Archive for the ‘Art’ Category


‘Art Attack’

October 3, 2009

Kel at Xfacta has issued another of her Art Attack challenges – this one is to create a Wordle Word Cloud. Hey ! I can do that! I used my blog’s URL. For some reason the screen capture and HTML cut and paste aren’t allowing the image to show so follow the linky link below. – link

(Stealing some of the text from Kel’s post…. ahem, thanks Kel.)
I just created a word cloud using this blog’s URL. The creation page at Wordle allows you to enter a bunch of text (perhaps an article, blog post, mission statement . . .) or a URL. There’s edit options so you can adjust colour, layout, font etc.

Join in the fun. Create a word cloud of your blog, or anything else you choose.
Post the results and your observations.
Then comment here with a link back to Kel to say you’ve just had an art attack.

And a big thank you to Kel for the creative ‘nudge’. 😉



September 30, 2009

Testyday. I had a ‘Wordless Tuesday’ on account of having just a couple of hours sleep, once again. There wasn’t much of anything that occurred to me that needed sharing here. Sometimes it’s best simply to be still instead of blathering on about 9 times nothin’. It would have been a bunch of bitching and moaning – who needs that. Nooooooo – body! (BTW, I had 9 or 10 solid hours of sleep today)

Insomnia! Ain’t it a common problem? After a bit of back and forth with lazybuddhist on the subject I went searching for free ambient sound downloads and found this for anyone who is interested: I didn’t get a chance to download it myself today but it’ll be hitting my mp3 player very soon.

What I did do was get all my art materials out and play. Yes, play!?!?! Did I produce anything at all interesting, worthwhile or  arty?? Not a chance, baby. But I did have a bit of fun and killed some time while I occupied myself in the pursuit. I had the desk covered with papers of various sizes and types, markers, crayons, chalk pastels, conte crayons. Tonight I might get out the kids water colour set and fool around with washes. Maybe do some actual drawing and get my eye and hand in co-ordination.

So, what possessed me to pick up my kit of drawing stuff after a summer long layoff?? Well, there are plenty of folks out in blogland who inspire me but I had a cluster of messages either in response to comments or straight emails that served as a direct prompt to get back at it. That and having been directed to some incredible works of art…. it’s hard not to be inspired when you see greatness. One example; over at red Ravine are ybonesy and Quoinmonkey. I asked when QM would be posting more of her mandala series and she got back to me promptly. (Love her work!) yb must have seen the comment thread and emailed me about a post at Heather’s Anuvue Studio blog featuring the work of artist Raina Colvin. Mindblowingly brilliant! So, that’s just one example…. there were more of you who contributed to the ‘push’. If I come up with anything worth sharing you’ll be the first to see it. Just don’t hold your breath.



June 12, 2009


I haven’t written much this week cuz I’ve spent some time tweaking things here on the blog and making a few additions. The selection of tutorials that I pulled up and viewed for this version of WordPress were pretty limited I thought. Most of the material covered was stuff I had already figured out on my own. One thing I’m still a little confused about is the difference between the ‘Profile’ page and the ‘About’ page (as you’ll see if you click on my ‘About’ page – I copied and pasted that blurb from the profile page. It also took me a while to figure out how to display ‘About’ but finally finagled that one.

Other additions: 1) Well, because Lea Kelley has suspended her daily posts at ‘Lea Kelley Saying Thank You For…’ I decided to add a link to her fine art gallery page. Her usual link will stay up because it contains so much great writing and (I hope) someday she will decide to revive it.

2) I added another link category for ‘On-Line Listening’ which to begin with contains links for CBC Radio 2’s FM feed of live streaming audio – choose which feed you want by region at the right. Also, America’s NPR – National Public Radio. I’ve provided an entry point with their station list – right now I’m listening to 89.3 from St. Paul, MN. You can choose by city, state or music type. Through NPR I’ll be able to catch up on Garrison Keillor’s ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ show. I might add further links for a couple of local stations.



