Thursday, 14 January 2021

I'm reminding myself... really see things, rather than just look at them, and this journal spread is busy enough to assist me.

In every little corner, I've added the word 'see',

hoping that, as our family saying goes, 'repetition aids comprehension'.

It's a challenging thing to really see what is in front of us, given that so much of what we view is filtered through each previous, day, month, and year of our life.

Particularly in these challenging times when Covid has restricted so much 'newness' in our lives, one becomes inured to what is under our nose.

When we become accustomed to the same old patterns, it can be hard to notice the extraordinary and wondrous things around us.

So here's to seeing more and glorying in the texture, colour and intensity of our lives.

Because truly, our lives are rich beyond measure, aren't they?

I'd love to hear about the extraordinarily wondrous things in your life right now...and feel free to add your link to your comment.


Thursday, 7 January 2021

A stitching sampler... something I never thought I'd do, never mind turn it into a painting, yet here it is:

In Your Absence: Mom  
12 x 12" on wood panel 2020 
© Win Dinn 

It all started with the need to practice embroidery stitches way back when I was working on dryer sheets, so I slip stitched some dryer sheets to a piece of spare lining and happily copied some stitches from a library book .  I wound up with a sampler about 14" x 11", wonky as all get out.  The process reminded me of my mother, so often with needle and embroidery thread in hand as she stitched away at pillow cases she donated to the church for fund-raising.  Wonky would not have been her style at all - she was a magician when it came to embroidery and quilting.  

I obviously needed to turn the piece into part of my series 'In Your Absence'.  I gessoed a wood panel, scribbled over it with Inktense Pencils, washed it down with some water and let it dry, knowing that some of the wash would show through the lining and dryer sheets.

Applying the sampler was relatively easy, and the addition of buttons, additional dryer sheets and embroidery threads even more so.

I'm very fond of the bits of thread hanging over the edges, and the heart in the bottom right corner is definitely for my mom.

Here are some detail shots.

Mom was a teacher, doing so for over 35 years.  She truly believed in life-long learning, and consistently took on new challenges.  While she would have smiled at the wobbly and crooked stitching, she most definitely would have applauded the practice and the intention.

I was amused when this all came together to realize the colours were a combination that perfectly matched one of her favourite outfits...synchronicity at its finest.

Thursday, 31 December 2020

The Christmas season...

 is always puzzle season, and these little pieces make me think of people every time.

Some of them are so beautifully patterned they appear lit from within,

while others are so bright they could be heading into outer space.

Some are deliciously bubbly, 

while others are filled with endless questions.

The quiet ones stand back,

and the sweet ones beckon.

The ones that are outwardly dark often hold lovely promise,

and some are aligned with the stars.

Whatever their appearance, they are endlessly fascinating

even when we're practicing social distancing.

My biggest wish for 2021 is that we can all come together to celebrate once again.

In the meantime, John and I will lift a glass to you and yours, with thanks for your friendship in this most puzzling year.

Thursday, 24 December 2020

It's that time of the year...

... again.  Time for Christmas wishes, and for thinking ahead to 2021.

I hope that this Christmas, as unusual as it is, will have you uniquely conscious of those you love and cherish, whether you're in quarantine, isolation, under restrictions (as we are in western Canada), or actually able to celebrate with your family.

And if you're thinking of what you'd like to concentrate on in 2021, I'd love to hear about it.  My word for the year is 'Wonder', and I love the definition(s):


    to think or speculate curiously

·             to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; marvel

·            - to doubt


·               - something strange and surprising; a cause of surprise, astonishment, or admiration

·              -  the emotion excited by what is strange and surprising; a feeling of surprised or puzzled interest, sometimes tinged with admiration

·               - miraculous deed or event; remarkable phenomenon.

Every time I choose a word for the upcoming year, I'm filled with curiosity about how it will show up in my life.  This time I fully expect a sense of wonder in every meaning of the word.  I've made some visuals for my studio wall, of course, and for a change, many are photographs that I've found on the web.

No reference for this photographer; please message me for credit if image is yours!

Image by Fulton Hobbs

Helix Nebula image

Image from Muses from a Mystic

Do please let me know about your word for 2021; I'd love to hear it!  And as you prepare for your Christmas celebration, know that I'm thinking about you and appreciating you so very much.  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 17 December 2020

I've been wondering about The Space Between recently...

 ...whether it's the space between people (a safe 6 feet right now in pandemic times), the space between our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies, the space between quarks which comprise protons, neutrons and electrons which combine to make atoms, and so on.

In fact, we really don't know what the space between actually is, which means, of course, that I had to create something to represent it.  Remember a while ago I told you I was saving bits of paper from the cutting of snowflakes?  Well, there's a use for everything, right?

The Space Between, a journal spread

I started by gessoing a large journal spread (11" x 16.5" when open) with black gesso, and then tore into it with gel pens.  I've done several gel-on-black pieces, but none this size before, and it took a long, long while.

The pages are densely covered with an array of dots, geometric forms, symbols and more.

Some areas have pencil additions that are near-invisible.

There is such a wide range of wonkiness,

winding paths,

and wackiness that it really makes me smile.

And I have to wonder if that is what is really going on in our lives...the path is sometimes dense, occasionally easy to follow, once in a while impossible to understand and so much more besides.  Are we meant to understand our lives at all, or is it enough to navigate through it to the best of our abilities, caring for the space between ourselves and others (those who are all one with us).  

What is your perception of your life?  Is there a space between at all?  Of what is it comprised?  
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