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July 19, 2017


Beth, that's a wonderful post and your description of the Canadian downpour on the bridge is perhaps even more visual to me than your lovely delicate shells. You certainly have a gift for words that give a vivid sense to the reader of 'being there' along with your thoughtful, analytical observations. In the shells, I don't see symbols but only their marvellous patterns and architectural structures.

Oh, Beth, this is so beautiful -- the words and the images both. Thank you. This is balm to my heart today.


All of this, so beautiful!

The shells, emptied of their life, are remnants, thrir home was a home elsewhere. Shells have always had this 'container' sense to me, and like Natalie, I find them marvels, but also melancholy, like empty nests or abandoned houses.

As an immigrant too-but 45 years ago- I have my own sense of what 'Canadian' is, and I am grateful to be here. Thank you and I hope your deleted thoughts make it back here in some form/

Lovely patterns and shapes and negative space...Shells are wonderful little beauties and world travelers and mysteries, but they are most wonderfully mysterious to me because they are a speaking mystery that sings of the sea, or of something we cannot understand. And only when emptied of life can they sing to us when held to an ear. And we of course hear ourselves in that sound, so I suppose it is life and death singing together.

The shells, and your drawings, are so beautiful. Maybe this needs ultimately to be, along with your lovely botanical drawings, part of an exhibition or book or website which, along with your equally beautiful words, paints a wider picture and story? I love and appreciate all of it.

Love this Beth. Love your shell analogies and paintings - feels a bit like you are going in a new direction to me - nice way for me to start my day with your lovely thoughts - thanks.

Thank you! Natalie, I'm glad you liked that description of a memorable happening. We've had so much rain this summer that maybe we should have been better prepared, but it was such fun, really, to just get soaked along with thousands of other people. A Woodstock moment, I guess!

Rachel, thank you, I'm glad.

Pascale, thank you.

Duchesse, thanks for your reflections on shells - I never thought of them as melancholy because they leave behind such beauty, but when I thought about that beach full of former lives it was a bit overwhelming! And I'm happy that we've been able to converse about Canada and the U.S. and share our similarities and differences as immigrants...

Marly, only you would find such poetry in the mystery of shells! Thank you.

Thanks, Jean. I'm thinking along the same lines and have started a journal to see where that might lead. Blogging used to be the perfect and ultimate platform for work like this that combines images and words, not necessarily in a completely linear way, and I think those of us who spent a lot of time in the early years have been deeply influenced by that. But now, I feel like I need to work toward some different and more permanent project-goal, with the blog maybe as a sketchbook/notebook. Thanks for your encouragement.

Thanks, Kathy! I know you are very familiar with that beach! Yes, a new direction, but as usual for me, it's one of several. The trick is keeping everything moving forward...not so easy, but that's what feels normal. Hopeless, but fun!

Ah,this is lovely. The thoughts as well as the drawings.

I think this is your most beautiful painting yet, and the writing. I love it.

Beth: On my desk computer the lines of text and the small type make reading your blog difficult. I don't know if it's just my experience????Anyway, I've taken to looking at the pics on my computer and then reading the text on my smart phone, where the text reads perfectly fine.
I continue to appreciate your explanations of process in art.

I did pick something up that I had not noticed before: that art is an integral part of your life world, not something set aside. That could be what defines an artist as opposed to those of us who dabble in art.

Mary, thank you very much.

Sharyn, that is so lovely of you to say! Thank you. (I don't seem to have an email address for you anymore - can you send it?)

Hattie, is it possible that you have your screen resolution set in such a way that the text appears small? Because it doesn't on my computer, and I haven't received other complaints. In any case, I'm sorry it's a problem for you, and glad you can read it better on your phone. Yes, art (of all kinds) is integral to my identity and my life, you're right about that, and it explains why I move in-between different art forms so much; they all (cooking, gardening, sewing, knitting too) feel like part of the whole. I guess that's different from many people, but not for some of the creative people I know, though some professionals do seem to compartmentalize their art and the rest of their lives. I've talked about this with a young woman friend, a singer who is quite creative in other parts of her life too - she's beginning to construct her adult life and wanting to live this way. It's certainly not for everyone, but it's what has always worked for me and feels most "true."

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.