The Multiplication Factor (seed collecting)

Heritage Strawberry Spinach
 
For 12 years I was the Gardener at my parent’s “Splendour View” Garden. I joined the “Seeds of Diversity” and learned the art of seed collecting. Through the catalogue, I was able to send away for starter seeds and plants. I received specimens from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island.
 
The multiplication factor of seeds and roots never occurred to me until I became a seed collector. You start with “one” or in some cases “two” and before long there’s a multitude.
 

One of my fondest memories is seeing my mother standing under the tall umbrellas of parsnip seed.

“Look at all this life!” In her own unique holy way, my Mother was always giving credit to the creator for being so wise. “Look at all the people fed by one plant!”
 

Oh, how I miss her.

 
I look at my family and I see the results and surprises of what my parents planted in our lives. Multiplied and still sending out roots and shoots!
So in this Garden of Life where I have more than I need because it’s designed that way when you receive- I give you this experience. The truth of multiplication!
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“Look at all this Life!”
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Orchid & Bee (Splendour View)
©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving

In My Belly Boat

Lake Water Painting In My Belly Boat

I paddle out with a 5 x 7 piece of watercolour paper taped to a lightweight foam board and one plastic bag to hold it in.   In case I splash it on the way back in…but if I did…would it matter?

So I dip my brush in the lake

and with a small box of watercolours on the belly boat apron, I paint.   I keep extra brushes in my wet suit front pocket for easy access and to keep them from rolling overboard.  I am all business when I make my way out to the rocks at Crown Lake.  Once I have the view I want, I have to work the flippers to stay put.  Sometimes I get so caught up I forget and then I have to work my way back.


It all depends on the wind!

 
In the pockets of my belly boat, I have a few things I may need like an apple and water and some paper towel.  A few w.c. crayons, etc. and my Kodak camera.  Otherwise, I’d have a selfie of myself instead of flipper pictures.  But I like to frame my husband in his U-boat when I take the shot.  Yes, that is Wayne in the distance.  He’s reading a book.


Anything and everything could fall overboard at any time…

Since I started floating and painting I haven’t had any major spills.  I did the first time I went out in my belly boat.  It was when we thought we would fish. Wayne was some distance away fishing in his U-boat.    So I caught a fish and reeled it in.  I took the barbless hook out of its mouth and set the hook to the side. Then l released the trout with both of my hands supporting…Oops!
 
Now I’m horrified.  The hook I set to the side is gone and wasn’t it attached to my husbands fly rod he had long before he met me?  I look at the deep water beside me. I can’t believe I forgot I am in a very small circle and anything and everything can end up….overboard!
 

I’m not as entertaining as I use to be getting into my belly boat.

 
Getting my flippers to pass the seat harness while standing on one flipper…and then walking out backwards to the deeper water… Holding my belly boat up around my waist until I can go down in the seat.  Ha!  My husband only has to sit back in his U-boat and push off!  We’re not trading but I can tell he misses the shows I use to put on.
 
No, I wouldn’t trade the belly for a U-boat anyway.  The round inflated tube and apron make the most perfect art easel.  And the water makes the memory of every painting special.
 
You may enjoy this blog I wrote last summer. It’s on belly boating in Marble Canyon including painting and poem: The Tree That Grew From Rock
 
When I can I will be posting at facebook my belly boat paintings this summer.
 
Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you can comment and tell me where you like to paint?  Or where you would like to paint?  Sometimes writing it out makes it happen faster!
 
©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving

Married With Cows

Married With Cows, Wendy Liddle Illustration for my book “Well Hell”

In my poem, “Married With Cows”,  I take aim.  I hope the poem hits your funny bone.  Here’s some background.

The Story

While I was on the ranch, I gave it my best shot to be part of the Canadian music scene.  My ability to write about my experiences is one of my strengths. For this, I was hired by Ian Tyson.  He was looking for a performer to represent the cowgirl at his Cowboyography Show during Expo ’86. Writing songs about cows and fencing had an audience…and now I had permission to write more!

