Friday, 30 May 2008

Dancing into June

Here are a couple of drafts of items I am working on at present. This first one was inspired by an advertisement for a Pow-Wow being held this summer in the western U.S.

I am still trying to figure out how to depict those long, leather streamers attached to her dancing cape.


This icon is one of several that I am currently working on. It is entitled "The Saviour".

I am also working on a matching icon of Our Lady with the Holy Child. The colours used in both are the same.

I am looking forward to June as the weather forecaster is saying that it should be warmer and drier than usual in the Toronto area. Warm weather and sunshine at last...

Peace be with you.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Another Magnificent Tree

I just wanted to introduce you to a new photographer I have discovered. I knew I would like her work a lot the moment I saw this tree photograph.

Following is the information about how to see more of her work. As you can see, her name is Jackie Osmond Patrick.



Here is another one of her photographs that I find particularly meaningful -- partly because it reminds me of the mountain streams in North Alabama and Tennessee.

By all means, go and take a look at the rest of her work. Believe me, it is worth the effort.
I am working on a number of new drawings, but no time to post anything tonight as I have to get ready for students at 7.
Keep well and be at peace.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Paul

I was asked to try my hand at drawing an icon of St. Paul.

This is the result.

It still needs some more work but the good news is that the people I am doing this for seem pleased with the results thus far.

I hope you are all well and enjoying the glorious sunshine.

Peace be with you.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Great or Grand

I have always had difficulty remembering the proper terms for describing my relationship to this young man -- and to his cousins.

He is the son of my niece.

This means that I am his great-aunt.

However, does that make him my great-nephew or my grand-nephew?

This is what I always have trouble remembering.

And the worst part of the problem is that each time I learn what is correct, I seem to promptly forget it!

I would try to blame it on old age, but I was this way even when I was young!!

At any rate, this is one of my latest drawings. It is entitled "Cole".



Peace.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Then and Now


AMERICANS IN CANADA, VIETNAM WAR ERA (that's me in the middle)


As you can see from the above photo, I was more of a weekend hippie. In this picture, i had just come from a full day of college teaching.



Canada was so good to us during the Vietnam conflict. I don't know what would have happened to the men in our lives if Canada hadn't taken us in and let us stay -- especially with the U.S. draft in effect.



I am posting the following information even though it really has nothing to do directly with salliesART. Indirectly, Canada's attitude toward Vietnam "draft dodgers" did help to make me the kind of person I am today -- which includes the type of art I produce.



So, if you don't want to read about war resisters, stop here. Otherwise, read on and maybe even consider taking action. Technically, Corey is a deserter and the U.S. penalty for desertion is death -- although I don't think they have actually applied that penalty since 1945. So we will hope for the best!



Peace be with you all.




May 21 2008 For Immediate release

IRAQ WAR RESISTER FACES DEPORTATION FROM CANADA


(TORONTO) – U.S. Iraq war resister Corey Glass was told today that his application to stay in Canada has been rejected and he now faces deportation.

Glass, 25, came to Canada in August 2006 after serving in Iraq as a Military Intelligence Sergeant. “What I saw in Iraq convinced me that the war is illegal and immoral. I could not in good conscience continue to take part in it,” said Glass. “I came here because Canada did not join the Iraq War. Also, I knew Canada had welcomed many Americans during the Vietnam War,” Glass stated.

It is estimated that several hundred Iraq War resisters are currently in Canada, many of them living underground.

“Corey Glass would be the first Iraq War resister to be deported from Canada. He would face imprisonment and severe penalties in the US,” said Lee Zaslofsky, coordinator of the War Resisters Support Campaign and a Vietnam War resister. “This goes against Canada’s tradition of welcoming Americans who disagree with policies like slavery and the Vietnam War.”

On December 6, 2007, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration called on the Canadian Government to “immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family members […] to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada; and … the government should immediately cease any removal or deportation actions … against such individuals.”

