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Movement Naturally Occurs

Movement Naturally Occurs

movement-naturally-occurs
Movement of the stream naturally occurs  flowing, continually clearing and purifying debris from itself, cleansing while in motion. The flow goes on, polishing rocks and filtering out unnecessary objects. The flow and movement of nature does not stop. Regardless of external conditions the natural order of things continue. It seems only humans want to disrupt that natural balance.

If I liken my life to a stream I can see how things are naturally stripped away, with or without my help. But when I hold on, the waters can become stagnant and microscopic life forms begin to die because the environment can no longer support life. It becomes more of a battle. When things do not seem in flow, then it is we, ourselves resisting. I love the expression “let go or be dragged”. We open to the flow to win over resistance, a true feat in itself.

So when I think life is not supporting me, really I am not supporting life. Creating an environment which is supportive to myself has been my focus for some time. However, the outside influences nearby are not good for me. A lesson in containment and a reminder of who I would be without awareness is what I have discerned. I do not engage with this energy, rather I choose to rise above & transmute it to something positive.

To clear what is no longer necessary I feel I need to facilitate  movement.  The way I do that is to ready myself. Staying in the flow is really a state of being, one of awareness and consciousness. Staying in this state when challenged by outside forces requires a great deal of inner strength. My progress will blend with the natural order of things because movement naturally occurs. I will be open to it, open to receive by surrendering to the process.

red-winged-blackbird

While scoping out locations for plein air painting, I was fortunate to come upon a whole flock of red-winged blackbirds in Pierce Estate Park the other day. They were singing & nesting in the marsh. I sat for a long while. The soft stuffing from last year’s cattails must give their nests cushioning I imagined, judging by their condition. How perfect nature is.

Expanding my horizons

I took a first time stroll to Beaver Dam Flats. The park had sustained much flood damage, uprooted trees and debris littered the edges of the pathway. Still it was pristine in all its fresh greenery.
beaver-dam-flats

It is a river forest. As I meandered through the pathways I saw a man approaching in my direction. Out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed when the moment when the light went on for him and he chose to come directly to me. He had no idea I noticed his premeditation to follow me. I had just seen a sign which said, “DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE”. I was on my guard but ready.

He seemed concerned about the people having a bonfire close to the river’s edge. I had seen them. “Are fires allowed?” I asked, he struggled for an answer, despite being a self-appointed supervisor of the area. He then mumbled it had rained a bit everyday.

What the artist sees

Though he was following me, I delayed. When I stopped then he would slow down. Going on about my business, I stopped on the bridge to take a picture of the slough. His eyes searching the area he said, “What are you seeing in there?”

I said, “Well I am an artist and I take a lot of pictures.” It occurred to me he was not seeing the reflections, colors and shadows and I was not about to explain it. I had come here for solace so I sustained my boundary by holding a strong physical presence. He seemed annoyed with not being able to solve the mystery and unable to penetrate my invisible armor, he hurried up the hill, vanishing from sight.

It is not the first time I have taken pictures when people around me look around to see what was so interesting. When they do not have the awareness, they quickly lose interest I have noticed more than once. I was too much of a geek for him I suppose.

Here is my art if you would like to take a look. I will be creating a new collection soon, so stay tuned and subscribe for notification of new developments. My emails are not frequent, usually 4 per year. I also have a couple of live music shows coming up which you will find here. Hope to see you there!

Early May Days

  Early May Days duck competition

 

Early May days are splendid for speculation and regrouping. The returning sun strains our eyes and shines light on anything which neglected over the darker months. When in contemplation I go to the river, like yesterday and today.

Lots of ducks and geese were actively creating their summer life. No babies yet but mating season is well underway. I was lucky to catch this guy in mid-air!  

Still a lot of mud yet, and ice on the banks. The lagoon restoration does not seem complete but the restaurant is open.  The reflections have always been wonderful in the lagoon at Bowness Park, depending on what time of day you go. Everything seems different post flood.

This is an interesting shot I took of a Canada goose, a portrait.  My sense was this guy was looking for his mate & going from being concerned to becoming irate causing a huge ruckus. I hope he found her.may-canada-goose-portrait

My plan is getting outside more this summer. Some walking, biking and plein air painting will be a grand start. Oh and of course outdoor yoga in the park which begins this Sunday! Fingers crossed the sunshine lasts. A herb garden is on my wish list.

