Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Walking with lemurs

Calgary zoo has a new exhibit with lemurs. We love lemurs - went to visit the Duke lemur center last year and were so excited to find out that Calgary zoo has a walk with lemurs exhibit  where lemurs just hang out with visitors - it is really cool!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Small and big hunger

Places where we are born, raised and where we live shape us. 

“The Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert talk about the two "hungers". There is the Great Hunger and there is the Little Hunger. The Little Hunger wants food for the belly; but the Great Hunger, the greatest hunger of all, is the hunger for meaning...
There is ultimately only one thing that makes human beings deeply and profoundly bitter, and that is to have thrust upon them a life without meaning.
There is nothing wrong in searching for happiness. But of far more comfort to the soul is something greater than happiness or unhappiness, and that is meaning. Because meaning transfigures all. Once what you are doing has for you meaning, it is irrelevant whether you're happy or unhappy. You are content - you are not alone in your Spirit - you belong.”

Laurens van der Post

A friend shared this on FB today. This is exactly what I have been thinking a lot about, especially in the winter months here in Canada. Belonging, being content, meaningfulness, how our environment influences and shapes us, finding one's own tribe, transforming in the search process... 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Summer clean up

Ocellated Turkey

The weather here is kind of funky this week - hot, muggy, smokey, so I am cleaning up. We took a huge load to the Goodwill yesterday (outgrown bike, boots, winter clothing that does not fit any more and some other household goods that we do not use). It amazes me that we still have so much to give away, even though we are extra careful what we bring home and we don't shop for things unless we need them. Living in a condo has been great for our family - we have so much time to spend doing meaningful things with our family, maintenance of the place is minimal and security high, and comfort level is high - car is always warm, no snow shoveling in 5 years we have lived in Canada, no lawn mowing, and our place is always warm in the winter. I will never own a house in a harsh climate like this - the weather here is not kind on man made structures. It is not kind on humans either but I will complain about that some other day.

I came across this little painting of a turkey that lives in Yucatan peninsula primarily. I love how colourful these turkeys are!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Speaking of exhibits

I went to pick up my paintings from the Harcourt House member's show today, and found out that my painting "The Neighbourhood Watch" was sold. That is always good news. I often wonder who buys my art, and why they bought it.  I like the people who run the Harcourt House and their next door neighbours VAA - always welcoming and friendly.

It is great to bring home less paintings than what you took to the show. This sale comes at a time when I was feeling discouraged by all the rejections this year - everywhere I look locally for an opportunity to show art doors are closed. I find it that people in general like my art when I do show it publicly and I always get great feedback. I just cannot crack the juries who decide what goes into local shows. It does not matter - I keep working on my art. That is what matters, and the fact that one person in Edmonton liked my art enough to buy it makes it all right! So thank you my new collector, I hope you enjoy owning my painting as much as I enjoyed making it.


I just realized that I have enough work for 7 full exhibits on different subject matter stored at home! I have been productive in the last 5 years since I became a full time artist. I am having a hard time finding places to show my art locally, and I feel that an artist should have local venues to show in before branching out to other cities. I have representation in Xanadu gallery in Scottsdale, and I did show my work in Lacombe's Gallery on Main for a few years, but it would be really nice to have gallery representation locally. I am pretty sure this will never happen in Edmonton. There are several reasons for this.  Fortunately, I am not going to change, and will keep painting in my own style. I promise!
I am in a mood to paint some landscapes, and take a little break from my new series I am creating featuring more funky animals :). I am looking at many reference pictures I took in Banff on our recent travels there, so there will be some nice, juicy paintings coming soon.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Music and art

Music was always an integral part of my life. In the neighborhood where I grew up, there was an elementary music school right next to my regular elementary school. I really wanted to play an instrument so my parents enrolled me in this music school to play flute. I have such fond memories attending this school for six years - from the beginning of the third to the end of the eighth grade. I had private lessons two times per week, and solfeggio two times per week, plus orchestra performances and recitals later on. We even had a flute choir with over 20 flutes participating, and I played for a while in the local ethnic music club.

Playing an instrument has taught me to be disciplined, to practice every day to get better. This work habit has proven to be useful while I attended the University, worked as an engineer, and now while practicing my art full time.

I picked up playing the flute in my senior year of high school in the marching band, and then did not play again until well in my 20s when I signed up for a few classes at the University of New Mexico. This is where I really learned to play seriously for the first time with an amazing professor - Valerie Potter. Professional musicians are some of the most hard working people I met.
I never did pursue a professional path in music, but am eternally grateful to my professors at UNM for deepening my love for music, and making me work hard to slightly improve my playing skills. I regularly pick up my flute and play a piece or two just for my own good. I like to play when my substrates are drying between the layers of paint.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Harcourt House member show up until the 14th

The member's show is up until the end of this coming week. You can see my three paintings on the wall to the left.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Nice weather and not so nice rejections

Rejections are bad in general, but it gets worse when you keep getting rejections for a project you already wrote off as a failure, and you get more in the mail to remind you of your failure.

But then I look at my work, and I feel good about what I did. And I feel motivated to do more work, without getting accepted to any local shows. In a sense, I still bloom where planted, although permafrost does not allow the blooms to show. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017


It looks like we are going to have a lovely sunny day today. I love sunshine, and yes, I do not take it for granted any more when we have sunny, warm days!

 We all slept in and I still got up first and browsed through some older posts. I found this picture from a show in Colorado - right before we moved to Canada! I do miss Colorado - it is a beautiful state. I miss Denver with all the city has to offer regarding art and science and kid and family entertainment.

Here I am with my #1 fan and supporter of my numerous projects and adventures in life. We were excited to start a new chapter in our life together :) - crazy kids moving countries and it all turned out ok. I am happy with the progress I have made in the past 5 years with my art!!!

The Messenger of Immortality 12x24"