Sunday, April 29, 2012

studio reno

these past few weeks, post artfest has been one of the most productive for me.  it has been a flurry of activity in my studio. so much so, that i have totally and completely outgrown the tiny little space that i call 'my studio'.  aka, a little corner of my bedroom..


i've managed to get paint all over the hardwood floors, on my sheets, on my duvet, and little bits of stuff all over the place.  it no longer feels like a bedroom.

time to renovate the garage into my studio.  a real space for me to let go and really create.  without fear of ruining anything with paint.  a fearless space for creating.. i like that.

it's spring... and here comes the major reno to get it going..  so excited.   my own private sanctuary to escape to.  wish me luck that i can actually make this work.

by the way i'm loving this new app that makes instant collages on your iphone... love love love.. thanks maryann moss for the tip.

playing with pastels. making a series of ATC's.  gosh i love this new app.

happy sunday... xox

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Female Icon Series

(post edit:  SOLD) 


(post edit: SOLD)



now available in my etsy shop

i've always been fascinated by women, and the power that women hold. women, creators of life, nourishers, care takers, home makers/tenders/keepers, career women, kissers of boo-boos, and the femme fatal.  so many roles. so much incredibleness in being a woman.

infatuated by the female icon, described as,

1. (Christianity / Eastern Church (Greek & Russian Orthodox)) a representation of Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a saint, esp one painted in oil on a wooden panel, depicted in a traditional Byzantine style and venerated in the Eastern Church
2. an image, picture, representation, etc.
3. a symbol resembling or analogous to the thing it represents
4. a person regarded as a sex symbol or as a symbol of a belief or cultural movement

women, iconic women, of greatness.  portraits of women whose eyes and faces tell stories.  so many stories to tell.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


 so much gratitude

for life returning to some kind of normal

for more time

for my husband who does so much

for opportunities to get messy

for friendship,

and connection





and most especially today, grateful for the opportunity to tick another item off my bucket list.  seeing bruce springsteen in concert.  i've been a fan since i was 9 years old.  yup.  i used to listen to his albums when my sister (who was 17 years old) would put them on.  i've been a fan ever since.  why it's taken me so bloody long to see him?  two things, i either couldn't afford the ticket prices, and/or i could just never get tickets..  the last time he was in toronto, i tried getting tickets and they were sold out the minute, literally the minute they went for sale.  i wasn't willing to spend $250 on scalped tickets.  but this time.  this time was my time.  i got my husband to do it for me.  if anyone could get me tickets, it would dom.  he's the man.  and he got me awesome seats, and only $140.. 

anyway bruce is a master lyricist, and musician.  he goes to places no one else does.  his stories hit straight to the core of my heart.  his lyrics these days have inspired many of my paintings.  oh yes they have. 

just have a listen to the words of this song... god and i love this performance..


Monday, April 23, 2012


click on image above to take you to my etsy shop

here are snippets of what you'll find





(post edit:  this piece SOLD)
i've been very busy this weekend on a creating frenzy.  it was a most beautiful weekend.

more soon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012



i've just discovered his work and blog, and am blown away.  not only is he a gifted artist, he's also an incredible writer.  


he has somehow managed to so beautifully and eloquently described the 'why' of why i create.  of why i make the art that i do. he says in this post


..."And praise can be as insufficient as a shrug. We don’t just want a pat on the head; we want connection, reaction, insight, something that makes us see what we made in a newer light or on a deeper plain. Knowing we moved someone else, revealed truth to them, reminded them of something we didn’t even know corresponded, that makes us love our work all the more. Love it and wonder at it, at the fact that we were the conduit for it, that something passed through us and then passed through another heart. It dissolves the loneliness of existence.  Ideally, our art is the truest manifestation of our conclusions about the nature of things and when someone else sees it and validates it and shares it, the power of that truth is reflected back on itself like an endlessly repeating mirror".


isn't that just the most beautiful thing you ever read? 

persistence is her name.  persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  this piece holds a special place in my heart.  it was created at the last artfest (after 13 glorious years), in the fabulous portrait class held by misty mawn.  the energy, the creativity, and the commaraderie of the event was out of this freakin world.  it rocked my world.  and her expression just captures that for me.  i just adore her.


