Monday, November 26, 2012

Journaling... Journal-ing... Journalling.... With Paint

When one runs these three words together quickly... one could easily... and rightly assume that I meant that I journal with paint. That is indeed true on one level, because each of my plein air sketches at least... represent two to three hours of my life and time. Each sketch records my very personal impression of an event... a visually captured response to a particular place... at a specific time. That image compelled me to paint it... at first for my own pleasure and satisfaction. However... I make these sketches and my studio paintings to share with the world at large... in the hopes that those who might see them might be able to better understand and embrace the love and respect that I have for our beautiful planet... its creatures and its workings.

While making pictures has been my preferred "voice" to express my Self and my feelings... dating back to earliest childhood, I found enjoyment in expressing myself through the use of the written word. I always enjoyed writing short stories, essays and customarily wrote long letters to family and friends to share "news and views" in my own life. I fell in love with writing poetry early in high school and wrote poetry compulsively in various forms throughout my entire stay in high school. Only my parents and one special  English teacher and mentor knew of this "un-football" preoccupation and affair that I was involved in. It simply was viewed was viewed as very "uncool" to lug the pigskin" and smash heads after school... and then to write poetry... instead of completing homework until late into the wee hours of the evening.

I still draw and write away my life really and I do keep a journal but not on a purely daily basis. I even found that I could teach successfully, reaching students... who like myself had other interests and preferences for learning using my own strengths and preferences. I was able to legitimately support this practice by assuming teaching roles... where no specific curriculum was in place... or in places where kids had been given up on by the educational system... due to their lack of success in traditional classroom settings which were based totally upon proficiency using "The 3R's". I simply wrote my own curriculum packages and goals. My students and I thrived upon an Arts-based curriculum which encouraged.... rather than  forced students to become involved in reading and writing... by teaching/ empowering/challenging them to make use of their strength in visual arts to support...subsidize and reward their efforts to gain proficiency in language-based activities.

Back to my blog! My blog certainly does contain posts that hinge upon sharing my artistic ideas and working process. I share sketches and paintings... and try very hard to clarify and convey my thinking and motivation in relationship to my ouevre (body of work). I refuse to hide secrets. Why would one want to carry learning gained on one's journey from another... who shares the exact same passion and path in life... to one's grave? Is it not better that one's skill and knowledge be preserved and be perpetuated... taken perhaps to greater heights after we are gone from this earth? I hold that a worthwhile part of "Me" will live on onto a future that I will never see... through the works of others. Is that not enough of a piece of Immortality? I wonder...

My latest blog posts have been  intentionally pointed away from my easel production. I paint in my mind... even when my paint box is closed. I hunt and gather ideas by examining the work and ideas of others around me. Those ideas and connected thoughts transpose and distil  themselves into future directions for my painting. Writing my posts is a creative pursuit... not lightly taken. I try to the best of my ability to craft "pictures" using words to spotlight the good works of others... and to honour my family and friends. I record seasonal changes in my world... simply because these changes stimulate my creativity. You see...the word "journalling" is a double-edged sword in my artistic arsenal! I hope that you enjoy my site!

"All the world's a stage... and we are merely players...", said Shakespeare. He journalled too... in the form of plays. His plays record nearly every possible human pathway... Death... requited love... greed... dementia... cruelty... betrayal... honour... gayness... suicide... murder... all is there!

"To be... or not to be
That is the question!...

Get a glove... and get in the game of life and making art!

Stay tuned for my next post -  a profile of a very special lady... who creates beauty and personal vision from things which the rest of us retire to the landfill sites... or Goodwill depositories for unwanted personal junk!

"One Man's Junk... is This Woman's Treasure Trove".... Stay tuned!....

Good Painting to ALL!!

A  First Taste of Architectural Artist Penny Gorman's World of Whimsy... stay tuned for more!

"The Tree of Life" - a copper lightning rod cable construction

Two wood and ceiling tin Fish Fantasia

"Blue Suede Shoes"... is it not gesturally speaking ... "The King"?... captured in old lock parts!

Arlo Guthrey... or Bob Marley... Your call... and you'd be right!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Birthday!... to Lisa and Liam!

