Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I remember exactly when I did it. I was the executive director of an adult literacy organization and I was attending a conference given by the institute in management and community development at concordia university in montreal. They offered a plethora of workshops and I probably should have signed up for a workshop on fundraising or leadership or capacity building or some other management topic but, of course, I signed up for a workshop titled: tapping into the creative process.
I remember that I really enjoyed the workshop because we were given a lot of time to just sit and work away. No pressure. We were encouraged to choose our images intuitively.
These are the images I chose. I didn't think too much. Just clipped out the ones that spoke to me on a gut level. After I had chosen my images, I took a look and saw that a theme had emerged. I added the word "bound" at that point. I purposely chose a word that had two meanings: bound-restrained-obligated and bound-going forth-towards a destination.
It was quite obvious to me at the time what the collage meant. I was feeling very stressed in my job. Close to burn-out. More and more administration and less and less hands-on activities with students and volunteer tutors. Lack of control. Burdened.
But what has surprised me as I look at this collage with fresh eyes, is the other side of the "bound" coin. That I was bound towards a direction. Within a year of making this collage, I left that organization and soon after, followed my heart into art. One wonders if doing that collage nourished some seeds that had been planted. Hmmm.....
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
turtle bone, blue ridge, VA
concretions, northern coast, olympic peninsula
beach glass, north beach west, port townsend, WA
lampwork bone, made by lynne
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I recently received yet another gift. Judy, the person who previously gifted me with the lovely barnacle pictured above, has sent me some more precious items through her sister-in-law (and my friend) Carole. This time she sent me a piece of beach glass which is hollowed out (a bit like a nest!) and a cougar's tooth! Judy lives on beautiful Salt Spring Island in British Columbia and is a regular beachcomber. What inspires people to pass along these objects? And to others whom they barely know? Boggles my mind! Thank you so much for thinking of me, Judy. Karma will reward you!
A further gift arrived in the form of a Brillante Award from Terry Rafferty. It is so cool to get an award out of the blue from somebody not on your radar. Makes you wonder how many people are actually out there reading your blog! How gratifying! And the gift here, apart from the award, is that now Terry is on my radar. I have visited her blog and was blown away by her painting called Things You Can Stack. Although I am in my element doing non-representational art, I have such admiration for artists who can paint with such realism and such sensitivity. Thank you Terry for this honour. I know that according to the rules I must pass this on to 7 other bloggers but since most of the bloggers to whom I would give this award have recently already received awards themselves, I will ask people to check out the bloggers on my sidebar. They are the cream of the crop!
And then, as if I hadn't received enough attention, I was "tagged" by Lynne to list 6 "unspectacular quirks" about myself. How fun! This is a new blogging experience for me and I will do my best to participate.
Here are the rules:
- Link back to the person who tagged you
- Mention the rules on your blog
- Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
- Tag 6 following bloggers by linking to them
- Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggers blogs letting them know they've been tagged.
OK...unspectacular quirks. Here goes:
- I am perceptually challenged. I can't saw or file a straight line if my life depended on it, it takes two tries to choose the correct size of container for leftovers, and I have to go through a cognitive process before I can distinguish my left hand from my right.
- I have an almost "idiot savant" ability to recognize the voices of narrators on documentaries.
- I find washing dishes extremely therapeutic and relaxing, and needless to say, I don't own a dishwasher.
- I'm not in time with the real world and neither are my habits. I stay in my pyjamas as long as I can, have my shower around 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon, and take my dog out for a walk late at night around 12:00 or 1:00 when it is peaceful and quiet.
- I am addicted to Coronation Street! (blush)
- I am a "goody two-shoes" and always follow the rules (unless, on occasion, I feel they are unfair). Not sending on the Brillante Award is a huge breakthrough for me!
And now as it's just before midnight, it's time to take Luka for a walk!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
The box was a pleasure to behold. Pictures of butterflies, birds, castles, Pissaro paintings, ancient sculpture, and jewellery pieces decorated the box, making it very intriguing.
When I carefully opened the box with my trusty x-acto knife, this is what I saw first. A list of the precious contents of the box. The title was made with those same familiar letters that I see on lynne's banner whenever I visit her blog (every day!). The paper had been painted with something that made it subtly sparkly. Magic...just like lynne! On the back was a lovely message that warmed my heart. What happened next made me gasp in awe...
This was more than a goodie package. This was something wondrous. Something sacred. Me, the "nest person", was gazing at a nest of swaddled objects somehow protected by feather and cedar sprig talismans. I couldn't take my eyes off them. I was mesmerized.
I removed them one by one marvelling at the beauty and mystery of them. They were wrapped in muslin dyed in walnut ink and each had a number written on a fragment of masking tape. To me they were shrouds containing priceless relics from another time. How did lynne know that I am fascinated by all things wrapped? And these were wrapped in such an artful way. There was an aroma of cedar and (perhaps?) incense. An experience for the senses.
