Monday motivation

“Creativity is something you practice. You can’t be creative if you’re constantly censuring yourself. Don’t get ready, get started!”

Book, Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and rewards) of Art Making, by David Bayles &Ted Orland

Found this quote I had scribbled, who knows when, on a yellow legal pad while flipping to find fresh paper. Now I’m reminded, I need to get this book!

This week

This week marked my sixty-third sail around the sun, and feeling just fine with the added years. In fact I embrace them. I feel fuller, richer, and more calm now than in my bumbling, awkward youth thank you very much; as long as I can keep the body in good health.

This week also is host to my best “Artist’s date” yet. Currently I’m sequestered in Emily Carr’s historical artist’s studio for three days; soaking in the ambiance. I am re-reading the books I have about her as I take in the exact location she inhabited, the very spot where her life’s work came out of obscurity, where, in my mind and in the minds of many, she took her (unofficial) place as a member of the Canadian Group of Seven, representing the West. But then, she is in good company as a non member; Tom Thompson, the artist most thought of as part of the group is not in fact a member either. So, if you’ll excuse this brief post, I’ve got to get back to it.

Cheers!

Monday motivation

“What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.” Eugene Delacroix

The saying; There is nothing new under the sun, is a truth, but our added perspectives are valuable and worthy to further understanding and insights and explorations of a theme or idea. In that, we “re-discover” something new.

Sunday Original Song Challenge

This song barely made the Sunday deadline! I wrote half of the lyrics yesterday afternoon and the rest this morning and put the final music to it this afternoon. Then it takes me several, and I mean several takes to get the recording down. All week I couldn’t seem to find reflective time to work on lyrics, waiting for nudges or cues to come to my attention. But by Saturday I made the time, made space, for something to come, whatever it would be. I started just writing on an idea, whatever words came up, free association, then scraped what I had. Then I played a chord progression – C/F/G and hummed hoping to coax out some words, and what came out was carry them down. It immediately felt like coal mining, which is what my city and my little island is steeped in. Strange that that theme was not on my radar at all initially, but came out regardless. One of the fascinations I have with Writing; who’s doing the writing or am I being written? So off I went with writing the rest of the song.

So it seems fitting to include a link to my short story “Pocket Watch” about the story of Protection Islands coal mining tragedy.

Carry Them Down D.Brint April 25/21

Carry them down, deep down in the ground

Into that long dark hollow

When the work is done they’ll rise and then

Return again on the morrow

Living by the lamp the air cold and damp

Stooping low to work that seam

They’ve come from so far to be where they are

Digging down their roots for a dream

Carry them down deep down in the ground

Into that long dark hollow

When the work is done they’ll rise and then

Return again on the morrow

Heeding the call there was work for them all

There was land and steady pay

Earned by a hard run both father and son

Clawing Dunsmuir coal from the clay

Carry them down deep down in the ground

Into that long dark hollow

When the work is done they’ll rise and then

Return again on the morrow

Like a mole in that deep dark hole

Swallowed into the belly of a snake

Each man devoured by long tunnels and hours

A cruel barter that seals their fate

Carry them down, deep down in the ground

Into that long black hollow

There they’ll stay the rest of days

They’ll not again come on the morrow.

This Week

I got down into the studio this week and threw eight bowls, and am now just about out of clay. A trip up island to replenish soon. Still waiting for the last batch of mugs to be bisque fired. I can’t wait to see how they’ll come out. My potter friend who owns the kiln is busy making pieces too to fill the kiln. I don’t know what I would do if she moved off the island, I have no room for a kiln at my place! I’m hoping to sell my ocean kayak and buy a new electric wheel. The one I currently have was purchased from one of my neighbours, an old and very noisy electric kick wheel, but the $75 price tag was too good to pass up and it was already on the island. The steel fly wheel on it alone weighs 140 pounds, and it was a real grunt just to move it from my neighbours house to mine. It works fine, but my ears take a beating each session. A light, silent wheel would be more fine. I’d be able to hear the music playing.

The songwriting challenge keeps me engaged. I am not a songwriter, never wrote a song before this challenge, and I’m not an accomplished guitar player. That’s the whole point of the challenge. Posting the videos on Youtube is out of my comfort zone but I’m doing it. Posting the videos at all is out of my comfort zone! I think it could be called Passive Performance. I never intend to actually “Perform” the songs I’m writing, nooooooo, nooo. Nobody wants that. I’m interested in writing a lyric and seeing if I can put a melody to it, a creative exercise. When I stop enjoying the process I’ll stop the challenge. Spent today on a good long six mile walk with Bob and Squilly. Beauty day, lots of wind and waves. Bring on summer!

