Photo Essay

From Park Walk to Art Work

Pacific Spirit Regional Park I – 25.5.20

Four years ago I posted From Yardwork to Artwork and was honoured to have it featured as an Editor’s Pick on WordPress Discover, which I posted about in a day like no other.
 

Pacific Spirit Regional Park II – 25.5.20

To celebrate this special anniversary for thechangingpalettte, yesterday and today in the studio I continued to create Art Works from our daily Park Walks in the beautiful Pacific Spirit Regional Park, which as you know I have featured regularly in the last few weeks since the pandemic started with photos and paintings.

 
Here’s a look back at the post that WordPress Discover featured for those of you who may not have seen it.

From Yardwork to Artwork: The Photinia Story Part One May 24, 2016
 
photinia c
 

Photinia I 23.05.16

Today’s post is all about learning to find beauty and inspiration in the mundane chore of yard work on a holiday Monday.

photinia ix

Yesterday was Victoria Day here in Canada, the perfect time to prune the photinia and clean all of its dried leaves from the studio roof and gutter.

With the concrete cleaned and swept the afternoon was free for painting and photography in the studio with a rescued photinia branch making for the perfect subject…

 
photinia xix

and a few of the trimmed branches new tools for drawing with.

photinia ii

Now all I had to do was put the two together. What could be better than an ink drawing of the photinia created with one of its own branches?

photinia vi         photinia iv
 

Well, perhaps some additional watercolor to complete the picture…

photinia iii
 

and we’re almost there…

photinia v

So ended a very satisfying day turning the hard work of yard work into art work.

photinia x
 

to be continued…

spring tra la


 

A celebration to uplift us all of spring in our neighbourhood…

 

…and a look back six years, together with a little Gilbert and Sullivan:

 

Blossoms around the world   May 21, 2014

 

Blossoms-Provence

blossoms-Provence ii
 

Blossoms giving colour to our lives the world over.

 

sunset for the soul


 
Sunset over English Bay from Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver last night was balm for the soul after the heartbreak of the day as the country mourned the loss of Captain Jennifer Casey.
 

 

season of grief


 
In the words of the Canadian Prime Minister our “season of grief” continues, as today we mourn the loss of six members of the Canadian Armed Forces whose helicopter went down off the coast of Greece: Sub. Lt Abbigail Cowbrough; Capt. Brenden Ian MacDonald; Capt. Kevin Hagen; Capt. Maxime Miron-Morin; Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke; Master Cpl. Matthew Cousins. We send heartfelt condolences to all the families of these Canadian Armed Forces heroes who are grieving today, as we grieve with them. 🇨🇦
 
Sub.Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough who was a young Nova Scotia naval officer played her bagpipes only two weeks ago on the deck of HMCS Fredericton to mourn the loss of her fellow Nova Scotians who were so cruelly murdered.
 

tulip fest 2020

 

A year ago today we were enjoying our annual visit to the Chilliwack Tulip Festival, which sadly is not open this year. Instead today we are enjoying a mini tulipfest of our own on our deck…

 

Tulips of the Valley, Chilliwack Tulip Festival

 

…plus a look back to my first iPad paintings from 2013 inspired by David Hockney…

 

 

…and given today’s theme I couldn’t resist including this visual pun from 1984 that really needs no explanation other than the lips were my then 8 year old daughter’s.

 

Pacific Spirit III

Since it continues to be National Park Week and in follow up to yesterday’s revisit to Bryce Canyon how could I not post the second day of our visit when we hiked into the Amphitheatre. What a day that was.

But first, today’s painting from the studio: Pacific Spirit III with continuing thoughts of those grieving in Nova Scotia; also today in Toronto on the second anniversary of the attack on Yonge Street; and of course all who are mourning loved ones lost to Covid-19.

The heartache continues as our brave healthcare workers and volunteers are there for us each and every day and we thank them all.

 

Studio 365: Day 113   April 23, 2015

 

 

iii

 

The Navajo Loop Trail from Sunset point descending into the Bryce Canyon Amphitheatre.

The perfect finish to our visit to Bryce Canyon hiking the Navajo Trail into the Amphitheatre, connecting with the Queens Garden Trail and returning to the canyon rim at Sunrise Point. Look for Queen Victoria in the photo gallery.

One final view before leaving this precious jewel of a place and a thank you to the National Park Service for maintaining it so perfectly for us all to enjoy.

ix

in this together

 

Written in chalk beneath a rainbow on the entrance to Tatlow Park here in Vancouver these words are perhaps the perfect way to recognize this 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. We are indeed all in this together.

Since this is also National Park Week, and following my look back to Antelope Canyon, I thought I would re-post our visit to magnificent Bryce Canyon five years ago today together with the painting that it inspired.

