Showing posts from August, 2019


This year in the beginning of June, we experienced a late snowfall. Of course, the snow had melted away by suppertime. But before the unexpected weather disappeared, I made sure to go outside and take a few pictures to capture the big flakes falling on our already green grass. The weather inspired me to paint a more chilly landscape.  With a warm chai latte in hand, and trusty old George at my feet, I went diving into my folder searching for reference photos.  I came across a picture I had taken when I was on my way to work one morning. It was taken in the beginning of January. Before I could cross the railroad tracks into town, I came across three horses that had escaped. Animals getting out of their pens isn't exactly a rare event around my parts. Being that all the neighbours know each other (including their animals), it doesn't take long for the situation to be rectified. So not to worry, the horses were caught and were placed safely back in their pen. While stoppe


If it hasn't already been made obvious, I draw a lot of inspiration from the places where I spent my youth. Whether it be my parents' farm, my great aunt and uncle's land, my grandfather's cabin in Quebec, or the Rocky Mountains. I have been extremely lucky! The following image is of the abandoned house that resides on my parents' farm. Interesting fact is that my dad spent his first year there before my grandparents moved their family of seven to the other end of the farm, the house where my parents now live. Our farm has a lot of history but... the house in this shot is especially meaningful for the Graves. We all call it  the old place . My sister Emily and I would sometimes go scavenging in there to see if there were any treasures left behind. My sister Olivia, who is significantly younger than the both of us, still got the chance to live out the experience when Em and I would take her for walks. The following image is a drawing I completed back in


I was helping my grandmother plant her garden this past spring and I became very taken with the natural colour palette that was presenting itself, in her house, and in her quaint little marigold flowerbed. Here is a shot that I took which directly inspired my painting of Marigold and, in turn, inspired some writing. MARIGOLD BY JOAN GRAVES I am a simple thing to behold I am quiet Clean Unharmed Green A potted marigold When treated with care Water Sun Soil to spare I can be yours My hair may not be gold Nor my lips Red Or bold But I never go unseen Rituals Drawing hearts on fogged up panes Or wishing on those that burn bright and gleam I sit still Your warm garden morning thing So take care and be loving Yours For the taking Yours Your evergreen Sweet Still Darling Another shot that inspired the painting was one of an old tractor that I found in Fort Steele (road trips are always great opportunities for inspir


Did I mention I dabble a little in poetry? Warning: I am an amateur poet. In order to get ideas flowing, I usually write a poem or two to determine what I wish to communicate in my next piece. Doodles, sketches and photos are also included in the brainstorming process, but writing out my thoughts is usually the first initial step. COTTAGE BY JOAN GRAVES There is a cottage  In a wood  That has gone unused  Untouched  Unmoved  Some who would venture  And use  The walls, roof, and floors  As shelter  Will uncover  An existing wound  No fire will catch  The fireplace  The throat  Is stripped, swollen  Black  Never to warm  A man's face  It may be the driest day  Of the driest year  But no spark shall light  For the cottage is tired  She has endured  Her final fight  She has been abandoned  Left hallow  Bare  There has never been love  Never a presence  To care  A self-served sentence  A blanketed figure  With pass