|Posted on April 24, 2022 at 2:55 PM|
Spring has been particularly reluctant to start this year, teasing us with one warm day, then plunging us back onto wintery temperatures for several, even annoying us with a bit of snow here and there. I'm pleased to see that my bulbs are quite defiantly popping up despite Mother Nature's mood swings.
Luna arrived safely and I'm delighted to say that my little granddaughter shares my birthday! What a precious gift indeed. She's very small and quite sweet unless something annoys her, then she makes it known to all around her....typical Aries!!
As far as my work goes I'm thrilled to say I currently have four paintings for sale in The Loft Gallery in Thornbury, and even more exciting is that one of my pieces sold recently. Quite a lift that I sorely needed; in actual fact when I received notification of the sale I was feeling rather down so that helped me through an otherwise difficult day. In more recent news I am also very excited to be part of a show with two of my works at The Craig Gallery in Meaford. The show opened last Friday, April 22 with a reception that was apparently quite well attended. Unfortunately I was unable to attend as it was a conflict of commitments. The show runs until May 6.
The Twitter Art Exhibit will open on June 25, in York, UK at 6pm with online sales will follow. These postcards are a flat price and your purchases can be shipped all over the world. (shipping extra). I've been so happy that the past four years my card has sold on opening night. Fingers crossed for a fifth opening night sale!
In my province of Ontario, most restrictions are a thing of the past, although the cases of Covid continue to rise. Masks are no longer needed unless it's a hospital, congregate care situation or attending medical office visits. At the flower shop where I work we are still wearing masks and indeed in my experience of shopping I see most people are still wearing them. I will continue to wear it whilst shopping myself.
Stay safe, and hope for peace in our troubled world.
Blessings to all.
The Loft Gallery, 18 Bruce Street, Thornbury, ON
The Craig Gallery, 4 Sykes Street, Meaford, ON
|Posted on March 4, 2022 at 10:15 AM|
It's been a long time since I wrote on this blog, I've had some techincal issues but at last they seem to be resolved.
The current Covid situation has improved steadily since my last entry. My province of Ontario has loosened almost all of the restrictions and in the most recent days has removed the requirement of vaccination passports prevously needed to enter such establishments as restaurants and gyms. They are hinting at soon lifting the mandatory mask regulations but I'm not sure I feel entirely comfortable with that and probably will continue wearing mine in public settings.
With March arriving I am hoping for Spring to arrive soon. There's still quite a bit of snow on the ground, we had several dumpings of snow last month, thankfully not around Valentine's Day! It's been cold too, but today it's gloriously sunny.
My family is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Luna, my second grandchild to join us on March 24th, which happens to be my birthday! What a fantastic birthday present! She and I will celebrate together, hopefully for many years.
Now to turn to my work. I've been busy! Here's what I've been up to these past months.
On September 25, I was part of a lovely outdoor art event, hosted by Lory MacDonald (Artfest). This took place on Lory's own beautiful property in Nottawa, a small village just outside Collingwood. It was a great day, seeing some old friends and making new contacts, despite the heavy rain in the afternoon which forced us to close a bit early.
Another live event I participated in was at one of my favourite venues, the Marsh Street Centre in Clarksburg. As it was indoors, no interference from Mother Nature! A big shout out and thank you to Alex and all the wonderful volunteers who all made it a great day. Another successful day shared with many old friends and new contacts.
In November I took in seven paintings to the annual Square Foot Show, hosted by The Loft Gallery in Thornbury. I was thrilled and frankly quite surprised that all of my paintings sold quite quickly. The show was online and at the gallery from November until the end of December. This led to a great opportunity; I was asked by Heather, who is the gallery owner to bring in some more of my work, specifically my apple paintings. I'm pleased to say that I received notification last weekend that one of the three pieces I took in was sold. Heather is a wonderful person to deal with, I just couldn't ask for more pleasant interaction.
The next project I turned my attention to was one of my very favourites. The annual Twitter Art Exhibit, this year in support of The Encephalitis Society in England. The event will be live in June, at the Hiscox Centre, a beautiful venue in York, curated by the very charming Matthew Bose. I decided to paint another apple piece, and it's my hope that it will sell, perhaps on Opening Night! It's my sixth year participating and I'm so very honoured to say that the past three have sold on actual opening night! Last year, (blowing myown horn here, forgive me) I was beyond thrilled to be chosen by one of the Twitter Art Exhibit board members and my little postcard was given a full page in the catalogue. So honoured.
