Saturday, December 27, 2008


This is a picture of my friend Silvija's magnificent real Christmas tree. She has done this every year I have known her (since Grade 9). Inspiring!

Here is another inspiring text I discovered. It takes such a load off my mind (which I realize is the Small Mind). It is so easy to be happy and relax when the Big Mind is taking care of everything.

This is a quote from the book “God Loves Fun”
by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

“Turn back and you will see that the whole life is like a dream. Isn’t it?
See the past. Is it not like a dream?
Till today, till this moment?
You came here, you settled; the day before, you had started from somewhere.
Before that you did something, something else on New enjoyed your
Christmas presents. The Year before, and the year before, you cried and yelled
and much before you shuttled back and forth from school for years- bored,
waiting for the weekend. Isn’t it? That is all gone. Is it not like a dream?

And what is going to happen? A few more days, what can happen?
At the most, you will laugh and jump, or you will cry and sit. So what!
Anyway, it is all going to pass, however you spend your time. Why bother so much?
In order to smile and laugh, you are bothering so much. Your effort to smile and laugh
is making you cry and weep. There is nothing you need to do.
Just smile and laugh. Life has no purpose, no mission. It is a game, it is a play.
Life has no message. Life itself is an expression of joy.
There is nothing you have to do.
Everything is being done by the Big Mind.”

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


My Artist Trading Cards for this month were inspired by the challenge set by Ronna in the ATCQuarterly. She asked for a card inspired by the theme of "Dollars and Sense". I have an old wallet with currency from the countries I have visited and decided to sacrifice the paper money for this project. Does it make sense to cut up money? If you are an ATC artist, yes!

I mixed pieces of bills from Hungary and Bali with Canada Tire money, newsprint from a local oriental daily paper and bits of gold paper to represent the real thing. When all the pieces were layered onto my ATC-sized cardstock with Mod Podge and then completely dried, I punched in some holes. Then the collage was glued onto another card of copper cardboard, so that the copper peeked through and looked like "cents" (pennies). It was a great way to spend this wintery afternoon.

I look forward to the trade this Saturday in Dunvegan, as always, but this month is special. We will stay on after the trade for a party, sharing some finger food and bubbly. This is a great tradition and we get inspiration from opening up our collections for review.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


It is early in a deliciously stormy day: sleeping in, waking to the sound of the wind snapping the flags above the town hall across the road, listening to seasonal music from around the world on the CBC (with my budgies chiming in), the scent of Reto's freshly baked "Hazelnuss Stengeli" wafting upstairs and now connecting to my family/friends/visitors through the net.....all heavenly!

This day begins two glorious weeks off from karma-yoga type work. Time to spend in my art studio, reading The Gazette in front of the fireplace, skating on the Rideau canal in Ottawa, and just Being at home. Thirty two years ago I was expecting my daughter's birth "any minute"...she arrived on the 23rd. Happy birthday, now in India, dear Simone!

I offer you this photo I made yesterday in minus 26 degrees. It expresses to me the essence of this shortest day of the year: pure and simple, deepest inner life. Like the New Moon, we have reached the Nadir of Nature's cycle, the darkest time with the most potential.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


As of next Monday, all car owners in Quebec are required by law to have four winter tires installed on their cars. It seems that many drivers were stalling with the decision to make this big investment. Four new tires can slide you back about $700.-!

A recent snowstorm was a joyful event for our local snowmobile owners, snowman builders and photographers. Maybe it was not so wonderful for all those driving (or stuck in slush) with their summer tires. Freezing rain was the icing on our cake: I went out to take some pictures of Nature's poetry to share with you.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Expiry Date

This Bruxmania bloomed inside my studio recently. I thought the plant had stopped blooming for this season but it seems to have liked the move inside and the dose of fertilizer. I feel the same way sometimes: a period of creativity ends and I feel burnt out. All it takes is a change of scene and new inspiration and there I go again. That is spirituality at work, like this pure white, light-filled flower, in itself a perfect mandala.

