Tuesday, July 22, 2014

small details...

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
- Mary Oliver
We've had a wonderfully hot summer so far
(some would say too hot)
and I must admit,
I feel a little less inspired
during these lazy, hazy summer days.
I'll get back into full swing soon enough.
 This is collage & acrylic on paper.
And then, Woody Allen.
I'm still trying to paint with less detail.
I thought it would help if i used a SMALL piece of paper.
He looks so anxious all the time, doesn't he?
Like he's gonna be hit by a bus any minute.
Now that i see it here, i'm thinking:
holy crap, the eyes are WAY too big
and way too far apart!
But I did it quickly, and it was so small,
i left them as is.
I tried to use limited colours too,
something else i thought may help me
keep details to a minimum.
I think the size of the brush matters too.
At least for me.
If my brush is too small, i'll paint every wrinkle. ;-)
A quick sketch of my camera...
drawing is different for me.
Here, I want detail.
 ...and another quick sketch of mom's radio.
I may have posted this one before - don't remember.
I'm sorting out some of my old paintings/drawings -
still trying to put together this book
and decide what's in & what's out.
It's fucking hard.
Some days are smooth as silk,
and other days, I struggle with why i'm doing it,
what I should include,
what I should leave out,
where I go from here.
I suppose it's all part of the process.
Depending on the day,
I feel like one of these three.
And yet, even when it sometimes feels
like it'll never get done,
I know how much magic can happen
in carving out little increments of time,
so I continue.
A lot can be written
in 15 or 30 minutes.

I think it's so important just to continue.
Just to keep writing.
Even on those days where nothing seems to make sense.
Especially on those days.

The man who moves mountains
begins with small stones, right?

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!
Thanks for being here.

Monday, July 7, 2014

being vulnerable is a good thing

The painter who has no doubts will achieve little.
- Leonardo da Vinci
A few samples of my paintings
hanging at a little gallery in Shediac, NB.
I'm tempted to say
it's not really a gallery, it's a historical house
but then I remind myself that regardless of what it is,
they asked me to put a few paintings, and I did.
There is truth to the da Vinci quote above.
As I was hanging these last week,
the voice in my head got busy
with trying to distract me.
Why are you even hanging these?
This isn't real art.
Who's gonna see this?
No one's gonna like these.
They only asked you cause they had no one else.
blah blah blah...
I've been painting long enough now
and practicing courage long enough
to just carry on with what I'm doing
regardless of the doubts that linger.
Whenever we put ourselves out there,
whether it be with paintings in a show,
sharing our art through a blog,
writing a book or a song,
telling someone how we really feel -
we are making ourselves vulnerable
and although being vulnerable may not always be comfortable,
it's necessary for anyone who is seeking the truth.
Whether these paintings are good or not,
whether they are real art or not,
it matters very little what others think,
because they are MY truths.
That alone is enough.

So my paintings are here for a month or so,
in this quaint little historical house called Pascal Poirier house,
on Main Street in Shediac, NB. (see below for a bit of a blurb on PP)
(apologies for the bad photo!)
Pascal Poirier (February 15, 1852 – September 25, 1933) was a Canadian author, lawyer, and the all-time longest-serving Senator. Born in Shediac, New Brunswick, he wrote books on Acadian history and language.The Pascal Poirier House (c. 1820–30) was designated a Provincial Historic Site under the Historic Sites Protection Act. The home he was born in has been preserved as a museum and as an important and rare example of early-19th-century Acadian residential construction.
The 112 storey gabled house, which features a hand-hewn structure, is believed to be the oldest building in Shediac.
And here's why i've been neglecting my blog
for the past weeks...
We had a heat wave here last week
that brought everyone and their dog to the ocean.

We get about 3 months of summer per year, if we're lucky,
so we take advantage of being outside every chance we get.
(my son, pondering his horizons!) 

how beautiful is this?
a wave of sand...
Love the clouds and the colours in the sky...
Just finished this book - filled with
bizarre photos & a tale that had me flipping pages
like a mad woman.
Oh. Right.
I always do that.
Art inspired by the book.
Or maybe by something else going on in my life,
who knows...
acrylic on paper.
I love his face.
Trying to be less detailed with my painting
and just get the shadow vs light.
And then this abstract.
When i finished it,
I kept seeing a rabbit in the middle sitting near a cross (on the left)
so i thought i'd flip it over
the way i often do with abstract paintings after they're done...
But then i saw a skull near a cross (on the right)
with someone kneeling (in red, on the left)
and it scared me, so i flipped it back to the rabbit side.

