Wednesday, August 30, 2006

In memory of Corporal David Braun - 27th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan since 2002:

God is holding out his hands to you. They hold in them the Earth and the Universe and the Heavens. Now, they are being held, to you.

In God's hands are pearls, beautiful shiny pearls. They are so tiny. Though tiny, you see them hiding amidst dust and grime and muck built up over the centuries. God is watching you. He is watching your heart, and your hands. He sees you wipe away your tears with your own hands. Now he sees you reach toward His hands and start to brush away the dust. He sees you trying to pick out the pieces of muck and grime. He is watching as you struggle. There are more tears. You forget. You go to brush them away. Your face, also, becomes marked by the muck and grime.

God reaches to you. His hands touch your face. They smooth away all the tears, all the muck. Then God bends down. In one soft breath, he blows all the dust and grime and muck out of his own hands. The shiny pearls of joy are left in all their glory.

You recognize them. You reach and grasp them. You look up. God has turned away. You
lift the joy to your heart.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"Leaves Falling Up" ~ and they happen to be in a jade green colour which I discovered while playing with water colours. I've been wanting to try watercolours for a time. I touched on them very momentarily while taking an artcourse about eight or nine years ago. This was the time when one of the students asked why I was just sitting there and not really doing art. Lil, the very kind teacher said "that's what she needs to be doing (thinking, relaxing)." Now I tiptoe into this venture of watercolour with an extremely open mind. It may take me some time to find something truly worth sharing with the world. I do love this colour I discovered while playing and started painting leaves. Much of the paper was already filled with other colours I like, hearts, which I felt the need to paint, and some purple eyes which intrigue. The leaves are falling up. I like them.

Monday, August 28, 2006

"Take Joy" ~ This morning I was thinking about JOY and one of my favourite quotations came to mind. I first saw this wonderful piece by Fra Giovanni in the the Tasha Tudor Christmas Book Take Joy!
I was so very touched by the words. I decided to include them in my Christmas cards. A few years later I read the piece again for a children's Christmas concert. Now I would like to share them with you. Though written in 1513 I feel they hold much truth.

Letter Written by Fra Giovanni

Fra Giovanni, 1513

I am your friend and my love for you goes deep.
There is nothing I can give you which you have not
got, but there is much, very much, that, while I
cannot give it, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find
rest in today. Take heaven!

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in
this present little instant. Take peace!

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it,
yet within our reach is joy. There is radiance and
glory in the darkness could we but see - and to see
we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its
gifts by the covering, cast them away as ugly,
or heavy or hard. Remove the covering and you
will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of
love, by wisdom, with power.

Welcome it, grasp it, touch the angel's hand that
brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a
sorrow, or a duty, believe me, that angel's hand
is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an
overshadowing presence. Our joys, too, be not
content with them as joys. They, too, conceal
diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of
beauty - beneath its covering - that you will find
earth but cloaks your heaven.

Courage, then, to claim it, that is all. But courage
you have, and the knowledge that we are all pilgrims
together, wending through unknown country, home.

And so, at this time, I greet you. Not quite as the
world sends greetings, but with profound esteem
and with the prayer that for you now and forever,
the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

In the past days my appetite has been "longing for peace", especially since we learnt of the death of my cousin as the 27th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan while trying to keep peace together with 2,200 other Canadian soldiers.
I did this background as one of nancyB's tutorials . I quickly put the words on it's scanned image but hope to work more with the actual background.
Mundo Uno ~ "One world, one future, for the children"

"Cities need old buildings".
Taken from a quote by Jane Jacobs.
A photo of land titles building. I'm not certain of history exactly but this is one of few old buildings in our tiny city. It was being used for the arts for a time and hopefully will now get back to a similiar function in near furure.
Other side of building is actually court house which is still in use.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Fast AND Fun:
From Nancy's recent tutorial. I think I did these on Thursday night. I hadn't taken time to review post and pictures so only covered 2/3 of page.