Do you buy things that have a "best before" date that has passed? The product was still good yesterday..... but today it is no longer up to standard. How many of us buy it anyway at a lower price and figure it is still good, that we got a deal? I used to. Now I ask myself if it's not a better deal to let it go. If I didn't have it on my shopping list, I don't need it. "Enough is a feast" is a way to be self-sufficient. After the expiry date has passed, there is no guarantee of quality, no more refunds and maybe there is a risk to our health. Whoever made it says it isn't good anymore.

I was wondering if the expiry date is there to check out how "poor" we feel and to check out our values. A long time ago, I lived in the Alps and had employees from Sri Lanka. They were asylum seekers with nothing but a small bag of belongings. It was amazing to see how these people coped with the trauma they left behind and their new environment (by sticking together, having a dream for a better future, making music). One day I ordered fish from the local supplier. The Sri Lankans had a look at it and said they would not eat it. They were used to fish that had just left the water it lived in hours before. It took time to get the fish to where we lived, so maybe the freshness was pushing the expiry date. It was not good enough for the ("poor") asylum seekers but it good enough for us.

What is good enough and what is past the expiry date? I would like to investigate it in keeping with my intent to have spirituality as the main theme of my blog. In moments of doubt, I look for inspiration from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who said "It is difficult to be materialistic. All the important things in life cannot be bought". My other source of truth and wisdom is my very own Divine Bean (see my labels list).

Divine Bean says:
Dear Marlana, you can trust your instincts every time. Ask: is it good for me? Take only what is good for you. Don't worry about the last time or the next time. Right now tune in and trust the answer.

Thank you, thank you as always my Divine Bean!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


A recent visit from my son John, a computer genius who was kind enough to format my new computer, helped me know more about blogs. He gave me a little booklet by Quamet that said a blog needs to have a "content with a purpose" that I can stick to. Othwerwise, it's just a facebook.

The title of this post is the purpose of my blog. I write about making art, my daily work, Nature and mysteries. These are all forms of spirituality to me. Something divine and timeless is expressing Itself in endlessly fascinating ways.

In today's post. I would like to introduce some people I work with. We all have similiar tasks in this factory that produces ready-made meals but, in some ways, the factory is like an ashram! We wear white and follow a strict daily program. We repeat and repeat. We all focus on one goal. We sacrifice. One difference is that Ashrams are usually in a secluded, inspiring, natural location...ours is noisy, stinky and ugly. Oh well. Still, in this uninspiring environment, I found beauty in the other people who work with me.

At the top meet Wil from Florida. He is a trained electrician who still needs to get his permit here. His goal is to save up some money and start a new life in Canada. He is fun to work with, waving to me and smiling across the huge production halls. I love his Florida accent!

Then, middle left, you see Andree. She took care of her elderly mother and younger dependent sister all her life; now her mother is going into a home and Andree is going out to work and moving out of her home into an apartment with her sister. She is showing me her fingertips all blistered from sorting deep-fried food all day. Somehow, she still smiles!

To the right is Xin (pronounced Sing) from China. She speaks only Chinese and the strangest sounding "French" I ever heard, but we communicate pretty well. Her parents borrowed money to send her to Canada so she could save up enough money to pay the debt and bring them over. She didn't like the first picture I took of her so she posed for this one and o.k.'d it. She looks serious but actually giggles a lot.

Then at the bottom meet Laurie, a local women who has done a lot of amazing things in her life and is now settled into collecting some revenue to retire on. I wouldn't be surprised if that handsome guy in her production line whisks her away to a new romantic adventure. She cheers me up every time we have a break together. Is it her smile or her gorgeous green eyes?

There are about 20 other people from work I could blog about...but I am definately the only one in there who takes pictures or wears a cotton bonnet with flames or chili peppers under her hair net or eats lunch on a porcelaine plate (instead of a plastic one). Xin wanted to take a picture of me.....yes, next time!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Yesterday I drove to Dunvegan for a meeting of the Artist Trading Cards group. We get together every last Saturday of the month to trade our original art cards with our peers. We can even trade with people who aren't there! Ronna brings in cards made by artists who send them to her by snail mail. We add our own card to the collection and then help ourselves to the one we like.

