The Healing Properties of Daffodils, Turtles and Goutweed

Something fairly profound happened for me this month.

I have felt quite sluggish this winter. Not actually depressed but just completely unmotivated, disinterested, lazy and believing that my strong desire to paint had completely abandoned me. This was quite distressing because there was absolutely no substitute interesting endeavour that came to mind. Nothing. Not writing. Not gardening. Not visiting. Not travelling. I wondered if this is how the end begins.

And then something surprising happened. The daffodils I planted last year started poking up all over the lawn, under trees, beside the studio. Ordinary daffodils. Well some were a touch more fancy than others, but they were certainly not roses, or rare orchids. Just bright yellow happy daffodils.

Daffodils are happy flowers.

And soon after that, masses of goutweed, the bane of my existence, started coming up. And although they are incurably invasive, I do like the smell of their leaves and they are greener than green. For the first time ever, instead of cursing them, I marvelled at their shape and persistence. I noticed the earth under them was loaded with beneficial earthworms who turned the maze of roots into rich soil.

The Goutweed will look dreamy at the end of June.

And then yellowish green buds appeared on the trees. And then, miracle of miracles, three adult painted turtles appeared in our little pond. I only saw them once, but there were followed by two and then three baby turtles that have been hanging out in the goldfish pond sunning themselves ever since.

And while Nature was doing her thing, I pressed forward with a show of paintings in May for the Lucky Rabbit House in Annapolis Royal. And guess what? It’s been an absolute thrill to show my paintings and to hang out with the creative artists at Lucky Rabbit and to talk to people about the paintings. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed interaction with others.

All of this has caused me to wake up and come alive again. I am feeling such gratitude for the Spring transformation of the earth. I have ordered another 50 daffodil bulbs as insurance for the future.

And guess what? I still want to paint! I am back in the studio with gusto. Which is great timing because I am creating a whole new grouping of paintings for Bear River Artworks Gallery. We open on May 28 and five of the gallery artists will be present.

Daffodil painting in progress.

The collection of 21 paintings at Lucky Rabbit House in Annapolis Royal continues until May 28. Ironically it is named “Courage My Love”.

Do you see the logistical problem here? Two overlapping-by-one-day shows? This means that if you have the inclination, you can see my paintings at Lucky Rabbit and at Bear River Artworks Gallery on the same day, May 28. Both locations are open that day from 10 am to 4 pm. I will be at Artworks Gallery.

I hope you’ve felt rejuvenation from the sunshine and the warmer weather too. Flowers help. Courage, indeed!

I finished updating my 8′ tall mural (left image) that is back on the side of Sissiboo Coffee where I heard this musician in 2012. I can keep an eye on it from the window of Bear River Artworks Gallery where I will be hosting visitors on Thursdays all summer.

Inventing a Blue Flower While Breathing

If you love flowers, you’ll know that actual blue flowers are rare. Horticulturalists try to develop true blue blooms, and sometimes they come up with a purple and call it blue. And even though some flowers are blue, like a Cornflower, a Delphinium or a Forget-me-not, you can’t find a blue Zinnia or Daisy.

Except if you are a painter, and you can imagine it. You can paint the flowers any colour you want to.

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Untangle the Slinky and Keep Making Art

After quite a hectic summer and fall in our co-op Bear River Artworks Gallery, I welcome this time to binge a little on Netflix, discover exciting artists on Instagram and to listen to podcasts from all over the world covering topics as diverse as how-to-be-an-artist-in europe, international politics, meditation, and story-telling. Add a few mini workshops on art to the list, some studio planning, video making, instagram optimization… along with website editing and potato chip eating and a bit of treadmill time and that kind of sums up my days.

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