|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.
|Posted on November 11, 2020 at 10:15 AM|
That one exception I'm referring to is the arrival of my son, born November 12th.
Other than that, I can say with all sincerity that November represents much sadness. Of course Remembrance Day figures in here, and since I can recall I've always shed a few tears on this day. I can't watch the televised services, the images of those brave, yet now so frail war veterans are too much for my always "ready to dissolve into tears" emotional makeup. The suffering of all victims of war should always be remembered as well as the service of those still in those roles, protecting our safety and freedom.
These two wars affected directly my own family. My maternal grandfather served in the army in WWI, and in WWII he served as a Home Guard. Mum's family lived in suburban London, and witnessed firsthand much destruction during the Blitz. Both my parents served in the Royal Air Force, Mum as a nurse, and my father as support (mechanical) staff. I remember the day the air raid shelter was demolished in my grandad's back garden, they were lucky to have their own, and didn't have to spend night after night in the "tube" stations.
This Remembrance Day also underlines what people were forced to endure during WWI and WWII. Citizens were asked to make a lot of sacrifices, with their daily lives being curtailed, many, many shortages and family members and loved ones sent overseas, perhaps never to return. I have thought quite often about this lately with our fight against Covid-19. I'm amazed, and not in a good way, at the way some people are becoming increasingly upset at having to wear a mask, or having to have take away food instead of going to a restaurant. These small sacrifices are nothing compared to what people were, and indeed still are forced to endure in wartime.
Now for Covid-19 news. My region has now been sent into a "red zone" designation. Our numbers have increased to well over a thousand new cases in the province. My region alone reporting almost 400 new cases, and the one hospital we have is already having to transport patients to other areas. We are being asked to stop visiting anyone, even outdoors, and weddings and other large celebrations are banned in halls and banquet facilities until at least January 2021. The words "dire" and "critical" are being bandied about. I hope Christmas can be celebrated with my daughter, her husband and my little grandson, but I'm becoming more doubtful each day. That said, I will again refer to what was the "norm" during WWII....My mother often spoke about having to combine rations to make some kind of Christmas meal, and loved ones often were apart for more than one Christmas. We must realise how much luckier we are now, and give thanks for those who made our freedom possible.
Art news now. I submitted nine square foot paintings to the annual show at The Loft Gallery in Thornbury, ON. These nine are a series of pansies. It's gone online this year and is going to run much longer than the physical show has in the past. It will run until December 31. You can view all the work at www.loftgalleryart.com Curbside pickup is available and shipping is an option. The gallery is also open with protocols for in-person shopping.
My new Christmas cards have arrived and I've got matching ornaments to go with them. Makes a great small gift. You can see these on my Facebook page The Art Of Anne Henvey.
My next project is the Twitter Art Exhibit. I've printed the labels....it's a start. Thinking cap is on.
Stay safe. Wear a mask. Wash your hands.
Blessings to all. Hopefully things will have improved by the time I write my December blog.
|Posted on October 5, 2020 at 11:35 AM|
If you've ever read any of my previous blogs, you might remember that I use the consistency of the butter in the dish on my kitchen counter as a weather gauge. Well this morning it was hard. I've felt chilly for the past couple of days, as the temperature has been dipping into the single digits (gasp!) overnight. Yesterday was wet as well, which added to the chill. I must try not to complain too much however, as soon I will be wishing fervently for anything above zero. I feel slightly cheated out of summer this weird year, it just sort of evaporated into a worrisome, anxious period.
In my last blog I mentioned my participation in a couple of online events. Unfortunately they weren't as well attended as I'd hoped, but it was definitely worth trying. I did gain some interest in my work so not a complete failure. The lack of physical shows is very hard on us but health and safety of all is much more important, that goes without saying. We must "carry on".
I have painted two new pieces to be used as an addition to my Christmas card line. I just finished ordering them and hope to paint some matching Christmas ornaments and magnets to be sold in sets. I posted my work in progress photos of these pieces with great results.
Below are the finished works:
I'm still working on a large 36"x36" painting of a Meaford road. I kept this piece in the house up there so the progress hasn't been as rapid as it could be, given the fact that I've not been there for a couple of weeks. I'm hoping to work on it this weekend (Thanksgiving) and with any luck it will be completed.
On the Covid-19 front now, I'm sorry to report that our numbers have rapidly increased since my last blog in September. Lately we've had as many as 732 new infections in one day here in Ontario, that's a record. It was down slightly on the weekend but the fear is that with people spending more time indoors, coupled with Covid "fatigue" and Thanksgiving gatherings, we could reach as many as 1000 per day by mid October. As I am in one of the "hotspots" of the province I'm going to cut down on my already few trips to the shops. Christmas might be very different this year.