I made cards that had a haiku written on a piece of hand-painted paper. Each card had a layer of transparent embossed paper covering the haiku, making it even more Zen. My Haiku was:
In Dunvegan we
trade miniature artworks
one-for-one, for free.

This weekend was dedicated to doing what I love to do, so I sat down and made a series of ATCs for November. They are inspired by the concept of Notan, which I recently came across while Googling sacred sciences. Notan means "light/dark harmony" in Japanese. It is a concept that helps to design harmonious light and dark values in your painting. The idea is similiar to the Yin/Yang symbol: keeping light and dark in balance is the essence of harmony.

I invite you to try this out. Take a piece of 1" square white paper and cut out shapes. Use what is left of the square and all the pieces you cut out to make a design on a black or dark art card. The challenge is greater when you increase the size of your square to 2" ( like my cards # 5 and #6).

Friday, October 24, 2008

Art Classes

To solve the riddle of the upside down photograph (see Gina's comment on my last post), here is the original. The tower is reflected, upside down of course, in the stream.

This is the fifth week I have been working full-time and today, being a Friday, I need to quote that most famous line "Thank God it's Friday". My self-description to the left of this post now seems a bit ironic. What happened to the leisure time, the indulgence and the passions?

I now feel for, and can relate to, all the people out there who go in and slug it out at their workplace. There are 350 people employed in the company I work for and that, I find, is the most interesting thing about it. All these unique stories and missions moving around "making a living" in the same place during the 8 1/2 hours I'm there. Every day is an incredible drama. Is it more like a battlefield or a jungle? All the people in there are, to some degree, intensely involved with producing stuff and getting things done and it doesn't always work. I practice detachment when things get ugly and I am really happy when some nice teamwork or simple graciousness appears. I am learning a lot about myself and how to stay who I am while adapting to all the demands and pressures. I sure don't run home at the end of the day to watch a reality show! Today I had some screaming/crying therapy in my car on the way home...............very helpful!

I'm excited to announce that I will be giving art classes at a gallery in VanKleek Hill, Ontario next month. They are not exactly like the creative art workshops that I have given in the past but I will include some relaxation and awareness exercises. This time the focus will be on how to get the image you want on paper. The inspiration will be a photograph of your choice. I would like the participants to enjoy what they are doing while they get the results they want. My inspiration comes from my own great teachers.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Tower

There is a nature reserve close to my home called "Baie Brazeau". The main trail in this reserve, a perfectly straight, grassy path through the woods and marshes, is part of an old railway line. The tracks were pulled up when steel was needed at the end of World War Two, but the solid ground built up under the tracks remained. A decade ago, the municipality decided to open up this area for the enjoyment of the public. The defunct railway station was rebuilt as a community center. Illustrated information boards along the trail educated visitors about the fauna and flora. At the end of the trail, you could climb a tower to get a panoramic view of the reserve.

Autumn is my favorite time to take this walk. The mosquitos and blackflies are gone. The slanting light creates a soft shroud between the trees. The bright palette of leaves keeps changing and eventually become a faded, rustling carpet.

I took these pictures last week during a morning walk to the tower. The picture to the left is actually upside down! See the tower in the reflection? You can see me in the photograph above, right:I am the little dot in the top of the shadow of the tower, reaching over the golden marsh grasses. Above left, you get a bird's eye view of the trail. These pictures play with unexpected perspectives coming out of reflections and shadows. Fun!