9' x 12' on fabriano artistico hotpress 140 lbs
mixed media
acrylics; oil sticks; oil pastels; caran d'ache; stabilo


there will be more originals to the shop very soon

Monday, April 16, 2012

getting my groove back

black charcoal and white pastel
frame and 'believe' collage elements from Sabrina Ward Harrison's new book

i'm back, and finally out of my funk.  finding my groove.  sketching, painting, creating, and feeling good about it again.  

i get into those moods every once in a while, and while it sucks when you're in it,  i think it's a good thing.  we all need a kick in the ass every once in a while to wake us up out of what has become our 'normal'.  since the last piece i've kept all internet use to a minimum...  and have holed myself up in my studio.  creating.  


i've got about 5 pieces on the go..  all at various stages of completion.  it was a frenzy of creation.  just as i had started one, i'd start another, the ideas bursting in my head screaming to be released.  some of the best stuff i've done yet. 

 building a body of work.  work that i'm proud of.  work that may even make it's way to my etsy.  

thank you to all the comments and messages i received from dear ones cheering me on.  it lifted me up.  it really did.  xox

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

thank you IRA GLASS for the reminder

avere un coraggio da leone

hate it when the 'funk' sets in. 

and the piece above is what set it off.  after all the work and time put it - it felt flat so bloody flat.  wasn't sure how to make it work..  everything i did was just making it worse.  ugh.  it put me in such a bloody mood.

running through my brain and reaking havoc on my heart, was...

"really, why am i doing this?  why am i wasting my time? i don't feel like i'm ever going to get close to the place i wanna be.  i'll never be able to paint or draw as good as him, and look at her work  i'll never be able to do that"

why am i in this funk all of a sudden, when just a couple of weeks ago, i was unstoppable.  i thought i was 'there'.  but where is there?  isn't it the journey that's supposed to be the best part, and not the end result? it's in the getting there that we grow and learn and become.  i know this.  but why do i continue to compare my work to others?  how can i not?

then i ended up on the squam blog.  and read this post by michelle madden smith.  particularly this quote from Ira Glass.  it was as if the piece was written for me.
"what nobody tells people who are beginners -- and i really wish someone had told this to me... is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste.  but there is this gap.  for the first couple years you make stuff.  and it's just not that good.  it's trying to be good.  it has potential.  but it's not.  but your taste.  the thing that got you into the game, is still killer.  and your taste is why your work disappoints you.  a lot of people never get past this phase.  they quit.  most people i know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this.  we know our work doesn't have that special thing we want it to have.  we all go through this.  and, if you are just starting out you are still in this phase.  you gotta know it's normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.  put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.  it is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap.  and your work will be as good as your ambitions.  and i took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone i've every met.  it's gonna take a while.  it's normal to take a while.  you've just gotta fight your way through."
                                        ---Ira Glass

                                                             
funny thing....when arriving at madrona, my home away from home during my time at artfest, i looked up because i heard the familiar 'kee-eee-raa' call from Hawk.  he flew right above me.  circling. and circling.  and i stared up at him for what seemed like a minute or two.  he was telling me to follow my 'all that is'.  this is my calling.  and this is my journey.  a sweet reminder that i will close the gap.  maybe not today.   but i will get there?  where ever 'there' may be.

i'll be putting in my 10, 000 hours and more to get there...  this funk won't get me down yet.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Artfest Part 3: more pics, less words

i know, i know .... another artfest post.  well, can't help it.  just looking at these pics makes me so happy..  and to see them all in one page.  welll.....  love it.

the people:  phyllis peterson, carlanda williams, lyn tivenan and her 'common' english humour (ok it's an inside joke), annie froese, dina wakely, orly avineri, carrie clayden, irene raphael, keli mckinley, misty mawn, carla sonheim, joki kincaid, stephanie lee, katie kendrick, john hammond, judy wise, elena nosyreva, jaci swarts, ilene harris, teesha & tracy moore.  imagine that.  i'm still awe struck.


the city, Seattle:  sitting and relaxing in one of the many starbucks along our journey, including the flagship store established in 1971; beautiful views of the pacific, the awesome pike place market (which reminded me of our st. lawrence market); the shopping (my favs were anthropologie and all saints); the mexican restaurants (that my kids made us have lunch at almost every.single.day); the cops on every street corner; the kids blending in the like a natural seattleite, hoodies and all.  so so much fun.


