May 30, 2012

Orange and blue, I love you

May 27, 2012

On Sunday Ada fell sick with fever. She spent an hour sleeping next to me, and I drew her gleefully. Staying calm is a perquisite for my artwork, but I've been yearning to draw her again for months and had to fight to keep my composure.

May 28, 2012

Phantom tornado rocks West Ottawa subdivision

Saturday clean-up

Sitting around the dinner table Friday night, we tucked into a tortellini dinner as the first raindrops of a predicted thunder shower pattered across the driveway and the neighbour's roof. Look how fast the clouds are moving, I remember saying, as we looked out the picture window. Thunder clapped and rain began falling in earnest. I ran through the house closing windows. I worried how the garden would fare under the downpour.

Seconds later, an intense wind picked up. Maple keys and twigs billowed up by the thousands and swirled in the driveway. The noise of the wind and thunder were really something. My little daughter began to cry. There was such a mess of rain, wind and debris that we could barely see outside. The wind turned from east to south. Outside turned an opaque gray. I had left the kitchen window open; a fist of rain soaked the kitchen in the time it took me to say to my husband, something I've never said before, should we go in the basement? Ada was sobbing. The baby was oblivious.

While my husband and I stared at each other, trying to divine what we should do, it stopped. Our little five minute storm had passed us by. Jeff went to the living room window, and started in surprise.  The neighbour's tree is down! he cried. It was a forked tree, and an entire fork had broken clean, fallen onto our neighbour's vehicle and crushed it, and come to rest on the oak tree in our front yard. We tried to call the city, but the power went out while I was on hold.

We ventured into the litter of our flooded street. A second tree was down two houses away, completely blanketing that neighbour's car. Another tree had fallen across the road 100 yards away. The wind had also punched out a panel of my neighbour's fence.

There was nothing about the damage in the news. As I write, two wood chipper crews are removing the rest of the branches and an arborist is removing the rest of our neighbour's tree. My neighbour's car insurance won't cover the damage, I guess because it was a storm's work, and the property insurance won't cover it because it's a vehicle. Bad luck.

The arborists came around again on Monday. They told me the storm was a microburst.

May 24, 2012


May 21, 2012
Watching Marvel Comics movies might be affecting my drawing a bit. So far: All X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, The Punisher, The Avengers. Anybody have other comicky movies to recommend? My all time favourite is Constantine. Look at the framing, the composition, the chiaroscuro! Sniff. Gorgeous.

* * *

"Familiarity breeds peace of mind"

May 20, 2012

"When you're working on a creative thing, everyone has an idea, and they're pushing it. The first time you work with anybody, you have to get comfortable with the way another person pushes hard for what they want. Familiarity breeds contempt, people say. But I've found, for creative things, familiarity breeds peace of mind, because you realize you know someone better. You trust each other. You know not to take things a certain way, or a wrong way. You get to where you don't have to waste quite so much time with diplomacy. Things are a little more efficient." -Edward Norton, actor.

I think this piece of wisdom may apply to any social activity, including parenting.

May 17, 2012

Long Time Sitting

May 16-17, 2012
Bus Blog isn't going where I planned this spring. I reckoned I'd keep drawing people in Ottawa, just maybe at the mall or library, with my son companionably asleep in his stroller. But James is a constant yet light sleeper, so even though we're going around town at times together, I can't stop in one place for long.

Instead, I'm traveling on the couch, where I sit most of the day nursing.  I read Long Way Round, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's book about their motorcycle journey around the world. (Ewan's quite a guy, eh? He acts, he's a novelist, he's a husband with two daughters, he's a serious biker, he's way into charity organisations. Impressive!) I liked the book so much that I started reading the one about traveling across Africa called Long Way Down, and borrowed the TV series from the library.

May 14, 2012

Bzzz bzzz

May 13, 2012

Those of you who have followed this blog from the beginning will remember me posting paintings and drawings about my daughter (here's her wee shirt, sniff) way back when. I love artwork featuring children. This chance to draw James is really special for me.

May 12, 2012

Don't worry, James, you're not missing much

May 11-12, 2012 

Do I look familiar? Yeah. We met a few days ago, and I still look the same. It's 'cause I sleep alll the time. I'm one month old, and my day job is "Grower." I just... grow all day, you know, and all night.

Happy Mother's Day tomorrow. What a wonderful, crazy job this is.

May 7, 2012

A James is born

May 3, 2012
This is James. He is almost 4 weeks old. You'll probably see a lot more of him in the months to come.

We've traveled hither and yon by bus over the last few days. For example, I returned a bunch of kidney medication to my cat's veterinarian. I was loaned a book from the Nepean Centerpoint library. Er, maybe that's it so far. Anyway, the kid is adapting well to my nomadic lifestyle (heh) and we're having a good time.

I missed you guys. Hope all are well!