365…120

30 April 2019

Man, it’s the last day of April!!! And what an amazingly beautiful sunny day. I soaked up some sun during my lunch break and indulged in a walk in the bush behind my house…took lots of pictures of the water, ducks, loon and geese. On my way back to the house I noticed some trash so picked it up. Then I spotted a golf ball. As I stooped to pick it up, I saw note more trash – which I picked up…then I spotted another golf ball…more trash…just when I thought I was done, I spotted another golf ball!

A family friend used to visit with my grandparents regularly. He would bring his golf clubs and hit balls into the river. I’ve been finding golf balls for years, including in the clay in the river!

Golf balls

I had the feeling Don was with me on my walk today!

I somehow managed to get burrs in my hair…just like the ones I used to spend hours pulling out of the horses’ manes and tails! Must wear a hat next time I venture into the bush.

The forecast for May Day is snow and freezing rain. [enter expletive here].

Watercolour painting of sunflowers
120/365 Painting of the day 30 April 2019 ©WQuinn

This painting in no way makes up for the messy weather on the way but it’s cheery enough to take the sting out…maybe a little?

Geese flying
120/365 Photo of the day 30 April 2019 ©WQuinn

I’m still playing with my 75/300 mm lens and so far am happy with the results. Tonight’s sky was really cool and made a great backdrop for the million geese who fly in every night (and out every morning!) – OK, not actually a million…closer to a couple of hundred. I enjoy having them here en mass during the Fall. But usually we only have one or two families who bring their babies up to the house every summer. I love watching them grow up over the summer and learn to fly.

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365…119

29 April 2019

Today I took the bus to work. First time in about 20 some years! The mayor asked residents to telework, car share or take public transit. From the quiet roads this morning, I’d say people were following orders.

I must admit it was a very smooth process and people were respectful. I may try it again.

I painted my painting this morning at work. I brought three brushes with me: a round, an angular and a foliage brush. I did the whole painting with the round then used the foliage to add speckles around the sunflowers. Not the effect I was going for, a sponge would have been better but I worked with what I had.

Here’s a photo of the painting along with my 2019 goals.

Watercolour painting with 2019 goals
119/365 Painting of the day ©WQuinn

After supper I went for a walk down to the river. It was cooler than yesterday but still nice out. I saw several duck, geese and a great blue heron. I’m so grateful to live here!

Here’s a photo of the river, taken with the 75-300mm lens that kissed the acropolis marble.

Landscape photo
119/365 Photo of the day ©WQuinn

The water level is down about 2 feet from last week…the dam must be open wide.

365…118

28 April 2019

Oh what an incredible day it was. Sun shine all day long!!!

I sat on the veranda, enjoying breakfast and my surroundings. Did some work around the yard then enjoyed lunch on the veranda as well.

I painted my painting of the day outside too!

Photo of watercolour painting
118/365 Painting of the day 28 April 2019 ©WQuinn

Was thrilled to find our first blooms of the season in my flower garden!

Dandelion
118/365 Photo of the day 28 April 2019 ©WQuinn

I tried out my 75/300 lens today. I haven’t used it since it fell on marble on the acropolis last October. I haven’t looked at the images close up but on my phone they’re looking pretty decent.

Sunset
Sunset on Perkins road
Snowbird, dark eyed junco
Dark eyed junco

365…117

27 April 2019

This project is harder on me than I every thought it could be.

When I came up with the idea, the point was to make time and space in my life for creative pursuits, to show up every day, to do something I enjoy doing, and maybe get better at it as time went on. I mean, if you do something everyday for a year, surely to goodness you’ll improve with time, right?

The idea was also to connect to spirit and allow my intuition to flow through the paintings and the photos.

I used to spend a lot of time on social media looking at photos that were so beautiful yet so unreal. I would read blogs and posts about how getting a great photo meant hours and hours of post-production in software like Lightroom and Photoshop. I signed up for online classes, tutorials and what-not hoping to learn and be able to produce photos like the “masters”. I quickly became disheartened. Once again, all the beauty we were seeing online and, in the media – such as magazines – was in fact, fake.