As life moves along... not as slowly as one often wishes... there arise moments of intense pride for a parent when a child... or children reach a pivotal point in their own journeys. It is perhaps a bit of a bitter-sweet moment because the event marks the loss of one's "little people." They suddenly emerge... from out of nowhere it seems to stand taller than you do- physically even... and are on the very cusp of repeating a stage in your own journey... that you never thought would arrive... for your "babies."

Last night, two of my "babies"... my first born daughter Lisa and my second last born son, Liam were feted for arriving at new pinnacles in their grown lives. Lisa, the mother of my three grandchildren, Ryan, Mica and Braden was here at Islandsview for a typically Sherman gala celebration... with her sister Allison ( Dr. Jemima Puddle Duck) present to help us celebrate Lisa-Bo-Bissa's (Dolly-Dolly-Dumpkins-Queen-of-the-Pumpkins) November 30th special day! We are celebrating early because Lisa must return to her home in the beautiful Barbados before the actual date.

Lisa has travelled many miles... since she created "opened" her "Cradle Craft Boutique" with her friend Leanna Finucan... in my garden tool shed back in 1980. Her family life blended with her significant business skills and her HUGE creative spirit and drive prepare her for the next and most important chapter in her life. I am so proud of the recent initiatives she is undertaking to actualize her girlhood dream to actually run a bona fide artisan business. Stay tuned!....

Liam-Pee'em turned 18 on November 24th. How special is that date? Can you recall the feelings at your own 18th? Carpe diem... Get outta my way world! HA HA!! His evening was scheduled around taking four of his buddies out to his fav "all -you-can-eat-sushi" joint... copious cups of green tea and a trip to the movies... to take in the current James Bond box office hit and thriller. Liam is a "cool dude" who makes his own way... and never follows the crowd. He spends countless hours developing computer games that he plays on the ultra fast hard drive... which he built totally on his own... piece by piece from eBay!

As you can readily see from the nicknames... I value each of my children and their accomplishments totally upon how we relate with each other... and our common interests. Each is special to "Me" in their own unique way... and never compared or judged in relation to the others. Whatever their interests... all are free thinkers and are creative in their pursuit of knowledge. All have a unique passion for what they love. The common denominator is that they share my surname... and each already have brought honour and accomplishment to our family... no matter their age!

Deb and I am very proud of each of them and we share an unconditional love for each... which will always be there.

We are deeply blessed!...

Happy Birthday Lisa and Liam! Much Peace ... Health... Happiness and Success!

 Liam's Elelmentary School Grad... he's grown FULLY into the pants since this photo

 Look out world!... Here I come!

  A bad photo... but a great evening together... Dad... with "The Girls"!!!

Lisa... in better light!

All my love to you both.... ALWAYS! Iam... SOOOOOOOOOOO PROUD!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sights... Sounds... n' Tastes - Post Winery Thoughts

Last weekend, I participated with fifteen other diversely talented local artisans and artists at The 1st Annual tiArts at the Eagle Point Winery event in nearby Escott. It was indeed a successful start for what everyone one hopes will become an annual pre-Christmas event. Hundreds of visitors descended upon the Winery over the three days to have a taste of the vineyard products... and to view the artfully displayed wares of the tiArts Group. The narrow linear aisle space of the winery actually was overwhelmed at times by the shear numbers of  enthusiastic... and buying visitors. It was indeed a total success... and win-win proposition for both Winery and the artisans!

Every section of each artisan set up held something unique and very different than any of the other participants. It had a Santa's Workshop... Christmas Shoppe ambiance with colour... visual excitement... and soothing musical background mingled with friendly chatter... as visitors artists and artisans met and conversed. I could never completely describe the visual sense of the day... I'll leave that to your eyes and thoughts... using jpegs that I took over the course of the two days! Pictures are indeed... worth  a thousand words!

While I didn't manage to sell any of my paintings displayed, I did make a good number of sales from the portable items that we offered over the summer to visitors to The Paint Box Gallery. That simply consolidated our belief that we are on track for "bread and butter" products that appeal to visitors who are travelling... or who might not be in the market for a large tag item like an original painting. I handed out many, many business brochures and cards and made contact with possible candidates for my (soon to commence) winter art classes. I have received a commission as a result of being there. And sales often come later on... well after the event.

