Thursday, March 31, 2011


Today is about small pleasures . . . . an E chat with a dear friend, an unexpected gift, and a new commission. The sun is shinning, everyone feels peaceful and happy, and lunch is looming. Yes, a good day! I wish the same to you all.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


We were driving through the woods this morning on our way to a nearby village, and although it was far too early for this night owl, I couldn't help enjoying the gorgeous mounds of moss that are beginning to show in the wooded areas as the snow pulls back. It's SO intense and rich. This must be what the Faeries make their winter gowns from. I suppose some bleach it in frost and then tint it with rainbow colors, while others opt for the glowing green of the moss itself. It's always a wonderful Spring treat to see these mossy mounds in their brilliant emerald and peridot greens.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


A cozy fire in the studio on a cold day, and a pretty dog stretched out companionably on the hearth rug are beautiful things! Yes, there really is a fire going (electric), it just didn't show up all that well in the photo.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Beauty of Words

"LOOK FOR A LOVELY THING AND YOU WILL FIND IT. IT IS NOT FAR - IT NEVER WILL BE FAR. Sara Teasadale I love the beauty of words. My grandmother used to recite poetry to me - she had a verse to fit any and every occasion. She intilled in me a love of the music of words. I was so lucky.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Don't you find the world is always a better place with a plate of home-made cookies and a cup of your favorite tea? These are Lemon Poppyseed cookies, and I have them with my favorite Yorkshire Tea. Using a pretty china plate and cup enhances the mini home getaway - pretty things always do. I love to bake. Baking helps make a celebration, and at other times, it eases stress. And whatever the reason for doing it, in the end, you have something delicious to share. Can it get any better!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Today, I have a new watercolor painting on Arches 300lb Hot Press that is making me very happy. I'm celebrating because long ago, I used to paint T-tiny things, a couple of inches square. I did it because I couldn't bring myself to paint anything larger - it was like I had to keep my need to paint a secret. Thankfully,that was a very long time ago, and in the years since, I have been getting my paintings larger and my voice has been getting stronger. Now I have finally managed to paint something the full size of the watercolor board, minus a couple inches for matting - 20 x 27".
Let me begin telling you about this painting by saying that I've never been out West and I'm not a Western painter, so to speak, but here in Eastern Ontario where I live, there is a vibrant Western community of people who love Quarter Horses and Paints, and who enjoy the Spirit of the West. There are Western horse shows, rodeos, and Western Games. Western tack and clothing is available, and although I rode English sometimes, the tack I usually used was my big comfy Western saddle and I was more comfortable in my well worn jeans and Western boots than in my neat breeches and elegant long black boots (although I loved them too!). I have a ton of wonderful memories that come from those days riding through the woods and fields and going to watch the Western Games. As a result, my paintings with a Western spirit will always have an Eastern pasture and woodland setting. They're about my memories here at home.
And speaking of memories; Remember what it was like, coming home from a ride on a blustery, cold March day, desperate for a steaming hot coffee, but knowing your horse had to be cared for first? The barn never looked so good, and when you had a buddy with you, that coffee was just a bit closer. "I'LL START HAY, YOU START COFFEE". Wonderful memories!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Don't you love the wild, exuberant joy of Spring? Granted, the visual exuberance is a bit thin on the ground around here as yet. There is still some snow that is refusing to leave, and what greenery there is, doesn't deserve the name. But close your eyes and just listen for a few seconds. The air is one glorious chorus of Red Winged Blackbirds, Sparrows, Chickadees, Finches, Cardinals, and Jays, and outsinging all but the Blackbirds, are the Geese. The Canada Geese fly past, announcing their passage with their haunting, strangely beautiful 'Goose Music'. I'm surprised no has ever written a concerto to them.
This photo was taken yesterday at a watermeadow near our village. In the spring, the water sometimes comes right over the road, and there will be quite literally thousands of geese resting there. In a few weeks, the river will be behaving itself again, the grass will be greening, and the geese -many of them- will be gone until the Autumn.
I'm just going to pop out to the garden now and listen to the birds!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I've never really been a fan of Pollyanna (old Disney movie) - I mean, there are some days and situations where you just can't be happy, but I do share the character's love of prisms. Unlike Polly, I don't look for things to be happy about every day, but I do look for something beautiful every day, and that, for me at least, makes every day better - sometimes only by a little bit, but hey, it all counts.
For a few minutes every sunny day, one wall in my studio is filled with prisms, and I love seeing them there. I have a small crystal hung in my window, and it catches the light, throwing little rainbows everywhere. The prism is held by a golden winged horse . .. any surprises there?
Even on an unhappy day, these dancing rainbows bring me a moment of joy, and on a good day, they are a reason to rejoice in the beauty that is out there for all of us to discover.
And today? Oh, a good day! After being almost a month overdue for a haircut, by the end of the day, I will finally be able to see past my fringe. No more curtain of hair - it will be back to being a neat, swing of hair along side my face. Life is good.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I know I've posted this image before, but an evening drive last night reminded me of this painting, so I thought I'd use it as my image of the day. Last evening, we had to drive into Ottawa to deliver cookies to an art meeting. We couldn't attend because we had to take our little dog with us. Left to his own devices, he would have pulled out his stitches by the time we got home - make that, before we got out of the driveway. But I had promised cookies and so had to deliver. Trust me, you wouldn't want to mess with a group of artists who have been deprived of their sugar high :-0
The trip in was a pleasant drive through late afternoon golden sunshine. But by the time we turned for home, the sun was setting and once we got out into the countryside again, the glory in the sky was being reflected in the pools, streamlettes, and puddles that dotted the emerging fields. Everything was gold and vermillion, and in places, the pine and fir trees turned a rich, living black against the molton sky. It was lovely, and reminded me of the year when there was a huge spring run-off, and the fields consisted of little islands of dark, wet earth peering above the "lakes" that had over-run them. It was then that I took the reference photos for the above painting - "WAITING TO GET ON THE LAND", an 11 x 14 acrylic. This painting didn't get seen very often, as right after I did it, life went into one of it's challenging stages, and I dropped out of my show circuit. But now, when I look at it, I get a great feeling. The challenges have been met, and I am reminded yet again, that we live in a beautiful world.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Little Things

