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December 17, 2007

Cat In A Wicker Chair

I liked the way this cat kept moving around for me, like a professional model. I'd like to paint him a couple of more times, so you can see what else he did, but I think I'll leave out most of the chair next time, and just zoom in on the cat.

November 29, 2007

Cat In A Wicker Chair

Finally, I've gotten around to painting the resident cat at Lambs and Ivy Antiques. He demonstrated several attractive poses for me on the chair, while I clicked away with the camera lens. The way he acted, you would think he owns that chair. Which is fine, until someone comes along with a hankering for some nice wicker furniture for the cottage.

I'm finished the big project I was working on, so I'll try to capture some of his other poses soon.

November 11, 2007

Recently I received my World Vision Gift Catalogue for Christmas 2007. One of World Vision's projects is to provide animals such as chickens, rabbits and calves to families in Third World countries, to meet their need for food and a source of money. This girl is proudly holding her chicken, which will produce eggs for her family, and a steady income.

The pictures in the catalogue are lovely and I would like to give credit to the photographers, but there are no names given. As the Christmas season approaches, may we who have so much remember those who are not as richly blessed as we are.

You can find the original picture at World Vision's web site: You can also make a donation online!

October 21, 2007

For only the second time since I started posting my pictures, I don't have a picture to post. That doesn't mean I'm not painting. It just means I'm working on a special something which will be given to someone as a gift. I wish I could show you progress pictures, but it's top secret. I'm taking photos as I work, though, so I can post those later. I'm very excited about this project and working very hard on it.

Further to my comments under the deceased mouse picture, a few postings back. I was wrong about how many friends that deermouse has. He has dozens and dozens, and for some reason my cottage is the place to be this fall. They are obviously finding good places to get in. How do you stem the flow in such an old house? The basement has a dirt floor and stone walls. Larry is thinking of putting mortar between all the stones because he thinks that's where they're getting in. So take that, you little scavengers.

Thanksgiving, October 8, 2007

Antiques Under the Trees

Would you like a twig chair, a barrel or an old washing machine? I think that's one of the machines which had a handle that you pulled from side to side, in order to swish the clothes around inside the drum. Can you imagine women actually using one of these gizmos to do the family wash? They did, and they were thankful. It was a big improvement over beating the clothes on the rocks down by the stream. I took this picture a few weeks back, in the pouring rain, at Lambs and Ivy Antiques and Collectibles in Haliburton (near Gelert on County Rd. 1). This morning we went back so I could take some more pictures under nicer weather conditions. The twig chair is gone, but the washing machine and barrel are still there. Inside the barn, which I'm planning to paint sometime in the future, is tons more stuff. Last time, I neglected to photograph the barn cat who was curled up on a cushion. But this morning he was there again, very friendly and willing to pose for me on an interesting old wicker chair. In fact, it almost seemed he's an old pro at having his picture taken. You'll see him soon.

September 30, 2007

Early Morning Mist

Here is my interpretation of Jack Bush's Williams Lake photograph. I enjoyed painting it, even though I was distracted from it by the ugly dude in my previous post.

I'm working on an outdoor picture from an antique place in Haliburton. I'll post it soon.

September 28, 2007


Up in Haliburton, there's a photographer named Jack Bush. He has a website where you can view his beautiful pictures, mostly of Haliburton area, and some, of other places he has visited. He posts a new picture every day. While looking at his site, I admired (and wanted to paint) his picture of Williams Lake, B.C. He kindly gave me permission to do so, and I have been working on it. It's almost complete. It would be finished if I hadn't seen the photo Jack took of this carny trucker. When people say a picture is worth a thousand words, it's true. I see in his face evidence of hardship and a rough life. I am sure that the transient nature of carnival work is very difficult.

Jack's website address is:

Thanks to Jack for letting me use his photographs as inspiration for my paintings!

September 16, 2007

Haliburton Barn

This lovely old barn is one of the things you see just before turning onto our cottage road. When my husband and his siblings were kids, they used to vacation at a resort which is on the same small lake where we now have our cottage. So I painted this for my sister-in-law, as the barn brings back sentimental memories for her. I guess when they passed the barn, they knew they were almost there. She has recently been visiting from Edmonton, and enjoyed the peace and tranquility of the lake.

