December 11,2019

            #18   The First Walk


Three times during our ten month stay below the White Elephant quarry, London and walked seven miles along the valley road into town, twice in sunshine and once in rain.

            The first walk was on a warm day in spring. Each time a car appeared, it stopped beside me and its driver offered me a ride into town, which I declined. Then the driver immediately headed for the stone yard to tell G.B. his “artist” was heading into town — afoot! With each report G.B. traced my progress.

            When we arrived at the stone yard office there were curious staff and visitors waiting for us. G.B. handed me a cold Pepsi, while the yard-men called London to a freshly poured bowl of water.

            “What’s wrong? Y’all have a flat?” G.B. asked.

            “No, I just fancied to see if I could walk to town and back.”

            “Y’all’re a-walkin’ back?” A flash of anger touched his face.

 G.B. paused and he pondered. Then, as was his way, he rubbed his hand around his mouth, over his nose and back down to his mouth. But this needed more pondering. He reared back in his big old office chair, with his elbows out and his fingers splayed at the top of his thighs. In a dramatic gesture he removed his wavy brimmed, old straw hat, held it out high in a commanding pose while he rubbed his other hand around and around his bald pate. He held each person; staff, visitors and me silent and unsure. With a final histrionic gesture, he replanted his old straw hat.

            Unable to find an explanation for my actions, G.B. said in his slow Okie way, “Y’all’re a strange Canadian painter lady Charle.”

Posted by Charlotte Madison at 12:19
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January, 2020
For over forty years, painting related totally to the American Southwest. It was people of the dry hot desert, solid mesas, cacti, stone and canyons that made my heart leap.

When I realized I would never see the desert again, I began a search for something to paint. Nana suggested, B.C, vineyards and took me to Penticton where I did one painting. Nana and Gary then began to take me on Mystery tours of the island and always included a vineyard. But they all were so green! So many leaves so many trees - I don't do trees and I rarely use green - dont really like looking at green, but I got started on a duty series not an inspired series.

I guess it was July or early August when we were driving home from a winery visit. I was grousing about painting the Festive Flying Grape series when Gary said "Start another series, you can work on more than one at a time."

For some reason those words triggered the words "I could paint the Island artists!" Nana and Gary agreed and it was the topic of conversation all the way home

For a while I was afraid I wouldn't get volunteers to pose but it is rolling and each one offers something special to inspire me. And it is lovely to feel all I am doing was sparked by Gary and like all I do, supported by Nana.

April Update 2012 Sixteen fine artists, many of national repute, have posed for Artists of Vancouver Island and many are booked or promised. There will be no poses after June 30,2012. When I have painted all twenty-five I will turn my thought to . . . what next?