December, 2019     Volume 3, Issue 9.

Top of the Season to You!

I’m fascinated by creative energies. 
Personally, mine flow in one of two ways: into images or into words. What’s more, it’s usually all or nothing, meaning that when I’m being driven to create something in one medium, I can’t focus on anything in the other.

Case in point: the last two months, during which I’ve been heads down on a long-gestating writing project and haven’t gotten much in the way of painting done.

Learn all about it below...

Watercolours by Dwayne

Offering the following products and services:
Original paintings
Signed GICLEE prints
Custom framing
Gift Certificates and eGift Cards

One more for the Road...

Now, speaking of painting, I’ve got just one more show this year (The Cottage Country Craft Show at the Morrow Building in Peterborough, this Sunday the 8th of December, from 11 until 4).

Since it's my last show of the year, I'm itching to get rid of some inventory! Stop by to see which one of my framed prints I've marked down! I'd really rather have them up on your walls over the winter than sitting in a dusty corner of my studio!

Also as a reminder, a few months back, I reduced the prices on some of my original paintings. Christmas seems like a good time to take advantage of the savings especially if you can write it off (see the next article)!

Art as a Tax Deduction!

How’s that for a segue!

If you are a business owner who would like to decorate your office with some original art, then don’t forget that you can get a tax deduction! Renting is an option as well. Contact me to discuss either of these possibilities.

Here’s a link to an article on the subject:

Tell me more about Art as a Tax Deduction

In Progress...

In my most recent Illustrative Watercolours course at the Art School of Peterborough, some of the students asked if we could paint another version of “Canadian Dew”, my watercolour of a maple leaf covered in dew. I gladly agreed, since I had so much fun painting it the last two times!

This time, we decided to give it a bark background to add a different level of contrast. I expect to have it finished by the show this weekend, so look for it there! Speak up for it first, and you can even have a say as to how it’s framed!

Read my New Book!

Like I mentioned at the top of the newsletter, I’ve not been painting much of late having been immersed in a writing. For the past couple of years, I’ve been plotting out and researching an idea that came to me in a dream, and turning it into a series of books, and I finally completed the first two episodes!

Here’s the synopsis:

The Anachronistic Code

It's 1985, and Josh Donegal is seventeen…AGAIN.

Josh has shifted back in time some fifty years and he doesn't know how, much less why. What’s more, he's noticing temporal anachronisms—minute changes that would only be obvious to somebody who had lived through the 80s before.

Is Josh alone? Is somebody trying to send out a coded message?

He's going to have to find all the changes to figure it out.

Sound interesting? 

The first book is available as a digital download here, and the second one here.

I’ve also got a collection of both of the books together in one volume available as a 281 pages paperback novel here, or a Kindle book here.

If you’d like a signed copy, you can order one from my merchant site (scroll down to the Books section).

Here’s what the front and back covers look for the hardcopy:

A Tale of Synchronicity...

If you know me, then you know that I like to celebrate a lot of things in life, chief among them being my three favourites: free wood, serendipity, and family, and when they all intersect, then I’m over the moon shivering with joy.

A few months ago, my old friend, Mary-Cate, contacted me because she had seen my post online about me picking up some used solid-oak moldings from my Aunt in the Winchester area. I’ve known Mary-Cate for decades, having met her when we worked on an archaeological dig in Mississauga in the early 90s. We’ve both followed different path since then, with hers taking her to the Anglican Church where she is now the Rector at a Church in Ottawa.

Mary-Cate wanted to know if I wanted some old solid-oak pews that they were disposing of. At first, I have to admit, I wasn’t all that keen because of the distance involved, but then I asked where the Church was in Ottawa, since my Mom comes from the city and most of my extended family still lives there. Sure enough, out of all the Anglican Churches in the Ottawa area, her Church is the one that my Great-Grandparents attended before moving to Carleton Place. I’ve had family married in that building, and my Mom and her siblings have gone to services there.

But, with all that, it was the connection with my Great-Grandfather, Albert Everett Moore, that moved me the most. He would have been a warden at this Church at one point, the closest he’d ever get to being a minister - something that he’d always wanted to be. In fact, so well-respected was my Great-Grandfather by his congregation in Carleton Place, that he was one of the only lay-people allowed to deliver sermons. It was during one of these sermons, delivered in June, 1992, about a year after his wife of some 70 years had passed away, just after he told everyone in the Church how important they’d been to the both of them and how he’d miss them all, that he suffered a massive heart attack, dying instantly, and presumably stepping straight from the pulpit and into heaven.