You know, the earth is beautiful on her own, without needing special filters and tune-ups in Lightroom. I understand why photographers go that extra step…I mean just look at the results. They are stunning and that’s what sells today…stunning photos. Call me lazy (no, please don’t! 😉) but I would prefer to save myself lots of time by skipping the post-production step. I didn’t always feel that way though. There was a time I wouldn’t let anyone see my photos until I had a chance to go through them and “tweak” them in Photoshop or Lightroom. But it would take me a long time to get them done and I either did nothing else for several evenings until they were done, or I put it off and didn’t get around to sharing my photos for several weeks.

So, part of my #365CreativityProject is to upload my daily photo in its true, raw form. No editing, no tweaking, no adjusting the highlights and shadows…just uploading it as it is. The perfectionist in me has had a tough time with this part of the project. (Even tougher as I have a yearly subscription for Photoshop and Lightroom and I have barely used it since January!) There were some images I took in the first month or two that really could have used some adjustments and I was so embarrassed to upload them without adjusting them first. But, as time has gone on, I find I spend more time adjusting the controls on the camera, changing the aperture, f-stop, ISO, etc. until I get a better photo. Now, there are still some photos I would prefer not to post…but that’s that perfectionist in me that I keep suggesting take a hike, but she keeps coming back. Sigh.

Another part of this project is to not compare myself to others…easier said than done…and not care what others think about me or my artwork…another sigh here but a much bigger one 😉

Some days I find that I’m holding myself back because I want to create something people will like…I’m actually stopping myself from creating because I’m fearful of what others think…

I shared this little tidbit with my Mom today. Do you know what her response was? Well of course you don’t but I’ll tell you: Wanda, has any one ever said anything negative to you about your paintings or photos? Now I’m paraphrasing here but you get the gist. No. No one has ever posted a comment saying my artwork sucked or anything to that effect. In fact, there have been paintings I thought sucked and was very embarrassed to post them only to have someone comment that it was their favourite! Art truly in the eye of the beholder! Mom also reminded me that I could stop posting my artwork online, but I really want to continue with this exercise. I feel like it’s a great way to really learn to let go and not care what others think…to just share my creations, my joys and to get to the point that I’m creating for me and not thinking about what people might like, what people might say, what might sell… but to just be in the moment with my paints, with my camera, and with God, giving thanks for the natural gifts he gave me, to share them with him, with the world, in whatever way I can. For it is when we use our natural gifts and talents that we feel closer to God, and we feel joy, and we share this joy with others.

So, tomorrow, when I sit down to paint, I will first thank God for this precious gift, then I will take a deep breath and allow spirit to flow through me, guide my hand and my thoughts, and I will allow the painting to come to life on it’s own…no preconceived notions, no hang ups, no caring about being judged or what others may think. I will just be. Be with God, be with my gift, be in the moment. And so it is.

Today’s photo of the day is of a sparrow that stopped by the feeder this morning. As soon as I saw him I knew he was new to the feeder…although he looked like a sparrow, the yellow on this head gave him away as a newcomer! I consulted my Bird Studies of Canada poster and was delighted to learn he is a white-throated sparrow! I was delighted because I recently learned that one of my favourite bird calls is made by this bird! (I posted a video clip of a white-throated sparrow singing to my Instagram feed.)

White-throated sparrow
117/365 Photo of the day 27 April 2019 ©WQuinn

I explain the white line through the lighthouse on my Instagram feed too!

Watercolour painting of lighthouse

117/365 Painting of the day 27 April 2019 ©WQuinn

And here’s the large paper sectioned off. I haven’t finished the top six squares yet. I think I might cut them into individual squares, then complete each one separately. Might make cute fridge magnets!

Watercolour painting in progress
Watercolour painting in progress

These posts have become a sort of diary/journal and I like adding info about the weather because….well it’s been pretty strange this year! Today was quite cold with rain and snow flurries…yes, you read that right! Snow flurries! Plus the water levels are rising…expecting to peak around Tuesday. Flooding in many parts of the Ottawa-Gatineau area, as well as Montreal and New Brunswick. Tonight, overnight, it’s supposed to go down to -6C. Brrrr….