"The Tower"is also a symbol used in one of the tarot cards. According to the interpretation given by Liz Greene and Juliette Sharman-Bourke, the tower is a man-made structure created to impress others. It represents our socially acceptable side. Inside the protective tower are the parts of our character that we consider unacceptable but are really hidden treasures. One day, be it by lightning, earthquake or hurricane, the tower must crumble and allow the imprisoned energies to be free. I enjoy reflecting on the symbolic meaning of objects and colors. Every thing is much more than what it seems. We lead symbolic lives.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Closing Down the Garden

Looking back through this summer's photo collection, I found these Bruxmanias, about to open. Their haunting pale lavender hue and their mysterious and exotic appearance fascinate me

That was July. Now it's time to pull the curtain. The show is over. Frost has determined the end of the blooming season. The once brightly colored maples and summacs are dropping their faded leaves. Today I am saying good-bye to all the daylilies that started off my blog adventure. They are put to sleep for the next seven months. I cut back all their foliage neatly and collected huge piles of compost. Isn't Nature brilliant?

This ritual of garden closure connects me to the Bigger Plan that insists itself on the lives of residents in this area. It is my choice to spend all year in a climate with extreme polarities and huge distances. It fits with my tendency to seek challenges and be part of what is happening instead of escaping into wishful thinking.

My latest challenge, thanks to the influence of Divine Bean, is my new full-time job. It sure makes a dent in the life of an avid blogger!....but I get a lot of satisfaction from this new lifestyle. My alarm goes off at 3:45 a.m. and I have a mission to fulfill. I belong to the world out there, creating my fortune with others. Every day is full of surprises and learning, a meaningful adventure, even if, believe me, it is a totally unglamorous activity! Sometimes I can sing mantras and do breathing exercises while my hands are busy. It's also wonderful to be home at 2:30 and have time to walk my dog and get some sunshine. I admit to the thrill of a paycheck, too, as fat as my pet man's. I'm also amazed at how much time I use to daydream, and dither and dawdle over trivialities. Thank you, Divine Bean!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Speaking of different levels of reality, I was reminded again of my visit to Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts last month. One artist in the "Badlands" exhibition, Vaughn Bell, created
Personal Home Biospheres, which are miniature environments that visitors could feel immersed in. I put my head through an opening in the bottom of the small scale natural landscape. Once inside, I switched to feeling like a lilliputan in a close-up, humid, quiet world. One step up on the block placed below the biosphere and I was instantly immersed in this perfect natural environment: mosses, ferns and grasses native to the area were growing inches from my nose, eyes, ears and skin. Looking into the suspended plexiglas biosphere, I used my mind to appreciate all the details in the layers of growing earth. Looking out from the mini-dome, all my senses were activated and I cocooned in a meditative environment. Now, in the photo that my pet man took of me, I see another level: the reflections of the window frames in the exhibition room.... and the environment outside!! I could have missed it if not for the photo. Did the artist plan this into her concept too? I'm in awe all over again.

I was impressed by Vaughn Bell's creation. She fulfilled the task and opportunity given to contemporary artists in an original and thoughtful way, still leaving some mystery for the individual to solve. Anyone else out there looking for artwork that is both mentally stimulating and sensually satisfying? I'm excited about the trend that invites visitors to touch, participate and react to the artist's works. There was a book at the museum exit that invited comments...and I actually got a reply by email from a curator!

Here is a clip about Rupert Sheldrake that says more about the connection between our minds and perceptions...and about breaking habits and assumptions about our world.

synthesis of mind
and nature's senses find
my habits unwind

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Palliative Care

About one year ago I decided to volunteer a little of my free time to the local hospital. The area I was interested in was Palliative Care. First, I was interviewed and asked "why". I didn't have to think hard about my reason but I was a bit embarrassed to reveal it: I was curious about dying, the dying and death. I wanted to have first hand experience, get my own impressions and learn about the subject. Another reason was that I was not able to accompany either of my parents, or any one else I was close to, at the end of their life. I wanted to become able.

The hospital had some volunteers who had collected experience for many years and taken courses. I was sent along with one of the most seasoned ones and after a few rounds, left to go on my own. My instructions were to introduce myself and ask if anything was needed (fresh water, move a pillow, get an extra blanket) or, if there were visitors, to offer them a coffee or tea. Pretty easy, right? After that initial step, the adventure begins. I would like to write a book about the individuals I met, their journey, what I saw and heard, felt and thought. I have been deeply touched by the way a person may cling to life, no matter how dismal it may seem from the outside. I don't know if I have become "able"; I have never been present at anyone's passing, but I have approached the mystery. In the meantime, I have opted to volunteer in a senior's residence, meeting those making the transition from their own home into this new one and visiting those who are otherwise left alone in their last days.

