Saturday, June 15, 2019

How Many Thank yous.. can one say?

On this Father's Day, 2019, let me count the ways... using my paintings to express my gratitude and lasting tributes of respect to my very special Mom and Dad. The very essence of  "Who" I am... and aspire to become manifests clearly a living physical testimonial of your undying love and generosity.

"Good paintings" continue to effortlessly communicate. They need no explanation... they are universals. They strike a common chord in the hearts of whoever views them. Simply put, such paintings reach beyond what the eye can interpret... more deeply to the heart and soul of the beholder.

They affirm the old and cliched notion that "a picture is worth a thousand words." Your gifts to me during my own lifetime and during the entire course of my life with you in your home(s) create more words of gratitude than I can offer today.

Let my paintings humbly attempt to offer tribute and my gratitude to you... beyond your earthly presence.

                                                     "Thank you for the Music"

                                         The many forms of music that we joyfully shared... sang together

                                 "August ...on my mind"

The taste of ripening August summer celebrations of foods and birthdays, both of which still linger on my tongue and forever in my heart.

"Keep Smiling"... not just a funny card tacked up on your bulletin board down in your basement "Inner Sanctum" Dad. You taught me to always carry this calling card with me daily and to share my smile... copiously... with those I met along my daily path. It has served me... and a host of others well.

                                   Bountiful Blessings...
                                  Count your many blessings... name them one by one
                                  Count your many blessings... see what God has done.

                                  You taught me by your example... to have Faith -
                                   To believe... and to live by practising it.

                          Happy Father's Day Andrew!!

I am so very proud of the new Father you have become to each of the three new Sherman faces that you have ushered into this life with Melissa. You make all Shermans... past and present
proud. Grampa Sherman thought you special... way back when. You have followed his footsteps to the "T". He had a good eye for Dad talent! lol

Happy Father's Day... to all my Blogging families. Celebrate the Fathers in your midst.... and say your own BIG  Thank Yous in your own special way!!!

Good Painting and Happy Summer Painting to ALL!!!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Rewind... and Fast Forward

Mother's Day. 2019 has arrived. Perfect weather has ushered this annual pageant.. the event itself, a harbinger of Spring. The lilting brogue of a Baltimore Oriole, resplendent in its orange and black vestments inspires Gratitude and Hope. Hope that the icy grasp of winter has finally stepped out of the room for six months.. at least and that the promise of new green life and wildflowers will very soon make us forget the icy clutches of winters' lengthy cold quickly.

Friday, I made my annual trek down to Oakland Cemetery in Brockville. I fully expected my Easter offering of a basket of Gigantico purple and yellow pansies to be ready for the dumpster. Several days of successive colder, rainy weather usually leave these hearty early blooms colour at least to dispel the drabness of late winter.

As I arrived with my brighter Mother's day offerings at my Mom and Dad's final resting place... I was overcome with the totally unexpected sight of the pot of Giganticos blooming better than when they were first placed.
Perhaps it was the even period of sun and shade... or the protective cover of the towering white pine under which my parents dwell... to Eternity. It truly was a time for Gratitude and I felt my Mom's warm presence smiling down on me... and I remembered her wise words: "When life looks rough- look UP!!"

And I did so... with Peace and Joy for the gifts she shared with me and my family of children. I paused to press forward to Mother's Day 2017... the first Mother's day without Allie. Scarcely a month after her untimely and unfair passing... and hardly a time for anything other than a deeper sense of grief and loss.
And in the Now... Sunday, May 12th, 2019 we will truly celebrate the life gifts of women in our lives who created such meaning and beauty. Women who sacrificed... who mentored and taught us how to live.

So setting sadness aside (momentarily) this Mother's Day, we will gather.... Deb, Joan and I for a meal together today and a trip down to Allie's commemorative ginkgo tree. We will decorate her tree with a new set of solar powered mini lights and flowers.Rather than tears, I intend to read this wonderful Emily Dickinson poem which came to me through Robert Genn's Bi-weekly Newsletters.

