Diane MacDonald


(posted on 31 Jul 2018)

Summer - art exhibitions abound indoors and out.  For the 22nd year Art off the Fence showcased amazing
art on South Pender Island at the Church of the Good Shepherd.  Along with good food and great music, 
beautiful artwork drew several hundred visitors to the two day show.  
Below: the crowd at the show alongside one of my sold works:



In its 32nd year, The Sooke Fine Arts Show is taking place NOW - the SFAS opened Friday July 27th
and closes Monday August 6th.  The show offers a breathtaking collection of marvellous artwork. 
Below, the display greeting show visitors; beside it my Leaf Filigree.
(For the first time this year visitors were welcome to take pictures).




The art show in Sooke became an excuse for a short motorhome get-away. Eons ago we were resident
in Victoria for many years but had not visited the Sooke potholes. Luckily we arrived early Friday before
the hordes descended.  It's easy to see why this natural attraction draws both camera buffs and thrill-seekers.  



Saturday we drove north from Sooke to China Beach - from there we hiked to Mystic Beach enjoying
what the Japanese call "forest bathing".  Much of the time our eyes were glued to the ground - no trees were chopped in the building of the Juan de Fuca Trail and there are thousands of trip-able roots - roots that keep
the trees standing and are determined to leave hikers prone!  The middle photo depicts a
representative portion of the trail. 




Two challenging kilometres later we arrived at Mystic Beach, fog bank in the background -
worth the hike.  After a lovely lunch respite we traversed the roots back to our car.  Friends had 
recommended a stop at nearby Foggy Mountain Forge - a fascinating experience worth repeating.



Sunday we travelled across island to Crofton.  That afternoon we watched a self-propelled motorized
hang glider, launching himself airborne from the beach.  Yesterday we drove to nearby Cowichan Bay for
lunch - there is a wonderful historical boat museum situated on the wharf (free).  Fun, too, 
to see the colourful float homes at the marina.



We returned home with happy memories and a new idea for containing potted plants!


(posted on 20 Jul 2018)

Setting up for Art off the Fence today - the show runs tomorrow and Sunday, 11 to 4.  

And the Sooke Fine Arts Show opens Thursday - I'm pleased to have had two pieces accepted into the show.  A feast for the eyes, the show runs for 11 days - more info at http://sookefinearts.com

(posted on 6 Jul 2018)

Counting down!  Two weeks to go until Art off the Fence on beautiful South Pender Island!  Music, food, and an art extravaganza all under the trees at the Church of the Good Shepherd.  Mark your calendars!

(posted on 29 Jun 2018)

We hope you will add a visit to Sea Star Vineyards to your long weekend agenda.  You will find an art extravaganza to enjoy along with Sea Star's exquisite wines - a celebratory combination on this Canada Day Weekend.    Show opens tonight and continues Saturday and Sunday. 

(posted on 12 Jun 2018)

Red Tree Artists will be featured at Sea Star Vineyards over the Canada Day Weekend - we're excited to be showing as a group for the first time since our beloved gallery at Hope Bay closed.  The show opens Friday, June 29th at 4; details on poster below.

I will be showing three Sea Script images that I think reflect the beauty and texture
of the ocean that surrounds and sustains us.


We hope that our loyal gallery followers along with friends and family 
will find their way to Sea Star for wonderful artwork,
exquisite wines, gourmet hors d'ouvres, and melodious bass and guitar music by Cole Dine.








(posted on 30 Apr 2018)

Wendy came to Pender Island about the same time I did, and came to glass art about the time I started taking photography seriously.  We enjoyed working together and collaborated on multiple projects.  It is a year since she passed away too suddenly, too young. Both her person and her talent are worth celebrating and remembering.  With that in mind, I put together a book of photographs of her glass - to view the book, go to 



(posted on 2 Apr 2018)

The maps led us out of the snow and back home - we completed the circle today and were greeted
by (chilly) sunshine on Pender.


Enroute we passed through Shanika, an Oregon ghost town where the only peopled place in the
flat desert landscape was the electrically coloured general store.


Our final travel highlight - the narrow, tunnelled Washington-side road along the Columbia
River Gorge.  The grandeur of sheer cliffs cascading into white-capped water was paralleled by
the man-made roadside attractions including a full-size replica of Stonehenge, completed in 1930,
built as a memorial to those who died in WW1.