The photograph I added shows my shadow at the beach in Cape Cod. The image seems appropriate to this blog because I see the different levels of reality that are sometimes taken for granted out of habit: the surface, what is below and above it and how a shadow is woven through it all. It inspires me to take nothing for granted.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Canadians for Sale

Yesterday, my pet man and I drove off to check out an auction in a nearby village. A farmer, who had spent his working life raising Canadian horses was retiring. His farm, the equipment and horses were to be auctioned off. This traditional breed of horse was created to serve the farmers well. They are, without exception, pure black. Their character is docile, their needs are modest and they are hardy multi-taskers, pulling a sleigh or wagon or trunks of wood out of the forest. They also cut an attractive figure under a saddle or pulling the Sunday carriage. However, they are not talented for sports. As one equestrian said: "Canadian horse? No, I will never ride a cow!"

As we neared the farm, we saw that both sides of the road were packed with cars, trucks and trailers. There was a stand selling poutine, hot dogs, hamburgers and fries and the whole farm had been polished and painted for this public event. First the tractors, wagons and sleighs were sold off, then the horses, the harnesses and stable equipment and finally all the old machinery that the farmer had collected over the decades.

I recorded the stages, as each horse was taken away from its familiar stable, led to the showring and sold to the highest bidder. I heard the locals mutter that bidders were getting give-away prices this day. After the sale, each one was led away to the trailer of the new owner to begin a different life, away from its friends and family. In honor of these Canadians I wrote a Haiku:

Saturday: we hail
ebony palfrey for sale
with sleigh, reins and pail

P.S. The 1950s washing machine has a name that ends this story in a quirky way. Since my last post, I have been noticing the quirks of all my pets! and friends! and neighbors! I love their quirks.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Six Quirks

Here is my 36" by 36" mandala "You Are Here". Look for the tiny red dot in the middle that marks where I am in this delicious and magnificent birthday cake of a world.

I have been tagged by Kate to write about six of my quirks. O.K. I will do it!! are the rules for all those I tagged and want to play:

1. Link back to the person (me) who tagged you (on your blog)

2. Copy these rules to your blog for your players to see.

3. Tell us about 6 unspectacular quirks you have.

4. Tag 6 other bloggers by linking to them (see below).

5. Leave a comment on each of the blogged taggers blog to let them know they have been tagged and can play.

The dictionary says that a quirk is a “strange little habit or part of a person’s character”. I don’t find anything strange. I needed to do some research first on how other people find themselves “quirky”. Kate remarked that my writing is quirky and also fun to read, so that made this project extra easy.

1. I love skunks. Sadly, they often get run over because they trust in their spray to protect them. It doesn’t work on cars. I wish that one day skunk mommies would smarten up and tell their kids to run, not spray! Other people gag and cover their noses at the skunk “scent” but I take very deep breaths. The smell connects me to some deep, tribal, archaic space, like the smell of marigolds and geraniums, which I’ve been told are “stinky flowers”. It’s hard to describe the smell: like a mixture of burnt rubber and extreme B.O.

2. I can fold myself in half like a jack knife. I guess I have double-jointed hips. It feels natural and relaxing. A Yoga teacher got really annoyed at me because he said he had to train for years to be able to put his head on his knees. I inherited this ability from my maternal grandmother and my daughter got it from me.

3. I talk to strangers. It takes two to tango, of course.

4. I avoid wearing underwear and NEVER wear shorts. I started this quirk in India when I adopted the traditional outfit, which is a shift over wide pants or a sari over a short-sleeved top. It’s so comfortable and looks elegant. In India, bare shoulders are considered risqué and bare legs almost obscene. Wearing shorts in India would be like walking around topless in Canada.

5. If I am ever overwhelmed with projects I stop and clean the bathroom first. I find that all the stretching to get to all the corners and the scrubbing on my hands and knees works wonders to clarify my world. The sparkling bathroom is a bonus.

