Saturday, April 23, 2011

Driving toward Winter

Packing up one home and moving every 6 months is not an easy chore but something we do every year. That is how we manage to miss out on the Cold Canadian Winters. Or so I thought. We left Texas and drove through land covered with blooming cactus. Very pretty, dry and hot. Well into the 30's Celsius or for those that don't speak Canadian weather, about 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

As we got farther north it seems like we were going backward in seasons. We went from hot summer to spring then finally to late winter as we drove through Colorado, Wyoming and then finally Montana and back to Saskatchewan. The leaves were well out on the trees when we left Texas then as we got farther north the leaves got thinner and thinner until there was just a faint green glow at the ends of the branches. Lots of blooms on the fruit trees in Denver and then as we got to Wyoming the the flowers and the leaves were gone and the grass was brown. We watched water pouring through culverts and saw creeks that were now rivers and ponds that had turned into lakes but I was not prepared for the sight I saw as we pulled into our yard. We had over 4 feet of snow on the driveway and covering most of my yard, heavy, wet and not going anywhere very soon. Bernie, luckily, has a monster front end loader so he started that up and started moving his way up the driveway. After an hour I was able to get the truck into the yard and started unpacking but it took him a couple more hours to make enough room so we could get to the barn and the garage.

When we built our little Saskatchewan Prairie home we knew that we would not be there all winter so never made our water supply " winter proof". As a result, no running water until the ground thaws, or at least no running water inside the house. We can fill pails at the well and carry them in and then warm the water on the stove or in the kettle when we need it hot. I'm sure that there are people that could never manage that, but it really doesn't bother either of us. 6 pails warmed up with 3 pails of cold is enough to have a bath.

By our second day at home we could notice that the snow was melting really fast and I don't think it will last too long into May. The robins are back in the maple trees and I could hear frogs down by the dugout so I'm almost positive that spring will actually find it's way to me here at my Northern home.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Can't seem to Stop

It's been at least a year since I last blogged. I know, the point is to do it regular and keep people interested in what is happening in your work but sometimes that work gets in the way. I'm not going to go into all the excuses about why I have not kept up but I'm going to attempt to do better in the future.

I kept really busy this winter at our Texas place. We live in a small self contained community of Winter Texans, people that leave the north, be it Canada or the northern states and come to Brownsville to enjoy the weather. I got busy right away with teaching art and craft classes, helped cook Thanksgiving for our American friends. Turkey and fixins for 200+. I organized an Art Show and Sale that was amazingly successful and finally on the first Saturday of March helped coordinate over 200 volunteers at our Open House and Fun Day. When all that was over I didn't want to do anything else but paint.

Since the beginning of March I have painted and painted and painted, well over 50 paintings actually. I'm on a roll and can't seem to stop. Most artists know that creating is something that needs to be pushed and we have to force ourselves to do something every day or at least set aside some time every week to paint. When I start painting I can't stop. One idea leads to the next and the next or I will try one scene 3 or 4 different ways. Trying new colors, different brushes and looking for the perfect combination. I will do an abstract and follow with a traditional scenery and then decide to do a figure. I will notice how 2 colors laying beside each other really look amazing together so I will do a whole painting with just those colors.

I'm on a roll right now and don't want to lose the momentum but I must Stop. I am leaving Texas in a week to drive back to Saskatchewan and I need to clean up my house, pack and figure out how the heck I'm going to get all these paintings into the truck without messing them up. Thank goodness I paint with acrylic, oil paintings would never have been dry in time. It's only Thursday and I don't leave until next Sunday so maybe I can paint until Monday or maybe next Thursday and then really work fast to get things cleaned and packed.

How hard can it be.