Art

Having been born with a poetic disposition, I have been extremely fortunate to have come into contact with so many artistic souls. From my friends and acquaintances who have great talent in visual arts I have learned to appreciate colour, form and shape and have gradually developed an eye for design elements. This awareness for visual beauty has truly enriched my everyday experience of life. I see beauty everywhere and continually marvel at the intricate wonder of God’s creation.
 
My dear friend, Jan Steel Moffatt has been my kindred spirit since we met at the age of six. Jan is immensely gifted in many art forms. My home is a gallery for her beautiful paintings. Jan is also an excellent writer and poet and I’m looking forward to working with her on a screen play. Ever since we were children we have been a support system to one another. Growing up together, we discovered a magical place called Sharijan where we would visit during her family’s weekend trips to their cabin in Ceylon. As “blood sisters” we let our imaginations soar while we reveled in the delicious intimacy of true friendship.

Another lifelong friend, Diane Hunter, has also brought great beauty into my life through her detailed artwork. Her beautifully painted “house-warming gift” to me is a treasure that will always remind me of our shared paths. Diane’s family visited with our family on many weekends whenever they would come to their nearby cottage. I particularly remember one night when we discovered the amusement of “perspective” as we looked at each other’s faces from an ‘upside-down view.’ Our gales of laughter that evening still ring in my memory and remind me that there is always more than one way to examine reality.


the art of nature

At Glendon College, York University, I met Nancy Thornton whose mother, Glenys, was a member of a group of artists who displayed their work on occasion in various venues. Nancy, who inherited her mother’s artistic eye, always decorated her home so beautifully and provided a model of how to design a personal space to reflect one’s personality. When Nancy’s mother passed away, I was deeply moved to receive some pieces of her work as a keepsake. They have recently been professionally framed and have found their place of honour in my home.

In Flesherton, where I attended high school, there lived a local artist named Howard McGee. Howard was well known for his landscape artwork and was also a personal friend of our family. He was always experimenting with various surfaces upon which to paint and at one time collected glass bottles for a unique canvas. For a period of time I worked as a waitress at The Magic Pan Creperie in Toronto where I had access to lots of interesting wine bottles which I would pass on to Mr. McGee. He thanked me one day by presenting me with two bottles upon which he had painted lovely nature scenes. I treasure these gifts as well as a birthday card from Howard and his lovely wife. The card is graced with a beautiful painting of a blue jay to accompany a loving message.  I keep the card on my office desk as one of my sources of inspiration.

When I was attending Ryerson University I met a very talented artist named Rudi Colme. Rudi was divorced with a beautiful daughter named Catrina. The three of us, along with Rudi’s mother, spent many happy times in Rudi’s home and studio in Proton Station.
Rudi’s wallpaper designs grace the walls of many houses and businesses around the world. His paintings and carvings speak volumes about his vision as an artist. Sadly Rudi passed away in June, 2010, but has left a beautiful legacy as an extremely creative soul with a brilliant mind and exuberant spirit.

In recent years I have been fortunate to meet Glenn and Sally Stephenson who spend the winters in Fairhope, Alabama, and the summers in Campobello Island, New Brunswick. This dear couple are both very attuned to the finer things in life. Glenn loves to create meals that are a work of art in themselves! Sally has an exceptional ability to recognize the artistic potential within an individual and over a lifetime has amassed an awesome collection of artwork in various media. Not surprisingly their family is also very talented. I have been introduced to the work of their daughter, Greta Bell whose art is creating quite a stir in the Chicago area and is being recognized worldwide for its distinctive modern style. The Stephenson’s son-in-law, Michael Chesley Johnson, married to Trina, a very talented individual in her own right, paints exquisite landscapes and teaches art in various locations including Sedona, Arizona. I highly recommend you visit both websites.

A few years ago I had the good fortune of meeting a talented artist who has become a dear friend and confidante. Julie Pecnik was introduced to me by my brother, Douglas. Julie had expressed to Doug that she was wanting to rent “an apartment with a view.” Doug suggested she contact me, thinking I might have an apartment available in my home. Although my upstairs unit was too small to accommodate Julie’s extensive artwork and kitty cats, there was, fortuitously, a very suitable apartment available right across the road. We have both agreed that Destiny had a hand in bringing this lovely friend right to my front door! Julie has won numerous awards for her artwork over the years and is branching out into the creation of children’s stories.  I am grateful to Julie for the cover plate for "Water From The Moon." Please return often to this area of my site for updates on Julie’s many creative endeavours.

Another of my favourite artists is Jennifer Stenberg whose painting, “Claudia’s Journey”, inspired the poem “Safe Passage” which is included on my CD “Water From The Moon”. Jennifer lives and paints in Flesherton, Ontario, where she shares studio space with other talented artists at The Squatters Gallery. Jennifer’s work is highly regarded for its breathtaking beauty. “Claudia’s Journey” is an outstanding example of her artistic gifts. The painting is of an archway in an abbey in Portugal called Batalha. The abbey’s upper octagon was never finished and is entirely open to the sky. “The unfinished pillars are covered with fabulous carvings as is the 15 metre high doorway.” (from a note written by Jennifer describing her painting). Jennifer’s friend, Claudia Aiken, took a photograph of this beautiful building in 2003 and lent the photo to Jennifer for her painting....hence the title of the artwork which I’m happy to say now has found its way into my home. The story of the painting’s “journey” from the art gallery to my residence is a mystical tale of coincidence upon which I will expand in an upcoming CD called: “Rising From the Falls”. For now I’m honoured to share the poem that was inspired by Jennifer’s painting. Please click on the " "  icon to hear “Safe Passage.”

When I purchased Shalamar in 1996, I did so in a spirit of confidence knowing that I could rely on two very creative friends to be my grounds keepers. Roy and Pauline Hathaway both brought “an artist’s eye” to their role as property managers. Roy regularly maintained the yard with meticulous attention to detail, bringing his own skills as an artist to ensure that the property always resembled a breath-taking masterpiece.

Pauline’s medium of choice is flowers and wherever this wonderful couple chooses to reside, their gardening skills are legendary as they work together to add a touch of beauty to this world.

When Jim Batchelor made Shalamar his home in 2006, another great grounds keeper came onto the scene. Jim has an excellent eye for design and has incorporated many unique features, most notably the beautiful gazebo he built into an existing rock garden (see nature). Jim also used his skills in wood carving to create a couple new residents ....
an owl (carved from cedar) and a turtle (carved from a burl) recently found a place of honour at Shalamar, warmly welcoming all visitors to our exquisite piece of property in the Beaver Valley.

I feel blessed to be so surrounded by physical beauty. Please return often to my website where I will share more stories about the inspiring artists whose creativity continues to be such a source of inspiration in my life.

Poetry Speaker, Sharon Sinclair

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