Friday, March 12, 2010

Spring moves in... for now at least

I journeyed down to the "Big Smoke" (Toronto) to meet my eldest son Andrew... who took me to a Toronto Maple Leaf - Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game and rib dinner beforehand as a belated birthday gift.

"I" felt as if I had entered an alien world... with all the hustle... din of noise... both inside and outside of the rink. We had a wonderful evening together... but "I" was so relieved to wake up... and get back down this morning into the sanctity of our cosy (almost noise-free) studio here in drowsy... slow-moving Hillsdale.

I kicked off the day's by completing the "run-for-the-sun" 12x 10 inch quick sketch I had nearly completed on my last outdoor session.It only required an additional 15 minutes of "puttzing about"... adding a few necessary value changes and "colour surprises" to satisfy "Me". It is the jpeg posted today and I feel that it rather succinctly describes our current weather situation here in the Oro-Medonte region.

Fields have been nearly stripped of snow cover... ochre-coloured grasses not seen since late November, now dominate the landscape. Many artists find this time of year and this earthen palette..."uninviting"... and not to their painting tastes. Again... I revel in this change... because it signals within "Me" a new cycle to follow - the beginning of maple syrup gathering. Creeks, streams and small rivers... for too long hushed by winter's frozen grasp... babble invitingly and run swiftly to create exciting crescendos of sound and movement providing countless opportunities for ideal picture-making subjects.

After a career spanning close to thirty years in teaching ... "I" feel blessed to be healthy enough to get "out there"... minus heavy clothing... without insect harassment... and mostly before the tourist hordes descend in large numbers.It is a time of renewal... it is Resurrection... it is rebirth in all its might and wonder!

In my own life, "I" free to paint what "I" want to... and to find Peace and contentment at this time in my life. Painting is not just business for "Me" ... or about money.It never has been. It is work...and it is not. It has been a lifelong and passionate journey of self-enlightenment... friendships... adventures and learning experiences which will continue...until "I" am no longer able to journey.

And even after "I" no longer journey... there might be a day.. somewhere... some time... when someone will look upon "Fugitive Snow"... as humble a quick sketch as it is... and remark:
"Isn't that beautiful?... Hey!... I've been on Gauthier Road in Oro-Medonte Township"!

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds-and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hovr'ing there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious burning blue,
Where never lark, or even eagle flew-
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Spring IS... "High Flight" for "Me"! I don't fly... or soar per say... except in spirit. And especially in Spring. This wonderfully uplifting poem was presented to "Me" by my Grade Eight Teacher,Miss Mildred Hyde, who would later become my colleague. Both continue to nourish my Spirit. The poem's author, Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee penned this while serving Canada in the RCAF in England during WWII. He was killed in action on the 11Th of December, 1941...before it was ever published.Mildred Hyde passed suddenly over March School Break in 1969. Both are gone from this life. .

Sixty-nine years later,"I" find both pleasure ... and solace in remembering the timeless contributions of both."I" pass it on to "You"!

What "You" say or do...does matter!Believe that... and soar freely!

Good Painting... and Happy Spring!


  1. This is the time of year I itch to leave steel dust town Hamilton and head for Kincardine on Lake Huron; and Timmins as spring arrives in the north.
    We do enjoy spring changes in Hamilton's Royal Botanical forests. I am not sure spring has arrived yet though. Walking the Bruce Trail this week I don't yet see the glorious spring colours that rival fall.....the gentle pink/reds of maples and birches coming to life, the red of the dogwood and the limegreens of willows bursting forth. I did find new green sprouting next to tree trunks and noticed the moss is a brighter hue too; and do love the slick, dark wet of thawing mud.
    The waterfalls were cascading at their fullest

    Thinking about the new growth and transferring these thoughts to canvas.
    Unfortunately, or fortunately a gallery owner told me yesterday my paintings wer mediocre ... merely paint on canvas. So....I must truly think before I paint the newfound greens of spring.
    Thanks for your blog, very interesting reading.
    Regards, Ruby

  2. Hi Ruby!... After reading your uplifting and VERY beautifully written comment above... "I" feel that no matter that we may express our Selves differently and at varied levels of proficiency.... and I hesitantly use that last word... "We" share the same journey really."You" choose to reach out. So many others don't have that courage.

    Don't be discouraged by one gallery owner's comments.They simply reflect one opinion! Over the more than thirty years that I have painted and exhibited... I heard similarlydiscouraging comments over... and over again... even recently. No matter! T'is all in the game!HAHA!!

    Keep painting Ruby! Keep going out into Nature! That is where "You" will grow and learn... WITHOUT criticism levied by by business-driven critics who never pushed pigment in their lives. They simply own ... an opinion!

    In the body of this last post... you can "read" what has motivated "Me" in my own "Magnificent Obsession" and journey.

    "I" would offer "You" this wonderful quote that I came across years ago. It resonated within "Me then... and still does!

    "Living to paint will ultimately be more rewarding than painting to live".
    -Gerald Green
    Passionate Obsession (article)
    The Artist's Magazine
    May, 2004

    Good Painting!

  3. ik like both the big city and peace of the country,
    what a great birthday gift an ice hockey game.
    so you call that spring with all that snow on the ground?
    anyway wonderful painting,lovely light!

  4. Hi Rob!... I too,like visiting "The City" for cultural activities and gallery visits. I even paint occasionally in the Downtown.But my heart belongs to open spaces.

    The hockey game and rib dinner with my Son was a special treat. We've been great pals... canoed and painted together a lot. He is a fine artist in his own right!

    Rain today took a lot of the snow away... but strangely... we usually receive 20% of our annual snowfall during the month of March. So who knows? Stay tuned! I'll keep you posted!

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving encouraging comments!

    Good Painting!
    Warm regards, Bruce

  5. I enjoyed your beautiful painting.... wonderful inspiring and touching poem and fabulous walk down memory lane and through the trees and spring thaw as well.. Thanks, Bruce!!

  6. Thank "You" Marian... for continuing to visit and leave encouragement! "We" can share and support each other's journey.It is comforting to know that one's own struggles and discoveries are indeed experienced by others. Keeps us motivated!

    Good painting my Friend!Happy Spring!
    Warm regards,

  7. Hi Bruce. I definitely get a sense of spring in the painting.

    Thanks for sharing the poetic words, both yours and Gillespie Magee's.

  8. Hi Keith!... Thanks for visiting again... and for your always positive and encouraging comments!

    T'is Spring for sure here now... I just saw and heard an American Robin... our "official" North American harbinger of Spring!

    I'm off painting outdoors with my youngest son Bryn (13 years) tomorrow. We're both excited... all packed and ready to roll! Stay tuned!A favourable day predicted!

    Loved your John o' Groots piece ...another great panoramic Tilley beauty... and an interesting historic detail my Grandparents had mentioned!

    Good Painting my Friend!
    Warm regards,

  9. Hi-- really like your artwork! I found this by trying to google "Mildred Hyde"-- I was wondering if you knew anything about her? The one I am looking for info on is my great-grandmother's cousin- I know she was a teacher in Ontario, born around 1913 to Thomas Burton Hyde and Lola Gertrude Froome. That's all I know, so I was wondering if your colleague might be her? Thanks! -Jessie E