One: Ready

ready, DEVENIR, collaboration, retreat, mixed media
Piled everywhere

Ready is relative. Many things are supposed to be ready at the moment. Priorizing the next coming event is the best way to keep a modicum of control. So, yes, things stood at the door and around the room in organized piles just before we left for Trochu.

DEVENIR in history

ready, DEVENIR, collaboration, exhibitions, retreat
View from the front window

Ste. Ann Ranch boasts several historical buildings, delightful décor, delicious cuisine and very comfortable beds. Our hosts accommodated our every need with graciousness, marvellous stories and great senses of humour. DEVENIR so enjoyed the space and the ambiance.

Another retreat

ready, DEVENIR, collaboration, exhibitions, retreat
Workspace

And what was DEVENIR doing in Trochu? Well, we were having a retreat. Google Drive helps us to collaborate. I put the initial agenda together. Patricia complained about not scheduling any fun and took one heavy item off the agenda suggesting something refreshing instead. I had revealed my tendency toward the serious and most appreciated the help with the fun part. La crème de la crème was a pyjama party on Friday night, Sabine’s brain child.

Planning for the future

Apart from fun, we spent some time conceiving new possibilities and directions for our group. We discussed what we might do with the one hundred and fifty paintings we had completed in October last year. Amidst the laughter and the banter, we birthed several good ideas, in fact, too many to do in one life time. Still, from among the abundant inspirations we chose the best for development giving life and direction for our practice together as well as individually. We also took the opportunity to exchange paintings for our upcoming exhibitions in Canmore and Stony Plain.

New directions

ready, DEVENIR, collaboration, mixed media, exhibitions, retreat
Brainstorming

Our discussions continued on the way home, albeit just the three from Edmonton took part. Why not add another brand to the fire? The lovely landscape along highway 21 fueled the flames and we now have the seeds of something exciting we wish to do together. Some very positive fallout around our plans may bear much needed fruit as well. Generosity and mutual support yield such good results.

Ready is relative

Ready, DEVENIR, collaboration, mixed media, retreat
One of the many for CAVA

Now that I am home again, I wonder if I am ready. The next coming event is CAVA. Twenty paintings require frames with the delivery date on Tuesday. Tuesday is the day I meet with Amber from the Shaw Conference Centre to discuss the future location for three of my forty-eight-inch square paintings. They will be on display for a year. Then the collaborative effort for DEVENIR statements, CV, new releases and descriptive blurbs looms in the background, not too far in the background as the time line is pressing. Ready is relative. I suspect only the last minute will tell.

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One: Friends

friends, collaboration, exhibitions, mixed media

What would we do without friends? August has certainly tested the waters especially with one friend in particular. Doris is always willing to help. Sometimes too willing it seems. Her willingness keeps her out of her studio. Personally, I am very thankful for her help.

Integrity

As a professional artist, one of my main goals is to show up. I show up on time and prepared. It is a mark of integrity. I meet my deadlines and honour my commitments. Without the help of friends this would not be possible. This year has been most challenging.

friends, exhibitions, collaboration, mixed media
A wedding in the offing

Taking a chance

August through autumn has established itself as my busiest time of the year. Extracurricular activities are usually refused or postponed. Sometime during the summer my husband and I received a wedding invitation from a lovely couple who live and work in Alberta. Their roots are Columbian and Argentinian with most of the extended family still living in those parts. The date was set, 10th August in Cartagena. We saw this as a real opportunity to get a taste of South America as well as support them at the beginning of their life’s journey together.

friends, exhibitions, collaboration, mixed media
The welcome window

friends, exhibitions, collaboration, mixed media
Looking down the hallway.

Friends make it possible

Unfortunately for me, the 9th August marked the hanging of a major show in the Mezzanine Gallery at the Glenrose Hospital. The dates were too close. Both Judy and Doris volunteered to hang the show; it takes two for a big one. I left for Colombia on the 7th knowing I would be back in good time to prepare for the next event in Red Deer on the 20th. I thought, “all is well.”

Unpredictable events

The email from my daughter said it all in three words. I knew our nephew had passed away. For the last five and half years he fought his battle with that deadly disease, cancer. We suspected he would not last until Christmas. One never knows. The date is always a surprise. He was the same age as me. We enjoyed many long conversations discussing this life and the next one. He managed to allow his suffering to transform him rather than transmitting his pain on those around him. Very Christ-like. His funeral is on the 20th.

juggling, blog, abundance, creativity, exhibitions
Red Deer is organized

Friends filling the gap

Events such as this cannot be dismissed or postponed. They are what they are. How we handle them reveals our priorities. Doris is again filling the gap. She will take my paintings to Red Deer while I head to Barrhead to give hugs to my niece. Friends make it all possible. Relationships top the bill for importance. In the end, all is well and all will be well.

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One: Office Space

office space, sharing, collaboration, inspiration

Sharing office space with my husband is not always convenient. Occasionally I require the computer to prepare work for silk screening, marketing or for inspirational writing like this blog! Interruptions can disturb preparations at times without dire consequences. On the other hand, I sometimes lose the thread of my thoughts.

Interruptions

Similarly, I tend to interrupt him when I see something interesting or want to share my inspirations. I can see his frustration as he turns his attention to what I might have said with the inevitable, “I didn’t hear you. Could you say that again?”.

Dangerous waters

For him, interrupting can be a dangerous occupation especially when the computer is giving me problems as I load pictures or lose what I have just written. Indeed, I have not yet mastered my temper. And, of course, he does not deserve the ire inspired by technology.

Little blue screen

While the choice of sharing is mine, I am tempted on occasion to move everything into my studio. However, limiting access to the internet is the main justification for separating my computer from my work area. Hours fade so quickly when one gives one’s attention to that little blue screen, unrecoverable hours.

