Heart Mosaic in the Garden

A mosaic of stones, coins, and jewellery had been growing in our front garden box since May, but it wasn’t until late August that the idea for a heart border took root. Heart-shattered by the hatred in Charlottesville that led to death of Heather Heyer on August 12th, gathering these shards and bits of ephemera into a positive shape helped raise my spirits. A couple of weeks after the August mosaic-shaping, I was in the process of adding more buttons and beads when my neighbour and her four young daughters came over to look at the garden heart.

Hoping that mosaic-embellishment might be entertaining for the children, I entrusted them with my box of decorations and went to fetch some glue. I was very grateful for the girls’ collaboration, for thanks to their sowing of beads, bedazzling of flowers, and gluing of googly eyes, the heart mosaic became more alive. Before taking off for a dinner engagement that evening, I went back inside the house to gather more supplies and offered them to the girls for their own outdoor art. By the time I returned from the outing, a box of soil containing the gorgeous composition below was sitting on my neighbor’s lawn.

The following morning, a Saturday, the outdoor mosaic theme continued to evolve with the same box showcasing a new arrangement and the words Peace and Love.

Peace and Love

The children’s artwork affected me deeply, and I found myself wishing its creative faith could dissolve destructive ideologies once and for all. What if a box of dirt, flowers, and love could reach people like the 45th president who lean dangerously towards fascism? No matter their current spiritual condition, a Peace and Love Art Box could remind them that once, long ago, they might have lovingly spelled God’s name on a leaf with glue or promoted peace with pebbles, paper flowers, and pennies.

What stops humanity from planting love instead of hate when heroes like Martin Luther King Jr., James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, Medgar Evers, and Heather Heyer paid for Love’s truth with their lives?

Impressions of Toogood Pond, Scarborough Civic Centre, and David Balfour Trail

Toogood Pond, Unionville Ontario
Toogood Pond, Unionville Ontario
Toogood Pond, Unionville Ontario
Scarborough Civic Centre
Scarborough Civic Centre
David Balfour Trail
David Balfour Trail
David Balfour Trail, Train Bridge
David Balfour Trail, Train Bridge
David Balfour Trail, Train Bridge
David Balfour Trail, Train Bridge

Anonymous Penny Exchange

Although pennies are no longer in circulation in Canada, the forest economy is different. Last May I found a 1978 Canadian penny on the forest floor of Serena Gundy Park. I shifted it to a curved patch of moss for a photo and left it there.

Penny Found on the Forest Floor, Serena Gundy Park

Two months later, I followed the same trail, and to my surprise I saw a penny in almost the same spot! It was a different one though, stamped with the year 2007. It rested just beside the moss patch, possibly nudged from it by a curious animal.

Serena Gundy Park

Thank you, mysterious hiker, for creating an anonymous penny exchange! If I had had a penny with me, I would have extended the game. As it was, I took a picture and let the coin remain there for the next pair of wondering eyes.

Photography Moments: Late Winter to Spring 2017

Serena Gundy Park
Sunnybrook Park
Highland Creek
Highland Creek
Chain Fence Reflected in a Puddle by Farlinger Ravine
Fire Illusion 1 (Streetlight and Plastic Bag in Tree)
Fire Illusion 2
Iris in the Rain, William Jewell College
Reflection of Footbridge Over the Creek, Liberty MO
Taylor Massey Creek
Serena Gundy Park
Near Scarborough Golf Club, Markham Road
Gatineau Trail
Peonies in the Garden, Scarborough
Peonies in the Garden
Cherry Stack Hollow, Wexford Woods

Kildeer on Her Nest, Milne Dam Conservation Park

Milne Dam Conservation Park

Peace Flow and Peace Divine Booty: Two Collaborative Collages

Peace Flow, by Sheilah McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016
Peace Flow, by Sheilagh McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016

Peace Flow emerged in August of 2016 as part of a Journey Dance dedicated to peace led by Shielagh McGlynn.

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Peace Flow, by Sheilagh McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016

Sheilagh, Cate Laurier, and I started the piece at The Inner Arts Collective, and then I took it home to fill in some spaces and add finishing touches.

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Peace Flow, by Sheilah McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016
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Peace Flow, by Sheilagh McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016
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Peace Flow, by Sheilagh McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016
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Peace Flow, by Sheilagh McGlynn, Cate Laurier, and Catherine Raine 2016

A year after Peace Flow was completed, Sheilagh felt called to offer another Journey Dance for Peace, and I joined her at Pegasus Studio for a reprise of the beautiful music.

Peace Divine Booty, Sheilagh McGlynn and Catherine Raine, 2017

A collage session followed the dance, which gave us a chance to catch up as we tore and cut selected images. We had an especially good laugh over using alphabet stickers to spell “Booty” in honour of what Macy Gray had encouraged us to shake in her song “Beauty in the World.” (The vowels e, a, u in the alphabet pack had been used at my last collage workshop, so two o’s were pressed into service to spell booty/beauty).

Peace Divine Booty, Sheilagh McGlynn and Catherine Raine, 2017

As time was limited at the studio, the piece went home with me for some additional work. In the process, a peace bird, a river, a dream fish, and a feathered dancing figure appeared on the circle of green paper.

