nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘the landscape of home’ Category

my place, my niche

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All of us, as we self-isolate and stay at home, have become more familiar with our own place or space. We also have become familiar with our ‘niche.’ It is also a sort of space, but is more about how we use that space.

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My space, on the macro-scale, is in the Northern Hemisphere and the temperate zone. I love the four seasons: perhaps summer, with it’s high humidity, least of the four. I live in a rural area; the bird chorus I hear each morning is associated with mixed hardwood and softwood. For more information on our ‘grey woods’ click here.

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Our house seemed big when we built it 40 years ago. Today it is considered modest with two floors, three bedrooms and a loft. As I grow older, arthritis means I hang out mostly on the main floor. But upstairs, the loft stores my genealogy interests and the library holds all my books. On the main floor is my computer, my bird watching corner, my sewing basket and my drawing and painting supplies. Often, my husband is there too. So you see, I have most of what it takes to make me happy.

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My space is more and more often in cyberspace. These days my family and friends are mostly there, on Facebook and Messenger. Just today I had my first meeting on Zoom.

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I spend about half of my day on the computer, in one phase or other of one of my writing projects. Last week our wifi went down for four days. Usually, I refer to the on-line dictionary or thesaurus about once every fifteen minutes. With the wifi down, I wondered for a moment what to do and then thought, “Thesaurus. Dictionary.” A little dusty but serviceable.

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So what is not part of my niche?

Music. I have a piano which I can play. And a guitar. And I have a stack of discs and a way to play them. I also have a small selection of my favourite music in my iPad. I tell myself it would be good to include more music in my life, in my ‘niche.’ So far it is only a thought.

Exercise. I will start by saying I do about 30 minutes of yoga-like stretches every morning. Otherwise I would not be able to get out of bed. If you follow my blog you know I am also dedicated to my stationary cycle but, since the first of the year, it aggravates my knees and I have not been doing this with any regularity. I have plans to reincorporate exercise into my niche, but so far, it is also a thought.

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Of course, the world is full of possibilities and I have many gaps in my space/niche. I have interests in coins, stamps, games, puzzles, calligraphy and so on. I have no interest in flying kites, cooking, speaking another language or clock-making. But perhaps, someday, one of these may insinuate itself into my niche. So much to include, so little time!

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So, what is in your space? Your niche? What is not in your space/niche?

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All my best,

staying at home, wearing my mask in public,

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 29, 2020 at 7:00 am

Watercolour lessons # 2

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In week four of the watercolour course I am taking, we are using the techniques we have learned to paint landscapes.

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First, we were asked to find an image/photo we like. I chose a scene from our cabin property, a photo of the lake through the trees, in late fall. It offered near and distant views and the colour palette I wanted to work with.

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lake at camp

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Then, we planned the painting, either visualizing the final presentation or actually sketching the landscape in pencil. I skipped the pencil because I love to draw and I guessed the end would be a full-blown pencil drawing.

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in the painting, I also wanted to try a technique I have seen on Pinterest. Canadian artist Holly Anne Friezen’s paintings of forest sometimes interpret the jumble of leaves in the canopy as stained glass, and I have wanted to try this for some time. Other artists have also used this technique.

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To do the painting, I took the work in stages:

  1. I used painter’s tape to mark the locations of the main trees. This way, I could concentrate on the background without worrying about painting the trees.
  2. I painted the background sky, lake and far shore using a wet on wet technique.
  3. I painted the forest floor of the near shore using the colours of the fall.
  4. I removed the tape and painted two types of trees, the mountain birch and the red maples that live along the lake shore.
  5. I switched to a fine brush, to paint the many branches of the trees. For the colour, I used some black, but also created dark grey by mixing the complimentary colours red and green, or orange and blue. I tried to criss-cross the branches so I would have many triangles and odd-shaped shapes to use for the stained-glass part of the work.
  6. After the paint was completely dry, I used orange, red, purple, yellow and green to colour the ‘stained glass’ shapes.

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I loved the result so much, I did three paintings. In my opinion, the third painting is the best.

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Scan_20200309 (6)

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Scan_20200309

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In retrospect, I would have created more transparent, pure colour in the ‘stained-glass’ by not painting the sky, lake and far shore under the areas where I wanted to paint the ‘stained-glass.’

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I don’t always frame and hang my paintings, but I like these so much, I am going to find a place for them in my home.

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 9, 2020 at 10:19 pm

covered bridges

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If you follow this blog, you know how much I love covered bridges. We are so lucky in New Brunswick to have 58 remaining covered bridges, but we lose some almost every year, to vandalism, neglect, fire or flood.

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I have included covered bridges in my art for years. My first covered bridge painting was of an anonymous bridge. My dad asked me to paint a large mural (8′ x 4′) in our rec room at home and this was the result …

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covered bridge mural Enfield painted about 1974

‘a covered bridge in winter’ Jane Spavold (Tims)

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When I first arrived in New Brunswick, many of our local trips involved visits to covered bridges. In 1992, as a project to celebrate Canada’s 125th anniversary, my son, husband and I visited many bridges in southern New Brunswick. Last year, my husband and I found this notation on one of those bridges — our initials!

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2015 037_crop

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During those days, I was busy with work and painting covered bridges was not a priority, but in 2013, I painted one rather uninspired watercolour of the Marven Covered Bridge near Sussex.

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‘Marven Covered Bridge, Kings County’ Jane Tims

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In 2015,  as part of a project under artsnb (the New Brunswick’s Arts Board) and a Creations Grant, my husband and I visited 35 covered bridges, mostly in the Saint John River watershed. The results of the project are the poems and art contained in my book ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge‘ (Chapel Street editions, 2017). The cover of the book shows one of the paintings I did of the Malone Covered Bridge.

