June 4th, not surprisingly...is a momentous day for someone very special in my life. It's Grace's 8th birthday today, and I'm sorry that I'm not there with her but instead - thinking about her future and the future of my grandchildren and their grandchildren by examining what we have to lose in the battle between government, big oil and the human beings and creatures that inhabit this earth.
The verdant valleys that lay at the bottom of majestic snow-capped peaks that line the sides of the Yellowhead highway #16 westward towards Prince Rupert...have taken my breath away today. The smell of the air is different here. It's newer - fresher, filled with spirit and the life-breath of the trees. The life-breath of this planet. I get it. I get why we need to look at this land with different eyes, and protect it. I've never seen anything like it. Pristine...beautiful. There are no words for this place...and there are fewer people to see it.
Canadian War Artist, Allan Harding MacKay destroyed five of his own works, in protest of the Harper-led Canadian government and their erosion of democratic rights. In his "Speak Up, Speak Out" expression, MacKay states, "The value of openness, justice, honesty, fairness and unfettered participation by all MP's is being held hostage by a government that holds the Parliamentary System in deliberate contempt..."
As an artist, I applaude and support Mr. MacKay for his art action and thank him for standing up and speaking out on what he believes in. The erosion of our democracy is happening by tiny increments. Who else, but the artist to help draw attention to matters of concern for everyone.
In Canada, we are currently under the thumbs of one of the least "artist-friendly" governments since Confederation. There's a reason for that. Artists are not afraid of speaking out, acting as catalysts for change, observing change in the larger society and finding unique and expressive ways to shine light into dark corners of corrupt governments. That frightens those in power - it always has. They are frightened of what they do not understand.
One of the most important aspects of being an artist is to be able to have deep dialogue with other artists and discover their process, talk about the meaning of the work and the joy of creating. Understanding another's path can help you navigate through yours, and today I meet with Norman Yates, Canadian painter extraordinaire at the Whyte Museum in Banff, Alberta.
Men are paint. Women are canvas. Paint adds colour. Canvas is strong but flexible....(a poem)
Here are reviews for my four favourite productivity applications. If you're an artist or creative, these software titles will give you an economic "office assistant" at the tip of your fingers.
"The Language of The Creator" - Janice Tanton's TEDx Talk. Artist, parent, and full time human being Janice Tanton takes us on a journey of creation from an artist's point of view, including how we can encourage others to find their own voice of creation in whatever form they choose, and how to be authentic and playful in the process.