Participation in such shows should not be based purely upon sales alone. I've learned from nearly forty years of making and selling my art... that such shows offer a tremendous opportunity to (a.) connect with the public and (b.) to observe and evaluate the trends of the marketplace amongst my peers. I carried out both of those tasks... and came away with some fine ideas for fine tuning... or shifting our artistic efforts in an entirely new direction. It was very interesting for me to note that some of the ideas that I began my journey using... have returned and are again "in vogue" and highly marketable.

However... the feeling that I came away with most strongly, was the reinforcement of the fact that Deb and I were right on target with our own ideas for The Paint Box's future in Rockport. We needn't fix our compass on "what sells" in the marketplace... but rather work more earnestly over the winter to graduate our own ideas and distilling them into even more appealing products.... and to have more of them available. That means... "roll up the sleeves".... and "get at 'er... pitter-patter!"

I wish to specifically mention and thank the Winery owners, management and staff... along with three very special tiArts folk who , I believe greatly share praise for the success they helped to create. To Barb Simard... our ""Energizer Bunny"...who tirelessly put together and activated a media blitz which was itself... the very reason for the overall success of this new event. And to John Sorensen... my hat's off to you for creatively and patiently guiding our sometimes cantankerous and hard to live with crew through the shoals and hazards that popped up along the way. To friend artist Betty Matthews... many thanks for arranging the food for the Gala... and for pounding in all of the event signs with me... all along The Parkway and back country! I fully enjoyed our time together! And finally... to the other tiArts members... thank you for a FIRST CLASS Art Show!... Proud to be a part of it! "We".... did us PROUD!!!

Penny Gorman's "Tree of Life".... from electrical barn lightning rod cable ... How cool is that!!!

 Penny's faux fish!

 Jewellery Treasures galore... and more

 Silver and Goldsmith Marnie Astey's creations... buried in black lava sand

 Visitors surveying the wares....

 Friendly Folk at my display walls

 Linda Potter's Magical quilted creations... ornaments... and more!

John Sorensen's "Dancing With the Stars Folk... Folk Art

 Terry Schaub's magnificent stone sculptures... warm and smooth to the touch... inside and out!

 Barb Simard's  colourful Painting With Fabric Creations...

 Valerie Thomas' show-stopping silver and metal ladies jewellery and metalwork accessories...

 John Shea's crisp strong vanishing rural scenes in pen and ink and watercolour

 A lull in the traffic jams...

 Susan Hales whimsy dolls... angels, Santas and ornaments

 Betty Matthew's colourful collage paintings... active and energetic! Makes ya' wanna dance!

A warm wooden niche housing Rockport artisan Linda Hart's Jewellery Creations.

That's all Folks!

Good Painting... and future sales at shows... to All!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving... to my US Friends on Pine Island... and Followers... wherever you are!

Our own Thanksiving Day celebrations are long since passed and are "in the rear view mirror". However, on Thursday, November 22nd... our new friends Peter Frost, his lovely partner Kelsey Boesch and her look-alike sister Kerry (visiting from Minnesota)... will be sharing a tom on Pine Island, located directly in front of of our Islandsview home onshore in Rockport.

I met these adventurous young people as a result of my plein air adventure on their Pine Island summer retreat. They came to see my paintings and to meet me. The Universe offered "Me" further opportunity to come to know and admire the Keats family tradition, which began when John K. and Margaret K. Keats first purchased their Island Paradise. Margaret's own family began their Thousand Island heritage back in the days of steam and skiff travel on The River at Cliff Cottage west of Rockport... and that love affair was continued when John, a columnist/writer and Margaret decided to make their summer cottage getaway... a permanent home for they and their three young children Margaret, Victoria and Christopher.

They lived on the Island full time... the children attending the one room Rockport School onshore... and John supporting his family with a freelance career... writing travel and sporting magazine articles. This experience created a connection and relationship with Pine Island which has been passed from the now deceased parents... to their children... and now their grandchildren. That experience pretty much parallels my own Thousand Island story and experience. When the River grabs your soul... it holds on to you tightly... forever!

