Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Toronto Art Expo 2008 - A Success in spite of Blizzard Conditions






The weather certainly affected us at the Toronto Art Expo this past weekend, resulting in low turnout on both Friday and Saturday. However, Thursday and Sunday more than made up for it. Collectors and friends (new and old) braved the blizzard to visit us. The show was a success for me, resulting in numerous sales (7) and a couple of commissions. When you stay the course and work steadily towards your goals, things can “suddenly” fall into place, rewarding all your hard work.
Since my return I have been sifting through emails, cleaning house, rehanging paintings and shifting into coaching mode. I look forward to making time to paint again as soon as possible!

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Friday, February 29, 2008






It's been far too long since my last post. Jeff and I have been finding ways to make the most of this icy season. In January we visited Ottawa and attended Winterlude. We enjoyed the ice sculpture competition, walking on the frozen canal and eating cinnamon beavertails while visiting with friends. It may still be cold but the days are already noticeably longer. I savour every extra second of sunlight.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Open House/Art Show November 2007








This weekend was a double event for me as we held my annual Open House/Art Show and Sale and celebrated my birthday on Sunday as well. Special treats were visits from two of my children, Troy and Hilary. It was also wonderful to visit with new and old friends, acquaintances and collectors and to be able to share my art with everyone. It was gratifying to see so many people enjoying the paintings. The weather was perfect; crisp mornings and mild, sunny afternoons. The trees at the front shed their mantle turning the lawn into a carpet of golden leaves and preparing the ground for a frosty blanket.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Mother Tree









The Mother Tree

I have just returned from the first of four week-long retreats with the Coaches Training Institute Leadership Program. The retreats are held at "The Mother Tree" in California, near Sebastopol, one and a half hours north of San Francisco. It was an amazing experience; I fell in love with the people and the place. As a "Leader in Training" I am discovering the impact I have on those around me.

The retreat house is named after the Mother Tree, an ancient redwood tree on the property. She stands tall and weathered, her twin trunks reaching into the sky at least 60 feet high, a haven for a multitude of bird species. The air carries the fragrance of her breath. Each morning I stood in silence, inhaling the beauty of the terrain and savouring the calm. As the sun crested over the eastern horizon the Mother Tree's upper branches were bathed in gold and birds chattered noisily among themselves, flitting back and forth. Wild turkeys clambered over the gate nearby and disappeared into the meadow beyond. Deer grazed silently on the slopes while crows and hawks flew overhead. A woodpecker drummed high above.
The Mother Tree is over 1500 years old and her trunk is so wide that at least 8 people can stand side by side at her base. Her top is flat, her spires long ago ripped away by wind or lightning. She stands there serenely, a silent witness to the passage of time.
Daily I awoke to the fresh scent of the redwoods. One morning I discovered that fog had rolled in from the ocean and was resting in the valley to the west. The tree topped hills in the distance floated like castles in the air. Nature shared her rhythms and wove her spell over us all. I look forward to visiting this magical place again soon.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Cobourg Waterfront Festival Lions Fine Art Show






Last weekend, June 29th through July 2nd, I celebrated Canada Day while participating for the third year in a row in the Lions Fine Art Show and Sale. The weather was perfect this year. Many of my friends and collectors came by to visit my booth. The show was a success; I sold several paintings, I had a wonderful corner booth right at the beach and had great exposure as the "Featured Artist", with radio and newspaper coverage in both Cobourg and Peterborough. We also enjoyed a larger than ever turnout and were treated to wonderful performances by the Snowbirds and the Skyhawks.This week I am getting back to the “drawing board”. I look forward to creating new vibrant, colourful images and to sharing my passion for Nature. Contemplating Nature can lead to inner transformation and I strive to create images that serve as a "gateway' that opens the doors for reflection and connection to spirit.