Dickinson has always been a poet I admired. A painter of paintings using simple language. A minstrel for "the ordinary man." A man such as I am... hope to remain.
Thank you to all Mothers... everywhere. Your lives truly matter!

"Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tunes without the words
And never stops at all."

Rich blessings to All! I close out today's post with my own painting tributes... past and into the present!

                                           " Venetian fragments... and memories of Allie"

"August on my Mind"

                                                "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom Time"

                                                                  "Summer Reliquary"

                                            "Lilac Time at Saint Mark's Church, Barriefield"

Ironically, the quaint Barriefield Village lies directly across the road from where we now reside. I spent many pleasant hours plein airing my way around to the numerous painting locations. I intend to commence  a few trips to reacquaint  and rewind myself back to the remnants of the Past... hoping to fast forward myself with a new eye and skill set to capture Barriefields presence in 2019.

Stay tuned...

Andrew's lovely wife Melissa introduces Mr. Mac and Whitney to their newest family member, Reese Allison.

Deb cannot rightly be called "Mom" by any member of the Sherman clan. But she is readily recognized by all... for her numerous and generous contributions to ALL Shermans... large and small. That qualifies her with the honour of being a fully fledged Sherman "Mother.

"Happy Mother's Day"... Sweetest Heart!

I am truly... and deeply blessed!

               HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY... and Good Painting.                                                   to all Moms out there!!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019


This post had to be delayed until today, due to computer difficulties that arose during our move to Kingston. Thankfully, our kind webmaster - designer Brenda Stanley corrected them (as always) in a quick and painless fashion. Thank you Sweet Lady!!

Celebrating Allison's ongoing presence
Friday, April 26th, 2019 marked the second anniversary of our dear daughter Allison's passing... over. Personally, I choose to express that event in her too short life in these terms. Our family... as a whole, I believe feel the same way.

We came together, as always at her fledgling... but thriving ginkgo tree. It was planted in her honour by her Queen's student family to remember her gifts to them in life. We choose to come together as her earthly family and friends to share laughter, good memories. We decorate her now budding ginkgo fulfilling our own need to nurture the spirit of her "being"... to kindle and keep it alive through our combined ongoing love and respect.

Others of her friends could not be present to join us. Their tributes to her did so from ever so far way through Face book. Allie sensed the presence of " legions of angels who continued to watch over her... never leaving her to feel alone, even in this darkened time."

Death still cannot extinguish the 'Light' that she shared so generously... with so many during her brief lifespan.

Perhaps the most comforting words that were sent online came from a quote from a very special Venetian friend, Jill Weinreich - Luppi was Allie's very special person during her time in Venice and has become a very special friend to the Sherman Family as a whole. Her soothing tribute:

To live in the hearts we leave behind... is not to die." Thomas Campbell (1777 - 1844)

Allison possessed many gifts... and used them all to perfection. Her way with words was perhaps the greatest of her assets. So in closing out today's post dedicated to her presence and legacy, I will leave a selection of a significant few of her own that clearly demonstrate her proficiency with language:

" Even in this darkest dark, I have never for a second felt alone hanks to your loving energy, prayers, messages, visits and gifts. You are the best evidence I have that I have made some good decisions along the way for they have brought into my life.

We cannot feel fear and sadness at the same time as gratitude. Fact."

Though I continue to miss you each and every day, gratitude is all that I feel today my darling Allie. Gratitude and Joy. That you came to us from out of the mysterious cauldron of Creation in this vast Universe. "You" travel with me in my heart... through to Eternity.

Each heart shaped stone forming this heart mold "found" me on different days... reminding me that you still  exist everywhere... and visit me mysteriously from out of nowhere.

We both loved Pooh so and we both practised the simple ... but generous ritual of sharing ... on every level.

    Allie's Mom Joan       Dawn Lloyd Allie's-Friend and Dept. Secretary  Deb et Moi

                            Spring has arrived at the Ginkgo... just not fully  to Kingston

This was the top of a side table that I created as an art gift to commemorate Allison's undergraduate Art History Degree at Queen's University . The iconography and message contained therein foreshadowed her accomplishments and her many gifts... her ever radiant Light.

