Happy Mother’s Day to all!



Christmas 2018

Greetings Everyone!

It is that time of year again and my leader informs me – Myles – that it is my turn to practice my creative writing skills.We are apparently very well although one of us is getting creakier, slower and stupid. This a great challenge for the one who is getting younger and is very active.

Jean is very involved in her artistic endeavours with calligraphy societies, art workshops and calligraphy workshops. She puts her considerable skills to work in the preparation of posters for church and miscellaneous events, greeting cards and artwork, She is the coordinator, editor and publisher of the CWL and Calligraphy Society newsletters. She is also very involved with church activities  as a volunteer at  funeral receptions, greeter and participant in Faith formation groups. Her main interest remains the family and their development. We help with getting Lauren to her skating practices and occasionally with her studies. We share dog walking duties for Lola and Inka, the Lewis’s dogs. We do not see Janet and Molly as much since they are very busy with their educational pursuits.

I seem to be more and more busy with less and less. I play golf badly along with a motley group of peers. We attempt to play year round but our regimen of two games a week has diminished to one except in fine weather- mostly Summer and Fall. I dog walk, do chores and hang out. I have recently enjoyed participating in an interesting Alpha program at church.

2018 has been a good year for seeing and doing things. Our activities have been based locally in BC except for our long-awaited Alaska Cruise.

With no air travel, the Alaska trip was especially pleasing. We could take a city bus to the Cruise terminal, and return home the same way. We had spectacular weather for the whole trip. Our smaller ship was able to enter some of the smaller ports in Alaska such as Wrangell, Sitka and Haines plus the larger ports of Juneau and Ketchikan.  We visited two impressive glaciers and visited a small corner of the Yukon on a land excursion. The folks in Alaska were extra friendly and it was easy to feel at home wherever we went. Our final port was Victoria which is always impressive and interesting.

Other local adventures included a day trip to Bowen Island, a ride on the Sea-to-Sky gondola at Squamish, a tour of the railway museum at Squamish, outings to Riefel bird sanctuary in Delta, a day trip to Lynden WA and Whiterock, shopping excursions for art supplies to Bellingham and Seattle. And there were the tulip festival, Harrison Hot Springs and Mission to visit the Abbey.

Our favourite adventure took us to Lillooet for a train ride on the Kaoham shuttle to Seton Portage. After our adventure on the train we planned to return to Vancouver by a different route. We were boxed between two landslides but luckily were able to return to Lillooet and get a hotel room.  Visited Devil’s Canyon on the way back.

Randy, Jennifer and Lauren are healthy and very busy.  Neither  Randy nor Jennifer realize that they are revising the reputation of the civil service by trying to do everything themselves, Lauren is very busy with school work in Grade 10 while participating in an ambitious and competitive  figure skating program with the Vancouver Skating club. They all had a great holiday in France for a change of pace. 

Janet is working on a Master’s degree while working as a coordinator for placement of student teachers at Simon Fraser University (SFU). She is on loan from the Vancouver school board to fill this function. She is hoping that she will be able to continue for a 3rd year if SFU and VSB agree. Janet had her own ambitious  special adventure by walking across England from the Irish Sea to the North Sea. 

Molly is also at SFU in 2nd year business. She is also a happy over-achiever with many interests and committees. She is also a teacher’s assistant for a freshman class.  She is one of very few who may make a profit while going to university. 

Sadly, 2018 brought some grief as family members and friends left us and others have become incapacitated in some way.  Randy’s mother, Jean, died at the age of 100 but earlier in the year, she was able to celebrate her birthday as she always did,  with a very large number of her extended family. She knew them all. 

Our Christmas season will include attendance at some choral concerts, some gatherings with friends, some church events and a family Christmas dinner at our home. 

2019 still has a relatively clean slate so far. The only major item is a plan for a Spring Break Caribbean cruise with the Randy, Jennifer and Lauren. (Do you think that Jean and I should be going to Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break?)

 Happy Christmas to all  – and every good wish for 2019.  from Myles and Jean

NOTE: There are photos from 2018 in our Photos section and some of Jean’s artwork in the Gallery. Apologies for the advertising …those are extra from WordPress!

Winter sketch classes finished

I have really enjoyed my classes last fall and winter with Alfonso Tejada. I took the classes hoping to improve with my sketching style and loosen up generally. Plein air classes when possible….A fun class with a relaxed and humorous teacher and some really great classmates. I have uploaded some of the sketches on my Gallery page… Here is one too.


Posted in Art

Working on Portraits

Watercolour class.
My teacher set us to working on monochrome portraits from photographs she supplied…men’s faces this week. I found the choices all a bit too handsome, and looking like male models for perfume but it was a good exercise.
Unfinished but I ran out of time. I have added the portrait to my Gallery. I think we get to look at skin tones/colours this week. Hope the faces are a bit more realistic and weathered.

I took a one day class on sketchbook – urban sketching with Elizabeth Cox and hope there will be a follow-up. I’d love to be ready to enjoy sketching on my vacations. Still find that blank journal page a bit daunting.

There is a class coming up at Westcoast Calligraphy about carving stamps and mono printing. Also a programme on journaling. I am very fortunate to have such opportunities for learning and growing in my efforts towards art.

Posted in Art

6 Techniques for Calligraphers

A class last weekend….with the always excellent teacher, Martin Jackson.
This is a class I repeated. I first took it some years ago as a very new calligrapher and had forgotten much of what I learned that weekend. Still a wonderful class with very useful techniques to be used in many projects. All patiently explained by Martin.

6 techniques
Martin Jackson

Louis Lemoine

A weekend class with Louis is a magical experience with a joyful man who loves his work with Disney Studios in California and loves letters – especially decorative and playful letters. A good and supportive teacher and an entertainer extraordinaire. What else can I say? It is a privilege to be able to meet and learn from instructors like Louis. Thanks always to Westcoast Calligraphy Society and the hard work and talents of the volunteers who organize such events. An exemplar below and – following that, some of my practice efforts.


Louis Exemplar
Louis Exemplar

Louis Exemplar


Practice sheet – Mine

Neuland plus Script class

Very good class given by Violet Smythe on the use of Koch’s Neuland letters with an addition of script. She also introduced many new techniques for backgrounds for art and lettering. Violet is not only an excellent teacher, but her bound books of exemplars, samples and instructions are always real treasures to keep. These days shared “playing” with friends and trying out all kinds of tools and art materials are such fun too.
My name – by Violet
. Bleached “jean” on black stock, gouache  and Dr. Martin’s Bleedproof White……


Class called “Focus on Design”

Spent another great workshop with fellow calligraphers and artists last weekend. Barbara Close was our inspirational and multi talented teacher of many techniques. We had fun but I was wiped out at the end of it. When I recover I will post some photos on the art gallery page.

Just one as a sample here. Playing with making marks of all kinds with a rectangle shaped piece of balsa wood, sumi ink, walnut ink and tiny splash of watercolourcombination

Weekend Art/Calligraphy Class

Westcoast Calligraphy Society and Lorraine Douglas provided a fun and instructive weekend of art and calligraphy. After several other classes where I tried to learn how to manipulate those pesky ruling pens and folding pens, I finally “get it”! We played with “sink art” to provide papers and backgrounds for our new styles of lettering. I brought an unfinished piece home and added lots more ink and pastels and some letters. Posted in the sidebar.  This sort of art is very good for me as I tend to be too tight and draftsman-like in my work.