Painting on Brier Island

Six years ago I spent a week painting on Brier Island. It looks like I’m going to have that chance again in August and I am so excited about it. Here is the post from that original trip:
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When Nova Scotia was Twinned with Africa

When I turned 60, that number looked big; but when I listen to my thoughts or look into my heart or look around me I feel much, much younger. But even if I were turning 100 it would still feel insignificant after our journey in 2011 to a magical place in Nova Scotia that is 350 million years old. Continue reading

Painting the Diamond in the Bay of Fundy

I’m excited to be heading back to this painter’s paradise tomorrow. It is an artist retreat on an island in Canada’s Bay of Fundy. You know. The place with the highest tides in the world.
The following post is from 2012 on my first trip to the island with a group of artists.

When we arrived at Long Island in the Bay of Fundy for our Artist Retreat,  it was an overcast and showery afternoon. The mist and fog shrouded this huge rock of an island that we could see from our cabin. It looked ancient and mysterious as it disappeared and reappeared in the mist and I was anxious to see it at sea level when the low tide allowed it.

Diamond Island, Five Islands, NS.

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Brier Island Trails

Most long weekends in August we camp on Brier Island with Bear River friends.

It’s very low key…shared food, mostly vegetarian, cooked over the campfire or propane stove, sleeping in tents, nature walks, and lots of talks and laughter and bird watching and telling stories and sharing ideas and catching up.

One of my favorite delights is to fall asleep listening to the ocean waves. Or is it waking up to the haunting calls of seals?

Come with me down the green path…..



Along the bumpy ridge…..


Past the living tidal pools……


Along the craggy shoreline…….P1420180

Past the basalt lava flow that reaches all the way to Blomidon.P1420177


Past the rising tide…….P1420120Past the ocean waves……


Follow your nose……


Past the wild and fragrant Roses…..


We might be under shelter…


…or checking out the new, lone teepee…


..or riding bikes….


…or searching…


…or watching the sun set…


…or at the campfire…


…or walking through fields of wildflowers


…or imagining a new painting….


…or waiting for a ferry to go home.



The Year Ends at the Bay of Fundy

Bear River snow.
Detail from a painting by Wayne Boucher

We had all the ingredients for a Merry Christmas this year. Food, Swiss chocolate, art, a fragrant tree, friends, our daughter Emily, and beautiful snow. Only our son Jesse was missing from the mix, which was too bad, but we did spend lots of time on the phone catching up with his city life.

Our sweet local Christmas tree. You can see we used up some Green Willow tissue paper.

It’s wonderful to have our daughter home….this time from London.  She’s been helping us get back into finishing up house tasks like painting the last few walls, hanging towel racks and putting up coat hooks; little details that we stopped working on 2 years ago. She’s very determined to have us organized before she departs on her next adventure. It’s amazing how you stop seeing the unfinished trim around the windowsill or the temporary  curtain on the bathroom window after the main renovations are over.

Fresh, fragrant boughs.

I doubt we would have even bothered with the tree and decorations if neither of the ‘kids’ had come home, but I really liked the effect and I’m so glad we were encouraged to do so. Thanks Emily!
The fresh tree came  from a neighbour who delivered in on the day he cut it. All for $15 and the fabulous fragrance was free.

The land was green up until early Christmas Eve when snow started falling and falling and falling.  It was so very pretty that I took a break from cooking and walked around the block to admire Nature’s beauty.

Our pond is starting to ice up. The dark spot is where a continuous mini-waterfall flows.
Tall and Short.

There was very little traffic and in the ditches I could hear water trickling in its eternal journey down, down, down the hills to the river.

Walking on Pleasant Street.

The snow was fluffy and light.

The Baptist Church steeple in the distance.

I wonder what story this building is telling. Who lived here? Where did the back porch go to?

An old story.

I stopped in to visit a neighbour and when I emerged to continue my walk home, it was dark. The only sound to break the silence was the wind in the tall bare branches – a sound I’ve always found very soothing. I stopped and stared up and thought about how nice it would be to see my departed parents and grandparents again. I thought about Robert Frost’s poem.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


Meanwhile over the last week, soup and other food was made and shared at a few gatherings and of course, way too many sweets were eaten.


So just to ground us again and ease us back into thinking about creativity, we went with friends to visit Wayne Boucher, Nova Scotia’s celebrated painter. He treated us to a tour of his new paintings in his retrofitted studio that overlooks the Bay of Fundy.

Visiting Wayne Boucher’s studio.
On the wharf at Parker’s Cove.

By December 28th, the Christmas snows were gone and the weather was balmy.

Standing on the Wharf looking out across the Bay of Fundy was, as always, a visual treat. What inspiring shapes and blues in that water and sky. Wow! What a gift for us all.

Bay of Fundy at Parker’s Cove.

Wayne Boucher’s palette:

I think Wayne’s palette repeats the colours in the Bay of Fundy.

A Monk, the Harvest, Time Travel, Art, Music and Family

A couple of days before our tree fell,  I planted over 120 cloves of garlic for me and 80 for my friend Pat. I had some time to think about all the posts I didn’t write this month.

Although I used to wonder what people ever did ‘for fun’ in a little village, I have to say that now I know that so many events and activities happen in a month that it’s not possible to take part in everything let alone write about it all.

Still, I would like to share with you some of the events that happened here to me in October. Continue reading