Thursday 24 August 2023


I'm sure many of you have been wondering if I'd ever write a new blog post. I have to admit, I've been wondering that too! It seems like life took on... well... a life of its own. Pulling up stakes on the mainland, moving to an island, building a house, moving in, and getting re-settled all took up an incredible amount time and energy (not to mention the impact of the pandemic on these activities). I didn't stop making art but it was at a fraction of my usual output. Now, just over a year after my building project was completed, life has finally shifted into a more "normal" pattern. I feel like I have emerged from a haze of unsettled busy-ness and can now take a deep breath, smell the air, listen to the birds, and concentrate my thoughts on art making.

I have just spent a number of blissful weeks getting back into the type of routine I enjoy most, and it includes a block of creative time in my studio each day. It's my favourite way to roll and the results have been most satisfying! I have been able to focus on some of the inspirational moments I've been storing away in my mind, nursing them, cogitating, and planning what I would do with these ideas when the opportunity arose.

Like the day I was able to observe a pair of violet-green swallows scoping out a nest site in an arbutus tree. The couple flitted and chattered and clearly seemed to be quite taken with a hollow knot in the tree trunk...

Or the time I was eye-to-eye with a great horned owl (I think a juvenile) who seemed just as interested in observing me as I was in her/him...

Or the delightful few weeks when a Pacific-slope flycatcher couple decided to build a nest and rear a family on the light fixture over my studio door...

Flycatchers had chosen this same site a couple of years earlier (I wrote about them in a 2021 blog post), and I was thrilled to welcome them back. They would whistle companionably to me as I tip-toed past so as not to disturb them more than necessary. I particularly enjoyed watching them pose on the old horse skull that adorns a tree stump outside my studio. When the babies fledged and flew away into the wide world, I felt a mixture of regret that I'd no longer be greeted by the familiar whistle and relief that I could stop sneaking around!

These new artworks plus a few more have come together for a solo exhibition at a local gallery-café here on Mayne Island. I call the exhibition "Feather & Bone" in deference to the flycatchers' liking for the horse skull. It feels good to have been working in the studio and to be able share these new pieces in combination with some other works that aptly fit the theme. 

If you're on Mayne Island during the show dates, be sure to visit Shavasana Art Gallery & Cafe to see my latest work. If you miss the show, my studio is open to visitors year round (check my website for details). As I re-emerge into the world of art-making after a distracting few years, I look forward to spending more quality time in my art studio and sharing the outcomes with you!

Please note that the afternoon concert scheduled for Friday, September 8 has been cancelled.