Tag Archives: Art

The Death of Me… (Reboot365-5)

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By the time you get to the end of Romeo and Juliet there are bodies everywhere… There’s Paris, for example… about to be discovered in the dark by the Friar. Come to the Canmore Summer theatre Festival (coming up SOOOOOON!!!) to see who else winds up sprawled across the grass…

Here, though, in my world (which has shrunk to the dimensions of my computer keyboard), I’ve been obsessing about death. Still. Again. I’m deep into revisions of my book about medically-assisted dying and oh, my – it isn’t getting any easier. The subject matter, or being a writer.

 

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Mountain Graveyard, by Kurt Schwitters, 1919

 

How is it possible that I can get to this point in a manuscript after so many years of writing books and still feel that I should perhaps be looking for other work? But it happens with every manuscript – I get to a point where I completely lose perspective and think that the whole project is worthless. It’s more boring than anything ever written by anyone – the subject is boring. My opinions are boring. Death is boring. Life is boring. Being a writer is definitely boring. Everyone in the book is boring because – guess what – they all die!

Sigh. This is the point in my day where I push back from my desk and throw in the towel. There is no point in flogging this sorry horse to… yeah, death any longer.

 

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Thanks, Picasso. I can always count on you to have painted something appropriate to my bleaker moods. This is “Minotaur With Dead Horse in front of a Cave Facing a Girl in Veil” by Pablo Picasso, 1936

 

 

O, Life (Reboot365-1)

 

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Aaaaaand… it’s full-on summer! (the view from the bridge on my way to rehearsal the other morning).

 

Apparently, there is a threshold of busy-ness which, once crossed, makes it tough to meet the blog-a-day challenge. I hit that a few days ago after… let’s see, 30 (for my April challenge) plus 44 (in my blogging every day for a year project) days. Not a bad streak, really, but long enough to hurt when I managed to get home and to bed late enough one night only to realize that it was after midnight and I had totally forgotten to blog. I threw up my hands, heaved a deep sigh and said, ‘Never mind.’

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One of my favourite parts in our production of Romeo and Juliet is when the ethereal maids are humming, in harmony, The Sound of Silence. Bring tissues!! (A Woman Weeping by Rembrandt, 1644)

I was up early the next morning to continue on a writing project and considered posting a photo and back-dating the entry (cheater!!) and couldn’t quite bring myself to be so deceitful. Then, I was going to just post and stats be damned, but I couldn’t decide how to number the next post…

Anyway, enough time has passed that I now feel I can clear the slate and just suck it up and start again.

 

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With plants like this around (and they are all over the place, apparently…) there’s no need to slow down to smell the flowers. These puppies exude an exquisite scent so intense I smell it as I whiz by on my bike. With the hot weather here now, the wee flowers are fading (along with their perfume). Can anyone tell me what this bush is called? 

 

Not that life has slowed down, mind you (that was another consideration – wait until I actually have time to embark upon such a project). Much as I live in a fantasy world that has me sitting with my feet up somewhere balmy, but breezy, preferably with a sailboat under my backside, the reality is I always have lots of balls in the air. I’m picking this blog ball up and tossing it back in the mix.

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(Fight choreography – we have a gorgeous brawl in Romeo and Juliet, but wow – it’s complicated to get all the moving parts right without hurting anyone. Anastasia, our fight choreographer is amazing!!)

I warn you. though, that there may not be too much meaty content for another 3 weeks or so until our Canmore Summer Theatre Festival performances are done and the edits to the current draft of the medical assistance in dying book are back off my plate. Sorry, you might be looking at more photos than usual…

Photos Only for a Few Days (43/365)

A LOT going on here at the moment – so much, in fact, I forgot an important birthday today!!!! SORRY!!!!!!!!!

 

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Raindrops on roses… 

 

For the next week or so, I will likely be reduced to posting a photo and perhaps a piece of somehow related artwork but without much writing to go along with it. Sorry about that, but you know – life can get in the way of blogging sometimes. (Two apologies in as many paragraphs – how very Canadian!)

