Tuesday, August 28, 2018


I LOVE riding and horses more than anything!

Bruno and me a couple of years ago.

Bruno having a pleasant munch in the back garden.

Photo reference for a painting I am re-doing. I have a painting of Bruno hanging in my living area. A visitor was here a few days ago, and wanted to know how much I wanted for the painting. I told her it was not for sale, but I would be happy to paint another. So I will work on that while waiting to ride.

I have loved horses for as long as I can remember. I drew them, played with plastic figures of horses, rode carousel horses, even "rode" statues of horses. And occasionally I got to be around the real thing. I didn't start riding till I was thirty, when I could afford my own horse. I became much more physically active, and yes, had a lot of accidents. I had a very bad cycling accident when someone drove into me from behind, doing about 50 mph. The next year, I came off a young horse, and she proceeded to buck, with her hind feet pounding down on me. Neither of these incidents were fully addressed medically, so my right hip area has had a lot of abuse and not much care.
The past few years have been especially hard with pain, stiffness ... all of those arthritic symptoms. I have been seeing a yoga therapist who has helped immensely, and I will continue to see her. My physician sent me off to an orthopaedic surgeon who looked at the X-ray, did some manipulation and decided I needed a full hip replacement. He described the surgery and showed me the replacement joint. I went home and gave it some thought. I was totally unprepared to go through that surgery! I started to look for options, and  found stem cell therapy. I researched it for several weeks, and then found  a clinic near Vancouver that performs the procedure. Three weeks ago, I had the treatment - an autologous, adipose-derived stem cell and platelet-rich plasma injection into the joint area via ultrasound guidance. A few days ago, I had a follow-up injection of PRP. I must say ... so far, so good. I have less pain and more mobility. The hard part is not being able to ride. I suppose I could try, but I think it would be better for those stem cells to get better established in my hip joint. So here I sit, 
waiting impatiently  ... I'll give those busy little cells another few days, and then carefully have a short and gentle ride.

Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, August 26, 2018


This intriguing-looking bird is the Greater Adjutant stork.  It lives and nests in two areas in southeast Asia. In the Assam region of India, there is a conservation effort being carried on to save the birds and their wetlands.
At the request of a friend, I did two paintings of this stork.

My friend, Christine, is in the middle, with Purnima [in the dark jacket] on the left.

This is one of the table decorations made for the International Ornithological Congress/Women in Science luncheon  honouring Purnima's work. The congress was held in Vancouver in late August.
Several weeks ago, Christine [an ecologist with Environment Canada] asked me if I could do a painting of the stork. She showed me some images, and needless to say, I found him a somewhat homely bird, but interesting at the same time. I created two paintings, one of which Christine has kept, and the other has been framed and presented to Purina Devi Barman, the biologist who has spearheaded the campaign to conserve the bird and its wetlands environment. She is a wildlife biologist working for an Indian wildlife conservation organization, and is educating the local communities about the saving the bird and its wetlands environment.

Swift fox
I subscribe to the Nature Conservancy of Canada newsletter. I was very happy to recently read that this fox is making a comeback in Canada. It was considered extirpated [regionally extinct] in the 1930s. But thanks to a captive breeding and re-introduction programme in the Canadian prairies, it is making a comeback. 

Vancouver Island Marmot

Townsend's mole

The fox, the marmot and the mole [sounds like the start of a fairy tale] are presently on display at a nearby framing gallery. The owner of the gallery is showing her support of a Critter Care, a local wildlife rescue organization.

Thank you for visiting!

Monday, August 6, 2018

By Way of an Explanation ...

I took this in early June. Everything was so lush and green. The photo below was taken a few minutes ago, around 10 AM.

Bruno munching away on his winter supply of hay.

The photos do not have too much in  the way of explanation, but they do, in a small way.  I was spurred to write after reading Judy Barends' blog. It is unseasonably hot and dry in the Netherlands, to the point where it is affecting food production. The same is happening here, and we are experiencing bad wildfires in the interior of the province. I know it is due to climate change, and I am saddened and angered by our provincial and national governments' lack of positive action in this regard. You appreciate, from my art subjects, how profoundly I love Nature, and to see it being destroyed is extremely distressing to me. I have written letters to various levels of government, and become involved with local groups. But I feel this is not nearly enough. I have been doing a lot of reading and research on different aspects of the overall problem, and have come to the conclusion that to achieve any meaningful change in the destructive direction the world's leaders have taken, a complete and radical transformation of the economy [which affects and is affected by social and behavioural qualities of human nature] is imperative.

Thank you for stopping by and reading ...