Silence gives answers ~ Rumi Reflecting on my 5th annual summer art camp where I had the joy of spending a creative week with a group of young art students. I am thankful for their young energy. They are PRESENT, … Continue reading
Category Archives: family
Wow! She went brave!
“Trust that little voice in your head that says “Wouldn’t it be interesting if…” And then do it.” ~Duane Michals
The idea of having an outdoor Art show in Calgary, AB, Canada seems crazy. However, the seed was planted 2 years ago and the possibilities of having a show in this space did not go away. It was the magic of the garden and the joy and kindness of Mary, the host and owner of a historical home that made it feel like my next best step.
Almost exactly 1 year ago, I was brave enough to follow up on an offer of a lifetime. Mary began to show up to a few of my art events and it was a sign to not hesitate and “Ask for what you want!” To my amazement, Mary agreed and she also noted, “What took you so long?”…
Almost exactly a year ago we set a date for the art show, Jun 17/17.
I began to paint and pray to mother nature to please cooperate with the weather.
The weekend before it poured rain all day, the weekend after we had our usual Calgary June storm. The day of the event the sun came out and answered my prayers, a perfect day for a garden party.
HOPE 6X6 Oil on Canvas
Once the date was set, I began to paint with focus and a goal. To keep myself grounded I decided to paint a bird a day, as a meditative practice. HOPE was my first bird. She made me happy. I continued on and eventually had a little cheering squad to accompany me in my studio.
The accumulation of these new friends, gave me not only great joy but required me to ask for help to do the finishing if I was to meet my deadline. Thank you to my wonderful student Cindy, we got them show ready. Even Mr. Attitude was impressed!
MR. ATTITUDE 6×6 Oil on Canvas
Varnishing, finishing and wiring is a full time job in itself. Many of the birds were named after artists, musicians and others that walk a creative path.
With the help of a great team of creative friends and family….The birds found their perfect spot in the garden of this historical home.
In 1946, the Allied Arts Council leased this home from the City for use as a Cultural Centre. It was a place that many artists came together to study, create and exhibit art.
Since 1978, the Coste House has been a private residence.
Thanks to gracious hosts, Mary and Bob, who opened there amazing home so community could gather to enjoy a day of music, art and friends.
Lemonade was served by my art students and with the assistance of my tribe of volunteers, some lucky art pieces found their forever home.
Every event is a stepping stone to the next interesting adventure. Thank you to my book editor Elissa who shared my next dream with the guests. Sales from this show will help to fund the upcoming book I have written and illustrated.
Coming soon…“Adventures of Wilde- A Sense of Wonder.”
The best part was after the show, when I met with another artist friend who told me her 9 year old niece was inspired to have her own art show.
That made all my dreams come true!
Hoping to inspire you all to have a brave moment and follow that little voice …
Beneath a Coat of Snow
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
I am officially calling a sick day. My head is full of cold and my feet feel like they are full of cement.
As I sit on my couch in my fuzzy red comfortable robe at 2pm, I am watching the snow fall gently onto the earth. I am not feeling at all guilty to be taking a sick day. There is a lightness in the air, objects are slightly blurry and the colors I see are mostly soft and covered in white snow. It is quiet and I am grateful to have a day of rest and reflection.
Almost a year ago, I planned a trip to Virginia to see my cousin and her family. The trip was perfectly planned around the famous Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. I packed my sketchbook and paints and was set out to have an art adventure, to be inspired by new sites, especially of the beautiful spring cherry blossoms that I have heard so much about. I LOVE to travel-it is eye-candy for the senses. There is also the unexpected. Many times things do not go as planned yet when you learn to embrace the present moment, they can still go perfectly as intended… Don’t fight the process.
On my first day in Virginia, I awoke to a similar scene as I am looking at today. Snow was gently falling and there was a chill in the air.
My cousin, Alexis and I are 7 years apart and really had only met each other less than a dozen times in our life. Yet, I felt like I was home, we shared the same grandmother, pictures in her home and stories we shared were familiar to me. We also both loved going for coffee and eating similar things. It was easy and fun to be with her.
She was a gracious host and showed me all the sites.
Despite the cold, cool temperatures we bundled up and headed out to see the memorials in Washington, DC. It was apparent that I needed a history lesson (or to watch more TV) when I pointed to a large pencil like structure and asked “What is that?” With huge eyes and a sly smile she replied “The Washington Monument.”
And so began my tour…
Disclaimer: Just to make me feel better – I did recognize the White House immediately. I am also happy to say I can name all the memorials now when I see them in the movies. The bonus of travel for a visual person is education. Did I mention that I am Canadian?
We made our way through the memorials one by one. Alexis was being an amazing tour guide. Explaining to me that the Korean memorial was her favorite. as it touched her and her family. They really are amazing to see in person. There was a shallow pool approximately 2 ft deep surrounded by granite with engraving that said how many soldiers were killed, captured, missing or wounded. I was looking all around taking pictures, feeling somber and reflective, when the energy changed.
I hear someone shouting- Lady in the pool!! I take a deep breath, turned around to see that my dear cousin had taken one wrong step backwards and over she went, catching her foot in granite that actually said “wounded.” Weird coincidence? Hmm, not sure. The world seemed to stop for a moment. As I pulled her out of the pool , others were most concerned about the fact that her brand new I-phone was laying peacefully face down on the bottom of the pool. “The phone!” strangers screamed. I looked at the pretty salmon colored case face down in the pool and thought, “I need a stick”. I look up and a woman is waving her cane. We make eye contact – A little miracle- an angel sent her- I am sure. I borrowed the cane and pulled the phone close enough for a kind boy with long arms to reach in and retrieve her phone, complete with instructions on what to do to recover the phone. The concern for the phone was a little alarming actually…I was more concerned about my cousin.
I look over at her, she is dripping wet, shivering and totally in shock. We walk over to sit down and reassess the situation. Breathe….
We broke out into laughter. I had learned in yoga, The vibration of laughing and crying is almost the same, the release of energy in the body is what is important. We chose laughter.
Did that just happen? Was that for real? Was that a bad dream? Gut rolling laughter was what emerged right before survival skills kicked in. A cab ride, extra layers of clothes, a cold pack, motrin and a few bloody mary’s later. We had reflected, laughed and ended up with a free desert at the restaurant in honor of the Best story of the Day. She was my hero that day.
The next day while icing her elevated ankle , we wondered, “What was the purpose of that? “
Maybe we needed some comic relief in our somber moment? Not sure. We both agreed the spirits got a good giggle. (about the present moment awareness, not about her injured ankle.)
Maybe we needed to feel the kindness of others? Not sure.
Maybe we needed to be here right now!
That is for sure!
With Lightness and Love and Gratitude for family and travel,
Ps/ And for those concerned about the phone- it worked perfectly- Magic!