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First National Encaustic Conference






In June I attended the First National Encaustic Conference at the Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts. Three other Canadian artists and I gathered with just over a hundred American artists at the college which is located near Salem, an hour north of Boston. We four Canadians came from Ontario and Quebec. The Americans came from all over the United States to meet each other and share ideas about using this challenging art form. Encaustic is an ancient painting technique first used by the Greeks and Egyptians over two thousand years ago. It involves the application of heated, pigmented beeswax and resin on a hard, porous surface. After learning about it four years ago I became entranced with the fragrance, the translucency, and the vibrant quality of the medium and committed myself to the mastery of painting with wax. The conference was spearheaded by Joanne Mattera, artist and the author of The Art of Encaustic Painting and the staff at Montserrat College. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow, with guest speakers, presentations and panel discussions. Among the panellists were an established artist, a curator, an art historian and paint maker, a gallery director, and an art critic. For the first time we had a chance to meet in person, artists whom we had read about or had corresponded with only by email. Everyone was amazed by the enthusiasm of the participants, their willingness to share and their eagerness to learn. It was exciting and inspiring – and left everyone wanting to make plans for future collaborations! For example, a group from the west coast met a group of New England artists for the first and are now forming an alliance for a future exhibition.
Mastery is dedication to the continuous pursuit of knowledge in one area. The Japanese call it Kaizen. Life is too short to waste a drop of it. I am putting to use what I learned and planning my next course of study. What combination of events are you waiting for in order to come out of the shadow and live your dream? Explore, Experiment, Expand!

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Synchronicity at the Toronto Art Expo!





Synchronicity abounded this weekend while I was at the Toronto Art Expo. Right next door to us in the Metro Convention Centre the Holistic World Expo was taking place. As luck would have it, I met James Redfield, author of The Celestine Prophecy and had my picture taken with him. He kindly autographed my copy of The Celestine Vision, which of course, I just happened to be reading at the time! Today I am recharging my battery. Last night Jeff and I got back from Toronto around midnight and still had to unpack all the paintings and store away the display booth. This year’s Toronto Art Expo was busier than ever, with over 17,000 visitors and some beautiful works of art. It was a great opportunity to network with other artists, plus I sold a number of paintings and made some very promising contacts. I was approached by two publishing companies that want to sell giclée prints of my paintings, two interior design consultants, a gallery in Yorkville, and the editor of Calgary based Synchronicity Magazine, who is interested in writing an article about my “healing” art for an upcoming edition. Now I have lots of follow-up to do from the show and catch-up at home.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Bald Eagle Sighting


On Sunday, February 25th, Jeff and I returned home after a wonderful weekend at our friends' Tom and Laurel's cottage on Lake Dalrymple. On the drive we traveled down through Kirkfield on the way to Lindsay, enjoying the clear skies and sunlit snowscapes along the way. Just before we reached the locks I spotted a Bald Eagle sitting at the edge of the river. I yelled at Jeff to stop the car and we reversed back to the bridge. When we stopped to see it better the eagle spread its wings, flew up and rested in a nearby tree. It was absolutely beautiful; the white head and tail feathers separated by the mantle of shiny black in between. After a minute, not wanting to disturb it further, we drove on through the underpass at the locks. Within seconds we were passing through the intersection of the village of Kirkfield when I spotted a second bald eagle, depicted as the background of a small sign on the side of a building, indicating “Kirkfield Corner Store”. How bizarre! It is not common to sight these incredible creatures here, let alone in the middle of winter. I never consider such things as mere coincidence. I decided to google “eagle symbolism” and this is what I found:
The eagle is present across a range of beliefs or philosophies;
The Eagle represents spiritual protection, carries prayers, and brings strength, courage, wisdom, illumination of spirit, healing, creation, and a knowledge of magic. The eagle has an ability to see hidden spiritual truths, rising above the material to see the spiritual. The eagle has an ability to see the overall pattern, and the connection to spirit guides and teachers. The eagle represents great power and balance, dignity with grace, a connection with higher truths, intuition and a creative spirit grace achieved through knowledge and hard work.
The dictionary of scripture and myth, describes the eagle as;
A symbol of the holy spirit, which flies, as it were, through the mind (air) from the higher nature (heaven) to the lower nature (earth) and soars aloft to the self (sun).
How perfect…
Maura

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