“The Government should implement that recommendation immediately,” said author Lawrence Hill. “Corey Glass had the courage to listen to his conscience. He is working hard to build a new life in this country. He should be allowed to stay.”

“We must not forget that the invasion of Iraq was a war justified only by lies, greed and stupidity for which permission was not sought nor granted to the Bush administration by the United Nations,” said Alexandre Trudeau, son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and director of the documentary film Embedded In Baghdad. “This outlaw war has ravaged the Iraqi landscape, destroyed tens of thousands of lives and sorely sapped the American treasury all while filling the coffers of profiteers.”

“Those Americans who served in Iraq and have come to Canada to avoid being pressed into further participation in the indignities of the American occupation there are brave men and women of principle who should be given a chance to become landed in Canada. Like many Vietnam draft dodgers before them, their heightened sense of morality and truth can only be a benefit to our nation,” Trudeau concluded.

– 30 –

For more information please call Lee Zaslofsky at 416.598.1222 or Michelle Robidoux at 416.856.5008.



The Toronto Coalition to Stop the War is Toronto's city-wide anti-war coalition, comprised of more than fifty labour, faith and community organizations, and a member of the Canadian Peace Alliance.





416-795-5863


Please donate! Send a cheque or money order payable to TCSW Canada to:TCSW, 427 Bloor St W, Box 13, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1X7


CALL LIBERAL LEADER St├ęphane Dion:613.996.6740 or 613.996.5789



Tell him you want the Liberal Party...• to support the Parliamentary motion to allow Iraq War resisters to remain in Canada,• to oppose the deportation of people of conscience who have resisted an illegal war, and• to support the will of the Canadian people, not Stephen Harper’s decision to deport war resisters, and not the U.S.’s war agenda.•




Let Them Stay!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Thinking of China

I just happened to be working on this intricate drawing of the China of yesteryear when the news broke of the earthquake there. I have continued to work on it over these past days as I have prayed for all those suffering people -- in China and in Burma as well.

The drawing is simply entitled "China".

Peace.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Revisions


I just wanted to show you some of my most recent revisions.


In the drawing above of Christian, I revised it using my new portrait technique which I developed while working on the Count from the Marriage of Figaro.



In this recent icon of Christ in the Garden of Gethsamane, I removed the chalice hanging in the air since it seemed to be a distraction to viewers -- plus it really did not belong there, artistically speaking, anyway.


"Holy Family, Sweet Tenderness" has had a few revisions -- all of them of the Christ figure. His clothing colours have been changed from red to red/gold. His mouth has been made smaller and less colourful.




The face of "Christ the Teacher" has been changed in an effort to make it a bit more balanced. I was never really satisfied with the hairline so that was the main area I focussed on.



Now it's back to work for me.




Peace.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Brenda's Photos

This is a first draft of a drawing entitled "Signs of Spring".
I wanted it to have something of an oriental appearance. What do you think?



The model for the drawing was a recent photograph taken by the photographer I have mentioned to you before. Her name: Brenda Whiteway and the link to her Flickr page. http://www.flickr.com/photos/gimpymom/



She really does excellent work and I find I am often inspired by her photographs.



Do you remember the other drawings I did from her photos recently?

















See what I mean?


Her photographs inspired me to do these drawings.





Otherwise, I trust that all my fellow Canadians are planning on having an enjoyable holiday weekend -- for those of you in the U.S. who read my blog, Monday is Victoria Day in Canada.

Then, if I remember correctly, next weekend is a long weekend in the States -- Memorial Day. So everybody gets some time off to rest and recreate.


miz k.d. and I will be lazing around the neighbourhood as usual.


May you all stay safe and healthy.


Peace.





Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Thy Will Be Done

This is a first draft of my latest icon -- Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.

This is not a traditional topic for an icon but I have tried to do it in the traditional style.

I have certainly taken creative liberties with it by drawing such things as the chalice hanging in the air before the praying Christ.

The Scriptural account tells us the Christ prayed: "Father, if it be possible, let this chalice (cup) pass from me; yet, nevertheless, let Thy will not mine be done."