Cheers ~

Monday Motivation

“It’s nice to be able to put yourself in an environment where you can completely accept all the unconscious stuff that comes to you from the inner workings of your mind. Block yourself off to where you can control it all, take it down, that’s where true creativity comes from.” Bob Dylan

Sunday original Song Challenge

This came out as a rather long song, over 4 minutes of your life you won’t get back if you listen to it. Thank you for your time if you do. It started off with an offhand thought of the phrase, days like these, and went from there. Yes, I did have soooo many great concerts lined up for the summer and into the fall….

Days Like Those D. Brint, April 17/21

I was hanging out in cafe’s, I was out shopping for shoes

There was a bustle out on main street, and family BBQ’s

I was planning my vacation, I was booking my hotel

I was hugging all my friends up until

Days like those became days like these

Got to go with the flow, but we’re on our knees, with days like these

I had tickets to my favourite concerts, I was going to the movies

I was meeting friends for lunch, and going out for sushi

We gathered around the table, we gathered in small rooms

We shook hands with total strangers whose hands weren’t so well groomed

Days like those…

Last year I saw whole faces when I went to the grocery store

Saw their smiles heard their voices as they came and went through the doors

My friend just out of surgery, I sat at his bedside

Nurses weren’t so tired then, not so much anyway

Days like those…

These days became a waiting game, looking for ways to bide our time

Learned a language, reno’d the kitchen

Took up macrame and made a batch of wine

Days like those…

This Week

There is something entirely enchanting and inviting about a wooden boardwalk that leads to the ocean. A portal, transportive, a runway to run away on and find yourself elsewhere.

Not complaining, but I miss travel….

Sunday Original Song Challenge

Here is week 5 in the challenge. This song comes out of what I think everyone has gone or is going through. Words are many things, but the hardest ones are ones left unspoken.

Words D.Brint, April 10, 2021

Words are fickle things, the easy way they fall from our lips

And words can be heavy things, smooth and dark as a stone on the tongue

Words are wasted things, tossed like pennies in a shallow pool

Or locked down deep inside, till the last breath from our lungs

Words can come too late, thinking we have the time

To voice the things that’s in our hearts

To say the things we meant to say

And I am here, but you’re not here to hear the words I have for you

They’re grounded like wounded bird

Whose colours have turned to grey

This week

Easter weekend kept me pleasantly distracted with my family bubble, and a good long walk on Newcastle Island with Bob and Sequoia. I am utterly fortunate to have this huge forested island provincial park right next to my little island. It’s accessible only by boat and especially in the off season we can have the whole place to ourselves. Newcastle is several hundred hectares with well defined trails that follow its coastline with spectacular vistas out across the Strait of Georgia, and also inland trails around its interior lake.

I’ve found plenty of photographic inspiration walking along the low tide line over the large, long stretches of creased, smooth, sculpted sandstone. On this walk however we came to a small bay on the North side that was discovered on a previous hike to have a most precious beach made of masses of small stones, each entirely different from the other, appearing as jewels. Perhaps glaciation made this area different than the other bays, and we sat on the beach gently stroking over the smooth rocks, picking out ones that spoke to us to bring home. Found art at its finest.

On a culinary note, The coloured easter eggs I had made for my tiny scavenger became deviled eggs the next day. Kind of excited about it. I’ve made them only once before in my life, and I’m thinking why once?! Old school, yes, but they are Delicious! Cheers!

Monday Motivation

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Suess

This doctor gives great advice! Why do some of us ( Um, me ) have a tendency to shrink ourselves for the sake of being concerned what others will think ? I love it when I meet people that have moved on from the opinions of “others,” they are a breath of fresh air and an inspiration to be around.

Sunday Original Song Challenge

I believe this 4th song in my challenge constitutes as a Ditty, in that it’s short, simple (and I think, a little cute). The inspiration for it came when my husband was reading inscriptions from his parent’s wedding guest book from 1948 the other day. Reg, just home from WW2, and Florence, a young accomplished bagpiper, were both born and raised and living in Parry Sound Ontario, where they remained after marrying, raised their children, and died in old age. Some of the entries in the guest book, I’m yours until butter flies, and, Yours until the kitchen sinks, written by their friends piqued my sweetness bone and I thought, why not a song with those play on words? So I did.

