Sunday, March 20, 2011


Yesterday was my 69th birthday. This seems pretty old to me! But I think I have felt the same way about every birthday - so it's not a surprise.

I feel great (except I have a cold) and know that I am one of the luckiest people in the world. I wish I could do something about the serious issues of life - like the earthquake in Japan, the freedom fighters in Libya, and even the street people in our city - but I guess I had that chance when I was a librarian ... Now I will try to celebrate life - which I think is also important.

I finished my painting of the trail to Ammonite Falls - at least I think I did. I think it is OK - but I haven't lived with it long enough to know what it's really like.

My plan is to enter it into the NAC Spring Showcase - which is in April and has Earth Day as the theme. Earth Day is intended to remind us about the environment and I am going to use the painting to try to make a positive statement about Nanaimo. The trail to Ammonite Falls actually goes through the VIU Wood Lot. The VIU Forestry Program advertises itself as teaching students how to "manage and protect the environment." So, in honour of Earth Day and Nanaimo's contribution to the environment, I am naming my painting "VIU Forestland." Here it is:

The main difference from last time is that the centre of the light in the forest is more emphasized, the side of the trail is rougher and there are more branches on thearbutus. Also, I have signed it and have painted the sides and the top and bottom so it doesn't need a frame.

Now onto my big leaf maple in Linley Valley. I think this painting will be much more impressionistic and free - but who knows. I met get hung up. The painting should be impressionistic since it is more about atmosphere than a real object. I'm using Emily's Carr's "Clearing" to inspire my colours - sort of.

I realize that the photo is not a good representation of the colours in the painting since there is actually no pink in it - yet. Everything is just a turpentine wash right now - while I try to get the shapes and values organized before I go full tilt.

If, by chance , I get this painting done by March 31, I will put it in the NAC Spring Show Case too. The picture is actually of a tree in the Crown Land adjacent to the Linley Valley Park - not int he park itself. I once sent the original photo to someone (NALT or DBNA) to support making the Crown Land into a Park - so the painting would be appropriate for Earth Day but in a different way from "VIU Forestland."

It is a little nerve racking to think of entering a contest after having had my own show - but that is part of being in the art world in Nanaimo. I'll try to focus on appreciating the other paintings and being part of a community of artists and forget the fact it is a competition.

We often walk in this part of "Linley Valley" and it is beautiful any time of year. Hopefully we will soon have Lexy well-enough trained that we can walk there again without fear of a dog-ruckus!

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