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Compartmentalization in Society & Culture

Compartmentalization of society & culture

If we talk about compartmentalization in the psychology world, we see that it is classified as a defence mechanism.  We often separate conflicting thoughts, emotions, or experiences to avoid the discomfort of contradiction and confrontation.


Compartmentalization in Psychology

Compartmentalization, in the psychology world, says that it is a defence mechanism. We typically separate conflicting thoughts, emotions, or experiences to avoid the discomfort of contradiction and confrontation.  Culture aims to pigeonhole us into categories. I have resisted that my whole life.

Society & Culture

On a larger scale, many groups identify with only one cultural group. They see their identity as predominant, thereby excluding other identities. I would not call this diversity. If you want to raise support for your cause, your best chance of success is to be inclusive. Otherwise, it may alienate the others who have every right to exist, be and create. For movements to be successful, it must be inclusive.

Our society inadvertently promotes a victimhood mindset. We reward it, and the media promotes it as the norm. Social media has an influential impact as well, especially with false information. This mindset is now one we hold collectively. It has become an integral part of our identities. Seeking love and recognition, the lack of the ability to feel empathy for others has become reduced. We cannot find harmony, resilience, and peace in an unwell society.

Spiritual Connotations of Compartmentalization

We hear so much about oneness, and how we are all equal, but that only looks good on paper. Because what is happening is the opposite. Awareness is what is needed here.

The separation we feel in the world today, is partly due to compartmentalization. Yet, from a spiritual point of view, we want to be moving in a very different direction. Then there is the darkness we have all been seeing. We cannot have light without darkness, and perhaps it is just that all this is floating to the surface to be released. But can we release it? Or will we be imprisoned by it?

om symbol with gemstone
divine om symbol with gemstone from original painting


Effects of Compartmentalization

A handful of people hold the majority of the wealth, creating a deeply oppressive societal structure. The pandemic made it worse. Suddenly, on top of it all, life is unaffordable for many. It destroyed our relationships, our businesses, livelihoods, by erasing our connections. We were left standing in a very different place. For many, all the groundwork was stolen from beneath them. The rich got richer, and the rest of us are getting poorer. A more level playing field and continued flow is crucial for society to flourish.


We see the clawing back of our rights, and most feel powerless to change it. Many politicians do not hold the same values as the rest of us, yet they are running the show. They don’t always show their true selves, while on the election trail & many are fooled.

Daily, the rolling back of personal rights, is wearing people down. Courts create laws only to compromise our human rights. A prime example in the USA was the overturning of Roe vs Wade. Next, they will come after reproductive rights, gender bias, and personal medical decisions. Books will be banned, and history decimated so no one remembers or learns. What we do not remember, we are destined to repeat. And this is spreading to other countries. Why are we going backwards? Is the entire world in retrograde???

In groups

All this compartmentalization weakens the groups that require the most support. We are stronger together, even though the natural response is to protect our domains. We shrink inward to give ourselves the false belief that we are in control.

rise blue angel painting
Rise original painting by me, 36 x 48 (inches) available
Problems and solutions

To no one’s surprise, our society has created a stunning number of narcissists. Empaths are like fishes out of water. Looking within is the starting point if we wish to find peace. The loss of resiliency, partially through the breakdown of our connections, leads to judgment of ourselves and others. Separation happens when we compartmentalize and label people, as does duality.

I know that my business success comes from my connections.  And that’s been flattened, though I am beginning to build things back up. 

Dropping our defences

I have a theory that all the lock-downs caused damage to the nervous systems of people, specifically a Dorsal Vagal Shutdown, which invoked a Freeze: immobilization, dorsal vagal response or state accompanied by the fight-flight mobilization, as a sympathetic response. The dorsal vagus nerve is a sort of shutdown switch that disconnects you from others and makes you feel frozen in response to overwhelming fear as a form of self-preservation. It seems like a bit of compartmentalization is going on with this.

