An October Collage



It all started with the pumpkin.


I’d chosen it at the Farmer’s Market a few weeks back just for the ‘pretty’ of it. 

Now I wondered: How hard would it be to paint?
On a bright Saturday morning, the first of October, I sat at the kitchen table with my watercolors and found out!  



Ha! It turned out a little squashed, but it became the first in a series of daily images to capture all the days of October…

On the second of October I found a tiny goblet at the thrift store to use as a vase…



On the third, Jim’s birthday black forest cake was the feature.

black forest 

It was challenging!IMG_20161003_222955607


So Day 4 I scaled back, looking closely at just one stem of grass from the edge of the yard…

On the fifth of October we had our first dusting of snow making even the stump in the yard look picturesque and highlighting the rosy remains of wild rose leaves…stump

snow dusted stump

It’s getting COLD for riding tandem but lobster gloves with their two-fingered hands kept our fingers toasty warm on the sixth.



Melting snow on the tandem tarp just outside the window made for a great opportunity to try painting water drops on the seventh.



We  took in an art show in Banff the next evening. It was our first time to stroll the streets of Banff by street light.  Standing at one of Banff’s unique all-sides-cross-at-once crosswalks waiting for the light to turn, I snapped this view. It was a chance to work with perspective and architecture…Ironically the exhibit we’d come to see was named, “No Visible Horizon”.IMG_20161007_183759650_HDR


The ninth was Canadian Thanksgiving Sunday.  We opted for A & W since the turkey was still frozen and we hadn’t anybody to eat it with anyway.P1220642

The burger was good and the bright cup was a keeper.


On the tenth I enjoyed a snowy stroll around the neighborhood and most especially the remaining brilliance of aspen color.


While I painted it from an image on my phone I listened to an excellently narrated and intriguing book–Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski.  I commend it to you if you enjoy fiction that reads like non-fiction, anthropology, missionary stories and just enough mystery to keep you reading.


This book comes to mind now when I see this picture.  Funny how art works.

On the eleventh, short of any idea what to paint, I drew the base of my favorite pencil holder,P1220643

an expensive Alaska souvenir handcrafted from some sort of beautiful bark.P1220641

At last the turkey was thawed and we had our own turkey dinner complete with homemade buns on the 12th.


IMG_20161012_155147590Thanksgiving buns

On the thirteenth I went out for a walk, a bit glum that there was nothing eye-catching, until I saw the bright orange lichen on this rock beside the path.



Chocolate cravings on the fourteenth provided subject matter.  I LOVE almond M&M’s!IMG_20161103_103047006    IMG_20161014_183035695

A bit of bling I’d worn that day was poorly rendered on the fifteenth.


A tiny charm from a favorite necklace was greatly enlarged for the next day’s sketch.


And my follow-through seems to have fallen through on the 17th. The dogged daily-ness of this project began to feel daunting…

But on the eighteenth I turned left-over pizza dough into garlic knots as per a recipe in the most amazing bread cookbook ever!



IMG_20161018_124403942Bread Illustrated

Alas, the page was nearly full when a road trip interrupted and my commitment faltered…19, 20,21,22,23…

But on the 24th we were home and there was a leaf from our travels that made the page.


We’ve resigned ourselves to winter’s approach and with it the inability to get out on the tandem, so this was the week for buying a gym pass and getting at the weights…IMG_20161103_103007679

Once you’ve skipped one day, it’s easier to skip some more but on the 28th, determined to fill the page out and finish well, I tried my hand at hard-boiled eggs (which we’d had for breakfast).IMG_20161103_103034605

On the 29th we went to a craft fair in Banff and bought some Red Hot Habanero sauce for a surprise for someone we love who loves it.  It had such a lovely color that it seemed just the thing to add to the collage.


I also bought myself a toy—a darling wooden helicopter with cute wooden balls for wheels.  It reminded me of my dad and his skill with wood back in the days before Alzheimer’s incapacitated him.



And on the last day of October, I brought home a bouquet of flowers leftover from the community dinner.  Tired, and loathe to attempt a rose so late in the evening, I traced instead the silhouette of a leafy sprig as its shadow fell on the page.



…And so the page was filled, making October’s chaotic collage! 


And now it’s time to move on to a new challenge for November!

Thanks for sharing my month’s highlights.  What made October memorable for you?


O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Ps.90:14



First dusting…


On a misty moisty Monday morning before I’d left the cozy covers of my bed
there was a distinct clippity clop just outside the window– hooves on cobbled rock.
I didn’t get to the window quick enough; the fugitive elk was gone.  But perhaps he was just a decoy, for heading into the kitchen to peer out the front window I discovered visitors at my doorstep.


3Elk at window

Do you see him here?  A pair of elk had found my recovering petunias tucked up against the house and were having a gourmet breakfast at my door—a mother and her yearling.  The youngster caught sight of me first. His mother had her head in the pot, polishing off the straggles.  But the silly flash spooked her on the second go and she jumped backward, upsetting the pot, upsetting the bikes and steering her charge to safety at the perimeter of our yard…



Elk have been hereElk have been here too So that’s that for flowers—for real this time.

But there is still the beauty of the grasses…IMG_20161004_163354474_HDR

And though I don’t have my own pumpkin patch, I did buy a little pumpkin to practice on…





IMG_20161001_114823415 Oops…a bit of a squash! ha.

But the news of the week is that we’ve had our first dusting of snow, harbinger of skiing days to come!


Just enough snow to make the subject of my daily tidbit to add to October’s collage…snow dusted stump

And that has been our week.  How about yours?!


This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning…Lam 3:21-23

Leafing through September…


I’ve been collecting a leaf a day all month, to capture the essence of September on paper. Though most of the fall color here is shades of gold, there is plenty of variation when you stoop to see closely!


We had ourselves an easy hike in Banff this week, skirting Tunnel Mountain…


It was just the kind of hike that makes me feel so alive!!

So let me pass a glimmer of what I saw on to you ( :



Our destination was this little group of hoodoos…


which seemed rather lack luster to us, having seen Bryce Canyon in Arizona…P1220445

But that’s ok—the process of getting there was a treat (mostly).

A burning bush along the way:


I attended a watercolor workshop earlier that day in Banff.  This mountain was our subject.
A guest First Nations man told tales while we tried to capture the picture on paper…

Drawn Banff

He said there’s power in the mountains and some Indians, including himself,  aren’t strong enough to stand living here.  (He lives on the prairies.)  He alluded to a creator that noone really knows much about, except that he’s given us all this and there’s no way we can repay him/her.  So they revere the creation and have ceremonies acknowledging their indebtedness.  Meanwhile myths and superstitions have filled the void of not-knowing and many are the stories that are told, attributing god-like power to creatures and denying the Creator…

And I thought, how sad—to recognize the grandeur but miss the identity of the Creator  ‘for his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.’ 

And my thought is that if there’s perceptible power in these mountains it is just this—they speak of God’s power and majesty!  They are a constant reminder of  His nearness to His people.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the LORD surrounds His people
from this time forth and forever
. Ps.125:2 NKJV

Meanwhile back home the skies and the meadows and the golden splashes of autumn continue to inspire praise!


And it occurs to me that perceiving beauty is all  about the way the light shines…


The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.  He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him.Jn.1:9,10 NLT

But thanks be to God—

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. II Cor.4:6


I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Ps.142:5