Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Art of Film

Big Island - Oil Pastel on Paper, Hawaii.
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2006.

Art is essential, a diamond, the soul of us, sculpted and cut, unique in approach and in reception by each of us, depending on when and how we encounter the work.

Vincent van Gogh said, "It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done."

This week I wonder if you might engage with a few film industry folks I have come to know. These are people who have completed films or have projects in post-production. Some are actors, some film makers and some are both. The subject matter varies - a couple are drama, some are documentary. The works are by people whose hearts, minds and spirits are undeniably and fully engaged in their creations. May each of us live our lives with the passion put into these works of art, may we live our lives with our love for each moment spilling over from an endless fountain into all of those around us and on through eternity. Enjoy.

Two4One A film by Maureen Bradley - This is "a bittersweet romantic comedy about an oddball couple, Miriam and Adam, who have a one night stand and both end up pregnant." Keep up with the post-production progress and details on this great, upcoming film by following along on Facebook:

Blue A film written by Michele Martin and Charles Huddleston and directed by Charles Huddleston. This film is the story of a "mysterious young man suffering a rare blood disease that colours his skin blue. He meets a young woman who looks beyond his unusual appearance as she struggles with dark secrets of her own." The spectacular cast includes, Michele Martin, Kelly McGillis, Drew Connick, and Kenny Johnson. Currently in post-production, this film is not to be missed. Keep up with news and release information:

Us and Them by Krista Loughton - Us and Them is about one woman's experience befriending four drug and alcohol addicted street people over seven years. In my opinion, this is a film created out of love and an honest path. Check in on post-production status and updates on release though these social media platforms:

Smiling at Death by Alberta Nye - Alberta has filmed people telling their profound experience while being with a person just before or when they pass over. This film is cutting edge in offering us a glimpse into what has been a taboo subject in some cultures. The film is honest and beautifully real in its approach and would benefit everyone who watches. It will touch your heart. This is Alberta's second documentary, following So I'm Dying what? which took us along the path of Margaret Hackman who chose to live until she died of brain cancer.
Check the Spirit Valley Pictures site or follow Alberta on Twitter for info on showings of these two wonderful films:

I hope you will enjoy these films and help to support the work through crowd-funding and by sharing these stories with others. Go to a movie and walk the path of others for an hour or two. The opportunities are endless.

Thanks very much.

-Gillian Cornwall, c. April 27, 2014.

"With each step, the Earth shifts and sighs
for below our feet, another world lies"
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2011.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Heaven and Earth - Revisited

Bluebells - Victoria, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c.  April 2012

May, I taste the proximity of summer, all the while walking through the oaken wood, soaked knee-deep by thick, green grasses and bluebells. A narcissus bobs to the beat of my heart. It is here I unite with all of life, known and unknown, as I stretch into the unfathomable depth and breadth of the universe. Stars tickle my fingertips as they tattoo the universal truth upon my hands. 

"You are here," they pen upon me and I whisper my understanding as I bring my arms down to caress the Camas lily at my feet. It sparkles with dew and stardust. In this moment I need for nothing, in awe of the simple perfection of life. 

-Gillian Cornwall, c. May 1, 2012.

 Narcissus - Victoria, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 2014

 Daffodil - Victoria, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Shipwreck Beach - Lana'i, Hawaii
Gillian Cornwall, c. December 2006.

Choice. Most of the time, we have it in one form or another. Sometimes, we say we don't have it when we don't want to make a difficult choice. Sometimes, it is taken from us and we can only make choices about how we handle an imposed situation. 

For instance, if our freedom is taken from us and we are held captive, we can only choose the impact of that captivity. What freedoms can be found within the mind when the body is held?

Too often in my past, I have held to choices made for me by others or those I made for myself that no longer fit. Historically, I believed myself to be trapped. Now, I have grown more autonomous with age, more capable of changing what no longer fits. I am capable of moving forward with less fear of loss or change. 

The unknown is probably the most terrifying thing for people to face: "What will happen if...?" 