I am currently working on rebranding myself. I've designed a new logo and business card, and will be updating this website with new colours and the logo shortly.
Here's to an early Spring. Stay safe. Please keep in your hearts all those suffering in Eastern Europe and Russia. Strength to those fighting for their freedom in all corners of our planet.
Love conquers all.
|Posted on September 2, 2021 at 9:35 AM|
Where did the summer go? It's been a bit of a strange one, the weather has been off and on, dry for days, then a series of thunderstorms. There's been some quite severe weather, tornadoes, torrential rain and further north, wildfires. Very hot at times....although it seems as soon as September arrives the temperature makes a sudden switch. The early mornings seem to be noticeably darker, and there's condensation on the car windows. My glass door was dewy ths morning and you can just feel that slight chill. If you've read any of my blogs before, you will know that I'm not a winter fan by any stretch of the imagination. I like autumn, but it's always sort of ruined by my dark thoughts of winter peeping out smugly from those colourful trees. I simply can't force that thought out of my mind and I really wish I could. Of course I enjoy Christmas although last year was very quiet and different due to Covid interference. Also I returned to work part time in a florist, so Christmas also included sticky arms and scratches, tired feet and backache. We had a very small, quiet celebration, without my daughter, her husband and my little grandson. I'm not sure what this year will bring, apparently we're in the "fourth wave" with that ominous Delta variant of the virus. My family have all been fully vaccinated at least although it will not prevent the spread, it will hopefully lessen your chances of either hospitalisation and death should you be so unfortunate to contract the virus. Yesterday I read a declaration from WHO....they've identified and are studying yet another mutation...aptly dubbed "mu". I just dont know what to think any more except this is a very strange new world we are dealing with. We are being issued with a vaccination passport, this means unless you are fully vaccinated you will be unable to attend certain events and/or venues such as gyms, indoor theatres and indoor dining.
On a more positive note....I've been accepted into an actual physical art show and sale. It's taking place on Saturday, September 25th, in a small community called Nottawa, just outside of Collingwood. It's outdoors, so please some hopeful thoughts for nice weather. I hope it isn't hampered by any future lockdowns or more restrictions. I'm so excited to be finally able to be part of this. I'm going to be working on square foot work for the upcoming Square Foot Show in Thornbury as well. At least something to work on and to look forward to.
Please stay safe. Blessings to all.
See you in October.
|Posted on August 15, 2021 at 1:10 PM|
I can hardly believe it's already mid August. This is the time of year that the Canadian National Exhibition, commonly referred to as the CNE, starts and for me it always kind of signaled the beginning of the end of summer. I've often questioned how the summer months fly by and the winter is slow, slow, slow. Of course the CNE is not happening at all again, due to Covid-19 with it's umpteenth variant making the rounds. This time it's the Delta variant, originating in India and rapidly spreading everywhere in the world, the worst spread seems to be to the south of us in the US. They had loosened so many restrictions and of course unfortunately there seems to be pockets of "anti-vaxxers" so an ideal situation for Delta to take hold. A concern to me is that Canada chose this time to allow fully vaccinated Americans to enter through our land borders....as long as they can provide proof of vaccination. That said, there's already been a couple of fake vaccination certificates caught and fined....but those are the ones caught. It makes for a very anxious environment, and I question the sanity of whatever government minister thought this was a good idea.
My own family have all been fully vaccinated except of course my three year old grandson, there are no approved vaccines for children under twelve as yet. Since schools will resume to in-school learning in September, this is a major concern. Our province has recently announced two important updates, the first being that all healthcare workers must have a vaccination (no brainer actually) and we will not move forward with any further reopening strategies. I was grateful for both of those announcements, I have felt for some time because I have been remembering last autumn when we lapsed into horrifyingly high numbers and had to lock down with stay at home orders.
I've been struggling with my art. It's very hard to feel motivated these days with so much anxiety about, however I managed to work myself up to one square foot painting and three 2" x 2" magnets. I felt better after painting those. I've also acquired a lovely set of new synthetic watercolour brushes. I love the look of watercolour paintings but have always shied away from them as they're definitely not as forgiving as acrylics! And you have to Plan Your Painting. That is terrifying!
