Has Life Pasteurized You?

Lots of folks are trying to improve themselves and their worlds.  But does it work?  If you are trying to improve the you that isn’t you, what will you get?  A better false self?

If you know, you are different, and you somehow don’t fit with the herd…Congratulations!  But if you have been plodding along with the herd…now’s the time to set your sights higher.  YOU deserve it.  The real YOU wants it — NOW!

So give some thought to opening up, to a larger YOU emerging – the real YOU  and don’t care what other’s think.  If they’re stuck in the herd, they’re probably high on methane gas!

In celebration of YOU getting out of your rut this year and into a new adventure; I give YOU this poem to read.  Let me know if any of this makes sense to YOU.

YOU

When you’re completely at home in your own skin
The folks who walk at your side
Will say something about you is different…
Well, it’s the parts you never could hide!
The one’s that embarrassed but coaxed you
From the ruts of the Human Race
Now you walk your own trail without hurry
Or half-steps afraid of the pace.
Yeah, you’re livin’ your world…and it’s like you!
It ain’t always a comfortable shoe
But you’re on to walk what you’re showin’
‘Cause Life hasn’t pasteurized you.
© Katie Kidwell, 1997 from the book:  “Well Hell”

© K. Kidwell, 2015, True to You Blog (no longer online)
©Katie Kidwell, 2019, The Living Of Loving
You can message me at GWJ Creative Art

Lullaby

In 1976, while I was living in North Vancouver, I wrote “Lullaby”.  I composed it just before I went on the road working as a folk-singer for Whitefoot Entertainments.

So before the travel, the crowds and playing the Top 40, I wrote what I was fascinated with in music. The idea you could sing a note out to nature and nature would take the note out to the universe and back. I still believe in this.

Lullaby ©Katie Kidwell, 1976 SOCAN

Lullaby

Now when I see a crow fly
I sing out a lullaby
On his wings, the notes will fly
Lullaby – Lullaby

Crow played it for the forest gate
Said the trees:  “It’s not too late”
Softly the trees began to sigh
Lullaby – Lullaby

Water whispered to the air:
“Lullaby is very fair”
Youth like the stars heard earth reply
Lullaby – Lullaby

Returns the night, the black crow free
Hushing forest melodies
Remember the crow to those who fly
Lullaby – Lullaby
©Katie Kidwell, 1976 SOCAN

Lullaby was part of my 2017 Parkside Art Gallery Show. The album for this show also titled: “The Little Birds That Fly” can be listened to here at Soundcloud.

Let me know if you have any thoughts on this or experience you would like to share.

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
Message me @ GWJ Creative Art

Emily Carr

 

“When the forest plays with the lake” w.c.©Katie Kidwell, GWJ Creative Art

 

Sometime in my 40’s I discovered Emily Carr’s writings.  Oh how I grieved!  If only I had known about her books in high school…As much as I loved reading Steinbeck and Hemingway, I would have benefitted more with Emily’s words.

Emily was an artist, a gardener, an animal caretaker of all kinds and mostly unpopular in her time.  Later on she camped in her “Elephant” and painted.  This is where I have joined her.  I too camp and paint.

As much as I love her paintings…
I love her writings more!

She had an honest way of describing how she feels and what she longs for in her art.  Through the lens of her day to day world, her books have much to teach a creative person.

I hope by now you are thinking, “I better check this out.”  Do a google search for Emily Carr and you won’t be disappointed.

This winter in Value Village I found a “new” book of hers.

“Emily Carr and her Dogs” .  Apparently she made a calendar, one year, from the point of view of her sheepdog “Billie”.  If you’ve never seen a Emily Carr drawing in caricature – as I hadn’t – you should.

As with “Wildflowers”, once again, the B.C. archives have pulled another gem out of their vast collection of Emily Carr’s personal belongings.  They have  been the best “relative” she could have had and all to our benefit.

