Sunday, December 20, 2015

Simply... Peace on Earth

It snowed "a skiff" overnight... just enough to provide the hope for a traditional white Christmas. Though I could feel the more intense cold from the very moment my unslippered feet touched the floor... the ermine coat that greeted me on the lawn startled me and took me completely by surprise.

It did the weather folk as well... for there was no mention of this in their prognostications. Surprise... but not. The only thing that one can predict about the weather in these parts in any part of the year... is that it will surely change every within twenty minutes!

Yesterday was tree trimming day for Deb and I... and it went off with only minor hitches. The light arrangements always add "color" to the festive language... but eventually we sorted them out and got on with the tree decorating ritual.

Out of Pandora's Christmas chest leaped memories of many Christmases passed. Many of the ornaments are handmade... dating back to primary school days for the children. Others bear dates and names of those who either created them or gifted them to us.

I particularly love hanging the dozen or so very primary looking candy cane ornaments. They were the products of a project that Liam, Bryn and I made to decorate one very sparsely-decorated (taken from the wild) Charlie Brown Spruce for our first Christmas together in year one at The Paint Box Gallery apartment in Hillsdale.

They consist of one red and one white pipe cleaner intertwined with each other to form the candy cane shape.They remind me ever so clearly how much can change in one's life... if there is love at home. Home for me is not just a house. It is a place where hearts live in love and harmony. Money plays little part in the presence of those two important home furnishings.

The Order of Good Cheer... Peace on Earth... Christmas 2015

My daughter Allison will arrive later today with her Mom Joan to commence our "Good Order of Cheer" festivities. We will put together my Mom's all time fav "Tater Gem Casserole and make her much loved peppermint and wintergreen flavored hard Christmas candy.

We will spend the time... and NOT... the $$$... to bring us together to celebrate this joyous family season. We have learned first hand during this last challenging year for our family... just how very precious our Time and our Family members are in our lives!

The two lads will join us here at Islandsview for a three day sleepover. Good food... fellowship and board games galore will form "The Order of Good Cheer" at our Rockport "Habitation". During the endless deep Canadian winters of the 1500's, this celebration was formed to lift the spirits of his isolated men by Samuel de Champlain... the Father of New France. He created this merry diversion to help overcome the terrible loneliness and deplorably frigid conditions when Canada was a fledgling French wilderness colony.

Our 2015 version of his "Order of Good Cheer" will melt away the remembrances and pressures of late night College study sessions... quick intakes of Kraft Dinner and assignment deadlines. Our "Habitation" will offer times for relaxation... sharing laughter and stockings to be traded. Gifts are not on the radar. Even the traditional turkey will be spared this year for us. Other arrangements are being undertaken to change traditional expectations ... and thinking.

My personal Christmas tasks are completed. Cards are in the mail and on the way to their various destinations. The yard and deck decorated. My annual Christmas painting has been completed. It will be presented to the boys on Christmas day... to commence its planned annual exchange between their houses each year forthwith. It depicts the relationship as it existed in Nova Scotia... "way back when". That relationship remains unchanged at this moment. The painting speaks its own words:

"Down East Vigil" - oil on canvas 24x20 inches

Last year's version""River Spirit" will be carried by Allison and her Mom to spend Christmas and 2016 at the home of her bro' and my son Andrew, Melissa and wee Mac in Rockwood, Ontario. And so... the beat goes on. 

                                                "River Spirit" oil on canvas 18x14 inches

Much love... to ALL Sherman Children... from their Snow Santa Plaid Dad!!!

In closing this post... I wish to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to all of you who have shared visits and thoughts here on my blog site. Each of you do much to inspire and encourage me in my personal and artistic lives. As a measure of my deep gratitude, I offer this blog image version of this year's annual card to each of you and your family members.

                                     "River Dance" oil on gallery wrapped canvas 40x30 inches

Merry Christmas... to ALL... and hopefully... more Peace on Earth!


  1. And a very happy Christmas and New Year to you and your's, Bruce. I was wondering about the symbolism in the last painting - 2 pines (2 boys) together and 1 pine (1 girl) close by and all behind the 2 birch trees (you and your wife). Even if that is total mallarkey, I'm sticking to the right of the viewer to read anything at all into a work of art! ha ha.

  2. Good morning Rhonda!... Many of my paintings do in fact have symbolism attached to their creation.The painting "River Dance" is no exception.

    It greatly pleases me that you find some meaning for yourself in the painting beyond what lies on the surface. Rarely do I intend... or wish to reveal what I "meant" when I painted the work. It suffices that the painting challenges or stirs the viewer to think further.

    I am in accord with your last statement fully.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  3. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Bruce and a heartfelt thank you for sharing your art and insights with us this past year.

  4. Merry Christmas to you and your family as well Susan! I have truly enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you... and creative others like you who share the journey and passion to make art.

    Glad to see you back on board after your hiatus.

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  5. Good morning Bruce. That sounds like a recipe for a wonderful Christmas! I hope you all have a great time.

    Looking forward to catching up with you in the New Year.

    Best wishes to you and Deb, and the rest of the family,

  6. Good morning Keith!... I must honestly say that Christmas always is a very difficult time for me personally. It is a time of joy and family celebration... it is a time for giving and receiving.

    Unfortunately for me personally, despite my own continual cornucopia of blessings within my own life... I have been forced to work much of my adult life with those who have less to look forward to in life... let alone Christmas. It has caused me great difficulty emotionally... and it just never seems to really go away completely.

    I do my very best to "put on a good face" for others in my family... so not to spoil their celebrations... but again, I really am not very good at hiding my feelings. To use a coined phrase... "I wear them on my sleeve."

    All of this said... we are well into a wonderful family Christmas celebration.

    Tomorrow Deb and I join Allison and her Mom to finish her last radiation treatment. We will celebrate this marker in her magnificent bid for recovery by going immediately to share breakfast together. This is the very best gift under my tree this year.

    I pray ardently and humbly... each day for a complete recovery of good health for this very special child of mine... so that she can continue to offer the world her own unique gifts. This sad and angry world very badly needs more Allisons!

    Rich blessings of Happiness... Joy... Good Health and prosperity upon your house Keith.

    Thank you for your support and friendship. They mean a great deal to me!

    Warmest regards,

  7. Merry Christmas Bruce. Your story was heartwarming. I hope your time with family creates for you all many new lovely memories. May God bless you all this Christmas and all the days forward.

  8. Merry Christmas to you and your family Ross!

    "Heartwarming" - the word conjures up the very feeling that I aim for ... whenever I paint... or write. Both "voices" come from my heart and your compound word compliment returns the feeling.

    Thank you... for your presence and encouragement throughout the entire year inspire me to continue!

    God bless you during this blessed season... and throughout 2016!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  9. Many thanks again for visiting my blog Bruce. Wishing that all your hopes are realized in 2016. Cheers, Helen

  10. My pleasure always... to visit your unique site Helen!

    Good Painting and Happy New Year to you as well!
    Warmest regards,