6. I eat before going out to dinner or if I’m invited to eat at someone’s house. I do this because I never know how long it will take before the food arrives and if I get hungry and don’t eat….I get awful cramps and can’t eat at all! So painful and embarrassing.

It would be easy to go on with this because, in Astro Speak (for all the astrologists out there!) my Sun and Mercury are in Aquarius and my Moon conjunct Uranus is in the 11th House. Quirk is normal for me. Now maybe six other artistic bloggers will dare to share. I have invited Nina, Frida,Cathy, Rudra, Bron, Forever Young.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Myopic World

When I was about 7 years old I got my first pair of glasses. Pale blue frames. Pretty, my mother said. How I hated them...I remember so clearly how furious I was about the sensation of wearing this straight jacket on my face. Temper tantrums were the norm for me if anything was uncomfortable. Maybe, as a psychologist once suggested, I was in resistance to being incarnated, which included wearing clothes, going to school and generally being pressed into a form. There was no escaping though. Breaking or losing my glasses didn't help. The next ones were even stronger.

Hey, I still wear glasses (or "specs" as Guruji Sri Vast would say in his adorable colonial English)! What I love about them now is taking them off and seeing a whole different that is mega close-up or Monet-like fuzzy. It is perfect for doing artwork because I can simplify the whole scene and break it all down to shapes and forms. There is a moment of surrender to the helplessness and limitations and then it is so not have to see everything. To daydream. To slow it all down, let my mind go to the back burner and.... call my chauffeur to drive my car!

Then at some point I can pop them back on over my eyes to protect them from the sun and my face from close encounters. Pretend to be all competent and incarnated. Look cool with these Ray Ban-type frames and drive myself around in my myopic world.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Conversations with Divine Bean

Photograph of Amselm Kiefer's sculpture "Etroit son les Vaisseaux", 2002, exhibited at MASS MoCa until November 2008

If you lived in an area that had received a hurricane warning, would you evacuate or ride it out? Either choice is probably equally devastating. I never experienced a Tsunami or a Hurricane Katrina...or have I? My Natural Disasters never got any names as such. They hit without warning. No, that's not true. As an astrologist, I know what it means when Pluto and Chiron meet. I see the aspect approaching but I can't know how it will be for me. The last remaining mystery buried under a pile of knowledge.

There is no place in the world where a person can be safe from Natural Disasters... or any life that can escape the Wheel of Fate. Luckily, I am never alone. I met Divine Bean (Being) way back in 1988. Divine is a He/She living in my left hand. I never know what Divine will come up with because I am a mere mortal. So I have to ask, usually when I'm eating humble pie, stuck, down or in pain. The rest of the time I'm smarty pants independant. I get more of a monologue than a conversation because Divine's words blow me away. So different from real life, where Mortal Me can't shut up.

Today I'm ready to share with you my treasure:
Mortal Me: Marlana, you are feeling low. Tell me more.
Divine Bean: This hand is just doing what comes naturally when it holds a pencil. I know that I am part of Nature and there are hurricanes and sunny days. Right now it's raining, Thank God, to fill those cracks in the ground I watered yesterday. Those poor flowers. The leaves wilt before the flowers give up. My tears are now the rain for my dried-up soul. Right now there is no hope in sight. I am broke, that is a fact. The more I count my pennies the more I feel poor so stop now and be the frog card*; transform. Trance Form go in the mud. This is the season. Just take part.
Mortal Me: Thank you, Divine Bean.

* "Medicine Cards, The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals" Jamie Sams/ David Carson. Bear & Company, Santa Fe, New Mexico 1988. Card # 38 Frog (Purification)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Inspired by Cape Cod

While doing my favorite gypsy thing (living in a moving home) in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, I had a dream inspired by my study of the works of M.C. Escher. His graphic art plays with the way we see things: our eye/brain insists on seeing images as three-dimensional even if we "know" that the image is flat. Luckily, I had brought along some canvases and a small assortment of paint and brushes to start up.

