October 7, 2014

We keep going

Over the Rideau River

I painted these two paintings earlier this summer. They look the products of two different artists, neither being me! I painted Hog's Back at a later time and, like all my previous paintings, I had to paint these to get to it.

My husband's father passed this week after 8 years of severe illness. The Celebration of his Life is Friday. We'll reflect on what was and try not to imagine what might have been. My father-in-law was a special man, and he deserved better.

In the same week, my own father rejected the latest of my olive branches. Not only will there be no reconciliation, there will be no speaking terms to smooth things over for others. After two and a half years, I know it's over for us.

Funny how things set down at the same time. My husband and I have received surprise promotions and raises on the same day three separate times. There have been other coincidences, and here we are again. Two fathers, finally gone.

Gatineau Park

I've been listening to Allison Kraus' Down in the River to Pray over and over during the drive to and from Ada's school lately. It's her favourite song. She wants it on repeat. Afternoons the drive is long, the sun is in my eyes. The long grasses by the river shine green and the water is a curl of silver. Each giant tree seems a more majestic monument than anything downtown. Sometimes we see the black swan and her two white friends where the river turns near Bank Street. The cars are slow, the red lights are unyielding. We keep going until we get home.

October 2, 2014

Following paths

Looking over the park
Most lunches nowadays I run through the neighbourhood or in the woods, stopping to take pictures as I go along. My employer moved me temporarily to a new building. Its proximity to the Gatineau Park goes far to console me for the time I spend each day commuting, near three hours. Everyone must purchase a self-driving car once these come out, I'm here to tell you, or to do some work on their driving. Me included.  

Poplar leaves 
 I have just started work on sketches of local flora. Hope it goes somewhere, as I've been hoping to do it for years.

On the drive home, the Experimental Farm

Fletcher Wildlife Gardens

Ada in the labyrinth

Some photos for you to enjoy, and that I may use for art reference. I am taking (for the third time!) art with Blair Paul again. Wrestling with a painting of a tree line - it's going to take a while.

In the last picture, Ada is playing in the Red Oak Labyrinth, an art installation dismantled later that day. Artist Barbara Brown built the labyrinth from trees felled by the Ash Borer. Yet, in all four guestbooks found around the oak at the labyrinth's centre, comment after comment dwelled on the peace of the setting. The books were stuffed with them. Honestly, how often are people moved to write in guestbooks? Something about the place stirred people, and they wrote at length about much-needed tranquility in the heart of the city, etc etc. I could sense that myself but I also felt it was a meditation on death and human destruction, and it filled me with a familiar desperation.