I hadn’t dug out my art materials for a number of days but I did last night hoping to come up with something for Kel’s latest Art Attack Challenge over at xfacta. Unfortunately I’m having a little trouble getting used to working with oil pastels and wasn’t pleased with the outcome. Check Kel’s most recent post for her exciting news; she has self-published a book using ‘Blurb’ in regard to the building of their home ‘Anamrae’. The book is titled ‘Soulspace’.


We’ve heard a couple of remarkable speakers at A.A. meetings we’ve attended this week. One of them, Dorathea who has 53 year sobriety, referred to something that was a staple in the early days of A.A., ‘The 4 Absolutes’ (which were an import from the ‘Oxford Group’ in England). They are: absolute honesty, absolute unselfishness, absolute love, & absolute purity. For more on them and relation to biblical texts see here. She related about having met Bill W. at the world conference in Toronto back in the 60’s and their ensuing discussion about recovery.


These last couple of days have been a bit of a trial in that last night was one of those ones that didn’t seem to want to end; the hands on the clock were in slo-mo for sure. I got home exhausted, fell into bed and wound up oversleeping… having to rush around, clean myself up, eat and jump into the car for the ride back to work. Tonight is moving along much better, thank you very much.

One bit of good news last night was a call from my boss thanking me for some work I’d done with one of our clients the night before. Apparently the fellow told my boss that if we hadn’t talked he was ready to self-discharge and leave the program. “No problem John… all part of a days work around here.” He’s invited me to lunch one day next week for a gab session.


This was sent by cousin BJ today from the daily readings of the Dalai Lama. I like what he has to say about remorse.

“Guilt as experienced in western culture, is connected with hopelessness and discouragement and is past oriented.

Genuine remorse however is a healthy state of mind – it is future oriented connected with hope, and causes us to act, to change.”


That’s it; that’s all… unless you want to hear my friend John’s joke about the guy who invited his pet centipede out for a beer?!?!



Neil Young As Muse

June 10, 2009

For art director and artist Jenice Heo her time spent working with Neil Young inspired her to create these assemblages.

Check out the link; push play.



May 26, 2009

Here’s a real conglomeration that should keep me out of mischief for awhile…..


Listening to – courtesy of the local library:

Neil Young’s latest offering ‘Chrome Dreams’ (2009). Classic Neil with mostly strong material including ‘Ordinary People’; an 18 minute epic that includes a shout-out to ‘alcoholics doing it one day at a time’. Thanks Neil… how you doin’?

Ryan Adams – ‘Love Is Hell – Part 2’. (2003)

The Black Crowes – ‘Warpaint’. (2008) I’m not completely up on their recent history but I know they had some tumultuous years and had been back playing the bar scene and small halls. By the sounds of this they’ve been busy honing their craft and are back in fine form cranking out some fine music.

J.J. Cale – ‘Roll On’ (2009)

Sam Roberts – ‘Chemical City’ (2005)

Diana Krall – ‘The Girl In The Other Room’ (2004) A well crafted and produced album with strong song choices. (With a nice dedication to her hubby – Elvis Costello.)


I’m sorely tempted to take the night off work Saturday. Tell you why. Lynda was asked by an old friend at work if she thought our yard would hold 4 8-man tents. ‘Yeah, I suppose…. and lots of room to spare. Why?’ Her friend is active as a Girl Guide leader and was looking for a place to take her troop of girls for a night. Come Saturday we’ll have 11 girls between the ages of 7 and 11 camped out in our yard along with 4 leaders. Last night I drafted up a letter to our neighbours asking for a little co-operation as we’d like to have a fire for them to roast some marshmallows around. This evening Lynda went around dropping the letters off and talking to some of the neighbours; it’s looking good!!! I think it’d be a hoot to be around for that.


After an all too brief 4 or 5 hours sleep today I was up for the day. Checking out the day and the yard over coffee I figured it was a perfect one for cutting the grass again. Clear sunny skies, low humidity, temps in the low 70’s and a light breeze. I threw on a pair of shorts & my steel toed runners and started in. As I wasn’t 100% with it due to lack of sleep it took on a meditative quality as I did circuits of the yard. It was a little like walking my own personal labryrinth. (Is it just me or do illustrations of the one at Chartres look like a schematic of the brain?) Lynda arrived home just as I was wrapping up the electric cord… ‘Sure! Come home once the heavy lifting is all done…’ “Oh, I’d rather be working around the yard than put in the day I just had!” ‘You better come sit and I’ll get you a glass of wine so you can tell me about it.’ It was nice to get some sun on this Casper white body of mine.