Stay safe, and Happy Thanksgiving to all in Canada. We have a lot to be thankful here.
Blessings to you all.
|Posted on September 14, 2020 at 11:45 AM|
Hello and yes it's already September which I can barely comprehend. The land is preparing to go for that long nap, changing into those autumn colours ever so slowly yet too quickly. So naturally I'm now in "store food" mode. I've made a few jars of preserved items, beetroot and relish and am preparing to bottle tomatoes and make salsa. I'm embarrassed to admit that I actually bought a box of tomatoes yesterday as my own crop has turned out to be a little disappointing. Today I froze some of them in bags....I'm already thinking about soup. The temperature today is only 17C (which I'm sure I'll be wishing for in a few weeks). This summer was nought but a fleeting dream....or at times a very peculiar nightmare. I never imagined that masks and shortages would be something that is now an everyday occurrence.
Today I'm participating in an online event. I haven't had much response so far, but like I've mentioned before, this is something I'm trying as obviously physical shows have simply not happened and probably won't this year. As far as Covid-19 in my area goes, well, unfortunately the numbers are rising. There's been a few incidents in my city of large parties and gatherings without much regard for public health recommendations being followed. It's been recorded that a lot of cases are now occurring in the 29-40 year old population. It's worrying and annoying that we've come so far only to slide back into high cases. Of course schools are open too, on a staggered basis, some parents opting to continue online learning where possible. I'm still sanitising everything that enters my house.
As for my work...I have been slacking off in terms of painting anything. I have a number of projects I must get to, but until lately I had zero enthusiasm. This past weekend I did start a fairly large piece I've been thinking about however, a 36"x36" canvas which I'm happy to say is coming along. Today, while I monitor the online event I'm working on some keychains. I am also going to add a new Christmas card to my line of cards, so I'll be creating a new painting for that purpose. Lots to get done!
Stay safe, and keep vigilant. Protect your health!
Blessings to all.
|Posted on August 19, 2020 at 1:55 PM|
I read, as I always do, my last blog entry before I write a new one so I'll provide an update on my foot injury first. It's still a bit painful but there's significant improvement since that last entry. I did end up going to the doctor and had an x-ray which determined that there were no fractures or breakage. I do have a tendon/ligament injury however and was advised to attend physio which I'm a little embarrased to confess that I've not followed up on yet. But I have been working with my acrylic paint pens on those keychains I mentioned as I rested the foot.
I participated in a couple of online markets, without much success sales-wise but! I'm always open to try new things and get as much online exposure as possible, which I feel was achieved by doing them. In this Covid-19 environment we have to explore new things every day. I'm slated to appear in another one on September 14. Hats off to all those organisers out there who are trying so hard to make up for the lack of physical shows due to Covid-19. We are all feeling it. In Collingwood the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts (BMFA) have successfully obtained permission from the town council to close off part of Simcoe Street, which is off the main "drag" of the town, located near where BMFA's gift shop and gallery is. There's an opportunity there to have a small outdoor show and sale, with just ten participants, all physically distanced according to public health guidlines. I am thinking of doing this at the end of August.
I also decided to try a little pop-up sale on my own front lawn in Meaford. My house fronts onto a fairly well traveled road and I did get a few stops including a delightful visit from a fellow artist and good friend. I enjoyed chatting with people and sitting in the gorgeous weather.....a "win-win" situation!! I'm happy to report a couple of small sales and quite a bit of interest in my work. This keeps me going.
On the Covid-19 front now, I'm pleased to say that my city in the Greater Toronto Area is in Stage Three of the cautious re-opening of our province, This means gatherings of 100 people outside and 50 people inside. Restaurants are allowed to open their dining rooms, with strict physical distancing between tables. Gyms are allowed to increase capacity. Masks are still mandatory in all indoor spaces as well as outdoor markets with foot traffic carefully marked out to avoid crowding and two-way encounters. There's understandable apprehension as our schools will open on a staggered basis in September, as everyone is thinking about The Second Wave. Borders between Canada and the United States are to remain closed at least until September 21. I hope it continues beyond that as many experts are suggesting. The situation that our southern neighbours are facing is dire.
I have a stack of canvases waiting for me as well as all my wooden Christmas ornament pieces. I've been lax as far as painting new work goes so I simply have to get cracking!
Blessings to all and above all, stay safe and protect your health.
|Posted on July 21, 2020 at 12:30 AM|
Here we are in the later stages of July. As far as Covid-19 goes, not much has changed, In my particular area of our province we are still in Stage Two, still under emergency orders, with most of the province moving to Stage Three last Friday. I've just seen via the daily update by our province that my city is remaining in Stage Two.