September 9, 2007

Spring Daffodils

I took pictures of these daffodils in the spring, but never got around to painting them. Cows, mice, sheep, markets and cottage things seemed more interesting for awhile. They weren't hard to draw, but being white, they needed a background to make them show up.

August 30, 2007

Mouse in the House

This deermouse and several of his friends have been making nightly raids on the kitchen at the cottage. We always have a few mouse visitors later in the fall when the weather gets cooler, but for some reason they are showing up earlier this year, and in greater numbers. So traps have been set with peanut butter. While it is sad that some of nature's creatures must end their lives this way, unfortunately deermice carry Hantavirus which can make humans very sick, and they can bring the disease into your house or cottage. I was extremely careful when observing this mouse, I did not handle it while taking the picture and I washed my hands thoroughly afterwards. Since mice are nocturnal and move quickly, I wouldn't have had a chance to get a good look at him had he been alive and running around.

I hope that the rest of his friends stay outside so they won't get caught the way he did.

August 24, 2007


In about five weeks, this happy couple will be celebrating their wedding anniversary. There have been children to raise, moves across the country, some relaxation and a lot of work. Life has had its dips and high points, revealed one day at a time. All in all, they both agree it's been a pretty good twenty seven years.

August 17, 2007

Just Down The Road

This scene is about three minutes down the road from my cottage. The cottage is just past the mailbox you can see in the picture. On the left is a bit of the trail used by snow mobilers in winter. I don't usually walk much farther than this with the dog, although you would think a quiet cottage road would be a perfect place to walk, to get fresh air and exercise.

The reason we don't go any farther is because I have a fear of bears. This is not some crazy irrational fear borne of an overactive imagination. This is a real and rational fear of the bears that actually live ON MY COTTAGE ROAD. This summer there were four: a large male, a female and her two cubs. Unfortunately, the male was becoming quite a nuisance to the families at the end of the road, so he is, um, no longer around. I never saw the female and cubs, but I was vigilant and cautious when out walking. I have never seen how my dog would respond if we met a bear, and I most fervently would not like to find out. But they are definitely there; we found bear droppings on our front lawn.

One day when we were just about at this spot, I heard a strange sound, like a rasping cough, and a doe jumped across the road in front of us. I'll bet it was the same one that has been eating everyone's hostas. I didn't know deer made any kind of noise, but a google search revealed that they have several different calls. Apparently the rasping cough is a call to the fawn to let it know that mother is coming back. I think she also saw Bruno and was frightened. He in turn, would have loved to chase her through the woods.

August 12, 2007

Deer On The Lawn

Ever since the day we bought our cottage seven years ago, I've dreamed of waking up one morning and seeing a deer standing on the lawn. Not a plastic lawn ornament, but the real thing. Well, the second morning we were up there at the end of June, I got my wish. It was early, about six o'clock, and Larry was about to take the dog down the road (the dog is an early riser) when I happened to look out an upstairs window and there she was, in all her delicate beauty, nibbling on the hosta plants by the bird bath. I yelled to Larry not to let the dog out, grabbed my camera and took about eight pictures. Then Larry opened the front door.

When the deer saw Bruno, she bounded across the lawn, soared over the split rail fence and disappeared into the woods. But probably only to where she had her fawn hidden. We have learned that deer love to eat hostas. Anyone on our cottage road who tries to grow them will find them chewed off. I'm glad she isn't fond of apples, because I have plans for the ones on the tree you see behind her. She can have all the hosta leaves she wants.

August 9, 2007

Saturday Morning Market, Streetsville

I've been to several markets this summer. A couple of weeks ago I went up to St. Jacob's with some friends to the Mennonite market. If you've ever been there, you'll know it's huge. I didn't take the camera but I think it would have been hard to get good pictures anyway, due to the crowds of people, and my tendency to get swept along with the masses. And the fact that we were busy eating whatever samples were offered to us-peach slices, cherry strudel, sheep milk cream cheese on a cracker…Soon our fingers were sticky, and our arms were laden down with baskets of beans, peas, peaches and cherries.

This little market is much better for photographing fruit and vegetable still life. The two guys here had opened up the side of their truck and had an awning for shade. I liked how they were in the shade but their produce was out in the bright sun. I thought that made an interesting contrast in the picture. Every vegetable and fruit had a sunny highlight which meant putting the colour on, waiting till it dried a bit, and then brushing some of it off. Time consuming, but very pleasing when done. Beside the bushel basket were some long stick things. I put them in but I don't know what they were. Maybe ginseng?

