canada day kelowna

Tonight after Cameron and I hung my show in the Rotary Centre, we went to the local Nepalese restaurant and the owner’s daughter was sitting quietly at the table. She wore a red plaid dress and was truly a beautiful person of about 7 years of age. When I asked her what she was doing, she said drawing. The art work that she created was a Canadian flag with a red maple leaf which she had wrapped around a stick. Her parents are new to Canada. The restaurant has been operative for 18 months. Her mother barely speaks English and is a bit hesitant. Courage. It takes so much courage to leave your home and go where you know very little. It was very moving to spend the evening before Canada Day in their company. It reminds us about the best of the country, our country.

Tomorrow, I will go to the centre and complete the hanging of my show.

Kelowna at 100 in the shade

Today we had scorching weather. My husband was helping a friend work on his place and checked out the temperature. 100 in the shade in Farenheit. I mostly read a book. Doing the dishes in the dishwasher was a bad choice. The kitchen went up ten degrees and pretty much stayed there. At 9:53 at night it is 87 farenheit in our house and the hair sticks to my neck in no Pre-Raphaelite ringlets, let me tell you.

We can always look at the prairies and say… at least we don’t have severe thunder storms. Make sure we look over the fence where it is goll durn guaranteed that the grass will be singed and sepia.

Absolute commitment Canadian Artist

I think we all feel very scattered. The only down time is when one is down. As in down and out. Down for the count. Down in the mouth. Hidden under a down coverlet waiting for the world to go away or at least just pass one by so it is too late to catch up, catch on. Then it is time for cookies and darkness.

But perfectionism is a hard animal to keep under the covers. It is like reclining with a wolverine. After a while, it is just easier to get up and keep moving. Something more drastic could happen, like being consumed by that wolverine of guilt and desire.

“Stay in the moment not in the movement,” I chant to myself.

Where am I going with this…. or with anything. I am not sure. but I am going.

Today, I put new works up for sale on what was formerly called My gallery but is now clearly labeled art for sale. If you, the reader, wishes to see where my quirkish mind is going now, I will keep the new images up for your view. I keep surprising myself with my strangeness. I am getting into territory that I certainly haven’t seen, experienced, created before. Braver, bolder, less worried about interpretation or niche or nice or market to buy a fat pig. I am almost totally vegetarian now.

But I digress…. and so does my art.

I welcome feed back about what you think about the new pieces and if changing the wording make it more clear. Hey, world. This work is for you to buy and enjoy.

What do you think? I am learning to make a commitment to myself and stop flirting.Pink, green sweet candy cane print

Neighbourhoods

Acrylic paint and ink on panel board

There are many definitions for neighbourhoods. There is the geographic proximity of people who reside close to your dwelling. Last night at our neighbourhood association meeting we had the speaker, Stan Chung, come in to remind us about the strength that a social network can have. The resultant effect of many smiles, chats, contacts over hedges in the front yard leads to a sense of security and happiness.

It was good to be reminded.

Also, there is a neighbourhood of people who are working on the same “areas” of life such as in the field of visual art. Judith Jurica at Gallery Vertigo is one who generates a sense of community through her generosity and energy. Today we took up art work to be on display in the Gallery. The two upcoming shows are Florabunda with images of flowers, sculptures and poetry. The second is Almost Famous whereby we are asked to do a “knock off” of a famous artist’s work. I elected to do a Matisse painting which I have long admired.

I don’t know if it was the time pressure or what but I found it was an experience in flow as I was working on it. I put the gesso on quite thickly and stroked the board two directions. The resultant surface looked like a canvas or linen canvas.

So neighbourhoods can be supportive, can offer inspiration and can be a place where the spirit can bloom. I am indeed lucky in the neighbourhoods that I “inhabit.”

The Passive House

You are thinking passive is a bad thing, like in passive aggressive. But a solution to carbon footprints leaving nasty marks on the carpet of the earth is in view. There is an interesting design alternative in Europe.

Germany has explored the possibilities in passitivity in their new community. What exactly is the passive house? To begin with what all developers begin with, the site plan needs to be selected carefully. It is in the “walk shadow” of public transportation? The Southern orientation of the main side of the building has large window areas. Plantings must accommodate the purpose by not obstructing the building. We don’t want a shady development. Compact form is a consideration while selecting the site.

The concept is to use the compact shell to take advantage of opportunities. The footprint should concentrate on utility of installation zones such as bathrooms above or adjacent to kitchens. Ventilation ducts should have plenty of room. If there is a separate basement it must be airtight and free of heat bridges. Make sure that all insulation layers are continuous without air pockets.

The passive house must be adjusted for the local climate warms Dr. Wolfgang Feist in his essay entitled, “First Steps: What can be a passive house in your region with your climate?” He emphasizes the need to meet the challenge to build nearly energy self-sufficient homes.

What I like most about his paper presented at http://www.passivehouse.com/English/checklist.htm is the emphasis on comfort. “No solution will last which does not contribute to a better indoor climate.” The paper goes on to stress that, “Only affordable solutions will be attractive in comparison to customary technologies like air conditioning systems using forced air.”

The ground is the heat or cold buffer with heat exchangers or geothermal energy.

It is the direction of the future. To utilize that which we already have instead of wresting from the earth that which depletes it, we use the earth to help ensure the survival of everything except the old ways of thinking.

New thoughts are revitalizing.A brilliant yellow wall in Siena

Living Small in Kelowna, The Beautiful Life

New Image for my Show opening July 3rd

I will finish up plumping up and trimming the yard then off to the studio to work on submissions for three shows and to complete a commission for a poet in Drummond, Ontario. I have done the graphic design work for three of his books so far and find him a delight to work for. He allows me lee way to experiment and try out new things.

