Saturday, July 24, 2010


This morning as I sat on my deck drinking a good cup of coffee I found myself thinking about the art of observation and how much this informs my life as a whole. There were the robins singing their lovely songs, a warbler hovering above a Canada thistle and eating the seed head. Actually it was that warbler that got me thinking about observation. Firstly, here was this beautiful yellow bird flying above a purple flower head - a perfect complementary pair in more than one way I bet. Nature gave the thistle its thistles to protect it I assume, but it also gave the thistle the warbler, who in the process of munching on its flower also helps propagate its species. And on and on it goes. The way that warbler gives out a joyous song as it bob's up and down as it flies away. The purple martins performing aerial acrobatics that would make Cirque du Soliel envious. Pelicans slowly circling above the lake and climbing higher and higher until they disappear from view. I have to think that I have been observing events such as these all my life and they are as important to me as breathing and my art making is all the more satisfying for it. The above painting was done many years ago while I was on a crazy fishing trip with my brothers and our sons. That is a story for another time!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pastel painting

I've made a box to hold all of my pastels in an orderly manner and had a chance to check out its suitability at our retreat down in Eastend awhile back. It actually worked quite well for me and I will only have to make a few small adjustments to make it right. Had a great time down in Eastend and was sorry to leave the place, as usual. Seems like you just get settled in and its time to go home. This pastel was inspired by the view from my studio window and employs a new method I am playing around with.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Spirit of Manitou Studio Trails Tour

Today is the start of a two day event (July 9-10) called the Spirit of Manitou Studio Trails Tour being held in the Resort Village of Manitou Lake, Watrous and outlying area. If you are close to us why not consider coming out and visiting the studios of all our wonderfully creative folks here? We had a wonderful turnout last year and are hoping for the same or better this year. I am set up at the Renown Room of the Manitou Springs Resort, along with Helen Herr, a wonderful artist and poet.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Eastend Art Retreat

We are back from our annual retreat to Eastend, SK, which is hosted by my good friends Barb and Dean Bauche. It is always a memorable time, getting together with old friends and meeting new ones, dealing with wild weather events, and exploring the wonderful landscape. This year I couldn't help feeling sad and also upset with respect to what is happening with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and its terrible impact on the bird population. This year at Eastend I saw and heard the most beautiful birds that I've never seen before and the thought that they are soon heading down to that disaster zone, possibly never to return is unconscionable to me. We are supposed to be looking after our small friends, aren't we? This oil painting represents the place we stay at down at Eastend. There are numerous blue bird houses around the property and to me signify good stewardship. I would encourage others to take steps to protect our birds, the world would be eerily silent without their songs.