I'm such a chicken.

Wishing you all a wonderful week
filled with things you love to do,
people you love to see,
food you love to eat
and music you love to listen to...
Thanks for being here!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

oh my... school's OUT?!?

Hello to all!
This past Sunday, our son graduated from high school.
13 years of public schooling - check.
Some kids love school. My son wasn't one of them.
He's like his mom -
doesn't do so well with boredom and routine and rules. ;-)
Ask me how proud we are.
So the past few weeks were filled with excitement
and last minute preparations for the big day.
Check out the cute graduation caps his friend made...
mini peanut butter cups & chocolate. 
Adorable and delicious.
then this beautiful sunrise
on my birthday a few days ago
then a little later on in the day,
these wispy clouds.
Isn't it lovely?
Looks like paint to me.
ok, so after all the excitement of this past week,
i realized i had painted very little.
Sometimes I think to myself:
"what the hell do I do with my time"?
and the answer is usually: READ.
I love books, but too much of a good thing
isn't necessarily good, is it?
I have to re-evaluate a few things in the coming months.
Notice I didn't say WEEKS because i know
i'll have to wean myself off books slowly -
just like a crack addict!
Oh, and for the record, I'd never stop reading completely.
I just need to slow down enough
to make room for other things.
Like writing my own damn book. 
So today is the last day for this week's theme
on Illustration Friday
and the theme is: SUMMER!
I first started with a bit of a collage (for the blue)
but quickly decided I would just use paint.
(acrylic on paper)
At first, I didn't really like it
but kept going anyway.
You just never know how something's gonna end up...
By this point, i was kinda ok with it.
The actual colour of the sand is more yellow than orange,
but you get it.
I had fun with the waves...
those are collage (pieces of paper I cut out of a magazine)
and then I added white lines & dots
I was just in the mood for something light,
something fun, cartoony.
I'm not a big "50 shades of grey" fan.
And here's the finished painting of my uncle,
although I altered his look a little
so it wouldn't look exactly like him.
It's acrylic on canvas.
(he still doesn't know this one's going in a show next week!)
These pastries are a popular Acadian treat called
translation: Nun farts
So delicious.
And here's another painting going in the show.
(you'll understand the scribble of paint in the corner in a second!)
These were old barns in a field a few miles from here.
I believe the barns have now crumbled to the ground.
I painted this years ago
and I must have been feeling blue when I painted it
because looking at this painting always depressed me.
There was something about the weak barns,
barely standing and
surrounded with so much blue
that just made it sad.
It's pretty big (something like 30 x 30 inches)
and I kept it out of sight for years.
Until I was asked if I was interested
in doing a show of my paintings on canvas.
When I began looking at my paintings
and found this one,

My 1st thought was:
why does this bother me so much?

and my 2nd thought:
why don't I change what bothers me?

It's my painting...
I can do whatever i want, right?
So I did this.
Changed the sky to yellow
and added little bits of yellow here and there in the ground,
to balance things off a bit.
Much better to me.
Some people may prefer the blue one (and that's ok!)
but to ME - this makes my heart happier
Making such a change to a big painting isn't easy.
I didn't know if it would make it better,
or kill it completely.
Sometimes, we keep ourselves from taking risks
because we're just so damn afraid of the outcome.
And really - think about it -
what's the WORST thing that could happen?
It would have been a bad painting.
That's it.
No one dies.

It's a painting,
and sometimes, taking that risk
and trusting your gut
is exactly what needs to be done.
The minute I put that little squiggle of yellow paint in the corner
I went with it.
Go big or go home.
And i'm glad I did.
And speaking of going big -
a double rainbow again!
Awesome twice.

And I'll never understand why someone like Nicki Minaj is known around the world, but this guy isn't... (oh right - she has boobs!)

Ron Sexsmith - one of my favourite songwriters ever...
Thanks for hanging out!
Keep painting!