Memories of August

Oh my! What a month it’s been.

My first impression of August was that it had been a quiet month.

I had cancelled many activities to stay at home and recharge. My little basement ‘studio’ turned a year old and I’ve spent endless hours in there this month reorganizing, cleaning, switching out the carpet I decided was too dark for the space … and of course creating.

Experimenting with acrylic pouring.

My inspiration came from a trip to the McMichael Art Gallery which features Canadian art. Because of that visit I started putting paint on canvas for the first time since March.

With my sister, Tina, at the McMichael.

So while it feels like I spent a lot of time at home inside my own head, my photo library tells a different story. I had a month full of activities with more memories than I could possibly share!

It’s not surprising that so many of those memories involved water … a quintessential feature of a Canadian summer.

The Grand River in a rubber raft with Deb from the Widow Badass.
Deb, lazing, on a lazy river.
Paddling the Burnt River with the Seniors’ Outdoor Club.
Sunset paddle in a Voyageur canoe around the Toronto Islands with the Seniors’ Outdoor Club.
Just for clarification – there is no motor on a Voyageur canoe. We were team paddling … and of course we were amazing!
That’s me – 2nd on the right.
Photo taken by our guide, Noah.
In the fading evening light, the viewing stand for regatta races at the Toronto Islands is still flooded as water levels remain high.
Then back to the Toronto Islands – again with the Seniors’ Outdoor Club. It was a very rough – and wet – crossing, but a calm paddle in the sheltered channels between the islands.

On land, there were flights of fantasy.

One of the creations at Primitive Design.
For those of you who liked the rhino so much, here is a view of his back end πŸ™‚
Craft beer on tap while visiting the Big Chute – Lock 44 on the Trent-Severn.

The summer wouldn’t be complete without attending the send-off of the annual Friends For Life Bike Rally.

Fittingly, this year’s Bike Rally left from the site of the Toronto AIDS Memorial
Son #1 – 600 km Toronto to Montreal – done.
If you’re looking for a grand celebration of life, friendship, and solidarity of purpose, this is an event to support ❀️

The oppressive humidity is gone and the air conditioning in the house has been off for many days now. Already the mornings are quite cool.

Summer is rapidly coming to an end and for me, this month seems to reinforce the saying – life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.


Changing Seasons is a monthly photo feature hosted by Su Leslie at Zimmerbitch. In Su’s corner of the world in New Zealand, they are anticipating spring. I hope you’ll take a look.


  1. How wonderful to have a seniors’ outdoor club! I would happily join it if we had one here. I belonged to the university outdoor club when I was an undergraduate at university, and also to my high school outdoor club.



  2. Ahhh, so this the group who may want to raft the Grand Canyon! They look like a fun group who may just be up for it! Lovely painting BTW. Seriously. Im sad summer is mostly gone, but the fall truly is my favorite season! Have a wonderful weekend!!


  3. Love your painting Joanne, I can think of several places in my house that that would make a wonderful feature. I hope you have it somewhere where everyone can enjoy it. Life does happen while making other plans. I will remember this and try even more to live in the moment x thanks for the reminder.


    • Thanks Annie. I’m surprised how many people liked the painting because it wasn’t my favourite. I chose it for the post simply because it was the most colourful of the 5 I completed. I guess it’s the combination of colours that resonated with people.

      … and yes, I do have it hanging up in my little studio area. My collection is growing πŸ™‚


  4. I haven’t heard of acrylic pouring, but it looks gorgeous! I may have to try my hand at that. We’ve done some canoeing and are hoping to do some more throughout the fall. Your waterways are beautiful! It looks like a full month. We still are having some days of high heat, but there are also some gorgeous ones with a nice, cool breeze. πŸ™‚


  5. Wow, Joanne, you were really busy having fun in August! Sorry I missed this post, I must have been preoccupied elsewhere…or I’m an inattentive blogging buddy. I know my August was super busy too, and September is turning out to be the same. We have to enjoy the waning days of summer while we can, whether it’s in a kayak or on a bike.

    Love the rhino butt! Lol!


  6. Love the acrylic pouring painting! It has such a dramatic and magnetically appealing feel to it. I have tried to paint abstractly before but not with much luck. It’s harder than it looks! Pouring might be the inspiration to get started…

    It’s great when a visit to a museum or seeing another artist’s work inspires us to get cracking and to create. I have been reading Elizabeth Gilberts book “Big Magic” just because it landed in my hands. An easy read but has some good pointers about being creative and making the effort to do so daily.

