What Does Christmas Mean To You?

This year I experience a pastiche of images of Christmas which are as sundry and disparate as random ripped pages from a magazine. Still in bed after abdominalplasty and a reattached stomach muscle, I have a vision of the dead “helicopter” seeds on the Maple tree out my window. My two granddaughters like me to designate them as such. The seeds beige to browness hang almost plastic in the tree. Almost too enervated to fall, these last ones. All night the wind howled out my windows but these seeds are determined to hang on until Spring when they can complete their encoded mission.

doorstop for sale on etsy

doorstop for sale on etsy

The sky is a sickly white with a scattering of snow on the rooftops that I can view. I have been moving little after my initial burst of enthusiasm. Four days of migraine, vomiting and horrible pain let up and I continuing to be unwise and a “busy body” decided to watch three movies on the couch and trot up and downstairs a couple of times. The evening of my folly found me sobbing into my pillow in agony. Taking more opiates than I had all day, finally got me into a strange, fibrous, drug induced sleep.

I pay homage to the great guilt God by remaining in bed the last two days and finally I slept without waking up sobbing with nightmares. I awoke in the full steam ahead playing out of a musical in which I starred. Taking the centre of the shot in a beautiful park, I spread my arms and sang gorgeously. Waking myself up with the sound of a croaking, dry throat that was not producing any “song” per se but rather random words, I decided that perhaps more time was needed to heal my body and get myself out of the drug induced world of pain killers.

from knox december

from knox december

I am reading Alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel again in lieu of actual physical freedom. While his use of language is pleasing, intellectual and deft, I do find him to be rather lachrymose. He is so British in his dampened appreciation of life’s pleasures.

Yesterday, I spent too much time trying to dis-spell the loneliness of lying in the 300 feet of our upstairs retreat… unable to descend and un-willling to entertain my husband’s sad, gentle inquiries as to my condition which is improving beneath the pain, I am sure. I was on facebook and checked my email. It exhausted me.

Today, I didn’t even open the beast of a computer until noon after three naps. What a pleasure to see that Jason Woodford had put a lovely image of my donation to the Okanagan Film Festival Society on his site.http://okanaganfilmfestival.com/ I am awaiting news as to who purchased it so I can give them a certificate of authenticity. Too done in by the operation to complete that task, I left it for another day.

tari's amazing christmas cookies

tari

My friend Tari informs me that she had made her spectacular Christmas cookies again this year and asked the artists of the RCA to her house for a luncheon. She mentioned ice skating on Shannon Lake with her friend. Now I hold two lovely, traditionally satisfying pictures of Christmas in my head thanks to her email. I wrote to her, “You can always make me laugh. I just pictured you eating while ice skating. A turn, a flourish, the hand raised and at the top of the spinning wonderment a cookie which pops into your mouth at the last moment. Beautiful. ” http://www.misstari.com/

Finally, the image of my granddaughters was soothing to me upon awakening suddenly with the shooting pain in my side. Rhane so business-like, abrupt and non-nonsense requested a cleaning set so she could clean her home sparkling clean, “If some people would let me.” When I asked her if it was a toy set, she paused in impatient disgust then informed me that it was in fact a real set. Stupidly, I had thought her to be trivial or playing simply because she is four years old. Tegan on the other hand is mainly concerned that the star on top of the tree doesn’t sparkle. She is a leo/monkey and knows the importance to bling in existence. Without shimmer, life is dull.

magic of little girls

magic of little girls

Judith Jurica continues to work her magic and sent through an email publicizing my show at Kalamalka campus even though it is “the holidays”. She is another who creates a very real shimmer to the existence of art in the valley through her works.http://www.galleryvertigo.com/

So these snippets of life create images. Along with the unfinished kitchen wall that has yet to be re-enclosed after the new electrical service was provided, the pile of unfinished christmas cards that I had anticipated having the strength to send out by now.

Instead, I am floating upstairs with a plastic bulb draining out of my stomach. Looking out of the window at the dull day hanging without the energy to deliver snow. Laying under my blanket thinking about another nap before I return with Alain to the Lake Country and Wordsworth is the reality of now. Transition.

transition moving from one state of being to another

transition moving from one state of being to another

What Gifts are Best for Christmas? Buy original art

Penticton Art Gallery now has two pieces of mine for their pre-Christmas sale, I will be in a show at the Rotary Centre for the Arts for three days November 12th on, then the next week Gallery Vertigo is letting me have a show at the Kalamalka Campus. Summerland Art Gallery is holding a pre-Christmas sale of art cards and books which has motivated me to get producing again.

photograph of my hand shadow on a scrap book page

photograph of my hand shadow on a scrap book page

Hand made books are a real pleasure to create and I want to have three or four more ready for Gallery Vertigo’s book store.

This thursday I will be in the Rotary Centre for our First Thursday Open house. Last month 30 students from UBC attended and it was lovely to have a chance to meet the up and coming art teachers that will be inspiring students in the high schools and elmentary schools.

texture abounds in this piece for a CD cover

texture abounds in this piece for a CD cover

I am a featured artist in Homes for the Holidays and will be putting up the pieces that I created next week in the show home. All of those great photos I took one day last winter after a heavy snow fall should look great in this old fashioned christmas themed open house.

star gazer lily in my neighbours yard

star gazer lily in my neighbours yard

Meanwhile, I am organizing an all candidates meeting to get more interest in the election. Only 22% of citizens turned out at the last election and there seems to be a more prevasive kind of negative inertia in our town. People are quick to complain and critize but don’t go out to the cities open houses or respond to on line surveys. I guess it is human nature to have everything be alright until it seems to be all wrong. What about the place between?

