June 29, 2017

Pilgrim at Pumpkin Creek

Lady in a straw hat walking alone in a field of wildflowers on a Tuesday.
Resting spot. Essentials along a slim creek.
I have been drawn to this place since I was a small child.
A good spot as any to meditate in the nude.
Brownie McGee in its natural habitat.
The fire wouldn't catch so I settled for smoke.

July 9th, 2017: one month since dear friends married on a full moon.

I came back to this photo essay titled Pilgrim at Pumpkin Creek (ode to Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek") because I felt this particular series of photos needed a story to go with it. These photos were taken on June 20th. After being delivered back to my home by my sweet mum following a hellish time in purgatory, I started to spin out and panic and lose it. Have you ever felt like you can't be at home? My home is my sancutary so this was quite distressing to me. On a whim, I threw a bunch of things in a bag, filled jugs with water and hit the open road in Iain's truck. 

Before long I had that old girl heading west for the counry. There is no radio in Brownie McGee (we both began in '86) but it didn't matter. It felt like a matter of life and death to open every window and let the breeze brush away the energy of that day. Ahhhhh. Feel those shoulders drop. I was wearing my old straw hat from Albuquerque, New Mexico. When I finally arrived to my favorite place called the Sugar Shack, I got out and stood in that little grass clearing near the truck in the photo above and said "this is my Calm Zone. I am safe, open and aware that this is where I need to be right now". I dropped my bag in the porch and made a beautiful bed. Put my boots on and marched through the hills to my favourite spot along Pumpkin Creek. My clothes came off and I lowered my body into that water and washed away the day. Sunshine on a nude body like a frog on a rock. That was how I welcomed the sun and summer this year. These are the photos I felt compelled to take while in the process of releasing the old. 

Welcome Party for the Sun, party of one in a maple tree stand. My kind of retreat. 

My friend Rebecca often refers to her home as her Calm Zone. I love this phrase: calm zone. Rebecca is Lula's Calm Zone. It is lovely to observe a dear friend glide into motherhood and discover new ideas while pushing herself to the limit as a new mom. It is so inspiring to me as someone looking outside in. Something to look forward to, perhaps? I would love to experience pregnancy, birth and motherhood in this lifetime. Time will tell. In the meantime, I can observe and learn from those around me who are in it for the long haul! My life is rich with little children. This I know.

Kiev 60 / Delta 400
Eve of Summer Solstice / June 20, 2017

June 21, 2017

Precarious Dawn

Tail gate self-timer portrait of us on our way to Carman. June 10, 2017. Canon AE-1 / Delta 400

I am feeling very grateful for this bearded creature today.

The very thought of moving to the country with this jolly fellow makes my head spin. I hope I have my camera at ready for the moment when he slams his planting shovel into the ground to turn the soil on our first garden. His grin will blind! We dream aloud at our dinner table in the city while ambulances wail down Portage Avenue.

Here we are, pictured above, happy together on a back road to Carman. I propped the camera on the back end of the truck box and scampered to his side. I like the way that hand feels right there.

June 10, 2017

Stawberry Moon

I dream of silk beach pajamas. Someday I will make some for myself.


I am trying to get back to work at my illustration practice. Getting myself to my table feels like pulling a stubborn ram by the horns in the opposite direction of desire. Yet once I am there, pulling ink is incredibly meditative. My fountain pens and ink have been collecting dust for too long. I recently shined one up and made these two line drawings in quick succession with the idea in mind to eventually print them on fabric for pillows and other linens 'n things up Margot Pollo's sleeve. One step at a time Dolly. The addition of the rose water on these sunny girls came this afternoon while battling a fierce hangover. Focusing hard on painting helped kick it to the curb.

In honor of the marriage between two dear friends of mine and Iain's, we celebrated in excellent company last night under the light of the moon. Grant and Rebecca wed at City Hall on the full Strawberry Moon of June surrounded by a loving community of friends and family. I had the privilage of capturing the course of their wedding day with my Kiev in one hand and Iain's Canon AE-1 around my neck. The rain came and washed the Bride's parent's farm yard good and proper throughout the evening but it never put a damper on the festivities! The smell of wet soil and the last of the Lilacs made for a heady and fresh atmosphere. Around nine the sky cleared, the moon rose and the fire burned hot. Candles placed into champagne bottles dripped freely. The wind felt warm on bare skin as the light sank. It was a magical gathering to say the very least. I can hardly wait to see this one photograph of Grant and Rebecca walking down a gravel road under an umbrella as the last night of day sank low. My gal Tony Chestnut made a custom wedding dress for the bride made out of linen the colour of dove grey. Mercy! What a time to be young and alive!

Adios, my cowboy and I are off to deliver to the groom the loveliest cowboy hat discovered this very afternoon at the Nearly New to You shop on Portage Avenue. Best six dollar wedding gift I can think of. Now it is time to hit the back roads once again with my most loved person and savour the warm air upon our bare arms while we celebrate Grant and Rebecca for the second night in a row. Celebration! How do they call it in Ukrainian? Propravinia? партія після вечірки! Party after the party!


When in need of inspiration to draw, I look to circus imagery captured around the turn of the century.

June 6, 2017

Skipping Stones

 All photos shot on the Kiev 60 / Portra 400