Been following Elvis Costello’s music and interview show ‘Spectacle’?? I wasn’t overly impressed with the last two episodes; they featured Rufus Wainwright and Tony Bennett. In Wainwright’s case his vocals were unintelligible and the interview focused too much on his past problems with substance and his sexual orientation. At the end of the show there was a duet with his mother Kate McGarrigle (of the McGarrigle Sisters) that came off flat and awkward. The Bennett episode did include some great moments but they had little to do with his singing. His accompanist, Lee Musiker, is a brilliant pianist who had a subtle, deft touch on the keys. In what appeared to be an unarranged TV moment Bennett invited Elvis’ wife Diana Krall onstage to play piano and sing with him…. that was pretty cool to see. Bennett is also an accomplished life-long painter and a half dozen of his canvases were shown. One of New York’s Central Park impressed the hell out of me with his sense of light and colour. (Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be posted in his on-line gallery.)






I haven’t mentioned cousin BJ lately – we’ve been emailing back & forth still. I had promised her a couple of weeks ago that should I win a lottery that she would be at the Leonard Cohen concert the other night in London, ON. Unfortunately, I didn’t win the 6/49 $50 millon payout. Fortunately for BJ her kids had bought tickets for BJ and their father, C. I had a few emails from her today; one describing the concert, the lyric from a fave song – ‘Anthem’, and another with a link to a review of the concert. 

Lucky, lucky gal to have such good kids.


Helter-skelter, hodge podge, olio, mash-up…………. whatever you may call it, that’s it.



May 15, 2009

I mentioned that the turkey vultures had returned a couple of weeks ago. In these parts they’re usually pretty timid and take off if you approach them either in a car or in person. One day last week I got a close-up view of one and was surprised, once again, at just how freakin’ ugly they are up close. Their mama’s can’t even love them much – they so ugly. Anyway, that is what was on my mind when I drew this little doodle below. Once it was down on paper it reminded me of the sort of images that are included in west coast aboriginal totems. (…and yes, I ought to crop this and might yet.)



This image below is referred to as ‘The Flower of Life’; each circular segment is known as ‘The Seed of Life’. I’d bought a set of 24 oil pastels and here I worked my way through them (all except black) with no plan or intended design element. Next I intend to apply a colour scheme and do another two or three of them. (warm, cool, bright) **I’d like everyone to note how well I managed to stay within the lines while colouring.**

Flower of Life

Flower of Life


Catching Up On Kudos / Credit

May 14, 2009

(cross posted from The Only Constant Is Change)

A couple of weeks ago I posted about being prompted / inspired to return to lending my hand to some form of artwork or another. I’ve been fortunate here in getting to see, and know a little bit, some very talented writers, photographers, artists and hobbyists. The prompt to action has been brewing for quite awhile and I’ve gained that inspiration through seeing the work of various people – Kel at ‘the xfacta’ through her ‘Art Attack’ challenges, Robin at ‘Bountiful Healing’, Lea at ‘Lea Kelley Saying Thank You For…’, among a number of others…..

In this post, I singled out QuoinMonkey’s series on mandalas over at ‘red Ravine’ for getting me going on them. I downloaded some and have spent a bit of time using my new art supplies colouring them in – getting used to the materials and working with them and the colours again; tuning my eye and hands in.

The other person I credit with providing that nudge into action is QM’s partner at ‘red Ravine’, ybonesy, with her series of posts regarding the evolution and process of a brilliant graphic she produced. yb periodically attaches what she refers to as her ‘doodles’ to her posts but these posts took it all to a higher level. The initial one that really caught my eye described the process, her inspiration and the materials she chose – you can see it here in ‘The Making of a Painter’:
A couple of weeks later the finished project appeared here – scroll down to ‘The Other’:
…and a few days later a variation on the theme:
Powerful stuff to be sure.

Thanks again QM. Thanks ybonesy. Thanks to everyone who has provided positive example and encouragement. I needed that!