Painting of Clara and the Nutcracker stands alongside collection of Nutcrackers.

For the Love of The Nutcracker

The magic of The Nutcracker has been part of my family’s holiday celebrations for ten years now. Two of my daughters joined the cast of our local production when they were 7 years old. Every year, rehearsals would begin in the summer, and continue until the performance at our gorgeous local theatre in early December, right around now. I’ve always loved the extravagant beauty of this classic tale. From the glamour of holiday parties of a seemingly more civilized time, to the courage of young Clara in defeating the evil Mouse King, the tender and innocent love between Clara and…

Finding Abundance in 2020

Abundance, 2020, oil on canvas, 61 x 91.4 cm, 24 x 36 in, $865. This post has a happy ending, I promise, so please stay with me… THE PANDEMIC’S DROUGHT OF PLENTY We are all feeling this pandemic, each in our own way. My thought patterns can easily drift toward scarcity if I’m not careful. That this pandemic and its constraints mean lack, a drought of options, of security, of excitement, of joy. That we are deprived of what we need to thrive and live fully. When I think this way, I am looking for abundance defined by my expectations…

Magnolia flower

Love the Magnolia

Our home is positioned on the bend of a busy road, such that drivers approach having a long view of one end of our front lawn. Every spring, the forsythia and magnolia planted there flower into an abundant riot of gorgeousness, offering drivers a view which soothes many winter-weary eyes. As predictable as the return of spring are the expressions of ardour these blooms inspire. I hear it over and over, “Oh, I love the magnolia.” Love the Magnolia is a celebration of, not only the return of spring, but also the hope and joy that nature’s re-birth inspires. To…

pink peony rose with 3 buds

New Work Available

September always feels like a fresh start, a New Year of sorts.  As summer draws to a close, I feel the need to organize, clear out. The quiet of these past months has allowed me to devote regular time at the easel, exploring and working on several projects, one of which is florals, a series I title “Messengers from Another Realm”.  My work lately has been a celebration of nature’s finest, the beauty offered by our world, which no pandemic may touch. I will be offering these works for sale, as they are completed.  New works will be posted on…

Seeing with New Eyes

Summer’s Dawn in the Meadow, Spring’s Dawn in the Meadow and The Watch over Fox Farm are the latest in the series titled “Be Here, Now”. My recent work all relates to one common theme: we don’t have to travel, to acquire, to seek the new, in order to experience the reverence that comes with witnessing great beauty.  All we must do is really see what’s around us in our everyday. The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. — Marcel Proust I always thought I would see the beautiful wonders of…

Gratitude 2.0

No one will argue the benefits of practicing gratitude.  Count your blessings, look on the bright side of life, be thankful for what you have, the wise advise.  Sure, it’s good for us, and enjoyable too, to acknowledge our wins — an achievement, acquisition, validation, improvement.  But what about gratitude when things don’t go our way at all — during loss, failure, uncertainty, rejection? GRATITUDE 2.0 Lately, I am practicing my gratitude on this deeper level.  Advanced gratitude.  Gratitude 2.0, I’ll call it.  The foundational pre-requisite for this course is humility, the acceptance that perhaps I don’t know what is…

Hello, Gorgeous

“Hello, Gorgeous” is the latest work in a series titled “Messengers from Another Realm”. I don’t think I am alone in admitting: this isolation is getting to me.  Despite my best efforts, I find my spirits flagging, the uncertainty of our future weighing heavy.  My ego-mind is ruthless, even questioning what am I doing, spending my time on painting — to what end — reminding me how useless I feel, especially during this time, when essential service workers are saving the world, while I sit at home… brushing paint on canvas. WHAT IS ART FOR? Luckily, once again, I’ve been…

Lighthouse in the foreground of ice-fishing shacks.

Finding Light in the Darkness

During the coldest winter months in the town where I live, the river ice thickens to support a temporary village of ice-fishing shacks on the ice adjacent to the local wharf.  People gather to fish and socialize, skate and play hockey, share warming beverages while huddled over space heaters, and take long walks on the open expanse of ice. I am intrigued by the symbolism of the lighthouse standing watch over this setting.  The village, a coming together of those who embrace winter, who choose to illuminate the coldest and darkest days with the light of community and camaraderie, is…

People ice skating on the Rothesay Common.

Saturday Afternoon on the Common

“Saturday Afternoon on the Common” is a painting in a new series I’m working on titled “Be Here, Now”. THE MIND’S SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS The nature of the mind, of our thoughts, is to try to find where happiness may be found.  Our thoughts continuously point out what’s wrong in our lives, what must be “fixed” so that we may feel safe, comfortable, successful, happy.  When we “fix” one thing, the mind finds another reason for unhappiness. POWER IN THE PRESENT MOMENT Meditation teachings tell us true and lasting happiness can be found in transcending thought.  In identifying with the…

Messing with My Hubby

I’ve been working on this painting for some time now. Often, when something is bothering me about an unfinished piece, I move it around the house, placing it either where I will see it often, in a flash as I pass, or somewhere I can sit with it and study it. Eventually, I know what must be done to finish the painting. So, Stuart has been moved around the house for a while now.  This has been great fun for me — for, you see, my hubby finds this piece to be quite unsettling — it gives him a start…