This is one of my favourite prayers as it is the favourite of many Christians. This scene is also my favourite "mystery" of the 20 mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

It is also a prayer that I found myself praying yesterday while I listened to a woman in Nova Scotia speaking to me on the telephone.


She was telling me that the young girl whose picture you see above was no longer my foster child.


The girl's name is Sandra Elizabeth and she is from Guatemala. I "adopted" her just before she begin kindergarten through a Catholic organization called Chalice. We have been exchanging letters, cards, drawings, etc. ever since. She had done reasonably well in school and had shown some real artistic potential.

She is about 13 years old now and she has completed grade 6. AND she has left school and gone to work. This means she has lost her place in the program and can no longer be my foster daughter.



It is interesting that just a few weeks ago I had decided to add another youngster to my gang of girls that I am helping to get educated. Last week I received news that little Maria from the Ukraine was now my foster child.

This helped to take away some of the pain over the loss of Sandra Elizabeth -- and over the fact that she won't be continuing her education...

So, I have to say once again: Thy will not mine be done.

Peace.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Birthdays Galore

For me, May is a month of many birthdays of friends and acquaintances.

Two of the most special people in my life have birthdays in May and I like to not only give them cards but also a meaningful gift or two (or three or four).

Then there are several friends that I like to give a little remembrance to along with a birthday card.

The item above is one such remembrance. It is for a friend who, like myself, finds this quote from the English mystic, Julian of Norwich, very meaningful. So I made her a fridge magnet with the quote on it!

Then there are acquaintances that I like to keep in touch with by sending birthday cards each year.

This week happens to be a very "heavy" birthday week which explains why I haven't had time to finish the latest drawing that I have been working on -- I have been creating too many birthday cards instead!


I am not really sure why I get such pleasure from remembering people's birthdays, but I do.

I did grow up in a home where my birthday was often largely ignored since it is so near to Christmas, but somehow it just seems right and proper to me to rejoice in the gift of life -- symbolized by birthdays.

So, happy birthday to all of you born in this lovely month of Our Lady, the Month of May.


Peace.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

All Shall Be Well?

Since I am still not feeling well, I decided to focus on horses tonight.

Like many women, I have always been very fond of horses. Yes, I have heard all the rude jokes and comments, but my attraction has always been related to their beauty and gracefulness.

I had a horse when I was growing up which looked something like the one above on the right (your right) and like the one above was also a Tennessee Walking Horse.

His name was Skipper (why I do not know) and he was not registered so he was inexpensive to purchase. Thankfully, he had never been treated with caustic chemicals on his hooves in an attempt to make that famous "walk" more pronounced.

Almost all children grow up with a love for horses and if they can't have the real thing, they will settle for anything from a fancy rocking horse to an old broomstick.

This photo, by the way, is one of my beautiful cousin who lives in Tennessee where the Tennessee Walking horses originated back in the 1800's.




Here is another little girl showing a developing love for horses. This youngster is obviously disabled, but that should not keep her from learning to ride the gentle horse she is getting acquainted with.


As you have seen previously, I have done several drawings of horses although I am not very good at it. The artist needs to be able to show all those well-developed muscles and my knowledge of "equine" anatomy is weak.



This drawing was done from a photograph of Arabian horses running across an open field in Poland. The original photo showed about twenty horses and I tried to draw three of them.


Here is a familiar drawing from my Christmas selection. These were actually the first horses that I attempted to draw on the computer. I remember thinking that they were a good choice since I was showing mainly their backsides!


No one has ever paid too much attention to this drawing, including me. I originally drew it because the idea of making a solitary ride through the snowy woods appealed to me. So, the lady on the horse is supposed to represent me.
But it really isn't a very exciting drawing nor is it particularly expressive of any season other than winter -- and so far we are not sending each other greeting cards just because it is winter ...


So, for a while now I have thought about horses and past drawings and not about the discomfort in my poor eye. Thanks for listening.

