Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thoughts On Newspapers Vs Blogs

I'm been hearing alot lately about the digital online world replacing or threatening the world of print, such a newspapers and books. This is an interesting discussion as I think it helps me to analyze what it is I appreciate about the written word on and off line and to compare and contrast both mediums.

Today I happened to be listening to one of these particular debates on CBC Radio with Nora Young. Later in the afternoon, I got a phone call from a newspaper office, offering me a good deal on the delivery of their paper, directly to my home. I thought, yes I want to have the ritual of reading the morning paper again! I haven't done that for a long time! I still take time to write letters, and read books, both that I love to hold and behold in my imagination. Once in a while, usually on a Saturday, I love to relax and read the paper and will pick one up at the local store. I had a long discussion with the sales lady about this topic of online vs offline reading, which we both enjoyed as we were both of like minds.

It's difficult to explain exactly why the printed word on paper and the actual process of long hand writing is so important to me, other than the obvious benefit of learning and knowing how to read and write. I can't say I have it all figured out, but I know it feels right and good to me. No computer can replace for me, the ritual of letter writing, nor can it ever be argued that anyone doesn't appreciate recieving a well composed letter from a thoughtful friend, who has taken the time, to think of you, as opposed to firing off a impersonal forwarded email , that warns, if you don't forward this immediately to eight friends, you'll die or grow warts with hair on your neck!

Journeling daily for many years has been a real life changing experience for me. Yes, I do blog but I know my writing is not the same, as when I have time to process my thoughts slower than I can write, as opposed to writing faster than I can think, which is the way it happens when typing. I know this is true for many writers and the reason they prefer to write long hand. Due to this being a slower process, there is thoughtful reflective attention to detail, is very enjoyable and satisfying. The art of good penmenship itself, done with a quality pen; I prefer a Parker, which can be hard to find, can be very pleasurable. I have been often complimented on my letter writing. It is simply a kind, considerate and generous thing to do for another.

Reading the newspaper in the morning, with a good cup of coffee is a good tradition and so much more comfortable than parked infront of a glaring computer screen first thing, in an ergonomic chair. I could never imagine reading a book online, nor see how that could ever
compare to being snuggled in your bed with a well bound bestseller. I love the way books smell and look. Old books have soul, a life unto themselves and are a joy to share with a friend.
Newspapers are wonderful to hold, fold, and take to the loo too!

Lastly, I well tell you, I thought this was exciting to hear, that there are a few new online sites that seem to confirm, what was old is new again, after launching, The Printed Blog and a new site about to come online called,

Those involved with these sites have discovered that people are very keen on reading printed blogs, like the newspaper and the process of actually being able to print your own newspapers and magazines for free, will soon be the perhaps the future of things to come.

I am of the belief that the newspaper, nor the book will not disappear but will be revitalized, reconstructed and valued in a new way, that will allow for the average person to be empowered I believe, through the written word, that they can read and write.

So give yourself and a friend the gift of the written word, write a letter, enjoy a good cup of coffee this Saturday morning, along with a good newspaper, and curl up with a good book later on with a cup of cocao on a cold Canadian Winter night! You might find out what you've been missing!

Kind Regards - Catherine

Sunday, January 25, 2009


After a few brain farts...I'm a slow learner sometimes; I couldn't figure out how I subscribe to Art blogs by other Artists. So I had a light bulb moment and thought, hey I'll do a search for "Artists Blogs," and see what comes up. Well I found this great site Check it out!

Regards - Catherine

Friday, January 23, 2009

Warm Healing for Winter

This is a painting I did today of my cactus and the figure of Mother Earth found on a Navajo sand painting, my very kind and generous friend from Arizona gave me.

Sand Paintings are so beautiful and are used in healing ceremonies.

I have never been to Arizona but have always been very drawn to the Navajo Tribe.