Below is my latest painting I called 'Winter Sun' and is taken from a photograph I took in Meaford. I added the two cardinals for a splash of colour.
The magnets are below.
I must apologise for the quality of that ^ photo! But you get the idea.
Stay safe! See you in September!!
|Posted on July 15, 2021 at 11:40 AM|
It's been a while since my last post. I've been busy with work, and my garden and well life in general. I haven't done much painting except for my Explorers Against Extinction entry which I mailed out last month after a struggle to find the right work.
The Twitter Art Exhibit, held at the Cheltenham Race Course in England, opened on July 3rd, and was a great success. I'm happy to share that, for the fourth consecutive year, my postcard sold on opening day. It's such an honour to participate in so amazing an event. There were over 1,000 artists this year and so far they've raised over £13,000 (over $22,000 CAD) in support of Leukaemia Intensive Chemotherapy Fund, or LINC. I'm already looking forward to next year's which is also being held in England, in York to support encephalitis research and treatment.
Things are steadily improving in regards to Covid-19. My whole family is fully vaccinated now and we're looking forward to seeing each other as we used to. My little grandson is growing up so fast, he's delightfully inquisitive and I'm so excited to share his ongoing development. I feel as though we've already missed so much.....there's a lot of catching up to do.
My region of Southern Ontario is finally opening up, cautiously, this Friday will be the start of Step 3, as restaurants can finally open to indoor diners, and gyms will be open for those wishing to shed those lockdown pounds. I'm hoping for some shows and fairs to perhaps open up in the late summer and autumn. I'm feeling the need to paint once again and am getting my workspace ready in anticipation. I have struggled these past few months with little or no desire to pick up a paintbrush, I'm hoping that I soon start work again. That said, I have no new work to share. Hopefully by the time I write my next blog that will have changed.
Until then, stay safe and please continue to follow public health reccomendations. We're better....but we're not out of the woods yet.
Blessings to all
|Posted on May 18, 2021 at 7:10 PM|
Finally the warm weather has arrived. My lilac is in bloom and the fragrance is beautiful. I'm so glad that winter has relinquished it's icy grip at last. My garden has started to grow, the rhubarb is nearly ready for picking so crumble is on the horizon. It's my favourite time of year.
As far as the painting has gone, I'm afraid there has been a pretty big block. I've attempted three times to paint a piece for Explorers Against Extinction, a charity event taking place in Norwich, England (near to where I last lived in the UK) to no avail. I'm spending the next little while after I post this blog to look up another subject as I just can't conquer the lion I wanted to paint. Lions are especially dear to me for a couple of reasons; when I was a child my father brought me back a stuffed animal lion and told me he would always guard me. This tradition was carried on by my father who consequently bought my children lions. I spent a lot of time searching for just the right lion for my grandson and did find one in Florida. The other reason was my struggle to cope with the hunting and killing of the lion known as Cecil. I have never been able to forget this cruel act, done in pure greed and ignorance.
One bright spot in the last few weeks was a message I received from the curator of this year's Twitter Art Exhibit, my little postcard titled "Three Green Apples' was chosen as a "Fav Five" by one of the Twitter Art Exhibit board members, resulting in my being awarded a feature page in this year's catalogue. To say I'm thrilled is an understatement and I have ordered a copy.
This weekend is the first long weekend of the summer, "May 24" to celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday. I am planning to paint in Meaford, so I'm going to need a bit of luck wished.
On the Covid front....still in lockdown until at least June 2. The numbers are declining however and vaccinations are getting done at a rapid pace, finally. Our federal government has been lax with incoming flight rules, so the variants of the disease have entered our country unfortunately....they've also been slowish to procure enough vaccines at a reasonable rate but finally this seems to be getting better.
Please follow all the public health rules and stay safe.
Until next time.
|Posted on April 2, 2021 at 11:30 AM|
Yes I know it's April today. I don't have a real reason for missing my March blog entry. Things aren't good here in my region of Southern Ontario. The variant versions of Covid-19 have taken over from the original and are even more horrifying. These variants, or VoC for short (Variants of Concern) have started to attack younger people and apparently are 1.5 times more likely to end in death. Our hospital ICU admissions are on the rise and despite government restrictions such as lockdowns they continue to spread at an alarming rate, especially in my particular region. On the plus side I am being told that I may be able to receive a vaccine fairly soon, at least a first dose,...the downside being that now experts are saying that our vaccination programme is too weak to keep up with the might of this virus.