I wish to conclude today's tribute to Allison using "pictures" from Allison's remarkable journey to speak for themselves. 

Undergrad moment toting her beloved "Hanno" his grad credentials matched Allie's... marching to the platform on each and every occasion to receive "their" diplomas. No fear!

Allie's last trip to Italy... note the bobbed hair. This is Roma... What was she thinking??? I wonder....

                Allie in the presence of master Veronese's "Adoration of the Magi"''' her fav!!!

                                             La Venezia di Allie by friend Peter Coffman
Inscription quotes Allie:

"I've encountered so many wonderful students and they know how much I love them, how much they've given me and how proud I am of them."

These last words very near the end of her life most eloquently offer significant evidence which supports my belief that Allie left this life fully aware that she had modelled for herself and her students... The Art of a Life Well Lived !

                                                             "First Gifts From Venice"

                                   "I" love "You"... FOREVER Jemima Puddle Duck


Saturday, April 20, 2019


Spring dripped in... ever more slowly it seemed this year than usual. Despite several false starts... it has finally tumbled in fully. Temperatures have risen dramatically... as have the creeks and streams... swollen to overflowing with melt water. Winter is definitely in rapid retreat. Hope has replaced despair. New choirs of bird song are added daily it seems... piping in swelling thoughts of Rebirth... and Resurrection.

Rockport Resurrection... Faith and Hope

                   Drip!... Drip!... Drip!... Sweet Taste of Spring - oil on canvas 20 x 16 inches

         Past memories shared... can still be felt... and held if not in the hand... then close to the heart

A largish watercolor memory entitled "Afternoon Recess" of a glorious spring day spent with the Drummond Family near Spencerville... and the sharing of hot pancakes dripping with Canadian liquid gold and locally made sausages. Annual rite of spring... for them... and myself! 

The result of a fifteen year "sweet" springtime relationship with the Smail Family near Groveton, Ontario. A portrait of "Old Majestic"- now disappeared... along with the Smail operation and bush. A 400 year old sugar maple whose ancient hatchet slash wounds just above the roots whispered the presence of indigenous harvests using birch bark containers... long before European settlers' feet first sullied the landscape. A sweet taste of renewal... even back then. The elixir of spring that brought  long and treacherous winters of hunger and hardship to an abrupt end. Life is a cycle governed (mostly) by Nature! 

Human Passage and Transition

Human existence is no different. It is simply the earthly stage passing beyond into another plane of existence. The same laws and tragedies play out in our own daily lives as well. The difference lies only in our ability, or inability to respond to these changes and to permit safe passage, or transition through these tests.

I can assure you that one never "gets over" such losses. They follow you through the rest of your measure of time and they rear their wretched heads unmercifully at times. Each of us must choose our own path and find touch points to maintain positivity and health. Both come into play... and must be addressed... or lost. But in our own time frame and unique way.

Fortunately, I have a uniquely wonderful collection of family who has chosen to join hands to keep Allison's memory alive and present in an active fashion in family celebrations and events. My painting... and my writing/sharing here in this blog are ways specifically carried out by my hand alone. 

On Thursday... Joan, Deb and I met at Allison's commemorative ginkgo tree on the waterfront to decorate it with the colorful handmade Easter eggs which Deb crafted in stained glass and Joan had purchased. After some quiet sharing... we met back at Joan's house for a wonderful lunch of spinach quiche (Allie's fav food) and a rich brew of stiff coffee to warm up the bones after the biting cold wind coming relentlessly off Lake Ontario.

Here are some quiet moments from Easter Celebration - 2019

                                                 Easter eggs-actly... at Allie's ginkgo tree!

                                        Mom and Dad... with you in spirit... ALWAYS Allie!

                             Dad and "your other Mother", as you called her...  honoring "You"

                    "Choose Love"... the Taro card that you selected for me Brave Heart... AND I DO!!!

The portrait  "Il Camino di Allie" that I completed to honor you has been entered into the Kingston Prize portrait competition for 2019. Fingers crossed!!!

Stay tuned...

Happy Easter to you Sweetheart... and to all of my blog Followers!! 

