Posted tagged ‘Art Postcards’

Plummy Daydreams

February 12, 2017

PLUM
(blue leaf kallima)

plum_postcard

I was browsing through my Botanical Postcard Oracle and decided I liked these colours for today. They remind me of the Damson plum tree in my backyard which was surrounded by 4 feet of snow last week. No mail or driving for three days as we were snowed in. Finally the plough came and we were able to get to the grocery store.

When we lived in Ontario, this sort of weather was usual for the month, and they had the equipment to deal with it, but out here where they rarely get more than six inches of snow it has been interesting to see how things come to a standstill. I ordered a Kindle Paperwhite to better read classic books, and it would have been here Friday but for impassable streets, and I shall have to be patient until tomorrow.

So, a much-needed break to contemplate plums. According to the blurb on the postcard, domesticated plums are hybrids, and thus have many variations. Plums have delicate white blossoms that attract butterflies like the Blue Leaf Kallima which is the South Indian blue oakleaf (Kallima horsfieldii) according to Wikipedia, and this colouring seems to be one it sports in the dry season, it’s a bit more subtle but still with lovely gradations and spots.

That’s it! I’m having a dry season, dreaming of summer.

 

Churchill Contemplates Varied Creativity in Libraries, Gardens, and Small Rooms

July 7, 2016

It’s been a strange week with our back fence torn out for repair and the neighbour needing help shifting wood, and our contractor coming by to put in a temporary downspout and measure windows. We got a tremendous amount done one day as I finished my studio organization, hung six pictures, patched some walls, washed a bunch of fabric, and bought the final acrylic paints and medium for my abstract diptych that I’m painting for the living room.

It went on and on. I cleaned the kitchen several times and cleaned all three bathrooms and made a rhubarb/strawberry/cherry crumble. It didn’t leave much time for cards, but amid the unknowable result of negotiations between the Union and Canada Post, I received a parcel from across the pond.

Ah, the magic of postcards from National Trust properties. A heartfelt thank you to my friend Steve Bright, who knows how to choose just the right postcards and art for me.

Postcards_Chartwell_Sissing

Winston Churchill’s studio at Chartwell, and the library off the writing room in the tower at Sissinghurst. Up Vita and Harold!

These are people that had some grief in life. I remember reading about Churchill building the garden wall at Chartwell during the time he was in political limbo in the 1930s. It must have been hard for him, but he wrote books and painted and built this incredible wall during those awful years. I imagined it as a three-foot wall, nothing special, but in a garden documentary I was amazed to see the height of it.

Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson lived at Sissinghurst. It is actually a medieval castle and must have been rather gloomy and needed constant repairs but they liked it and built a garden that influenced many others and still does today. I’m not sure that I like Vita’s poetry, it’s of its time and seems a bit stagey today, particularly if you hear recordings of her reading it. Still, she forged on writing poetry, essays, biographies and I’ve always been fascinated by the tower at Sissinghurst which was her writing room, her private eyrie. The tower is Elizabethan, and looks damp and cold, but what a place to create. When the mind tires of ideas, you can look afar, bring yourself out again with your eyes on the land.

A reflection today on how to surround yourself with pleasurable things and yet get things done, create, regardless of what the world thinks of you, their lack of respect, or your isolation, or poor health, or your house needing repairs.

It’s about doing and challenging yourself amid the turmoil of life, and the fundamental ambiguity that plagues the mind. Regardless, there is THIS, these rooms, this art, these books.

I close with a favourite quote by another hero of mine, Kenneth Clark. I was struck by this sequence in Civilisation, Episode 7: Clark is discussing the Baroque and exploitation by relatives of the popes, clothed in nepotism and housed in palaces of greed. He ends by saying this as the camera pans out and shows him walking down an enormous arched corridor that is thick with ornamentation and carving, and a sense of huge, whistling coldness and emptiness that goes on and on.

“I wonder if a single thought that has helped forward the human spirit, has ever been conceived or written in an enormous room.”

 

 

 

Transmission du Mouvement

November 26, 2015

Sometimes chains are the thing that move you forward is what I get from this. Look at those gears going, it’s my brain on three hours of sleep.

TRANSMISSION DU MOUVEMENT, 1955
Art by Editions Rossignol

Transmission_du_Mouvement

We have a conditional offer on our house, and have been sitting all week hoping everything will go through. We should know tomorrow, and if it firms up I’m flying out west to buy our new house. It brings new meaning to the phrase “high anxiety” as we have so much to do in so little time. The many cogs are moving in increments in the background.