I am reviving my journal writing.  Journaling is a tool I use to help me to shift my perceptions,  to break  old patterns, which in turn makes room to create something new. See how the water rolls off a goose’s belly. It doesn’t get under the skin. This is a lesson we humans can learn. My reminder this week to not take things personally. What is the message for you these days?

may-water-off-a-goose-belly

 

What’s on Deck; May & Beyond

On Sunday, June 4th, you can hear my music at the Leighton Centre for their Clothesline Festival and Art Sale! I will be performing from 2-4 pm. It is beautiful out there, so come out for a Sunday drive and enjoy some fine art & music. I am working on a couple of things at the moment. I will share as soon as I can. In the meantime have fun. Drop a comment to say hi. I would love to hear from you.

may-lagoon-shadows
 
WordCamp Calgary 2017 OrganizerOh and I am attending WORDCAMP this year. If you are a WordPress geek, or wanna be, you can come too! If you want a WordPress website, I can build one for you. See the web services I offer here.

Almost Spring

Almost Spring

sunset-just-before-spring

March 3 and it was almost spring when you left us. You spent your last moments until the vet arrived, rolling in the grass as the sun light danced across your fur. I know now you could not see it, only feel the warmth on your body and the ground beneath you. The day was a fortunate unseasonably warm day for your departure.

The weather provided the perfect send off for you who loved the outdoors more than anything else. Later that day, and in your honor, I went to a country road and watched the sunset letting the fading rays soothe my freshly broken heart.

Through you I learned black cats are very unique. Underfoot many times, you were always the one who greeted me at the door. A kind-hearted friendly cat, one who was obsessively curious, busy and always with me. You would nudge me, then springboard off my legs to let me know what you wanted. It was the very same move you had used in the shelter when you chose me.

I thought we might have another summer together but it was not in the cards. The birds are safe now.   Despite curbing your hunting, to my dismay you would occasionally capture an unsuspecting bird in the yard. Part of me does not believe you are gone. I feel you brush past my legs just like when you were always half of a step away.

Studio Muse

bijou-studio-muse

Bijou, my studio muse, who liked to drink the water from the paint well when I was not mindful enough to cover it. Such a precious gift in my life I will never forget.

Planting yourself on the piano keys while I was playing, becoming indignant when I reached the higher notes and came a little too close to your tail.

One of your favorite spots was in my guitar case, and I would leave it open for you, despite you having used the exterior as a scratching post at times. Marks from your needle sharp claws are one reminder of you.

bijou-guitar-case

Your personality was deep and rich, body so tiny and agile, with a huge presence and strong will. With eyes so expressive like deep pools of emotion, I always knew what you were saying to me. You never complained. Because you had always been so healthy, when you took ill I was off-balance. You were a trooper until the end. Now there is a large space to fill that you once occupied. I do not imagine ever attaining such a feat.

Life after you left

cat-autumn garden Your housemate Autumn is missing you too. She did not know how lucky she was until you were gone. She is gorgeous, like you were, yet knows it all too well. Her function is more that of a figurine.

Since you have been gone, she has moments of shallow breathing and I have seen her in the coveted spot by the window, not sitting proud and triumphant like before, but instead slightly slumped over, eyes blinking and facing downwards.

Your heart was generous, letting her have her own way most of the time. I imagine she has some regrets about bullying you. She has been sleeping mostly and only eats about half of what she used to. In time her appetite will improve or maybe it will not.

sisters-looking-out The truth is we can never feel the same again. I look for ways to fill the space within and nothing works.

Hushed quiet resides here now and I have more time to do my work without you climbing all over the back of my chair, the computer and desk. You are not here stepping on the off button of the computer, nor are you here to scan and print documents.

But I am thankful for the 15 years we had together. Nothing stays the same forever and now a new chapter begins with you always in my heart. You ran hard and fast while you could, for as long as you could. Now you are free.  Goodnight sweet love.
cat-eye-peacock-feather

An Artful Life

Some artists say they make art because they have to. Why do I make art? I prefer to think of my art as that which I want to do which keeps my inner passion alive. Transferring the essence to others is part of the process. It is imperative that art be seen and shared. Ultimately it is about connection & communication.

To know I have touched others not just with my art but personally is a bonus. Art making is one thing that gets my endorphins flowing. The natural highs are found in discovering nature and translating the experience to my art.

