recent paintings and news

recent paintings and news

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Harbinger of Spring (sold)


I am glad that I painted this forsythia when I did. This morning we woke up to find it covered with snow.

Nature can be such a tease

March, oil on wax primed panel, 12x36in, 2012, available

I was dying to pick up a brush this week and forsythia was just what the art-doctor ordered-such a blast to use pure, juicy, high chroma cads.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ireland residency & published image


This is a sheep in the Scottish highlands that followed me around one day. I’ve been feeling rather sheepish myself as I prepare to embark on a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Southern Ireland.

 Now that time is drawing near, between the packing and preparations, I must remind myself to breath deep and relish in the unfolding. I am honoured and humbled to soon be living and working in an environment so rich in history and culture, amongst artists of all disciplines.

Needless to say I am chock full of emotion. Preparing to travel is always stressful but this is the longest I have been away and my first residency, although not my first application. So upon receiving this letter of invitation from the Tyrone Guthrie Centre I scrutinized it just to be sure it was me they wanted, before jumping up and down, gleefully shouting, etc etc.

I have also been fretting over materials-as most travelling artists do, because of possible confiscation re oil colours by customs. As well, there are weight restrictions on luggage and astounding overweight fees are strictly enforced. While at Annaghmakerrig I intend  to work on the land as much as possible so have  been researching new easel set ups (3 options so far). I  will share in an upcoming post once I decide what might work best.

When my friends travel I envy them. It must be so easy to just worry about packing clothes. I suppose I should figure something out along those lines as well..?

 Three Sheep to the Wind, oil on canvas, 16x20in, 2009

On another note, one of my paintings has been featured in a well know Canadian art magazine, called Arabella. The work coincides with a feature about artists who paint snow. Grand!

January, a time to keep silent, oil on canvas, 30x36in, 2008, sold

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

encaustic carry ons

As often happens after teaching an encaustic workshop, my students so inspired me that I kept working long after they left. A warm sunny day meant wide open windows and voices wafting through were such 'carrying ons' of my feathered could their shenanigans not affect the outcome?

close up- carry on

Carry On (March), encaustic on box, 5x16x5in, 2012, available

close up-murmur

             March, Murmur, encaustic collage on panels, 10x15in 2012, available

*am thinking worries re flight restrictions on what I carry on the upcoming Ireland trip might have influenced this just a wee bit...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A little Madness in the Spring

A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown --
Who ponders this tremendous scene --
This whole Experiment of Green --
As if it were his own! 

Emily Dickinson

Waiting for May, oil on canvas, 11x14in, 2011

How many million Aprils came
before I ever knew
how white a cherry bough could be,
a bed of squills, how blue
And many a dancing April
when life is done with me,
will lift the blue flame of the flower
and the white flame of the tree
Oh burn me with your beauty then,
oh hurt me tree and flower,
lest in the end death try to take
even this glistening hour...

May, soft pastel, 16x20in, 1999

Listen, can you hear it? Spring's sweet cantata.
 The strains of grass pushing through the snow. 
The song of buds swelling on the vine. 
The tender timpani of a baby robin's heart. Spring. 

May, mixed media on canvas, 8x10in, 1999

happy spring!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nesting Rights (new encaustic works)


A lot of artists depict birds-lately the trend seems to be birds on branches. I guess I am no exception. Living here on the Niagara Escarpment I am privy to their company every day and to be with them (not on branches) in their natural environment is something to behold.

And this is the best time of year as my far-away friends are arriving from their winter vacation - the air is swelling with little voices.  

encaustic on panel
7x10in, 2012

I've already witnessed some territorial wars involving Robins here on the property- the coveted prize? A grapevine ball on the studio porch. Apparently it provides the ideal digs when it comes to nesting..perhaps it is because they can swing back and forth...I know I'd enjoy that.

June, encaustic collage on box, 11x8inx3in, 2012

encaustic on panel
7x10in, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Branch from the Lightning Tree

we are story carriers

‘storycarrier’ - someone connected to the wyrd beauty of their own walk in this world.

I have been immersed in Martin Shaw’s ‘A Branch from the Lightning Tree: Ecstatic Myth and the Grace of Wildness. I was inspired to do so after reading a review in Earthlines Magazine. 

Have we fallen out of our own story?  ‘Where does the story land within you? ’asks Shaw. ‘We all need stories. We also need nature to bring out the stories. Nature holds a series of mirrors much the way stories do’  

oil on waxed panel, 12x40in, 2012

Earthlines review:

 ‘Martin Shaw gave up a three-album recording deal with Warner Brothers to live in a tent in the Welsh mountains for four years, during which time he learned to live outside in ‘the kingdom of wood lice, badgers, elder, nettles, brambles, roe-deer, and ivy that gave feral lectures endlessly into my fool ear, the shattering cold of the waterfall that was a morning shower, [while] bellowing out ancient stories from the black hills of Wales, the source of the stream.’ If there’s a better qualification for a rites-of-passage wilderness guide, let alone a storyteller and mythologist specialising in initiatiory experiences, I haven’t yet found it. Martin is now based in Devon, and runs the Westcountry School of Myth and Story ( in between teaching in the US, UK and Europe and serving as a visiting lecturer in Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Leadership Programme at Oxford University. ’
A Branch from the Lightning Tree explores the relationship between myth, story and the wild in prose that is beautiful, poetic and vividly alive. It’s a book that is both entertaining and scholarly, and if you like your Barthes, Derrida and Heidegger leavened by Trickster and Baba Yaga, then it’s a must-read. The heart of Shaw’s thesis is that we have forgotten how to be wild: we have exchanged the old longing, the old call to a deeper knowledge of the world for ‘a trance state, engineered by clumsy media spells’. And so the essence of this book is a rediscovery: the psyche’s journey from the civilised world back to the wild. We can, Shaw tells us, regain a Culture of Wildness through rites of passage, through necessary initiations into the wild that is still within us. And we can be guided through this process of initiation by myths and stories. ‘The heart of ecology is mythology,’ Shaw says. ‘With this in mind, it’s possible we could re-vision through story a kind of curious genius that wraps us back into accord with the great tapestry of earth. In short, we could remember what story we are actually in.’