Sutherland park after fresh snow

Sutherland park after fresh snow

Cold weather, art, politics. That is my life right now. Happy November.

Want an art class in October?

I offer two classes in the next two weeks. The course in Vernon is one of the very few that teenagers can take to get guidance for their poetic expression. This workshop is fun for young adults to explore through their love of color.

Vernon Community Arts Council, 2704A Hwy 6, Vernon, B.C. 250-542-6243

Saturday, October 17th, 10 – 2, Writing Colorful Poetry ( 13- 17 years)$ 80

The next class offered in Kelowna is a great opportunity for parents, grandparents and kids to have some fun together making scrap book greeting cards. A great BONDING experience.

Rotary Centre for the Arts Course Studio 205, 421 Cawston Avenue.

Wednesday, October 21st, 6:30 to 8 pm. Making handmade greeting cards: Get inspired

to make something unique

that speaks from who you are.

Make a gift of your talent. For children and adults together. Family fun. $45 includes material’s fee.

A photo that was altered into a "carpet" of color

A photo that was altered into a

In addition I have a show of my newer works on display in the mezzanine of the Rotary Centre for the Arts throughout October.

Green Light

Green Light

All of these pieces are for sale and fit an office or a very modern urban environment to liven it up and give the space warmth.

Red Swirl next to Construct/ Destruct

Red Swirl next to Construct/ Destruct

I finished my TESOL certification this weekend and can now really focus on my art for a while. This Saturday we have WAM http://www.rotarycentreforthearts.com/news/mr/09april_wam.html.

Cameron plays that night and I will be in my studio working on my new project: OPEN THE DOOR. Stay tuned for these new pieces.

Catching Up in Paris

The internet connection we had in Vienna was slow, slow, slow. That coupled with the necessity to get the show hung and ready for the opening was the principle focus.

We arrived in Vienna when it was quite cold and we were already tired. The last weeks of sitting vigil with my step-father, having a show at the show homes, being at WAM until after midnight were strenuous. We cleaned the house, made arrangements for care of plants etc. with our wonderful neighbours Ray and Sarah and Roger and Candy. Since the airporter was picking us up at 4:15 and we finally got to bed at midnight, we were stretched to the limit.

Gallery overlooks Langenlois

Gallery overlooks Langenlois

Setting off for our adventure in the dark of Kelowna, we met a couple from Baltimore in the van. They seemed lively and alert so we tried to appear awake.

When we began our adventure in the Kelowna airport, we transferred in Vancouver and again in Toronto. I was very excited because I had never seen Toronto before. Two of the Sedo family are living there so I called out, “Hi Mat. Hi Sara,” to the skyline.

I watched Doubt and almost all of Frost/Nixon on the flight. I missed the last few minutes because of announcements. Drat!

Matthias was in the Vienna airport to greet us and I felt like a slab of butchered meat but was very happy to see this charming, intelligent man. He took us to the family “cabina” which is a small, unheated cabin sitting on a tiny lake. The same type of ducks that Candy feeds out front of our houses were floating in the lake. These tiny cabins were build in 1910 and used for government workers as a perk… if I got that right.

Jean Francois, Matthias and Cameron

Jean Francois, Matthias and Cameron

Matthias was to bring Jean-Francois to us to visit but by the time they got back Cameron and I had collapsed into the bottom bunk of a bunk bed clinging to one another for warmth. We slept until Vienna’s midnight, got up and had buckwheat groats with an egg stirred in. Our hosts left milk, juice, fruit and grains for us. They were very generous.

In the morning we went to Matthias’ house which was five minutes walk away and visited with the family. Off to the art supply store to buy paint and then to buy lumber for framing. The next day we visited again then set off to Langonlois which is about two hours drive from Vienna and we were greeted with beautiful countryside and a picture-story book village.

We set up for most of the day then headed back to Vienna. The next afternoon we set off to stay in a wonderful little pensione and got to know the owner Brigitte over the breakfasts of cheeses, meats, cereal, yogurt, breads and fruit. We drank buckets of coffee and visited. The first night was the Vernissage and I counted well over 70 people who showed up to celebrate the art. The gallery owner’s son Alex was a wonderful host and really made us feel cared for. Cameron played at the opening with two young men on guitar who are music students at a university in Vienna. The opening was very successful because it was to take place from 7 until 9 but people stayed until well after 11. The tradition of offering bread with the wine is excellent and keeps the flow of free wine from

Matthias, Jean Francois, Cameron and I taking pictures

Matthias, Jean Francois, Cameron and I taking pictures

becoming a bad scene.

The next day Cameron and I walked the village taking a break for breakfast and met up with others when they rolled out late morning. It was beautiful to walk the streets with the texture and color of a culture available for study. Women on bicycles were shopping, buying breads, meats and flowers. On Sunday the streets were taken over by shiny convertibles and expensive cars driving to be seen through the narrow passways.

Pretending to use sugar as cell phone cafe langenlois

Pretending to use sugar as cell phone cafe langenlois

The last night a rock band played under our window all night and I only got three hours sleep. After weeks of lack of sleep, I just burst out crying on our way to lunch. It was not very sophisticated of me but I was just so done. The ride back in the car was an endurance event. Five of us were shoved in with our luggage and the temperature was over 25 celsius, I am sure.

Once we were back to Matthias’ house, we headed off to the cabina to just sleep. I collapsed and slept eleven hours.

Today we are in Paris in a luxury hotel room after a wonderful sleep. So nice to have a four star sink to wash one’s clothes in. We will be here for three full days and then off to the plane again. It is an exciting time to be looking forward to quiet time. Cameron is ready to seek food. I will be loading up more pictures when we have internet again.