Peter and Kelsey have been up here since early fall... living in the small, but beloved  "bunkie"... simply because its easier to heat on these cold and damp autumn days on the River. They are enjoying their experience for certain... because they are both intrepid and vital youngsters who thrive on outdoor life. Choosing to live and share their lives aboard their 37 foot sail boat "The Privateer"... in Alaska, they are both used to "living on the edge"... but totally in touch with the Natural World which they respect and create their livelihood from. Captain Peter... is a Master Mariner, with credentials and time at sea.... as long as your arm and Kelsey as his affable and hearty First Mate and partner create a team who lead sailing and wilderness adventure tours, teach sailing... and deliver large  sailing craft up and down the West Coast for owners. You can read more about their adventures on their highly interesting web site 

Vacationing is not the order of their business at the moment on Pine Island. They have been carrying out very necessary repairs to the footings which support and sustain the future safety and presence of the main boathouse/home on the island. This has involved trucking nearly fifty bags of cement and lumber to construct pouring forms for the cement work... all by small aluminum boat to the Island. Back breaking... and dangerous work. I guess you could say that there are two competing beaver groups pitted against the other head-to-head! HA HA!!

The beavers in the area continually maraud and create havoc on Pine Island and on surrounding islands... taking down any unprotected trees that they find... and wooden piers when the trees disappear. They are indeed industrious and marvellous dam building creatures... but on the other side of the coin, they are not selective in their felling practices. They drop and clear cut trees... it seems rather compulsively... or for the shear love of doing so.

Peter's grandfather, John K. Keats wrote a book "Of Time and an Island" which chronicles his family's love affair and life on Pine Island. I came upon it by chance after painting there and read it religiously during our first months here in Rockport. Through  my reading, I became intrigued with their story and made it my business to meet Margaret and Victoria (Pete's Mom) when they visited this summer. I have yet to meet Christopher. Through them... I came to meet Pete and Kelsey. Note the friendly note of informality in my speaking of them both. They are souls who I immediately embraced as Friends because, no matter our age difference... we share an abundance of shared principles and values which will cause us to remain friends from now forward.

I deeply admire their sense of courage and adventure... their obvious love of and respect for the environment... their healthy outlook and vitality... and in short... their ... "joie-de-vivre." I admire those people, as I mentioned in my last post..."who make it happen"... rather than just wish it could. Despite the obvious uncertainty of choosing an alternative life style... they go out to life and live it fully in the Now. This is a lesson that the rest of America and Canada could well take a look at... or a page from a JK Keats' marvellous "Of Time on an Island." Make your own dreams and journey happen. Life is too short and precious to squander... or wish away!

We look forward top our next visit with you both Peter and Kelsey... SOON we hope!

 The Keats Family Paradise on Pine Island. Note the low water line on the rocks and docks. Will it ever come up again? We all wonder... and hope!

 AWB... on the wall with my gratitude... as it should be!

 John K. Keats writing Sanctuary... "at the head"!

 Two "River Pirates" in the Sanctuary... sharing yarns! Nice cap Peter!

 A place to think and commune with one's Muse... away from the din... and under the sighing white pines!

 A flaming autumnal view of Zavicon Island.

 I've got my copy!.... still available at Amazon Books... CHEAP in used and good condition... or brand new from the Syracuse University Press.

 An eclectic mix of simple cottage fare! How many meals did these plates serve? I wonder....

Captain Peter.... at the helm of The Wendy! He can travel these waters with his eyes closed... he says!...HA HA!!!

First Mate Kelsey Boesch... a very able sea woman... at the helm and ashore as well! A special soul mate for Peter!

Happy Thanksgiving to "You" both and Kerry.... and my other US Followers from The Paint Box Gang!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"What's up Doc???"....

"Some wish it could happen. Others make it happen."
-Michael Jordan   NBA Star with The Chicago Bulls
(Likely the best the league has ever seen)

This quote above forms the rationale for our decision to weigh anchor and return to the place where both our journeys began. We certainly faced the distinct possibility of failure... and it still "might" occur. However, neither Deb or I want to, or have lived our lives driven by doubt or pessimism. We know , that in the face of whatever "possible" failure... there more importantly exists the power of a covenant that we share unconditionally. We love each other passionately... and we share a passion for creating Art and in sharing it with others. In Jordan's words... we have made it happen... and chosen the road we will follow... and so far ..." that has made all of the difference" (Robert Frost)... in the quality of our current personal and business lives here in Rockport!