This infographic from The Movement Paradigm Integrative Health tells us a lot. Next to Maslow’s hierarchy, I think this is the next most useful chart.

polyvagal chart dorsal vagal shutdown

Humanity needs resilience, to bounce back from all of this. Building a playbook to resolve these types of problems may require therapy, and bodywork. Acupuncture, Reiki, etc. and/or, at the very least, a plan to discover the solutions for the things that affect us in our everyday lives. Individually, traumas are stored in the body to cover the shame, and we pass them down through our ancestral lineage. We have not addressed our collective shame. But we need to.

Supportive relationships come once we learn to love ourselves. Building a support system is one of the best things we can do. I outgrew my support systems for one reason or another, and I now must rebuild them for my well-being. Toxic positivity is an issue because we cannot ignore the shadow, personally or collectively. We need to do so much work on this planet, but we often fall into the trap of distraction(s). We need to empower ourselves and others. When we do, everyone wins.

The Arts

How can an artist use this effect to their benefit? The resolution for me is to strive to direct and channel meaningful purpose into my art. See my art here. 

Weaving all the threads of emotions, themes, and techniques allows us to create a tapestry of creation. We can send our message. Much creativity is born from chaos, especially our inner chaos, which we can channel into our work. We can call on it to inspire us while sorting through our inner world. Sending a message to the ones who consume art is powerful. Some will relate and possibly be inspired to take action.

Remember artists, culture is most likely not your friend.
“The artist’s task is to save the soul of mankind; anything less is a dithering while Rome burns. Because of the artists, who are self-selected, for being able to journey into the Other, if the artists cannot find the way, then the way cannot be found.” ― Terence McKenna  



Once, I borrowed bones from someone I knew, whose husband was a polar bear biologist. I was living in the Arctic at the time. We met at her house for tea, as I was considering buying her piano. Spotting them, I asked if I could borrow the bones, as I wanted to paint them.

She said to me, “What colour would you paint them?” I laughed and said I wouldn’t be painting the actual bones. I wanted to use them as a reference. So she thought that was fine then.

They came home with me to live in my studio for a while. There was a polar bear skull and a muskox skull. And a couple of other things, I don’t recall what they were now. I did end up buying her piano too.

Here are some of the resulting drawings following my tea visit with a friend. I did these studies years ago showing line, form, shadow, light and sometimes colour. Mostly pen & ink, with a watercolour wash, a polar bear skull, muskox, and I can’t remember what else.

bones drawing
skull drawingSkull drawingSkull 2 drawing

Bones Drawing

Georgia O’Keefe worked with the primary forms of nature, focusing on shape and colour, and painted bones. That’s where I got the idea to use the skulls as subjects. An admirer of hers ever since my early painting days, I even went to Ghost Ranch, where she lived and painted. I also painted frequently here, though much later. Here I am en plein air in the desert.

Painting at Ghost Ranch














All of this started during one cold winter in Yellowknife, when I stumbled upon the book, “Portrait of an Artist“. It was her biography, and I read it with great enthusiasm. I was transfixed with her, even though, as yet, I had not seen her artwork.

Since this was before the home computer, I did a lot of digging to find her work, and since have collected several of her books and books about her. That led me to my first of many trips to New Mexico. This was eventually thanks to an ad in the back of American Artist magazine. The Southwest is definitely my spiritual home.

Promise of Spring

Promise of Spring

This painting I have titled Promise of Spring. The river starts to open up, and the days are longer amid the persistent chill in the air. I think of the song, Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most.  I am in my cocoon, recharging like a phone. promise of spring painting Scroll down to see my recent mono-prints. Not all is new, I have unfinished paintings that have been taking ever so long to complete. I think this one is done, Promise of Spring, Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas, sides painted, no need to frame, 16 x 20. My style is changing somewhat, while in this transition period, I have noticed the old tries to hang on and the new struggles to break through. When this happens, as always, it is time to trust the process. Reevaluating and regrouping are where my focus at the moment. Getting down to the core of things, back to my true essence, I will hang on to it this time. A progressed version of myself is likely to emerge, as many things have been incubating. So many distractions along the way can bury one’s voice.