Just looking at these sand paintings have a healing power for me. I also have one that is called, Rainbow Man. Also, very powerful for creative healing I think.
"Navajo Yeii Spirit - Mediator, harmony
The Yeii spirit is regarded by Navajo's as being a mediator between humans and their creator, the Great Spirit. Yeii's are able to control natural forces in and on the earth, such as day and night, wind, rain, sun and other conditions. The Yei'i'chai - grandparent spirit or "talking God" - is regarded as a special form of Yeii. Their role is to talk to humans and tell them how to live in harmony with all living beings, giving instruction on how best to conserve unnecessary behaviour and actions, instead only using the basics needed for adequate survival. Rainbow Man (sometimes called Rainbow Kokopelli) is the symbol of the achievement of harmony. Depicted as a Yeii commanding the rainbow, it signifies the gift of beauty to all who live harmoniously. It's a positive symbol to have around, especially if you're interested in achieving a more harmonious and balanced state of living. "

At the begining of the month I started seedlings in the house, which gives me a sense of hope and harmony with nature, for the Spring to come, for new life and growth. My cactus plant I started years ago from seed and it is now about 20 inches high. I put the cactus and the sand painting of Mother Earth side but side. They belong together. It is also lovely to have a desert plant growing in the house and makes me think of warmer sunny climates like Arizona and how it would be wonderful to visit one day, to meet the Navajo people and experience the beauty of their culture.
- With harmonious and healing thoughts to you, Catherine

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blue Jay Of Happiness

In the dead cold of Winter, along with fears of financial insecurity, this combination makes it a challenge to find that creative muse. I don't believe in the adage of the suffering artist, no more than the usual stuff of life that living brings.

Sometimes there is dryness of spirit, I think that can strike people involved with their own creative path now and again. Every artist goes through this whether for brief or long periods. The longer periods of time can be very difficult. I know, as there was a time when I never thought I'd ever paint again.
I am learning that when I experience these kinds of blocks I need to simply surrender myself to the creative process without any thought for the final outcome or finished artwork. I am learning to jump right into the creative pool feet first, ignore that inner critic, the monkey on my back and see what happens! This isn't always easy or a fun process, but I do know, a necessary one. It's like play and allows me a way to work out whatever it is I need to, unconsciously. Only after the process, am I able to see what I have done and I have resolution and answer to my malaise.

This painting revealed a bird, a Blue Jay. These for me are such delightfully happy and life affirming creatures, that I love to see on Winter days. They lift my spirit and lighten my heart. They make me feel hopeful. I also found a heart that emerged middle of the picture that
was very much a surprize and made me feel good when I saw it.

I 'd heard a woman speaking on a CBC radio program who had written a book about creativity. She discussed how children work things out through play and this is just what adults do through art and creativity.

I am feeling much better now I have finished this piece!

May The Blue Jay Bird of Happiness, fly up your nose!

Best regards, Catherine

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Honouring The Trees

I spend alot of time looking out my studio window. The view I see, is of the river and dykes surrounding me. The river always is changing along with the sky, of which I have done a number of paintings. In the winter there are trees and snow with the river frozen white to see. It is really very beautiful, peaceful and speaks a different story to me then in the other seasons. There are two particular trees I see along the dyke. They have become so familiar to me and I have come to love them. So as I looked out my studio window today I thought I want to paint these trees, to honour them. That may sound odd to some, but trees have such a essence to them and I know this might sound even more odd but I feel their spirit. I don't say I understand this, I just know that, it is so, for me. This Fall the trees where so full and rich with colour, it seemed I had never seen them so beautiful. Perhaps they have always been this way however I have begun to see them differently.

Kind Regards - Catherine

Four Directions Prayer

This is a beautiful strengthening prayer I found I wanted to share.

Four Directions Prayer

Creator, It is I,

Thank you for today's sunrise,

for the breath and life within me,

and for all of your creations.

Creator, Hear my prayer, and

honour my prayer.

As the day begins with the rising sun,

I ask, Spirit Keeper of The East,

Brother Eagle, Be with me.

Fly high as you carry my prayers

to the Creator.

May I have eyes as sharp as yours,

so I am able to see truth and hope

on the path that I have chosen.

Guide my step and give me

courage to walk the circle of

my life with honesty and dignity.

Spirit Keeper of the South, Wolf,

Be with me...

Help me to remember to love;

and feel compassion for all mankind.

Help me to walk my path with joy

and love for myself, for others

for the four legged, the winged ones,

the planets and all creations upon

Mother Earth.

Show me it is right for me

to make decisions with my head

even if at times, my heart becomes hurt.

Help me to grow and nurture myself worth in all ways.

Spirit Keeper, of the West, Brown Bear, be with me.

