So I'm gearing up for Christmas. I'm ready for good conversation, seeing friends and family, good eats and wrapping presents. For some, Christmas isn't a time to celebrate because of lack of money to buy food or gifts or they are going through a rough time. For patients and staff on the Older Adult ward at Willow Pavilion at Vancouver General Hospital, I hope I can spread some joy and happiness through donating this painting to their dining hall.
In this busy month of November, I and others are preparing for art shows. Earlier in the fall, Jaz Pawa and I approached Alice Gu, gallery manager at Fragrant Wood Gallery, with a proposal for a fundraiser for mental health to raise awareness and benefit The Kettle Society, which offers housing, meals and supports for people with mental health issues. She agreed and we are excited to announce Nature in the Cityshowing Nov 27 to Dec 10 at Fragrant Wood Gallery, at Broadway and Granville. Raymond Chow, Jaz Pawa, Yaho-hanan Fiwchuk, B Hemsworth, Mike Levin, and I are some of the artists to be featured in this group show. Please join us at the opening reception, Thursday Nov 27, 6-8 pm
Also, work on Design Development continues for the Joseph and Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre at Vancouver General Hospital. Together with the architect, developer, clinicians and in consultation with other mental health consumers and family members, we are now reviewing the themes, colours, millwork and flooring for the project.
Vancouver Coastal Health Community Engagement Advisory Network, CEAN is made up of volunteers who advise on policies and procedures and support innovation in the treatment of patients and clients and their families. I joined this network recently and will attend their Fall Forum.
I am continuing to liaise with the Highs and Lows Choir funded by the Consumer Initiative Fund. If you would like to donate toward the Highs and Lows Choir performances, please call Alaric at 604-714-3771 ext 2255
On another musical note, I was invited to a practice of Opera Pro Cantanti. We sang through Macbeth. This theatre group is a lively bunch. Their next performance of Nabucco is Sunday, November 16th.
At Four Seasons Hotel, I attended a surprise celebration for Lorne Segal who is honoured with the Order of BC. The question in our minds was, "Why didn't he already have this award?" Lorne has done a lot not only in business but aiding people who need a little more help.
I've been working on some new floral paintings which I hope to exhibit later this year. Also, I am part of a design committee for the new Joseph and Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre scheduled to open in the spring of 2017. I also joined the Community Engagement Advisory Network (CEAN) to aid Vancouver Coastal Health through input as a member of the community. I am continuing as a volunteer Director of the Coast Foundation Society. And I'm participating in an art auction to raise funds for St. Paul's Hospital Mental Health Program in September.
Drawing and talking art with friends at the café has improved my technical skill. I watched a video about Stuart Slind, a Bowen Island artist and teacher. I paraphrase what he said as "If you want to be a big, successful artist, you must think like a big, successful artist. It takes effort and time. To make a masterpiece, one must treat each work with the care and attention that befits a masterpiece. It can't be just good enough. Having said that, sometimes you're in the studio and you're unsure because the piece doesn't seem to be going as planned. But it's at those times, when you are being most creative. And most importantly, enjoy the process, enjoy what you do."
As for writing, I collaborated on a novella with a New York writer about an internet relationship. So if you know of any novella writing contests, please let me know!
You are cordially invited to an art auction opening on Thursday, September 4th, 7 pm at Volume Studio, 1209 Bute Street (near Davie), Vancouver. Admission is free. Beverages will be served by donation (to go to SPH). There's available meter parking on Davie.
The Brilliant! 2014 Art Auction will donate part of the proceeds to the St. Paul's Hospital Mental Health Program. Also, the pieces will be posted online through the St. Paul's Hospital (SPH) website and one may submit bids to Volume Studio via phone, email or in person. The online auction will also start in September and run for several weeks.
One of my paintings and a copy of my memoir were selected for this fundraiser. I receive no payment to participate in this auction, but wanted to support a good cause!
I would like to thank Raymond Chow, an internationally renowned artist, for his encouragement and opportunity to exhibit my work at The Archer and The Horseman Gallery, 208 East 16th, in June. From there, he had the idea to exhibit the work of seven established and emerging artists at Fragrant Wood Gallery, 2233 Granville Street as a grand finale before they closed that location. The new Fragrant Wood Gallery is located at 2447 Granville @ Broadway.
Thanks to Jaz Pawa who did a lot of work with Raymond to organize this show. We had a wonderful opening reception. For me, it was thrilling to show my work on South Granville along with Mike Levin, Cathy Ludgate, Perrin Sparks, Liz Koerner, Jaz Pawa and Raymond Chow. Also I'd like to thank Alice Gu who manages the gallery for the opportunity to show there.
Also thanks to all our supporters who came out to see the show!
Raymond Chow presents 7 artists' work at the Fragrant Wood Gallery. The gallery has moved into a new space. The show will be held at their older location at 2233 Granville Street and 7th Avenue. Please come to our opening, Thursday July 10th, 7-9 pm.
Presenting... Our lives are a series of stories, and we are the
characters with the starring roles. The memories, regrets, secrets, and
struggles that fill these pages are at once unique and relatable. These stories
belong to us all.
Eight unforgettable tales reaching out to a place Far
Away In Time...
Author Bio: Maria Savva lives and works
in London. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She
is a lawyer, although not currently practising law. She writes novels and short
stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and
family saga. Many of her books and stories are inspired by her years working as
a lawyer, although she has not written a courtroom drama to date. She has
published five novels, the most recent of which is Haunted, a crime
fiction/psychological thriller. Far Away In Time is her sixth collection of
short stories. You can find out more about her work at her official website:
When January rolled in, I had a meltdown over the issue of lost files on the computer. Alas, it was human error and 'unintentional', but they happened to be files I had drafted. My relative happened to click the wrong button and vamoose! The files disappeared. No backup. Just gone.
It took me a good three weeks to recover from this incident, but who can blame someone for an 'accident'? And how many times have other people lost files?
So by the beginning of February, I'm back on keel after a very strange January which triggered many bizarre thoughts in my schizoaffective mind, followed by emotional whiplash.
Last year, a writer friend of mine in New York, James Young, sent me newspaper clippings of a novella that ran in the Metro newspaper titled Temp by Douglas Coupland, a fellow writer/artist who lives in Vancouver who you may be familiar with. It was a stellar collection of chapters about this temp and the company she worked for. Humorous, ironic and current. As a result, I went to Book Warehouse and bought more than a few Coupland novels. (I take a long time to read books, so why not pay for them and relish them for awhile?)
I had also just completed reading Banana Boys by Terry Woo who I met at the LiterAsian Festival, which showcased Pacific Rim Asian Canadian writers. Believe it or not I found these two authors' work complemented each other and inspired me. I found myself eager to start writing a novel.
Starting December 7th, I wrote like a fiend, until my eyeballs could no longer focus and my neck developed a serious pain issue. I sat at my computer in the basement for 6 or 8 hours a day until my feet froze and my legs became icicles. Still I persevered.
My New York friend is also a published writer. He has had three books published including Rerun, Time Passages, and Bounty Hunter. He aided me in the editing process and wrote an entertaining commentary with his responses to my story.
So lo and behold, about two months later, I find myself with a novel length manuscript. My intention is to let it simmer awhile longer, go over it a few more times, look for changes, and then eventually approach agents or publishers.
Sometimes in our darkest moments, we find out what we're made of.