    The kayaking looks SO much fun. Hoping to do that this weekend here in the rivers of Hoi An with a group that go kayaking in different sections of the river each Saturday with the goal of cleaning up the rivers! Thanks for the kayaking inspiration…

    Love all the photos.



    • Coming from an artist like you, I’m a bit relieved when you say you too found abstract art really challenging!! Since trying my hand at it, I’ve been humbled by its complexity.

      … and I too have the book “Big Magic” but I haven’t started it yet. There are a couple of other books I’m trying to finish first and I’ve been a bit stalled over the summer.

      Good luck with the kayaking. It sounds like a great adventure!!


  7. I love your waterbound photos, especially while I’m at work! I feel like they really lighten my mood. Almost as good as being out there πŸ™‚
    I’m glad you got your rest and paint time in.


  8. Wow, Joanne, great month full of watery adventures. Dan and I have talked about taking our boat up the Trent-Servern, hear it is a great trip.
    That senior adventures group looks fabulous; haven’t heard of anything quite like that around us here in NH but what an asset!
    And…loved the poured painting…and the tubing with WBA.


    • I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t been to the McMichael in almost 40 years and my sister had never been there. The Maud Lewis exhibit is what finally drew me there.

      The grounds were as big an attraction as the museum itself. I did not know several members of the Group of Seven were actually buried there!!


  9. Wow I totally love your painting.
    I was thinking about your art the other day, wondering if you put indoor stuff like that on hold during the summer.
    Yay for clean water and the ability to get out and enjoy it. Hope autumn is long and kind to you.


  10. What a fabulous month! Your seniors’ group looks like so much fun. There is a Boomer women’s Meet-up that I’ve been meaning to check out… you’ve inspired me to do that soon! I love your acrylic pour… it looks like a fun medium, and your result is beautiful!


    • Thanks Janis.

      My sister and I have had conversations about our “fear of failure” and shedding that limitation to simply play with colour without any care or concern about the end result is rather liberating πŸ™‚

      I was lucky to find this seniors’ group. They were only the 2nd one I tried and the fit works. I’m still rather intimidated by their energy (and I’m one of the young ones!!) but they are such a supportive bunch.


  11. I LOVE your first photo of the acrylic, Joanne! I am sure it looks even more interesting and beautiful in person. I am nodding my head, yes, on β€œCanadian” and β€œwater” especially in the Summer. Fun photo of the group in the Voyageur canoe. Craft beer seems to be a Summer theme this year. No complaints:) A fun post and I really enjoyed the photos!


    • Thanks Erica πŸ™‚

      I always feel a sense of sadness when the first of September rolls around. Today is rather grey and overcast so it seems fitting. It’s a signal that things are going to change now, but it’s been a GREAT summer. I’ve put down some wonderful memories to take me into the winter ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love how you jumped in to lay with the acrylic paint! Very inspiring. I look at various art things and always think “I’d be no good at that”…. I need to just jump in and play


    • Pat, you’ve hit on a point that my sister and I have discussed in many conversations.
      Like many women of our generation we have this ‘fear of failure’ so we don’t try something because we think we won’t be good at it.
      Of course we won’t be ‘good’ at it. It’s new. We’ve never done it before.

      I’m not aspiring to be ‘good’ at painting. I only hope to use it as another form of expression.
      I use my art workbook as a playground. It doesn’t create the ‘pressure’ that an empty canvas does. I think of it as my creative diary πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  13. You were busy. Glad to hear you are back putting paint to canvas. My camera is also filled with so much I am way behind in my writing. Fall and the colder months a head will allow me to catch up. Cheers Joanne


  14. That painting/pouring reminds me of an art project to “marble” paper by spraying paint (several different colors) onto the surface of water and swirling it around before laying paper down to pick up the paint.

    Will you frame it?

    Your month looks watery!


    • Watery indeed!! It makes me happy πŸ™‚

      I’m new to this whole art thing and I feel like a kid again. Right now I have 2 of these acrylic pouring canvases on the wall by my desk … but I don’t know for how long.
      I’ve been reluctant to do a lot of canvas work because then there’s the issue of what to do with them after. So I mostly paint or collage in a workbook.


  15. Joanne, if you feel like you’ve been at home too much, I can’t imagine the opposite. LOL. You’re one of the most adventurous bloggers I know.
    I’ve seen some acrylic pouring videos. Yours turned out great. Ha, and the rhino looks almost as good from the back as the front. What amazing creations! Hugs on the wing!


