Sunday, November 30, 2014

The bench...

There's a bench. Even though it's surrounded by beautiful things, it's isolated. Sometimes it gets visitors. Sometimes they sit just for a moment and are grateful to have the support. Sometimes they linger a long while and reflect. Sometimes they bring others and make the bench really feel like a part of something. But eventually, they all leave. They only stay a short while and then they have to go.

If I had to be a bench, I'd want to be one that was created with love and gusto, with soft comfortable cushions, and placed in the yard where it was an integral part of the design. The heart of the garden. I'd want that because I'd always have purpose, I'd always be part of something bigger, I'd never feel neglected, and even when there wasn't someone near, I'd know they'd come back home to me each night, cozy up to me, and I'd have meaning again.

I couldn't be a bench out on a long pathway that sat empty and alone for most of its life, just waiting and hoping for some companionship, if only for a moment in time, watching as people pass by. To me, that's a lonely bench. And to me, lonely is devastating.

Ya. I'd want to be the bench in the heart of the garden.

Jules :Oc

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Bighorn's of Radium...

While waiting for Thor to arrive in Radium this weekend, I had the pleasure of watching a herd of Bighorn Sheep.. many of which were exercising their masculinity, so to speak. I guess there's a time and a place for all species to do that (masculinity or femininity). This big boy was the winner of all the head butting and herding that was going on while I watched. He casually walked around with his head up higher than everyone else, pushed them and wasn't afraid to call them on. He won every encounter, big or small. He was really awesome, actually. So I snapped a series of photos of him, this one was the best one (it is, of course, copyright to me). Check out his injury.. didn't seem to bother him that much, and it shows how "active" he's been. 

The Village of Radium Hot Springs in BC is an outstanding place to go and observe big horn sheep. They roam around all year long, but in the Fall, they are in the rutt and they are more likely to be seen within the village itself, laying claim to the entire area. It's one of the very special things about the area.

Jules :Oj

Friday, November 21, 2014

Being a little less... social...

Here's what bugs me about all the social networks: They all somehow, some way join together and they promote insincerity. It seems like:

You can't be on Pinterest without being connected to Facebook.

You can't be on Twitter without being connected to Facebook or Tumbler.

You can't be on Instagram without being connected to Facebook.

You can't be on Facebook without being connected to everything else.

You can't have a gmail account without being connected to the myriad of extensions that it comes with nowadays, Google+, Circles, etc...

Somehow people on LinkedIn want to have you in their network even if you're not on LinkedIn.. I'm guessing it's got something to do with Twitter or Facebook.

You can't even keep up with all the new social networks like "Cucumbertown," "Delicious," and "Snapchat." (look up social networks on wiki and see that the list is quite extensive)

Blogging is still a stand alone type of social media, but now people are even making facebook pages for their blog pages!

  • What if I don't want to be so... connected? 
  • What if I'm happy just with texting and blogging.. you know, like back in the good ol' years of 2006 - 2010? 
  • What if I don't want to be on Facebook anymore, or Twitter? How do I close those down without alienating a whole bunch of people? I can't.
  • What if I don't want to "share my boards" with everyone else on Pinterest.. what if I just want to look at stuff on there for myself and my own interest? (Well, that one's pushing it, because I'm sure there's a setting so you can keep things private, but you get my drift).
  • How do you keep up with it all, even if you wanted to!?
It just sort of feels like there's no privacy within these medias anymore. There's too much crossover and because of that, often I feel like I have to censor myself, just so I don't offend anybody. There's no way you can keep track of everyone inside each social media thing, and there's no way you can keep your accounts strictly for friends or family or work. So you end up censoring everything you say everywhere for fear that you'll put something "real" on there and your boss will see it and spazz out, or your family will read it and take it the wrong way, or God forbid you did something with one friend but not another. 

And then there's this... why do certain family members "like" things that other relatives post on FB, but they never seem to pay any attention to your posts? How do you even operate a FB account without having your feelings hurt? Is there even any sincerity in it any more? I know I'm guilty of "liking" stuff just because I thought it would hurt people's feelings if I didn't... even if I didn't really care about the post (as if my opinion really matters to most of the people in my FB friends list). A few days ago, I felt like I HAD to accept a friend request of a lady I used to be acquaintances with when I did lunch mom duty, because she's a mutual friend of another friend of mine and I didn't want to cause any issues by declining her request. Jeeeez. How stupid. 