A curious... but well understood and much-loved title to open this morning's post. It will at the very least sort out my Followers by age! I have selected the quote because it is a tad funny... and humour is something that I have always needed... thrived upon and used to steer my way through the often dire straits which I found my Self in during my now almost seven decade journey. It is alarming to encounter so very few people as one walks down... even familiar streets... wearing the simple-to-form smile... or for that matter, folks willing to make eye contact. That is most especially more the rule and is expected  when one travels the streets of larger cities. However ... it is what I have recently discovered in the very place I was born and raised, Brockville... a smallish city on The St Lawrence which still maintains a turn of the century Victorian "down town look" as I fondly and proudly remember it.

Brockville was an ideal place to be raised in ... to be educated in...  to play in as a child, or as an adult. That was the very reason that led me to choose to return to Brockville to begin my teaching career and begin my own family life. It was a safe place... a haven... a place where local police, firemen and local service club members were your first mentors and coached your athletic teams. It was a place, such as in the bar famous in the TV series "Cheers"... a special place... " where everyone knew your name."

The youth of Brockville thrived and were readily embraced and encouraged to remain as equals... in an adult world. The local school board gave preference in their hiring of new teaching staff... based upon excellence and the relationship they had built over years with their youth. To me, that sadly,  is the missing ingredient in our present world. Children have been made promises by the adults of society which today seem lack the same commitment offered me ... "way back when."

We simply don't deliver emotionally day-to-day the feeling of belonging that we as social beings thrive upon to be healthy and happy individuals. Time runs faster than the speed of light... and competition and "winning" are the driving force of our entire society. Little wonder that our children have retreated into their own hand-held electronic worlds... a place where they can control play... communicate and live beyond the grasp and the pretence of an adult world that has lost step in their race into Modernity.

Rockport has indeed changed... as all things in life must. The people in it unquestionably have moved with change as well. However, in spite of the change in River traffic and commerce, the "sense" of place and Time itself... seems to have  stood still for "Me." There still exist markers which speak to my soul... and comfort my need for Peace and a sense of belonging. My friends are many... and they smile back at me. Our families  are nearby. And the unchanging River continues to flow as it always has... lower this year perhaps, than I can remember... but moving as mysteriously as ever... towards places that I will never visit. And that comforts "Me"!

The whole time since I have returned here, I commence my day in the same fashion. I rise each and every  morning between five and six and take my cup o' java in hand to our dock-patio on the River's edge... and I watch as the new day arrives. No matter the rest of day weather conditions... the first dawning of the day never fails to deliver a spectacular pageant of light and rapidly changing colour. No dawn is exactly the same as the next... or the one before. Never ... do I return to the house deflated or lethargic. Always... I carry with "Me" the precious gift and blessing of "Hope"... for a good day ahead. This ritual surprisingly finds "Me" alone ... which I have yet to totally fathom. Where are the other folk? Those early hours of the morning are my meditation - creating  my spiritual readiness for what I might face later in the day.

Yesterday was a special sunrise day and an especially fine... crisp and icy morning. Fog was lifting everywhere on the River. Ships and Canada Geese were bugling their presence to each of their kind from the other... for the same basic reason: "I am here here.... where are you?" The near calmness of the water was only interrupted in places where a small easterly breeze touched the surface. There were patterns of colour on the water surface created that clearly defined and revealed the places where river current continually flows unnoticed could be seen this particular morning. An occasional eerie loon's voice added further to this smoky autumn "Witch of November" brew... to further heighten the drama.

