Friday, December 02, 2011

Iris Study

This iris was painted from a photo that I took last summer. I actually painted 2 different versions, one a small 8 x 8 inches with lots of detail. Still have a little more work to do on the background which ended up being more challenging than the detail work.

The photo above is the painting that I enjoyed most of all. 12 x 18 inches, loose style, more of a study, monochromatic. Fun! I just used 2 colours Ultramarine and Alizarin Crimson, both Winsor and Newton Artist Colours. Enjoyed the mixing, getting different shades and strengths of blues and purples.

Will post  photo of the "other" painting when finished. In the meantime off to the framers for this one!

Friday, November 25, 2011


Originally uploaded by Maureclaire

Loving this photo that I came across on flickr today! The little girl is so cute in her mix of dots, stripes etc. Can' t help but wonder what is her relationship to the man next to her? Or is he a stranger ? Is the man holding a pencil? Are they waiting for a train, a bus? Just makes me wonder about so many things, a great slice of life photo!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mixed Emotions

" Of all the prisons that human beings forge for themselves or are forced to suffer, not one , even today, seems as intolerable as the one in which we are confined by age"

Recently I read a wonderful book by Gabrielle Roy called Children of My Heart and this passage has stayed with me. Funny how when I read a book there is usually at least one sentence or perhaps a whole paragraph that stands out or speaks to me in some way. When that  happens I just have to write it down. I do keep a written journal and that is usually where I record these special words, this one I really wanted to share, should someone come across this post.

In the book the protagonist, a young teacher takes one of her students, who is a wonderful singer to an old age home. She goes on to describe the condition of some of the elderly there and the joy that they received by having this young fellow sing for them. Many reached out for him, some thinking he was the child that they had lost or remembered from many years ago.

Beautiful, but sad and frightening at the same time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


in Ros and Sergei's garden

So much time has passed since my last post.

September...sigh ..not a month that I love. I love June, the beginning of summer, the promise ahead of sunshine, long days, beautiful soft nights, star gazing and on and on. September arrives, summer is OVER!  Everything feels different. Suddenly there are schedules, classes to attend, the urge to accomplish "something". Yes these can be positives for many, but not for me. Even as a child in September I only liked the first day of school, the new clothes, school supplies, seeing friends. I missed the long lazy days, the picnics, hanging out at the pool, camping with my family. When my children were young I felt the same. I was always sad to see them back at school. I missed them! So here we are half way through September, I am trying to look at the positive. What I do see is the birth of both of my children. September 14th our daughter, September 19th our son, 6 years apart. I so clearly remember both of those perfect beautiful sunny September days and the wonderful fall walks with baby in a carriage, you know those old fashioned navy blue and white carriages with big spokey wheels...sheer bliss. Does anyone even use those any more, does anyone have the time?

So what will I do this September...start some painting, get back to yoga, join a book club. I promise myself to look at this time in a positive way, to get myself more involved, to enjoy each and every day without regret. If perhaps I fall by the wayside and just spend some time gazing out the window or doing absolutely nothing that is OK too. A little part of me just will not follow the rules.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A New Love

For the first time yesterday I experienced printmaking. I fell in love. What fun, what freedom and lucky me I was in the company of 2 very talented generous ladies, both artists, both wonderful.

My very first print ever!

a little colour

some texture

Print # 2

There are times when I wonder why oh why did I not explore this sort of thing when I was much younger, but on then other hand look what is new to me a little later in life which is a good thing too. Never shall I be bored! Now I see an online order coming up, of course I need some supplies, then when Tom and retire I will be ready!

Thank you Ros and Johanna!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

sign says it all

sign says it all
Originally uploaded by hyacinth50

remember to vote tomoorrow May 2!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Tender Tending

Tender Tending
Originally uploaded by carvermon

As I was enjoying flickr I came across this lovely image...I just cannot stop looking at it. Somehow it takes me to a calm space. I can feel it in so many ways. This is exactly what I need right now since I am feeling a little overwhelmed, tense and needing to breathe.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Stratford Democracy Watch

Tom setting up

As I was saying yesterday the democracy group that Tom belongs to was staging an info session on a street corner near the river. It was also Swan Parade Day so there were lots of people milling about. Swans are big in Stratford, I like swans but believe me there are the swan obsessed here in Stratford but that is a whole other story.


My job was to take pics. I am not part of the group, in other words I am not into politics but I must admit that I learned something yesterday. This group is wonderful. They care about Canada and all Canadians. They do not have their own agenda, they believe in the greater good, democracy, freedom and fairness. This is a non partisan group which many people just don't get at all. I do admit it is confusing. Their mandate seems to be "Wake up Canada" "Be Informed" Get out there and vote.

Dawn speaking from the heart

Dawn and Leslie

While I was hanging out, taking pics etc I heard so many many comments. Some very positive! Lots of thumbs up. As I was handing out pamphlets some people said thank you and I am proud of what you are doing. Others well not so nice! I heard people say "get a job" "get a life" "shut up" "f@#* off"' if you don't like it move". I was shocked! I had no idea how divided people seem to be. And this group was about democracy. One woman left me speechless! She asked me what party we were representing. I informed her that we were representing democracy and were non partisan. Her comment was "well I think this is in very bad taste" then she walked away in a huff. I quietly said "I am sorry that you feel that way".
Michael and Fiona



What a fun informative day, I was happy to be part of it even though it is not something I would normally do. I guess it is a good thing to sometimes just put yourself out there.

