Thursday, February 25, 2010


Alan lying down - three weeks ago 18x24 bond paper

After a breathless  two hours of shopping for a birthday present for my pisces husband  and an urgent message from my daughter that we have the book she needs, which I miraculously find amidst the chaos of books everywhere, I am ready to platz.

This year we have been denied a snow day. Usually every winter, nature offers us a gift – overnight there is a huge snow fall – and we awaken to at least two feet or more of light or heavy snow piled against the entrance to  our houses. And the snow doesn’t stop, it continues. It is a signal to people like myself to stay in pyjamas. What is particularly exciting on these occasions is the mounting list of closures, early closures, cancellations. School children shriek inwardly and outwardly with delight, lazy folk like myself roll over in bed and stare out the window in pure admiration for this miraculous transformation of the landscape – mon pays c'est l'hiver:

A Field on a farm a few miles north of Waterdown - pastel 7 x 91/2 
three days ago - I'll go back there next week

This year it’s as though the snow hasn’t even begun -  Almost? not quite, the timing has been off -  it’s occurred elsewhere – I’m bewildered. We might get another five or ten more centimetres but that’s it folks – not enough to warrant a snow day.  Feeling cheated?  You bet. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

On Sunday Afternoons

Sitting I
Drawing in chalk on bond paper, 18x24

Sitting II - a few changes

Drawing in chalk on bond paper, 18x24

Drawing in chalk on manilla - 18x24

Now for the past month and a half I’ve been drawing Sunday afternoons on James North. It’s a corner building at James and Mulberry up three flights of stairs. There is a pool hall on the ground level and I would love to go in for a game of snooker. My father and brother taught me to play snooker when I was a little girl and I loved it. 
But my husband is of the opinion that these men are old world and the presence of a woman in their midst might confuse them. So I have to put that temptation aside for the moment, but I haven’t given up on it entirely. I’m convinced that if I expressed my sincere fascination with what ever game of pool  or billiards it is  they do play,  that even if they were hesitant or cautious, they'd at least be polite or even welcoming or even better, indifferent? Surely not hostile! Besides I wouldn't be alone. David, my husband, my protector would be with me. Eventually they'd accept me. It is a little absurd isn't it?
Still I am curious.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Last Winter's Snow

Winter woods  study -pastel, 14"x10" on prepared  pumice ground on water colour paper

This was actually February or March from two years ago - somewhere between Dundas and Guelph. (I do have the map  in a binder somewhere -  I'm just too indolent to look it up.) I did a number of winter plein air sessions with the great Catherine Gibbon. It was slippery underfoot, beneath the snow. Because it had melted and then grown cold there was a layer of ice beneath the snow and it was treacherous trying to get from a to b  but nonetheless very pleasant to be outside for a couple of hours – most of the time being taken up with lugging materials and setting up.

Now two years later - early afternoon I had a wild time cycling around my neighborhood on my new bicycle,  the Kona Honky Tonk – up and down local streets.  But there was a promise of snow to come from the  weather people and not to prove them wrong or disappoint them,  it’s now here. Snow. It has arrived with moderate abundance. The weather, the weather – how exciting, how exasperating, how marvelous, how banal, how inevitable the weather.