So here we are, I do not feel particularly hopeful about any physical art events this year, Online events do not work for me. I've lost the urge to paint.
My Explorers Against Extinction painting has ground to a halt after three attempts. I'm not sure I will even participate at all.
At work things are very busy being that we offer delivery. We are allowed to have a limited number of customers and have things blocked off to prevent people from being able to access the entire area; that said we are still having to tell some people not to pass the barriers. Hand sanitizer is always in my apron pocket and the door handle and counter are sprayed and wiped constantly after each entry.
Easter wil be another non-event, was as my birthday and tomorrow that of my husband's. My daughter and her family will visit outside, which is better than nothing.
I never would have thought I'd be still writing abut Covid-19 a year later.
Stay safe everyone and please follow all your local public health guidelines.
|Posted on February 6, 2021 at 9:25 AM|
Yes it's true. I've always hated February, it's an annoying little month that, although is the shortest...it always seems the longest to me. Of course this has been made much more to dread as it's the month of Valentine's Day....a day which most florists agree is the most chaotic. Last year was the first of many that I did not dread, as I was at home thinking instead about my upcoming warm holiday. Of course that's not happening this year, and maybe not even next, and I'm fine with that. I just hope that this year brings about some relief from this awful virus which has so impacted our world for more than a year. On that topic, things have improved somewhat, as a "stay at home" order was issued by our provincial governement in late January. I was issued an exemption letter stating that I could travel back and forth to my job. Once there we are locked in and when the workday is over I go home and stay there. Once a week we shop for our groceries and other necessary items. The numbers are down slightly but the concern is the variant strain that has been increasing. Finally the federal government has come to the conclusion that traveling might not be a good idea and has got the major airlines that fly to popular sunny destinations to stop until April 30. Also the federal government has imposed mandatory Covid testing for anyone entering Canada and forcing them to quarantine in a government approved hotel at their own expense. I was happy to hear it but it's rather like shutting the barn door after the horse has escaped. Next week our provincial government is apparently going to announce whether certain areas will cautiously reopen. As my particular area of Ontario is a "hotspot" I'm fairly confident that we could remain in a lockdown situation. It will be a different Valentine's Day!!!
I have sent my Twitter Art submission 'Three Green Apples', and it's been safely received in support of Leukaemia Intensive Chemotherapy
(LINC) in Cheltenham, UK.
I've been so thrilled that in the past three Twitter Art Exhibits, my little postcard has sold on opening night. I hope I'm lucky enough to have it happen again.
Next I am going to be working on my contribution to Explorers Against Extinction taking place in Norfolk, UK, in fact quite close to where we last lived. I will update this next month.
Stay safe, please listen to your public health restrictions.
Blessings to all.
|Posted on January 9, 2021 at 3:50 PM|
This year is starting out in a most peculiar fashion....Covid-19 is still rampant, with the added horror of yet an even more contagious strain just to keep things interesting. At the risk of sounding like a broken record I'm afraid I must report that our numbers continue to soar every day. People still aren't listening, and are actually becoming rather rebellious in their actions, gathering, ignoring public health officers and simply doing whatever they want. When did our society become so selfish? Perhaps it always was and Covid has just exposed people for who they really are. Our health care providers are tired, hospital capacity is becoming overwhelmed and some other procedures will have to once again be postponed in order to make room for the ever increasing number of Covid-19 patients. Yet still I see, every day people posting online claiming this is all a hoax, a fear-mongering tactic created by (all) governments in order to control us. Mustn't download that Covid app in case the government will track your whereabouts....but it's okay to have your cell phone (gps), your social insurance number (address, career and financial tracker for years) and post all your personal information and opinions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (algorithms). I am missing a lot of important milestones in my little grandson's life. I have FaceTime yes, but I haven't hugged him for months. Christmas was almost a non-event, as I was right when I mentioned in my previous blog that we were not allowed to celebrate with anyone except our immediate household. I accepted that, without too much surprise and thought instead about people who had no one to be with. However there was a poll conducted in Canada which resulted in the fact that 50% of Canadians said they were going ahead with normal family gatherings at Christmas. In a week or so we will see the results of that selfishness.
