Gallery Feature: “Pacific Tree Frog”

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There’s no better feeling for an artist than placing another commission piece in the “done” pile. And happily, that’s what I’ve just done.

More wildlife to feature today, this time in the guise of the Pacific Tree Frog.

As with most tree frogs, the Pacific Tree variety is very petite and cute. Measuring in at a whopping 3/4 to 2 inches long, they are one of the smallest amphibians on the North American West Coast.

Apart from its tiny stature, this tree frog has two distinctive features: a dark eye stripe (or as I like to call it, a bandit mask), and sticky rounded toe pads which help the frog grip and climb. Their toes have less webbing between them than some other frogs, which makes their toes look extra long. Continue reading

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Do Not Worry About Tomorrow

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“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Continue reading

Gallery Feature: “Seagull”

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Who knew that there were so many different kinds of seagulls!

This is what I learned when a friend commissioned me to paint her one last fall. (Mentioned in the August post Gallery Feature: “Northern Leopard Frog”)

Someone says “seagull” and you think you know what they look like. But trust me, you don’t. Even seagulls of the same variety can look very, very different.

When I began this commission back in September, I did what any good artist would do — started stalking the local seagulls, of course. Driving slowly through parking lots, walking down by the beach, etc. And then just sitting and observing the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between birds. And you know something? I actually came away from this project with a new appreciation for these lovely creatures. Continue reading

You Are Never Alone

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The beginning of a New Year, in many ways, signifies a great renewal and rebirth. It’s a good time to try and let go of the negative things in your life, and look towards the future and better times.

So many people are struggling. And just because we can’t always see it, doesn’t mean that there aren’t those around us who suffer in silence.

It’s far too easy to be swallowed up by despair. To feel like we’re alone. Or that no one cares. But Jesus promises that we are never alone. Continue reading

“The Story of Mankind”: A Hollywood PSA: Was Anybody Listening?

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“History is the mighty Tower of Experience, which Time has built amidst the endless fields of bygone ages. It is no easy task to reach the top of this ancient structure and get the benefit of the full view. There is no elevator, but young feet are strong and it can be done.” ~ Hendrik van Loon (forward from “The Story of Mankind”)

Would it surprise you to learn that Vincent Price once portrayed the Devil in a film? Probably not, I’m sure. After all, the Master of the Macabre forever endeared himself to us all by playing such devious characters as Roderick Usher in “House of Usher”; sadistic witch hunter Matthew Hopkins in “The Conqueror Worm“; and my personal favourite, the charming Frederick Loren in “The House on Haunted Hill“.

But when distinguished actor Vincent Price took on the role of the impeccably dressed, silver-tongued, debonair Devil himself in 1957, it was for a very different kind of picture.

Irwin Allen’s “The Story of Mankind” is based on the classic children’s book written by Hendrik Van Loon in 1921, and is a film unlike any other film I’ve ever seen. It was released November 8, 1957, and it boasts an impressive cast of Hollywood talent, or as this poster advertises, “The Biggest Star Cast Ever On One Screen!”. Continue reading

Decking the Halls

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I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.

~ Charles Dickens

Merry Christmas, dear readers!

Here we are with another Christmas upon us. My decorations have been up since mid-November, but in my defense, I really do ascribe to the Charles Dickens quote above — I try to keep Christmas in my heart all year round.

And perhaps that is why I get so excited to decorate, and want to start as soon as I respectfully can. I’m grateful for Canadian Thanksgiving happening in October, because as soon as I take a quiet pause for Remembrance Day on November 11, there’s nothing standing in the way of me and the tinsel. Continue reading

Peter Cushing’s “The Human Factor: For the Love of Helen” Interview

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What an absolutely extraordinary man Peter Cushing was.

But you all already know my feelings on the British actor who so beautifully brought to life every role he ever played.

In 1990, he was interviewed by Peter Williams on the program “The Human Factor” in an episode entitled “For the Love of Helen”. He was 77 at the time, had already been diagnosed with cancer, and was only 4 years away from joining his beloved Helen in eternity. She died in 1971.

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The Greatest Command

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Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

~ Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

Continue reading