As the title says: All shall be well.


Thursday, 8 May 2008

Still Struggling

I am still struggling, trying to see without pain after my eye was damaged this past Tuesday. Thankfully, the damage is just temporary.

The poor people of Burma are struggling once again -- this time as the result of Cyclone Nargis. Just a year ago or so they were struggling in their fight for democracy and now the very elements seem to be conspiring against them.

Plus the ignorant people who rule them refuse to allow the world to help the survivors since we have said nasty things about them in the past!




Then those of us who are people of faith struggle to make sense out of all our personal and collective suffering.

Christians have struggled with this question since the day Our Lord, Jesus Christ, died on the cross.

If you look closely at the drawing of the Pieta, you should notice several changes -- some of them are as the result of suggestions of knowledgeable friends and others are ones that seem appropriate to me. I feel that the icon is now very close to being finished.

Meanwhile, I wish you peace and happiness.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Another View of China!


Some more dental surgery leaves me feeling pretty dopey but just wanted to show you this new drawing that I have been working on.
I remind myself frequently that China is simply China -- and the majority of the people are delightfully kind and generous!
May peace be with you.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Made in China

[The "Peace" version is the final one; the one is being used just to illustrate my point.]
I have been ruminating these past few days over this "made in China" business regarding the clothes for the 2008 Olympics.

I am using this version of my "Free Tibet" drawing to illustrate the issue as many people are saying that they will not be buying any of the Hudson's Bay Company clothing designed for the Olympics since it was all made in China!


Their reasoning being that China is oppressing Tibet as well as aiding the Sudanese government -- enabling them to supply the weapons that are being used to kill, maim, rape and starve the people of Darfur.





As you may recall, this drawing was originally entitled: "Crucifixion: Darfur Style". At any rate, whether you use the old title or the new, it is still all about greed.


Just like it is when it comes to the clothes for the Olympics.


Hbc says they couldn't use the garment industry in Canada or the U.S. yet somehow Roots managed to do so very effectively during the years they held the clothing contract.




So, what do you think about these new garments anyway?









Perhaps, it has something to do with the fact that I am getting to be an old lady, but I, personally, do not find them very appealing.


Then, I have never been comfortable having loudly printed material covering my legs. It always makes me feel like I forgot to take my pajama pants off!


Also, I did make a commitment to myself back when the news first broke about the great numbers of child labourers in China that I would try to buy as little as possible from China until they made a real effort to treat their children better.


I can't judge them too harshly, of course, since Canada has its own list of sins in this area --


Meanwhile, the debate continues. I would really be interested in hearing if any of you plan to buy these "Olympic" fashions.




Peace be with you all.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Pieta




Normally I would not be posting a drawing after I had only been working on it for less than a week, but I can see that I am going to need lots of helpful hints from the icon experts among my readers in order to complete this one.




It was only recently that I even started to wonder if there was anything like the Pieta in the icon tradition.



For those of you who might not be certain what I am talking about when I say Pieta, it is the following sculpture by Michelangelo which resides at the Vatican.




I had never recalled seeing an icon depicting this moment of the passion but when a friend happened to ask that very question, I set about doing my research.



And, the answer is yes. There are a few -- some called "Lamentation" and others actually called "Pieta".



I finally found one that I thought I could work from. There were several problems, however. The image was landscape, not portrait in orientation. The Blessed Mother and Her Son were in a crowd of people and the body of Christ was stretched out full length on a slab.



As you can see, I chose to work with the two main figures in a portrait orientation which meant that I could show only the upper half of Christ's body. My plan is that if I can find a way to make things work this way, I will then re-do the drawing showing the figures of Jesus and Mary as they are in the original icon.



So, this is a project I am just getting started on and I will be hoping for lots of input from all of you.





Otherwise, I am still downloading files. It feels like a never-ending task -- especially when I accidentally put a whole batch of them in the wrong place and had to start all over again!



I hope neither you nor your loved ones are suffering because of the weather. Peace be with you all.