Cruising the Westcoast

Home now on Salt Spring Island after a two month retreat  in rural south west France. Paintings to complete vie for attention as we settle into our new home in Ganges.
IMG_4143Business updates and meetings with Leanna we hear about her busy past two months in the Gallery. Friends and family celebrations and sharing all our stories, France is now behind us, sweet memories recede and are replaced with lists of to dos.
We come to our senses and take a precious few days to escape on “DreamTime” our trawler, a Grand Banks. IMG_9597We sail out of Ganges Harbour with a gentle rock of lapping wavelets. Pristine beauty views so clear in every direction.  The coastline is
punctuated with sandy beaches, and rocky out cropping. Stately homes curl up with Continue reading

France, as if in a dream….

With deeply held experiences while painting France, I surrender to my dreams captured from nocturnal, lucid and, the place between sleep and awake that Robert Louis Stevenson writes about in his book “Travels with a Donkey in the Cervennes”.conques

While on a drive to visit a dear friend in near Le Puy  by The Central Massif I view a tapestry of lush hills spotted with grazing cows and sheep. Rugged land wrinkles to a huddle of stone habitation. Deep slate stone roofs sag to another and then another, dip down then up, and like a pirouette a conical colombier, the dovecoat, the final flourish is capped with Continue reading

Easter week in France

A renewal and cycle of life, Spring unfolds in the south of France. Leaves unfurl, bees migrate to flowers, baby lambs frolic on wobbly legs. Every day newness reveals bud to flower and sun rising higher.IMG_8316 Here since early March our little patio now is sun drenched from early morning.  Fresh from the boulangerie croissants, mugs of coffee our day lazily starts listening to doves cooing and cows that lumber past to lush meadows rich in dandelions.

Try to keep up with the steady symphony of growth is near impossible. Daily walks to photograph flowers from tight bud to the Continue reading

Visiting Castles along the Dordogne in France

To Les Jardins de Marqueyssac and Beynac et Cazenac in the Dordogne River.

Dordogne Chateau... Belcastal a Fairytale fortress

Belcastal a Fairytale fortress along the Dordogne river

Yesterday afternoon we decided on a short trip to some of the exquisite chateau villages along The Dordogne. Traveling the small roads via the heights of Rocamadour through the scrub oak forest scribbled with plots of very green pasture and bordered with crumbled stone fences. Belcastal a Fairytale fortress of a home clings to a jagged cliff poised at a perfect twist of sparkling Dordogne so as to come across it ones breath is held.

We linger in a view spot photograph each angle with light just so, and edges of green meadows, roof tops and glistening river. I see a painting taking form. Quietly I ask myself what is it that calls to be painted. What strikes the cord of creativity of soul lust to express to sing with the experience. There is a heightening of energy that niggles and bubbles and yearns to be echoed to be repeated through the filters of ones own perception.

Continue reading

France painting retreat March to May 2014

We arrived in Toulouse airport exhausted and relieved to finally see the plans of a two month painting retreat unfold. For me a time to surrender to paint this magical area the Lot and Dordonge Valley and reminisce about our year in Provence, 150 km tocottage firplace the east. For Duart,  it is creating a new website. It is our fortieth anniversary year. Comfortable with our exploring and research, confident in sharing each others expertise. France has been a love affair since the 1970’s when I opted to stay in Europe for the balance of a school year after a university job contract in Copenhagen. I simply was not ready to go home! I enrolled in The Sorbonne. “Cours de Civilisation”.  IMG_6359For the balance of the year I lived  in Paris, daily I walked to The Left Bank from my 6 th floor walk up near The Gare de Lyon. An adventure of discovering museums, tiny art shops and brocante markets, it was a magical year that today I wonder did I truly appreciate my freedom to explore Paris unencumbered of adult cares. Continue reading

Newsletter No3 from Peru

Note from Duart……. These have not been posted in order but I hope to get up the missing posts today. I chatted with Jill last night on Skype and all is well ….she was just heading out to the floating villages on Lake Titicaca.

Newsletter number three from Peru;

As I look back over the past ten days I pinch myself as I am deep in the Andes mountains near Olantaytambo with Willaru as my guide.

Our meeting is serendipitous.

Spring of 2010 I attended a Talk given by a Peruvian spiritual healer.
I arrive at a lecture hall and met by a familiar man. His kind warmth led me to embrace him. I apologize for forgetting him name. ‘Willaru’ he says.
I sit through his talk puzzled at how I should know him, his words resonate at a deeper level. He speaks of the condor of the south is to meet the eagle of the north.
Willaru, a native of Peru, studies the mystery school teachings of his ancient past. His experience over decades has taken him on vision quests deep in the Amazon jungle and to mountain tops retreats. He is my guide for three weeks. A voice for the ancient temples and stone monuments he leads us to.

guide in Peru

Willaru the trip guide in Peru

While in The Sacred Valley we climb stone steps past via ducts. Terraced fields carved out of the mountain layered higher and higher each becoming narrower as they ascend to built on temple sites.  Each retaining wall of 12-16 foot height had staggered flying steps to reach the next. Perimeter stone troughs line the fields and collect water as they saturate. Waterfalls cascade through the troughs over the stone walls collect in pools then continue the journey down the mountain side.

Following an ancient path, I climb the flying steps up the mountain high above this engineering feat.  Willaru guides us to monuments, megaliths and stone temples. Carved seats, meditation niches and chanting chambers are explained. He speaks of the holy trinity the mother father in each of us. The eternal bond that facilitates our opening to the spirit world. The reliance Incans had on this holy trinity and teachings not in history books. Yet this esoteric knowledge is the stuff of ancient cultures around the world. I am fascinated and open to learn.
Jill in wallGuided to a stone niche in a wall built by the Incans on a site of holy ground found by the Lemurians, I make myself comfortable for mediation. I find myself with my spirit grandmother and grandfather.

With my internal mother from my heart and father from my third eye. I look down at us three. Beads on a necklace three large and three small as our hands were clasped together in a cosmic force of love. Through the circle a shaft of Chrystal light shone down deep into mother earth. Above a rainbow spiral reached high a connect to solar father. I felt profound peace, love, pure light and an eternal bond.

This is my initiation to the
mystery school of ancient Peru.

With open heart I descend the mountain deeply thankful to receive what will come.

Read Other Posts….
Peru Newsletter # 1
Peru Newsletter # 2
Peru Newsletter # 3
Peru Newsletter # 4