Listen to the Heart

Finding my way back to hearing my own heart, I require plenty of solitude. Before that, I was experiencing too much interference in my field. My attention span isn’t what it used to be. A significant observation is that the environment we choose to be in influences our lives. Ideally, I can block out the noise; at least, I thought I could. These last two years have been a healing journey after leaving an environment that was detrimental to me. And yet, I chose to be there, so I take the lessons learned in stride. It was unfortunate because I loved my space. That lesson has been learned more than once.

Creative Process

  To restart my creative process, I have made a daily habit of sketching and have been experimenting with some gelli prints. Sometimes, when in turmoil, my art can only incubate and production slows down. Trying something different is an excellent way to inspire ourselves, find another point of view and freshen our creativity. The process of creation is ever-fluid, and results are unpredictable. Doing prints is unexpected; not all turnout, yet many pleasant surprises exist. Nevertheless, I feel a release, even if the results are not usable. One thing leads to another; I strive to spend every moment creating something new. It is a form of therapy for me. Before I know it, my creative juices start to flow, and I am in the zone.

In Real Life

Realization of life comes through creative expression. Oscar Wilde was right in his 1889 essay The Decay of Lying, when he said, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”. Art is the catalyst for a life well lived. Whether you are the artist, the art or the audience, you are part of the process.  So what are you creating? Dig deep and make it real.

December’s Song

December’s Song

December Song, winter snow, colourful sky and trees

December’s song, short bright days & crunchy snow your long nights stir quiet restlessness. Window lights from the flickering hearth spur drafty pauses and hushed voices. Time stands still. We anticipate the return of the light as darkness envelops us.

Well, that was December 2022, never to be seen again. Living day to day, I feel myself gradually shifting. I do not make resolutions, but I try to rid myself of what is no longer serving me to make room for the new.

Peeling back the layers is a gradual process that differs for each person. By process of elimination, I can create some focus. I form a master plan in the back of my mind while discarding the excess, but open myself to the flow that is the creative life force.

Natural spring, sunny day with trees and branches lined with snow

From focus comes clarity. I now spend less time talking, as it dilutes my energy. I am working through things independently because I am too tired to do anything about it when I explain it all to a listening ear. Besides, I always find myself alone when all the big stuff goes down. That should be a hint right there. It takes so long to become who we really truly are.

It is time to prune the tree and prepare for new growth. I want to see new things and fill my well. A car does not run without fuel, and I need to reset.

2023 will be a 7-year in numerology. This article by Christine DeLorey sums up what I am feeling at this moment. For me, it’s the completion of a cycle, as 2022 comes to a close, and 2023 will be a new beginning. I feel that, but I am not entirely sure what it is going to look like yet.

Wishing you the very best for the coming year. May we all prosper.





November bare trees with snow “November never disappoints. Embrace the darkness, for the light will return.” ~DLRobinson

November is cold, snowy and dark here—time for introspection.
I found experimenting with AI Art a way of expanding my inspiration. This AI creation, I facilitated, but writing an algorithm. AI artwork created through artificial intelligence, and love how this one turned out. This is where I have been playing, at Night Café.

Traditional Paintings

Of course, I still have available traditional paintings here. Commissions are open, so reach out if you see something you love, or if you are interested in a custom work.

Here is a video I made with my available landscape paintings. 


The other night I went to sneak a peek at the November eclipse, the Beaver Blood Moon. The sky cleared for the eclipse, but the moon did not look red. Crunchy snow on a cold night after several days of snow. The stars & planets were bright, with the space station overhead too. They must have had quite a view!


I finally have had some time off for reflection. Yet, my creativity has been at a near standstill for several months. Incubation, yes, I reach out and can almost touch it, like the brass ring on the merry-go-round. What is that feeling? The one that makes one feel uncomfortable in one’s skin. Not settled, ready to jump, given the opportunity, but low in energy.

Pandemic Thoughts

The pandemic has sent humanity around a bend. Will we ever recover? Well, just that things will never be the same. A social change has occurred. It’s a big shakeup. Ultimately, this may be a good thing.

