive art, and his pantheon of historic masters was overridden by his seemingly , man crush on Pollock and his ilk, of abstract expressionists that Johnathan Jones references, as if they were like demigods, remaining forever embedded, and entrenched within those "hallowed halls", never to be usurped, replaced or changed because they are some how unequal or unparallelled to those mentioned artists. As if to imply, this art was "real" art.
Art is life, art and life change, art changes everything and change is good!

I have always had the belief we are all born creative and as children, what we express is art, because is it is an expression of ourselves, and our imagination, and that's what art is, yes it can be about reality but mostly it's about our imagination and perception. Art critics do not and cannot dictate what art is or isn't, regardless of their high standard and opinion. I suggest that Mr. Jones take a lesson  from MoMA,  take a risk, start colouring outside the lines and give Journey, Flow, or Flower a try before dismissing them as being a "cheap standard"

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Robert Pope

 After a phone call this afternoon to my good friend, we were discussing art and she shared her recent experience of seeing a show at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, of the late painter, Robert Pope She asked if I knew who he was, as he'd attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design around the same period of time that I did. Unfortunately I did not and I believe we attended during difference years and just missed one another, as he was ahead of me, as was Alex Livingstone, who had a studio just across the hall from me. I did a search of Robert's name and found this profoundly moving documentary about him, his art and his life. It moved and touched me very deeply, and his story is a real testament to the power of art and the artist.

 I am sorry I never had the privilege of meeting Robert, however I am very grateful to my friend for telling me about him and his work.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Creative Art of Letter Writing

Being without the internet or phone, and even my vehicle for so long, has resulted in some deeper reflection  upon my co-dependent mind set, around the online experience and social interactions.

I've had enough time now to re-adjust,  re-format and re-route my hapless braincells.  I've been contemplating, thinking about instant communication versus slow communication, and spent several months daily writing in my journal, more so then usual, without the ready accessibility of posting on my blog and daily online usage.

Instead, I  wrote several letters to friends, and generally applied myself to painting  everyday, on a regular basis, for many continuous hours, over the last three months.

In retrospect it been a very positive experience, and I learned a valuable lesson I intend to put to good use. Without my internet for this duration, I understand  on a deeper level the importance of habitual writing long hand in my journal before starting my day. I believe it depletes and wards off my co-dependence of the online world that seems to feel all consuming at times.

Numerous letters written and sent, resulted in the feeling I was actively building and taking care of my friendships through the process of letter writing ; as opposed to instantly signing into Facebook  to view the ridiculous, the most recent and never ending tedious timelines. I appreciate knowing what most of my "friends" are up to, others, well sometimes, you know TMI!

 I certainly appreciate all that the internet has to offer, but I am glad I understand the benefits of slow communication and greatly appreciate writing and receiving hand written letters. I love the papers, the pens, the inks, the envelopes and even  the stamps. It truly is a creative act, as Catherine Field states in her article, The Fading Art of Letter Writing written in the New York Times. She very eloquently and accurately described this creative act.

"A good handwritten letter is a creative act, and not just because it is a visual and tactile pleasure. It is a deliberate act of exposure, a form of vulnerability, because handwriting opens a window on the soul in a way that cyber communication can never do. You savor their arrival and later take care to place them in a box for safe keeping."

I have a close, long time friend, that lives an hour away. We have written each other regularly  for years, in spite of living an hour apart and being able to see one another without difficulty. We have agreed to do this for one another, and it gives us both great pleasure, a valued sense of appreciation and gratitude for our friendship. I have another close artist friend from University, and we have been regularly, corresponding. She told me in her last letter, writing has been a "glorious therapeutic mental element", which I do understand from my own personal writing experience over the years. It makes me happy to know this and to have that kind of appreciation for the simple gesture of a hand written letter.

And so, I have resolved to do my journal writing, first thing before I get online, in order to foster and focus on my creative and healthy pursuits for each day.

I will never be a Luddite, but I can make a steadfast resolve to maintain a balance between technological instant gratification of this fast moving world, and that of the little by slowly, found in the ancient art of writing.

I might not be fast but I'm slow!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

More Wild Flowers and Frida Kahlo's Unibrow

I have completed the third of my Wild Flower series. One more to do, and  then I'm not sure what my subject matter will be. I have thoughts about doing work that reflects the inner workings of my mind and soul, but it's all too serious for me right now.

