2012 ~ A Very Good Year
Good morning friends, dawn slowly breaks, the rain dripping off the eaves
diminishes from a deluge to a pattering trickle.
Our community as usual swelled to major proportions in July and August and
is now down to a mostly year round crew of eight or nine souls.
The best part of the summer expansion is the many friends it brings to our home
studio and garden. I can’t begin to name all the beautiful people who enriched
our lives in so many ways this summer but you know who you are. You come from
Mexico and Alaska, from Germany and Calgary, from New York City, Washington and
South Carolina, from Nova Scotia, Ontario, the wide Prairie and of course our
own British Columbia. I thank you all for the dinners, visits, picnics on the
beach, great conversation and inspiration. I’m taking all that juicy stuff with
me into the studio this winter to imbue the artworks with your
The current pressing task is the completion of the final draft of my book “Drawn To Sea;
An Intimate View of the Raincoast”. I’ve been working on this book since the launch of
“Full Moon Flood Tide” in 2003 and was thrilled when Vici Johnstone, Publisher of
Caitlin Press said she loved it. I’m in the process of losing 10,000 words, (after I’d already found them!)
to ‘tighten up’ the manuscript. Launch date will be early spring of 2013 and I’ll be posting
Promotional Tour dates and places. I’ve teamed up with my daughter, singer Theda Phoenix; she
will sing and I’ll read passages from the book so there’s twice the bang for your buck. It’s the story of my life here in the raincoast, building our house with Albert, eight seasons fishing the coast with Billy and the intimate connection with place that shapes my work.
I wish I could say the house is built, this would not be true, however Al’s health has
improved enormously and he’s been making progress. I’d love to say the central
spiral staircase is in howeverthere’s a lot to be done in preparation for it and that is what’s been accomplished. Flooring, wall finishing and ceilings in the laundry area; doors, crown moldings
and trim in the bathroom and pool table room. He’s on firewood
detail with the help of our wonderful WWOOfers, terrific helper/travellers who
have made a big difference to us with their cheerful willing, youthful energy.
This is our third year as WWOOF hosts and it is the best organization for
cross-cultural connections and getting all the damn work done! Theresa, Greta,
Lillian thank you so much for this year’s assistance.
I ran away last March, to Hawaii! Saved up and flew across the endless blue ocean to
the tropical islands far away. Two lovely friends, Dianne in Maui and Pauline in Oahu
gave me a home base and I painted on the beach almost every day. When I returned home
we had a new yellow-eyed kitty, an SPCA rescue, now our sweet Kitty Girl. Dear old BeeGee
lived a happy long life and is now promoting the growth of a delicate Japanese maple tre
by the front pathway. Kitty Girl is black, like all our cats, and the main threat to her survival is
the cougar presence on Gilford Island. She’s figured out that eagles are dangerous and sometimes
comes in quickly after her morning exit, we think she has sensed danger and run for safety. Hope so;
she’s survived her first year. We’re all on cougar watch, numerous sightings through the summer
keeps everyone on the alert. There won’t be much deer hunting around here, the cougars have
made heavy inroads into the deer, raccoon and otter populations.
Winter projects include several painting commissions and I’m excited about all of them. I appreciate everyone’s patience as I want them to be beautiful and convey the mood that inspired interest in the
first place; it all takes time. I did get inspired with a dream image some of you may have seen, a whale vertebrae poised as if in flight, orca in the background and a petroglyph image pecked into rock and painted that in a week. It can be seen in the Gallery section of the website. I’m booked for a show with Karen Martin Sampson at the spacious Pearl Ellis Gallery in Comox from mid-February to the first week in March. I’ll read excerpts from my book, maybe we’ll see you there.
So life is busy as usual at SeaRose Studio as we settle in for the winter, a different busy from the summer but no less enjoyable. We have pots to fire, a garden to put to bed, a roof over our heads and rooms to finish, and many family and friends coming for the November Scorpio birthday party. Cheers to everyone, may your Christmas, New Year and all the next year find you in good health, with meaningful activities to pursue, good companions and a beautiful world in which to pursue those activities. See you next year, afternoons, in the garden.