Many have been reconsidering their focus. I have spent so much time reevaluating. By doing so, I am missing out on my life. But one can only make a move once the time is right. For now, I am incubating and recharging and getting ready to make a move. However, I need clarity and focus before I do so.

We have lost the option to gather with people, and now everyone has dissipated in different directions. People removed from your life for a reason will be replaced with more compatible ones, since energy cannot be created or destroyed. It will convert to another form of energy.

Live performance is something else that seems like a dream. Although I am more of an introvert, the extent of the isolation has been beyond difficult. I despise the anger spewed and the mistrust that is so abundant at the moment, and I, too, have been anxious and angry. We are forgetting how to connect and socialize. Existing in the virtual is not a replacement for human contact.

Moving Forward

Despite the feeling that we’ve lost so much, this global situation could be an opportunity to effect change. The divide and conquer has been a successful agenda. Now more than ever, gathering all that is important and running with the ball is important. Please don’t count me out yet.


Another Spring, A Slower Pace

Another Spring, A Slower Pace

Yet another spring, but not quite like anything I have ever known before. The breath of anticipation, watching the movement from afar.  Another birthday in isolation. How quickly the time goes, even while confined. My priority has been my mental hygiene. Although I enjoy my alone time, and solitude which is necessary for creating, I also need a balance. I miss connecting.

The slower pace has been welcome though. The world is changing rapidly, more evident, as we view it from our own private spaces. Another pandemic was inevitable, and overdue, and we were unprepared. Human nature revealed once more as another spring emerges. Greenery & blossoms & feral bunnies, bobcats and lots of birds are part of my new landscape. I am a five-minute walk from the river.

On the Move

I had to move recently. It was difficult because it was not by choice,  but by gentrification.  Characteristics of the artist life, I have been the last to live in many a fine antiquated property. So, not a first for me, yet this was a very big change. Imperfections became apparent after moving in, so, I am seeking a way to make this place feel like home. More modern than what I am used to, it is a work in progress. I am still not fully unpacked. The kitchen is nice, the bathtub, a disappointment. It is not only more narrow, but a bit shorter. Someday I will have a soaker tub.

Adjusting to a new neighbourhood, looking for the pulse, I am in Erlton now. I am almost downtown, as this is one of the most inner city residential neighbourhoods. Downtown is where I started my journey in this city precisely twenty-five years ago. May 26, 1996, I arrived here after a twelve-year stint in the Arctic, preceded by my life in Vancouver.

New Creative Life

I need to get it to the point where I can indulge in my creative work once more. I have a lot of artwork, it was a lot to move. Check out my galleries, and let me know if anything interests you. This pandemic has given me a chance to reset my focus, and explore what is and isn’t working in my life. Also, I have been paring down, allowing what is important to remain. I donated a truckload of items, and now that I am in the new place, I am letting of more things. Stuff that was once for comfort becomes a burden.

Nature is healing

Perhaps too much introspection becomes ridiculous. So I went out into nature which always rejuvenates me. Nature is healing and inspires me and is definitely not optional. But I confess, I have been lazy and doing the absolute minimum. Sleep rejuvenates me too. I have needed time for healing. The longer I stay inside, the harder it is to go out, even for things I enjoy. I was able to take a few photos, which always cheers me up. My new camera lens allows me to capture some special moments in nature, and it gets me out walking.

For the Birds

My affinity for nature and birds is evident in the pictures I took, mostly for the birds this time. Here is a yellow-headed blackbird. I have seen a lot of these this year. Previous to this,  I had only ever seen red-winged blackbirds. And there is an abundance of these yellow-headed blackbirds this year.
Another Spring, a Slower Pace
An American Avocet, which is a premier sighting for me. There are a variety of species at Frank Lake, depending on when you go. Happy to have a camera again to capture these.
Another Spring, a Slower Pace
These black-necked stilts are also new to me.
Another Spring, a Slower Pace
Of course the pelicans are always a welcome sight to see, along with their faithful companions the cormorants. As I drove in to Wyndam-Carseland Provincial Park, I saw the white forms, like sculptures on the still water, barely believable. I arrived during their inactive time.
Another Spring, a Slower Pace
The water looks crisp, fresh and inviting.
Another Spring, a Slower Pace
Pelican coming in for a landing.
Another Spring, A Slower Pace
Pelican in flight. I love the reflection of this one. It happened so fast, I wasn’t sure if I had gotten the shot at first, and was pleasantly surprised.
Pelican in Flight with Reflection