My art teacher at Emily Carr School of Art, in Vancouver, B.C, asked us to study other artists and determine who we would like to have a cup of coffee with.  Who would we like to have a conversation with?  Well, coffee or tea…my choice is crystal clear…

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
©GWJ Creative Art

 

 

On Spring Break – A poem & A painting

In celebration of “Spring Break” happening in this part of the world, I am posting a seasonal poem.  I might add I wrote this poem when I was a spring chicken!

As you know, now is the time for seeds to be planted.  So wherever you are in the world – grow your love and spring into Life!

On a side note:  I will be away from my blog for the next three weeks, back April 8th.

The Poem

A FLOWER SEED REVEALING LIFE THAT DWELLS WITHIN

A flower seed
lies in the ground
and upon Heaven’s
pattering sound,
lifts open husky gates of Praise,
for the Life that dwells within.

Upward winding
through Mother Earth,
which gives it substance
gives it birth,
up to Father Light in the sky,
calling Life that dwells within.

Slowly peeping
through the soil,
spreading new arms in
happy toil –
it meets Air; the second birth
for the Life that dwells within.

Now meeting Day
it meets the one,
Who called it up? –
The yellow Sun;
warming soil, shinning Bliss,
helping Life that dwells within.

Then young tight leaves
are held at ease,
the little one
grows up in Peace;
knowing Garden all around
thanking Life that dwells within.

A nodding head, –
clean as the Dove,
the little seed with
its Natured Love,
gives Blossom perfect for the stem,
revealing Life that dwells within.

©Katie Kidwell, 1973
Previously published:  Northern Light, 1975

The Painting

“Waves To Go” w.c. study
©Katie, GWJ Creative Art

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
GWJ Creative Art

Saddled and Gone

The Story

Sometime in the late sixties, The Star Weekly published a story about a woman who had been given a few months to live.  The magazine story focused on the fact that it was now 10 years and she was still alive and thriving! They wanted to know how she had done it and they wanted their Canadian readers to know about her choices.
 
I was a child then, and my Mother wanted me to know the story too.  Of how this woman had sold and rode away from everything, with a horse and a saddle.  I was fascinated with the newsmagazine’s large photo of her face.  I had never seen so many wrinkles before and she wasn’t even old.  Yet she had spent the last 10 years of her life sleeping on the ground with her horse.
 
I don’t remember the woman’s name only her face and big hat.  If you know of her let me know.  My question here is “Would it still work to do what she did?  Sell everything and buy a horse and a saddle and plan on sleeping on the ground?”  If you had a few months to live, what would you do different and what if it was the cure?
 
 I too have lost family members to cancer.  I know there are miracle survivors everyday we could all sing about.
Sometimes it’s a sad song when the miracle is to quickly leave the pain in the body.
I never forgot the story of this woman and the look of her face.  So years later I wrote a song to celebrate her with. It’s called Saddled and Gone.

The Song

Here are the lyrics to the song I wrote about her story and further down this page the recording:
 
Saddled and Gone
 
Did she pass on?  
Saddled and Gone?  
I like to sing her song…
Oh I oh…..
I…yi….yee…
 
She was one city girl with a fatal disease
A few months to live, so live as you please
Without any kids or a spouse
She sold her car and her house
 
“Goodbye job, Goodbye friends
I’ve bought a horse and we’ll be travelin”
Oh I oh…
I yi yee….
 
Under the stars
Sleep on the ground
‘Till winds wrinkle
Your face turns brown…
Oh I oh…
I yi yee…
 
Ten years went by and she was alive
Out went her tale along the news wire
And then my Mom read it to me
To a child, it’s no mystery
When your saddled and gone
Riding along
Your heart sings a thankful song
Oh I oh…
I yi yee…
 
Some tales I have heard, slip their way down
‘Least when I know it they circle around
And though it’s a tale from the past
I feel it is good and will last
Now did she pass on?
Saddled and gone?
Hawk and coyote sing her song…
Oh I oh…
I yi yee…
 
                  © Katie Kidwell, 1991     SOCAN
 
Here is the Tom Thompson acoustic recording of Saddled and Gone done in the mid 90’s.

