Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Photography of Eudora Welty

As I had mentioned in my previous post I'd just recieved the book the book by Eudora Welty, One Writers Beginnings from my friend. How excited I was and am to find out about her and especially learn she was a visual artist, in particular a wonderful photographer. I have just begun to read her book and will follow up this post with a summerized review. In the mean time I think you will enjoy this utube clip I found.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ann Dowsett Johnston

As a young person I had difficulty concentrating to read, I wasn't a good student, unless it involved art or creativity. Fortunately, my ability to sit long enough to absorb what I read, has greatly improved over the years. I suspect I was, and still am a little ADHD. Though, when I did read, I enjoyed it, but I missed out on what I feel are too many reading opportunities that I have tried to catch up on and right this situation, as an adult.

 Over the past few years, I have made it my goal and intention to read more non-fiction books, wanting to familiarize myself  with some of the great writers, past and present, such as Scott Fitzgerald, and Michael Ondaatje . I did manage, The Beautiful and The Damned, which I have to say, left me a little flat, as it was rather depressing, nor was it what I expected. I kept waiting for it to pick up, but it didn't and there was no happy ending in this morality tale.That said, it isn't perhaps his best work and want to read The Great Gatsby, which was his most popular.

 More often than not, the book is always better than the movie. I can't comment on this particular version of The Great Gatsby, but have heard a few very good reviews, in praise of this recent film.

 Recently, I have made a request through my local library, for Ernest Hemmingway's, A Moveable Feast, and I am really excited about reading it, because I am enamored, and fascinated with this era of time, and it being a memoir of Hemmingway's experiences in Paris, when so many amazing artists were living, and just hangin' out with one another in the cafes. Oh, to have been a Parisian fly on the wall!
 Who knows, I might even attempt James Joyce's Ulyssess, but I'm not ready for that, but hoping to one day, in the future, I will be!

Rationalization for the decision to read more fiction, was because of my interest in writing, to expand my knowledge, and familiarity with writers who create non-fiction throughout history, up to the present day, and to become more informed of the present day writers. I believe it to be very true, that if you want to learn to write, it helps greatly if you are one who reads a variety, and a plethora of books, if at all possible. I can't say I am making as much head way in achieving my goal, but I am working away at it page by page, one book at a time. It feels great to be excited about reading.

Generally, I have been a reader of non-fiction, self-actualizing kinds of books. Frankly I've gotten a bit tried of myself reading all this personal growth shit, and really wanted a change of imaginative scenery so to speak. I've learned that what you read affects your creativity, and the art you create.

Inspite of, old habits dying really die hard, God only knows, being an alcoholic with 18 years in recovery, I can't help being drawn to non-fictional writing, and I'm always on the look out for new books. In particular, I appreciate subject matter about spirituality, creativity, alcoholism and recovery.  I wanted to share in this post, about someone I've learned of recently, Ann Dowsett Johnston, a writer/journalist, and recovering woman who has written I believe, to be a very compelling and important book, Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol. You can also view this video on Vimeo where she gives an comprehensive interview, on the Global Television morning show.

Okay, well until Ernest's book arrives I'm diving into One Writer's Beginnings, by Eudora Welty, that my dear friend who knows me all to well and the books I love to read, sent in the mail, and it just this hour arrived in the post!
Don't you just love that handle of a name, Eudora Welty? I think she was a beauty!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I was recently asked to submit a six by six inch tile to the Mosaic for Mental Health. The theme for this year's exhibition is "Transformation and Triumph"

Kabballah Sacred Tree of Life

I love the Fall. I can even say I love the Winter. The change of the seasons, always make me think of the rhythms of the life, death, and life cycle of our human experience on this good earth. Many believe that this cycle is simply life, and then death. I do not.
There is a world of wonder, mystery, miracle, and awe to be found in life, and in death. I have so many reasons to believe in the God of my understanding, and to have faith, that this mortal coil, is certainly not the end.

