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The Spider


She’s one giant spider…18,000lbs of spider, in fact. Standing 30-feet high, and on display in Ottawa, at The National Gallery of Canada.  Made of bronze and steel, it is one of the largest sculptures in the world.

It was created by French sculptor, Louise Bourgeois in 1999 when she was in her 80’s.  (I had to let that sink in. She was in. her. ’80’s. when she created this. If I’ve read everything right, and I think I have – what an extraordinary feat.) And, it isn’t surprising to learn that many regard it as the culmination of her life’s work as an artist.

Maman is the common French word for mother. And, pictured here, you can see that Maman carries a sac of 26 pure white marble eggs under her belly. It is said that the sculpture is an ode to Ms Bourgeois’ own mother, who restored tapestries in the family business. The spider represents the weaver, protector of her young, cleverness and strength.

It was a brilliant blue-sky day in Ottawa when I first saw Maman earlier this month. Quite a setting for it.  I was, at first, repelled by it.  Then, astonished by it.  And, now, in awe of its creator.

‘Maman’ – an incredibly striking piece.  Needless to say.

For more images of Maman, and further information about the sculptor, wander over here.







Remembering, all those who serve and have served; all those who have sacrificed so much. And, hoping for peace for all, on this Remembrance Day here in Canada.


In Progress…


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Work in ProgressI’m loving Tara Leaver’s painting/art/creativity course.

End of week 4, and this is a detail from a painting I’m working on.

No shortage of fear to overcome in putting brush to paper.  Tara is masterful at helping us get past it, or through it, I suppose, and into doing the work, and having fun!

I’m not sure I like the whole piece – still in progress, but I love this detail!

And, that’s a great start.


ps.  Nothing in it for me to give Tara a plug.  Just wanted’s just been such a pleasure taking her course.  Cheers.




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Courage comes big and small.

Trying-new-things courage.

Out-of-our-comfort-zone courage.

Expressing-our-heart courage.

Sharing-something-we’d-rather-just-let-slide courage.

Standing-out-when-we’d-rather-be-invisible courage.

All are part of every day life.

Sometimes we see ‘brave’ coming.  We know there’s a situation that will be challenging for us, or a conversation that will make us uncomfortable, or a new experience calling our name.  We see these things on the horizon – and, we screw up our courage and commit an ‘everyday act of bravery’ by accepting the challenge, or we defer to another day, sometimes missing a wonderful opportunity!

But, there are also the unexpected moments of everyday bravery that come up, tapping us on the shoulder.  Asking something of us in the moment.

Like photographing this exposed-brick wall.  One small act of courage required.

To take the photo, I had to step up and onto a platform. I felt like I was practically getting on a stage!!  People on the side-walk streaming by were bound to notice, or so I thought.  And, I just didn’t want to be seen.  I was a little bit tired.  In a hurry.  And, feeling kind of vulnerable, wanting to take a photo of a brick wall, and all.  (Who does that?  Photograph walls. I do! And, I know other photographers who do, too.  But, I was not feeling the chutzpah I needed to put myself out there and take the darn photo!)

How silly!

I mean, how silly that I felt this way.  “Just take the shot.  Please, take the shot.  And, then, just keep moving’.  So, went some of the ‘inside voice’ dialogue.

So, I did.  I took the shot. A small act of courage.  And, of course, someone noticed me.  I smiled and made a comment, and then…kept moving.

When I think of the really brave things people do in their lives…I just feel completely ridiculous for feeling the way I do…let alone talking about it, here!  But, truth is, there’s something about being seen when feeling vulnerable that just makes me want to shrink.

When it comes to bravery, there are some mighty big things happening in the world that require big acts of courage. Far bigger than what I’m talking about here.  I think of war-zones, and mama’s with children who are sick.  Much. Bigger. Things.  But, I know, there is also what I call the ‘everyday-kind-of-brave’…the moments in our day-to-day lives that call us out, that invite us to cross some line that’s been drawn inside our selves, to live bigger, even if it’s in some small way.


Now, as far as the photo is concerned.  It’s no barn-burner.  But, I love the brick of it!  Etched and textured.  Rough and worn.  The warm oranges and silver-greys.  And, those dashes of white.

I don’t know what I’ll do with this shot..but it inspired me at the time.  And, I’ve learned to go with what grabs my eye…something always comes of it!

Like, maybe, reminding me of ‘brave’.



Cross-posting over at Vision and Verb today.  Click the icon, and pay a visit, when you have a moment.  A talented, creative, and amazing group of women – artists, writers, photographers all.

Vision and Verb


Nothing But Blue Skies…


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Two weeks ago, exactly.

It was the eve of Thanksgiving weekend.

And, this was the view…standing on the shore of Woodbine Beach, looking back towards Lakeshore Ave.

Great view!

But, why does Thanksgiving feel so long ago!

Maybe it’s because it feels like winter seems to have arrived early.

So cold!  And, snow sightings, already.  What?

I’ve been on the road off and on, and a little behind on posting.

More images to come

In the meantime, hope all’s well with you!


Same Lake, Different Day


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Lake Ontario, Woodbine Beach



A vastly different lake today.  No ‘sparkler of a day’ today.  But, I’ll take this lake,and this view, any kind of day, any time.  For me, it’s always a fine day to walk the beach, especially with my four-legged pal, and no matter what the weather.  Especially today –  a nice tradition to walk the beach before Thanksgiving dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating today!