So, obviously, I wasn’t about to turn this opportunity down. I rented a truck, and with the help of my son, my daughter, and her boyfriend, we took off to Mary-Cate’s church in Ottawa. Mid-way through the dismantling process, I was shown a plaque at the front of the building honouring those involved with Church during the second world-war. The names of both my Grandfather and Great-Grandfather were engraved on it, something that brought me to tears.

So what am I going to do with all the wood? Well, I want to reassemble a few on to pews and restore them, and any wood left-over from this will be turned into frames. Frames with a history of course.

Much gratitude to Mary-Cate and her church, and many thanks for the opportunity to reconnect with my family history.

A Parting Thought...

Here’s a cute little poem I wrote when I misheard the lyrics in “Hark How the Bells,” thinking that they were referring to birds of good cheer.

Birds of Good Cheer 

They gathered on a midnight clear,
with mid-December drawing near.
It’s said they came from everywhere,
Birds of Good Cheer, they filled the air.

Summoned here by Santa Claus,
they joined him for a worthy cause.
“Your task,” he said, “all season long,
is spreading joy thru chirping song.”

And to this group on this night came,
a bird with colour in its name.
This shy bird was a cardinal,
once told he could not sing at all.

When asked to join the big rehearsal,
The cardinal made a quick reversal.
But when he made to fly away,
Santa bid the bird to stay.

The red bird cried, “I don’t belong.
I’m scared to raise my voice in song,
for my trilling call has been described
as tedious and circumscribed.”

To that, Saint Nick articulated, 
“There are times that we all feel deflated,
when we are faced with criticism,
on what we thought a good decision.”

“Before you go, I ask of you,
Who is the judge of all you do?
Yes, who decides that worth is golden
and to beauty we should be beholden?

“Shakespeare said we’ll know the roses
when we learn to trust our noses.
This means that only you decide,
the value of your spark inside.

“Don’t let yourself be swept away
By what another has to say.
Stay true to what is in your heart,
and that is how you’ll play your part.

“You think that your voice is discordant
But let me tell you what’s important.
The only ugly voice you’ll find is
one that’s lacking basic kindness.

“That’s particularly true this season,
with arguments about its reason.
When cordial greetings are rejected
unless expressed as they’re expected.

“Christmas,” the big elf concluded,
“Is making people feel included.
and we can’t do that if we chose,
to spurn the greetings others use.

“So go forth all my feathered friends,
And sing of joy that never ends.
Sing of kindness, peace, and love,
and never think you’re not enough.”

Since then, the years have come and gone
but the cardinal, it’s said, lives on
Though you cannot see his spirit,
You can be sure you’ll always hear it.

His song says there’s a spark inside you,
When all is dark, it’s there to guide you.
What others say, what others do,
Won’t make you more or less of you.

About Dwayne...

Watercolour artist Dwayne James lives near Lakefield, Ontario where he paints as often as he can, that is when he’s not spending time with his daughter, twin boys, and his very forgiving wife.

Dwayne studied archaeology in University, and as a result learned how to write creatively. “The most important skill I learned in University,” he says, “was the ability to pretentiously write about myself in the third person.”

With no formal art training, Dwayne has always preferred the self-guided, experimental approach. In fact, he taught himself how to illustrate archaeological artifacts while completing his Master’s degree at Trent University. Said his thesis supervisor at the time: “There might not be much in the way of coherent theoretical content in Dwayne’s thesis, but damn, it looks pretty!”

After working for close to a decade as a technical communicator, Dwayne chose to look at being downsized in January 2009 as an opportunity to become a stay@home Dad for his newborn twins and pursue his painting and creative writing. It is a decision that continues to make him giggle with wild abandon to this very day.

A self-taught painter, Dwayne’s  highly-detailed watercolour paintings have been described as “unconventional” yet “absolutely authentic.”

Fascinated by both texture and dimension, Dwayne channels nature to create personalised images that are not easily captured with conventional photography.

Dwayne seizes a moment in his paintings that shifts every time you view them. You may have seen watercolours before but, chances are, you have never seen watercolours like Dwayne’s.

Copyright © 2019 Watercolours by Dwayne, All rights reserved.

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