Peace Divine Booty, Sheilagh McGlynn and Catherine Raine 2017
Peace Divine Booty, Sheilagh McGylnn and Catherine Raine 2017
Peace Divine Booty, Sheilagh McGylnn and Catherine Raine 2017
Peace Divine Booty, Sheilagh McGylnn and Catherine Raine 2017

Peace. Divine. Booty. All one for a harmonious planet!

Exploring Centennial College’s Vision Statement with Collage-Making

On February 28th, I facilitated a collage workshop for Centennial College’s 2017 Teaching and Learning Symposium. In this one-hour session, I invited faculty to experience collage-making from the perspective of post-secondary students in the classroom.

Working individually and in small groups, nine participants gathered and arranged images to illustrate Centennial College’s vision statement: “transforming lives and communities through learning.” The resulting visions-of-the-vision-statement beautifully express what transformative learning means to our community of educators.

Alyssa’s Collage
Barb’s Collage
Shannon’s Collage
Asaad’s Collage
Asaad’s Collage
Natalie’s Collage
Natalie’s Collage
Bushra’s Collage
Mandy and Srishti’s Collage
Mandy and Srishti’s Collage

A Collage Assortment

Swirling Fire-Flower Bookmark, Catherine Raine 2016

Aquatic Garden, Catherine Raine 2017
Aquatic Garden, Catherine Raine 2017
Aquatic Garden, Catherine Raine 2017
Aquatic Garden, Catherine Raine 2017
Groovy Goose Collage, Catherine Raine 2017
Detail from Groovy Goose Collage, Catherine Raine 2017
Groovy Goose Collage, Catherine Raine 2017
Detail from Groovy Goose Collage, Catherine Raine 2017
Bookmark and Forest Paper Doll, Catherine Raine 2017
Layers of Orange Bookmark, Catherine Raine 2017
Three Hatted Birds, Catherine Raine 2017
Detail from Three Hatted Birds, Catherine Raine 2017
Detail from Three Hatted Birds, Catherine Raine 2017
Detail from Three Hatted Birds, Catherine Raine 2017
Detail from Three Hatted Birds, Catherine Raine 2017

Sea Urchin of Mystery, Catherine Raine 2017
Symphony of Waves, Catherine Raine 2017
Purple Reaction, Catherine Raine 2017

Dancing Paper Figure for Greta, Catherine Raine 2017
Dancing Paper Figure for Greta, Catherine Raine 2017

Dancing Paper Figure for Greta, Catherine Raine 2017
Memorial Candle for Dad, Catherine Raine 2017

 

Photostudies for Winter 2016-2017

Frozen Puddle, Scarborough 2016

St. Louis, Missouri Tree
Taylor Massey Creek, Scarborough

Serena Gundy Park, Toronto

 

Serena Gundy Park

 

Morningside Park
Morningside Park
Morningside Park
Taylor Massey Creek
Birkdale Ravine
Taylor Massey Creek
E. T. Seton Park
E. T. Seton Park
Taylor Massey Creek
E. T. Seton Park
Birchdale Ravine
Taylor Massey Creek
Taylor Massey Creek
Taylor Massey Creek
Clayton Missouri
Taylor Massey Creek
Wilket Creek

Gesture Studies with Windsock Model

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Sky Star Pose

Near the beginning of an extended walk last November, I became transfixed by a tall flapping windsock outside a bakery. I ended up taking over seventy pictures of the wind-animated figure, and each one had a different pose. It was like receiving a free art class on the topic of gesture studies!

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Smiling with Abandon into the Beyond
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Drop Me in the River

It’s astonishing how expressive fabric can be when it composes a long tube for the body, two hollow arms, and a head with strips of black cloth for hair. The different angles of the head and arms as well as various bends in the body’s “spine” gave strong impressions of joy, fatigue, despair, sass, embarrassment, playfulness, surrender, overwhelm, triumph, and humor.

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Bliss Float
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The Stretch Just After Waking

I managed to reduce the number of pictures by more than half, but I still need to ask viewers’ indulgence for the quantity of images posted here. (Sending a big thank you to Veronica Paloma for her thoughtful comments on these photos when I first posted them on Facebook last fall and for providing ideas for the titles “Bliss Float,” “Cheerleader,” and “Responding to the Latin Beat.”)

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Freedom to Be a Willow
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Salute to Freedom
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Taken Way Aback
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Shy Greeting
Overcome by the Giggles
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Marching Just Because I Want to March in the Wind
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Don’t Underestimate My Biceps Just Because I Am a Windsock. I Will Flex at You Until You Are Convinced!
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You Rang?
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Fetch Me My Fainting Couch!
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Horizontal Rocket Launch
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Temporary Lack of Insight
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Be Still My Hollow Heart!
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Windsock Means Business
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My Apologies
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Cheerleader
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Responding to the Call of the Salsa Beat
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Fill the Frame with Joy
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Awkward Conversation
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I Wish I Could Complete This Cartwheel
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Defiantly Awkward
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Gracious Welcome
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This Trampoline Is Awesome!
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Blown Back by a Temporary Obstacle
Victory

… by Catherine Raine