Symbiosis – trees and chickadees.

Symbiosis is a much higher reflection of intelligent life – Frederick Lenz

Symbiotic or parasitic?

Our natural world functions in a symbiotic relationship. Plants and animals when not interfered with will generally find a way to co-operate, so that each benefits.

Balance and harmony is vital for the well being of all life, including our own.

While painting this ornamental tree with its vibrant green and yellow leaves, I noticed that it was filling up with little birds.

The Chickadee’s, who are usually residents of the larger trees and hedges around town have moved in. They too have been displaced by development that is paving us into a concrete jungle.

The names that are given to these new apartment buildings can be amusing, such as “The Green” with its sales office painted in green while every tree, shrub and blade of grass is carefully removed from the vicinity including the sidewalks.

Maybe I should have called this painting the refugee tree.

Tree with birds, chickadees, fall garden

Symbiosis, the Chickadee Tree

“The actual trouble is that profit is identified entirely with money, as distinct from the real profit of living with dignity and elegance in beautiful surroundings.” ~Does it Matter – Alan Watts.

The element of air has birds.

“The problem of knowledge is that there are many more books on birds written by ornithologists than books on birds written by birds and books on ornithologists written by birds”
― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

Every artist has a critic – how often have you heard,”what is that supposed to be”?

While working on the hummingbird painting this fellow and his extended family kept perching on my easel.  Their running commentary about my art work and the direction the painting was taking was a strong reminder of art critics the world over!

In summer I find it nearly impossible to work indoors and am fortunate to have a corner in the back yard to place my easel. It resembles working in a busy airport with constant bird and squirrel traffic.

Hummingbirds are one of the most delightful visitors and can be fairly inquisitive, but no birds are bolder than the Stellar’s Jay.

The element of air, the breath of life itself – out of this all things emerge.

Hummingbirds emerge from the field of infinite possibilities, they come and go in the blink of an eye!

Feisty and tenacious, covering vast distances, these little creatures are magical and very special. First the iridescent sparkle on their feathers then the determined buzz around your head when you approach their territory. Here is a creature who does not back down.

Changing direction in an instant like dolphins of the air, there is a playful quality to them. That playfulness hides a tenacious, powerful being that can fly more than 1300 miles without stopping.

Myths and legends abound around these birds and yet we continue to destroy their food sources and nesting sites. Their nests are so tiny that it is wise not to cut or trim shrubs and hedges in spring and early summer when they nest.

As a symbol of regeneration – the lesson we can learn from hummingbird is to be adaptable and strong as we seek to regenerate our lives and our world.

All is energy – hummingbirds    20×24 oil on canvas  $1400.00

Allowing the flow of energy in art.

Everything is flowing — going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water. Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty-making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks… While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like blood…in Nature’s warm heart.
– My First Summer in the Sierra (1911) chapter 10. – John Muir

Salt Spring Island Sunset with singing stones.

Singing Stones

Each of my paintings take on a life force of their own and tend to flow in the direction that they want to take…

While I was working on this painting, it became clear that the rocks in the foreground were sending out a very strong energetic vibration.

When we think of sacred spaces, temples, churches and stone circles like Stonehenge come to mind. Man made and amplifying the raw energy of a particular area.

All life forms are made up of the same minerals found in the rocks and stones of the earth. This is one of those places where the rocks sing and the vibration matches that of our own bodies, creating a space to rest and relax.

We can be affected by the energies of an area and some places cause discomfort as they alter our mood and connection with others. Seek places that make you feel good and energised whenever possible.

Breaking free from the prism to enlighten the soul.

Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.  – Richard Lovelace

As beings of light and energy, how do we follow our dreams and avoid being pulled down by the expectations of others?

In Amber – The Last Of The Honeybees. 24″ x 24″ oil on canvas.

This painting is for the bees –  the outer destruction of the planets ecosystem reflects a terrible devastation within each one of us.

We are “schooled” into cages while the doors stand wide open. Free to leave anytime… all it takes is courage!

The concrete, glass and steel nightmare of mega-cities and robotics are not mine and nor do they have to be yours. Control and manipulation by another’s vision occurs when we are to scared to dream our own.

The latest onslaught is to build us into a computer simulation. High rise apartments cut us off from the sun and rhythms of nature. Roads and paving ensure the efficient movement of energy, (us) in service.

As co-creators of a new vision, can we unite in a balanced way and work together like the bees to free our hearts and souls?

Slow art like slow food takes time to produce and digest.

“An artist is a person who performs certain things skillfully, but doesn’t really know how he does it. You learn art by methods that you don’t know how you learnt, you can’t describe, because your brain is capable of absorbing all kinds of information that is much too subtle to be translated into words.” – Alan Watts.

Salt Spring Island, wind in the grass

What is on the easel at present and still to be completed – Dancing in the wind- Salt Spring Island.

Alan Watts is correct, it is nearly impossible to describe the process. There are great teachers that can guide someone on the use of colour, design and technique. All these are important tools on the journey as an artist, ultimately that is where it often ends.

Ideas brought from I don’t know where spring spontaneously into being, it is hard to teach that to someone else when you are still exploring the process yourself. I therefore admire those who can bring greatness to another’s vision.

Some days everything flows and other days it is just paint going on top of paint. Ideas come unexpectedly in a matter of moments, driving creativity in a whole new direction.

Each painting takes many, many hours to complete.  There are times when analysis paralysis sets in with a waiting period for something to occur, before the painting begins to take shape. This is why my paintings are not inexpensive. The time and energy that goes into each piece is a labour of love that can never be retrieved.

All the paintings on this website are for sale and limited edition digital prints are available upon request.

Please contact me if any of my art speaks to your wild and imaginative soul.


Yellow Jacket wasps

Every summer has its wasps – 11″ x 14″ ink on scratch-board

Oh synchronicity! Having just completed this scratch-board and ink drawing of wasps, one stung me on my hand.

Not a bad sting fortunately, only a tiny burning bump. I was sitting in the garden supposedly meditating while my monkey mind gibbered and absentmindedly brushed away what I thought was an ant.  Was this a note from the universe to cease and desist!

I came indoors and went online to social media as one often does and a post showed up calling wasps A**holes. Here was a perfect opportunity for showing this artwork.

Wasps are really beneficial to our environment, although a little short tempered. Any creature that can build such beautiful paper nests deserves respect.

Looking back, the drawing was inspired by a visitation in early March when I found one on my leg while painting. I have never seen them that early in the year. When a second one appeared in the windowsill it was time to pay attention and do the artwork.

All the paintings on this website are for sale and limited edition digital prints are available upon request.

Please contact me if any of my art speaks to your wild soul.

The Elementals

During our everyday journeys we meet with creatures that we are seldom aware of – maybe we should be?

Of water and land.

A combination of paintings inspired by the landscapes of British Columbia, Washington State , Oregon and South Africa.