It's been hot and dry, with the odd thunderstorm here and there, Yesterday we were under a tornado warning, which although alarming, wasn't really surprising given how very strange and unsettling this year has been so far.
I finished the kitchen series I talked about in my last blog, I will post these in my gallery on the website as soon as I finish this blog entry, This series consists of ten 8"x10" paintings, painted in pairs, but just as effective alone. The five pairs are artichokes, tomatoes, red onions, red peppers and carrots. I don't really have any reason for picking these particular vegetables, they simply appealed to me at the time. I myself am a huge fan of kitchen art, and have painted a lot of it, starting with my early works, mainly of various apples, that were very popular.
I haven't been very creative the past few days, Last Thursday, with my mind a million miles away, I thought I'd reached the bottom of the staircase when in fact there were still two more stairs. I went down with a pretty big bang and have now spent the last few days lying down to relieve the stress on my right foot. I haven't yet been to get an x-ray although I did try on Saturday, We have here an "urgent care" centre, rather like a gigantic walk in clinic, with the addition of handling day surgeries. It has the capacity for on the spot diagnostic services, such as x-rays and ultrasound equipment. However, much to my dismay it has been closed due to the shifting of staff to the main hospital to cope with Covid-19, I could have braved the emergency department at our main hospital but frankly, in this Covid-19 climate I just don't feel comfortable. So I'm resting as much as possible, with the much appreciated support of family, and staying pretty still. Hoping that my ability to self-heal does the job.
I'm getting on my own nerves.
Today, thankfully I received my order of a great set of paint pens. I hope to create some intricate works on some keychain blanks I found a few weeks ago. I think that'll keep the creative juices flowing until I'm on my two feet again.
Stay safe, and blessings to all.
|Posted on June 25, 2020 at 8:50 AM|
As we move into the last days of June, the uncertainty still prevails here in my corner of the world, which is Southern Ontario, Canada. Our province is still under "emergency orders" meaning mostly the government's ability to shut down once again and also to keep capacity at our hospitals, should a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases occur. Everyone is talking about a second wave, which historically has been much much worse than the first wave of a pandemic. I find this very disturbing, but what is even more disturbing is the comments I see online in various social media platforms that allude to this whole situation as a hoax, put on by all the world's governments in order to control us. In my region of Ontario we were able to move into Stage Two of reopening, which includes hair salons, patio dining and indoor shopping centres to operate under very strict guidelines. Last weekend I went into a city supermarket for the first time, albeit very early to avoid the crowds. I still feel uncomfortable with a crowded situation despite the strict enforcement of physical distancing which is in place in all our shops. I also ventured a trip to my favourite art supply store, I wasn't able to get all the paint on my list however, there were many gaps in the paint display of the kind I prefer to use. In fact I was able to get just one off my list. On the positive side I managed to get six more 12"x12" canvases, the size I used in the Pansy Series so I'm planning another series soon,
In these dark days I've found much comfort in my work and most days I shut my studio door, put on my headphones, crank up the iPod and paint. I'm extremely grateful for this. My Pansy Series is finished, and I posted them on my gallery page here on this website. I'm starting on a new series of small (8"x10") kitchen art pieces, I decided to do five sets of two pieces, each set featuring one vegetable or fruit. I've completed one set and I'm working today on the second. I feel very lucky to be able to keep creating, I should have a massive stock of new work when things finally open up and I can do some shows, I'm not expecting that until 2021 mind you.
Take a break from the news and social media if you can. It's very important.
Stay safe, many blessings to you and yours.
|Posted on May 30, 2020 at 12:00 AM|
As always, before writing an new blog post I reread the last one I posted. I read how uncertain everything was in early April. As you all know, this uncertainty still prevails over much if not all of our planet. Globally, everyone and everything has been affected by COVID-19.
In my province of Ontario, Canada, we are still under a state of emergency, and will be until at least June 9, as the health officials and other experts consider our situation. The ban on gatherings of more than five people is still in place. Some things have changed, however, with certain businesses being allowed to reopen while adhering to strict guidelines. Only shops and services with street entrances are allowed to do this, while limiting the numbers of persons allowed inside to embrace physical distancing. Masks are commonplace on our streets; schools are remaining closed and university and colleges have moved to online courses. Playgrounds, pools and other public and private sports facilities remain off limits. The shortages have eased somewhat, except for yeast, which I was lucky enough to find eventually.
There have been a few instances of rebellion, as people understandably are very concerned about the devastating effect that COVID-19 is having on our economies around the world. From an artist's viewpoint, all physical shows are off the table and it's especially difficult to sell art online. Today I attended a webinar specifically aimed at that exact topic, and I am pleased to say that it was most informative, so a shoutout to Tanya Mazza at the Town of Collimgwood and to Ben Frisch for this most welcome hour of tips and advice.