Sauntering Through Life

Our existence on this planet is finite. My pace is slowed, it took me decades to find a slower pace. Now I am faced with younger beings impatient with my casual affair with time. Another spring, a slower pace, but starting again in a new way. I am aware I have a lot of work to do to fulfill my promise to myself and I will be shown the way. My circle has narrowed. Like pruning a tree, I am redefining & refining my life, so I can come back healthy and strong. As we come into this world alone, so shall we go out. A line from a song, which I am composing; “We are the wing of spirit on the wind.”


While the Garden Sleeps

While the Garden Sleeps

It’s that time of year and while the garden sleeps my nocturnal self comes alive with anticipation of winter projects. This is how I get through the long dark months. Half of me is purging and the other half is focusing on creative pursuits. Yet, as always I am taking it one day at a time. And so far winter has not been too severe.

Latest Artwork

Here is a commission I finally finished. It was a long time coming. Flamboyant Tree (Poinciana) 18 X 36 Acrylic on Stretched Canvas. flamboyant-tree-commissioned-painting
See my most recent paintings fresh off the easel here.


My camera died while I was attempting to take pictures of the full blood wolf moon and lunar eclipse. It went out with a whimper and a lens error. Some invisible damage must have occurred when I fell. I thought it was just the lens cap and the LCD screen had a few damaged spots. I got one more year out of it.

I cannot remember the last time I was without a camera. Taking photographs is pretty much my therapy, so I am already working on manifesting another upgraded version. Most of my photos on Instagram are from my mobile phone. Join me there for an inside glimpse of my daily activities.

Current Weather Report

The winds of change are blowing strong these days. Tonight seems darker than dark, a skiff weaving its way through cracks in the night. I feel as though I am settling into another phase of my life. My focus is on what is important. Divvying up my remaining time on what matters.

At first, I felt resistance and fear, but then I started to let go a little piece at a time. Letting go is like ripping a band-aid off. Spending more time in preparation, and then when you do it, it just hurts a little at first and then the relief sets in and the pain lessens. Recent and upcoming changes in my life occur no matter what is going on externally.

Document all I have accomplished in my art career and otherwise is my latest inspiration. To keep track in a more organized fashion means it is time to make a plan. I do not want to exit this planet leaving things undone. I feel as though I am just getting started. Of course creating more artwork and music is in the plan.

Yet starting, later on, is different because one has all that experience giving more substance to the actions, while at the same time working to recapture innocence once known. I envision myself somewhere warm, where life is easier, where achieving ones sense of essence and purpose requires less effort.

Summer Mural Painting Complete

Summer Mural Painting Complete

I trust you have had an amazing summer. Summer  mural painting is how I spent my time. I am happy when I paint on walls. Our weather has been so pleasant and the garden has flourished. I have walked in various parks around the city and going to Outdoor Yoga on Sundays.  When I am walking it is always with a camera in hand. My life is a photo-walk.

With the decrease in music students over the summer, I need to fill my days with something more. I had put several bids in for local murals, but summer mural painting got off to a slow start. Then I had two murals which I have been busy with this over the past month.

I actually had to turn one project down, because everyone wanted on them all at the same time. Unfortunately I was unable to meet the deadline for a large mural call, however I understand there will be another opportunity at a later date.

This is the most recent summer mural painting I completed.

I painted this mural for The Prep Program, a preschool program for children with Down syndrome. The mural has 3 components, a tree, a garden and a patch of sunflowers.

