Tuesday, May 3, 2016

time to smell the flowers.

I've just started a sabbatical leave.  Ultimately it is about spending more time raising my own children, but in some respects it couldn't have come at a better time.  I as I pick up all the pieces and try to make sense of what's left.  My days are busy, consumed by the minutiae of day to day life and the pace of childhood.  I have children and they fill my time in ways I never imagined.  someone once said it, I'm not sure who,  - that  both those with and without children feel sorry for each other.   They are busy little creatures that take up all your time.  The questions are never ending and the pace is slow.  Or at least at this stage the pace of is slow.
Pole Beans
Watercolour, (7.5 x 11 inch )
©RiverWalker Arts 
It is nice to not constantly be rushing little feet and little minds.  They stroll, they stop constantly to admire the shape of a branch, or an ant making its way across the sidewalk.  And so I too am slowing my steps and making more of the journey and less of the destination.  It might take 40 minutes for us to get our shoes and coats on to get out the door, and maybe we only make it half a block before we turn around, but that is ok.  In that half a block we have explored puddles, and bugs and listened for garbage trucks and aircraft overhead.   I am more aware of my surroundings and I have some very small companions to thank. ... and maybe this is why basket weaving, however droll seems somewhat fitting at this point.

©RiverWalker Arts
Watercolour (5x7 inch) 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Basket Weaving

My art show at the local gallery has come to an end.  While I wasn’t lucky enough to sell any of the art work, I do now have people come up to me in town and say “oh wow you are Coral the ARTIST!”  The Coral.  I smile and they tell me how they bought my book.

I’ve recently learned to basket weave.  Laugh though you might - this is really quite the craft.  In this case it involves willows hacked off the side of the road and somehow I’ve managed to create something that holds together enough to actually transport stuff. I’ve decided it is the perfect campground craft as it can be abandoned in the dirt at any moment unharmed, while the myriad of broken bits of sticks can be fed to the fire to keep my fingers warm.
Copyright RiverWalker Arts. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

the smell of blackberry wine

I’ve disappeared for a while.  It was needed but it doesn’t really mean I’m gone.  Life sends us challenges, and there is a dozen inspirational quotes to tell us how to deal with our challenges the reality is that for better or for worse we work through them as best we can.

It’s October – there is frost on my windows in the morning, the mornings all include a fight with my tow year old about having to wear a jacket (he says “no suit, no suit!) in his most adamant and bossy little voice.  The last of the leaves are clinging tenaciously to the trees and the stores are starting to get their Christmas decorations on the shelves and move the Halloween inventory to the back corner.

But then it’s been a year of running ahead of season.  I was visiting what I call “the island” in August,  and there had been no rain for months, the grass was dry, the leaves were starting to turn those shades of bronze, of old rust and polished amber just because those poor trees couldn’t get enough water.  The pumpkins were orange and ripe.  I went for a walk.  I pushed the stroller, the air smelling like blackberry wine.  The berries were overripe, fermenting unpicked on the vine.  I cleared my head and set my heart free. 

And just like that summer turned into fall.  With the coming of fall, it’s almost like a new year – Fall is the time of change – be it bears getting ready for winter, or kids starting school it is far more the turning of a leaf than January first with it’s cold winds and cheap glitzy champagne.  

I developed two more spice recipes to add to my collection of packets.  I signed up and will be selling them locally at the medieval market.  If you can’t catch me there you can either contact me through Facebook or through my website at

I teamed up with a company called Blooming on Canvas to facilitate social painting parties; these involve wine, friends, a canvas, and some kind of step by step as to how to paint the selected scene.  My fun little component is creating those scenes and then showing folks how I did it.  The people that come out are happy, excited and really love the whole event  (although the wine might help) . 

Here is one of my latest creations for Blooming on Canvas: 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

It’s been an age. A tumultuous period in time. And in that time I’ve mostly just made it through each day.   I’ve been camping, and I’ve been swimming in the lakes,  but mostly I’ve been breathing.   Just breathing.   August however is whispering to me,  it’s sultry star filled night are approaching and I’m listening.  I’m listening to the creative stirrings on that hot wind that blows out of the desert hills, and the moments of still and shimmering heat.   There is change in the air. 