The darkest blue was quite a large drop. I suspect that
was on purpose.
I scanned smaller and really like effect of this.

The second one was some leftover paint from first and a bit added.
I really like this idea and can hardly wait to try more.
Thanks Nance.
The weight of the world's sadness - on my very own shoulders. I've no idea why but so often it feels that I am carrying the weight of the world's sadness right there. There are wonderful friends to help bear the weight but I can't seem to give it up willingly.

Yesterday we went to pick up our daughter at camp. She loves camp. She's been there many times. This time was different because of the death of our cousin as the 27th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan. The decision was to wait until we got home to tell her because she's usually so tired, and the drive is long - nearly three hours.

There is always a closing service in the Chapel, which parents are invited to attend. Every time I sit in this wonderful building and listen to the campers singing, with voices clear, voices loud, I am nearly brought to tears. I am very happy to see these young people coming so close to God. It lifts my heart to see teen boys singing out, clapping and saying "I, I, I love Jesus" and repeating it over and over again. They stand on the benches and practically shout it out, with such conviction.

Yesterday was different. I had to leave. I was crying and crying. This time they were not tears of joy. This time they were not for the campers. The tears were not for David who so bravely gave his life to help the people of Afghanistan. They were not for his mother or siblings or friends or Aunties or his Grandpa and Grandma. These tears were all about the children of Afghanistan and every other country where children have been caught up in the ravages of war. These tears are for those mothers, those fathers, those siblings, those aunties and uncles and grandparents. These tears are for the victims of tsunamis and hurricanes. These tears are for victims of abuse. These tears are about children. These tears are about FAMILY. These tears are about "one world, one future, for the children".

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Originally uploaded by Windy Angels.
Where, oh where will we find peace? My prayers are for peace, especially now. My heart feels it is breaking for the 27th Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan since 2002. This young soldier was my cousin. He was the son of my cousin Patty, who is the same age as I. He was the first-born.
Another civilian died as a result of the suicide car bomb and in the aftermath yet another child was killed.
Mundo uno – one world, one future, for the children.
Where, oh where will we find peace?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Altered book cover ~ my first. I've just got my initial picture of what I've actually started. I have much of it planned with pictures and words printed. I was hoping to do more today but we've had dreadful news which I'll tell more about as soon as I'm able. My thanks again to Nancy, Nancy, please go ahead with your next tutorial. I'll catch up when I'm able. Should mention I'm REALLY excited about this altered book project.The picture ~ note the chocolates at top left corner, I need to have artificially sweetened ones because of my diabetes, but still can't resist my chocolate. I also don't have a brayer so just used my marble rolling pin as suggested by my artist friend. AND I didn't have time to paint on magazine pages so used paper which I had purchased previously. It wasn't all scraps but I love fancy paper. I'll also be busy with farming for a couple of days so may not be posting about the art. I hope to get back to it soon.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

O harvest of my lands!
O boundless summer growths!
From the poem "A Carol of Harvest" by Walt Whitman.
My entry for this week's picture words. In Saskatchewan, at this time of year there are crops in numerous stages. Some are still green. Most are golden. Some have been swathed as in this photo and some have already been combined. It is truly a time of "boundless summer growths!"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mundo Uno Storyboard

Mundo Uno Storyboard
Originally uploaded by Windy Angels.
Mundo Uno ~ one world, one future, for the children. My prayers are for peace, for freedom, for the children, for all.