For his show, I wrote four songs of which there was time for three.  After twenty-one shows that week, I was geared up to play my spurs on both sides of the border!  What a wonderful time. So many beautiful “salt of the earth” people to be around.  Like me, they were expressing themselves and their worlds.

Later I wrote “Married With Cows” to put into perspective all those phone calls I’d had on the ranch.  There I made cold calls to agents and managers I had heard of. 

Life is more satisfying when you can see the funny side of things.  Especially when you don’t have to make it up.  Even though…it meant I would never be part of the Canadian music scene or on the radio.  When was the last time you heard spurs played over the air?  

Not Just My Experience… 

“Married With Cows” was on at Poetry poem.  While it was there, I heard from several men (husbands).  They wanted me to know the same events had happened to their wives.  They felt bad about it.  

So this is what I found to be true as a folk performer.

Everyone loves a good song and a sincere presentation.  Everyone loves to laugh and learn a little about the country they are visiting.    

So after the cowboy gatherings, I started performing for bus and rail tours. I no longer aimed for agents or managers.  From my homeland, I sang to the travelling world about the wonders of the Cariboo as a “singing cowgirl”.  Spur playing included and I also taught the Cariboo Yodel! 

As a folksinger, it doesn’t get any better than that.  To sing about your country in your country.  My handle was Katie, the Cariboo Song Rider.  You can check me out on facebook and here is a link to my music on sound cloud.

Here Is The Poem

Married With Cows

I wanted to be a singer
and sing my own true songs…
They wanted to know my measurements,
was I a redhead or a blonde?
And just how old are you?
And before you send your tape…
Send us a great big picture
and for the last five years – your weight.
“We’re not signing married women –
their husbands make them quit!
With years and years of experience –
our investments have to stick!”
So I didn’t send that picture,
my hair type or my weight.
I didn’t bother fooling them –
and I never sent a tape.
For the rules, they were describing
I never could kowtow…
so I told them, “I ain’t single,
I’m married with cows!”

©Katie Kidwell, 1997
Previously Published by Canadian Cowboy Country Magazine
Vol5 No.2, 2001

From My “Hay Days”

Katie, the Cariboo Song Rider with Abi Sha Trigger circa 1988

One of the songs I wrote for Ian’s Show – “The Cow-Boss Yodel”
You can practise for the next time we meet…

From the Tom Thompson Sessions – Meadow Show – Album I

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

 

Lost Luggage

The “Secret Life” Of Lost Luggage…

In 1974, after graduation from high school, the spiritual community I lived in with my parents handed me and three others a brand new suitcase.  I often joke there was a hint in this….

However, the blue Samsonite suitcase was a well-known one as lots of people travelling by bus had one.  On one of my trips home via Greyhound, I arrived back in Vancouver minus my suitcase.

The Greyhound bus station then was on what is now an empty lot in Vancouver where an Art Gallery is planned.  A few days after this happened I received a call from Greyhound freight.  So I picked my suitcase up and headed back to North Vancouver.

I didn’t have much in it.  Just a few clothes, mostly dirty ones from my trip and my diary.  I wondered if anyone had looked at my stuff…

Monday night was my laundry night in my small apartment building.  So I tossed the dirty clothes out of the suitcase and into the machine.

My diary which I hadn’t used for a while had made the trip and seemed no worse for wear.  I seldom wrote in it now but when I did I was passionate.  I signed off on everything I wrote there with a “Praise the Lord” ending.

As I arranged my dirty clothes evenly in the drum of the washing machine I felt something hard.  Something wasn’t right.  I pulled a piece of clothing out… a pair of undies…with a 1″ x 3″ piece of cardboard stapled inside the crotch.  Written with all caps in blue ink was:  “PRAISE THE LORD”.

©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving
You can message me @ GWJ Creative Art

 

 

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

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

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