Saturday, August 30, 2014


Hello Friends and Horse Lovers,
It's been a while since I wrote anything on my blog. I've had a wonderful summer, in the garden, fixing up things around the house, seeing friends, and helping to plan the first ever Rockwood Mushroom Fest. More about that next time!

But first, I have to tell you that I seem to be returning to a love of my life - painting horses. This huge stallion was painted from a photograph I took quite a while ago, while they still had the Walking Ring at the Royal Winter Fair. There was just something about how this quiet and yet powerful horse strutted his stuff, with his big feathers waving at each stride, knowing he was the most beautiful horse in the world at that particular moment, with all eyes on him!

Anyway, when I heard about the Year of the Horse Show, I felt I had to be part of it. It has been organized by Vickie Lawrence, a very well known equine artist I first heard about many years ago. I entered this piece, another one about the Horse Pull at the Erin Fall Fair, and the Mare and Foal painted quilt I showed you last May, and was thrilled when they all got in.

I hope you can make it to the show - it runs from tomorrow until September 26th, and the Gallery is open every day from 10 to 5.

See you there!

Thursday, May 1, 2014


May 1: it's a holiday in most of the world but I have spent the day in my studio, putting the finishing touches on my eight pieces for Eight Dimensions, the inaugural show of the Octarine Women Artists' Collective. It's going to be a wonderful show, at Studio 404, 404 York Road in Guelph, from May 2 - 4. Only a weekend, but that's okay, because lots of people will be there, and I know the work of the other artists will be excellent and I am looking forward to seeing theirs as well as showing off mine.

Well, I told you way back about my safari, the camping experience in the Serengeti. How to share my experience of meeting wild animals and having them stare back at me while I am studying them, has been incubating for a long time. However, I have figured out how to do it. I am not sure if they are painted quilts, or quilted paintings, but I have begun what I hope will be a long series of pieces all based on my photographs in the Serengeti. Just in case there are those among you who aren't as nuts as I am about the animals of Africa, I also did a coyote and a mare and foal for the show!

Here they are, animals camouflaged in their habitat:

I hope you can make it to the show! But whether you can or not, watch this space for more!
All the best,

Monday, March 31, 2014


Last Friday night saw the launch of the 2014 Elora Festival, which opens on July 11th in the beautiful village of Elora, Ontario. The anniversary quilt was on show, and the attention it received was amazing. Here is a photo!

Monday, March 24, 2014


I am just back from ten days at the Creativity Centre at "La Franch", the Fibre Arts and Quilting Studio at the home of Karey Bresenhan near La Grange, Texas. I was privileged to go with Bethany Garner, the award winning quilt-maker and fibre artist from Kingston. I have never met or spent time with anyone who is as knowledgeable about the quilt world, or qualified to teach in it! She developed and instructs in the Textile Design Program which has been sharing Surface Design and Arts programs with Part Time Studies students at the Brockville and Kingston Campuses since 1996. (By the way, this program is one of only three diploma programs in Canada for Textile Design students!)

Beth is also the linchpin of the Kingston Fibrearts Group, a Past President of CQA, and is an exhibiting member of many other quilting and fibre arts groups such as Connections Fibre Artists. So, she is closely in touch with all the important things happening in the quilt world in the U.S. as well. She became the Central Canada rep for the Studio Art Quilts Association in Central Canada two years ago, and it was through SAQA that I heard that she had won the chance to spend some time at the ranch and country home of Karey Bresenhan, President of the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Somehow, I had the nerve to ask myself along, and boy, am I glad I did! If you would like to know more about SAQA, go to and/or

So, now you know what exalted company I was in, I can tell you more about the place. First of all,
we stayed in the guest house, which is a very nicely appointed two bedroom cottage next to the office.

The Creativity Centre where we worked had everything we could possibly want, even a drive-in verandah where you could unload your things out of the rain! (Which it hardly ever did.)

Inside we had masses of room to work and move about. Here's a view of the sewing area, (and there were two up-to-date Bernina sewing machines for our use):

The best thing for me is that we had two large tables each to paint and plan on. That was a real luxury! And look at the floor by the way - does it remind you of Vermeer's studio, that appeared in many of his paintings?

