Tuesday, June 22, 2010

United Arab Emirates- Again!

Just a quick one to tell you I am back in the Middle East for a spell!

I haven't brought any paints with me, but I hope to do some sketching while I am here in the UAE. I wish it weren't so hot though- I would love to walk around and do some drawings of mosques- but in fifty degree heat it's not really possible! But I'll do my best!

Here is a small sketch I did waiting in line for my medical examination for my working visa I started to gather a crowd while drawing, and wasn't sure if I would offend anyone. Images of people are not permitted in Islam but there seem to be some funny exceptions to this rule!


Friday, June 11, 2010

The Bear up the Tree on Third Street!

And who says nothing happens in this sleepy little town?
(Besides, me, that is!)

Okay, okay, I admit, it might not be the most original title, I admit! But this happened last week in my little town, not kidding. It seems that the bears have really enjoyed wandering the back streets of Naramata in search of bird seed, garbage and unruly composts.

We'd been out for a family dinner and upon returning, Larry (the glass guy) had left a message on our machine telling us about the bear up the tree, on Third Street. The tree was across from Larry's house and next the the public library. A group of people gathered on the lawn to check the poor cinnamon bear out.

I personally feel sorry for the bears. in 2003, here was a large forest fire behind Naramata which took weeks to contain. There is a lot less food in the mountains than there used to be. it makes sense to a bear to go where there is food. It makes sense to conservation Canada to make sure man and nature never mix- in the heart of the Naramata village, anyway.

As far as I know, this little bear has remained elusive. Let's hope he somehow makes his way back to the mountains on his own. Run little bear, run!

Side note:
I painted the crowd with no one in particular in mind, yet the people now kind of remind me of people I know- the scooter on the far right is Larry's- the guy who lives across the street from the bear siting. Larry and I have the same scooter so we are kindred scooter spirits!
The boy and the mother with the child remind me of my British friends Cerian, Jack and Baby Geordan, AKA The Ginger Prince. Next to Cerian is Virginia from the States, my neighbour in Turkey, and next to her is my Journo friend Jonathan Lewis with the camera. Rene says the man in the baseball cap looks like my Dad's hunter friend Ron, and I think the girl next to him reminds me of a teenage version of my sister, though the Birkenstocks are for Guy and Esbie! and the dog on the far right, is Nugget, who made an appearance in my last painting too.

Currently, my paintings are hanging in the Village Grounds in Naramata. This painting and "The Orchard Pruners" will be on display from Monday on.

A more formal announcement coming!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Orchard Pruners- New Painting!

Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!

The Orchard Pruners 11X14

Now that I have temporarily moved back to my hometown after nineteen years of being away I am seeing the place in a whole new light.

First thing: This place has changed. Growing up, kids on bikes ruled the streets. In summer, it was the best place to be and we moaned and groaned when we had to go to Alberta to visit my grandparents. I mean, We were leaving black cherry, apricot, plum and peach trees behind, swimming in the lake everyday, jumping off the train docks, stealing apples from the packing house. Our friends also rode their bikes wearing the uniform of summer, a T-shirt and bathing suit and the ever present towel hanging around one's neck.

The farmer, who wasn't meant to look like anyone in particular, but kind of looks like my Dad's friend in Australia, or my old boss in the UAE.

Nowadays,The packing house is closed, the train docks are long gone. Our orchards are being switched up for vineyards, which meant less blossoms this year. But it also means that the type of tourism had changed as well, with older crowds coming to enjoy the wineries. There are far less kids on bikes than I remember growing up. But there are still some fruit trees so I'll make sure to go sit in an apricot tree in my bathing suit and throw the pits at my sister when apricot season rolls around! Just like old times!

This Golden Lab actually has a name, Nugget! A happy dog that had a penchant for sticks, I'm told!

About The Orchard Pruners

I actually rode my scooter around in the cold weather to stalk pruners to see what they were wearing, and this is pretty much it. I was trying to find something that showed the changing of the seasons, from winter to spring, and this was the best example I could come up with- pruners, still dressed for the cold but no longer in winter jackets, prepping the trees for the coming season.

The French Canadien! A staple of a good summer in Naramata.

You might wonder why the guy on the right is wearing a Montreal Canadiens Jersey. It's true, I painted this when the Canadiens were still in the Stanley Cup, but finished it after they lost. But the real reason that he is wearing the Habs shirt is because keeping with the traditions of my childhood, the orchards are filling up with young French Canadian hippies who come to live in tents and pick the fruit in the summer. Oh yes! They've already arrived. I saw them down at Manitou with their Quebec license plates, blasting French Acadian music across the lawn from their car, playing hacky-sack and drinking beer. Just like the days of my childhood!