 

Studio 365: Day 112    April 22, 2015

 

i

From the wonder and awe of the magic of Antelope Canyon to the breathtaking majesty of the vistas of Bryce Canyon. It has been another unforgettable day and once again I will let the pictures do all the talking…

…the final shot at the end of a perfect day.

xviii

light at the end of the tunnel

 

Five years ago today we visited Antelope Canyon in Arizona.  My paintings and photographs from that never-to-be-forgotten visit have taken on new meaning today, as we continue to grieve for Nova Scotia.

 

 

 

 

Here is the original post from 5 years ago. Enjoy our visit to Owl Canyon

and learn about the feather on my studio wall.

 

Studio 365: Day 110

 

Feather

 

A treasure in Owl Canyon

Who would have thought it could get any better, but today was another magical day with unforgettable visits to Owl, Rattlesnake and Upper Antelope Canyons. Here are a selection of more amazing images to share with you, and many thanks for all your comments and visits.

The feather from a great horned owl from our visit to Owl Canyon will indeed be the treasure of the trip. It will take pride of place in the studio back home and I can’t wait to use it for more pen and ink drawings.  I did ask our Navajo guide Kim, from Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours, if I could keep the feather and she very graciously gave her permission. Thank you Kim for a day we will never forget.

Feather ii

On to Bryce Canyon tomorrow.

 

Nova Scotia Strong

back to the beach

Yesterday Kitsilano Beach was deserted as we are all staying home except for short walks. It is such a special place so I thought I would re-post “backdrop to a life” which was in response to a Discover Challenge from the Daily Post in December 2016. It will show you why it is so special. Re-reading the dedication in the last paragraph seems particularly poignant today as you will read, and it is why I would like to dedicate today’s post to the memory of all those who have lost their lives, and continue to lose their lives every day to the corona virus the world over. May they all rest in peace.

Backdrop to a Life,  December 14, 2016

Yesterday was one of those perfect days in Vancouver that needs to be shared.

kits-13-xi

The North Shore mountains, the West End skyline and the shadowed sands of Kitsilano Beach.

kits-ii

Looking out above the logs to English Bay and the snow-covered peaks beyond.

kits-13-vi

 A perfect afternoon for bicycling through the park.

kits-13-vii

Who wouldn’t want to stroll in the afternoon sunshine on such a day?

No surprise to those of you who follow The Changing Palette that I would choose this special place to write about in response to this week’s Discover Challenge from the Daily Post: Finding Your Place, in which we are asked by Cheri to bring a place alive that means something to us. But more than that, Cheri writes, “the heart of this challenge is to go further and show how or why this place is particularly special”.

I have shared so many photos from Kitsilano Beach and English Bay over my nearly four years of blogging that the “how” is really self evident.

But what about the “why”? Well, here is my answer.

In 1975, on our first wedding anniversary, my wife and I came to Vancouver from England. We moved into a one bedroom apartment in Kitsilano just a few hundred yards from Kitsilano Beach Park. The following March, on one of our regular walks along the path you see in all of the photos, my wife went into labor and a few hours later our beautiful daughter was born.

The beach was the perfect place to walk with the pram or stroller whatever the time of year, and soon a little brother joined our daughter on those same walks. It soon became a place to stomp in puddles, to take training wheels off bicycles, to bury dad in the sand, to laugh on the swings and slides, to walk with my wonderful late parents whenever they visited, to enjoy the four seasons with the changing colours of autumn, the few days of frost and snow in winter to be followed by the warmth of spring and the heat of summer filled with magnificent skies and those unforgettable sunsets creating silhouettes of lovers sitting on logs or people playing beach volley ball in the dying light.

I could go on and on but I’m beginning to sound like Dylan Thomas. I think you can understand why this place is so special, so meaningful to me, as it has been and continues to be, the beautiful backdrop to our lives over these past forty years.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yesterday’s walk, as it always does, lifted my spirits at a time when they are being crushed by the daily news and pictures of new atrocities a world away to the people of Aleppo, particularly to the children; and also as we remember the tragedy of the murdered children of Sandy Hook Elementary School four years ago today. I know you feel as I do that these moments must never be forgotten and so it is with a heavy heart that I pause and dedicate today’s post to the memory of all of these precious lost souls.

Remembering Vincent

Today is Vincent van Gogh’s Birthday. He was born on March 30, 1853. I thought I would celebrate the occasion by reposting Vincent’s Room which I originally posted on The Changing Palette in June 2014. During these difficult days taking a moment to look back on the life of someone who had to “suffer for his sanity” but was still able to show us the beauty that surrounded him in his own wonderfully iconic way should inspire us all.

Who can look at a sunflower and at the same time not think of Vincent? Let us celebrate his memory together, and please listen to Don Maclean’s “Vincent” imbedded in the post. I promise you will it will be the highlight of your day.

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything.” Vincent van Gogh

Vincent's Room i

Can there be a more iconic room than Vincent Van Gogh’s bedroom at the Saint-Paul Asylum, Saint-Remy, France where Van Gogh entered voluntarily as a patient on May 8, 1889 and remained until May the following year. During this time he painted the gardens, with their wheat fields, olives groves, irises and sunflowers, all of which he could see from his bedroom window.
Continue reading