Abundant Clematis

This week, while out walking under trees in my neighbourhood and admiring other people’s gardens, I came upon some tremendously beautiful clematis. This spring I’ve been restraining myself from photographing every flower I see, particularly those that I have many photos of.  I’ve been doing better this year at stopping to admire scilla, crabapples, lilacs, lilies of the valley, irises without always pulling out the phone. However, there’s a limit to restraint and these flowers were it!  Here’s a photo of them from midweek.


Violet and Lilac

Last week, I printed the Sisters of Mercy linocut with the violet ink tinted with white. It’s on a pale blue Japanese paper with long fibres that I like. Then, on the weekend, I was out of town in Prince Edward County in Ontario. The countryside was filled with lilacs–lining the roads and lanes and in the small towns. Many were pale lavender but some were a deeper hue and even pinkish. As I admired their beauty and scent, I thought that the violet of the print had happily followed me into nature. The mercy of lilacs!

To see some of my work on etsy, go to artsofmay.etsy.com.


Alhambra Memories

I’ve been thinking, for a while, of finally posting a few photos of the magnificent Alhambra in Granada Spain that we visited last spring. It seemed that winter would be a great time to see those images. It’s been unseasonably warm in Toronto off and on, but today is the perfect cold day to recall the warmth of Spain. I also received a nudge to finally post these photos from Catherine Cronin’s blog, Cat Among the Pigeons Press. She’s an artist whose work I love and who recently posted drawings of the Alhambra gardens. She’s also got some great linocuts of the Alhambra that I’ll reblog right after this post.

 

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Some Thoughts About Hatred

I’ve been working on several art projects as once.  I’ll be completing the linocut from my last post. Meanwhile, I’ve taken some time to edit linocuts and poems for printing. When I get the physical postcards back from the printer, I’ll show them to you.

As I work and go about my days, part of me is always contemplating the climate of hatred in North America–the new president of the U.S., his withering executive orders, the recent murder of 6 muslim men at worship in Quebec City, Canada….

I’ve been thinking about hatred, which when left unexamined seems to me the curse of our species.  Perhaps there are some people in the world who have never felt hatred, but I believe these would be in the great minority. Hatred, being a human emotion, is something any of us can feel.

I have found myself wishing to abolish hatred. However, when I’ve thought more closely about this, I realize that the greatest ill is not the hatred in our hearts. If we do the hard work of deeply looking at ourselves, we can develop the capacity to understand why we hate–what pain we have suffered that the hatred has arisen from–and not project this onto scapegoats. We have the capacity, then, to turn aside from violence of word and action. Instead, I see the greatest ill is when influential people stoke hatred and create scapegoats to gain power. This is what is most disturbing to witness at this time, both here in North America and overseas.

I didn’t know if I’d write about this on what is an art blog. Or tell you how fantastic the women’s march in Toronto on January 21st was. However, since I don’t work in a vacuum and since we are living in a critically important time in history, you have this post from me. The photo I’ve chosen is an antidote to hatred that I took several years ago while visiting friends in Saskatchewan.

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Afternoon Light

It’s late in 2016.  Late afternoon today the sun came splashing its light across the room.

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Leonard Cohen

The great great poet and song writer Leonard Cohen died yesterday. I was very fortunate to see and hear him perform a few years ago in Toronto when he filled a stadium with fans of all ages.  He and the musicians with him gave the most generous long gracious show.

This is in remembrance of Leonard and in honour of his poetry and songs that make it easier to carry on with life.

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Saturday, Nov. 12: I learned today that Leonard Cohen didn’t die on the 10th–the day his death was reported–but a few days earlier on Monday, November 7th.


Night of Dread

Last night I attended one of my favourite events in Toronto, the yearly Night of Dread gathering and parade. Clay and Paper Theatre puts it on. They are the creators of enormous papier mache puppets and of theatre that aims to change the world. The theme is always a night of mocking fears to put them in their place.  This year’s timely fear, which was burned after the parade, was fear mongering.

And while there are very real things and people to be afraid of, this is a life giving afternoon and night in which people in and out of costume and the occasional dog (you’ll see a patient hound who greeted me) walk, drum and dance in Dufferin Grove Park and through the streets of west end Toronto.

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