Tree Summer Mural Painting

Garden Summer Mural Painting

sunflower summer mural painting

Client Feedback

The amazing review they gave was touching:We are all so impressed with the tree and garden. We absolutely love it! It’s warm, bright, inviting, calming and beautiful. We couldn’t have asked for anything better. We really appreciate your work and the kids will too! It is wonderful when people appreciate what you do.

Before that, I completed this exterior mural for a church in Killarney, the neighborhood I used to live in. I was up 20 feet on scaffolding to do this, with a safety harness of course. This was a large undertaking from one person, not the design itself, but the maneuvering to paint it. I am proud to have achieved it by myself.
St Matthews Summer Mural Painting

The Mural Process

So many thoughts go through one’s mind while painting a mural. Murals are complex in their creation, from planning to creation.

First I decide upon the design through consulting with the client, then I scale it to transfer it to the surface. Once I finish the preliminary work then the fun painting part begins. The beginning stages are technical and accuracy is crucial.

Most times I will use a clear coat, sometimes for UVLS protection to prevent fading of the colours. In the case of exterior murals I often use an anti-graffiti coating. Though expensive, it is a great way to protect your investment as you can power wash off the unwanted tag.

They must look good from a distance as well as close up.  This means most murals have a great amount of detail over a large surface, which is time-consuming, but necessary. You are paying for labour, materials and ingenuity.

Consider a Mural

Each mural is its own process and I always learn something new. Of course I am always looking forward to the next project. Take a look at some of the other murals I have painted here: Murals & Decorative/

Please contact me if you would like me to paint a mural for you.

Warm Summer Breeze; A new Jazz Instrumental

Warm Summer Breeze

I have written scraps of songs for ever so long. Several years have passed since I turned out songs to their full completion. What I have lacked is focus. Setting some goals for myself I found to carry out them I must record things when I am in the flow. Otherwise they are lost.

Songwriting Process

Some start as voice notes on my phone which I then develop when I am with my instruments. Ideas often come in moments of relaxation.

Warm Summer Breeze is the first one I have documented in this new segment. I laid down the guitar & piano tracks this week for “Warm Summer Breeze”. It is instrumental at the moment, but I may add lyrics.

Despite having primitive recording facilities, I am documenting all the new songs. This gives me an opportunity to build on the ideas and framework and new possibilities become clear in that building process. The end game is to record an album.

It’s a fine line between planning and letting things take shape organically. Learning to create on demand is challenging. A looming deadline may just be the push I need. Music, being infinite, like numbers leaves me with so many choices. It is refining those which is time-consuming. I would do it all day if I could.

What I do in my spare time

Spare time sounds like a luxury, but a few moments found in between this and that. Yoga in the park on Sundays gets my week off to the right start. I love to get out in nature as much as possible, camera in hand. Since I am often mobile in the city, I prepare for time to stop at any nearby park when I can om between or after appointments. Sometimes I tuck a sketchbook and/or paints into my bag. I carry extra footwear, sun hats & jackets in the car and today I am thinking of taking my bicycle. Some areas on my list to check out can only be efficiently accessed by cycling on the pathways.

I could hardly contain my excitement when I found the pelicans finally. They migrate here and to see them feels like an unusual sight. One of the best parts of photography is being at the right place at the right time and having a camera. I always take my camera with me. Other times I write in my personal journal. And most recently I traveled with a drum.

Healing Power of Drumming

Drumming as healing modality is well documented. I went to Nosehill Park to attend a medicine circle and I was unable to find the group. It was a sweltering day, 33 C, which I am hardly used to. Since the park is immense with little shade, I chose to stay and do my own drumming. It was a very empowering experience. I captured a small part of my journey there to share with you.

I also picked some sage for a bundle, leaving the roots so it will regrow. Being in nature has responsibilities. Always leave it the way you found it or better. As custodians of the earth we must set an example and keep all the natural beauty around us so we may all enjoy it. After all it is our home.

 I am  on Twitter a lot.  Sometimes Instagram & Facebook. I would love to connect with you on the other social platforms. Please show some love if you enjoyed this post & leave a comment. I would love to hear from you!

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.


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.

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?



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.

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


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, 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.


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.