Friday, February 28, 2020

When a painting stays in your mind forever,
it burrows deep and  fuels your own creativity 
every single day. MBuffie

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, Casper David Freidrich, 1818

Sunday, December 15, 2019

From my home to your home - have a merry little Christmas!

Photo of my kitchen Christmas decorations. Copyright Margaret Buffie

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on, your troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
From now on, your troubles will be miles away

Here we are as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
will be near to us, once more.

Through the years, we all will be together
If the fates allow....
Hang a shiny star upon the highest bow
And have yourself a Merry Little Christmas now.....

 Song by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Flying North.....

Soon heading northeast along the highway, under the last few straggling lines of Canada Geese above.

A summer ahead - one hopes of cool evenings, warm days, and for me,  hours and hours of my own solitary canoeing, hiking, and revisiting the hidden places so  I can meet again again the great gray heron, painted turtles, the families of beavers who allow me access to their lives for a few minutes on rare evenings and the families of busy baby mergansers and mallards following their watchful mamas all lined up in a swaying row. 

One more summer to search out unknown mushrooms, new wild flowers, and to walk the trails in the boreal forest we've made over the years - and off the trails as well, always exploring. Looking down, with pleasure and a little fear at the discovery of bear tracks or wolf tracks on  the damn marsh trails along with the safe and smaller comma shaped hoof marks of deers. 

A whole summer ahead; of time with my little family in our own cottage. Making more memories. Talking, laughing, reading, painting, creating, and bobbing around on floaties .... and sometimes even sharing  a wiener roast in the dying light of day when the larger family is there. 

I am so fortunate to have this place. It keeps me grounded. It heals me. No television, no computer access and no radio. Only a phone. We're off!

Have a super summer everyone!


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Imagination is more important than knowledge.....

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.
 Albert Einstein.


       - the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.

  1.  - the part of the mind that imagines things.

  2.  - the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful.

 - an act or process of forming a conscious idea or mental image of something never before wholly perceived in reality by the one forming the images (as through a synthesis of remembered elements of previous sensory experiences or ideas as modified by unconscious defense mechanisms)

 - the ability or gift of forming such conscious ideas or mental images especially for the purposes of artistic or intellectual creation


  1.  relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

Note from Margaret: 
Knowledge deals with facts; through science, observations of actual events, etc while imagination is driven by "inventive creativity" that is, images and ideas that are not actually real, but which can present an original view of a person’s creative thinking. I believe that knowledge is also an important part of imagination, because we often use our learned knowledge to recreate, reinvent, and envision new things  


 - facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

- awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.

Fiction - Intellectual invention

-  invention or fabrication as opposed to fact.

- literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people.

Fiction as an invention or fabrication and creativity can also translate into other art forms:

Visual Invention: Art

- the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

- also the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, visual arts, music, literature, and dance.

I think that knowledge can, at times, be an important part of imagination. Creative people often use their knowledge to recreate, reinvent, and envision new things using that knowledge.  Margaret Buffie 

Here is just one example of one artist using his own knowledge to express his own internal image.

Jarek Yerks, The Library Dam 

Quotes and art that can enlighten us about Imagination.....

"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
Mark Twain

Rene Magritte, The False Mirror 

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds". 
Gilbert K. Chesterton

Jarek YerksSurreal Castle in the Sky

 "I saw the angel in the marble 
and carved until I set him free."

Michelangelo, Angel

"Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in 
dreams than the imagination when awake?" 
Leonardo da Vinci

Henri  Rousseau,  The Dream

"My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk."
John Keats

 Rembrandt, Titus as a Monk

Casper David Friedrich, The Abbey in the Oak Wood 

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. William Blake

Van Gogh, The Olive Tree

            Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. 
Albert Einstein

 Samy Charnine, Sea Inside

You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ 
But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not’? 
 George Bernard Shaw

Illustration art by Beatriz Martin Vidal

Friday, November 24, 2017

Winter's promise ....

In the depth of winter
I finally learned that 
There was in me
An invincible summer
Albert Camus, poet

Snowfall at Long Pine
Oil on canvas, copyright, Margaret Buffie

Monday, October 2, 2017

There's something about the water.....

There's something about the water - that solitary kind of peaceful feeling. 
You're on Earth but not quite. 
John C. Reilly

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

When you see a fish you don't think of its scales, do you? You think of its speed, its floating, flashing body seen through the water... If I made fins and eyes and scales, I would arrest its movement, give a pattern or shape of reality. I want just the flash of its spirit. Constantin Brancusi

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire.
Pamela Hansford Johnson

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

I love to watch the movement of light on water, and I love to play in rivers and lakes...  Berlie Doherty

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Clouds reflected in  water and a swirl from a Whirligig Beetle.
Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

 I will do water - beautiful, blue water. Claude Monet 
(famous for his lily pad paintings)

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it. Lao Tzu

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

 Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

 Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks.
Morihei Ueshiba
Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

 Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. Loren Eiseley

I'm off to the lake for close-up of the cabin for the winter. Hope to take photos of autumn around the lake. 

To quote Claude Monet:
These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession.

All photos on this page are my copyright property. Please respect my rights. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

One Touch of Nature....