I’m ready for it. 

I am back, I am whole and I am ready to jump back into life with two feet.  I have signed up for the local Art Walk, which is a month long event where artists from the region display artworks in local business.   It is a brilliant concept that brings three diverse communities together: the business community, the artistic community, and the general public.  So for me that means – my art can be viewed at About Face and More Mon-Fri 9a-5p, Sat 10a-2p.  
Original Watercolour
RiverWalker Arts 

My next challenge is to figure out what to put in behind the glass and what to put on the walls in the store.   I also hope that they will be willing to have my Prints on display so that people can own a reproduction of the art work at a reasonable price.    I also always mat my reproductions to reasonable sizes such that you can buy a pre-fabricated frame form Micheals or Wal*Mart and not set yourself in the hole just putting the image  behind glass. 
Original Watercolour

RiverWalker Arts

If you happen to have any opinions about what images you think I should put on display – please let me know as I’ve still not made up my mind! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes

The Sun is up. And there is heat in it.  The mornings are crisp and very cold, and the odd time it rains the only thing that happens is you get dark spots in the dust.   I wake up to the sun streaming through my windows every daybreak.  I look out and see the glittering promise of the lake (I also deliberately avoid seeing the giant walmart and the industrial area of town with its pellet plant and saw mill that also dominate the view from my window).

After Ten years (less one month) in one of the Rainiest places on the planet, this lack of rain is positively novel.  For all those years  my yard was graced with moss and liverworts, as well as other vegetation capable of surviving months of being semi submerged in water and tucked away the deep deep shade of a town nestled on the northern slope at the base of a mountain on the Northern Coast.  I lived with rain soaked summers with high temperatures hovering around 18 degrees C.  I never owned a sprinkler – my yard dripped and oozed in moisture and thick green moss and algae which overtook anything that didn’t move too frequently or too fast – like my canoe.  My summer wardrobe varied from my winter wardrobe very little.  In summer I wore cotton socks instead of wool ones in my rubber boots, and I paired down to a lighter weight rain jacket.

Since moving in January I have not worn any of my rain gear.  I have donned rubber boots to walk in the thawing slush, but as spring approaches I realize this is a community of sprinkler systems and sun umbrellas.   Digging through my wardrobe (which is bigger than you might imagine given my apparent distain for fashion) I realize I own only one pair of shorts – which I bought for camping season last year when we drove to the Okanagan.   My kids are utterly fascinated by sprinklers having never seen them before, they also get to go outside without the rigmarole of head to toe full body rainsuits.  As such they might actually learn to ride a bike.
Up north on the coast, I used to try my hand at gardening,  I had almost no successes.  My Tomato plants drowned,  my strawberries drowned.   My squash rotted on the vine.   The few things I found success in were hellebore, rhubarb and peonies.  Although my nasturtiums were pretty good for a few years.

This year I’m determined will be different.  It gets HOT here.  The ground is only as wet as the water you add to it.  DH and the kids have built two wonderful little raised beds, and I dug up my front yard and called it a flower bed (then promptly declared I was planning pumpkins in it.   When we put the soil into the raised beds, Chicken Little crawled through it in near nakedness,  he laughed and enjoyed the feel of mud between his toes as he watered the soil with his latest toy – a sprinkler.  I bought cucumber seeds, zucchini, pumpkin, beans and peas.  I provided jiffy pots and we sat on the lawn (without getting soaking wet bums)  and we planted one little seed in each pot.   The Kids check them everyday looking for growth.   Once the frost has passed we will put those little pots into our garden.   Little Peanut can dig the holes with his spoon, and Chicken LIttle can water the earth with his sprinkler.   We will wear sun hats, and shorts and sunscreen.  I feel like I’m living on a whole other planet – so far from what I’ve come to accept as normal.

Original Watercolour

 ©RiverWalker Arts 

And with all this gardening on the brain, again I’m painting vegetables!