Not sure what this is? Let me explain. I'm still working on my Miniature house, and will be for quite some time. This is the shower I built for the guest room. I know it ended up with a bit of a tilt, but this is meant to be fun, not something to stress over. Someday, I will do this again and get it straighter, but for now, I'm Really proud of it. The "tiles" are made of wood or art paper, painted dark green or left white, and then "varnished" with gloss medium. The frosted glass is cut from a plastic box top, with waxed paper lining it. I painted on the design, as I did on the shower curtain - a thin, white plastic bag. I'm most pleased with the little shower head. Can you guess what it is made from? Half the fun in Miniatures for me, is looking at something and seeing, not what I'm looking at, but what it might become.
Today I had the joy of sharing lunch and "Show and Tell" with a fellow enthusiast who has become a great friend. Her work is amazing, and a visit with her always inspire me to be creative. It's good to take time to play!

Monday, March 21, 2011


We had an early vet appointment this morning and woke up to a semi spiteful little snowstorm that made visibility a bit iffy and the roads quite slick. But it was SO beautiful! Not far from home, three deer meandered out on the road and then seeing us approaching, just stood there - you know what deer are like! My husband slowed down, beeped the horn, and the deer farthest from the road went back into the woods. The other two ran across, jumped the fence, and as we watched, bounded easily through the snow and into the far woods. We've seen them so often, but every time is magic. Such a wonderful "image gift" on a less than perfect day.
We realized that the road was getting more clear, and soon we caught up with a snow plough who led us safely into the village where our vet has his practise. The appointment went very well, it's a case of so far, so good, with nothing bad expected. Just one more test to get back to be able to say with 100% certainty, "Whew, alls well that ends well!"
And the snow? It's melting already.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Beginnings

Today is the first day of Spring, and this year seems very special. For one thing, it's a gorgeous day, and there was a once in 19 or 20 year special full moon last night. It was so big and bright, we did an audible "Wow!" when we stepped outside to see it shining through the trees. It feels as though something nice is beginning. It's something in the air, and a sense that my painting has moved up another level and I can't wait to get to my art table in the mornings. With so many things in my head that I need to paint, I will have to paint steadily for many years to just keep up with them :-0
Today is also our 30th anniversary in a very happy marriage. And for the icing on the happy cake, we had good news about a much loved dog this week. I need to celebrate, and so I'm committing to posting on this blog about simple, happy things as well as my art, as close to every day as possible, for one year.
To begin, I have a photo from a Flower Show we go to every March. It is held at Algonquin College in Ottawa, where I went to art school. Granted, this is a new campus and there is no longer a Fine Art Department there, but I still love going back. We have actually attended Mini-Vet courses at this new campus, so it really feels like home.
This flower show comes at a time when the snow is usually still hanging on, and walking into the Show Greenhouse is like walking into faeryland. The perfum hits you as soon as you walk through the door, and then the color washes over you. There is a sense of peace that envelopes you, and you automatically take a deep breath, slow down, and just be. We count this "moment out of time" as the first joy of Spring. (And it's always great to see the resident Greenhouse Cat).

Sunday, March 6, 2011


The Australian Shepherd is a beautiful, energetic dog who excelles at Agility. I think they are wonderful, but then, I have a soft spot for most of the Herding dogs. I love that they are usually "free thinkers" as I call it . The Herding dogs have to be intelligent enough to be able to think for themselves once in a while.
I'm starting to rebuild my collection of note cards; retiring my old black and whites and replacing them with colored images. Eventually, I will probably put them into a little book about dogs, something I've always wanted to do. This image will part of that collection.
AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD is a 9 x 11 watercolor on Arches 140 smooth, and is available as note cards, and the matted original is also available.

Heather Anderson - Sheltie Hollow