A challenge to see in the small image below, but I was intrigued by framed glimpses of modern 
windmills on the adjacent hillside.

Nearby is the Maryhill Museum of Art, beautifully situated on the high bluffs overlooking the river
and filled with an eclectic collection of art including more than 80 sculptures by Auguste Rodin,
objects from the palace of the queen of Romania (!), European and American paintings, a
stunning collection of chess sets from around the world, and rotating special exhibitions.


Outdoors there are intriguing sculptures - here two views of a metal runner.


After rewarding visits with family over Easter week - the mandatory ferry ride that necessarily
bookends any Pender arrival/departure.

We knew our circle was complete when we found ourselves amid the moss-covered trees of
(almost) home!

(posted on 26 Mar 2018)

This penultimate week of vacation indulgence takes us from mere miles from the Mexican border to mid-Oregon, from cactus and tumbleweed to forests of pine, from shirt-sleeve heat to turtle-neck cold.  

The small frontier town of Ajo California welcomes visitors with eye-catching murals, some even
extending across the sidewalk.  The second shot below, a close-up of part of the first photo, 
shows the fun and somewhat disorienting sidewalk.


Many murals express the sentiments of the artist as in the mural below.

From Ajo we began the long trek north, stopping to linger in Las Vegas for a day trip to the 
Valley of Fire.  The valley lives up to its name - roads and trails through fiery red rocks 
rivalling the grandeur of the park's nearby cousins - Bryce and Zion. Even a smaller desert-
variety of bighorn sheep!



Those 'slits' through the rock piles are part of the roadway in and out of the park.  Below - even
a slot canyon!



And, not far north of Vegas, Death Valley.  Our third time, and the vistas as gripping and
mesmerizing as the first.  Love the curvy one-way road though the aptly named
"Artists' Palatte Drive'.



We hit a bit of a wall on the west side of Death Valley when we encountered foreboding winter
storm warnings in the High Sierra Mountains.  "Carry chains" - like we'd even be able to mount
them if we had them!  We diverted east to Nevada where we found no snow but considerable
rain and significant winds buffeting us with frightening strength - didn't seem to bother the
big-rig driver passing us.


After that long and challenging day, even awakening to snow on a subsequent morning was
welcome - that's our motorhome reflected in the lake. Knowing the wind had dropped and the sun 
would quickly melt the snow was comforting, as was being being back in familiar vegetation.


Next time I post will be from home.  Happy Easter wherever you are!


(posted on 17 Mar 2018)

Still in desert territory - for the past couple of weeks we've been hiking, exploring, and
marvelling at the diversity of vegetation and the gravity-defying rock formations of Arizona.

We spent a week with friends hiking and golfing, keeping ourselves fuelled by exquisite
chocolate made by a Canadian who opened a gourmet shop in downtown Prescott.



From there we moved on to the Tucson area where we hiked in State Parks and National Monuments -
we found well marked and maintained trails of varying difficulty and were blessed with wonderful
walking weather - not too hot and a thin cloud cover to veil the sun.






Fun to explore the ghost towns and see the vehicular decoration - the hand painted box of the
truck above makes our rig mundane by comparison!  Hmmm... 



(posted on 4 Mar 2018)

Flying right along...

from picking the juiciest of oranges at our campground in Bakersfield, to admiring the beauty
and drama of a very different landscape - definitely no longer coastal! 



Above and below, Joshua Tree National Park.  To my eye, individual Joshua trees have nothing
to recommend them; in combination they create a strange, even weird, captivating environment.
We were lucky to have bright sun and ominous clouds, underlining the strangeness of the 
landscape and vegetation.  The photo on the right below is of cholla cacti - rivalling the surrounding
Joshua trees for spookiness.


A super moon ushered in the month of March, lovely rising over the mountains that ring Palm Springs.


And Sunnylands, the magnificent desert escape for presidents and celebrities from all walks
of life - guests of the Annenberg Estate by invitation.  Visitors are allowed into a portion
of the gardens and estate only when no dignitaries are in retreat at Sunnylands.



The manicured lush and luxurious landscape of Palm Springs is welcome contrast to the barren
desert.  Now headed further inland to friends in Arizona where it snowed just a few days ago.

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