Previously published as:  “Have you lost someone to cancer?”  True to You (no longer on-line)

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
GWJ Creative Art

My Mentors

I would not be the creative person I am today without having a wonderful “team” of mentors.  By this I mean the people who were inspiring to me over my lifetime.   In other words, my teachers.
 
Born with a sensitive nature, I was very lucky.  In some ways I won the lotto for being here on this earth now.  Because of this it is my responsibility to be the “evidence” of how they mattered! 
.
Here are the “faces” of the five women who played an important role in my life.  Overtime I will mention them and if you follow my blog you will get to know them.  I know they have something to teach the world. If it shows up in me…you know where it came from!
Grandmother Moore
Janice Hawes
Dorthy DeWinton, Aunt
Mother, Grace Moore & Leata Wetherald

Right Now

Dear Reader:

right now I am missing painting on location.  There is still too much snow and last week the temperatures dipped to minus 27.  So I am posting “Island In The Sun” in memory of a warm day and sunshine!

Paintings done on location come with lots of memories.   In this case it was 2012 and a few months before my mother would pass away in a care home.  I was exhausted and this trip to Howard and to paint was medicine for me.

Island In The Sun w.c.

I  cared for my mother for 4 years after her stroke while she was in a facility.  She was able to talk and to write and recall her life.  However she had lost the use of the left side of her body.  She needed so much help and assistance.  I learned how to use the lift and filled in the many blanks left by our senior care system.  We had a great time together and as one of my mentors she continued to teach me.

So like I said.  Painting on location and the paintings that come out of these trips are memories of the road travelled at the time.

Right now I am looking at expanding on my current art theme which is “The Expression Of Life”.  I am planning a series of quick conte sketch’s capturing the essence of the expression.  Pictures like Apache.  Wish me well and I hope to hear from you.  Has it been a long winter in your neck of the woods?

Apache/Owl Head Dress ©GWJ Creative Art

©Katie Kidwell, The Living of Loving, 2019
GWJ Creative Art

Paddy And The Barbwire Brand

The Picture

 

Paddy drawn by Wendy Liddle, cowboy cartoonist

The Poem

The Barbwire Brand
 
My ponies rear
has kissed the fence!
Now brandin’ him
makes no sense.
                                             © Katie Kidwell, 1994
 
from the book:  “Well Hell’
Illustrated by:  Wendy Liddle

The Story

Today, I thought I’d share the story of my last Cariboo horse. Being an Irish girl from a family of Irish names, it’s fitting his name was Paddy.  Bruce Kiskaddon would have liked him.  In his words he was the “old breed with a mustache on the lip.”

My first horse as a young girl, came from royalty. When I married I wasn’t allowed to buy anything higher than “meat price.”  Now I don’t regret the horses I owned this way, just the abuse they had suffered before me.  I know I gave them a better life for their remaining years. Paddy was one of them.
 
Paddy’s life started out right but he had the wrong trainer.  This man who “broke him” was a neighbour out our way who loved to do everything “the cowboy way”.  His reasoning was, “You gotta make them buck and then get all the buck out of them.”  This approach as most enlightened trainers know, creates a bucking horse.
 
So “broken in” Paddy returned home to his owner, a casual hobby rider.  Sensing his gentle colt was now a little uppity, he sent Paddy off to another trainer a little distance away.
 

This is where it get’s a little complicated  

The second trainer had a brother-in-law who was also a vet.  When Paddy returned home from the second go-a-round the word was, “he had the flue.”  His swollen body and inability to move was vouched for by a local range rider.  Yes she too had seen him laying down at the trainers all swollen up with…the flue.  Remember this for further on.

How I Met Paddy

I met Paddy when the Swiss owners of our ranch asked me to help find a horse for Albert.  A friend told me her neighbour didn’t want his horse and it had befriended her horse on the other side of the fence. Maybe Albert would want to take a look at him.

Albert liked him and asked what I thought.  I was concerned about the enlarged “capped” knees he had on his front legs.