I thought at the time... between glimpses and hot sips. Here, before "Me"... lies a magnificent and complex theatrical production of the highest order. There is no cost of admission .. and I sit alone in the largest outdoor "Thousand Island Playhouse". This scene along with all of my plein air forays throughout the year further attest and give credibility to my pantheistic system of spiritual belief. Whether one is from the Present here in Rockport amidst The Thousand Islands... or in the Past Toniata or Maitouana.... "Garden of the Gods",we who choose to and are blessed to live here have it right. Here...there is Peace.. Tranquillity and Hope in the midst of God's Grandeur. Here "I" am "One" with my Creator. Here... I have a feeling of belonging and safety. Here... "I" travel my own path at my own speed with someone whom I love and cherish. Here the creatures and I share this Kingdom... neither in fear of the other's presence or motives.

Here... in this sacred place, which "We" who dwell here call "Home"... both "They and "I"... "have miles to got before we sleep... and promises to keep"!

"I" feel deeply blessed... and am deeply grateful!

Here "I" am... and where are "You"? Worship in your own cathedral as you wish... and may you feel equally blessed!

Make it Happen!!!

Rockport's Autumn Technicolour Morning Dream Coat


Three River Spirits

 Good Painting... and Much Peace and Rich Blessings to ALL!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Looking Ahead... But Remembering Back

Autumn drifted in with her usual colour fanfare... lifting eye and heart equally both here in Rockport and in Algonquin Park, where thousands of visitors arrive annually from around the world to view this unparalleled  fall colour pageant and spectacle. During this short time, hundreds of tour buses clog up both sectors carrying in camera-toting passengers to record this event on a quick tour. Then, suddenly and predictably... these tours cease at the precise moment that the colour drops down ... or disappears.

That seasonal shift in activity here  seemed to be accelerated by the unexpected influences of "Sandy." In a single night of high wind and heavy rains that autumnal splendour was clawed away... leaving only pockets of oak russets ... smudges of greyish yellow softwood colour here and there and the smoky remnants of what were only a day before... undulating... rhythmic waves of resplendent maple stands.

Overnight, the temperatures dipped drastically causing abnormally shallow marshy bays, low water creeks, ponds and puddles to skim over. Snow fell for the first time yesterday... flurrying here in Rockport... but vigorously enough in Algonquin Park last week to bring our last outdoor painting session to a quick and messy halt.

New faces replaced summer residents and users of our feeders. Raucous blue jays, bright cardinals, chickadees, rowdy maverick bands of tree sparrows, boisterous evening grosbeaks, flitting slate breasted juncos and a variety of woodpeckers now patrol the trees and our garden...fighting  for air and feeder supremacy. There activity and appetites ominously foretell winter's blustery entry

Deb and I officially closed the outdoor Gallery and have moved the paintings down into our winter quarters and studio space in the basement. We will offer come-by-chance visits, or appointment only visits from interested clients commencing next week. At the moment, we are readying the studio for our use and re hanging selected art in the two rooms designated to display my paintings during the winter months.

I joined the Thousand Islands Art Group and I will be a part of an upcoming exhibition opportunity...  The 1st Annual tiArts @ Eagle Point Winery event...  being hosted by the Winery on Saturday November 17th an Sunday, November 17 for the general public. A "by invitation only" Gala opening will kick off the event on Friday, November 16th and will be open to a limited number of invited guests... clients of the winery and the participating artists. It should prove to be a highly festive kick-off to the Christmas Season. Fingers crossed for a good turn out!!

We have been blessed to have enjoyed a very successful first summer season here in Rockport and we received a positive and welcoming reception by the residents and businesses of Rockport. We look forward to building upon our success and will dedicate many hours to developing new product lines, an entirely new inventory of of our combined works and a business plan which will advance our presence and grow our initial success further.

One visible change has just been implemented. We have had our talented and creative  web master design a whole new look for our web site Ms Brenda Stanley, owner of The Heart of Business has recreated a bright new "river feel" ...designing a unique new platform or template using new colour, visuals and text content to enhance our St Lawrence River business and residential presence.  We feel that it blends new technology to provide more linkage to many social networking sites... and that these changes add a fresh look and appeal. Do check it out... I'd like to hear your input!

 Do check out Brenda's Heart of Business web site  to further discover more facts about her creative business endeavours and more examples of her unique design capabilities!