If you would like to know more about this amazing space, and if it's possible to rent it, contact Lucy Carr, Assistant to Karey Bresenhan, of Quilts Inc. Her cell phone number if (979) 249 7282, and her e-mail address is .

I promised Beth I wouldn't post a lot of photographs of her on this blog, because she has her own blog: But I just have to show you one photo of her which I think captures the serene beauty of this place. The buildings are surrounded by about 70 acres of countryside, with beautiful trees, a creek, a herd of deer and many birds (include a real Roadrunner, just like in the cartoons!)

Here's Beth, just the other side of the creek and the Bridge of Stars, which Karey's husband Maurice built for her:

Most of my work was for my next show, with the Octarine Women Artists' Collective (May 2,3,4 2014 at Studio 404 in Guelph; I'm working on a series of painted quilts focusing on animals in camouflage, and I got a lot done while I was at "La Franch". That's Karey's nickname for her fibre arts range near La Grange.

I also made a journal to leave behind as a memento, and to end with, here's a photo of the cover.

More soon!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


They say that authors who talk about the book they are writing never do any writing. I hope it's not the same with artists!

I have seen some amazing forms of ice - here's one which makes me think of a prehistoric amphibian. If ever you want to draw an "organic" line (mine are invariably too regular), look at an ice formation!

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Hello All,
What great Christmas and New Year's celebrations! We did lose our power for almost 24 hours, but we were in a hotel for the first night, after a late night watching (and hearing!) our son sing in the Messiah. The house got cold, but we got the generator going, and we could work both the propane fireplace and the pellet stove. The freezing rain did a lot of damage to our trees, but no branches fell on the house or our car. We didn't lose any food, and the power came back in time for us to enjoy the Christmas Eve service; and none of our guests had to be put off! And we got almost four days with our wonderful grandson. So we felt very, very blessed, especially considering why many others had to go through.

I have never seen freezing rain completely encase a tree branch like this, and when we then had snow, the whole area turned white like I've never seen it before.

When there was wind, the branches clanked together like plastic beads, and when the breeze was more gentle, they tinkled and sounded like chandeliers. They were amazing sounds.

I didn't do much work over the holiday, but I did manage to finish a commissioned painting on time. My brief was to work from a series of photographs of a mountain called The Chief (near Squamish in B.C.) using the colours from one photo, the detail in the rock from another, and to add enough to the image from other photos to make it 60 inches wide by 24 inches high. I have never done a portrait of a mountain before, and it was a challenging process to make it interesting. But I enjoyed the process, and decided to add an eagle and two black bears in the trees! Here is the finished painting:

I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year, with lots of art!

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Last week I was asked to speak about my art at Queen's Park, as part of Waste Reduction Week in Canada. CBRE Ontario had arranged as noon hour show called the "Art of Recycling Art Show", and I was one of five artists chosen to speak on my work.

Four of these pieces were in my show in January to March, but the one on front of the table had not been seen except in a friend's restaurant in Rockwood, Heaven on Seven.

Except for the thread that holds it together, this mixed media painting has been made entirely with recycled materials, and the denim jeans on which it is stitched were worn by the late Ken Danby. Ken was a good friend. Together we fought and won an environmental battle that defeated a landfill proposal in the Speed River watershed. But while the river was saved, we must never become complacent about our water supply, or let our rivers become littered with garbage. 

The other things I have been doing is making 8" quilt squares, each based on a piece of music, to be made into a bed-sized quilt. This is to raise money for the Elora Festival, which will celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2014. You can follow the project on But in the meantime, here's a couple based on favourite pieces of music!

Peter and the Wolf, by Prokofiev.

The Goldberg Variations, by J.S. Bach (played by Angela Hewitt)

(We're Off to See) The Wizard of Oz

We are Siamese, (if you please!)

People Who Need People

So, do you get the idea I am having fun?! There are 75 more squares on the quilt blog, so take a look!