Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Universe in the Ravine

Yesterday in the late afternoon I walked in the nearby ravine with my dog Zoey, trying to latch onto some inspiration. We haven't had many sunny days, and all of the snow and ice has made walking a bit treacherous. Yesterday was no exception, but the stalwart Zoey showed me the way, navigating up hills through the icy footprints of earlier walkers.

It was worth it because the sky was magnificent. I had to remind myself to look up every couple of minutes and take in the view. In icy conditions it makes sense to watch each footstep, but you lose sight of the big picture.

Across the wide bowl of the park when we arrived I could see a massive cloud formation -- puffy and higher than anything I've seen in a long time. Then in front of that a purple grey fog of snow came in. My friend Gill Cameron is a great painter of clouds. Her clouds are abstract and fantastic and completely true.

Every time it snows in Toronto we get a "Winter storm warning." It sounds funny to someone raised in Ottawa with snow banks that once came up to the level of my mother's roof. But snow does cripple the city. Toronto drivers aren't used to it, and there are always accidents.

I forgot all that as I watched the huge weather system come through. Down in the ravine if I stand really still in a certain spot where there's a tangle of thorny bushes I get to see hundreds of chickadees quietly flitting through the screen of branches. The occasional gortexed runner ploughs by and stares at me thickly covered in my old yellow man's down jacket. But other than that it is lushly still.

Today is Zoey's birthday. She's eight years old and looking great. Have an artistic day.


Flora Doehler said...
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Flora said...

What a lovely description of the clouds Barbara! You are a true artist. Zoey looks wonderful in that photo!
Thanks for sharing this on your blog.

Portrait Artist

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I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!