By the way the pj's were part of the message Wake Up Canada

Sunday, April 03, 2011

If I Wasn't so Tired

Tom heading out with his sign

I would post about my day hanging out with The Stratford Democracy Watch group. A new experience for me, an eye opening experience for sure. Will try to post tomorrow.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Getting Started

Sometimes it can just be so hard to begin a new project, especially when it involves something creative. When it comes to painting I am always full of self doubt.

 I don't know where to start...what if I make a mess of it... what if I can't do it... I don't know how to hold my brush...I don't know what colours to use...I don't even remember how to mix colour... or how much water...blah blah blah

This was me about a month or so ago, then I met with Ros who has inspired me to get started. I have had a few sessions with her to give me the boost, push and shove that I need. So I have found that I can hold my brush and actually apply paint to that pristine sheet of white paper! I have a momentum going where painting has become part of my day and it feels so good.

Last night while looking through a book on painting flowers I came accross this and loved it!  

Loose this day loitering-t'will be

The same story tomorrow-and

The next day more dilatory.

Then indicision brings its own delays

And days are lost lamenting o'er lost days.

Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute.

What can you do or dream you can do, begin it:

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Only imagine, then the mind grows heated.

Begin it, then the work will be completed.

                                  GOETHE, Faust

Thursday, March 31, 2011

looks like a fish

looks like a fish
Originally uploaded by hyacinth50

I posted this still life on flickr today because when I look at this red onion, it makes me think of a fish, kind of a nice round plump fish!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Toys and Emotions

Recently I have been spending some time with toys!

My toys! Dolls mostly. I love dolls, all kinds of dolls, baby dolls, barbie dolls, walking dolls, talking dolls, paper dolls and have always loved them. I was a girly girly for sure.

I have been exploring emotions by photographing toy dolls in various ways. Not exactly sure why I am doing this other than emotions are very close to the surface for me andI love playing especially with a camera so here are a few examples of what I have been doing.







Not sure where I am going with this but it is fun. All the dolls are Tim Burton creations other than the very last one which is a Blythe Pet Shop Doll. My daughter and her famly gave the Blythe Doll to me for my birthday which my son in law could just not figure out but I know he will! 

They also gave me a street art stencil book, my son in law Steve picked this out and I promised him that at some place not sure when or where I will leave a little graffitti which on my to do list before I am done! Notice how I did not give a time frame here or say before I die.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rainy day in old and beautiful Ciutadella

Rainy day in old and beautiful Ciutadella
Originally uploaded by B℮n

Oh how I love flickr!

Imagine all of the photographers out there exploring their surroundings and then sharing with the world. It does not seem to matter where the images are taken, whether in your own place or in some distant land. For some, emotion just oozes from the scene captured, as in this one. I can feel this photo, the spring rain, by the light it must be spring, the solitude amid these beautiful old buildings. I love the rose coloured raincoat snug in the narrow street!

Such beauty to be shared!

Come Together Right Now and Vote Him Out

I am probably one of the least politcal people you could ever meet but when I came across this clip today I just had to share it!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I have spent the better part of the last few days working on my paintings. This just makes me so happy and it is exactly what I want and need to be doing!

This one is quite large and therefore the flower is very challenging in watercolour but what fun!

This is a smaller painting which was kind of an afterthought but I am pretty happy with how it's far!

I actually have a third painting in the works, mixed media, acrylic and so totally different from anything I have ever done but it is loads of fun. So far not brave enough to post but I will when it is finished because I am fearless!

That will be explained in a future post.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


For some reason I have not been painting recently at all. I am back at it again! Hurray, I so need to be living simply, creating and just being right now. My tolerance level for nonsense is way down so to make myself feel better I have decided to take some me time.

The photograph below was taken in my garden late last summer. This is what I am working on in watercolour at the moment. I plan to introduce some gouache at some point, most likely on the flower. I am getting some guidance from a wonderful artist Ros Harrush, who I has had me into her studio, lucky me!

the photo

masked and first wash applied

adding some greens

a little more green

today I bravely added some blue

This is a slow process for me but that is what I love about watercolour. I spend a lot of time just gazing, thinking and planning the next step. For me very relaxing!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Another Birthday and Thank You's

from The Art of Tim Burton

So today March 16th is my birthday! I was hoping to come up with some words of wisdom or at least something inspiring but the best I can say is I am happy to be celebrating another year.

Thank you to both of my wonderful children for your phone calls, my daughter Jenny who lives in Toronto with her her husband Steve, the best son in law in the whole world and my four amazing grandchildren, Melaina, Gabrielle, Isaac and Madeline.

 Thanks to my son Aaron who at the moment is in Victoria BC at school and will be heading back to Tofino in a few weeks to spend his summer surfing and working. Thanks also to my parents for your call, everyday I forever grateful to have you in my life.