Intolerance

Consequently, when I have succumbed to the temptation of FB or a Ted Talk I resurface somewhat irritated with me. I could have been building my bank of blog material for example. Oblivious to the disturbance in my temperament, an excited, “oh, look at this!” may be greeted with as much tolerance as I have for mosquitos.

Collaboration

Another reason sharing office space outweighs moving is the proximity of information. The dictionaries and thesauri all lie within reach. Having a partner who relishes the written word as much as I do makes composing a joy. Collaboration on poetry and letters to important people results in excellent communication.

Office space humour

Besides his talent with words and innovative ideas, my husband also has a quirky sense of humour. The hours we share working happily side by side fall more on the side of pleasant than irritating. Sharing is often filled with laughter or some profound truth one of us may have discovered. As a result, the arrangement works, and my studio remains sacred. All is well.

Upcoming events

On August 9th some friends will adorn the Mezzanine Gallery at the Glenrose with selections from “Sacred” and “Wildwood”. I will be in attendance on August 31st from 1pm to 4pm. Do drop in.

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One: Becoming Whole

blog, becoming, whole, healing, love

“Personal transformation and social transformation are one piece. . . .

The true spiritual quest is not that I become whole. Informed by the belief that the world is birthed by God and is precious and sacred and one, the true spiritual quest is that the world become whole—and we along with it.” Jack Jezreel quoted in Daily Meditations 8 July 2017

Becoming whole is not about me…

Becoming whole. To begin with I thought it was all about me. I needed fixing. Many seminars, retreats and expense finally brought me to the conclusion that my attitude remained in my court. It is a choice. I have choice. Always. Shifting from the negative into the positive is not an instant exercise.

Healing is dissolving into the whole

As I said, I thought it was all about me. The more I discovered about myself, the wider my field of vision broadened. “Me” moved further and further from centre stage. In fact, I found that healing is about dissolving into a union with the whole of creation, becoming one with God.

The dance

So far I have not made much progress… Awareness is the first step in the process of change and I am aware, sometimes. In my aware moments I relax and flow, enjoying the ride and stopping to smell the flowers. The universe lifts from my shoulders and I enter the dance to which she calls me. It feels complete, peaceful, abundant.

A rushed weekend

The dance faltered this weekend. We just came back from our once-per-year family camping trip. It felt rushed. The schedules had collided, time compressed and we enjoyed separate togetherness. Busyness does that. We become compartmentalized, isolated in our various activities. Another obligation completed.

Becoming whole

Becoming whole involves everyone and it cannot be accomplished separately. Time is an essential ingredient. Letting go of our ordinary responsibilities to build relationship and discover who we are as a family lays the foundation for world peace. Love smooths the ride. Without love others never meet expectations.

Releasing expectations

Expectations tend to mire the waters. One person asked how she might cope with her growing irritation. I suggested loving the person and letting go of how she might help improve things. Loving without conditions, loving the person just as he or she is, that is healing. Love heals the deepest wounds if we choose to release our expectations to the universe.

Learning to love

So becoming whole means learning to love, joining hands with those who irritate us, forgiving and moving forward. This action heals us, everyone around us and will eventually bring the whole world into paradise. Let us begin today.

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Different Strokes: Collaboration

blog, mural, acrylic, collaboration

Collaboration reduces the work load. Many hands make light work they say. Perhaps that is not always the case. However, for Doris Charest and I, the work has become fun. We entertain the same work ethic. Neither of us feels as if we are carrying the major part of the load.

blog, mural, acrylic, school, collaboration
Where do I put them?

blog, mural, collaboration, school, acrylic, painting
Crowded

Collaboration on a mural

We are working on a mural. Of course, this is right up my alley. With a twist. Instead of being in control of the image we have shared the work load even further. The students and staff of École Père-Lacombe paint the final product. Collaboration at its finest.

mural, blog, collaboration, school, acrylic, painting
Hooked to the ceiling, grid in place

The elephant

On the down side the effort has created an elephant in my studio… To begin with we imported some specialized panels, Crezon half inch, good both sides, for the occasion. I folded away my work tables and began the process of preparing the surfaces.

mural, blog, collaboration, school, acrylic, painting
Chalk everywhere

Hung from the ceiling

Once the primer, exterior paint coat and gesso had been applied we installed the two four-by-eights on a wood support system and hooked it to the ceiling. With the use of a chalk line we formed a grid on the gessoed panel, numbering each five-inch square. The result: blue hands and chalk everywhere on the floor and in the neighbourhood.

mural, blog, collaboration, acrylic, school, painting
Preliminary painting done

blog, mural, collaboration, school, acrylic, painting
More chalk line, a second grid.

Fabric instead of wood

Instead of cutting up little pieces of wood for the personnel at the school we used sheets of prepared fabric upon which we painted the guide, the logo of the school. After the paint had dried we cut up the sheets, carefully numbering the back with a little arrow pointing in the correct direction.

mural, blog, collaboration, acrylic, school, painting
Fixing imperfections while the other cuts.

mural, blog, collaboration, acrylic, school, painting
All over the floor.

Fixing the imperfections

Occasionally we had some repair painting to do as the masking tape holding the sheets to the panels had created white spots where there should be none. Little squares covered the floor as they dried out. Next: distributing the squares at school.

A surprise coming up

Multi-handed collaboration always leaves room for interpretation. Handing out the “tiles” we have little idea what they will look like once we receive them back. The result will be a grand surprise, a suitable ending for the unveiling on June 1st.

Other events

June 1st is also the evening of my opening reception for “Sacred”, a solo show at VASA. Do check out the display at the Garneau Theatre too. Catch all the events here.

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