 I think it is vital that artists nor anyone take themselves too seriously, however I couldn't help but think about how super seriously sensitive some folks are about everything politically correct these days.  It can get very wearisome, and after hearing a debate on CBC's Q, with Jian Gohmeshi about the AGO handing out press on, fake unibrows, in order to spark interest in the Frida Kahlo show at the gallery, and giving  50% discount on admission; the woman who was disturbed about this,  is just the kind of wearisome political correctness I am referring to.

I really don't imagine that Frida could care less about this kind of publicity to entice people into seeing her work. Frida was a women who had lived large and rather in your face. Her unibrow wasn't an issue with her nor do I think it should be with anyone else. I believe her many portraits are an example of how her appearance was not that important to her.

 If the AGO decided to pass out mustaches because Salvador Dali's work was in the gallery, I doubt there would be any concern or kerfuffle made about this.  I don't believe she took herself that seriously though she had so many dead serious events happen to her. Regardless she was able to rise above and live life to the fullest with grace, humour and discernment and she knew what was really important to her in life. I wish more folks could live life the same unibrow or no!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Is Discipline A Dirty Word?

I had a lovely lunch with my, kind, creative, friend yesterday and we had a great discussion about creativity. We talked about staying on task, allowing ourselves enough time and discipline to be creative and to actively produce art work.

Growing up, discipline for me was a rather dirty word, in that I thought, surely in order to be really disciplined you couldn't possible equate this with having fun or enjoyment. Oh how wrong I was, and fortunately I don't think this way anymore and after many years, I have come  know that within discipline there is much freedom to be found. Not that I still don't struggle with daily habitual discipline, believe me I do. Yes, sometimes I entertain thoughts of sitting with my thumb up my arse! My apologies to those not used to my Maritime use of the word's just a word we like to use!

The relationship, ideas of and between discipline and freedom is different for each individual I'm sure. Personally, discipline enables me to achieve my goals, to become a happier, healthier and better human being and to begin to really understand the meaning of freedom, and who I am as an individual, which I believe is a life long learning process, because we are always trying to improve our skills and grow as creative people.
It's difficult to articulate and I'm certain there are many folks who can do a far better job at articulating, and I would love to hear from any of you who are inclined to do so.
I intend to do some further in depth reading on this subject as it has come up a number of times in my conversations with others.

 Lori Woodward Simon had some very helpful and relevant points to make in her blog article, Freedom VS. Self Discipline: The Professional Artist Struggle.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

More Flowers...

I said many heart felt prayers this week and God heard my cry...

It's uplifting to be painting flowers this time of year. Here is my latest egg tempera flowers on ceramic tile which are much larger then the Celtic Totems. These are twelve inch square. I much prefer doing egg tempera on ceramic tile then wood, I must say. I have two more to complete.

For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; and abundant in mercy unto all them that call upon you.

Psalm 86:5

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Paintings, Painting, and Flowers...

I've been in a painting frenzy it seems these days to keep myself from falling in the post university blues. After completing this series of thirteen Celtic Totems, painting on ceramic tiles I wasn't sure what else I would tackle as subject matter but I found my way to flowers. I've never been one to paint flowers  but they seem to be a natural way for me to stave off the effects of SADD that so many of us Canadians are afflicted with, come the dark days. I have posted the last of my finished Totem series and have included the first egg tempera painting I just finished yesterday on large tiles from my next series of Wild Flowers.

Wren Totem

Seahorse Totem

Horse Totem

Fish Totem

“The imagination is not a state: it is the human existence itself.” - William Blake

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More Shack Wackiness Aversions ...

No internet for me this month again...too much month at the end of the money. After visiting a friend I joked that I was needing to remind myself again why I was an artist.
 It was a no brainer when I was left with the option of choosing between food and my phone and online connection. Knowing my addictive personality I am accutely aware of how tempting it was to pay that bill so I'd have my internet and phone connection again, however wasn't relishing the idea of eating dust sandwiches for the remainder of the month. And so I will take advantage of the opportunity to come visit the local library,  use the internet, get out of the house to socialize, and daily channel my creative energy, doing the remaining egg tempera paitings of Celtic Totems. I intend to take them to the local Farmers Christmas market to sell for the much needed cash. These are the preliminary under ink paintings I have posted.

There are days when I face the question, why I am an artist, and I go on the hunt for answers I know exist that affirm, sustain and erase my doubt. Today I found such re-affirmation, confirmation and inspiration in the artist Eden Maxwell. I ordered his book here at the library entitled , An Artist Empowered.
Horse Totem
Eagle Totem

Sea Horse Totem

Wren Totem
Fish Totem
                           "Art is a vision of God created in the material world."

