Getting a big canvas going.
My friend Flora Doehler
an artist blogger we visited in Bear
River, Nova Scotia, said she
wanted pictures that show the
scale of paintings. Here I'm putting
the ground on an 36 x 48 inch stretched canvas.
some excellent news. Not only are blog friendships
real, but friendships started independently of
blogging can deepen and become more meaningful
because of blog connections. When I was in Nova
Scotia I spent a lot of time at the lovely Chatterbox
Café. My friend Norene Smiley is the reason I
Norene at the Chatterbox Café
set up a blog to both celebrate and advertise
a show they were having in Dartmouth, near
Halifax, Nova Scotia. They wrote a blog about their
progress, and I wanted to be able to respond and
write encouraging comments to Norene and her
friends. Norene's paintings are very exciting for me.
She uses layers, and layers of acrylics, scratches into
the paint, wipes paint on and off, plays with and delights
in the medium. Just after we arrived at our school house
she had an opening in a group show at the Fraser Cultural
Center in Tatamagouche and Steven and I went out to see it.
Norene with some of her work from the Alien Gardens
series. She is currently working on a series inspired
by the salt mine and the ships that come to Pugwash,
Nova Scotia to collect the salt we all use and carry it off
to Montreal and other ports to be shipped out for your
As Norene runs an incredibly vibrant and successful
café in the small town of Pugwash with her husband
Greg, she is a very busy woman. So if I visit the Chatterbox
every day I maybe get to see her for about 10 hours a
year. Yet we have a connection because she sometimes
comments on my blog, and Greg occasionally features her work on
his Pugwash blog, TLJ Thoughts.
One of the most exciting times on our visit out east was when
Norene invited me downstairs into her studio below the
café to see her current series. Big, powerful, Diebenkorn
like industrial pieces. Abstract with vibrant colour.
I am working on a number of paintings now, so I'll have
to continue my tales of artist friendships through the
Meanwhile have a that's-right-my-friends-on-the-blog-