 

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… whiskers on kittens… (Girl with a Kitten, by Lucian Freud, 1947)

 

The last time I forgot a birthday, btw, was the terrible year I forgot my only child’s birthday. That was bad. She reminded me in the horse paddock while I was making her help muck out. She was not amused. Horse manure removal and sacred birthdays do not, apparently, mix. A couple of decades (almost) later, she is still not amused and reminds me of this black incident when I dare to say anything along the lines of, ‘hey, I wasn’t the worst mother in the world…’ And then she counters with, ‘what kind of mother forgets her only kid’s birthday?’ Not that it would be any less awful if I had forgotten one of six children’s birthday – then, I can just imagine, there would have been accusations of favoritism. “I knew you never loved me as much as the others.”

Treadmill, Sutures, and IKEA (41/365)

Oh, my – what a day! Started out very early without any breakfast (you’ll see why in a minute), some writing, then a trip to Calgary where I had a cardio stress test. No panic, but over the past few months I’ve been getting a little light-headed when I exert myself. Unfortunately, that usually happens either when I’m biking or tackling a harder climb (or, on a long hike in to a crag somewhere with a pack full of climbing stuff strapped to my back). I doubt it’s anything too serious, but we are getting it all checked out to make sure my ticker isn’t likely to explode  when I’m hanging from a cliff somewhere.

 

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Study for “The Wardrobe” by Walter Sickert, 1922 (you’ll see where I’m going with this in a minute…)

 

 

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The Wardrobe, by Walkter Sickert, 1924

 

The cardio thing was long and drawn out – first an IV (for the dye – hence no food after midnight last night), then hooking me up to a zillion leads to give an accurate idea of what my heart was doing when I was loaded onto a treadmill and told ‘keep going.’ Fearing I might come flying off, I gripped the safety bar until my knuckles turned white. As you can imagine, my heart rate was soon way up there and the kind woman who was charged with making sure I didn’t keel over before we were done took my blood pressure every 60 seconds and kept asking, “Are you dizzy yet?”

After all that, I was put into some sort of scanner and the dye injected into my vein, and they took 6 minutes worth of pictures of my thudding heart. There followed a CAT scan and after that, a 3.5 hour break during which time I was STILL NOT ALLOWED TO EAT!!

I was, however, allowed to go to IKEA. Which we did, right after I swung by the endodontist who tortured me so thoroughly last week. They yanked out my stitches and sent me on my way.

This virtual mosaic is titled, “Postmodern Study for The Wardrobe.”

At IKEA, we procured a couple of big wardrobe things in an attempt to deal with TOO MUCH STUFF in our bedroom/office space back in Canmore. Then it was back to the cardio torture place for another scan after which I was released and told to go have breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

After a stop in Cochrane for groceries, we eventually got home and immediately began to assemble the basic frames of the wardrobes.

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As far as we got with the wardrobe project before our teenager demanded we turn down our music and stop with all the banging already… 

Tomorrow, I have to write in the morning, but after that we’ll get onto the finesse items like shelves and drawers, at which point we can tidy up!! Which will be lovely. More photos to follow… Meanwhile, though, here are a couple of paintings of bedrooms…

 

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Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles, 1888

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Bedroom in Aintmillerstrasse, by Wassily Kandinsky, 1909

Perhaps, once the wardrobes are finished and installed I’ll have a go at drawing our newly decluttered bedroom…

 

 

Ghosts! (35/365)

 

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Helpful tour guides will lead Ghost Walks in both Canmore and Banff this summer. I’m going to be one of them… For more information, visit the Theatre Canmore website

Whether you are a skeptic or a believer, you have to admit ghost stories are a lot of fun (and, just a wee bit scary!) This evening I learned things about the sleepy town of Canmore that I never knew before… and was reminded of other stories I had vaguely heard of but didn’t know a lot about.

