three books

three books

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Poo Fairy

It is a glorious day in Vancouver. The sun is shining, there is a sweet, cool breeze from the ocean and so many shade trees in the area that Boo and I walked through green dappled light on our afternoon stroll through Shaughnessy - an area of glorious houses and manicured gardens. He paused to sniff something on the "devil's strip" (isn't that a great term for the grassy space between the curb and the sidewalk).
The object of his fascination turned out to be a bright blue, tightly sealed bag of dog poo.
The crazy thing is, this isn't unusual. We see these everywhere in a myriad of colours and I have to wonder about the people who stoop, scoop and seal the poop - often in non-biodegradable bags- and then leave them as gifts to the gardeners and carry on their way.
What the hell is that all about?
I have not yet had the chance to inquire directly as to the cause or purpose of this strange behavior since I have only seen the evidence, never the actual deed, and so I am left to ponder. Yes, it is a law, or at least a bi-law that you do have to pick up after your dog and no, perhaps there is not a clear directive regarding the second step in that procedure but you have to assume it to be the logical disposal of said product. What on earth would be the purpose of picking up a fully biodegradable substance and sealing it for freshness in a non-biodegradable plastic container just to leave it on some strangers lawn?
Once, while walking with my friend Julia and her pups, we saw no less than three within a single block - all within a half block of a garbage bin! We postulated optimistically that perhaps these inconsiderate schmucks could mistakenly believe, since the bags do tend to disappear eventually, in the existence of a Poo Fairy who comes along to collect their leavings. We further considered pursuing a municipal contract for the position of Poo Fairy since we walk four times a day and pick up our own doggy droppings along the way but, while it was entertaining to exhaust our supply of puns to describe what sort of a job that would be, in the end we just couldn't figure out a way to spin it to the politicians as budgetary necessity.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Time out - in the studio

I needed a time away from writing about writing and so I hid out for a few days in my studio. My sister-in-law Penny has opened a new little shop in Ingersoll Ontario and I promised to send her some small paintings. I didn't really know what I was going to paint so imagine my surprise when I was inspired to paint flowers - not usually my favorite subject but must say it was a pleasure to revel in colour and play with natures wonders. These are all a continuation of my "Nixie says" series and use all of the tips and tricks of encaustic that she taught me.

do not fear - encaustic on cradleboard 8 x 10

be bold - encaustic on cradleboard 8 x 10

colour outside the lines (line inside the colours) encaustic 8 x 10

just play - encaustic on cradleboard - 8 x 10

stay loose - encaustic on cradleboard - 8 x 10

I just got a new torch last week and WOW what a difference. This puppy is a major flame thrower and can fuse the layers of wax in less than half the time of my other one.  Now I can take on some bigger formats with serious weaponry. All fun and games until somebody sets the curtains on fire.

Now if I could only learn to take a decent photo.........

Saturday, 13 July 2013

The Tao of Boo

 For the past month I have been entirely engrossed in writing my first book and I have to say that it has been one of the most exhilarating experiences I have ever had. I enjoyed every part of it right up until now, this moment when I am challenged with the task of actually trying to sell it to a publisher or find an agent willing to take the time to look at it. Most of them will not accept unsolicited manuscripts and justifiably so I expect since everyone and their aunt Nellie would be sending in their musings if they could. Ah well, I'm sure if it is meant to be there will be a someone out there to connect to and, in the meantime, I am basking in the warm glow of a completed project that has thus far amused and delighted my family and friends. I will also share a bit about it here before I climb down from the stratosphere and get back to work in my studio where another jumbo canvas awaits completion.

I call it The Tao of Boo. It is a true story of transition and growth - with cartoons!
Any of you who have been with me over the past year know that I had to give up my day job for health reasons and find a new path. I was blessed with the opportunity to work in my studio every day and explore a wide range of techniques and materials. During that year (and a bit) I've had a lot of time to ponder over things and make adjustments to a new stage of life.

Those of you too young to have experienced a massive hot flash that soaked straight through your clothes and plastered your new perky hairdo to your forehead while being introduced to the new boss/client/sexy new neighbor will not need to read this book. And if you have not yet reached a period where your life feels like it is spiraling out of control or suddenly realized that absolutely nothing you are doing at this point in time is the slightest bit meaningful to you - you're still okay. But, if you have reached that moment when you recognize that your time on this earth is more than half over and you are thinking "shit, I wasn't paying attention", I wrote this book for you - for all of us who have reached that third stage of life without directions on how to face changing times and aging with grace, humour, compassion and cheerful acceptance.

The anecdotes touch on Buddhist philosophy, Jewish wisdom, Amish simplicity and some Boo-isms to make statements about simplifying, learning to like yourself, stretching, growing and remembering how to laugh, at everything.

I'll let you know if the publishing gods smile upon it and make it available some time in the future. In the meantime I'm already cooking up ideas for the next one. It was so much fun!