I guess, having been without a home in my past, seeing all manner of relationships come and go, experiencing a variety of careers, holding creatures (both two-legged and four) in my arms while they pass from this life and choosing immense changes in how I live my everyday life, I have less fear of the impact of change, regardless of the kind of choice that occurred around that change. 

A downside to choosing a life with less fear of change can be isolation - not finding like-minded folks with whom to go through life. Trust me, it's not that I don't think about what would happen if my job were taken from me or if someone I cared about passed away, but rather that somewhere, deep in my cellular make-up, I know I will not only survive, but I will flourish because I choose life, truth and love over fear. When all is said and done, I will not succumb to fear. I won't let it be a self-imposed shackle to wear through my days.

For those of you who read my blog weekly, first of all - thank you! Secondly, I know you must sometimes wonder if I am a bit dim or if I don't realize that most of my posts have a similar theme and why the blazes I call it Gillian's Art Blog - what the heck does fear have to do with art? Well, partly it's because I have had this blog since 2005 and I want folks to be able to find it easily and I feel that there is no greater art than how we choose to live. Our experiences and creations all stem from how we choose to live our lives. Thirdly and selfishly, I need to remind myself regularly that a life lived fully is the greatest life lived. I don't want to regret not saying "I love you", not taking that adventure or not holding my ground in the face of equity and human rights or sustainability issues.

My wish is for all of us to live well, to live big, to live with an abundance of joy, love, peace and experience so 'take a deep breath and smile' (as one of my dear friends says!) and enjoy your day, with love. 

-Gillian Cornwall, c. April 13, 2014

Gumby and Pokey - Victoria BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. December 2006.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

The Life of Words

Shovel - Victoria BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2014

Some days it comes more easily than others, this business of writing. There are days when the pages fill as though the lines of the story are forming queues in my mind, awaiting their turn to travel from my brain down my neck, across my shoulder and down my arm and through my hand where they travel down a river of black ink in my eco-friendly pen and out through the minuscule opening onto the pages of my notebook. Imagine them as workers awaiting the subway at rush hour or as foot passengers, anxiously awaiting the opening of the single lane gate to board the BC ferry to the mainland. They are players on the sideline at the football match: ready, trained and poised to do their part to bring the game to an acceptable result. I'm sure you get the drift. 

Conversely, there are times aplenty when the story plays a game of hide and seek: the words, the plot, the reason is out there, or in here, somewhere, evading my search. Perhaps I wasn't clear about the boundaries for the game and the words have run over hill and dale, escaped across a border for which I do not hold a current passport. Just as easily, there is a chance they are around the next corner, down the hall, giggling under a pile of coats in the hall closet, holding back a sneeze born on a whiff of mothballs and dust. 

This week has held both experiences for me, as is often the case; nonetheless, I will write. I write. I have written. This is my path, my need, my feed, my breath. It is not choice. Whether parading the queue out in orderly fashion or letting it spill out in chaos, whether stumbling over hidden roots, far from home in a forest previously uncharted and unknown as darkness gathers, this is what I do. 

If I had no need of cash, it is all I would do. I love it. It is my closest companion and the conduit between me and the world. It is possibility and passion, fear and triumph. It is Peter Pan and Captain Hook, wine and water. It matters to me and I hope you can tell.

I am grateful to you for playing alongside me. Thank you for reading and expressing your thoughts. I hope it brings you something: inspiration, thought or learning. You are integral in this process. Thank you for sharing your time with me here, for walking beside me each week. 

If you have ever wanted to write, I hope you do it. Pick up a pen and scratch the surface. Keep digging - the treasure is there. If you require a nudge or an all-out shove, consider a course offered at a community centre or a school. Pick up one or two of the many books available. I turn to courses and books as often as I can when I need a push back to my desk (which is actually a dining room table). Here are a few of the guides that help me reset my bearings:

 Happy reading and writing. Enjoy the journey.

-Gillian Cornwall, c. April 6, 2014.