three books

three books

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Dancing Queen

The theme of this week's drawing challenge is DANCE and what a lovely one it is. I took some time this week thinking about some of the most amazing dance routines I have seen and looking up video clips of some of my favorites from movies and television. What fun! But how to choose a favorite? Then I came across this clip which embodied the power of dance and made me smile for hours.

I confess that I am a secret dancing queen being less than truly graceful on the floor but I can totally relate to this woman because when you've got music in your heart sometimes you just have to bust a groove.

For more on the subject of dance visit Patrice's beautiful blog at

Monday, 22 April 2013

Recovering Control Freak

I was out walking the Boo last night when I happened to notice a fellow pull up and park his car right on the corner of the street we were approaching. He was blocking the sidewalk but not, I should mention, my path since we were on the other side of the street. Never the less I had this almost uncontrollable impulse to point out his misdemeanor. Seriously, the words almost flew out of my mouth, "hey, you can't park there", as if he may not have noticed that very large and vivid NO PARKING sign beside his car or maybe couldn't tell that the arse end of his car was blocking the clearly defined pedestrian walkway. Honestly, you would think I had some kind of vested interest in this total stranger who may or may not get a ticket for his transgression and/or who may or may not inconvenience someone I don't know by causing a rift in the natural flow of pedestrian traffic in a quiet residential area in the middle of the night.
Ostensibly I was trying in some weird way to be helpful whether to him or to some other complete stranger I'm not sure but on another level I'm pretty sure I was simply incensed at this guy's complete disregard for the rules. I had to laugh out loud at my ridiculous attachment to something so clearly out of my control not to mention completely unimportant.
So, my lesson for the week - the Art of Allowing - in Zen philosophy there is a whole lot more to it then simply learning to keep your mouth shut but I'll start there and maybe I can stretch it to being a little less attached to potential outcomes by Wednesday and non-judgmental by the end of the week.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Tiles, tiles, tiles

This week's drawing challenge as proposed by Ariane of Rose is tiles and I happen to be extraordinarily fond of tiles so I couldn't resist sharing a couple of favorites. First a piece from way back when clay was the substance of my days. I made probably dozens of molds that made shapes I then applied to garden pots and things but my favorite was the simple little rose (appropriate yes?) that I used in countless ways including as a tile. Here is one example of it's use.

Last year, in Sicily, I stayed in a little town by the name of Santo Stefano di Camastra which is famous for it's ceramic works. It seemed like the entire town was made of tiles inside and out, walls, floors - everything.

 It was so very beautiful I wanted to bring a piece of it home and I did. This was a very old tile salvaged from the floor of a demolished building. It is my very best souvenir of anywhere in Italy because it is so typical.

In honour of this week's challenge I decided to incorporate something of my lovely tile into the encaustic I am working on so I made a stencil inspired by a portion of it and used it in a section of wax. I had hoped to be further along on this piece before showing it but it went a little sideways on me and I had to back up before moving forward. No matter, here is the first layer of the stencil done and I will show what happens to it from here in a later post. Happy weekend all. For more tiles visit

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Beauty eh?

This week's drawing challenge, hosted by Nadine of tiny WOOLF is Beauty. And a ponderous one it is. While walking the Boo a couple of days ago I was admiring the glorious gardens in the chi chi part of town as we walked down block after block of blossoming trees. At a high point I stopped and looked out over the city.  The sun was sparkling on the water in English Bay and beyond that the snow capped mountains against a clear blue sky. This time of year Vancouver shines and I think it must be the most beautiful place on earth but photos can never fully capture this glory so I shifted my focus to smaller things.
My sister has a pillow on her couch that says "all things are beautiful if you love them". I noticed it when I was there visiting a couple of weeks ago and it stuck with me because I brought home from there a gift of an old grate Maggie had found and saved for me. She knew I would love it and I do. As I sit here looking at my mantle I can see it mixed in with a variety of objects that are beautiful to me - a mermaid weather vane, a candle stick made from a broken chair leg, another on some brass thingy that I have no idea what it was originally, a chunk from an old door, some salt glazed bottles, a couple of ducks and so on.

Beauty really is an ill defined and completely subjective concept so when I tried to figure out what all these things have in common the only term I came up with was sincerity. When it come down to it there is an honesty to all the things that I love, with all their bumps and flaws - I think that may be applied to people too.  It is also the reason I continue to be enthralled with the process of encaustic. My most recent piece could have been done in acrylic in an afternoon and it would have been clean and precise. Instead it took me three days and the surface shows every scratch and scrape. It is a little nasty and flawed and as nearly perfect as I will ever come to producing true beauty.

But then you have to ask what, if anything, is "true" when it comes to beauty? I did a little poking on the internet and stumbled across this caption that has been showing up in public washrooms for a while now. I don't know who to attribute it to but I hope they don't mind my adding an image and passing it along as food for thought.

Have a BEAUTIFUL weekend all and visit the tiny WOOLF's blog for more pondering on this weeks drawing theme.