Roots & Wings Series 17, January…

January is goingdeepwinter time.

It has carried on into February and if the groundhog has any influence on my emotional temperature, this deep steep may linger for several more weeks. Thankfully Spring, in some form, is pervasive.

These were started several weeks ago and came off the boards late last night. For my daughter, Tess…January girl…and for the rest of you pushing ssssnow… We’re getting there.

Roots & Wings Series 17 1

Roots & Wings Series 17 1

Roots & Wings Series 1 2

Roots & Wings Series 17 2

Roots & Wings Series 17 3

Roots & Wings Series 17 3

Roots & Wings Series 17 4

Roots & Wings Series 17 4

Beep Beep Boop: While You Wait… Roots & Wings Series 16

Sometimes the waiting is hard to bear. Apparently, even in the world of blogging. WordPress now has this cute little squiggle for the two seconds it takes to process your newest writs. Wee Beep Beep Boop would have ran out of gas way long before the finish line of Series 16. Many weeks later…

Everything in its own time, whether it’s seconds in word processing, months of waiting for colour washes to inspire lines of ink, or years on a story. You just can’t rush the process. I have to remind myself of that daily, a lot lately, as I squeeze through a knothole of edits in my major writing project. It’s coming. Patience. Sigh.

These paint detours provide both escape and validation. It is likely fairly obvious that I get lost in the process. And, for me, that’s what it’s about. I also love it when you love where I go. Means so much to have you along.

Roots & Wings  Series 16 1 Walking on the Sun

Roots & Wings
Series 16 1
Walking on the Sun

Roots & Wings Series 16 2 Concrete Jungle

Roots & Wings
Series 16 2
Concrete Jungle

Series 17 is on the boards. Away we go…

Roots and Wings series 15, plus

While on break this week, I am catching up on some other projects. These were done when I was away this past August and September.

Summer Tree 2014

Summer Tree 2014

Roots and Wings  series 15, One

Roots and Wings
Series 15, One

Roots and Wings  Series 15, Two

Roots and Wings
Series 15, Two

Roots and Wings Series 15, Three

Roots and Wings
Series 15, Three

Roots & Wings, Series 14

It’s been nearly four weeks since I set my major writing project under a pile of books to breathe–perhaps mould–so that I can go back to it with some objectivity when I begin the cutting and stitching.

In the meantime, I’ve sat at my table, losing hours while I paint. These final four pieces were begun in the past few weeks and may be the last I complete for awhile…besides not writing, I have taken little time for guitar play. But we’ll see. I do have two new washes on the board.

Roots & Wings Series 14, On

Roots & Wings Series 14, One
“Beyond Pale”

Roots & Wings Series 14, Two "Bent Wing"

Roots & Wings Series 14, Two
“Bent Wing”

Roots & Wings Series 14, Three "Downside Up"

Roots & Wings Series 14,
“Downside Up”

Roots & Wings Series 14, Four "Fur Baby"

Roots & Wings Series 14,
“Fur Baby”

Roots & Wings, 12 and 13

These are larger than most of the watercolours I do, and although part of the Roots & Wings series, they are stand-alones within it.

I rarely paint with anything or anyone in my conscious mind. This is the exception. Once past the initial washes, I had in mind my sister, Shannon, and my daughter, Nikki, who both asked for a painting for Christmas. It is, I think, a morph of my older and newer styles. And only a little late.

Roots & Wings, Twelve

Roots & Wings, Twelve

“Out of the Blue”. For Nikki. This one was painted some time ago but I had never felt it was done, and tweaked it slightly (very slightly) a couple of weeks ago. Not the first bear to show up in my paintings…

Roots & Wings, Thirteen Out of the Blue

Roots & Wings, Thirteen
“Out of the Blue”


Roots & Wings, Series 11

The last of my tiny paintings… for now, at least. I am liking to paint a bit bigger these days. These were washes that cured for many weeks on the boards before inspiring the remainder of each piece. I had originally thought that the first of these three was a stand-alone, left over from some partly finished group. After examining them more closely today, I discovered that they have common markings on the backs, were all cut from the same sheet of 140 lb. paper, and will now be considered a trio of sorts.