I’m Yours D.Brint April 4, 2021

The moment my eyes fell upon your face

Is the moment I knew my heart had found its place

My world stopped the day you took my hand

Birds sang, flowers bloomed, there was peace upon the land

I’m yours till butter flies, until the bed springs

Till thunder storms and Niagara falls

Until tulips kiss and the kitchen sinks

When hot dogs bark and the barn dances

As the years gather and the road behind us long

There’ll be no doubt in our hearts it’s here where we belong

I wouldn’t change a thing in this life I have with you

And I thank my stars it’s me you took a shine to

I’m yours till butter flies, until the bed springs

Till thunder storms and Niagara falls

Until tulips kiss and the kitchen sinks

Till hot dogs bark and the barn dances

This Week

I’ve been taking early morning walks for over a year now. I love that time of day; full of potential and promise. Many times the walks become photo sessions when the lighting is magnificent, and the colour so enchanting, I can’t help myself. And, since my early retirement a few years ago, mornings have become more special, not having to rush out the door at seven a.m. (Really love that I don’t have to jump into my boat and into a dark, wet, November-January storm at seven a.m. anymore!) The early morning is when I feel most introspective, creative, and inspired, my energy is engaged. During my working life I would get up an hour early just so I could have that time to journal and think, and it seemed too soon I was off to the races and a busy day.

It’s also a time I love to be alone, undisturbed, no distractions. I’m married, (30 years!) and it is rude to ignore one’s spouse upon waking. And there is breakfast to make, and dishes to do. Luckily I’m partnered with a lovely man who understands that when I return from my walk, (accompanied now with my four legged companion, Squilly) and before yoga and breakfast, I love to sit bundled up on the front porch with a cup of coffee (yes, it’s been possible to do this all winter on Vancouver Island) and write my morning pages and plan my day. A luxury, I know, and it doesn’t go unappreciated, or is taken for granted.

For this post I’m sharing some photographs from my morning walks. Currently I use an iPhone 8 and I use the edit tool to achieve my interpretation of what I see. Never filters. How many sunrise photos does one need to take? Apparently a lot. Here are a few. It’s been cool to watch the sun’s tracking over the winter too, coming back from far south of me, over the pulp mill Harmac, and moving towards the North end of Gabriola Island, as seen in the bottom right, taken yesterday morning. Happy Easter ~

Monday Motivation

“What do I want to express? The subject means little. The arrangement, the design, colour, shape, depth, light, space, mood, movement, balance, not one or all of these fits the bill. There is something additional, a breath that draws you into its breathing, a heartbeat that pounds on yours, a recognition of the oneness of all things.” – Emily Carr

It’s the unknowable knowing, that “something” that speaks to us with a volition of its own and completes the dialogue between muse and recipient. Emily’s words capture this eloquently.

Sunday Original Song Challenge

A childhood event was the inspiration here. The idea for this song was initially different than what actually came out when I began writing, and it came in one day. Interesting how the writing process works, like the of writing a story that seems to take on a life of its own, sometimes it dictates what will be written despite your intention. I’m including the lyrics under the videos now, thanks to a suggestion from a follower.

Susan

Susan was new to the neighbourhood, we walked to school

Picking oranges from a grove marked for demolition

She had no mother, lived with her dad,

Grade five, California, 1967

He was never home until the end of the day

But Susan had her own key to the front door

And she wasn’t allowed to play down the street

I guess it was his way to see her safe and secure

I’d go to her house most day’s after school

We’d eat captain crunch and watch national velvet

Or turn the radio up loud and make up crazy dances

Doing our best to imitate Elvis

I remember a pool table stood where a dining table should be

And stacks of country albums in rows on the floor

I remember her dad and his short, black, shiny hair

And the cans of beer he bought from the corner liquor store

We started out as friends but for reasons I didn’t understand

She became cruel and condescending

I became the target of her hurtful remarks

By the time the school year was ending

By summertime a white moving van parked in front of her house on the road

And I saw men carry out the pool table, and boxes of everything they owned

I could see Susan in the passenger seat of the station wagon

Her dad beside her at the wheel

She never looked or waved at me standing, stared straight ahead

never let on how she feels about

Leaving another home, leaving another town,

leaving another school, leaving another friend

This Week

I took my mugs off to be bisque fired on Sunday, and I’m also looking forward to trying out some underglaze pastel crayons I bought, along with an underglaze pencil. Unlike liquid underglazes, to use crayons and pencils the clay must have been bisque fired first to make the surface hard enough to work on; so I left a couple of mugs and a vase plain as samples to practice on.

I don’t have a kiln at home, but my artist/potter neighbour down the road does. We’ve worked out an arrangement that benefits us both. So I pack up my work in a bin and run it over to her place either with the help of a girlfriend with a car, or load it into my wheelbarrow. ( Reminder, I live on a tiny island.)

