Day 14 – Painting for Parkinson’s – To Follow the Call of the Loon

CalloftheLoon_9239-web‘To Follow the Call of the Loon’
Canoes on the edge of Bowness Park in Calgary
8″x10″ unframed oil on canvas
by Cheryl Peddie

This painting has SOLD!

New! I can also now accept credit card over the phone. And as always, cheques & cash.
Contact me directly at (403) 270-9755 or Thank you!

I will be donating 50% of this painting’s sale price to the Parkinson Alberta Society!

This painting almost didn’t happen. It was a day of changed plans, delays and frustration. I won’t go into the details, but the end result was that I didn’t get into my studio until after the supper hour. I felt irritated with myself for being so late with this one. But once I sat down at my easel, looking through treasured photos, I was so thankful to be home and back in my soothing painting environment. The day faded a bit as I got into my familiar, comforting rhythm of blending and applying paint to my canvas.

The photo I chose was this evening setting of a small dock and set of canoes in Bowness Park, here in Calgary. It actually reminded me of Dad, and one of the ways I believe he found rhythm and comfort in his life. Our family had a lovely little cabin at Anglin Lake in Saskatchewan. As it was just a three hour drive from Saskatoon we spent many summer weekends there when I was young.

I remember all the early mornings Dad took our ‘Alumacraft’ canoe and his camera gear, and headed down to the lake. He’d paddle and drift, allowing the morning light to set the stage for his photographs. He’d capture the lake at it’s most still, and the loons as they were waking up and calling to announce the arrival of morning. He noticed every little detail; the bits of sparkle on the water; all the foliage and forest around the lake that got set aglow by the sunrise. And the way he captured it all in his photographs made it seem even more magical.

So seeing these little canoes in my photo albums brought me back to those days. It made me think of how content Dad must have felt on his early-morning canoe rides. Savoring some time alone on the lake to bask in the quiet and the warmth of the sun; to listen to the ‘dip, dip, sploop’ rhythm of his oar as he made his way across the lake, following the call of the loon.

Please note that because this painting has been created in oil, it can take up to 3-4 weeks to dry and fully cure enough to safely deliver to you. Thanks so much for your understanding.

Simple Comforts

‘Simple Comforts’
9″x9″ Unframed Oil on Canvas
by Cheryl Peddie

‘Simple Comforts’ is the second painting of my new ‘In the Bath’ series. While creating this piece I was reflecting on challenges. I’ve noticed in my life, that just the way I’ve thought about some problems, has often caused me even more problems. I think folks often respond to problems in a few classic ways.

I’ve been a ‘judger’. I told myself that I ‘shouldn’t’ feel bad about this problem because ‘other people had it worse’. (You can also tell you’re judging yourself when you think that the problem happened because you were too lazy/uninspired/dull-witted – you name it – to prevent it from happening in the first place.) And therefore… as the often-unconscious reasoning went… I ‘deserved’ the problem. So again, I told myself ‘shouldn’t’ feel badly about it. I’ve also been a ‘blamer’ – with knee-jerk reactions that this must have been someone’s ‘fault’. Now, I’m a ‘self-blamer’ so usually my target was ‘me’. But blame can also be directed outwards – at people, at situations. And I’ll fess up… I’ve been guilty of that too. The thing is, approaching my challenges in those ways not only make me feel worse, it never actually helped me solve the problem.

But I also noticed what has happened when I redirected my focus. Rather than looking directly at the problem and wracking my brain for ‘why’ it happened (which never ended well), I instead looked at myself and thought about how I felt because the problem simply existed. No judgement about how I should have felt. Or why the situation arose in the first place.

And it was that ever-so-subtle shift in consciousness that radically changed my response. I could finally feel compassion for myself. When I was in that safe place, I could then do kind things for myself – like enjoy a lovely bath, pretty lotions and candles – to soothe the hurt and the stress. What was key here, was that although the problem still existed, I felt better.

Then, what also intrigued me, was that once I was feeling more comforted, I could then access a richer variety of creative ways to solve my problem. I had a direction. I had options. I wasn’t ‘stuck’ anymore. Not only was it freeing, it also made me feel proud of myself and more self-confident.

I think this is why it’s so important to have things in our lives that brings us comfort. Doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive – even some nice lotion and a pretty candle will do. Hopefully as with my experience, it might put you in touch with that soothing place of self-compassion; and then into the richness of your own creativity and problem-solving abilities. Thanks so much for reading.