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.  William Shakespeare

July Sunrise over the Bay
Photo copyright MargaretBuffie

I have been away most of the summer at my lake home in the boreal forest in North West Ontario. We don't receive internet there. And in a way, leaving it behind is always a secret relief for me. Cutting the strings to a world in turmoil is freeing and also healing. It also offers me time to refill empty chambers of creativity and allows me quiet spaces for reflective thoughts about the present and the future. They say that nature is restorative - without asking anything back from us - and this year, as always, nature offered me solace, and many moments of solitude to just sit and look around and breathe in everything around me -  and I am deeply grateful for it.

Also, without question, the beauty and the still unknown around me during those many days and nights and mornings full of curiosity and movement and stillness; whether in my canoe or walking along forest paths or sketching in my small art tablets, once again reminded me that it is up to every one of us to find a way to "touch" nature. Only in that way can we know that we must become the stewards of the environment we each live in.

It is always hard to close up the cabin and leave it alone to take on the winter snows and winds and the white and blue icy days.

So, for the next while, I will remember, again, the time I spent there in photos.

In the next week I will be adding more to my blog. I hope you enjoy seeing them. 

Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.  Saint Bernard de Clairvaux

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Quote of the Week

"A flowerless room is a soulless room, to my way of thinking; but 
even one solitary little vase of a living flower may redeem it."
Vita Sackville-West

I agree. This time, however, my house is filled with the smell of white lilacs. Our neighbour's tree bloomed while we were at our lake cabin and I will probably have only one day to enjoy them. But the fragrance alone is worth it.

White Lilacss
Painting:  Oil on Canvass, © Margaret Buffie

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Oh, Spring! I want to go out 
and feel you and get inspiration. 
My old things seem dead. 
I want fresh contacts, more 
vital searching. 

Emily Carr

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Quote of the week:

I like this quote because it rings so true for me. It is why
 I became a writer of fiction for young adults - and also for older 
adults readers who can "remember" along with me. MB

"Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen."
– Willa Cather

Willa Cather

One of my favourites

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Eastertide brings renewal and hope.....

Chipping Sparrow eggs in my front hedge.
Photo copyright - Margaret Buffie

Easter celebrates the coming of spring, of renewal, of change and of hope. We need all of those now!

Like most of our ancient traditions, many of the symbols of Easter lie in pagan celebrations.

Rabbits, for instance, come from the pagan festival of Eostre,
 which celebrated a German goddess -  Ostara (Eostre) - 
 the goddess of birth, fertility and spring. Her symbol was a hare or rabbit.  

The exchange of eggs is also an ancient pagan custom, celebrated by many cultures. And eggs are also symbolic renewal, fertility and hope.

According to the English monk Bede, the former pagans in England called April, or the month marking Jesus’s resurrection, “Ēosturmōnaþ” — Old English for the “Month of Ēostre.”

In the Old Testament, the Israelites baked sweet buns for their favourite idols, and of course, the early christian leaders were angered by sacred cakes being baked at Eostre. In the end, realizing they could not stop the cooks who refused to listen to them, they gave up and blessed the cakes instead. Later this tradition was transformed into a variety of acceptable "Christian" bread forms - having a cross marked on each cake or loaf of bread. 

As my mother was English, and attended Sparling United Church in the West End, she always made hot cross buns. But as an adult, I also began to make Easter bread - Paska - to celebrate the German half of my familyBoth recipes use a lot of eggs. 

My Easter Baking
My hot cross buns
Photo © Margaret Buffie

Making the sponge for Paska Bread
Photo © Margaret Buffie

My Paska Loaves
Photo © Margaret Buffie


I didn't know the history of the colouring of eggs so I looked it up. This is part of what Wikipedia says:

Easter eggs, also called Paschal eggs, are decorated eggs that are usually used as gifts on the occasion of Easter of springtime celebration. As such, Easter eggs are common during the season of Eastertide (Easter season). The oldest tradition is to use dyed and painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs wrapped in colourful foil, or plastic eggs filled with confectionary such as chocolate. Although eggs, in general, were a traditional symbol of fertility and rebirth, in Christianity, for the celebration of Eastertide, Easter eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus, from which Jesus resurrected. In addition, one ancient tradition was the staining of Easter eggs with the colour red "in memory of the blood shed at the time of his crucifixion.This custom of the Easter egg can be traced to early Christians of Mesopatamia, and from there it spread into Russia and Siberia through the Orthodox Churches, and later into Europe through the Catholic and Protestant Churches. This Christian use of eggs may have been influenced by practices in "pre-dynastic period in Egypt, as well as amid the early cultures of Mesopotamia and Crete".

My family has coloured Easter eggs for as long as I can remember. Simple plain colours.When I was a child, our parents would hide the hardboiled red, blue, yellow, purple and green eggs all around the house and we would search for them. one basket for each of us was also hidden and filled with a variety of candy and usually one large rabbit from our local chocolatier, Mordens Candies. Bliss.

Online photo. Photographer unknown.

As  I grew older I experimented with the simple colours. When I had a family of my own - and as an artist - I tried different ideas for fun. Here are a few  results....

Design and photo © Margaret Buffie

Design and photo © Margaret Buffie

                                                    Design and photo © Margaret Buffie

Design and photo © Margaret Buffie

2017 Eggs

Design and photo © Margaret Buffie