The situation in the US is another horror unfolding, but given the past year I can't say I'm at all surprised. I don't want to get into any further discussion because it's not my purpose of these monthly blogs, I will just say that it's my sincere hope that America can heal itself from all the hatred and division it has seen in the past four years.
The Square Foot Show at The Loft Gallery in Thornbury was of course, online. I submitted nine pansy paintings and happily I sold two. It was the first time the show went online and ran for much longer than usual. I was pleased to have been able to sell these two, and will post on my website and Facebook pages the remaining ones for sale shortly.
Today I was able to work on my 2021 Twitter Art postcard. This year's event is in support of the Leukaemia Intensive and Chemotherapy Fund (LINC) and is being held in Cheltenham, UK. I had started a piece prior to Christmas but I wasn't really happy with it. I went down another route today and am much more pleased with the progress.
In other news, I was offered a job in a florist in which I worked 21 years ago. I decided to return to the flower business after more than a year off. At first my back and feet protested but after a few weeks I'm feeling much better. I worked through the Christmas rush which went very well but now my thoughts have turned to the dreaded Valentine's Day debacle. No warm holiday to help me get through it either!!!
Stay safe. Do all those things that our poor public health experts have to keep telling everyone and above all, keep smiling.
|Posted on December 8, 2020 at 10:30 AM|
As always I read the previous blog I wrote before writing again. My last sentence referred to hoping for an improvement to our Covid-19 situation. I'm sorry to say that things are, unfortunately worse than when I wrote my last entry.
First of all we, in my area of Southern Ontario have been in lockdown for two weeks, almost halfway through the four week minimum we were given to be in this stage. Our schools have remained for the most part, open, with the exception of one or two that have closed due to outbreaks. We are advised not to go out unless it's for work, school, medical appointments or to shop for food and essentials. Non-essential shops and businesses are closed, along with indoor dining in restaurants, gyms and theatres. Our numbers are reaching alarming rates, in every category; Hospital and ICU admissions, positive cases, positivity percentages and sadly, deaths. Indeed a very serious situation. There are vaccines available, soon to be landing here in Canada. These give some hope I suppose although the process of receiving them seems a daunting task and will be a slow procedure.
Christmas will be a very different affair this year. I'm afraid I'm going to miss seeing my daughter, her husband and my beautiful little grandson. I do not blame our government for this like some people are doing, I blame everyone who have carelessly and blatantly disregarded public health measures, without thought for anyone else, and just gathered en masse without any precautions. I've seen people posting online bragging about holding their big family holiday celebrations as normal. I find this just so selfish.
In other news, today marks the 40th anniversay of the dreadful day we lost John Lennon to a cruel, unecessary and violent act committed by a person whom I will not stoop to name. I'll never get over this loss. I have always been and always will be a huge Beatles fan. They are part of my childhood growing up in England, and I feel very fortunate to have witnessed firsthand the craziness of Beatlemania. There will never be anyone like them, in my opinion. I feel they changed the music of the world completely. There's an all day tribute to the man and his music, both his solo work and his Beatles' compositions. It's both sad and happy at the same time and I must admit to shedding a few tears while listening.
In art news, there's not a whole lot to report. I was extremely fortunate to join a few other artisans in an unexpected pop up market in Meaford last Saturday, put together by the chamber of commerce. The space was large and airy, with all safety protocols and appropriate distancing in place. I met some great people, both customers and fellow vendors alike and was able to make a few sales. It was really fantastic to be in that atmosphere once again, due to Covid-19 of course everything has been canceled. We were hoping to be able to have another one this coming Saturday but alas it isn't possible.
I've been very lax in getting to my Twitter Art Exhibit piece. I started one, but I'm simply not happy with it so today, once I've written this blog, I'm getting my paints and brushes out. I'm finding it hard to get any inspiration I'm afraid. I hope when I write my next blog in January that things will have improved.
Stay Safe. Stay at home if you can.
In the words of John Lennon....."A very merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year....Let's hope it's a good one....without any fear..."
Best wishes and Blessings for the best Holiday Season you're able to have.
See you next year.