PS More transition to come. Our move to Kingston is complete. We made a final trip to gather the last dregs of "stuff" to be dealt with. We definitely are "living tinier"... and that will take some getting use to over time, We attended a fish fry at the home of good friends Captain Wayne and Mate Jane Green of Rockport in his man cave/gathering place. A friendly gathering of river folk that we have enjoyed during our ten year stint in Rockapulco.

Stay tuned... for further updates... one is already in the making...

Monday, March 4, 2019

Life on the River

My life on the River that I have been blessed to have grown up on has helped shape the very person that I have become. Throughout my entire seventy-five years, she has offered me an unceasing sense of belonging and nurturing that continues to enrich my spirit and zest for living.

She has conducted my rich outdoor education program upon which my knowledge and respect for all things wild is built upon. That same knowledge became the crucible and engine for my creative activity.... both en plein air and then carried into use in each of my classrooms, as well back into the studio.

The solitude and silence that she provides has continually stilled the reoccurring anguish and confusion... in a world driven too much by money and technology. Her banks, channels and bays provide undefiled refuge for all living things - mySelf included. "Still waters... it restoreth my soul."

Life did necessitate my leaving all of this at certain points in my journey. But I never found myself able to feel comfortable without the presence of water nearby. So I rooted those early chapters beside similar sources in Kingston located on Lake Ontario... Nova Scotia and the Georgian Bay area. I added regular trips to Algonquin Park during intervals when I was not living within sight of water. Thus I always found ways to support my need to be near water.

At the close of our tenth season here in Rockport we came jointly to a firm decision to close The Paint Box Gallery permanently... not solely because it wasn't enjoyable or lucrative, but rather because we both were experiencing health issues that made continuing a struggle. It was necessary to decide upon a course of action which provided less stress and greater latitude to grow in different directions with new opportunities together.

We made a firm decision to travel upstream fifty kilometers to Kingston... located on the shores of Lake Ontario. I enjoyed a rewarding twenty-seven year teaching career in that picturesque and historic city... so it was an easy decision to make. Hospital care is conjoined with Queen's University offering the best of medical services.

Culturally, there are unlimited opportunities and facilities to engage in and enjoy. What's to lose? A no - brainer, as they say. So the search for an acceptable new place to hang our hat was begun back in the late fall. A sprawling student population has all but swallowed downtown residential opportunities and have driven up the rental costs astronomically.

We had almost given up hope of finding one for ourselves... when the Universe... ever so mysteriously laid a perfect one in our laps. Perfect in every way. A condo, meaning no more stairs... no more property maintenance... no more hordes of noisy, rude and invasive visitors.  The condo has everything in the way of space and amenities  that one could ever wish for at our time in life. We snapped at it right away.

So ... this will be my last posting from the village of Rockport. No longer did we find the village a refuge with peace and contentment. Like so many quaint places... or Paradise as we had earlier known and experienced, $$$ brought with it a need for substantial changes which did not serve the well being of all residents.

We have enjoyed our stay here and our relationship  with so many fine people who we have been blessed to live with. We shall carry fond memories of them and the "glory days" that we shared as a community of like-minded people.

High on that totem of Friendship are the eight individuals who made our quicksilver move to Kingston possible. Without them... we would have been lost.We will ALWAYS bee indebted to each of them. We are indeed blessed to have such people in our lives!

We are now fully embedded in the move... and establishing new directions for us both. We are still searching out answers for that rotten sciatica we both battle with still. But that is a small issue... and too... will come to an end!

Spring is indeed in the air here. But reluctant.. as always... to fully commit!

Rich blessings to ALL!

I wish to close out the Rockport chapter with this appropriate thought that I clipped out of a magazine a couple of years ago. Somehow... I always seem to find a suitable place to insert them into my thoughts and writing.

Life on the River

Send your worries downstream
Watch every sunset
Let the current give you strength
Have lazy days
Take walks and play in the sand
Make memories.

                  From Renaissance Magazine (Summer 2017 Issue)
                  - a sign at the Sulphur's (??) cottage

And sweet River memories will remain in my heart... no matter where my journey leads me from here. I am deeply blessed...

