All I need is the air that I breathe

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On Saturday night, I was having dinner with friends al fresco and it was beautiful. It was cool and breezy and there was even a beautiful blood-moon.

The next day, I was deprived of clean air. Because of this year’s dry, hot summer, there have been many forest fires and I realized that the blood-moon of the night before was the result of the moon seen through smoke and ash in the atmosphere headed our way. There have been large fires Vancouver Island and on the mainland, but the winds finally brought the smoke and ash down to where I live.

I was sleeping in and was glad that the usual bright sun of the morning didn’t wake me early. The sun wasn’t its usual bright self, because it was hidden behind an atmosphere composed of smoke and fine ash from the fires. It caused an unusual vintage filter effect with an ocher haze:

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Along with the weird look of the day, it was bad for asthmatics like me. My chest was tight and there was still the smell of smoke. And because you didn’t want ash in the house, the windows were mostly closed. And on a warm day without air conditioning, it becomes stifling without the windows open.

I began to really appreciate the clean fresh air that I am usually accustomed to and felt for people who live in places with more frequent pollution and bad air quality. As usual, I realized again how much I appreciate something only once it’s gone, especially the basic necessities in life. And I’m sure I’m not alone in this sentiment.

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Art journal backgrounds

I’ve been working on art journaling lately. I do it because I’m a terrible writer and it’s my way of keeping a diary. It’s also a way of scribbling and allowing yourself to make anything you want without rules and without fear of making mistakes. And it’s too damn hot to do anything else! A quote by Cathy Malchiodi explains it best: Art journaling is about having a visual conversation with yourself. 

Below is a journal page I made on top of a serendipitous background of the back of a magazine:

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To combat the “fear of the blank page”, I make the backgrounds ahead of time and write text in after. Sometimes I make the backgrounds in batches. It allows for more freedom and more intuitive expression when I do decide to write in it.

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Most of the backgrounds above were done by Gelli printing. It’s a tool for monoprinting that I’ve been using, it’s a lot of fun and easier than using a glass plate.

Do you journal? If so, what are your methods?

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Watercolour fish

It’s summertime where I am. And it’s been hot!

For me, the seasons and temperatures do influence what kind of materials and images I tend to work on. Below is a watercolour of a fish accented with black and white designs in ink:

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It looks light and reminds me of Batik prints. I did a series of simple watercolours like this on small pieces of rag watercolour paper.

Sometimes it’s good to make some light-hearted art.

And Happy Canada Day to us Canadians!

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