I’ve spent spare hours trying to finish a baby quilt, and I’m just sewing the binding down in the next two days and all the baby gifts I made can be delivered. The piston goes up and down like a sewing machine needle.

Chains: it’s all how you look at it. Movement it is!

 

 

 

It’s Hard Not to Cry

November 14, 2015

This shocking news from Paris…I want to keep in my mind the millions of Muslims who are honourable, godly people, working and living peacefully, contributing to the well-being of society, and involved in their communities to strengthen them not to tear them down.

“GESUNDHEIT!”
This open-hearted symbol of cheer graces the peace quilt made for Patch Adams M.D., 1989
Join us in people-to-people peacemaking.

Peace

Patch Adams started the Gesundheit Institute as “a project in holistic medical care based on the belief that one cannot separate the health of the individual from the health of the family, the community, the society, and the world.”

Rapids, Sunspots, and Plentiful Fish

August 4, 2015

Another postcard I found after cleaning my den. This was from my parents in July 1991, and they sent it to me because I was supposed to go to this camp when I was a teenager, but they didn’t get enough people joining from our area so it was cancelled. The story of my life.

MALIBU RAPIDS OUTBOUND FROM PRINCESS LOUISA INLET
“An eagle’s eye view of Malibu Rapids with Young Life of Canada summer camp on the right and Jervis Inlet beyond. Navigate these rapids with caution or at a slack tide.” Cruising in formation at Harbour Marina, Garden Bay.

MalibuRapids

My Mom describes in this postcard (written about 15 months before she died), Dad and a friend catching 16 small cod and 2 more pails of oysters. It sounds like a good trip.

A day with a reminder to enjoy things, enjoy life as it can leave pretty fast. Disappointments fade like the sunspots on this card, and flowing through rapids, leaving you with beautiful scenery.

 

 

The Sensation of Life on Earth

August 2, 2015

Yesterday we spent all day leaving the house, taking the dogs next door and chatting with our neighbours, waiting and waiting for someone to show up for a viewing of the house who never appeared. Today we decided after making the beds and other house-tidying measures, that we needed some balance and needed to get back to our lives rather than hovering around worrying about the house.

So we took our morning tea out on the driveway in the shade so I could comb all the hair blowing out of our chocolate Lab’s coat. We really haven’t spent any happy time with the pets for weeks. Then we had oat bran for breakfast and moved to the shade on the grass, and had two more cups of tea.

Enjoying this strange sensation of being out of the house and hearing birds and the breeze in the trees, we decided to eat lunch out there on the card table, and then after lunch the spouse mowed some of the lawn and used the weed-whacker, while I washed the dishes and then came out to draw a long-overdue weekly sketch on the table, that we had moved to the shade under the big maple and oak.

It was like getting out of prison. The wrens have had their babies and were darting about trying to feed them. The dogs lay on the grass and breathed the air, enjoying our company and the great outdoors. We both felt better, it was a much different and refreshing focus.

561. A new Pitcher Plant from the limestone mountains of Sarawak, Borneo
Marianne North, 1830-1890
Oil on paper
Marianne North Gallery, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

MarianneNorth_Kew

Isn’t that a beauty?

Inside the plant, things tend to disappear into a mottled jumble of colour, but outside the vines twist and reach, the veins of the leaves pulse with colour and energy from the sun, and the mountains envelop all growing things. Reminding me after today to spend more time out in nature, seeing the colours and breathing the air, focusing my eyes on the minutiae of life close-up, my feet magnetized by the Earth.

 

 

 

Cherry Blossoms, Falling

July 31, 2015

This is a little card I received when I traded decks with someone, I’m not sure how many years ago, probably around eight years ago.

CHERRY BLOSSOMS AT ASAKURA (woodblock)
Hiroshige II (Ichiusai Shigenobu) (1826-1869)
Image supplied by the Bridgeman Art Library

CherryBlossoms_Hiroshige_II

I never realized there was a Hiroshige II. He was the first Hiroshige’s son-in-law and student and inherited the name after his master’s death.

It was a sad day today as my mother-in-law died. It wasn’t unexpected as she had been in the hospital for a week, but it was still sad. She was overseas so we weren’t able to be there, but my husband talked to her online a few months ago at least and spoke to her on the phone as best he could given her hearing loss and dementia.

Cherry blossoms for all the grannies who were once young girls, blooming.