Roots & Wings Series 11, One nameless corner of a fantasy forest

Roots & Wings Series 11, One
nameless hidden corner of a fantasy forest

Roots & Wings Series 11, Two "Hangers-on"

Roots & Wings Series 11, Two

Roots & Wings Series 11, Three "Party for a Sea Slug"

Roots & Wings Series 11, Three
“Party for a Sea Slug”


Writing Break/Painting Catchup, R & W Series 10

I’m rounding up my break from long writing days, along with the catchup of smaller projects. It’s been a delirious lost-hours time of watercolour. The latest in the Roots & Wings Series began with completing about a half-dozen paintings started months ago…

Roots & Wings Series 10, One

Roots & Wings Series 10, One

Roots & Wings Series 10, Two

Roots & Wings Series 10, Two

More postings soon!

Still Holding On & Shifting Gears

I had thought I might write a new song on my hiatus from the big writing. Well. A few ideas crossed over but I’m not riveted, and I really only write a song once in a deep blue moon. Instead, I’m catching up on some other music projects.

“Holding On & Shifting Gears” never feels finished. Ack. But it has been with me since my first weeks of guitar/singing several years ago so, in a sense, it’s helping me learn. I periodically video when I practice so that I can see where I might hope to improve. Last summer I strung together clips from movies of me working on this song. That extended version is 8 minutes loooooong. A friend suggested I make a version with the final clip only. Months later, here it is… 2 minutes and 37 seconds. It’s not HQ anything.

The lyrics, if you’re interested, are posted here:

Thank you for listening!

Better Late Top 10 New-to-me Playlist 2013

Christmas Tree Finger painting iPad Dec, 2013

“Lightly”, iPad finger painting
Dec, 2013, one morning when I awoke very early and caught a waft of holiday spirit

It was an unusual Christmas for me. Didn’t want to shop or decorate or watch all my favourite movies. I was just not into it. Thankfully, my significant people seemed to understand–in fact, some of them were feeling the same way. So I puttered at the things that felt meaningful, and made my low key way through the holidays. It was the most relaxed December, ever.

However, the New Year is now well underway and yesterday I realized that I hadn’t done my annual new-to-me playlist for 2013. Here it is…late and, I think, better for it.

Happy 2014! May each day in the year ahead find you doing the things you love. And people to love you as you do.


Better Late Top 10 New-to-me Playlist 2013

Fiona Apple ~ “Criminal” Funky and a wee bit dark.

Serena Ryder ~ “Stompa” Let’s just dance already, k.

Zero 7 ~ “In the Waiting Line” Heard on a favourite online radio station–Radio Paradise. Spacey and sorta sultry. Love the vocal harmonies and the instrumental bits.

Paul McCartney ~ “Let Me Roll It” I know: How could I have missed it?

Broken Bells ~ “Your Head is On Fire” Again, the harmonies and instrumentals, particularly the strings.

The Lumineers ~ “Ho Hey” Just a sweet song.

The La’s ~ “There She Goes” Upbeat. A fun, slightly sexy tune.

Poison ~ “Unskinny Bop” All I can say is that I must have been busy that year. Bop bop…WAIT A MINUTE…where’s the video?! The original video is no longer available, nor is the feature that allows reordering of tunes as one sees fit. You WILL find an “Unskinny Bop” video at the bottom of the playlist. Bop!

Justin Townes Earle ~ “Ain’t Waitin” Skill and a little grit.

Amos Lee ~ “Colors”  On the “Just Like Heaven” soundtrack. Another song that I had to have heard but did not register. Caught my attention when watching the movie the second time… (and the third… ).

Dancing Fool? Short glance at the benefits of dance

I love to dance…it’s one place where I lose a certain self-consciousness, and just move to the rhythm of the music. People who learn and communicate most effectively through movement/doing are more likely to identify with this. But, truthfully, dancing is for everybody. Every body.

Everybody needs to move. To energize, diffuse, celebrate, express and connect. It’s GOOD for you–for a number of reasons–but don’t take my word for it. Check out, “Dancing Makes You Smarter”* by Richard Powers, which asserts that frequent dancing reduces the risk of dementia by 76%! How so? Something to do with neural plasticity, with the “rewiring of neural pathways” by making our brains perform complex functions, particularly things it doesn’t already know how to do.

Dancing integrates several brain functions at once — kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional — further increasing your neural connectivity.” In the New England Journal of Medicine report on the relationship between participation in leisure activities and lowered risks of dementia it states, “Dancing was the only physical activity associated with a lower risk of dementia.”