 

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The Banff Springs Hotel (in the background) is said to be one of Canada’s most haunted places… That’s me climbing on the other side of the valley on Tunnel Mountain. 

 

Spending part of my childhood in Banff, I had heard some of the stories relating to the iconic Banff Springs Hotel. The one about the bride who fell down the stairs (possibly after setting her dress on fire by getting too close to some candles) is one that stuck with me.  But during this evening’s training session, I heard about a whole lot of other mysterious happenings in the Bow Valley.

 

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The Ghost in the Lantern, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Some are said to be benevolent, some spiteful, while others are tricksters through and through. Whatever their flavour, ghosts have intrigued writers and artists since we first began to tell stories and I’m quite looking forward to sharing some ghostly tales over the summer.

 

 

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Hamlet Sees the Ghost of His Father, by Eugene Delacroix, 1843 – Shakespeare included quite a few apparitions in his work… 

 

The idea that those we love might not really disappear after they die is one that is certainly appealing. And, there’s no question things happen in the world that science can’t quite explain (yet…) Whether or not apparitions are ‘real,’ sharing stories of our past and the people who have lived in this valley before us is a cool a way to connect with our history and to honour the memories of those who have gone before us. Who knows, perhaps some of those ghosts will join us as we wander the streets of our mountain towns…

 

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The Spirit of the Dead Watches, by Paul Gaugin, 1892

Have you ever had a paranormal experience? If you have a great ghost story to share, I’d love to hear it!

 

 

Red Cedar and Perilous Prickles! (33/365)

What a wild and crazy day today! Up early to work on a freelance writing assignment, then off to rehearsal for the Canmore Summer Theatre Festival (bonus – it’s a SUMMER festival, so rehearsals are outside!!!!)

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Ran home mid-dance choreography to take part (virtually) in the Red Cedar gala hosted by the Vancouver Public Library (Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet was a nominated title this year!!! Woot! Woot!). Thanks to Skype, I was able to deliver a super-quick talk and say hello to everyone… shared a story about my favourite tree, the one that saved my life in the BVI a few years back when I climbed the boulder on the right…

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only to discover that once I’d made it to the top I couldn’t get back down again! A tree growing up beside the rock over on the back side saved my bacon, as they say… though it was a perilous descent through prickly branches and over a massive termite nest before I was back on sandy land once again…

Then, raced back over to rehearsals and more dancing… and then home again for more writing! Head. Exploding.

I’m almost done now… still need to do a bit more writing (after the blog, that is), then have a quick peek at the Canmore Ghost Walks scripts (stay tuned for more on that project!) before crashing hard into bed!

Wherever you are, hug a tree when you next see one… That special tree which saved my life? I was hoping for a reunion and a quick snuggle when I was back in the BVI recently, but the tree (along with many others in the islands) was gone, ripped out by the roots when hurricane Irma blasted through last year.

 

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The Tree of Life by Marc Chagall, 1948

 

Sorry to leave you on a saddish note, but never forget that nothing lasts forever. Appreciate those special connections you have today – with trees, your cat, your folks, your kids… They matter.

 

Möbius Madness (32/365)

Well, I have discovered the most obnoxious form on the planet – at least, if one is trying to draw it.

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Based on the recommendation of Sue Vize, author of Botanical Drawing using Graphite and Coloured Pencils, I made myself a Möbius loop and have been trying to draw it. It has not been pretty! My eye thinks it’s following a line along quite nicely, my hand dutifully attempts to follow and this happens…

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And this…

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What the…?

I can actually feel my brain having spasms as it tries to figure out how best to direct the clumsy hand flopping around at the end of my limb…

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The more I try, the worse they get…

 

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Mobius by Charles Hinman, 1965

 

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Mobius by Katsuhito Nishikawa, 1994

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Turned it around…

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Gads. Way harder than it looks like it should be!!

At least you know why today’s blog post is short! I am entangled in a Möbius loop and can’t get out!