Friday, June 27, 2008

Guitar Pendant

We were asked by a Metal Arts Guild of Nova Scotia colleague to participate in a fund-raising event for the NS Symphony children's' programs. The challenge was to create a piece of art (whatever type you do) from a musical instrument.

I bummed a soon to be deceased acoustic guitar off of my buddy Dave. It was one that he had used for years while busking and had finally started to warp and deteriorate to the point where he either had to rebuild it or throw it. This solved his dilemma too.

The subsequent piece is the result of chisleling free the fret bars, pulling the g-string, some bits of guitar hardware, sterling silver and silver solder.

The fundraiser will open at the Fireworks Gallery in Halifax on October 4th.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Unusual

Lady's Slippers are a native orchid to our little part of the woods. They are somewhat rare, to the point that they are considered endangered in some areas, and unusual in that they seemingly spring from nowhere. We have them growing in areas where we have trimmed back the woods to create walking paths and then they appear in the paths. These orchids are a beautiful thing.

They are often like friends, wonderful and unusual. Beautiful. Appearing in your path and thriving in just right mix of light and shade. Treasure them.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Why We Have No Pole Beans Now

They had started to grow. Nice fresh leaves breaking the ground and looking good until yesterday morning when we discovered that they had been mowed off and all we had left were a few errant leaves and multitude of stems.

This morning's walk about revealed the reason, our resident snow-shoe hare in summer coat was happily munching at the back of the garden next to the studio. In the photo you will note the poles for the beans and netting that we recently placed over the now recovering stems. "Jacq" is in the foreground.

It has gotten quite used to being around us, obviously, as you can get pretty close up to these fellows before they feel any need to hop away by even a few feet to maintain their distance.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A pick me up

I just received a phone call from Lydia, a new acquaintance and wonderful lady. She wanted to let me know that she saw our jewelry work at Viktor's Blue Rose Salon in Woodstock when she was there getting her hair done recently.

She adores the guys too and offered them suggestions on display for our work which is always appreciated. I have a feeling that not only is she one heck of a smart 'money' girl but she has a keen eye for the 'how to' as well.

I've been meaning to blog for a couple of days now but have been feeling under the weather which is bad around here this week, it's been overcast and showering for days.... and predicted to continue well into next week.

She was just what I needed, bright, cheery and full of positive news. Thanks Lydia.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Coincidence - I think not

A couple of weeks ago when I met with Gerald, of Viktor and Gerald, he said to me "Nothing happens by coincidence." I had been musing about that for the last little while.

At a recent area book sale I grabbed "The Celestine Prophecy". I know that this book has been around for awhile, and I also know that it was recommended to me years ago by Aunt Pat.

Finally cracked the cover on it yesterday, finished it about 01:30 this morning. Not entirely sure what to make of it other than to say that people have often been placed in our path when we have needed certain types of information and they have been more than willing to share. I identified with it.

Stick with me here, this is going somewhere...

The basic premise is the old adage "ask and you shall receive" which leads to the old corollary "be careful what you ask for, you might just get it".

We all know someone who knows someone and if we follow the trail long enough or ask the right person, we are all no more than 6 people away from knowing someone else. This kind of '6-Degrees of Separation' reality takes some of the coincidence out of our lives too.

I'm not proposing that our destinies are preordained for whatever life of misery, poverty, disgust, etc. that we might be experiencing. It is just possible however that if we only took the time to talk to the people that we meet, that cross our path, that they might have an answer to a problem that would help lift us out whatever misery we are currently experiencing.

The point of this rambling, if you haven't already drawn your own conclusion, is that we should try to be open to the possibility that we will meet someone who can help us and in turn, the people that we meet may need our help and that every human transaction holds the gift of learning. The catch is that we have to ask.

The other thought is that if you have stumbled upon this blog, it was for a reason, and there is something here that you can use. Hope that you find it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I finally got the e-mail/letter from the Fredericton Arts Alliance that I have been waiting for, unfortunately it didn't say what I wanted it to.

Sadly the arts groups are all suffering this year from a lack of funding. The FAA isn't the first group that we belong that has had to shorten programs to scrimp their way through the summer.

So in a nutshell I am mildly disappointed that the application for a week long residency wasn't approved.

Oh well, next...


For a moment I have to revert to the seemingly cliche art title of 'untitled'. Sometimes the work that we are doing does not seem to have a particular focus nor does the body of work seem to have a theme nor does it suggest it name so for now it is 'untitled'.

I had the good fortune to spend a day with my good friend Dave, just jabbering away about everything and nothing.

The everything includes the CD is he working on recording. I am looking forward to the end of the summer as that is the predicted completion date for it. To me, he has a wonderful voice and good solid guitar skill, and I already know that I am biased. It will be largely comprised of his own compositions and that is a departure for Dave in his recordings where he has already worked with a few other artists and recorded a lot of folk music. I think that this work will be edgier and a lot more fun to listen to.

We tossed about some philosophical discussion on life, hinted at a few collaborative ideas and discussed nothing in the form of how, with summer heat and humidity approaching, that antiperspirants make for unsightly gobs of sticky greyish-white goop in one's arm-pit hair.

There is something to be said for taking time for a lot of coffee, which is far cheaper to rent than beer, with an old friend. It leads to a lot of off the wall topics, a lot of belly laughs, and a clearer head for going back into the studio to get the jobs done that are immediately pending. It's also good to have already planned the next escape from the studio and in effect the initial pursuit of a possible project.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Brave Moment...

...And it was fun too.

For the first time in years I put a brush to canvas. It was not easy.

I have had the paint, brushes and canvases for well over a year and I have periodically ranted about wanting to try painting again. It was good to play in the paint - acrylic - cheap but very functional when you know that this isn't your main gig.

I learned something that helped today too.

The reason that I shied away from visual art, since I could draw OK and could use oils OK was that in my mind, my mother was better, but she didn't paint much and often voiced disatisfaction with some branch or other of the family tree in regards to art. I got turned off and also I didn't want to appear to be competing with her - and maybe that's an only child/daughter hang-up. My mother liked to work on landscapes and painted in a realistic but not photographic fashion. I am very uncomfortable with realism, besides I have a lot of doubt in my ability and I am hung-up on all of this.

But what I learned is that if I pick really contrary colours to work in: green and blue for flesh for example, that the whole activity becomes a lot more fun; after all it is hard to take a green/blue nude seriously.

The three small canvases, I think they are the standard 5x7, will be signed and dated, probably tacked up on the studio wall and will be replaced with several more blanks.

I know that the 'paintings' are NOT gallery quality, at least in my humble and self-detrimental opinion, but I'm still pretty proud of them because it's real progress. It took a lot of time and a good bit of bravery to try something that I gave up on 20 years ago.

Now I wonder what else I can rediscover and try again?