Sunday, 5 July 2015

Quest by Susan L.

  As decided, I took my sketchbook and pens and went for a drive in search of subject matter to paint. The trip ran roughly north and west, zig-zagging along quiet sideroads where the only traffic was a chipmunk running up the road. The roads west become hilly and are blanketed with forest. There weren't as many dilapidated barns as I'd expected but there were a couple with a few missing boards and saggy backed roof lines.
  There's one just around the corner from me. It's in good shape, too although the foundation is surrounded by wild and unkempt brush and grasses. What inspired me was the pond in front, reflecting the image of the building as though it were a mirror. Cattails lined the bank making a home for the frogs who sang to each other.
  The painting is all in the seeing. I spent some time sketching, cementing the image into my mind. It's possible to replace the fine looking building with one less loved.
  The day was hazy, the shadows blurred, the sky was a non-descript gray. I need to spend some time cloud watching. Doesn't that sound like a delightful chore?
  As I was heading home, I came across a tiny old cedar shake house that was slowly sinking back into the land. Long grasses knocked at the door, trees peered in the broken paned windows. A line of fence posts acted as guardians, keeping the bright yellow canola from the field beside the house at bay. The combination of gray shakes with a hint of their once bright red paint against the brilliant gold was breathtaking.
  As I sketched I wondered who had lived there. The windows frames were still mostly white, it had a steel roof with only a hint of rust. This little home had been loved at one point. It would be easy enough to find out who by researching the address in the archives but perhaps some things are better left to the imagination.
  "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men." Eph 4:8

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Much Better by Susan L.

  Prayers must be working. My back is feeling more stiff than sore! What a relief! I just have to be careful not to push it when there's so much work to be done in the garden. I'll let it wait a couple more days though and take it easy. Hopefully by Monday it'll be back where it should be. No pun intended.
  The painting burst has sort of fizzled out. I need to get out and about to find some inspiration. There's so many hidden gems off the beaten path. Travelling the sideroads, its not surprising to come across a bubbling stream or hidden ruin of a house.
  I'd like to do some studies of old barns. There's plenty out there, dotting the landscape. They are the forgotten sentinels of times gone by. A lot of them are falling down or dissolving under the extremes of Ontario weather. Wooden barns are very expensive to maintain and the number of people farming is diminishing at a huge rate as the larger Walmart style corporations with their intensive agricultural operations take over. Small farms are not financially viable any more.
  An old farmer told me once that the old bank barns needed animals in them over the winter to keep them standing. The moisture from their breath and the heat from their bodies helped the stone foundations remain strong and protected from the damaging ability of freezing temperatures. Having the upstairs filled with hay also supported their structure by preventing the winds from howling through.
  A drive around the neighbourhood is what I need to keep me amused today. There's plenty of old barns within a few minutes of my place. It's a lovely day, and the heated seat will be good for the aches.
  "He answered them, 'He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.'" Jn 5:11
 

Friday, 3 July 2015

Going Nowhere by Susan L.

  This is the third try to write a blog today. Maybe it's a good idea to stop trying so hard to come up with something intelligent or witty. Poor sleep isn't conducive to creativity. I pray my back heals soon.
  "'Am I a God near at hand,' says the Lord, 'And not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?' says the Lord; 'Do I not fill heaven and earth?' says the Lord." Jer 23:23-24