Antigua study I – 29.11.18 – water-colour/pen and ink
Four years ago I posted about the charitable organization Heath for Humanity and the great work of their surgical missions over many years to Antigua, Guatemala. The post included a video presentation of theirs for those of you who would like to learn more about them, and you can visit their website here: h4h. Earlier this month I had the privilege of joining them for a week, working with wonderful dedicated colleagues who were making a real difference to the lives of so many; heroes all.
Here are a few of my memorable images from Antigua which include the dazzling yellows of the iconic Arco de Santa Catalina, the colourful pastels of the buildings and the Fuego volcano in the distance, which erupted once again just over a week ago.
A perfect final day to our Italian travels beginning with the morning sunshine silhouetting the San Giorgio Magiorre before revisiting the Basilica San Marco to see its marble pavements once again after seventeen years.
Our final long anticipated stop was to the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari to see Titian’s masterpiece the Frari Assumption, just as glorious as I remembered it.
Then one final moment to pause and take it all in before heading to the airport and London.
I hope you have enjoyed the trip as much as we have. It’s certainly been good having you along. So many more memories to share in the coming weeks and months with photos and hopefully exciting new paintings. Stay tuned.
I have a treat for you today. Come and join me on my morning walk yesterday and escape for a few minutes from the hate, the anger, the despair, and the noise that we are all being pummelled with each and every day. I don’t know about you but my troubled soul needed a little healing and when the sun rose yesterday on freshly fallen snow with the mountains stark against the bluest of skies, I knew all I had to do was dress warmly, put on my boots and venture out into the crisp air and morning sunshine. I’m happy to say it worked.It didn’t take long to enjoy every magical moment with everyone else who was out and about.
This gallery, which I have also made into a slide show, I hope will help sooth your soul too.
This next photo is for Cheri and her Weekly Photo Challenge: ShadowAs I came closer to the trees in Vanier Park I was greeted by a symphony of sound that made me stop in my tracks and listen for several minutes, joined by others who were equally as enthralled. Here is a short excerpt from my post entitled Birdsong for today’s Daily Prompt: Heard. If you feel like pausing for a minute or two and hearing more visit the post and listen to it all.
I hope this has made your day as much as it did mine.
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.
For those of you who enjoyed yesterday’s post for the first day of fall, I thought today I would tell the story of its evolution. Two days ago my wife picked up this beautiful fallen maple leaf as she was walking home knowing how much it would appeal to me, and how right she was. I immediately went outside and held it up against the clear blue sky, and as I turned it in the bright morning sunshine its glorious colours came alive.
Several photographs later I was happy with what I had captured, but now how best to use them. Using Photoshop Elements I created a different layer for each of the images, some of which were duplicated, reversed and re-sized as I placed them around the central leaf.
I could have gone on for a while but felt the need to stop, as it magically became the perfect image with which to celebrate the first day of fall. I hope you agree.
The First Treasure from the Gift of the Four Treasures
Last week I received a beautiful gift from a very special person who has returned home to Vancouver from China to complete her studies. Her surprise gift to me from Beijing could not have been more perfect and timely, as I have fallen in love working again with ink and watercolour as those of you who follow my blog know well.
The gift has also introduced me to a piece of Chinese culture and history with which I was not familiar and which I would like to share with you today: The Four Treasures of the Study, which is the translation of the Chinese characters on the top of the presentation box.When I opened the box here were the Treasures of the Study beautifully displayed: brushes, ink, inkstone and carved paper weights representing paper and used to hold the paper down.
This discription of the Four Treasures, and others to follow, are from the China Online Museum:
As you can imagine I was eager to begin using the Treasures, to grinding the ink and to letting the brushes sing and dance across the paper, and what better way to start than with the bouquet I had picked from the garden and posted on the First of September.
Thank you Charmaine for this beautiful gift, which I will treasure always.
This First Treasure is for you.
“A studio is not only a place, it’s a state of mind” Tony Smibert
On July 1st I set out to work my way through Tony Smibert’s Painting Landscapes from your Imagination, and as those of you who followed my progress know, yesterday I completed the project that I had set myself. July was also World Watercolor Month thanks to Charlie O’Shields, so this was the perfect fit.
It’s always fun to look back sometimes so I thought today I would give myself a little
mini retrospective for the month of July.
My thanks to Charlie and to all of you who joined me on the journey, and of course a big shout out and thank you to the great Australian artist Tony Smibert whose books are a source of such great inspiration to so many.
Tony dedicated his book to his two children, so I would like to dedicate my “retrospective” to my beautiful granddaughter who is really the greatest inspiration of all.
What could be better than the perfect day in London, beginning with a latte on Waterloo Station before walking to Tate Britain, with so much to enjoy on the way: the London Eye, Westminster Bridge, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Churchill’s statue, Richard Coeur de Lion in Old Palace Yard, and then along Millbank to my favourite gallery and a return to the Turners’ and so many other memorable British artists. Come and join me and enjoy the day…
…on to France and the Dordogne in the morning. See you there.
Never Again II 10.10.15
Yesterday’s post came about after receiving an email from Stephen Cornish, Executive Director of MSF Canada asking for support for an independent investigation into the bombing of their trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. To accompany today’s images I thought I would reproduce in full Dr. Joanne Liu’s statement that was released on October 6th, together with the testimony of MSF nurse Lajos Zoltan Jecs who describes his experience the night the hospital was bombed.
Never Again III 10.10.15Dr. Joanne Liu is a Montreal physician who currently serves as the international president of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Here is her statement:
Never Again IV 10.10.15MSF nurse Lajos Zoltan Jecs was in Kunduz trauma hospital when the facility was struck by a series of aerial bombing raids in the early hours of Saturday morning. He describes his experience: