Wednesday, 29 January 2014


I have just unwrapped three of my paintings collected from Prestige Picture Framing on Oak Bay Avenue.  I discovered these hidden works under a pile of sketches when I was going through my drawers in the art studio last month.   They are from 1988.

What awes me most is not the vibrancy of colour, but rather the audacity I showed in not making preliminary sketches.  The lack of fear, applying the bold lines with bravery and certainty. And then packing them away in a drawer.

Looking from the other side of seventy, it seems all the more remarkable.

When I'm in the studio these days, I'm more cautious.  My work is smaller, tighter    and more controlled.  Does this reflect who I am becoming as I age?!  What about the poem  "When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple"?  (written in 1968 when Jenny Joseph was thirty years old!)   
The poem gives the Old Woman permission to be outrageous-  to spend one's pension brandy and summer gloves.  And to learn to spit.  
                                      To be bold.

Bold doesn't need to be flashy or showy.  Rather it is a willingness to take risks, to be confident and courageous. To me, boldness implies imagination, with a daring step beyond convention.

As I have been musing on this post, coming back to it several times, I understand that my more recent artwork does in fact  display courage.  Courage of a different nature.  Two years ago I exhibited my Memory Shrines at Congregation Emanu-El in Victoria;  a gathering of objects and images in small bamboo boxes honouring  people lost in the Holocaust. They embrace my distant past, the stories and visions of ancestors, inherited memories.

I don't need to take a 90" x 90" canvas and paint blindfolded with primary colours to be daring.


I have displayed this beautiful image on my fridge for nearly ten years.  I believe the hands are those of Merce Cunningham, photographed by Mark Seligerf

Monday, 27 January 2014

my blog’s origin

Three years ago, as I was walking with Sheila, a mere 50+ year-old, she thrust upon me the information that upon reaching the age of 70, the term 'decrepitude' had been assigned in many cultures. I immediately googled 'age decrepitude' and found  this:  'They divide the years of a man into seven ages: infancy, from the day of birth to the seventh year; childhood, 7-14; puberty, 14-25;...old age, 60-70; decrepitude, 70-100, or death.'

Another article (since then lost to me in cyber space) extended old age generously from 45 to 70 years, describing these years as cold and dry; and decrepitude, from 70 to 80 years, cold and moist. Of course this is all hogwash.  Right? Look at all the 70+ year olds still working and creative, writing, making art, heading corporations,  conducting, making policy, inventing and running marathons.  Julia Child was still cooking, writing and doing television in her 80's, though that's not really my goal!

However, trying to be au courant, I grabbed the domain name and asked my friend and graphic designer, Patrice, if she would set it up online when my 70th birthday arrived.  Maybe a blog, I thought.  I figured if the site remained inactive for several years, I could sell the domain for a huge profit as baby boomers stop exercising and face their mortality.  is linked to this blogspot.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

my first entry

“One life is not enough. You barely manage to understand two scraps of rubbish and it's already time to feed the pigeons”

 Diotivede from Death in Sardinia by Marco Vichi