Wilderness Art – Christmas In The Country(Pencil and Ink)

A few days ago, I did this pencil and ink sketch of family/friends coming to visit in the country.

I guess it doesn’t have to be the country or a rural setting, but that was the interpretation and inspiration I had for it.

So, I went with it. lol

When Lynn was growing up, it was a family tradition as it is for many people to visit grandparents and other relatives either on Christmas Day or certainly over the holiday period.

I really like the sketch as a pencil and ink drawing.

I’m either going to watercolour this one or draw another one as close as possible as and paint one and keep the other as a pencil and ink sketch.

Made a decision. Yea me!!

I’ll draw another one as close as possible and keep one as an pencil and ink and the other as a line and wash watercolour.

Good idea? Yes or no?

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Wilderness Art – Christmas Lights(sort of)

A fun doodle of what happens when “puppy is left alone” for a few minutes.

I am thinking I might redo it and use our late and beloved Katie’s face. As well, perhaps a line and wash watercolour?

What do you guys think?

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Wilderness Art – Sydney Street(Charlottetown, PE) Ink Sketch – Part 2

The use of colourful paint and the end result of bright and cheery exteriors of many homes makes the maritime provinces a joy to visit.

A number of weeks ago, I alluded to in Wilderness Art – Inspired East Coast Houses a few reasons as to “why the use of such colour” – from a historical basis.

Yesterday(Thursday, Nov 12), I posted Part 1 which detailed the picture my wife Lynn took of Sydney Street in Charlottetown, PEI and along with that an ink and pencil sketch I completed based on that photograph.

This is the final line and wash watercolour of the ink sketch shown in Part 1.

Overall, I think it turned out fairly well. In my mind, the painting captures for me in a fun and whimsical sense the beauty and architectural simplicity of these homes.

What do you think?


— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Wilderness Art – Sydney Street(Charlottetown, PE) Ink Sketch Part 1

As many of you may have figured out by now, both Lynn and I find the architecture found in eastern Canada mainly of it’s older buildings exceedingly interesting and exciting.

Of particular interest are the numerous colourful houses found throughout Atlantic Canada.

On one of our several trips to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Lynn took a picture of a stretch of houses along Sydney Street.

This is the shot she took at that time.

Based on the shot Lynn took, I created the following pencil and ink sketch of the five closest houses in the picture.

I should note that the ink sketch was the initial step in creating an line and wash watercolour.

I’m very pleased on how it turned out.

What do you think?

Stay tuned over the next day or so for the final watercolour of this scene.


— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Wilderness Art – Hiking Boardwalk Pencil Sketch

We’re somewhat blessed(not bragging here or anything) to have a plethora of places to hike and generally enjoy the outdoors all within about a hour’s drive from the “old homestead.”

One place that Lynn and I have quite enjoyed in the past is “Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve.”

Over the past few years, I’ve done a number of posts on it, like this one – Torrance Dark Sky Reserve.

The above pencil sketch was taken based on a picture Lynn took of her foot, while hiking along on of the several boardwalks located within Torrance Barrens.

The last time we were hiking there, many of the wooden boardwalks appeared to be in dire need of some repair.

Unfortunately, (due to COVID_19 and people not being able to travel out of province much) and like many hiking trails and natural places located within close proximity to the Greater Toronto Area(GTA), Torrance Barrens it has become overrun with loud and unruly weekend party campers, dumping of garbage and general “bad stuff happening”, including gun fire.

Too bad.

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Wilderness Art – Abstract Flowers

Saturdays are one and let me say again….one long day.

It starts about 2:30 am and ends whenever I can’t keep my eyes open anymore.

Although, the day starts early, it also ends early, about 1:45 in the afternoon. Which thankfully, puts me back in the “old homestead” before 3:00 pm.

Yesterday, Lynn had an all day work video conference event that she was attending(from the comfort of our living room).

When I got home, the deal was still in full swing. So as to not become a nuisance inside the house(me – never!!), I collected up my ramshackle box of art supplies and headed east 25 metres to The Studio.

After opening the windows and turning on the fan in the vaulted ceiling(it is still really hot in our area of the province), I settled down to practice a few things I had been watching.

The end result I think was pretty good.

I do think I need some work on the stems(not the right shade of green I think).

But, given I’m only into the second week of this new found creative avenue, not a bad effort to finish off the afternoon.

— get outdoors; finds inspiration; discover yourself —

A New Avenue Of Creativity

My experience has been that creativity and all it entails is a strange bedfellow. In fact, I’m not even sure what creativity encompasses, if anything.

I’m sure it must encompass something.

Nevertheless, it often flies about at some point in a discussion were some unlikely sod bellows out, “people are either creative or they’re not.”

Thus, leaving absolutely no middle ground or definitely no grey area at all in the discussion.

Back in May of 2016, there would have been no one in my limited circle of friends and relatives who remotely thought I might be capable of putting pen to paper or in this case fingers to keyboard and churn out a blog post or two.