Pretending to be an artist: Creativity seems to come naturally to me and I believe I have an eye for recognizing beauty. That is why I create. I have a tendency to fiddle with wire and beads and paper and fabric and thread. Until recently I've not allowed myself to do much "playing". I've decidied that now is the time to get into mixed media and collage because that is what I have a passion to do and because there is so much more freedom in these areas now. But as a challenge I've decided to allow myself to play with drawing and hopefully give myself courage to let that be. I don't want to achieve perfection. I just want to have fun. Part of the difficulty in the past with "having fun" is that I rarely have been able to complete a project. Often the procrastination and fear took over. If it was something I had to complete I would end up in a dither. I was recently told that an artist is often 10 years ahead with ideas. I was told to "Just do it!" Now that I have a deadline of every (give or take) Thursday, I can grow accustomed to trying to finish something without the need for panic.
I must be brave now and show you what I've done. I'm trying to be gentle with myself and congratulatory for even trying. I realized with the second picture that the left eye's not quite right. My attempt to fix was not really successful. I should say that it's a picture of our dog ~ just so you don't mistake it for some sad misfit of a monster. ;o)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pretending to be an artist: Serendipity fluttered by the other day. I shed a tear before she even was so close. I'd experienced her before ~ life altering. As expected, she landed on my heart and her wings fluttered on my soul. As quickly, she was gone.

I have stated that I pretend to be an artist. That is how I feel. Everything I do as an artist is self-taught. I have taken some workshops. I have done some projects from magazines and the internet but if I were to say anyone taught me I would probably say it was God. Mostly the projects have been frustrating. Mostly I HATE following a pattern. I like to create my own thing. You are probably thinking that is a good thing. I would agree. But there are problems. There is the time factor. There is the space factor. There is the materials factor. Mostly there are the factors of fear and procrastination. There is the fear that no one will like what I do. There is the fear that even if they like it they won't tell me. There is the fear of that beast ~ criticism. Because I am so sensitive I have a hard time wrapping my finger around that piece. And then the vicious circle starts of people being afraid to tell me what they think because they know I am so sensitive. GRRRR. Why do humans have to be this way!
Sometimes I feel like it's too much fun. I feel like a child while I'm cutting and gluing and taping and colouring. It is too much like play.
Other times I worry about copyright. Will someone suspect that I am copying their art? I used to only feel comfortable with copying from other's work. Still, I feel afraid to let my mind and hands move freely. To copy from my own photos with pencil or dare I even say paint, feels like cheating. To modify my photos on the computer also tastes of cheating. Ahhh ~ what peculiar ideas.

What of serendipity? She asked me to feel free to create. She asked me to let my thoughts fly freely. She asked me to just relax with what I am capable. She asked to let my spirit soar when I have achieved. She asked me to not give up. She asked me to not stop trying.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

"Fate of summer flowers"
Picture words entry.

To me, home is about a place of comfort. It is very much about a place in your heart. Having grown up on a farm on the prairies I grew to love nature. Skies, sunsets, wild flowers and the greens of grass and leaves are much what I think about when I consider home.

My first entry for artwords.

See also the post titled "About home" from August 9.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Autumn colours, the death of fall:
I love the rich jewel tone colours of autumn. I love the colours of autumn leaves, of asters and zinnias. I love the shades of golden crops as they ripen on the horizon. I love the layering of leaves, of sweaters atop shirts, of skirts atop leggings, of scarves atop jacket collars. I love the patterns and the textures of plaids, of knits, of leaves, of sunsets, of tights and of hats.

But fall ~ I used to hate fall. As the plants of summer faded and died, as the leaves turned to brown, drooped, and dropped, as the crops were harvested and the fields left a muddy shade of brown, as the grass dried and turned that same yucky shade, I felt too like I was withering, drooping and dying. I would lose all my colour. I felt like I was falling.

On days when the sun shone I could still find some colour. I could still raise the corners of my mouth. But when the skies were grey my heart too felt grey and muddy brown. I felt the slipping away.

Seasonal affective disorder is not a colourful site. Seasonal affective disorder sees not the bright hues of blue. It sees only the blue sad. It sees only the murky browns and trapping greys.

The days of Autumn seem to be falling towards us. I choose to look at the richness and not let the grey descend to smother me.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

About "home"
As we gather around a table we sometimes hear the words "I'm homesick." They moved to Canada from South Africa. When I hear the words, I start thinking about the meaning of home.