I don't love where it's all heading. We've forgotten how to interact with each other in real life because we're far too busy friending, liking, posting and being insincere in cyberspace. It's like a cyber-prison.

That's my rant for the day, I finally couldn't hold it in any longer.
What do you think? 

Jules >:Ogrrr!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Like a bird, on a wire...

It's just a blue jay on a wire sort of day. 
At least, I think that's what kind of day it is...

Jules :Oj
copyright JLR2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Ever feel like you're pretty good at a lot of things, but an expert at nothing? That's the realization I came to just now, prompting me to write this blog post.

Things I'm pretty good at: drawing, playing my guitar, mothering, caregiving, listening, socializing, making people smile and feel relaxed, singing, cooking, reading, yoga, exploring, driving, cutting hair, sex, inducing laughter, writing, research, using technology, typing, analysis

Things I'm really good at: my job, cleaning, loving, hugging, cuddling, planning, relating to children and Senior citizens, being a realist

Things I suck at: being alone, making pancakes, speaking my mind, waiting for people, remembering birthdays and names, keeping in touch with my dad, math, playing

Things I wish I were an expert in: sewing, making nice art, understanding humans, finding my zen, ADHD, the psychology of Seniors, health

Hmm. Interesting.
I guess it's good to self-reflect and see where it takes you sometimes.

Jules 8Oj

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Simpson River Crossing ink on canvas...

Here's my original Simpson River Crossing ink on canvas (again, it's much whiter in real life than this shows). It's large, like my Chalet drawing, on a canvas that's 16x20 inches. It took 17.75 hours to finish (approx. - I found my little paper that I kept track on), so not a quick thing to do. The pens were true black, and it takes a lot of time to work with shading different opacities of black ink. You've got to do it just right and hope that you don't make a mistake that can't be inked over and fixed. It's not like paint or other mediums where you can cover things up with other colors and re-work or scrape it off it as you do it. As frustrating as the medium can be, I think I'm getting a handle on it and I do enjoy it. The sense of accomplishment in creating something pleasing to look at is quite high.

Of course, you must pay attention to my copyright tag, any copies of my artwork will not be tolerated at all, period.  But I hope you enjoy looking at it on here. :) 

Now I'm working on the bench drawing. I have decided to ink it in some new pens I bought, they are in shades of varying opacity of the color "cool grey" at 50%, 70% and 90%. I'm about 1/3 done. Looking at it in comparison to the black ink shading, I'm not convinced that I like it. I'm hoping it's nice once it's all filled in. Now that I've started with the cool grey tones, I'm afraid I have to finish it all this way, because it might look weird adding in true black shading now. I wish they were blacker. I need to look for a "warm grey" set maybe. I don't know. I guess we'll see. I suppose artists don't always turn out lovely works, and probably have to do and redo things all the time. Everything is a learning curve. 

Jules :O? 

Friday, November 07, 2014

Time disappeared...

The month of October disappeared literally in the blink of an eye, with everything going on around here to do with my foster guy and his family. I was extremely grateful to have a nice 2-night mountain getaway in the mix, but I don't really have any blog worthy photos to share from that trip. This weekend, I had planned to go to Radium again, but I have come down with a stupid cold and we're supposed to get a dump of snow on Sunday here that would probably be too dangerous to drive back in. Soooo... stuck here on my weekend off, alone, sick and pms-y. Should be terrific!

I've tried the art medium of watercolor. I suck at it. I thought I might give it a try because I love looking at watercolor art (when it's done well) and I watched tutorials that made it look so easy. Thor keeps giving me helpful tips (with his art degree background, I couldn't ask for a better source of help), but no matter how much I have my mind to it, it just comes out a flop. I'm thinking I'm far better off sticking to the ink sketches I do.

Speaking of that, I've finished the Simpson River Crossing that I started a while back. I maybe just have a couple of touch ups to do, some shadows here and there. My sister had high praise for it, she really loves the bridge. If I ever get around to it, I'll post a photo of it. It took me a long time to complete. I've managed to lose the paper that I kept track of my hours on, but it was something like 20+ hours. Next, I'm going to do a drawing of a photo I took of a bench and pathway at Olive Lake. I tried to make that one a watercolor, but that crashed and burned. I think it will make a really nice ink though.

Not much else to report. I'm going to try and get back into the blogging thing, at least once a week. We shall see.

Jules :Oj