"Minuet d'hiver"- (River Dance) 1st take
  30 x 36 inch oil on canvas

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Spring Tumbles In... and Winter Staggers Defiantly Out

                                  "Springing out of Winter" - oil on oak panel 10 x 17 inches

Although this plein air moment, painted directly from in front of our Rockport home and gallery on January 13th of 2013 the drama and mood of this very view repeats itself almost seamlessly for February 24th, 2019.

Two days ago ice spanned this inner channel view almost from shore to shore. Water appeared only where strong river current prevents total freeze over. The ever constant rhythm and flow of the River has always seen to that. Every winter.

The ice simply disappeared in the center of the channel overnight and a pathway grew steadily eastward. Within hours... a flotilla of graceful mute swans were able to work their way slowly westward against the current between the mainland and Club Island. Springtime Magic!

"Winter Rotting Away... Irondale River" - plein air oil on canvas 20 x 24 inches SOLD

The earth... scarcely bare and seen only in select southerly facing places offers a further testimony and promise that Spring is close by. One who pays attention can smell spring and even taste it in the very air that suddenly is abuzz with new visitors to our yard and feeders. Long absent goldfinches and mourning doves enter the feeding frenzy usually dominated by squadrons of selfish sparrows.

The din grows... as do the numbers of new arrivals. Chickadees, nuthatches, slate breasted juncos, blue jays and our timid resident cardinal pair add new voices to our springtime choir. And cheeriness - the underlying gift that Spring offers... fills every corner the winter wearied world.

On Friday, February 22nd as I moved about my Saturday morning ritual of preparing our garbage for pick up. I stood almost awestruck by the unmistakable trills of male robins - not heard here since their fall departure to southern warmth. Not just a single voice... but a grove of several who were obviously the vanguard of newly arrived migrants seeking to establish breeding ... and bragging rights. All played out just to gain the attention of the yet to arrive females.

Though Deb and I continue to struggle to regain our health and freedom from the painful clutches of this dreadful and unrelenting pain of the sciatica that we both have had to endure... for far too many months... Hope on the wings of this unexpected breath of Spring has arrived.

None of us can hope to be free of adversity, sadness and uncertainty in our daily lives. Each must
play the hand we are given with courage in your hand and heart. Be grateful for your blessings... and the precious gift of life and life in this magical Eden.

I am greatly blessed. Life is about living and since having to suffer helplessly alongside our lovely Allison for the pain-filled duration of her courageous journey, Deb and I fully committed ourselves to do our best to live our lives fully... in her honor. Plain and simple.

Change is indeed in the air in the natural world about us here in Rockport. But change has already been put into play by Deb and I as of February 1st. I turned the ripe age of seventy-five on February 11th. We feel that changes are warranted and timely for us both. We have set the wheels of change into motion.

Today... I wanted only to add another post from my roost here on my beloved River and to share it with my small but faithful blogging family. What remains to be told for the future...

Is a story for another day!

Good painting... and an early Happy Spring to All!

                                               "A Sweet Taste of Spring" - 20 x 16 inches

                                                       ... Coming your way SOON!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Joy... to the World!!!

Life ... on a different plane

Today... I am setting aside earlier obstacles which darkened my spirit to share with you a gift of pure magic which has been sent by the Universe to minister to the deep wounds that our family has endured since our beloved Allison's untimely and tragic passing. Let me set the stage for today's post using the lyrics from a simple favorite childhood song... likely familiar to most of us.

"Twinkle... twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are.

How I miss each of those "Little Folk" and their bell-like voices! Unfettered angelic voices... filled with wonder and Hope. Pure spirits willing to risk. Eager to share their messages. Unafraid (yet)... to express their own thoughts and ideas without fear of comparison, or rejection.

The simple language of this childhood anthem fully encapsulates the very essence and purity of each child and early childhood in general. Children's voices so easily bring to life the beauty and sense of celestial Joy gently to earth. 