I realize how important family is to me even though family may not always be perfect. I think about my own home and the idea of growing up with diabetes. I think about probably being overprotected by very loving parents who wanted the best for me. I think about growing up with this chronic condition and my search for perfection and "normalcy". I think about growing up in the country and my occasional strong desire to return.

I believe home is more about a feeling, a sense of comfort, a need for belonging, than about an actual location. Sometimes we may not have totally experienced this sense as we were growing up but have romanticized the sense and have placed it in the locale in which we lived.

I know I have occasionally felt the desire to leave behind all the responsibilities and choices which come with being an adult. I feel nearly compulsive about giving up the choices for a duration and wish someone else could take over the responsibility. The only time I can see it being allowed more comfortably is as a small child. For myself, many of the carefree moments as a child were stolen because of the need to bring the diabetes under control to prevent complications. Spontaneity seemed out of the question.

Understand I was certainly never deprived. I did feel a need to strive towards perfection. More importantly, I grew up with this love for family. I grew with a desire for knowledge because I loved to read and learn. I grew up with a skill to kindness because that is what I saw around me. I grew up with hope which has kept me going and a faith so strong that it has gotten me through difficult challenges which others might not be able to carry.

Home ~ it's about that place where I feel comfortable. It's about that place where I feel loved. It's about that place I love to return - often. It's about the place I am now trying to establish for my own daughter as she tries to find a place of belonging and comfort for herself.

Home ~ where is it? It might be in Saskatchewan. It might be in South Africa. It might be in a huge city or in the country. It might be in a nursing home, an apartment, a house, or a hut.
For me home is in my heart.

Friday, August 4, 2006

"If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?", Bruce Cockburn. These words just kept running through my head and they still do every time I look at this picture. It was taken in our creek at our farm. Close by were numerous tree branches in a heap. The important point is that these trees were cut by a beaver ~ just another part of nature. If required I could probably be a tree hugger.

"Where sunshine flecks the green". I am amazed at the perfection of a spider web. As I tried to get this photo I happened to catch the sunlight on the leaf as well. The picture seemed appropriate for my entry to "picture words".

Thursday, August 3, 2006

"Do you ever feel like you're not being heard?", was the question. It came from my massage therapist as she tried to examine the extent of my jaw pain. My immediate resounding response was "YES! I nearly always feel that way."

I grew up as a quiet, nurturing individual. There was no surprise when I became a nurse. Listening was something I did very well, often still do. Sometimes I am blessed with intuition. But there came a time in my life where I grew so tired of having to listen to other people and feeling no one was listening to me. It felt that even when I tried to express myself many did not seem to understand.

Art has been a huge part of my life. I love nature and the beauty and change to be found there. The creative part of me is about that which I see, that which I hear, that which I feel. I have tried sharing that, but have often become frustrated. I am very sensitive and while sometimes that is positive for nurturing others, it is often not nurturing for myself.

Now that I have this opportunity to share through my pretended art and writing I hope that I will be able to feel more that I am being heard.

Inspired by Music

Inspired by Music
Originally uploaded by Windy Angels.
Music and Art: My first piece for Inspire me Thursday. I did it in a bit of a rush so didn't turn out quite as I would have liked.
Music has always been important to me. It is, of course, just one of many ways I am inspired.
When I was growing up we used to listen to music on the phonograph. Though my father would probably not admit to the Classics he did love the Strauss waltzes. And on my mother's side there was frequently singing happening. I still love to sing. Mouths wide open are important for moving the sound forward. Though Cat is a teen now and is more timid with her singing, she still loves to sing with me. Hopefully all the singing I've done for her, and with her, will be passed yet further through the generations.
Wendy's bookshelf: read

Exhibition 36: A Gallery Of Mixed-Media InspirationOne Week In DecemberWhat Matters MostCloud NineSafe HarbourFollow the Stars Home

More of Wendy's books »
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