Sunday, 6 April 2014

Otter on Wood, Beginning...

I've started an otter in oils, on wood. Just the under-drawing. This will be my first try at oil on wood. I think I should have put down a base before starting, to keep the oil from simply absorbing into the grain. I just whipped out my pencil and began to draw on the raw wood. The creature has come easily to me. Maybe because I'm intuitively reaching for joy, embracing curiousity, allowing sponteneity to take over at last, and asserting my femininity....and the otter represents all of this.

My under-drawing for Pink Moon was so pretty on it's own...until the final painting entirely obscured it. This time I hope the under-drawing shines through the finished work...we'll see. I hope it doesn't sit around collecting dust for months. I've already let it sit there for two days.

I've gone almost two entire weeks with no calls in to work at the library, and my only psychological anchor is to make art, yet I waste so much of my free time...K encouraged me to move my studio into the living room, to keep my art front and centre so I can't escape the easel beckoning...and it has worked. A true artist does not know what procrastination is. Nevertheless, my sister sent me a link to this new book titled Creative Block. I'm keen to read it because it deals with my own biggest enemy. I've fought the creative block for almost two years and I'm suddenly bursting out again, recognizing that inspiration and discipline are partners that can't do without each other.

There is one place that I feel at home, truly at home, and if nothing else is going my way, at least I always have my art. So, here sits the otter, and here I go to finish it....

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Sacred Orca

I've lived on G island for almost 5 years now, and in that time I have experienced one spectacular orca sighting, which I wrote about in this blog, I think around February 2012. Prior to that visitation, the only time I had seen wild orcas was during a ferry crossing to Tsswwassen, when a pod of nine were spotted during the sailing, and the captain turned off the engines of the ferry so we passengers could see them glide past us majestically in the Strait of Georgia, their natural domain. They were like confident glistening black needles threading through the sea, stitching together the ocean where they belonged, gently reminding us we were only a passing ripple in the fabric of their serene and almost perfect world.
Almost every day I try to go down to the oceanside with my dog Seeker, and we trot along the rocks and catch glimpses of sea lions, otters and seals....and I often stare for ages at the sea in all its possible metamorphoses, hoping to have another orca siting. There is nothing like it.

Tonight I watched the movie "Blackfish", having taken it out from the library of course, and in spite of the trailer describing it as a "Mesmerizing Psychological Thriller"....(I forgive them for doing what they can to lure people to watch)....I was moved to optimism, I was filled with hope. I want to believe that we will evolve as humans and that, as one of the ex-Sea World trainers said, "I think in 50 years we'll look back and go My God, what a barbaric time ".

The documentary recounts the history of the bull orca Tillicum, who is still performing at Seaworld in Orlando.Trainers who had once worked at Sea World have come through their experience as enlightened human beings, having started out in their chosen career with pure starry-eyed intentions, and because of such pure hearts they were able to see what was ultimately wrong about keeping whales in captivity. This movie revealed the power of experience, compassion and intuition to change one's mind about exploitation and imprisonment.

I'm returning this move to the library tomorrow. I hope you'll sign it out after me if you have not seen it. Perhaps you'll find it difficult to watch, and weep for Tillicum who to this day deserves to be returned to an open ocean pen.Whale captivity for the sake of entertainment is an industry that must be put to rest.

There was a huge outcry over the idea of orcas being captured to show at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and the plan was dismantled. Encouraging, and hopefully the beginning of the end.