 I have a faith that has seen me through much transformation, and triumph in life. I have many to thank for this They have imparted their own faith to me. I am grateful for, and to those whom have given and continue to give, me hope to transform, and triumph over adversity, and difficulties. We cannot have the sun without the rain, nor joy without the sadness. I have come to understand why compassion, and suffering are so directly connected, and essential to happiness.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Vivian Maier

While I was in the middle of canning my tomato salsa tonight, and as per usual, I listened to CBC Radio As It Happens. I was excited to learn of a new documentary,  about to be released at TIFF, entitled, Finding Vivian Maier, by a young man, John Maloof, who has put together, The Maloof Collection to promote the work of Vivian Maier.
In December 2011, I had blogged about Vivian Maier in my post, This Is A Remarkable Find .
I can hardly wait to see this film!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Self-Worth, Value, & The Real Thing

Here it is, September already. Labour Day is behind us, and after a month of not writing any blog posts, I've been putting my energies into my daily long hand journaling. I haven't been contemplating my belly button exactly, nor  having "Deep Thoughts" like those of SNL's, Jack Handy, but being introspective about family and life. I know this isn't anything new, but it is an essential luxury to have the down time to do this in life. A big part of this for me is why I write. It's like going into the woman cave and emerging, renewed, regrouped, gettin' my groove back, which I surely will need in the wooly days of Winter.

Summer has been full of emotional ups and downs, having attended a family funeral, and a wedding within a two week period, experiencing many intense happy-sad feelings, along with very significant deep healing that took place within my family, for which I am very grateful.

I am also very grateful and happy to share with you, that I had some very exciting developments happen around my art work, with the exception of one art experience, that made for disappointment, but not surprize, however another important lesson was learned, hopefully not to be repeated! I will spare you the gory details, suffice to say I read an article, In Search of The Real Thing , written by Meg Wolitzer, from FT Magazine , that helped me to better recognize and come to terms with some of the very unpleasant realities many artists confront within the art world and in living every day.

"It seems that we recognize talent far more easily when it’s accompanied by success. " - Meg Wolitzer .

This simple, yet powerful statement helped to clarify, and to affirm my sense of value and passion for creativity, the work I do, and who I am as an artist.

Last month, I sold two of my paintings, which I was over the moon about, and certainly gave me a great deal of encouragement. There is nothing quite like the feeling you get from selling your work, especially to someone who really appreciates what it is you actually do as an artist. They get you! Simultaneously, it is just as greatly appreciated monetarily, by an artist who struggles financially in a society who much of the time undervalues the artist, and creativity.
These are the two egg tempera paintings I sold, which were part of a series entitled, Women of War.

Following this celebratory event, on August 19th - September 1st, I participated in a group exhibit at the Tourist Trap, located in Musquidobit Harbour, in support of a cause close to my heart, Hope For Wildlife. There were six artists, including myself. They were, Mindy Harris, Anne-Renee Dumont, Kim Dano, Timothy Ediger, Adele McFail.

Crescent Moon Bear
Seal Skin Soul Skin
Wolf Woman
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the opening because of my seemingly, never ending car problems. I had three paintings submitted, two of them for sale, with 60% going directly to Hope For Wildlife. Prints were produced of the original paintings, and all the income from these will be going toward the santuary.

This month I will be submitting two egg tempera paintings on six by six inch masonite tiles. These will be part of an exhibition to be held, in October 17th - November 3rd 2013, at the Craig Gallery, Alderney Landing, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, for The 15th Annual Mosaic For Mental Health 2013 Art Exhibition & Sale, with the Theme. Transformation & Triumph. All proceeds toward the support of Social Programs provided by the Canadian Mental Health Association, Halifax-Dartmouth Branch. For more information  you can visit

So now that September has arrived my thoughts are of very fond memories of attending Mount Allison University, and am nostalgically thinking about all the new and returning students as the University year begins. I am however, grateful to have no worries or concerns about pending assignments, and the many stresses related to being a student.

 I am very content these days to find myself settled into my routine of making art and following my passion for the creative process. In between my art making, I work in my garden, and am happily canning my harvest and labour at stacking four cord of Winter wood.

Life is very good as an artist, that I wouldn't trade for the world, inspite of my lack of funds, and lack of so called "success".  I look forward to the Fall, and even the Winter here in Nova Scotia, living one day at a time, in the countryside, putting my talents to good use, today and every day, in the coming year and into a hopeful future.