    • I wonder if it’s possible to do a bad acrylic pouring? Perhaps I should try … say, using non-complementary colours πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for the kind comment, Teagan. I had a similar thought … if I thought this was a rather quiet and relaxed month then maybe this suggests that I got the mix right between active and introspective πŸ™‚


  16. It looks like it was fun, relaxing and creative month. I love the picture as you’re about to cruise under that gently curved bridge. I’m a little jealous of your time on the water. I wish it was easier to access the water around us.


    • I’m lucky to have access to so much clear clean water surrounded by beautiful countryside. The challenge is living in a very large city. It’s not always easy to get around 😏

      I do love bridges and going under them is the best view of all! The water levels have come down since April and this time we didn’t need to duck down into our boats to get underneath them.


    • It’s a process that requires some pouring medium and silicone oil … of which I now have a LOT. We’ll add it to the list of things we need to do together!

      Hope you have a great long weekend ahead! I’m rather sad that we’re already knocking on September’s door.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Judy. I’m a little shy about my artwork. I can’t imagine it might be interesting to anyone other than me so I appreciate the interest. Through all this experimentation I’m getting a better idea of what I like to do though.


    • I hadn’t either until I was browsing a fall/winter course catalogue for a creative centre nearby.
      My curiosity led me to youtube videos and a day of experimenting on my own. Guess I won’t be needing the course after all πŸ™‚


    • I had never heard of acrylic pouring and when I saw it in a Fall course catalog I became curious. Youtube was my mentor πŸ™‚
      This is not something I will spend a lot of time and energy on. While it’s fun to see how it evolves and dries, my control issues say I need more influence in the end result πŸ˜‰


  17. Looks like you had a fun-filled and well-rounded August! I was also on Toronto Islands and had a similar shot of the bridge without the paddlers. I like the vibrant colours in your painting. Keep creating.


    • Thanks Natalie. It’s funny how inspiration works. For the past several months mine has been dormant and suddenly I have so many creative thoughts I want to explore.

      I’ve again been reminded of how lucky we are to have this treasure just offshore of downtown Toronto.


  18. Looks like August was wonderful Joanne. I like your art very much and good to see you inspired to get back at it. Looks like lots of fun on the water too. I especially would like a ride with Widow BadAss on that big red raft. πŸ™‚


  19. What a fun-filled August you’ve had. That’s a beautiful acrylic you’ve painted too. The boat excursion looks like it was fun, though I’d probably have been nervous on it — unless it’s a big boat or ship, I’m kind of a weenie out on those small vessels! – Marty


  20. I didn’t know you paint? And you’re good at it, too! Wasn’t it a glorious summer ? Except for that freaky rain storm Toronto got earlier, it seemed to me southern Ontario had a darn near perfect couple of months. I read a sign a few weeks back that said “August is the Sunday of summer.” I think that fits.


    • I fall squarely into the beginner category when it comes to any kind of art form. Nor do I have any delusions of having some great latent talent waiting to be tapped.
      What I have discovered though is that painting is very calming and helps release in me something I didn’t know I had πŸ™‚

      I love that expression β€œAugust is the Sunday of summer.” It is quite fitting because we know that after Labour Day, life seems to take on a more serious ‘business’ tone.

      I hope you’ve had a great summer too. It’s been a lovely one and I hope we have many more weeks of this ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I found myself in a rubber raft this August, too – supposedly built for three, but it could *just* hold the two of us. I seriously need to get my weight under control.

    The painting is something new to me – hope we see more!


    • That makes two of us, Maggie … but it’s soooo hard to do. The weight loss thing completely eludes me πŸ˜•

      Painting is new to me however the more I get into it, the more I like it. I don’t profess to have any latent talent, but it’s liberating to just play and experiment.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Your photos of water and other unique scenes show me a beautiful world. You seem to know how to balance being out & about with knocking around inside your own head. Clever girl.


    • Seriously, this month felt like I spent a lot of time at home. I was surprised to discover exactly how much I had actually crammed into it. It’s been a great summer and hopefully the weather will hold for many more weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I knew someone was going to enjoy the butt-end of a rhino πŸ˜†

      According to our guide, not all groups can handle synchronized paddling with great efficiency. He kept saying how surprised he was … young guy, maybe mid-20s … what can I say? πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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