I offered my own children a painting to share each Christmas which acknowledges  the presence and importance of special stars in our lives. Here is "River Spirit"the very first of three... which I gifted to Allison and Andrew. I proudly feel  that this painting records a common joy we shared which owes its origin one such star,Venus... or as it is called, the "Morning Star." Actually, Venus is a planet which offers the bright and twinkling essence of the lyrical star.

It rises low in the east... just ahead of the sun rising climbing steadily heavenward and disappearing ever so gradually into the light of the sun until late in the day at sunset. It suddenly reappears as the "Evening Star" to signal another day's end. What a metaphor describing  life... don't you think???

On the clear starlit morning of January 30th, I arose later than usual for our morning coffee rendezvous and found Deb perched... and peering intently southward. She turned to me excitedly like a child... tears streaming down her cheeks and exclaimed joyfully,"Come and see this Hon. I wanted to go and get you up to share this with you - it's so beautiful.  It's Allie looking down and assuring us that she is okay... and still with us."

There it was... the fingernail moon tugging the Morning Star ever so slowly up higher into the heavens. In Deb's own loving innocence and child-centered spirituality she often chooses to express her love to her loved ones with this mantra:

" I love you forever... to the moon and back... a gazillion times!"

It is how she ends every contact and call to her beloved grand gals... Ava and Ella

This celestial pageant was unfolding just for us in the southern heavens on that morning and will remain special to us both. The morning magic ratcheted up further when a totally unexpected early evening telephone call arrived from Joan (Allison and Andrew's Mom). She proudly announced the earlier-than-expected safe arrival of a new wee Sherman family member. Reese Allison, our newest addition weighed in three weeks earlier than expected at six pounds and five ounces... and measured nineteen inches in length. Tiny by any standard.

"JOY to the world!... a child is born!!! 

We are so greatly blessed! Gratitude instantly cancels out the weeks of sciatic misery. The Universe has again sent a message of Hope to help ease and erase defeat and despair. I am so very proud of this new addition. She carries forward the spirit... and the name of our beloved Allie and not just in name only.

This child is blessed to commence a life piloted by two loving, caring and capable parents who will offer her every opportunity in life to be filled with love... joy and opportunity. I know that hey will encourage her to emerge as a free and creative spirit just like her namesake. Andrew, Melissa and Reese's siblings have welcomed her with wide open and loving arms.

I will close out today's special post with pictures that so eloquently reflect my words. Pictures... really do replace the weight and value of a thousand words... or brushstrokes. Judge for yourselves... and enjoy!

Thank you for your continued presence and support. You have absolutely no idea of the value of your generous gifts to me and my family members.

God bless you...and guide you Melissa and Andrew!

Rich blessings... and Good Painting to ALL!!

                                        Mom presents your new baby sister Reese Allison

                                        Lots of love, warmth.. and skin - But Sorry .... No milk!!!

                                                         "She's my Baby Sweet Heart!"

                                                             "I'm your... other Mother!"

                                     " The first of many cuddles and quiet moments Reese."
             Thank you for this loving gift Melissa! We share your love and pride in your gift.

"You're a keeper Reese Allison. And I see a look of Gramma Joan on your face too !!"

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Nostos - A Christmas Homecoming... of Sorts

Happy New Year... to ALL!

NOSTOS in literary terms is defined as the homecoming after a long journey. The contents in today's post in so many ways represents and describes clearly a journey... or an end to an important  chapter in my life. My painting journey in the many small hamlets and villages of rural Quebec created a genuine love and respect for Quebecois culture and its people. As I travelled about... painting as I went I immediately began to feel the "joie de vivre" that this culture so freely expresses. I began to understand more clearly than ever before why the French-Canadian population view themselves as a distinct society from the rest of Canada. And as an anglo... it does not offend me.

And all these years afterward... "je me souviens."

To open this post I have chosen this quiet and contemplative piece of music aptly entitled "Nostos" because it captures that peaceful world that is revealed to me by a landscape and the sanctity of our Creator's hallowed space. I felt it an apt backdrop for the perceptions I have chosen to share with you today. I hope that you enjoy the tour.