Most would have thought(and again yours truly included) that any creativity in our family and coming through the paternal line, skipped a generation or two; completely by-passing myself, but landing squarely on our daughter Sara.

Sara is a gifted artist and graphic designer in her own right. She won in her 3rd year of highschool, three out of the four awards available in the student category at the prestigious “Blue Mountain Foundation For The Arts” art competition held each year in Collingwood, ON.

Judges in the competition commented that in the history of the event, no student or anyone for that matter had ever won multiple awards, let alone three out four in any particular category.

She went on the study graphic design in college and again won awards and commissions for her work.

But, back to yours truly.

So, to the amazement of all concerned(and nobody was at that point – and not convinced many are now – at least relative wise anyway)…..we launched our blog.

Now, fast forward four years and here we are with over 625 posts that have gone live and 20+ sitting in a draft folder awaiting the light of day and the widely anticipated “publish button.”

In addition, I’ve had other pieces(including poetry) published in a number of online media formats.

So, as I said at the beginning – creativity is a strange bedfellow.

One thing that I’ve always wanted to do and was deathly afraid to attempt was to pencil sketch and/or paint.

My knowledge of pencil sketching only a week ago, was just a hair above no knowledge at all. I knew that in order to pencil sketch, you needed at least one pencil and some drawing paper.

Now, in terms of painting, I could spell the word “painting” and after a bit of research I discovered that the more popular painting mediums happened to be watercolour, acrylic and oil.

But, regardless of the wealth knowledge I may have had or lack thereof, it is something I felt deeply that I wanted to try.

Nevertheless, there was one tiny, yet significant issue that kept springing to the forefront – no ability.

However, there was this idea that kept floating about in my mind that there was some correlation between ability and actually putting pen to paper or brush to canvas.

My reasoning ended up being simply this.

There likely was/is a direct portional relationship between ability and doing art. In other words in order to “do art and get better at it”, you needed to “actually do art in order to get better at it.” And that included actually starting.

So, not letting ability(and again lack thereof) get in the way of anything and with no formal, informal or resemblance of instruction(isn’t that what YouTube is for?), I scoured the loft at home for some of Sara’s old college artsy type stuff.

I came away with two or three blank sketchbooks and a art supply box, full of “art and graphic design things” that I have no clue what they are or what they might possibly be used for.

I did however unearth a pencil case of drawing and sketching pencils.

So, with a sketchbook and the drawing pencils in hand, they found a secure place in our car(aptly named “little red”) and made the trek north to Algonquin.

So, what you’re about to see out some pencil sketches from our trip. All the time recognizing I likely hadn’t drawn anything since public school.

And that my friends is pushing fifty years ago.

So, a new creative avenue begins. All kidding aside, I do find it very relaxing to do and fun all at the same time.

But, no need for anyone to worry. I won’t be quitting my day job anytime soon.

I realize now, that there was a reason why we bought this house six years ago.

It came with an art studio in the backyard.

You don’t believe me?

See, told ya!

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Blogging Is It Art Or Science?

Blogging – what is it?

Is it an art form?; is it a more science-based entity?; is it a 70/30 combination of both(or another percentage combination)?; is it neither and thus blogging falls into some weird category all of its own?

insightsThe next installment in Dr. Tanya’s Blogging Insights Series is Blogging Insights #14 Art or Science?

Within the context of the Blogging Insights Series, this is one of the more difficult installments to get a grip on given the nature of the question(s).

bloggingNevertheless, she asks three questions to delve into regarding the idea of blogging as art, or as science or perhaps a combination of both.

Here are the questions to consider:

  • Is blogging an art or science?
  • Can people without a “natural talent” for writing become bloggers?
  • Have you ever taken or taught a blogging course?

Is blogging an art or science?

Blogging is most definitely an art form.

Any time you put pen to paper or in blogging’s case “fingers to the keyboard” and start about writing on some topic, it is without a doubt an art form.

The topic may be the driest and mind-numbing technical or science-based blog, but it is still an art form.

One question though to consider is, “what defines art?”

Most of us would when asked this would likely respond with “art is painting” or some visual representation of something. We can actually have a very narrow definition of art or what art is, based on our backgrounds and exposure to a variety of art forms over the years.

The actual word “blog” or “blogging” can lead each of us in regards to this question down a particular path, based solely on how “we” see and interpret what blogging is or isn’t.

For example, when I think the word “blogging”, my mind immediately goes to what I do and others that I follow within the blogging community do. Each one of those bloggers, including myself creates art, but in a written form.

The only science involved in blogging, maybe a tiny bit of technical know-how needed to get your blog up and running. If I can create and get a blog going on WordPress, then anyone should be able to as well.

Can people without a “natural talent” for writing become bloggers?

The simple and short answer to the question is a resounding – yes!

The next question, however, might be are you willing to work hard, learn and put in the effort over time to become proficient and successful as a blogger?

