branch majesty

I rescued this majestic branch whilst walking home one day last summer and brought it back to the studio. It was about to be pulverized in a wood chipper but like the photinia that you will remember from my yard work to art work story, it became my model.

branch-iii     branch-iv
Using the small branches from the photinia as drawing tools it started to come to life on my empty sheet of Arches watercolour paper one warm July day.

branch-v     branch-iib

Finally, as I completed the painting today with the brushes from the Gift of the Four Treasures, the spirit of the branch filled the studio once again and its story was complete.



the secret path

Today’s painting was inspired by last night’s broadcast on CBC television of Gord Downie’s film, The Secret Path. The film acknowledges a dark part of Canada’s history – the long-suppressed mistreatment of indigenous children and families by the residential school system and tells the story of twelve year old Chanie Wenjack who died alone beside the train tracks fifty years ago on October 22, 1966 whilst trying to walk home to his family from whom he was taken over 400 miles away

If you can find an hour take the time and see the film, and be as moved as I was. Learn Chanie Wenjack’s heartbreaking story, listen to Gord Downie’s unforgettable songs and music and be inspired by award-winning cartoonist Jeff Lemire’s illustrations. You can find the film here on the CBC website: The Secret Path.

Dedicated to the memory of Chanie Wenjack

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine


Those of you who follow The Changing Palette will know where I am this weekend.


Whatever the weather
it’s always shining around our beautiful granddaughter.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Local

For this week’s photo challenge Jen asks us to
share what “local” means to you, and show us where your heart is.”


What could be more local than the pub and sport’s bar across the street from
Kitsilano Beach Park down the road here in Vancouver.


I described Kitsilano Beach as my “Muse” in my Canada Day post in 2015.
Take a look and you’ll see why my heart is so often there.

Discover Challenge: Mixing Media

For this week’s Discover Challenge: Mixing Media, Michelle asks us to “publish a post containing the kind of work you’d normally publish — but mix it with a second type of media, either digital or analog.”

This seemed to be the perfect opportunity to revisit some of the paintings that many of you will have seen on The Changing Palette over the past year.  Using iMovie on my MacBook Air I have pulled them together in a short video and added the sublime accompaniment of Glen Gould playing one of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.  I hope you enjoy it.

“There’s a battle outside and it is ragin'”



I couldn’t resist re-purposing this image, which I originally posted three years ago, as a final submission for this week’s Photo Challenge: H2O, to celebrate the Nobel Prize for Literature being awarded to Bob Dylan today. I shall never forget hearing “The Times They Are A Changin'” for the first time in the sixties. His lyrics seem even more relevent today than they did all those years ago.

Read them, listen to them, reflect on them.


“Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.”

Bob Dylan  1963

Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O



No surprise that the spectacular Fall colours from our recent trip to Quebec found their way into the studio today with the magic of water, paint, brushes and a little imagination.