My chosen way of transmitting my emotions and insights is more subtly through my visual art and music. Sometimes there are no words.

hibiscus

This painting I did for someone (shown left), a commission, a beautiful hibiscus painting, very feminine yet with intense deep colours.

The patron later told me-she felt a tingling in her leg when she looked at it. She had some sort of problem with her leg which the painting appeared to solve. [insert disclaimer]

The energetics of the painting were emitting healing. For somethings we do not have a scientific explanation. Have you ever stood in a gallery and been brought to tears by a painting? When I am doing a commissioned piece, I do tune into the person, at the very least on a subconscious level. I did not know about her leg problem until she told me afterwards.

A previous article I wrote sometime ago, art and healing, long before my healing abilities became as developed and focused as they are now. To add to what I had written I have discovered the recipient and the healer both derive benefits of the energy flow.   The world needs more art and more healing.

I have found keeping track of the art which I make has become a way to document my life. Each piece evokes memories of the time of its creation. My style has changed with time. I have developed this craft for several years. As an introvert it is most satisfying to spend time alone in creation mode with my art.  Art is the result of my inner workings I bring out to share with the world. I heal myself and others through my art making. It completes me in a way that no other thing can.

The joy generated from creating keeps my vibe up and allows me to lift myself up from even the bluest of funks. When I am creating, the flow starts to happen. I do not have time to think about anything else. Things start coming my way when I am in the zone.

divine-masculine-feminine

To close, this is one of my personal healing paintings titled “Transformation”. Semi precious gems and healing crystals are found embedded within as well as various key symbols. To photograph this is near impossible, but you get the idea. Stones included in this piece are rutilated quartz, crystal quartz, kyanite, amethyst, citrine, emerald, lapis lazuli, rhodonite, carnelian, peridot, howlite and black obsidian.  It symbolizes   radical change; mind. body & soul encompassing unity and balance with a root to crown chakra alignment as well as the unification of masculine and feminine energies. Tell me, do you see one face or two in this?

January 2017 Daily Paintings

January Daily Paintings

UPDATE
I am doing the daily paintings. The goal was to paint 5 days a week, for one month. I didn’t make it through January.  I will do them when I can. I have obtained a mural project so I have had to put the daily paintings on hold. These paintings are great collector items making make wonderful gifts. If you do not see a sold sign, then the painting is still available. You are sure to find one you like! These are available in my Small Works Gallery now that the promotion is over.


painting 6
This painting is of the Three Sisters in Canmore, Alberta. One of the many faces of this famous mountain formation.


daily painting Bowness Lagoon
The Bowness Lagoon, before the flood. I think these canoes are still available to rent for a paddle around the lagoon since the overhaul of the park.


kananaskis
I saw this view of Kananaskis on one of my drives out to the mountains. The immense beauty is challenging to record in a tiny painting.


daily painting
The trees at Edworthy Park have always been striking to me. They hold such a large presence in their neat rows.


daily painting 2
I love the aspens in early summer with their yellowish green leaves. Fresh, like saplings, filling me with renewed spirit.


daily painting
Elbow River Falls is a short drive from the city. The unique rock formations with waterfalls and trees make it an outdoor paradise.


Possibilities & Plans; A New Year

Possibilities & Plans; A New Year

Fresh snow has blanketed the transition into 2017 as we begin a new cycle of possibilities.  Trees laden with cotton-balls of snow adorn the thick lined branches. The hares have broken the snow, weaving around the trees leaving their tracks. The New Year came peacefully as I played guitar & drank tea.

I am happy to leave behind the things that are no longer serving me.  Much clearing has taken place and I am simplifying my life to focus on what really matters. I have done another layer of purging to create some space around me for expansion and creativity.

The new possibilities are exciting. This year the emphasis will be on my visual art, music and writing.

Visual Art

In January, watch for a painting a day, five days a week, starting today, Monday January 2, 2017. Check later today when I will post a link here.  All paintings will be postcard size and available for sale. I will let you know a secret. My little paintings go very quickly. I will also be posting them on my Facebook Page if you would like to connect with me there. They often contain as much effort as a large piece and I will be selling them for a reasonable price.

I have not taken many photographs this year, for the first time in a long time. I would like to take a road trip. Some new territory to explore will surely inspire more pictures this year.

Music

Writing an album of music is one plan I intend to complete. The ideas have been in gestation for a long time. The music and melodies come easier than the words for me. It was not always that way. I intend to play more live music gigs. If you would like to host a house concert, let me know. It is easy to do and I will help you on how to set it up. I am still teaching piano and guitar and have a few select openings for new students. Have a look here.