the classes:  orly avineri's 'inside the outside' was a mind blowing, earth shaking, that touched me to my core in the most profund way.  so memorable.  so much talent, and heart and humanity in this beautiful artist.  she gave 100% to this class.  so well thought out.  so well planned, and executed.  it's no wonder i love her so much, she's a fellow aquarian.  oh. yes. she. is.  i could have just talked to her for hours and hours....  oh to be able to mentor under her, to work in tamdem, and/or to collaborate in the same studio.  how incredible would that be.  wink wink, orly.. xoxo  smile.


pike place market:  such an eclectic haven for so many original finds.  a fresh food market, as well as vintage knick knacks and shops.  it was a maze of treasures, from candy shops, leather goods, gresh fish and vegetables, scary puppets (ala stephen king), funky signage, big open spaces with lots and lots of people.  


fort worden, port townsend:  Madrona was my (our) home away from home.  It was like the castle up on the hill away from anything close!!  deer roam randomly in your front yard, and they don't run away from you.  surrounded by trees and the beach and lots of green, and friendly 'taxi' drivers that happily take you to your classes and back home again....FREE.  lol.   it was a little piece of heaven despite the irritating ghosts.  yes, we had a few happenings whilst in madrona. but then again, doesn't everyone in port townsend have a story?  so why should it have been any different for us.  rattlings in the night for me; another house mate heard morse code; and yet another made her lose her toothbrush... 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ode to Artfest: Part 2

i am still searching for the words to describe my artftest experience.

do you remember....
what it was like when you were sixteen and you met your favorite rock star, or even just being the 1 in a million people in the audience.  remember how exciting that was.  well that's how i felt meeting some of my artists aka idols.  laugh.  yes, it was crazy sitting beside Carla Sonheim, and having lunch and chatting with Orly Avinerie and her daughter, and shopping at the local akamai with mindy lacefield and dina wakely.  and having some very special ladies visit our Madrona home.... a line up of stars i tell ya, misty mawn, katie kendrick, stephanie lee, juliette crane, danielle daniels.  taking pics with Teesha moore and Tracy.  yes. well, it was beyond.  beyond.  beyond my wildest dreams. 










do you rememer.....
what it was like when you were let out on the last day of school before summer vacation.  and the thrill of a whole summer ahead of you playing it up and enjoying your free time with friends.  that's how i felt at artfest.  my last day of work was sublime.  the day we left for our trip and we entered the grounds of Fort Worden, in Port Townsend, my whole body shook with excitement.  visiting seattle, and taking the ferry over to bainsbridge island, and making the 2 hour trek to PT was simply divine.  so much beauty to experience.  glad that my husband and kids got to experience it with me.








do you remember...
having good 'ol fun with friends and sleep overs, and doing crazy things, and laughing, and feeling joy and commaraderie and connection, and a feeling of belonging.  belonging. meeting my long-time on line friends was crazy. CRAZY.  i tell you.  we stayed in madrona with 15 very creative and talented woman.  it was like getting together with instant girlfriends, the wine and spirits were soaring, and many many friendships were made and shared, and strengthened.  it was magical i tell ya.














do you remember...
what it was like to feel in absolute awe when you were young and just learned something new.  something so new and exciting that it rocked your world.  well that's what happended to me.  classes that inspired me to tears.  work that was created and shared, given and taken.  priceless.  PRICELESS.












do you remember...
what it was like when someone told you 'great job', 'well done', and how proud you felt.  well, i was humbled by the kind words of encouragement i received.  from people i had no idea my work meant so much to.  it was humbling and exciting, and opened new worlds of ideas and possiblities.  the encoragement to push forward, and DO IT.  words like 'you're ready',   'you're there',   i will never forget those words.  Carrie, i will always always remember those words.  you have no idea what that meant to me.






do you remember...
how you cried like a baby when you finished your favorite book, or lost your fisrt pet, or fell off your bike all bruised and scraped.  well, by the end of artfest i was an emotional mess.   it was such a roller coaster of feelings.  of being seen.  of being heard.  and embraced.  it was hard to say goodbye to that.  and to say goodbye to friendships that were strengthened and bound by something etheral and unexplainable..  it was hard.  and like a baby i wept saying goodbye.  to friends.  and this beautiful, life changing thing called artfest.