We both managed to hobble through the Christmas crunch with some help from my brother D.on who came to visit from Victoria BC and a welcomed visit from Bryn who was on break from his final year of undergrad studies at Trent University, Peterborough ON. We are both still searching for answers and solutions for the sciatica-like disruption to our schedule and health. Fingers crossed...

During my break from painting and need to be down flat and resting (with ice packs) I was blessed to discover a series of novels by the acclaimed Canadian author, Louise Penny. Her books are based upon a series of murder mysteries in the Quebec City and environs. All are based upon the central character... Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete police force in Quebec.

Each of the richly crafted plots and supporting characters more than filled my time and and provided me many hours of pleasure... and pain relief. What attracted me immediately to her writing style was her rich powers of description which made her people and the locations very personal to me. I felt that I was a character as well... and that the landscapes she skillfully portrayed and the rural villages she developed as settings were so authentic... that I was transported back in my painting life to those exact places where I had painted en plein air and exhibited for so many years ago.

It was indeed... a homecoming for me - one that replenished the "joie de vivre" that radiated from the Quebecois inhabitants and filled my own heart with Joy back then. I truthfully have never felt that sense of warmth and belonging in many other places that I have called home. Her rich descriptive language is every bit as visually expressive as brushstrokes laid freely but precisely by any master landscape or portrait painter.

Sadly... our blogging family has dwindled in number over the past few years. So many "followers" of the original group have sought other platforms from which to display and potentially sell their work. Their choice. However... I am satisfied to continue to post as I those who share my values and pour common desire to support each other and share our ideas.

After my last post when I revealed my interest in Penny's books and her richly crafted  novels, I had a comment from a dear Blogger Friend Rhonda Carpenter that she too had read one of Louise's books. She further offered that it made her yearn to perhaps visit the area in Quebec where the substance for the books was born. So rich was Penny's description of the Bistro and the foods served in "The Portrait"... that I picked up croissants and made cafe au lait to enter the realm!HA HA!!

I promised Rhonda... that I would dedicate my next post to the excellence of Louise's craft ... and to pique Ronda's interest to move ahead with a plan to visit the Charlevoix area. So Rhonda... as promised... this tour's for you my dear!!! Enjoyez!

A la prochaine... tout le monde!
Bonnes annees

                                                   "Evening Greeting" - Les Eboulements

                                                              "Bienvenue a Charlevoix!"

                         "La Lumiere d'Or - Notre Dame du Lac" -oil on canvas 20 x 24 inches

                               "L'Heure d' Or" - Les Eboulements - oil on canvas 20 x 16 inches

                 "A Midnight Clear" -  Farm Point, Gatineau Quebec - oil on canvas 20 x 24 inches

"Rue, Saint Vincent de Paul, Baie-Saint-de-Paul, Charlevoix" oil on canvas 20 x 24 inches

"Pas d-Essence Aujourd'hui" - Les Eboulements - oil on canvas 16 x 20 inches

                                      "Vers Baie-Saint-Paul" - oil on canvas 30 x 36 inches

                 "Cul du Sac Extraordinaire - Les Eboulements" - oil on canvas 16 x 20 inches

                                  "Les Eboulements... En Hiver" - - oil on canvas 20 x 24 inches

                 "Le Grandes Couleurs de Charlevoix en Automne" - oil canvas 30 x 24 inches

I hope that this we plein air sampling from my own enjoyment and interpretation of rural Quebec might transport your imagination... and perhaps even lead you seriously plan an expedition and holiday to Charlevoix. It will no doubt lead you into a whole new world to be explored and enjoyed Rhonda.

I believe that you might well find recurring similarities in the pictures that Louise Penny and I have painted of rural Quebec. The only difference is our medium... hers in words... and mine in paint. Both summon up a loving interface with the tiny, remote villages which dot the spectacular landscape of regions like Charlevoix and the Southern Townships.

You can check it out for yourself by simple Googling Louise Penny... or by browsing the internet sources to obtain a copy of her work. I would recommend the first of the Gamache series... "Still Life" as a great place to start. And yes... it does have an art focus in the narrative.

Thanks for motivating me to reach back and remember these "glory days" on my own painting
journey Rhonda.

Bonne chance ma belle amie!!