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September 24, 2016 'apple tree, Malone Bridge' Jane Tims (2016_12_30 00_28_35 UTC).JPG

‘apple tree, Malone Bridge’ Jane Tims

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One of the drawings for the book captured a covered bridge now lost due to carelessness, the French Village Bridge over the Hammond River.

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May 12, 2012 'enter' Jane Tims.jpg

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In the next months, based on other black and white drawings in the book, I did two more covered bridge paintings for the on-going art auction at Isaac’s Way Restaurant in Fredericton.

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‘thistles at the Malone Bridge’ Jane Tims

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‘chokecherries at the Ellis Bridge’ Jane Tims

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A neighbour of mine saw the Ellis Bridge painting and commissioned me to paint our local Patrick Owens Covered Bridge.

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‘chokecherries at the Patrick Owens Bridge’ Jane Tims

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As time goes on, I will paint other covered bridges. They are so beautiful, each a work of art and engineering. The artist’s challenge is to bring out the individuality of each bridge and illustrate its place in our history and landscape.

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All my best,

Jane Tims

 

 

new place to sit and dream

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We recently replaced an old deck on the back of our house. We have not been able to use the space for years and now we have a place to sit and dream or read, even in the rain! We have another, larger deck, where I also sit when I need a break. But the new deck is more private and covered. For deck furniture we added a locally-made bench bought last year and a small table I made to celebrate cattails! I think I need a pillow with a cattail design for that left corner!

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Do you have a place where you can sit outside, even when it is raining?

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All my best,

Jane

 

Written by jane tims

September 21, 2018 at 7:00 am

my painting at Isaac’s Way

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Winter is going fast! But winter still exists in my painting on display at Isaac’s Way Restaurant in Fredericton. The painting is one of 70 original art pieces in the 32nd Art Auction, raising funds for music lessons for kids-in-need.

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My painting ‘farmyard in moonlight’ is 24″ x 20″, acrylic, unframed, gallery edges. The high bid right now is $100. You can buy it off the wall for $320.  Half of the price goes to the charity.

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You can see the other painting in the auction by visiting Isaac’s Way and enjoying their great menu. Or see the paintings on-line at 32nd Art Auction.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

April 6, 2018 at 5:21 pm

fishing under the covered bridge

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In the community where I live, there is one covered bridge, the Patrick Owens Bridge, otherwise known as Rusagonis River #2. At one time there were at least four covered bridges across the Rusagonis Stream.

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The photo below was taken in 1964 and shows my husband as a boy, fishing under the covered bridge on the North Branch of the Rusagonis Stream. In the photo, he is fishing with a home-made pole. That bridge was gone by 1978 when I first moved to New Brunswick.

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I have always loved covered bridges and I am pleased to announce that my new poetry book “in the shelter of the covered bridge” will be out later in 2017, published by Chapel Street Editions, Woodstock. The book is a compilation of my poetry about plants and animals living in the vicinity of some of the covered bridges in New Brunswick. The work was funded by artsnb and includes some of the poems that won the Alfred G Bailey Prize in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Writing Competition in 2016.

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in the shelter of the covered bridge” will include poems about many of the covered bridges in the St. John River valley and is illustrated with my own pencil drawings. I’ll let you know as soon as it is available!

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choke-cherries Becaguimec bridge.jpg

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

red, red, red

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October and autumn are upon us. I took a walk around our yard this morning and although my camera was not behaving (I bear no responsibility), I can show you some of the ‘reds’ I saw.

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the red of maple leaves turning colour (I always think they look like stained glass) …

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the red of the berries on our rose bush …

the red of the berries of lily-of-the-valley …

the red of the tiny apples in our flowering crab …

the red of the Virginia Creeper leaves …

Copyright  Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

October 2, 2017 at 11:40 am

my new garden fountain!

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Enticed by a Facebook advertisement, I purchased a small, solar-powered water fountain for my deck garden.  It floats in a bowl (although it could also be put in a birdbath or larger pond) and uses the sun’s energy to send water into the air. If the sunlight is direct and non-stop, the spray is forceful and continuous. On our deck, where the light is dappled by all the leafy trees, the flow is sporadic but fascinating to watch in all its variety.

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Lots of fun and realizes my dream of having a simple fountain to enjoy! I purchased the fountain at Next Deal Shop here for about $50 including shipping but I notice they have sales from time to time.

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Enjoying summer! Hope you are too!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

July 10, 2017 at 11:00 am

mustard electric

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More painting going on. Trying to capture some of our dramatic New Brunswick landscape.

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This summer we drove through the rural countryside near Millville and loved the brilliant yellow mustard fields.

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This painting is called ‘mustard electric’, 24″ by 20″, acrylic, gallery edges, painted with Hansa yellow, Ultramarine blue, Titanium white. When I had it in the living room, it was impossible to ignore, its blast of yellow lingering in the peripheral vision!

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September 10, 2016 ‘mustard electric’ near Millville, N.B. Jane Tims

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

September 28, 2016 at 7:02 am

blueberry red

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The Isaac’s Way Summer Art Auction #27 in Fredericton, New Brunswick has ended! And my painting ‘morning sky’ has sold for the full price of $260. I am so pleased since the charity is to provide for MUSIC lessons for kids-in-need.

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My painting in the next Art Auction (runs September 25 to late January, 2017) is perfect for fall. It is entitled ‘blueberry red’ and depicts a blueberry field near Stewarton, New Brunswick in late autumn when the blueberry leaves turn a brilliant red.  The painting is 24″ wide by 20″ high, acrylic with gallery edges. I am donating 50% of the proceeds from my painting to the charity. I hope you like it!

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September 10, 2016 ‘blueberry red’ Jane Tims

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

September 26, 2016 at 9:12 am

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