The Beauty and Fun of Trash Collecting

…how can collecting trash be fun or beautiful?

On on our 30 Day Clean-up Challenge people have often commented that they couldn’t do what we were doing. I think one of the reasons why we were so successful and persistent on completing this project was because we could see that it was making a difference. The parks were definitely cleaner and ‘some’ people were making an effort to help keep it that way.

We also had fun while we were doing this. Sometimes it was like looking for buried treasure between the rocks and often we’d be amazed at the things we found. The lost wallet was returned to its owner and Trish also found a cell phone and was able to locate the owner.

After each haul we’d take a minute or two for photo ops. Trish loved posing in unusual stances, sometimes doing cartwheels and hand stands. I on the other hand was a little more conservative with my poses.
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The beauty of trash collecting in the parks comes from discovering the nooks and crannies of the park that I would never have ventured to before. I had never walked onto the rocks before and there were areas around the pond that I discovered for the first time. We also met a lot of wonderful people and we really came to appreciate the beauty of our environment.

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In Search of Food

….our presence brought them closer than I expected

Normally the geese and ducks at the pond swim away when I try to get closer to them for a good photo but today they came right up to the water’s edge and reached over as if they were expecting us to feed them. Judging by the number of empty plastic bread bags that were lying around I suspect that’s exactly what they were looking for.

Despite signs posted in the park not to feed the water foul bread the public does it anyway. Bread is not a natural food source for ducks, geese and swans and I’m sure that a diet with too much gluten is harmful for these beautiful birds.

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Spring Like Weather in March

….but it is officially spring, isn’t it?????

Yes Spring officially begins in March but rarely do we get such nice weather so soon. When March comes in like a lamb it usually leaves like a lion. Now I may have spoken too soon because we still have four days left in March.

This time last year this is what we were experiencing.763308-AF-E29-B-4-FBA-978-A-E904224-B707-B
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This past week we’ve had some beautiful spring weather. The buds on the trees are starting to green, the daffodils and crocus are pushing up through the ground and the birds are singing morning and evening. This is what spring looks like in 2020. Fingers crossed that I haven’t jinxed it.58-E80148-34-B6-485-A-BCF5-0-AF29-D9-D2-A29
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Starting With a Blob

….when you don’t know what to paint start with a blob of colour

Today was the first day of Sketchbook Revival, another on-line free series of classes to get your creative juices to flow. The program is hosted by Karen Abend and today’s guest artist is one of my favourite teachers, Carla Sonheim.

Carla started by encouraging all artists to journal daily with what she calls box journalling. Basically she draws a box in her journal and divides it into sections and writes and draws in the different spaces. She writes random thoughts, to do and idea lists and draws doodles in one of the smaller squares. All of these help give her inspiration for the rest of her day. She also finds it very meditative.

Blob drawings are a great way to start making art when you’re in a rut and don’t know what you want to paint. You literally lay down a blob of paint onto paper and smear it or spread it in a random fashion with a credit card or palette knife. Here are two examples of blobs that I have laid down on the pages of my sketchbook.

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Later this evening I will probably turn then around and see what animal or creature I see and start adding detail with a black marker or with ink. For the one that I just finished I used a water based ink so that I could go back in with a wet brush and add shading by just going over the black lines.

In my first blob I clearly saw a bird flying through the air. Here is my finished piece.

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