Tag Archives: art

All About Me

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All About Me

I’ve written hundreds of blogs posts but have never done an “All About Me” post. I’m not sure just why I haven’t, but a friend called me on it the other day. So here goes.

I go by a variety of different names depending on which country I’m in or which website I’m on. I prefer to just stick to “Karen.” Here in Washington my friends have me in their contacts as “Karen Mexico” or “Karen Canada.”

I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and lived there all my life until 2010. My son still lives there. My daughter and my four year old granddaughter live in Canada as well, in Kelowna, B.C.

In 2010 I went to Culiacan, Mexico to teach English. A family there adopted me and I am now abuelita to four nietos ranging in age from three to twelve years old.

After a year in Culiacan, I taught briefly in Irapuato before settling down in Guadalajara for four years. I called Mazatlan home for just over three years and then decided to explore more of central Mexico. After three months in San Ciro de Acosta I discovered Aguascalientes, which has been my Mexican home six months of the year since 2019.

In 2016 a friend I met in Mazatlan invited me to come visit him in Leavenworth, Washington. My two week visit turned into four months when the snow chased me back to Mexico. And that was when I turned into a snowbird, spending the other six months of the year in Washington state.

While there, I’ve lived mainly in Leavenworth with short stints in other towns. This year I’m living in East Wenatchee with my friends Christina and Danny, who tell me that this is now my “forever home.”

As far as teaching goes, I officially retired in 2016, although I had worked extremely very part-time since 2012. Occasionally I selectively take on private students, but have not taught at all since Covid arrived.

This is my sixth year as a volunteer in the SAIL program in Leavenworth where I teach fitness classes to seniors that geared towards fall prevention. Both church ministry and volunteering at the senior center ground to a halt during Covid and are just now starting up again.

I enjoy traveling both in Mexico and the USA. Last summer I took an Amtrak along the coast from Seattle to L.A. I loved it and can’t wait to plan another train trip.

I’m taking a break from Duolingo but I have my gel pens, pastels and water colors to amuse me. And I have been doing a lot of writing lately. Fiction is a new genre for me which I am enjoying immensely.

I am especially blessed to have family and a wide circle of friends in three countries. The time always fly by all too quickly before I find myself once again packing a suitcase. My days are filled with adventure and making memories.

Other trivia……I’m a Gemini, my favorite color is green, I’m a chocoholic as well as a coffeeholic and I love country music.

All About Me

Solstice Time

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Solstice Time

The summer solstice happened this week. To me it was just a day like any other, although some people engage in ceremonies to celebrate this event.

There was nothing too earth shattering in my life on June 21st, although thank you Amazon Prime for the timely delivery of my pastels and my sketchbook. That program I attended at the library really impacted me. Now I just needed to stay home long enough to create a masterpiece.

Yesterday morning I ventured down to the gazebo to watch the accordion parade. The International Accordion Festival is going on this weekend in Leavenworth. Later on today I’ll be attending a dinner outdoors with a view of the river. It’s a perfect venue where we will be serenaded by accordionists.

I enjoyed a leisurely brunch at the golf club today with my friends. We were disappointed that we didn’t see any deer today. Perhaps they’re hiding from the bears and cougars who have more than made their presence known in our town this season.

Cascade High School was the place to be yesterday afternoon when we attended a performance of The Jungle Book. Upper Valley Connection’s Icicle Players did a superb job.

Last night it was open mike at the senior center. Somehow I have become one of the regulars this year. Last night I sang only in English although I have done other selections in Spanish and in French.

Tomorrow we’re off to Ellensburg and then I’ll be working on crafts in preparation for Vacation Bible School.

Perhaps on Tuesday I may find time to play with my pastels after I teach a fitness class.

I was in Peshastin the other day and took photos of a beautiful rose garden.

Enjoy!

Karen The Artist

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Karen The Artist

As a young child I loved to finger paint. I used to make my own paper dolls. I even colored strings of lights to cut out and hang on my dollhouses. But once kindergarten was done, things changed.

In elementary school we were given coloring sheets for holidays. Color between the lines. We would listen to radio broadcasts of a story and told to draw something based on the story. But what if I wanted to draw something different?

In middle school art class meant drawing the spectrum. Or drawing a three dimensional object. Or drawing a vase of flowers set on the teacher’s desk. Or some other such dreary project. But what if I wanted to draw something different? Needless to say, I switched to a music option as soon as it was available and art was quickly dismissed from my mind.

We had an art gallery in Winnipeg. While certain exhibits were interesting, art just was not my thing. Only one exhibit stands out in my mind and that was a Van Gogh exhibit I went to with my dad. I was about eight years old and I think it meant more to me because I was with my dad.

I attended a Norman Rockwell exhibit in Honolulu and was totally enthralled with The Toymaker.

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Years later I discovered Thomas Kinkade and was especially captivated by his prints and tapestries of lighthouses. I had a beautiful one on my living room wall years ago when I lived in Canada.

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I also attempted glass painting for a short while.

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In Mexico I enjoyed visiting several art galleries in Culiacan, Guadalajara and Aguascalientes. I especially enjoyed the works of art involving vivid, bright colors.

Two years ago in Leavenworth I was introduced to adult coloring books. And I was hooked. I find it a very relaxing activity, even more so when paired up with music.

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Last night I discovered something new. I went to a program at the Cashmere Library where I created four pieces of art with pastels. These were not the pastel crayons I was familiar with back in Canada. These were chalky and could be smudged with your fingertips. It brought back happy times of finger painting as a child, but this time it was pastels and not paint. I think of it as adult finger painting.

While my creative talents in the past have been mostly in writing and in music, perhaps there is hope for me as an artist.

A Typical Day

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A Typical Day

Friends from Leavenworth are here in Mazatlan. In our conversation, Dwayne asked me what a typical day for me here is like. Now that is definitely something to ponder. 

We lounged around the pool all day after a sumptuous brunch. While it was a most enjoyable day, Sunday was certainly not a typical day. Rarely do I soak in the rays for hours on end and bask in the sunshine.

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Yesterday was Thursday. I had some errands to run and headed into Centro. Waldo’s was a zoo as usual and the mercado was quite crowded. My next stop was a small cantina where I enjoyed a delicious torta. I always seek out these places where the Mexicans go and am never disappointed in the authentic Mexican cuisine.

I was thinking of going to El Recreo to see a movie after lunch. But I never got there. As I was strolling through Plazuela Republica, I saw some friends from YWAM where I volunteer. The art students were displaying their talent and sharing their testimonies about how they came to Christ. Here are photos of some of the artists and their creations.

Plazulea Zaragoza is another park a few short blocks from where I’m staying this winter. To my delight I could hear the strains of music as I approached. I sat down on a bench and watched a crowd of people salsa dancing. This is a weekly activity here. I was tired from shopping so I opted to watch and not participate.

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When I finally got home, I decided to rest for a while and then venture out for a walk along the malecon. Instead I wound up editing a chapter in my book and then coloring. Yes, I am hopelessly addicted to adult coloring books. Very relaxing.

Next came a couple of phone calls to friends back in Washington. We’re in the same time zone now as Mexico has not moved the clocks ahead yet. Calls to my kids are a little more tricky as they are two and three hours ahead. The time changes here on April 1st.

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It’s now Friday. Breakfast plans with Delmar fell through as did a trip to the aquarium. I just returned from having delicious pozole at my friend Koren’s and am in writing mode. Friends and music are on the agenda for tonight as well as a walk along the malecon. But that could change too. We’ll see how the writing goes.

If there is an event where tickets are required, those times are carved in stone on my calendar. Otherwise, anything and everything is possible.

A typical day.