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2014 - The Year of the Horse

January - December 2014

No fun and galloping here, though the year has begun in a positive vein despite the excessive snow and frigid temperatures. I am able to temper the regular chemo treatments by painting long into the night or practising the piano at odd times of the day or by the light of the moon. As those on decadron know, the effects of this drug vary in people. It gives us an anxiety high for a while and then suddenly plunges one into deep lows. Fortunately I know this is temporary, thank goodness, and am able to quietly wait it out.

Reading a stack of books from the Atwater Library takes me on colorful trips and fantasy islands while meditating keeps me grounded to my purpose in life.... still unclear as it changes with time.

Decades ago I learned through the Silva method of mind control that we need to feed our subconscious mind before sleep. I tried this faithfully for a few years until now it happens naturally. I still believe it to be a powerful tool we all can use towards our well-being.

Perhaps that is why all the ideas for my paintings emerge in the early hours of the morning, just before I awake. Figures, forms, color and even feelings appear so vividly and forcefully that I am compelled to transfer them to canvas. If I delay or get distracted, they vanish quickly and I am unable to regurgitate them. Marie-Louise von Franz, a close associate of C.G. Jung wrote: 'The imaginary is not an illusion. It wells up from the depths of man's being and creates a symbolic world, a magical garden'. Still, the creative process remains such a mystery.

In June I drove to Saratoga Springs to attend a 4 day seminar directed by Jan Phillips, Director of the Living Kindness Foundation on Creativity & Activism. Meeting this flock of over 100 energized women gave me the boost I needed. Many of them had high-powered jobs but had chosen to give them up and start ventures of their own to work towards protecting the environment, organize peace projects and strive to better our universe through art, music, dance, film and literature.

On returning, I wanted to honor them and completed the painting below which captured the warmth that oozed from these special women. Many wrote back to say that at one time or another, they each felt like the "pink woman" and that it was truly their circle of women friends who were crucial in their lives.

In April, ELAN, the English Language Arts Network selected 10 artists to celebrate their 10th anniversary, with an interview about their work and life. Click here.

The Global Fund for Women & the International Museum of Women featured CRESCENDO & WOMEN OF THE WORLD UNITE on a special website which you can check out here called IMAGINING EQUALITY. CLICK HERE. There's even a section where YOU can tell us how YOU imagine equality.

Among many entries, WOMEN OF THE WORLD UNITE has been chosen as the Global Fund for Women's holiday card which will be sent out worldwide and shared with women in parts of the globe that are almost forgotten.

In the Fall issue of the CANU, the Canadian Unitarian bulletin, you can read my poem AU MARCHÉ ATWATER, written during my weekend morning ritual at the market. The painting THE PUMPKIN LADY was inspired by the poem. Click on the link under the painting to read the poem.

November 6: has me featured as one of 4 Empowering Artists That Are Starting a New Chapter in Feminist Art. Click on the link under A_U_T_O_B_U_S to read the article.

November 19 will see the launch of the publication INSPIRED BY MY MUSEUM at the Indian High Commission in London, England. My short story about my visit in 1964 to the Grosvenor art gallery in London, England was selected by SAMPAD along with work from other writers based around the world for their anthology Inspired by my Museum being launched on November 19, 2014 at the Indian High Commission in London.

Established in 1990, SAMPAD is a dynamic development agency for South Asian arts based in Birmingham, in the UK. It plays a significant role regionally, nationally and beyond, in promoting the appreciation and practice of the diverse art forms originating from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Through its work SAMPAD serves, supports and initiates South Asian arts in all its forms working with youth, community, education and professional artists. To represent Canada and be included with other writers from places such as Croatia, France, India, Ireland. Italy, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, Singapore Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Ukraine, USA and all over the United Kingdom, is a real honor. I'm gifting a copy of the book to the Atwater Library in case you would like to check it out.

November 13 - Dec. 6: Today is the opening of the play THE ANORAK produced and directed by playwright, author, film-maker, former poetry-workshop-colleague Adam Kelly. It's about the murder of the 14 women at the Polytechnic, a monologue by Marc Lepine. Powerful stuff in this 25th anniversary year. The painting "We Remember" which I completed in 2009 will be on display during the performances. Don't pretend this incident never happened. Go see the play and get shaken up.

December 10: Jean Beliveau's funeral at the cathedral today. Winter has arrived covering the city with 25 cms of snowflakes and enough inspiration to trigger lots of new creations by Montreal artists.