As far as my personal experiences with COVID-19 go...In our family there have been a few birthdays that we've either celebrated via FaceTime or as in the case of my little grandson Niko's second birthday yesterday sitting in my garden separated. I've not been out anywhere much except to my house in Meaford. Once there I stayed at home and painted a fairly large piece, something that I have not done for some time. Yes....at last my little block is finally over and since that painting was completed I haven't stopped, painting nearly every day with my old enthusiasm. I'm very excited about my new work and will post it in my gallery here shortly.
I want to thank Sandy Horvat-McIntyre, a dear friend who graciously allowed me to paint one of her wonderful photos of a pansy. I'd forgotten how charming they are. It has inspired me to paint others and I'm working on a series of four. I've completed two and am right in the middle of the third. I already know what the fourth one will be.
There's so much to be thankful for despite the world being in this dreadful crisis which is COVID-19.
Stay safe, stay positive and if you're able stay home. Blessings to all.
|Posted on April 3, 2020 at 12:15 AM|
Usually at this time of year we see a joyful celebration of the Earth's return to new life.
This year, of course is much different. Of course I'm referring to the terrifying events that have transformed our planet into a place full of worry and anxiety, of fear and of death. I was in Florida recently and as my annual holiday came to a close, the reality of CoVid-19 began to make an unwelcome appearance. Suddenly there was an urgency in people we encountered in shops; staples such as toilet paper, beans, rice, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes were completely absent from all store shelves in all of the six states that we travelled through to reach home. Our journey back to Canada became a mission to try and obtain a few items as we simply did not know what we would be returning to, other than the certainty of self isolation. I managed to buy one bag of rice, one bag of dried black beans and a few tins of soup. We were lucky to still have a little bottle of hand sanitizer that is always in our vehicle.
As far as painting goes, I've managed to paint a few miniatures, tiny canvasses with magnetic backing which I'm pairing with some of my cards as a set, but not much else. I just cannot muster up any enthusiasm, I hope this passes. I've got a stack of blank canvasses sitting accusingly on a shelf. At this point I'm uncertain as to whether there will be any summer shows to attend.
I did however finish and send my contribution to the wildlife charity in England that I mentioned in my last blog. It has been received and they are hoping that the exhibition will go on in November. However we are in uncertain times and we will have to wait to see what tranpsires in the coming months. Below is 'Sumatran Baby'.
On this note I should add that the Twitter Art Exhibit, taking place this year in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has been postponed from April 3, indefinitely. It came as no surprise, and although disappointing, it is the wisest choice to make.
In my province of Ontario, Canada all social gatherings of more than five persons are banned. I'm sure that this will be amended in the near future to none at all.
People need to listen and stop thinking that this virus will not happen to them. Ask the thousands of people who have already either contracted CoVid-19 or have lost a loved one to it. Ask the thousands of health care workers who are witnessing the horror first hand.
Stay safe, healthy and above all protect yourself and your loved ones. If you're able....stay at home. And thank your grocery workers, truck drivers, nurses, doctors and everyone who is helping the country to survive.
Blessings to all.
|Posted on February 4, 2020 at 1:05 PM|
As I've been working from home the winter hasn't been nearly as bad as other years. Of course I know that it's because I've had no commute anxiety this season. It's also going by a lot faster than I've experienced in the past for the same reason I'm sure. To be fair though, this winter has been surprisingly kind, and not the doom and gloom scenario that was being predicted by the weather experts earlier in the season. There's been a lot of strange weather related events globally as well. Fires in Australia of epic proportions, earthquakes and flooding in various other parts of the world. Mother Nature is angry.
Last month I completed my Twitter Art Exhibit contribution, in support of the Horry County Disabilities and Special Needs organisation. Being that it's taking place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which incidentally is an old stomping ground of mine, I decided on green tomatoes as my subject. It's a southern dish, and I thought it appropriate for the area. I've posted some photos of 'Green Tomatoes' below:
It took over two weeks to arrive at the gallery in Myrtle Beach but I'm happy to say it's there and has been posted to Twitter by the curator of this year's event. I'm hoping that it will sell quickly in support of Horry County Disabilities and Special Needs. For the past two years I've been thrilled that my little postcard has sold on opening night. Could I be lucky enough to score a hat trick? Here's hoping. This year marks the tenth anniversary of Twitter Art Exhibit. Much money has been raised benefitting various charities during these ten years. I've been part of it for five, I really wish I'd known about it sooner, but assuredly I will continue to support this fantastic organisation.
My next project is a bigger piece and will be sent to England, ironically to the city that is close to where we last lived. This event is in support of endangered animals and habitats. I'll be writing more about that in my next blog.
Blessings to you all. Stay warm.