Yorkshire born and bred, London living, Canada dreaming.
Picked up my first piece of paper and pencil (or should that be felt-tip pen?) at 2 years old - have been constantly doodling, scribbling and colouring ever since.
Now starting to make my characters achieve the ultimate leap onto both the small and big screen.
Happy Thanksgiving! Why am I saying Thanksgiving this early? Because I’m talking about Canadian Thanksgiving! 🇨🇦🍁🦃
While it’s often thought of as the quintessential American autumnal celebration, Thanksgiving in Canada actually predates the arrival of the pilgrims to America by about half a century. It’s said that Martin Frobisher first observed the celebration on his 1578 voyage to the famed Northwest Passage, the gateway to Asia from Europe. His celebration was soon copied by French colonists and Americans who remained loyal to Britain, who brought over turkey and pumpkins from down south, making Thanksgiving the occasion it is today. Canadian Thanksgiving is observed a month before its southern cousin, every second Monday in October.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers and followers, and take pride in the fact you celebrate Thanksgiving first! 😉😄
The temperatures are coming down, and so are the leaves on the trees. Autumn has arrived! 🍂🍁
After the heat of the summer, cooler days are back again. But the cold of winter hasn’t set in yet, so it’s the perfect time to have some autumnal fun in the forest!
The Big Canadian Three’s Autumn Adventure
The Denoons’ Autumn Adventure
To celebrate the new season, I’ve drawn not one, but two artworks. While the characters differ between each one, they are basically the same, both being in the same forest. These are a sort of follow-up to the artwork I drew for autumn last year, but with more focus on the natural environment.
The first picture stars the big Canadian three – Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. I’ve tended to be drawing them more in recent months, in an attempt to go beyond Nova Scotia and the Atlantic provinces. They’ve also received a major re-design – Toronto is now of South Asian descent, and Vancouver is of English and Chinese/Korean descent, which more closely matches their real-life demographics. Montreal, while still staying white, now has some Irish and Scottish in him in addition to French Canadian, and he now wears Montreal Canadiens hockey wear. They all have suitably warm yet breathy clothes for the cool autumn breezes. In his hand, Montreal holds a red maple leaf – the everlasting emblem of Canada everywhere. 🍁🇨🇦
The second picture stars the Denoon family – Pictou, Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton, Like Montreal, Pictou also holds a leaf in his hands, but it’s three leaves rather than just one. I like to think that there’s one leaf for each member of the family. 😁
All the leaves were drawn by hand, so no two are the same, giving each one a unique shape. They were also each coloured individually, vividly creating the fiery reds, oranges, yellows and earthy browns of autumn – the last burst of natural colour before the greys of winter.
I’m posting this on the first day of October, which means it’s also time to get spooky! 🎃👻
I’ve been spending the weekend in Oxford! Well, not really the weekend – it was only for half a day – but it was still at the weekend.
Known the world over for its university, Oxford is older than the Aztec Empire. Its relative closeness to London (about an hour and a half by car) makes it perfect for a day-trip out to see the architecture that dates back to Anglo-Saxon times. As expected for a university town, people come to see the university buildings, but its industries also range from publishing (the world-famous Oxford Dictionary of English is printed by the university press) to car manufacture.
Oxford was one of the few English cities to avoid the Blitz in World War II, though it was one of the main centres of evacuees fleeing from London, which suffered the most damage. In more recent years, mostly thanks to the university, Oxford is one of England’s most diverse small cities, with immigrants mostly from South Asia bringing their distinctive cuisine to the city’s restaurants. And I had food from immigrants when I first arrived in the city, with pizza. 😁🍕
Because we had arrived rather late in the day (it was around 2pm when we got there), we didn’t spend much time in Oxford, but it was just enough to see the city centre and some of the attractions. The high street was bustling with markets, buskers and street performers, including a fiddler on a tightrope (sounds dangerous) and a saxophonist. Alongside all the modern chain stores and traffic, there was a lot of historical architecture – some dating back to the time of Elizabeth I. The historic Welsh College sits right in the middle of Oxford High Street.
At the end of the high street is a massive park, with what appears to be a traditional English country house and garden, and a church building. A willow and maple tree hanging over the river gave a Japanese-inspired flavour to the gardens. With the coming autumn, the climbing ivy turned a rich shade of scarlet, providing a dramatic contrast against the beige brick walls – perfect for a photo.
As I said before, we didn’t stay long in Oxford, but before we went back, I got to stop over at one of the markets on the high street, and added two more members to my ever-growing crystal family: a lapis lazuli teardrop and a white lace agate. (At least I think it’s lapis, it looks blue enough.)
I may have only been in Oxford for at least three hours, but it’s already attracted me with its big-city feel cosmopolitanism blended with small-town hospitality and closeness. To quote the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator films:
Since I’ve been down, unsure about life and stressed I’ve been trying lots of new ways to calm myself, ground and centre me. I’ve taken up yoga and meditation classes which are helping a lot, and also taken a keen interest in crystals and crystal healing. I’ve always been interested in crystals my first one was a rose quartz then I got some blue algate, then people gave me some crystals and after beginning meditation my collection began more and I wanted to gain more knowledge about these beautiful and powerful crystals.
The Power of Crystal Healing By Emma Lucy Knowles
This book was the perfect “starter” book, it gave simple ways on how to cleanse, use and purchase crystals. The book has beautiful imagery and photography throughout. Emma lists lots of crystals and also alternatives which have similar properties. The one thing I didn’t like about this book is…