Bring healing to the people I love and to myself

Bring healing into balance the physical,

mental, and spiritual, so I am

able to know my place on this

earth, in life and in death

Heal my body, heal my mind

and bring light, joy and awareness to my spirit.

Spirit Keeper of the North, White

Buffalo, Be with me.

As each day passes, help me to

surrender, with grace, the things

of my youth.

Help me to listen to the quiet,

and find serenity and comfort in silences as they become longer.

Give me wisdom so I am able to

make wise choices in all things

which are put in front of me,

And when time for my change of worlds has come,

Let me go peacefully, without

regrets, for the things I neglected

to do as I walked along my path.

Mother Earth

Thank you for your beauty,

And for all you have given me.

Remind me never to take from you more than I need, and

remind me to always give back

more than I take.

My Most Recent ArtWork

This is my most recent work I did yesterday. The day President Barack Obama was inaugurated.
I was reflective doing this about how our world needs prayer, more now then ever.
The drum is the Earth where the heartbeat of the Mother is.
The Raven carries her prayers to the Grandmother Moon. The feathers are the prayers.
Mother's Prayers Are Carried To The Grandmother - Coloured Pencil

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brain Freeze!

Today talk about the weather in Canada, particularly in the Martimes, has no doubt surpassed any discussion from past Winters, being about - 30 to -39 with the windchill here. I know the chattering complaints in my head are only quelled by my ongoing brain freeze this morning. It's hard to get motivated to do anything except keep the fire going. My house last night was making all kinds of thumps and bangs. Very strange noises I have not heard before. Everything seems to be intact, but my brain!

I was reading the Canada artist Robert Genn's newletter this week about how he goes outside and paints in the frigid weather of British Columbia. Hmmm... I'd like to see him try that here this morning. Though I have to say he sure is an inspiration, when you feel like crawling back to bed!

Well I'm going to get another cup of hot coffee and attempt to do something creative before my brain goes on tilt completely!

Here's a link to CARFAC a Canadian organization for Artists very worthwhile checking out.

With the really warmest regards, Catherine!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Honour The Artist - A Poem By Alanis Obamsawin


The artist is the voice of the country
For a long time, it seems there was a war
Everything was afraid
Many of our people were sleeping
The land, waters, the air, and animals were troubled.
The artist kept on working.
The prophecies are now coming true
Our young are the seventh generation
Making a difference as they prepare the grounds for the next seven generations to come.
The artist is inspired and stronger than ever the children have a place in the world again.
Honor the artist.
The basket maker dyes her splints of ash in many colors
They hang on the line to dry
They curl and dance with the wind
There is magic in the air
The children can dream.
The basket maker braids the sweet grass
It's the hair of our Mother the Earth
There is a fragrance of comfort in the air
The children are strong.
She begins to weave her basket
A new song is heard
There is love in the air
The children feel affection from the Great Spirit.
The basket is round
It holds many sacred feelings
From the hands of the weaver
Beautiful children touch the basket
They receive a vision for the future.
Honor the artist.

Alanis Obomsawin Montreal, Quebec, CanadaMarch 1, 1995

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Your Horse Is Your Gift

I am a horse nut and because horses have been such an important part of my life as a Youth Care Worker and as an Artist, I wanted to share this writing that I recieved in my email box this morning.

Horses have helped me in immeasurable ways and I have seen how they can help children and adults alike, heal, grow and thrive in all aspects of their individual lives.

