September 27, 28, and 29 are designated as Culture Days right across Canada, or les Journées de la Culture as it is known in Quebec. There are seven thousand free activities organized by artists and cultural groups from coast to coast. This year I am part of this celebration of the creative spirit. My studio will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 4:30 pm. I will be in there working, so feel free to stop by and check out my collage technique, ask questions, hang out and eat some cookies!
I spotted the photo of a pretty pony filly on a friend’s Facebook page a while ago and asked if I could use the picture as a reference. I made the drawing a couple of weeks ago.
Hmmm…monthly blog posts seem to be all I can manage these days. Still, I suppose monthly is better than not at all.
Summer is in full swing here on the farm. Crops are getting tall; roosters are getting fat, and the garden has sped into that uber productive phase of mid-summer. We recently arrived at the “if we don’t grow it, we don’t eat it” point of no return. Goodbye, supermarket produce!
And mostly it has been a good summer. Sure, some crops fail, but far more are succeeding. We tried to grow some new varieties this year. I couldn’t resist the name of this lettuce in the seed catalogue: Drunken Woman! Isn’t she lovely? Tasty, too. Not quite sure how she got the name, though.
A few years ago I bought a small black currant bush and plonked it into the vegetable garden. It has bloomed for a couple of years, but never produced fruit – until this year! The black currants are just about ripe, and the small bush is weighed down with fruit. I’m thinking about jam…
It’s a good thing that this blog isn’t a library book or I would be in some serious trouble. Yes, it has been a while.
Spring did finally happen here and summer has just begun. The crops are growing and our farm is bustling with activity. The studio has been a busy place, too.
This is the second year of my affiliation with Mackinac’s Little Gallery on the lovely resort of Mackinac Island, Michigan.
These are some new pieces which are available at the gallery:
So far it hasn’t been a great month for weather. However, April IS turning out to be a good month for art exhibitions.
We are still waiting for spring.
I’m starting to think that this slow spring is some kind of seasonal protest. Maybe Winter overslept and just refuses to get out of bed. Or perhaps Spring is “working to rule”, hoping to wrest better job conditions, pay, and benefits from Mother Nature. Whatever the case, the outdoors are uniformly drab.
When I look out the window, I see our yard is a field of mud and construction debris leftover from the Great House Jacking of 2012. On a good day, the mud is frozen; on a bad day, my dogs coat the ground floor of our house with it.
When I look out the window with my mind’s eye, I see the yard as I want it to be: green grass, a lush canopy of trees, and flower beds all a-bloom. I think about where I would like to plant flowers and fruit trees, what colour palettes and garden designs I want to use, where I would like to put a walk way or steps, a raised bed or two…
Sadly, we are a long way from that reality. For the time being, I content myself with making some floral collages. Whatever it looks like outside, the garden in my studio is in full bloom and awash in colour!
Irises in bloom? In April?? No, not really. But hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?
For the past couple of years we have had a raven hanging around our farm. Depending on where you live, this might not seem all that unusual. But we have a lack of ravens here in the Chateauguay Valley. I don’t know why. They are abundant nuisances in some parts of Quebec, but strangely absent here- until recently.
I heard our raven before I ever saw him (or her?). Throughout the summer, Raven would come to visit early in the mornings, establish himself on the roof of our house, and announce his arrival with his song of “quorks” and “gronks” – usually waking us up.
Soon enough, I started seeing Raven in the trees near our pasture. Sometimes he would sit watching me from his perch atop a telephone pole. I would call out to him, and he would answer me with a throaty “gronk!” and then fly away. Clearly we had developed some sort of relationship.
The closest encounter I ever had with Raven occurred one morning when I was on my way out to the barn. I stepped out through the back door, and Raven, who had been sitting up on the roof of our house, suddenly flew down right over my head. I looked up just as this large, sooty black bird passed so close over me that I could have reached up and plucked a feather off his wing. I think he was teasing me.
Raven still comes around from time to time, although it has been a while since he stood as sentry up on our roof. These days I usually hear him more than I see him, but I always know it’s him: the call is unmistakable. Below is the first collage of what I plan to make into a Ravens series.
Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will know that in addition to my work in the the art studio, my husband and I also run a mixed farm of some forty acres. And on this farm we have some vegetables, small fruit, chickens, turkeys, ducks and, of course, our famous flock of sheep. Famous flock of sheep? If you don’t believe our sheep are famous, just ask the neighbours. Maybe infamous would be a better description. I mean the sheep, not the neighbours.