My second inspiration was the sensual experience of being in, on and next to the ocean. We stayed at the protected inner bay where the sea quietly ebbs in and out, covering and later revealing huge flat marshlands. It was a safe and warm place for children to look for shells and walk out in the mud. After a short drive to the Atlantic side, I met the ocean's other face: pounding, thundering waves chopping their fangs into the steep shore. Excited children hypnotised by the natural drama, risking scratches, bruises and concusions to embrace the wild creature over and over again.

On the way home, I stopped at MASS MoCA, the Museum of Contemporay Art in North Adams, Massachusetts. I had planned to gorge on the place all day but after 5 hours I was saturated. One artist, Devorah Sperber, had a collection of her work exhibited under the titel of "Interpretations". She showed how our eye puts together dots of color to make an image. It's sort of scary that we don't really see what's there. We make it all up in our minds out of habit! The truth is often disturbing.

More about MASS MoCA in my next post! Here are my See'Scape paintings, finished yesterday. All 12" by 9" acrylic on canvas with natural materials worked in.

Friday, August 15, 2008


One more walk through my garden to say " see you again in 2 weeks" to all my flower friends. Here are some of them, smiling full blast. Their faces are so different, even if they all belong to the same Daylily family. I keep inviting other members of this family in and a new bed, dedicated to them only, is being prepared in a sunny spot. Mid-July to the end of August, they all come out to show off: as soon as one face wilts, a fresh one pops out on the same stem! But they get tired of this after a while and become introverted, showing only their slim foliage.

Yesterday's presentation went so well and my teacher asked the invitees "Doesn't she look like Lucille Ball"? I remember watching Lucille and Dezi Arnez in "I love Lucy" as a kid and she is a comic icon. More comments: my role was sad and funny at the same time, touching but not pathetic, "real" because I showed the motherly side of my homeless character. One director felt that my strength was in the writing of my dialogue. I am learning that the more often I play the role, the more it evolves and deepens. We are aiming towards not acting but BEING (as in life, I realize). The art is the performance and the actor is the canvas. I begin with a blank canvas. I work on the painting until I feel it is done but looking at it afterwards, again and again. I know what I would do differently and I can use that insight for the NEXT painting/ role.... refining and simplifying it until I reach the truth.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I stand corrected about my rock coincidence. Kate helped me jumpstart my publishing skills and got a link going to Wikipedia. That site informed me that the rock cairns made to resemble human figures are named Inunnguaq and are not to be confused with Inukshuks. Definately, my pile of rocks is a male figure.

In the meantime, my sunburn has faded into a nice tan outline. I'm prepared to head out for our vacation on the Atlantic ocean at Cape Cod, about a 7-hour drive from here. It feels like an eternity since I opened my blog because so much has happened. I met all these amazing people who reacted to my write-up on Kate's blog and learned so much technical savvy by staying posted.

Tonight is the final evening of my 10-week acting course Phase I at the Montreal School of Performing Arts (MSOPA). I will be on stage performing as Sarah Blinski, a homeless woman. As a student, I was required to create a character from this name and write a monologue for her. I have a tiny bit of stagefright right now knowing that movie and theatre directors will be there. Since jumping out of an airplane at the "drop zone" in Empuriabrava, Spain I know it is all about the thrill of fear.

"If what Proust says it true, that happiness is the absence of fever, then I will never know happiness. For I am possessed by a fever for knowledge, experience and creation".
Anais Nin

Monday, August 11, 2008

Make an Inukshuk

It is a hot July morning and my partner and I decide to make an Inukshuk, which is a figure built with rocks. Inukshuks were originally created in the northern parts of Canada by the aboriginal people, to help them find their way in the vast territories. If there is one thing we have plenty of on our one acre, it is rocks of all shapes and sizes. We rolled the larger rocks onto our dolly and then dragged them to our chosen spot.We are a good team: I design and adjust, he places and comments. Here is the result of our efforts. It took us about and hour and a half. Also the results wearing a bikini but no sunscreen.