“Oh, yeah,” said Paddy’s owner, “he had the flue and he can’t bend his front legs now.”

I cautioned Albert but he thought everything would be okay.

Back at the ranch, Paddy didn’t like Albert.  He didn’t like men, and threw him when he was startled by an oil spot on the pavement.  It was a hard landing for a Swiss gentleman who had never ridden before.
a
One day Albert phoned me, Paddy had backed into a barbwire fence and needed doctoring and he had to go to Montana.  Would I take him back to my place and take care of the cut.
a
So I did, and Paddy and I had a great three weeks together.  He was the only horse I’ve ever had that would trim your flower beds and not walk through them.
However the barbwire cut left a scar but that was nothing…
a

When Albert returned he told me he was going to ship Paddy for meat so I bought him.  One day I had the “brother-in-law” vet come and inspect Paddy.  I wanted to know the real story.
a
He said, “I’ve never seen the flue do that to a horse’s knees.  That horse was put on the rocks.  It’s the way he trains them.”
a
Paddy lived out his life with me.
a
He laid down by putting his front legs out straight in front of him.  He got up this way too.  I rode him mostly at a walk and then later I and Paddy escorted my elderly (80 plus)  neighbour “Jud” and his (30 plus) horse “Bud”.  I took coffee in a thermos and we’d ride up the hill to some tree and get off to drink and eat cookies and tell stories.  Carrots for the horses.
a
It wasn’t a good feeling the few times Paddy tripped on the trail, so I rode him less and less and he got fat.  This made it harder for him to get up and down.  He never had a chance to grow old.  But he played with my husky/wolf cross, who liked to lead him, with the rope in her mouth, around the yard.  AND he was loved by my orange cat Teddy.
a
Paddy got his feelings up a few times at Jud’s horses and one year reared up and got his front hoof caught on the top wire.  I counted 26 barbs with blood and hair.  Jud gave Paddy a stall in his barn and I doctored him there.  During this time Jud’s goat fell in love with him.
a
The night Paddy left the stars were around the moon in a special way.
a
It made me think he wasn’t wasting any time on getting over to the other side.  I told my friend Wendy about Paddy and a poem I wrote for his earlier, barbwire backup, at the ranch with Albert.   Her illustration of Paddy is here along with my poem.
a
I wrote Paddy’s story here so you could know the more of it…
a

© Katie Kidwell, 2015  True to You (no longer on-line)
© Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving

An Artists Prayer

The Story

Recently I was directed to:
 “Write an Artist’s Prayer and put it on your blog”.
I have since put it on the bar of my blog and on social media sites.  People have loved and shared it.

As an Artist we are often given what Julia Cameron calls “our marching orders”.  Have you had this experience too?

Here done up in “Canva”  (a great tool for artists) is what I wrote as “An Artists Prayer”.

 

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
GWJ Creative Art

 

I Love Howard Lake

 

Katie @Howard Lake/painting
I love Howard Lake.  It is off the grid and there are no lights around the lake.
 
I put some of my father’s ashes on the lake there and later as I was to get out of the boat I mysteriously fell in…
 
You should know, I have received visitors there. The likes of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and for my friends who often listen to the earth…I once heard it there. I am afraid to describe it as I have yet to talk to them about what they heard…
Jonathan @ Howard
The fishing is great. Except the last fish I caught at Howard played dead and I’ve yet to figure out the significance of this. I let it go, at which point it came to life. Like I said, I Love Howard Lake!

Water Colour Paintings from Howard Lake

The Rhythm of Howard Lake #2
The Rhythm Of Howard Lake
The Spirit Of Howard Lake
Oneness

In the picture above “Oneness”, depending on your browser you may see an “orb”.  I did not put it there.  It showed up after drying on the back of the couch and while I was cooking supper in our motor home.  I have seen orbs in photo’s.  I did not expect to see one in a painting!

Do you have a favourite place to paint?   Here’s to your adventure painting!

©Katie Kidwell, 2018
GWJ Creative Art