Saturday, December 10, 2016

Snow Day in the Woods

After clearing the driveway, I decided to visit the local forest. Geared up with my camera, snow boots and a warm winter jacket I was good to go. Apart from the occasional bird, the woods were quite except for the sound of melting snow falling from the branches and my footsteps. I did hear a Northern Flicker following me, its song echoed in the valley. Amazing that it survives these cold winter months. The snow accented the already spectacular visual landscape and as I got away into the deep woods the more enchanted the forest became. The sound of a nearby stream, my crunchy footsteps and snow dropping from branches got me into a meditative trance, walking and lost in the now.  We are lucky to have such access to connect with nature.

In this forest I have seen black bears, deer, raccoons and coyotes and even heard reports of occasional cougars. Its early December and the bears are hibernating, the cougars typically avoid human contact and the coyotes keep their distance. In any case, it is pretty safe as animal contact is rare and we respectfully co-exist.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fraser & Harrison Eagles Arrive

The salmon have arrived in force with the annual migration of the eagles from Alaska to feast. I spent a day on an boat on the Fraser and Harrison river. It was raining hard, not cold, the boat was covered and carried about a dozen. I leaned over windows and the deck to get choice photos. We saw about 150 eagles, lots of seagulls and herons. What an amazing spectacle of nature.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

This Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus), of the woodpecker family. These woodpeckers are common in the open spaces by mountain forests.

Here it was foraging on the ground for ants and other insects. It eats many berries especially in the fall. This picture was taken close to a stream and dense forest. It has unmistakable ringing calls that come in short bursts.  

Here is a recording on an awesome site: 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Ghostly Tree

Where the inlet meets the sea, this ghostly looking tree has been colonized by ravens. It is a vantage point to the shallows and the rocky shore that also provides cool water and crayfish. I passed this tree often and never thought to capture it until I saw a friend paint a similar tree. A dead tree that hides in the shadows. Beutiful form and balanced like a swan song.

Monday, June 13, 2016


Every so often, I get a great shot. I sat on the steps and waited for this hummingbird. It was cold with dark rain clouds, then as if by magic the sun appeared through the rain and the humming came to feed. That is the moment when I got this shot, the light after the rain is great for photography. My backyard today, happy and blessed to see hummingbirds at my new house (first early summer). Planted Jasmine, fuchsia, bleeding hearts (indigenous to the area)  and scarlet runner beans for these beautiful  birds to enjoy. To the Haida of the Pacific Northwest, the hummingbird is a symbol of love and beauty. 

There were two hummingbird visitors, both territorial. Their sharp clicking sounds and ariel acrobatic fights amaze and amuse me. What is it the hummingbird sees?, It lives in a world of scents, colours and nectar operating in another time dimension. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Bird on a Rock

Three Geese Chicks

Canada Geese Chicks - Early June 2016

Two Frogs

Frogs exist in two worlds, water and land. They are the spirit helpers of the shamans and inhabit diverse realms of both the natural and supernatural.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Fallen Tree Roots

I think this would make an awesome painting or an ink brush with a touch of water colour

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Crystal Falls Hike

I walked with a friend, it took a little over an hour to get to the falls from Burke mountain. The terrain was pretty flat and we walked at a relaxed pace. We were soaking up the scenery including the variety of slugs, snails and bugs. There were high points with spectacular views of the forest as the morning light filtered through the green forest canopy. Each reflection made the trees and leaves look different, artistic and poetic. There was a light wind and the air was fresh. The creeks were easy to cross as they were not full, I heard that they can get muddy with high waters. There were a couple of places where we walked around the water, before straddling Coquitlam river. The air was fresh and cool by Crystal falls with a light wind.

B.C sure gets green after the spring rains 

Amazing how thick and mossy the coastal rainforests can get.

Met a few people and dogs on the trails, no bears though. British Columbia has been gifted with so many such places, quite common really.  I could not have said it better than this video by Destination British Columbia

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Burke Mountain Hike

Photo log of my hike up Burke mountain to Sawblade falls about a 2.5 hour trek (plus or minus stops) from the end of Harper road on a hot afternoon on April 18th. A good neighbour introduced me to the trail. I thought I might see bears as there have been some sightings in the area, but no luck - probably because we were talking a lot. I had bear spray with me, just in case the bears got friendly. The first little bit was steep and I was out of breath as this was my first major hike of the season. I caught my breath once the trails levelled off, the rest was a medium difficulty for me. Seeing Sawblade falls was worth it.  It was hot, a bit cooler in the forest. Its amazing once we got close the the falls, how cold it got. I had a t-shirt and shorts on and as I got closer to the falls it was like an ice box. I stayed hypnotized by the view and sound of the falls for some time, despite the freezing temperature at the base of the falls. I was covered in in a cold mist, my glasses were too. What a great day, yoga in the morning, afternoon hike and warm evening on the deck. As I write this blog the day after the hike, my body is calling for a rest day. I guess I will take it's advice.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Digitizing the art of Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)

Artists are inspired to create; their work has feeling and style. Jackson Pollock created his masterpieces with drips and splats of paint, and by pouring cans of paint on a large canvas. 

This got me started on decomposing the creative process by drawing on my experience and studying the creative processes of famous people. Creativity comes from experimentation, exploration and making connections to develop interesting work.  My creative process starts with research based on a handful of ideas or a problem to solve and periods of incubation followed by illumination and sometimes resignation.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Mighty Fraser River

Morning walk along the mighty Fraser river today - love the landscape, cloud formations and light

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Processing Koi Fish Movement

First before I dive into the narrative, let me say that I love how koi fish move, their colours and patterns. Thanks to a computer language called Processing ( I could develop this visualization (play the video below).  It is an observation of a natural occurrence, and nature I believe has a lot to teach.

The generative art is based on koi fish movement, but more precisely it is based on the invisible paths that the fish travel along. In this case confined to the rectangular screen canvas or a pond if you will. I found this movement beautiful, rhythmic and harmonic. In the visualization I played with colours and with the size of the ball. Perhaps the ball size could represent depth, the deeper the fish goes the smaller the ball gets. The movement is pulsating, that is the circles shrink and grow along the circular path.

I started with the koi fish water colour art shown below, but my curiosity quickly deteriorated into a study of movement. 

Koi fish painting using water colour, pen and ink

The images at the bottom are different experiments with size, colour and shape. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Sweet Dreams

Started with a snowy winter tree on the right, then went Ralf Steadman for no good reason 

Monday, January 18, 2016

You’ll never hear an owl

Watercolour and Ink 8x11

This predator has an advantage of stealth and silence. The owl’s round face and big eyes are often associated with wisdom. Early one winter morning as I was walking past a cottonwood-lined trail by a river, I walked right past an owl perched about eye level and an arms length away. As my eye caught it, the owl rotated it’s head an watched me. Although I got a good look, I decided to let it go on about its business and just cherish the image in my minds eye while keeping the gift of the encounter. 

I take pictures of our natural environment and paint to learn more deeply from our earth. The earth after all has thousands of years of wisdom as Janine Benyus writes in her book. I am currently reading her book slowly with deliberate pauses, Biomimicry – Innovation Inspired by Nature