                                                                                    - Eden  Maxwell

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Imagination Averts Shack Wackiness

Fox Totem
Cat Totem
Stag/Deer Totem
Snake Totem
Bull Totem
Swan Totem
Butterfly Totem
Wolf Totem
I am happy to know I will be reconnected to my home internet, and phone next week! I finally have my car fixed, which is working better than ever and have averted becoming completely shack wacky. It is times like this that I am so grateful I am an artist and have CBC Radio to listen to, because it fills my day with a sense of comfort, purpose and CBC Radio can be so educational, enlightening and stimulates my imagination.

I am posting my newest egg tempera paintings of Celtic animal totems, done on small four inch ceramic tiles. It's been an enjoyable, relaxing, creative process, not having to be too cerebral about my subject matter.

Last week I heard a wonderful Ideas program on CBC radio about  imagination that was inspiring and very thought provoking and reaffirmed my own belief of how essentially significant and necessary imagination and creativity are to our lives.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear my old mime teacher on the radio, who ran the, Mime School Unlimited in the late 70s in Toronto Ontario. Ron East was an Ideas guest, speaking about the topic and was fascinated to know he was now obtaining his PhD in the study of neuroscience, imagination and the creative process.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Ink Underdrawings

These are my ink under drawings of Celtic animals for my new series of egg tempera paintings.  

Okay Here Are My New Paintings!

Well finally got back to the library and here are my paintings I worked on in the month of September. I have about exhausted this subject matter for now, but have greatly benefited from the closer study and meaning of these stories and myths.

I started another more lighthearted subject matter about Celtic animals, and have completed six under paintings which I am enjoying and will post these in my next blog entry.

These six paintings are the continuation of my "Wild Women" series of egg tempera paintings, based on Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes book, Women Who Run With the Wolves, Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype.

Baubo/The Belly Goddess
Seal Skin/Soul Skin

The Crescent Moon Bear

The Woman With the Hair of Gold

Mariposa/Butterfly Woman

Three Golden Hairs

Friday, October 12, 2012

Too Much Boredom


Just in case anyone out there in cyber interweb space is looking for a posting of my newest work I am at the library camera in hand without the camera adaptor cord to plug in to the computer. My apologies. I will post my work next week, if not tomorrow. I am hoping to get to town, if and when the car is fixed, which is in the shop today. Seems lately the thought for the day is, hurry up and wait.  It can be rather stressful because well it can be tediously boring, waiting. I have been thinking about this increasingly the past month because I have found myself in this very stituation several times and it appears to be a re-occurring  theme in my life. When I become aware of these predominating themes, I want to analyze and understand them so I am better equipped to know how to cope with them.

 "Patience is a virtue" my boring grade nine school teacher use to mumble to herself, while we drove her over the edge, I'm sure as a result of our own boredom. It wasn't all her fault I'm certain.

Today I heard a compelling story on CBC Radio regarding Albert Nerenberg the award winning Canadian film maker, who has made a film about the topic and study of boredom. Turns out boredom is a stressful thing. The heart rate actually increases though one would expect your heart rate to decrease, An extremely high percentage of students in our educational system are bored, which means they are also stressed. This comes as no surprise to me, being a school drop out myself and very bored by school when I was in elementary and secondary school. As a Youth Care Worker most of my working life I saw time and time again how bored students were is school. Creativity and individual  thinking is not nurtured nor encouraged, and ceratinly God forbid there was no fun to be had in learning!

I was speaking with a young teacher yesterday who expressed her great frustration finding herself in the situation of not being able to find work in her profession, even as a substitute. She spoke of how she knew of retired teachers actually coming out of retirement returning to the classroom as substitute teachers. She is a single mum, with a child in school, who is also very bored, particularly with a retired returning substitute teacher, as the teacher exhibits no engaged energy, or enthusiasm for her job. This so called "teacher" is simply going through the motions, picking up a pay cheque, taking up space, in a position of employment that is greatly needed by a youthful, passionate young women, who is most deserving of the opportunity to really make a difference in these young lives.  I thought, this retired teacher is an example of what is a big contributing piece of dead wood, that enables the boredom factor. I just don't understand the logic within an our educational system that allows for this to happen. School should never be boring, not full of dead wood, learning should and needs to be fun. School should not be full of stress. School should never be hell!