The week’s also been spent settling in with our new dog Sequoia, a Boarder- Heeler cross and an amazingly smart girl! She’s taken to her new home like a champ, and is a perfect fit for us! It’s been twenty years since we lost our last dog, a Schipperke named Smokey. He also was an awesome little guy who came to us at three years old from the local SPCA. Took to our family as if he was born to us. Still miss him.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with my Sunday Original Song Challenge, although having headaches with consistent posting of the videos via Youtube! I thought I had the wrinkles ironed out, only to find another wrinkle. None-the-less, they’ll get posted each Sunday. So far this song challenge is becoming rather cathartic for me; different from just journaling and Morning Pages.

Today the sun is shining, a beautiful spring day, and beckons me outside to think over the vegetable garden plot and its preparations to be made, and to play in the yard with my hound 🙂 ~

Cheers!

Issues

I may be having issues posting videos to the Sunday Song Challenge. Not sure if this last one worked. It always shows on my site, and I check it on my husbands iPad to confirm if it comes up on another computer. Last night it was there- this morning it wasn’t, nor on my iPhone, so not sure what’s going on as I did the same procedure when I posted two previous videos successfully…?

So bear with me, and I appreciate any feedback concerning trouble viewing the clip 🙂 Ah technology ~~

Cheers!

Monday Motivation

“To practice any art, no matter how well or how badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Just do it.” Kurt Vonnegut

The work is important in that it isn’t “Important.” It’s all in the doing. Watch a toddler with paper and paint. She creates like it’s the most natural thing to do, and isn’t it? It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is and of course it doesn’t matter how it “Looks.” A toddler doesn’t care, she is absorbed in the moment, and as adults looking on we don’t care either. It’s beautiful, whatever it is they’ve made, it’s genius. Let’s be that!

Sunday Song Challenge

Just finished the second song in the challenge! I was soooo busy this week with family (my bubble) and lots of activity, I was worried I wouldn’t get a song down before today. Worked all day yesterday on it, starting by just writing on a theme to see what would come out, then carved out some stanzas. This is a real challenge. The songwriting process is fascinating, even if the results are not. For instance this song went through a massive transformation in one day. I had an entirely different meter going, and longer lyrics. Then I tried putting a melody to it, and was having some, well, a lot of, difficulty; more I think because my guitar playing is rudimentary, to be generous. It’s ok to keep it simple! I’ve heard songwriters when interviewed asked the question; ‘what comes first the lyric or the melody?’ I think I’ve discovered I must begin with the melody and fit the lyric to it.

Cheers!

Pathless Road, D Brint 2021

Spent a long time passing through rooms that led down dark hallways

Through doors leading nowhere, no direction to guide me

I’m as rootless as a cloud

My heart in my hand, collecting broken pieces I thought I could mend

Pathless road don’t own me

Don’t lead me astray, and make it hard to find my way

Finding footholds made of sand and shifting stone

My hands remained empty, in the end I stood alone

Not every smile is a home

Nothing to give, but still wanting more

Pulling blood from a stone

My heart felt squandered and misused, desired for meaning

Questions unanswered, barely left beating

Then I touched down

To ground unmoving, and arms embracing

A heart’s that’s true.

THis Week

This week was spent in the full gratitude of the gifts in my life. Not that each week, each moment, isn’t, but there are times when it is overflowing. When I can look at my life, and those in my life, and wonder how so much has unfolded in a most fortunate way. My path wasn’t a clear and informed one, more a bumbling, meandering one loaded with naiveté, where things could’ve gone sideways at several junctures over the years, but somehow I got lucky and landed in the embrace of grace and fulfillment. And most important is the deep thankfulness that those who were subjected to share my bumpy road have excelled, I’m looking at you Z & J, and thrive in spite of the challenges, and who give me my greatest inspiration. I am revelling in their triumphs.

To add to the gifts, I have acquired a dog. A re-homing of my daughter’s one year old boarder collie/blue heeler cross who is named Sequoia, but goes by Squilly. She’s a beauty; gentle and intelligent. My daughter and her husband’s busy life couldn’t give her the attention she needed right now, so she’s come to my little island and made herself quite to home. The timing was perfect, I had begun to look for a four legged addition to our home, and Bob and I had already fallen in love with Squilly from previous visits, and taking her would keep her in the family, so it was a good fit for all concerned.

And spring is here with its wind, clouds, sun, rain (all in one day), the promise of growth and abundance and preparing the garden for planting, something I look forward to each year. My mugs are off to the bisque fire, I’ve got a song to nail down, and I’m putting together some ideas to open my studio in May to my neighbourhood, and begin to sell some of my work. This is more an incentive to encourage me to continue to be productive, if at least to fund the material so I can continue my studio work.

Cheers!