Thanks to Tom for the my gift! The Art of Tim Burton. What a beautiful book. I will treasure it forever. Also thanks for the yummy chocolate cake, it feeds the child in me.

Well I am getting this in at the last is 11:54 pm! I wish it could have been more creative but that will come because I intend this to be the most creative year of my life!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Snowy Day in Stratford

When I woke up this morning I was thrilled to see all of this beautiful fresh snow! Lucky me, my day was free, therefore I was able to head out with my camera.

First of all to one of the beautful parks and I was the only one there! I was thrilled, just me and all of this gorgeous white stuff!

empty benches

stairway to the otherside

down by the river

then the Library

in contrast to the day umbrellas and sandals at The Green Room

took in the wonderful exhibits and
fell in love with the work of  
Virgil Burnett

The Court House and yes I was just passing by!

Friday, March 04, 2011


Just finished my first knitting project. I took a beginner knitting class in that cosy little shop in Statford. Then I proceeded on my own, only to rip out my shoddy work at least 5 times. This is a simple asymmetrical cowl collar in the seed stitch. For me this very simple odd number knit/purl pattern was a challenge. I had to concentrate and for some odd reason I would go from the required 39 stiches ending up with 42 at times, yikes, it throws the whole thing off! So I would tear out again and start fresh.

Believe it or not I actually found this quite relaxing!

Monday, February 14, 2011


the wool I chose

Tomorrow evening I am going to learn to knit. There is a lovely little wool shop here in Stratford called Close Knit. They have the most amazing and beautiful wools just sitting there waiting to be transformed into something even more beautiful. When I visited the One of a Kind craft show in Toronto before Christmas I fell in love with the artful knitted scarves, sweaters etc. and decided right then and there that I too would learn to create these wonderful things. I have great plans to incorporate beads and fabrics into lovely shawls for those cold winter nights by the fire.

I wonder if 24 hours from now I will feel this confident!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

What to Wear

The older I get the harder it is to pull together a look that is both stylish, comfortable and not too expensive. It seems that when I go into to the city I see lots of cool looking women and of course some not so cool. Actually I don't really notice the not so cool, I am surrounded by the not so cool here in Stratford so have no desire to take note when in the city. I have no problem with that attitude and if how you dress is of no importance to you that is ok. Good for you not to have to stress over this issue. This is not what is most important in my life but it is something I think about form time to time, especially on those days when I dislike almost everything in  my closet.


It goes without saying that when you are young you can wear almost anything and look wonderful. So what I just cannot figure out is why so many very bad clothes fill the racks in so many shops. Have a look at the local Sears here in Stratford, horrors...not a designer dud in sight! Thankfully we do have a Winners and some very good local boutiques!

The point of all of this is the question why are there so few publications dedicated to helping the mature woman in her quest to pull a stylish, practical age appropriate look together. Think clothes, hair styles, skin care, makeup etc. Lots out there for the younger set but hey what about me!

So my quest begins. I am on the lookout and plan to post what I can find.

Now the online shopping sight Beyond the Rack is a very cool sight. Once you sign up you get emails everyday with updates on the current specials. Very tempting! The only item I have ordered so far is a watch which I am hoping will arrive some time this week.

For a very cool photo fashion blog check out

More to come...

Friday, February 04, 2011

I don't know who you are but I think you are cool

While in Toronto last weekend I wandered around Queen St W with my camera. I came across this gentleman. I actually first noticed him across the street and thought what a great photo subject he would be. Loved his orange shades, his hat, his scarf and his smile. After spending some time in The Paper Place I come out onto the sidewalk and there he is! I just looked over and asked if I could take his picture, he hesitates then says "yes as long as you don't post it on a public domain." I assured him I would not and that I was just practicing for my photography class. A bit of a stretch since it was over a year ago that I actaully took a class but hey I am still practicing!

 I will not post this on flickr or facebook. I do not consider my blog to be a public domain since only a few freinds actaully look at it therefore I think in that case I am pretty safe in placing it here. I am so pleased with the photo, it makes me feel like a real street photographer which is one of the many things I wish to be in my next life.

In case you were wondering one of the other things I would like to be is a cat that just lays around in a sunbeam all day!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sun Dog

Originally uploaded by hyacinth50

who knew?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Cold Snowy Day in Stratford

Avon River

There is just something about heading out on a very cold snowy day at 4:30 with a pocket camera. As my personal chef slaved over a hot stove, I went out to play.  It awas so pretty and quiet by the river and then I came across these 2 troopers.

 I could hear them long before I saw them. They were happy, laughing, chatting and just having fun! As it turns out I know one of them the, her name is Lorraine, she is tiny and accompanied by her sister in law Pearl who must be her husbands sister because she is tall like her very tall brothers. I think they have the secret to walking in the very cold...goggles!

I then headed over to Gallery Stratford and came across these young people sledding down the sidewalk. It was snowing quite heavily and they kept the walk shovelled for more speed!

Gallery Stratford

I love the way the snow sat on this scupture!

I promise myself I will brave the elements and do this more often!