Your Horse Is Your Gift

To have a horse in your life is a gift. In the matter of a few short years, a horse can teach a young girl courage, if she chooses to grab mane and hang on for dear life. Even the smallest of ponies is mightier than the tallest of girls. To conquer the fear of falling off, having one's toes crushed, or being publicly humiliated at a horse show is an admirable feat for any child. For that, we can be grateful.Horses teach us responsibility. Choosing to leave your cozy kitchen to break the crust of ice off the water buckets is to choose responsibility. When our horses dip their noses and drink heartily; we know we've made the right choice. Learning to care for a horse is both an art and a science. Some are easy keepers, requiring little more than regular turn-out, a flake of hay, and a trough of clean water. Others will test you - you'll struggle to keep them from being too fat or too thin. You'll have their feet shod regularly only to find shoes gone missing. Some are so accident-prone you'll swear they're intentionally finding new ways to injure themselves. They have unique personalities. You'd expect this from dogs, but horses? Indeed, there are clever horses, grumpy horses, and even horses with a sense of humor. Those prone to humor will test you by finding new ways to escape from the barn when you least expect it. Horses can be timid or brave, lazy or athletic, obstinate or willing. You will hit it off with some horses and others will elude you altogether. There are as many "types" of horses as there are people - which makes the whole partnership thing all the more interesting.If you've never ridden a horse, you probably assume it's a simple thing you can learn in a weekend. You can, in fact, learn the basics on a Sunday, but to truly ride well takes a lifetime. In addition to listening to your instructor, your horse will have a few things to say to you as well. On a good day, he'll be happy to go along with the program and tolerate your mistakes; on a bad day, you'll swear he's trying to kill you. Perhaps he's naughty or perhaps he's fed up with how slowly you're learning his language. Regardless, the horse will have an opinion. He may choose to challenge you or he may carefully carry you over the fences. It all depends on the partnership - and partnership is what it's all about.You'll learn lessons in courage, commitment, and compassion. You'll discover just how hard you're willing to work toward a goal, how little you know, and how much you have to learn. And, while some people think the horse "does all the work", you'll be challenged physically as well as mentally. Your horse may humble you completely. Or, you may find that sitting on his back is the closest you'll get to heaven. You can choose to intimidate your horse, but do you really want to? The results may come, but will your work ever be as graceful as that gained through trust? The best partners choose to listen, as well as to tell. When it works, we experience a sweet sense of accomplishment brought about by smarts, hard work, and mutual understanding between horse and rider. These are the days when you know with absolute certainty that your horse is enjoying his work.If we make it to adulthood with horses still in our lives, most of us have to squeeze riding into our over saturated schedules; balancing our need for things equine with those of our households and employers. There is never enough time to ride, or to ride as well as we'd like. Hours in the barn are stolen pleasures.If it is in your blood to love horses, you share your life with them. Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears. A barn is a sanctuary in an unsettled world, a sheltered place where life's true priorities are clear: a warm place to sleep, someone who loves us, and the luxury of regular meals. Some of us need these reminders.When you step back, it's not just about horses - it's about love, life, and learning. On any given day, a friend is celebrating the birth of a foal, a red ribbon, or recovery from an illness. That same day, there is also loss: a broken limb, a case of colic, a decision to sustain a life or end it gently. When our partners pass, it is more than a moment of sorrow.We mark our loss with words of gratitude for the ways our lives have been blessed. Our memories are of joy, awe, and wonder. Absolute union. We honor our horses for their brave hearts, courage, and willingness to give.To those outside our circle, it must seem strange. To see us in our muddy boots, who would guess such poetry lives in our hearts? We celebrate our companions with praise worthy of heroes. Indeed, horses have the hearts of warriors and often carry us into and out of fields of battle. Listen to stories of that once-in-a-lifetime horse; of journeys made and challenges met. The best of horses rise to the challenges we set before them, asking little in return.In the end, we're not certain if God entrusts us to our horses--or our horses to us. Does it matter? We're grateful He loaned us the horse in the first place. Author Unknown

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thomas Homer Dickson

I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and I am wishing all a properous and very happy 2009.

My Christmas was very quiet but blessed and I sure am looking forward to the coming year with some exciting creative life challenges ahead.

Listening everyday to CBC radio day and night, yes I admit am a real radio head...I find out about alot of very interesting authors, who are really writing about very contemporary and revolutionary ideas that relate to everyday life, pertaining to every aspect of life and every person on the planet.

One such very exciting author I found over the holidays is Thomas Homer Dickson. I hope you will take the time to check out this site about this very important topic, book and author.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dina Babbitt Auschwitz Artist

This morning I heard a CBC radio show, featuring Dina Babbitt. She is an 85 year old Artist /Survivor of Auschwitz. Her very poignant and moving story is a great testament to her personal courage, strength and beautiful spirit. Please visit her site to find out about her and how she needs and wants to retrieve her art, that is in the Auschwitz Museum. This work rightfully belongs to her and they are refusing to release it to her, the aritist, that produced it during the time of her imprisonment in Auschwitz Death Camp. On her site is given the address to email the museum to ask them to return Dina's work.
E-mail us at and/or e-mail your support of Dina to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum at