Stealth Art # 8

I belong to the Facebook page Hamilton Ontario Painted Rocks (#hoprocks) . It is a lovely group of local people who enjoy painting rocks and ‘hiding’ them so they can be found by others. Most of the time there is an element of encouragement or kindness in this ‘leaving of rocks’ for people to find. Random rocks and random places, all in a spirit of community fun. What I like best about the group is that all skill levels are appreciated. From simple basic painting done by children to art that is truly epic. I have been participating by creating the very simplest of rocks that mostly are ‘have a nice day’ written in marker on them and leaving them when I go out on my long walks all over greater Hamilton. Now my artistic skills are elementary at best but I did branch out to include painting lady bugs. Fairly simple but they were actually recognizable as ladybugs.

I have been leaving my ladybugs all over the place. Last December I hid a number of them in my neighbourhood. Most of them were snapped up fairly quickly and some people played along by posting on the #hoprocks page that the ladybug had been found. I went by one hiding spot and I noticed that the ladybug was still there.

facing The Village of Wentworth Heights at the entrance to 426 Rymal Road East

I suppose that I might have hid it too well and I decided I should move it to an easier-to-find spot. So today I went to check on it and wouldn’t you know it – that ladybug is stuck. Jammed in tight, she was not moving. She might be a permanent addition to the tree unless someone can pry her out.

Encouraged by seeing the efforts of others in the #hoprocks group, I thought that I should actually try to do some real painting. I know a number of very accomplished artists and knew that anything that I would try would not be nearly as glorious as theirs, but was willing to give it a try. Jennifer from the #hoprocks group often incorporates the rocks features when painting her rocks. I got myself a ribbledy rock and some paint and gave it a try.

Well, I quickly discovered that painting is hard. At least painting recognizable things is hard. I thought I would try a beach scene and thought I could paint some dunes leading up to the water along the lines of the rock. It didn’t turn out too bad but then I tried to paint a lighthouse. Umm, well, in my head I was painting a light house but I don’t know that it turned out that way.

I think it looks like a tube of toothpaste with an sunshiny cap on top.

Through the group, I found an artist who creates stunning work. I was lucky enough to buy this beauty. It sits in my home and brightens up my day whenever I see it.

Terry Brawner is so talented.

So, while I will not be painting stunning masterpieces, I will continue having fun painting rocks and leaving them in places so they can be enjoyed by others.

Stealth Art #7

I am a big fan of a local Hamilton artist with a secret identity. Lewis Mallard walks Hamilton streets spreading his duckly cheer to anyone lucky enough to cross his path. I follow him on Instagram.

Lewis at the bandshell at Gage Park

When I began painting rocks I found some that seemed to be shaped a little eggish, which gave me an idea. I decided to print off some of Lewis’s art and create some duck eggs. These are part of #hoprocks (Hamilton Ontario Painted Rocks) on Facebook.

On my walk today I left them at Gage Park where Lewis had been sighted a while back.

I thought of writing a story where I happen upon Lewis at the park and frighten him with my enthusiasm for meeting him for the first time. I then start chasing him around the park. He manages to avoid me and finds some clever hiding spots. But whenever I start closing in, Lewis is startled into laying an egg, right there in the park, and then runs off only to have the chase continue until all of the eggs are laid.

I don’t know how to realistically write that story because Lewis is a boy duck and I don’t know that boy ducks can lay eggs. : )

Will anyone think that perhaps Lewis has laid these eggs? One can only hope.

I have not met Lewis in the wild yet but perhaps one day…

New Years Resolution – May 2021

My brother and I have made a New Years Resolution to watch a movie ‘together’ each month. ‘Together’ became difficult to do once co-vid restrictions were imposed and then he moved to another province. So now we are both watching the same movie and have been posting our separate video reviews.

The movie choice this month was Jeff’s and he chose Her.

Joaquin Phoenix is brilliant in this movie. The language was a tad rough for my sensibilities. I got a text mid-way through the movie with Jeff’s apologies for picking one that he realized, while watching, that had scenes and language that were not quite my cup of tea. It had some pretty good themes and I thought it was good but I did not think it was great. I like that we get to watch movies that we would not normally consider. We can always learn things – even from a movie that we did not enjoy.

Last month, we had made separate reviews and then we had a Duo call afterwards and talked much longer about the movie. This month, instead of posting separate reviews we decided to record our movie discussion through Google Meet. I miss being in the same room and yabbling while we watch a movie together but it was a pretty good solution.

I find it hard to talk about a movie into a video recorder for more than 5 minutes but we managed to record a rather lengthy discussion. Like our regular conversations, we happily wandered off-topic quite a bit. I am thinking you have to be pretty desperate to watch the whole thing but there is a little bit of fun included. Enjoy.

Until next month.

Confessions of a Street Walker – part 38

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

For a number of years I have used MapMyWalk to keep track of my walks. The one downside was that I could only see one walk at a time. I wanted to be able to see the big picture. I had been using a paper HSR Transit map but I have walked right off of the edge of the map. My daughter Laura told me about an awesome website called CityStrides. So I signed in and CityStrides took all of my recorded MapMyWalk routes and put them all in one place. It even has the walks I took in Europe and in the States. Epicness.

The word Hamilton has been pretty much covered by my routes.

It was not without some glitches. Some of my walks did not get recorded. Sometimes it was my own fault for forgetting to turn the MapMyWalk app on and wondering why I was not hearing the ‘you have walked a half a mile’ notifications and realizing I forgot to turn it on. Oops. Sometimes my old android just stopped – a couple of times it stopped mid-walk because it was so cold. It will be interesting to see if my OCD will force me to go back and rewalk the streets that I have already walked just so it shows up on the CityStrides map.

It looks like it has not been walked upon but…
but the GPS tracking on my phone recorded it

I recently finished walking all of Greensville. I did not know the area well so I had fun exploring.

Greensville was lovely to walk through.

It is not often that someone recognizes me when I am out walking. But I was heading up Weirs Lane and a truck pulled up behind me. It was our son Henry who had pulled over to say ‘hi’ to his mom.

There’s my boy!
It is getting warm enough not to need the jacket soon.

Loving the warmer weather and exploring our wonderful region. Maybe I will see you out there sometime.

The Write Stuff

Some the members of the Hamilton Mountain Writers’ Guild have been working on our next anthology. That’s right. Volume Five is in the works.

This spring I had been working feverishly on my contribution. I wrote some stuff out and sent it to my writing team for feedback. Draft one. I worked on it some more. Draft two, draft three, draft four, draft five.

I sent it to Laura and Scott who are editing geniuses. Then it was worked on some more. Draft six. Then sent it back to Laura and Scott. Draft seven.

Then sent it to our Book 5 Proofreaders. We have some amazing folks helping us polish our words up. Ron was assigned to help me and boy, was he ever helpful. He sent easy to follow suggestions to have it publication ready. Draft eight and prepare the bio. Sent it back. Oh oh, the formatting went wonky. Fixed it and sent it back. Then I got the blank template and inserted my story.

Then I had to send it to Neil. I sent it off with a ‘WooWoo I am done’ subject line and attached the two documents. It was a little bit later that I realized I had sent Neil a copy of the blank template. Sheepishly, I resent the template, this time with my story in it. So now it will go through the formatting process and hopefully we will have a book available on Amazon this fall.

Once that work was done I had no deadlines and no assignments. I really do work better under a deadline so our writing team has been assigning each other (optional) homework. That has been fun. We all come up with such different stories with the same assignment. Looking forward to doing that some more.

There is a fun Facebook group that I am a part of. When people find photographs, often from thrift stores, they share them in this group. Sometimes there are clues and other members try to help the new owners of the photographs. Sometimes there is detective work done and photographs have some mystery about them solved. Other times there is no information and the members of the group start making up stuff about the photograph content. They give the people names and make up stuff about them. Last week I had some fun.

Collette shared this picture….and the fun began.
Ellen started us off with a name.
Not so sure about that but that sure was a fun little thing to write. The funnest part is when others contribute to the tale and the story takes on a life of its own.

What do you see when you look at the picture?

Confessions of a Street Walker -Part 37

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

My walk on Monday had me wandering through Greensville. What a lovely village. I especially liked Crooks Hollow Road. I confess that Cramer Road was too steep for me to bound my way up. It felt like I was climbing Everest. And I forgot about the bugs. Yeah, not so fond of the bugs.

Crooks Hollow Road was a lovely walk along the water.
Had a lovely (safely-distanced) chat with this gentleman. He even told me his name but I confess that I cannot remember it. : (
He made my day. I really do run into the nicest people.
LOVE this tree. It has so much character.
Love the splashes of colour that keep me company at this time of year. According to Google Lens, this is Marsh Marigold.
I enjoy coming across interesting bits of history.
I can imagine that this could look spooky but the happy water babbling by was so peaceful.
I have been parking at the Greensville Library and left a couple of rocks by the front door. No one has taken them yet.

So there is only one more walk and Greensville will be done. Then it will be on to the more rural roads of Flamborough. Looking forward to it.

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

New Years Resolution – April 2021

My brother and I have made a New Years Resolution to watch a movie ‘together’ each month. ‘Together’ became difficult to do once co-vid restrictions were imposed and then he moved to another province. So now we are both watching the same movie and posting our video reviews. I miss being in the same room and yabbling while we watch a movie together.

This month was my selection and I chose ‘Baby Driver’. Not a typical selection for me but wanted to try it because it was made in the same year as last months selection of ‘Aardvark’ – both were made it 2017.

I will let my video report speak for itself.

and now Jeff’s video report – as always, much more comprehensive than mine

See you again next month.

Then we got together on GoogleMeet to have a conversation about our reviews.

Confessions of a Street Walker – Part 36

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

Today’s walk was COLD. After our first tastes of spring and some warmer weather, we were rather shocked by a good old Canadian dumping of snow yesterday. There was not a lot of accumulation but our recently sprouted spring flowers were complaining mightily (as were the humans that enjoy them). Hopefully there was not too much damage. I had walked yesterday but it was only around the neighbourhood and not a part of my walking project. I confess that I wanted to wait until tomorrow when the weather was promising to be warmer but I bundled up again, tied up my shoes and headed out.

In Ontario, we have been shut down again. We are asked to stay at home and not interact with anyone outside of our household except for essential purposes. Thank goodness that most exercise is deemed essential. I am walking on some of the most isolated roads that the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth has. Today I headed out to Greensville again. I am parking at the public library and I will eventually be walking east and west and north and south. I am hoping to get quite a few roads done from that one parking spot. It’s a good thing because places to leave my car are rather scarce on country roads.

Left my painted rock (a ladybug) in the Little Library on Highway 8. Compliments on this library. There were some really good choices in there. Scored the book ‘Educated’ which was on my Recommended Books list. Thank you little library.
Walked across a lake according to Google Maps.
If it hadn’t been so cold, I might have stopped to take some closer pictures of this barn. Intriguing.
Will have to drop in on this place once the government says it is safe to do so.

I managed to walk through three separate incidents of ‘snow flurries’ which, I confess, did not thrill me to bits. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the Greensville area over the next month or so.

Confessions of a Street Walker – Part 35 – Epic Walker: A Duck Story

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

Since starting this walking project of mine, I confess that I’ve become totally impressed by “epic walkers.” Folks that have taken their walking to another level and something about it becomes epic. Sometimes it is distance or maybe location. Lots of things can make walking epic. I like it when I can watch or read about their walking projects and through social media I have ‘met’ some of them. I guess I just feel a connection with people whose walking takes on a life of its own. Herein follows the story of an epic walker local to Hamilton.

There comes a time in every community’s life that a superhero appears. Gotham City has it’s Batman. In Hamilton we have Lewis. Lewis Mallard. Lewis Mallard is an artist in Hamilton and he is a duck on a mission and his mission just tickles my fancy. I started following him on Instagram. @lewis_mallard

Click on the video to learn why I am such a fan of Lewis Mallard
Lewis finds a friend

Wandering around Hamilton is something I have enjoyed doing and I have had the chance to chat a bit with some pretty nice people. I have not yet spotted Lewis in the wild but it is on my bucket list. Like Batman and his secret identity, Lewis does not seek attention for himself but has a greater good to do. We need more ducks like Lewis.

Since I started making encouragement rocks and leaving them while I am out and about on my walks, I decided it might be fun to try to create some Lewis Mallard Duck Eggs. One of Lewis’s art series shows us that things are not always what they seem to be. I attached one of my favourite pieces to egg-ish looking rocks and it seemed to work out.

Are those Lewis Mallard Duck Eggs?

I hope to leave some duck eggs in Gage Park sometime this spring and I look forward to spotting Lewis in the wild one day.

This sits near my front porch and makes me happy each time I see it.

New Years Resolution – March 2021

The movie that was Jeff’s choice for this month was Aardvark.

The poor Aardvark never even made the movie poster.

Truth be told, I found this movie was rather disappointing. Maybe I was missing something but there just seemed to be gaps in the storytelling, but then again, the storytelling wasn’t even that interesting.

Since I did not know the two actresses who played the female leads I found they looked too much alike for me to keep them apart. Always distracting when you can’t keep the characters straight.

Jon Hamm played the part of a moderately successful actor named Craig who at one point was laughing about taking acting jobs that are really quite terrible and that sort of made me laugh. Was the whole thing supposed to be an inside joke about good actors being stuck acting in bad movies? I don’t think that was the intention.

I also appreciated the conversation between the two brothers where they viewed the same memory differently. Real life for sure.

Here are our reviews:

My review of Aardvark.
Jeff had a different take than I did.

Maybe it’s good to watch a badly done movie once in a while to better appreciate when a movie is done well. Until next month.