Well, my brain has had a workout and I have not left my chair for several hours. Those who want to dive deeper into the study or learn more about dancing, be sure to check out the links within Mr. Powers’ article. The rest of you… chair dance?

Either way, have fun getting smarter.

*The link to “Dancing Makes You Smarter”:

The Multifaceted 2014 Top 10 New-to-Me Playlist

As in previous years, all but the last one of the songs in the following list was new to me in 2014. Each has been chosen because of how it resonates when I hear it. Some are highly danceable while others are more suited to rumination, though I can’t deny that I’d get up for any one of them. Happy listening. And Happy Light Year.* May 2015 find you soaking up the good rays… and sharing some of yours.


Counting Stars ~ One Republic ~ I don’t usually post the playlist songs in any particular order but this year, as a looong-term project comes together, I’m making this my #1. Putting it out there Universe…

Now, in no particular order:

No One Knows ~ Queens of the Stone Age ~  The lyrics, like almost every song in this year’s list, grab me… but this selection is really about the beat. Feet, where are you taking me?!

Bohemian Like You ~ The Dandy Warhols ~ Fun lyrics and a groovy dance beat. Yeah, I like you.😀  Video recommended for BIG kids only, kids.

Dry the Rain ~ The Beta Band ~ First half is dry. Maybe that’s what makes it work? What I love is how it builds…and the lyrics, the lyrics, the lyrics: “If there’s something inside that you want me to say, say it out loud, it’ll be okay. I will be your light, I will be your light…”

Snap Out of It ~ Arctic Monkeys ~ Bap-bap-bap   bomp-bomp-bomp-bomp… Brand new to me today. Sorry Foo Fighters, you’ve been bumped (my brother-in-law will cringe).

Shake It Off ~ Taylor Swift ~ First heard as a cover by one of my favourite dance party bands, danced to with one of my favourite people, and loved immediately. Get on your feet. Shake it off, baby.

Keys to the Kingdom ~ Current Swell ~ Oh my my… the melody…

Domino ~ Jessie J ~ Glitterpated… “dirty dancing in the moonlight”. Take me there.

We All Float ~ Hooverphonic ~ Mellifluous. And lightly cheesed, lyrically speaking.

Holiday ~ Green Day ~ Hey! Grab your dance buddies and get to the floor. “This is the time of the rest of our lives.”

It’s becoming tradition to break the 10 and add more. Rule schmule, right? Besides, there’s usually something special special about the after-10 top tunes. 

Winter ~ Entertainment for the Braindead ~ Sweet, ethereal, alternative. Found while searching the Free Music Archive. Julia Kotowski, singer/songwriter also plays all instruments.

Angel ~ Aerosmith ~ Rediscovered. (One per year, that’s the rule.) Strings of all kinds… mmmm… divine


*Thanks to my daughter, Tess, for the phrase, “Happy Light Year.”


Protected: Password: Light [Featuring The Multifaceted 2015 Top 10 New-to-me Playlist]

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

2011 New-to-me Top Tunes

This is a new post. Not sure what happened to the original except that maybe when I revamped my blogsite, it was deleted. In any case, I still have the playlist. A few of the videos have disappeared, as will happen from time-to-time on You Tube. I don’t remember what those deleted were but I’m guessing–by the remaining songs–they were upbeat, dance tunes.  Just as well that I exceeded the ‘Top 10’ in 2011.

The images are almost always secondary to the music for me but The Jive Aces selection is well done and fun to watch. Please don’t get any ideas, my capable dance partners. As exciting as it looks, I won’t be having ANY part of any lifts over your heads!

In no particular order…

2011 New-to-me Top Videos

“Go Down the River” Garret Mason

“Turn the Lights On” Big Sugar

“Thinking About You” Martin Sexton

“My Old Home” The Belle Brigade

“I’d Rather Be Blind, Crippled and Crazy” The Derek Trucks Band

“Times Like These” Foo Fighters

“One Safe Place” Marc Cohn

“Bring Me Sunshine” The Jive Aces

“Grateful” David Francey

“Sho’ Enough” Tommy Castro

“Mediocre” Ximena Serinana

“Baby That’s Not All” Josh Ritter