Tuesday night our local neighbourhood association meeting will be very interesting, in a good way. There are many issues in a neighbourhood that is across the railway tracks and right in the line of fire for extending the downtown. Our houses, built in the 40’s and 50’s are the last small structures, close to the ground with actual yards. We have seen the writing on the wall and we don’t appear in it. What action can home owners take in a world where the big money is all on the table against you? Perhaps it is inevitable, but some of us are busily upgrading and making our small jewel box homes even more beautiful. One can hope.

Images for the Show

Today I picked up more images backgrounds to paint into for the upcoming show. Wow! Is it every wonderfuloriginal photo of metallic gift wrap

We walked away from all of the work piled up and enjoyed a coffee while reading books at Chapters. Get Smart was the movie of choice and we got a chance to laugh and eat crappy food. Really fun evening.

Walking out of the theatre into rain and sun edging the clouds neon pink, we smelled the fresh air on the first day of Summer.

Thesaurus entry: confusion

Pink lupine forest of flowersSigns that you are doing too much… read them! Yesterday I was hanging around the word magical in my mind. I was writing a column and just didn’t want to use magical but I was hanging around it. Thinking to myself, “Where is that thesaurus,” I reluctantly got up from my legless identity as a computer operator and searched. When I got the lovely fleshy pink, thick book in my hand, I returned to my bodiless state as a computer operator and opened the book. “Yes, yes here it is”, I said to myself. Awakening from my work induced, exhaution induced trance, I realized that I was looking UP the word thesaurus because I had programmed my head to look for a thesaurus. Later the same day, I tried to call my husband on the cell phone only to discover that I had the calculator in my hand and was punching in his phone number.

They say stress can lead to alzheimers. I need a sensory deprivation tank to float in… oh I guess that is in front of my computer.

I am very excited that the President of our neighbourhood association has invited in Stan Chung from Okanagan College who writes a column so beautifully about conscious and conscience driven urban design. It will be a great occasion for learning.

My show is coming up July 3 and getting all of the tags ready for nine years of art is daunting. I have brought everything into my studio and the chaotic environment has me twitching… not just facial but fascia.

Cameron will be recording for Andrew Smith next week and he thinks it might be a bass line for Corey Doak’s new CD. He always enjoys playing for Corey because he likes the music. Stay tuned.

One day I intend to put up a stellar array of links for everyone to enjoy. One day soon. If intentions were horses, I would never get moving. Afraid of horses.My climbing roses are maganificent this year

Tiny garden goddess has attitude for such a small woman

Okay, so this is not an elevated entry. Well something was elevated and it was my eyebrows.

While in Home Depot last night I saw a twenty-year-old girl wearing tiny white shorts that allowed all to experience the brevity or non-existence of her underwear. Her navel jewel was as large as a human thumbnail and the wrap around jersey mini- top she wore gave evidence that she had been endowed by the pulchritudinous fairy at adolescence because there was no altering under her halter. I guess it was kind of cold in there with the AC going, I was reminded. Her bleached hair, false eyelashes and fingernails were the additions that she had made.

I was officially curious. Why, I wondered, would she be in Home Depot. The rest of the women there are covered in sawdust, drywall dust, ready for action…. but a different kind of action.

The second group of women are the “relationship” hardware groupies. They stand patiently and lovingly next to their husbands while wrangling kids on hips, in shopping carts in order to allow daddy to do his manly reconstructive job.

The Miami Beach woman met up with a friend at the check out. The friend was wearing white shorts as well but the emphasis was not so much on the going away view as the coming at you view. In the lingo of my youth both women were “done up.” The friend was trying to check out at the automated station. She swiped the same article several times because she had six of them. She laughed and told her companion, “This machine is smart.” She had to swipe each article separately.

I read the side of the container to see that the two young women just bursting with a Summer celebratory energy were buying six tubes of crack filler.

It is true. It happened.

Leonard Cohen on CBC

If I were a tourist in my own town, I would seek views of the lake.

Last night after working in the studio, buying groceries, cleaning and then preparing the kitchen to be less of a shock and horror upon arising, I listened to a CBC broadcast of an interview with Leonard Cohen. Remarkable that, not unlike in a family, the Norwegian interviewer elicited comments that gave me new insight into the man. When family members are talking to those outside the tribe, frequently I hear new information. What fascinated me the most was his discussion of “getting happy”. He said, “I no longer have a background of unhappiness. Now I can really experience sadness.” Absolutely beautifully said. It is an experience that I share.

When I was younger, I always felt on edge, uneasy, waiting for the inevitable chaotic burst. These days I reside in a calmer place and when truly sad events strike, I feel the grief very deeply. Perhaps the focus on self lessens as one gets more used to the “mortality clause” and I know that the focus on self is ultimately a waste of time. But to experience the world, one has to turn outward more gently without expectation. It is a bit like sitting in a very quiet room. Any sound is more intense. If the environment is throbbing with sound, no one sound is definite and perceptively real.

I have an idea for a vacation. For those who wish to have an ideal holiday, simply sit in a pod or self contained module with your family for seven or twelve or however many hours you usually travel. At the end of the alloted time, get out of the imaginary travel unit and walk up your walkway. Exclaim about the wonderful garden. Look at the unique sky. Wonder at the comfortable holiday hotel that your house has become. Remark on the cozy furniture. Go out to the local museum. Listen to music in restaurants. Visit all the nearby tourist sites. Borrow a bike from the “homeowners” and go for family rides. Naturally, you wouldn’t answer the phone. It is not for you. You are on holiday.

Saves gas. Opens your eyes. Reawakens your delight in the environment.

When you are done, sun tanned, rested, reenter the travel pod. Sit for seven or fifteen hours and then go home. You will, naturally, have scads of souvenirs that you have picked up so your luggage will be crammed full. We are after all, still consumer trained.