I also heard yesterday that a very high percentage of folks who suffer from mental illness, particularly depression far out ways any other disease at present, including heart disease and cancer. It is a well known fact the stress can alter the hormone cortisol, which contributes greatly to disease.
I believe we need to seriously consider this link between boredom, negative behaviours within schools, such as bullying, mental illness like depression, and the high incidence of teen suicide.

Not wanting to leave this post on a negative note, I hope you will not find this posting anything but boring.

Here's to Heaven! No more Hell!



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Out in Orbit?

So my loyal and much appreciated followers know, I have not dropped off the edge of the earth, nor am I am out in orbit. I deemed it necessary to provide you all with an update.

I have been having what I'll call internet issues, compounded by car issues, which are soon to be hopefully resolved! I have just had my car repaired and now have wheels back and forth to the library, where I can access a computer. Not having internet access has been a wonderful opportunity to regularly hand write in my daily journal, which always enables me to keep the creative wheels turning. Canning and gardening have been great grounding and meditative outlets for me, so I haven't been without things to do, until my muses returned.

September was a very creative one, after cleaning my slate so to speak, after graduation in May 2012. I can hardly believe it has been almost six months since my formal Fine Art education has come to an end. The student loan vipers have gladly informed me by mail in bold letters at the top of the page, "IT TIME TO START PAYING YOUR STUDENT LOAN!" Gol darn nice of them folks to let me know! How could I possibly forget!
In spite of the vipers, I am certain there are many more lessons ahead and I look forward to the future with hope and optimism.

I resumed my series of  " Wild Women " egg tempera paintings and completed six new pieces to add for a total of sixteen, three of which I sold and this had been a godsend financially to me.

I wasn't certain if I could upload my photos of these paintings here at the library, on to the computer and was happy to learn that I can, and I will do that tomorrow so I can share my new work.

Honestly, I was in a creative slump, or had a creative block, whatever you want to name it, right up until September. This is always a little daunting to me when this happens, because I have this bit of fear and dread that I will never paint again! However, "This too shall pass. " is my daily mantra. I shared my feelings and thoughts with my  artist/professor friends from University. One assured me, the best thing to do for this is create more work. Another suggested  I not get my underwear too much in a knot. He thought as perhaps I needed to take this reprieve as a way to clear the slate, clear out the University cob webs. And so they both where right and I got busy fueling the creative fire through reading, drawing and doodling until amazingly I had completed six paintings I am very happy with. I do feel I am done with this series. I am not certain I will return to them but remain open to whatever I am drawn to create. I am ruminating over two ideas presently, so it is to be seen what my imagination comes up with.  

Until tomorrow I will try not to let my meat loaf and look forward to blogging again as I have missed it a lot!

Thank you to all my fans and readers for your love, support and patience.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Free Wheeling - Sue Austin

Many years ago I had the opportunity to acquire my SCUBA certification. Initially when the idea was presented to me, I was far from enthusiastic and made excuses why I couldn't possibly undertake such a thing. Basically, I was afraid of the unknown. However reticent, I agreed to enroll in this intensive course through the Canadian Military. I was rigorously challenged to face and overcome my fears both  physically and mentally, upgrading my swimming skills and performing numerous exercises and drills in the pool.

When it came time to do our open water dive and ocean dive I was absolutely amazed and taken back by the beauty and feeling of freedom I suddenly found myself in, and an otherworldly environment. I was completely enraptured with this underwater world and it changed me in many ways for the better.

My brother suffered most of his life with multiple sclerosis. In spite of his illness he had the ability to live life with courage, compassion and love, thriving in the face of fear and difficulty. He was my mentor and example. Most of all he was my hero. I strive to live my life with such strength of character and grace.

In this video you will see an incredible person and artist, Sue Austin whom I believe exhibits the same strength of character that my brother had. I know you will be as spellbound and moved as I was when I first saw it. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Art+o+Mat - Art Vending Machine

Art+0+Mat is a novel idea and very appealing to me. I suppose, because of it's retro and nostalgic appearance of the machines, but I also love the personal hands on immediacy, and availability of the art that is dispensed.

I expect there would be some folks that might find this silly, demeaning to the artist and to creativity itself. I think it is a great idea and wished I thought of it!

It's open to all artists submissions to sell their work, with a set price of five dollars per piece and the artist receives $2.50 for each one sold, with a production of fifty to be submitted if you are accepted.
I've posted some of my favs!