I have had these precious bundles for 2 weeks now and have still not unwrapped them. At the time that I opened the parcel, I could not bear to open them. I could not even consider it. They were art objects in themselves and were too heartbreakingly beautiful to unwrap. And it seemed to me that they were not meant to be unwrapped...yet. I decided that I would unwrap them when I was ready, using my gut as my guide. I am almost ready...
This gift was given in such a meaningful way. For that, I thank you, lynne. You have an old soul. Tree woman, nymph of the woods, generous being, roots in the earth, spirit soaring. Thank you.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Her objects came in a beautifully covered tin box. It is covered with collaged copper slug tape. Meant to be applied to plant pot rims to repel slugs and snails! I must get some of this stuff. I love the textures and the colours. I could swear that I see some verdigris forming! The box is a precious gift in itself, and I appreciate the effort that kathy took in art-i-fying it!
These are the corals. So tiny and delicate. They look bigger in this close-up but the longest is only 2.5 cm. long. I don't know much about corals but these are fascinating. Like tiny spines or bone articulations. Despite kathy's best attempts to protect them with packing during transport, they broke apart a bit, but I love them just the way they are!
And the objects that started it all! The beach glass! Aren't these pieces lovely. So many colours and shapes. Smooth with rounded edges. Each one with a warm (or cool) glow and a story. You just want to put them into your pocket and handle them.
These are agates. I love their transluscency. When you hold them up to the light you can see the most beautiful lines and shapes and tones within the stones.
And what a treat! One of kathy's PMC pieces! I think I recognize this particular one from this post! Second row from the bottom, third to the left! On her contents list, kathy said it was white glass fired with PMC. I guess the firing changes the white glass to this lovely honey colour. I love the contrast of the smooth glass with the textured metal. Lovely.
And here is the collection gathered together. I love these treasures and I love them even more through sharing them with you. Photographing them to share has allowed me to get to know them much better. Interacting with them, touching them, observing them, sorting them. All this has bonded me to them so I thank you, dear readers, for that. And kathy, for your huge warm generous heart, I thank you! I never imagined that blogging would connect me to so many special spirits, and ones who would reach out beyond this virtual world we inhabit, and touch my heart with a gesture like this.
Since it is friday, I will end with a haiku.gratitude expressed
opening the dormant heart
yet another gift
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Instead of returning directly home after the ceremony, Jerzy and I decided to stop for a few days in Prince Edward County, an area noted for its sand dunes, wineries, and artists studios. We stayed two nights and basically just lay on the beach, had some nice meals, popped into an art gallery, and went for some nice walks in the woods and fields. A brief but enjoyable get-away...
Some images from our walk in the woods
Some images from our walk in the fields
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
It's not just the films I love about the festival. It's the whole process. I love the way the glossy, crinkly, pages of the schedule feel and sound as I peruse the film offerings. I love the way my yellow highlighter slides across those glossy pages as I highlight the films that interest me and the way my red hi-tecpoint ink pen smoothly outlines a rough box around the ones I will definitely see - a ritual I've had for years. I love scouring the film blurbs looking for clues that hint at which films might be great. I love the process of deciding which films to see, often based on avoiding rush-hour traffic and securing parking on a tiny stretch of street that has the only free parking in the area during certain times. I love the energy of the other film-goers scrambling around to get to their films and listening in to the quiet corner conversations discussing what they've just seen. I love that each time you screen a film, you never know what to expect.
- The Home of Dark Butterflies (Finland): A boy deals with a secret in his past while at a boy's home on an isolated island. Wonderfully dark and moody. Beautifully shot.
- All Will Be Well (Poland): A boy tries to save his ailing mother by jogging to a shrine of the Madonna, with his alcoholic coach in tow. Touching tale with lots of humour.
- What If Death Do Us Part? (Germany): People confronted by death in various forms. Several stories merging into one with humour and humanity. Love those.
- Katyn (Poland): By the great Polish Director Andrzej Wajda. An account of Stalin's murder of 15,000 reserve officers in 1940, most of them Polish intelligentsia. Very meaningful to us as Jerzy's uncle was among those murdered.
- All Inclusive (Chile-Mexico): A family drama at a holiday resort. Funny and touching.
- Cowards (Spain): An account of a boy who is being bullied. Heart-wrenching at times.
- Be Calm and Count to Seven (Iran): A roughly told tale of life in a fishing village where smuggling people and goods is the way of life.
- The Song of Sparrows (Iran): Possibly my favourite of this year's festival. A poetic and humanistic slice-of-life story.
- Mermaid (Russia): A dark comedy about a girl who has the power to make her wishes come true. Delightfully quirky.
- Rain (Argentina): Two people meet in an unexpected way and their stories unfold. Nicely told.
- Son of a Lion (Australia-Pakistan): A young boy, living on the Pakistan-Afghan border, struggles to get an education despite his father's wish that he remain in the family business of arms-making.
- The Stranger in Me (Germany): Excellent portrait of a woman dealing with post-partum depression.
- Parking (Taiwan): A man tries to find the person who has double-parked and blocked his car, meeting interesting characters along the way. Scattered story but entertaining.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
That's what this carving tool feels like when I use it.