During the next few months, I will be canvassing an number of business opportunities to explore placement of my art in a more wide spread fashion in the region. I will also be delivering the 6x12 foot quadriptych "The Magnificence of Algonquin Park" to its new exhibition place in mid January. It is an exciting venue for the work... and really matches my original raison d'etre for creating the piece. I will report back more fully when this installation is in place.

Deb has been commissioned to create a full memorial window for the quaint Church of the Redeemer Anglican Church here in the village. It will be honouring a past minister (now deceased) and was commissioned  by his family members who have resided each summer for well over fifty years in the Rockport and Islands region. They reside in Charlotte, North Carolina during winter months... but look to this area as their second spiritual home. It is a large and demanding  project for certain, but it is a well-deserved honour and privilege for Deb... and a tribute to her stained glass artisan ship   She has already created the design and the new window cherry wood frame has just been completed. Her new hand crafted work desk has been delivered as well... so that project will be under way soon. We'll keep you posted on its progress as well. She is very excited to get this piece under way... so that it will be ready for installation and the planned early summer dedication service.

So... we are looking and planning ahead... hopeful that our good fortune and success will continue into 2013. There are necessary changes to be implemented... hurdles to be gotten over... but our hearts and hands are "One". How can we fail?

We are doing what we both love... and love what we're both doing... together!
Life does not offer a greater gift to any man or woman. We are... "Home"!

And "We"... are deeply blessed...

Good Painting to ALL!!!

PS This is the advertisement for the tiArts at The Eagle Point Winery Exhibition that I will be a part of this upcoming weekend. If any of my blog visitors are from this area ... do drop by and say "Hi"... I'd love to see you!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Reflections of Remembrance... Nov 11th

In passing by the Rockport war cenotaph this fall on my walks, I noticed the sad faded state of one of the three flags marking this place of remembrance, It had obviously been in that state for a very long time... and that bothered me deeply.The message on the base of the cenotaph marker read: 

"Lest we forget.

Upon closer scrutiny of the monument offered for fallen sons of Rockport, I immediately saw the surnnames and recognized Massey, Buell and Donovan as sons of pioneer founding families of Rockport. Their names appear on other historical murals sprinkled around the village to "educate" visitors about the distinguished heritage of this old community.

Four names... Sergeant M.H Lambert, Gunner C.A Massey Jr, Flight Sergeant L.P Donovan and Paratrooper J.D Buell... all killed in action during World War II between 1939 and 1949

I suddenly realized that these young men... all of them... had most likely looked upon the St Lawrence River panorama... which now served as a backdrop to their cairn of remembrance. Another name arose from within "Me." Captain Matthew Dawe, Company C, 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia Light Infantry. Killed serving in Afghanistan on July 7th, 2007.

In my post of Remembrance... November 11th last year, I fully revealed Matthew's connection to my own life and to my family. From the day of his senseless passing... Remembrance will forever have a face for "Me"... and I shall remember even that much more strongly his sacrifice... and the sacrifice of all young men and women... in all wars... and on every side. Unfortunately... it is most often the case, that the youngest and the very best of our humankind end up being the "cannon fodder" for politicians who orchestrate war... yet never feel the heat of battle... or the grief of an incomprehensible loss to a parent... a wife or a child... who forever must try to make sense of that loss and move on to living out their days... remembering faded photographs... a last hug or kiss... or a smile that has been forever extinguished.

I went to Gananoque and purchased a replacement flag worthy of their sacrifice, and with visiting friends we installed in on the flag staff. I had to attend a meeting near Peterborough some three hours away... so I missed my first organized public Remembrance ever. But before leaving this morning, Deb and I observed our own service of Remembrance... and left our poppies attached to the Legion's Ensign.

In our very own, deeply personal and deeply felt offering... The four fallen sons of Rockport... and "You" dearest Matt... are indeed remembered... still cherished... and NEVER... forgotten!

Thank you to all veterans and families... as you celebrate and remember in your own personal way!

 Captain Matthew Dawes, Company "C" 3rd Battalion
Princess Patricia Light Infantry
Killed in action, July 7th, 2007

"Where Have All the Flowers Gone" - oil on panel 12x10 inches
                                  Gifted to Mrs. Tara Dawes and her son Lucas

Rest in Peace Brave Hearts!....