Some people have a gift for writing, while others(including myself here) perhaps not so much.

But blogging and life are somewhat similar in nature.

Much of both is simply “showing up and putting in the effort.” A bit of an overgeneralization for sure, but the statement is true enough.

If a person has the “fire to write and burning desire” to bang away at the keyboard, then they can and will become a “blogger” however one might define “blogger.” It simply means working hard at learning the craft of blogging and putting in the effort to become a better writer, each and every day.

Have you ever taken or taught a blogging course?

When I first got going in this “crazy blogging world,” I did a couple of the “learning how to blog” introductory lessons that WordPress offers. I never actually signed up for a course about “blogging” whether it was free or had a cost associated with it.

I suppose that if you’re looking at the start to make blogging some sort of full-time career, then it might make sense to enroll in a blogging course of some description.

The only thing close to “taught a blogging course” is one or two posts I’ve done over the past couple of years along the lines of “what I’ve learned about blogging.” 

Nevertheless, having a teaching background, I could likely develop a short one-hour class or lesson on motivation for blogging and getting started in the blogging world.

One final thought..

Blogging and being a so-called “blogger” has a nebulous definition at best.

If you think I’ve lost my mind here, go and type in “blog” and “blogger” in a Google search and see what descriptions and information pop up on your search screen.

“Blogging/blogger” can mean whatever a person wants it to mean.

You may define blogging and hence blogger as someone who has hundreds or thousands of readers and followers, all of whom hang on every word that person writes.

On the other hand, the blogger next to you, who has four followers(all of whom are relatives) may define blogging/blogger as that person(themselves) who see blogging as a cathartic exercise in mental-wellness coping, by getting out on their blog, those innermost challenges they face in their own life.

“Blogging/blogger” means whatever any blogger wants, and better still, needs it to mean to them.

And realistically that’s okay, regardless of what the professionals might say!

Thanks again to Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) for her neverending work on this “Blogging Insights Series” and specifically looking at blogging as art or science.

So, what is blogging?

Is it art? Is it science? Is it both or is it neither?

Looking forward to reading what YOU think about this.


—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – “Hope You Had The Time Of Your Life”

Generally speaking, I’m not much of a music fan. Don’t get me wrong, I do like music, but on the car radio, for example, I would be more likely to tune in to the sports talk radio station or stop the dial on CBC Radio 1.

Notwithstanding that, there are times I will tune to a local rock music station to see what hits of some by-gone era may be spinning on their turntable. Recognizing they don’t “spin records” anymore.

We can get hooked into loving a particular song for a multitude of reasons. It could be the lyrics; the overall feel of the tune; the band who plays it or more than likely the singer who sings it. All of that stuff gets bound up in that are songs that invoke a memory, good, bad or sad within us.

Regardless of the reason, some songs just connect deep within us.

One of the great aspects of music is, the reason one particular song affects us or the meaning it holds for us, may not be the meaning or the reason behind why the songwriter penned the lyrics in the first place.

Art and in this case music as the art form is meant to evoke emotion in those who are creating it and obviously the end-user.

The people viewing it or in this case listening to it.

As I said at the start, I’m not a huge music fan, but I do like the band Green Day. And the more I listen to them, the more I find their music and specifically their lyrics exceedingly deep and powerful.

Their song Good Riddance(Time of Your Life) I have heard from time to time on our local radio station.

It was penned by the band’s lead vocalist and guitar player Billy Joe Armstrong after breaking up with his then-girlfriend.

Regardless of why the lyrics were written in the first place, for me though, the song resonates along the theme of, we only have one life to live; only one shot to do it in; so you better get it right.

We may think of our lives as some sort of weird test and if so, that’s fine to think of it that way. Whether we consider it a test or not, our life is but ours to live. We can live it any damn way we choose too.

But regardless of how we think of it; approach it; live it; we only have one crack at it.

So at the end of it, we should be able to look back and say, “I did have the time of my life.

………So take the photographs and still-frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time……..

…..it’s something unpredictable but in the end it’s right……

………..it’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time……….

A life lived, not focussed internally, but externally towards others.

A life filled with love; compassion; charity for those less fortunate; having people who love you; having people that you can love back; a life lived with purpose.

All the “other stuff” can be here today and gone tomorrow. The 3000 square foot house; the cottage on the lake; the sport-utility vehicle in the driveway is simply “stuff.” When you figure out that “stuff” is simply “stuff” …you’ll know “another turning point, a fork stuck in the road.”

When the focus of our existence is correct, and even if not much else happens throughout your days……. believe me, you will have had and lived “the time of your life.”

…. for what it’s worth, it was worth all the while…..

……it’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life……….

Good Riddance(Time of Your Life)

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go

So make the best of this test and don’t ask why
It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life

So take the photographs and still-frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time

Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it’s worth, it was worth all the while

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life

“Good Riddance” by Green Day from the 1997 album “Nimrod”