August 1, 2007

"And some of those black raspberries too, please."

I don't know what the lady with the two boys was really saying. But in the picture she seems to be pointing at the flat of black raspberries. I think she might have been the grandmother of the two little boys. Maybe they were going to help her make some pies. I really have no idea; I just made this all up. When I'm painting, I always think about the picture as if I am in it, and my mind is occupied with all the things that could be happening.

This picture was hard to do. There are mistakes in it. But look at all the peaches. If you just think about how wonderful peaches smell and taste, and how heavenly they are as jam or pie or eaten right on the spot, you won't even notice that this painting is not a masterpiece.

July 22, 2007

Cow and Calf

We drove past this cow and calf and then there was a discussion in the truck about how cute the calf was and should we turn around and go back or keep going, and of course my helpful husband found a place to turn the truck around so we could go back to the farm and take pictures. I caught the mother in mid-chew. The baby had a particularly innocent and beatific expression which I tried to capture with brushes and paint. I would have liked him to walk over to his mother for a drink, but he didn't. He probably waited till my camera and I were gone.

I'd really like to thank everyone who takes time to look at my pictures and sends me a comment. Each comment means a lot to me, and if I could thank you in person I would! I am happy to know that my art is going somewhere and that other people are enjoying it. I consider you all to be friends that I just haven't met yet.

I was at a market this morning and, I admit, I walked around taking pictures while Larry did all the shopping. Markets are great places to take photos, with so much going on; vendors, colourful piles of vegetables and fruit, people walking around. I'm thinking of doing a series of pictures based on this morning's trip. Maybe that will get me away from the cows for awhile.

July 21, 2007

Tic Tac Duck

A long time ago, when we were living in B.C., I saw a board game in a country magazine and we made it. Instead of X's and O's, you use ducks on a wooden board. I drew out the ducks, Larry cut them out of wood with his jigsaw, and I painted them, 4 female and 5 male. Our kids used to play quite a bit. Then they grew up and found other stuff to do. When you have a cottage, things you don't use at home very much tend to drift there, because they take up space at home, and no one has time to play with them or use them. Cottage life invites you to take time to do things you don't do at home. Regular busyness is set aside for awhile and there's time for tic tac duck, Chinese checkers, chess (not for me though; I am not a strategist) and Ma Jong.

July 18, 2007

The Cello

At my cottage, we have a lot of books, many more than you see on the shelves. Larry likes detective novels and I love James Herriot (and for some reason, old Nancy Drew mysteries.) We do have TV (we get 3 channels and snow) and some other technology which really has no business being in a cottage, but we try not to overuse it, knowing what being at the cottage is supposed to be about. Relaxing, making a pecan pie, listening to the loons, playing through every piece in Suzuki Cello book 2. I'm not great on the cello but playing on the back deck with some of the windows closed gives it an impressive resonance. Next trip, I think I'll take the violin and some of my Scottish fiddling music. We went to a farmer's market and saw a twig music stand. Of course I was all over it and started a campaign immediately to get Larry to make me one. He went into the woods, without any objections, for a bit of quiet tree chopping to get the right size branches. Don't worry, he didn't trespass. And if anyone wonders where those skinny trees went, well, it was beavers.

July 3, 2007

Cottage Candles

I've been at the cottage since June 24 and I spent most of my time painting. Okay, there was some cooking in there too, and swimming, although the weather was a bit chilly. There was dog walking, which went along with watching for bears. But mostly, I painted. It was fun and relaxing. These lovely candles were a gift from one of my students at the end of the school year. I took them to the cottage so we could enjoy them there, and I thought I would try painting them because I wanted to see what would happen when the delicate coloured glass cones overlapped each other, making new and interesting shades. The picture seemed to need something besides the candles, so I went out to one of the wild rose bushes and picked a flower. You know, candles and roses kind of go together in a romantic way, don't they? Anyway, the rose was a little on the wilted side, but I laid it on the table and went to work painting it right away, as I knew it wouldn't last long. Also it wasn't in water, because I needed it to lie down. I took a break, came back, and the rose had completely collapsed into a pink mop. However, it was okay because I had already finished drawing it.

I'll be showing some of my other cottage pictures soon.

Go to "Painted Tomato 2005"

Go to Painted Tomato 2006

Go to Painted Tomato 2007 (Part 1)