I took a Berklee Jazz Improvisation course on piano and here is one of my assignments; a short improvisation. My jazz improv scale choices for 500 Miles High by Chick Corea.

Writing

I am preparing to journal again this year. I have journalled for many years, but I have had a long sabbatical. Exercises for the soul are the mainstay of keeping a journal. Digging deep, becoming aware of all my inner workings to stay conscious of where I am on the journey. I have the three novels (or novellas) to finish, a book of short stories that I will edit. 

Healing

My healing journey is now showing some results.  I am feeling better than I have felt in a long time. Yoga, meditation & proper diet have been instrumental to my well-being. As well the inner work I have committed myself to for a very long time is now producing fruit.  Results do not happen overnight. It is an ongoing process to uncover one’s aspiration and authentic self, however well worth the effort.

A quote from The Tao of Healing which resonates for me:

To penetrate the hardest armor
Use the softest touch.
Yielding melts resistance
Density is filled by light
Good work is accomplished without effort.
In silence the teachings are heard;
In stillness the world is transformed.

~Jampolsky, M.D.

May we all experience health, wealth and joy in 2017! We have set out intentions. Now it is time to dig in and make it happen. This year will be a year of action. Please leave a comment and share what possibilities you see for yourself in this new year. I would love to hear from you.

New Hockey Mural!

New Hockey Mural!

I just finished this hockey mural today for a new small business  Legend Hockey & Sports in Calgary. This piece is about 6 feet by 8 feet. I wonder if any of the Calgary Flames fans can guess just which play this is?

This was an excellent study in values, being black, white and gray which also gives it a retro look, which was the idea. I have shown WIP paintings before where I began with the Grisaille technique where one paints in gray monochrome. I find this really brings out the dimensional effect of the forms. The black and white also gives a retro look. Transferring the design and painting the mural took five days to complete, not counting the preliminary design work and shopping for supplies.

You can see other murals I have done here:  Murals & Decorative Art

hockey mural full

hockey mural action

hockey mural closeup action

hockey mural goalie

Artistic Life Design

white peony

Artistic Life Design

I am creating a new artistic life design as a creative entrepreneur.  The long days of summer are on us now and yet I have a propensity for sleeping in the afternoon. My best work seems to shape itself around nocturnal melodies. Artistic life design sometimes requires one to make sacrifices. But there are also payoffs. Ingenuity is a must to organize oneself in the most comfortable efficient way.

Flexibility is a wonderful thing although ‘living the dream’ sometimes gives me the same feeling as skipping school. The truth is none of us need permission to run our own show. For me it is the best way I can serve. I know people are out there who need my skills. We need to live our passion. Managing myself is like leading more than one person, due to my love of so many things.

About Grief

For those who know me, it is no secret I have been in transition for a very long while. Part of it is the stage of life I am in and the rest has been partly triggered by grief.  Grief can have a larger effect on us than we first realize. The whole process has devastated me, influencing my personal relationships and my finances.

Unknowingly, when my brother died several years ago it set something off deep within me. A downward slide occurred and I found myself being stuck in the quicksand far deeper than I would have ever imagined. Then, a few short years later my father was also gone and it has not been that long. He knew me well as fathers know their daughters and pegged me as an artist by the time I was 16 years old.

Of course I see all these experiences as a necessary part of living. Everyone has had their sorrows and we grow from them. I will emerge victorious as my tears turn to sweet memories.

Finding My Way

It has been five years to the day since I was laid off from my regular job. Steady work has been a pipe dream since I never found another, so my income fluctuates from month to month. My focus is on building up my creative businesses.

I am grateful for those who have stood by me and have helped in so many ways. Part of the message here is I must do what I am here for. I think some amazing songs will come out of this. From chaos comes creativity. I want to share my talents with the world, for that is my purpose.

All my life, I have been an overachiever, accomplishing what I had set out to do and reaping the financial rewards. That is not to say there have not been hard times, however everything I have needed has come to me, one way or another. I am ready to move beyond that and now ask for more. A simple financial miracle would be most welcome.

Design

I have found mostly piece work, small contracts and somehow it buys me another day, week or month on this planet. A larger project would really help to stabilize things for me. I have put in bids on some murals. The right project has not appeared yet.

Besides hairdressing, freelance writing, teaching and some musical gigs, I also restored artwork on a vintage sign (10 ft X 12 ft)for a hipster café that will reopen soon. I will share once it is has officially been announced. I would love to do a mural this summer. Have a look at my murals here. I am also available for live music performances, including house concerts.

I also did some architectural drawings for a builder. I had not done any technical drawing for some time, and there are many difficult angles on these. They are hand-drawn, 15 X 20 on illustration board. Most of what is here is what the renovations will look like when complete.

artistic life design
Front view, sandstone siding added, tree relocated, driveway expanded, retaining wall added & doorway moved.
artistic life design
Side view, decorative concrete patio, waterfall/fireplace feature, another retaining wall added.
artistic life design
Side of house, glass canopy & glass room added & decorative concrete retaining wall.
artistic life design
Back view, patio extended in concrete connecting to lower level & stairs added.

 

Addendum

I often think of Elton John’s song, “Where To Now St. Peter?” in times of transition. It has always touched me in a mysterious way, sticking out,  despite being one of his more obscure creations. Indeed, if it is about a soldier, we are all soldiers in this life.

February is Here

February is Here

Winter River Light
Winter River Light                                            Photo: D Robinson ©

The river is shimmering its iridescent reflections, shivering in the  late afternoon play of light.

I love when the snow sparkles bringing ideas of magical hope and anticipation for good things ahead.

I remember living in the north, which is a vast desert. Snow was a gift from the gods as if it was warm enough to snow then all was well.

It is February already and a leap year. My theme for this revolution around the sun  is to believe. Despite having built an extensive amount of groundwork, it is easy to get down on oneself, when weary from the journey, but it is essential to believe.  More than hope, believe includes intention which is essential to follow through with a concrete plan and the proper action.

The years flip by more quickly than they once did. In examining where I have been and where I need to go I would say it is a case of the road less traveled. It is not the easy path. Most people will choose the easy path. I cannot say why I did not.

northern-flicker-sillouhette
Northern Flicker                                                                                                                        Photo: D. Robinson ©

There has been an unexpected breaking apart of my situation and my relationship to all that is around me.

The ancient iChing teaches:

SPLITTING APART. It does not further one 
	To go anywhere.

When misfortune has reached its peak, better times ensue.

THE IMAGE
The mountain rests on the earth:
The image of SPLITTING APART.
Thus those above can make sure their place
Only by giving generously to those below.

Exciting because an opening for new is now in place. I have to go with the flow, like the flow of the river, only I do not know where this movement will lead me yet. It appears things must break apart before real change can occur. Now is the time to blaze new paths.

I went to a drum circle this weekend and had the most amazing experience.  Besides connecting one with the heart, I found drumming is therapeutic and grounding, I think the drum has the power to help one break new ground. I cannot wait for the next one and intend to attend regularly.

Oh where will I fly to next? So many choices and the only limits I have are the ones I put on myself. Believe.

 

 

The Dark of Winter

The Dark of Winter

mountain-stream-2The dark of winter is on us, reminding me of deep snowy woods and promises to keep. I liked to recite that Robert Frost poem when I was hurrying home in the dark on the pathway next to the woods.

Long nights with abstractions incubating under the surface has been my preoccupation. There has been no painting this year.  Much happens in the time of winter solstice. Though uneventful on the surface, underneath activity has taken place & I expect to get the paint brushes out soon.

To take advantage of the light, bright as it is and short as it is the best therapy of year. Walk into it gently, as it is a sharp contrast to the darkness. I take time for solitude, happy to have some rest time before lessons begin again.

Note that I have imported all my blog posts from the other platform which has now closed.  Everything is here now and if you explore, you will find a variety of writings and works in progress. It was fun for me to check my old blog posts, as I have blogged since 2005. Sadly there was no way to import the comments.

Teaching music, guitar & piano, has kept me busy. Here is my advice for a young composer, one of my students.

composer-advice

When composing music, find sounds that go with the idea and feeling of the song and the words. Write words for the music. Music is a feeling, a language, Tell a story with the music. Listen to and learn ideas from other people’s music. Now I will do the same with my own compositions. Teaching is a good reminder.

mountain-stream This mountain stream does not stop running though it is winter. I got drinking water from there while in the mountains and it tastes amazing. Fresh, clear and clean.

Keep moving and let all that is within move too. Let go to make room for the new.

And now the days begin to get longer.

Wishing you all the best for a prosperous & joyous new year.