Tuesday, July 28, 2015

sketching, organizing and a lesson on Acadians

hi everyone!
I'm posting a little sooner than I expected I would.
When inspired to post - post!
I got this little book for my birthday a month ago.
I'm carrying it around with me as much as I can
and sketching little things here & there.
Sometimes, all you need is a few minutes.
I love contour drawing or "blind" drawing.
That's when you draw something
without looking at the page.
In this case (below), I drew a plant.
Years ago, I taught a few classes at Community College
and whenever I did this exercise with the students,
they would immediately tense up,
as if I had asked them to fly a spaceship.
We have this fear with art about doing it wrong
when in reality,
there IS no wrong in art.
This fear that it might be ugly,
or not as good as the others.
As you can see from the drawing above,
"looking pretty" is not the objective.
The objective, I believe,
is getting over the fear.
And getting over fear of anything
creates confidence.
I have a fear of cleaning.
This table is in my studio space
and it seems to be piling up with more junk every day.
This is the space I use right now for working.
When I first set up this upstairs loft,
my intention was to use it for painting
but that just never happened.
Not sure why.
The space just didn't feel right
and I always ended up painting in my
small, cozy, blue room on the main floor.
So the loft became a space for my computer and junk.
Lots of junk.
Binders that I've kept for years.
Old magazines & books.
Paper, paper & more paper.
So I decided to sort some things out,
while I have some time to myself this summer.
And of course, what better excuse than to buy another book!
There are some great tips in here,
some of which I have already done,
but most of which I will never do. ;)
With all due respect Marie Kondo,
I won't be de-cluttering my house
while wearing a skirt & blazer,
and I won't be talking to my socks
anytime soon. :)
To each his own.

I totally agree that many of us
have an excessive amount of 'stuff' around the house
and it's important to weed it out now & then.
This book is not only about getting rid of stuff,
but it's about respecting the stuff you have
and keeping ONLY what brings you joy.

Oh my.

How many of the things you own
bring you joy?
How many of those things could you NOT part with?
How many of the clothes you wear
make you happy?
Should it matter?
When your cupboards start to look like this,
yes, it matters.
At least to me it does.

It's only two cupboards,
but this is what i'm tackling next.

When I start feeling like there's too much stuff around me,
i hyperventilate.
I don't watch those hoarder shows on TV
because I feel like I can't breathe.
A few of the books I'm reading lately.
I am loving this one, by Steve Martin.
(yes, the comedian).
And this one...
which I was inspired to read
while painting mom's portrait.
Ironically, I am reading this in English.
(I am Acadian, my mother tongue is french but i read mostly in english)
The Acadians have a rich history.
Long story short, in the 1600's,
the french established a settlement
in the eastern provinces of Canada,
on what is now Nova Scotia & New Brunswick.
By 1755, after more than a century of living
in peace with the Mi'kmaq natives,
over 10,000 Acadians were deported by British soldiers
(with the assistance of Massachusetts)
to different parts of the world,
including the English colonies,
France, Louisiana, the Caribbean, etc.
Thousands died along the voyage,
and thousands more spent years
hiding in the woods,
in hopes of returning to their beloved land someday.

Happily, for hundreds of years after,
carrying on to this day,
Acadians from all around the world
have found their way home again
and the Acadian World Congress,
Le Congrès Mondial Acadien
was established to let the world know
we're still here. :)
It's so important not to hate people
let alone hating them based on
language, race, culture, or religion.

If interested, you can read more about the Acadians here.
And here's a sneak peek at mom's portrait...
almost done.
thanks for hanging out & reading my rants.
Wishing you all a great week.


  1. A happy week to you as well Pauline! Your Duchamp page is just fab and I have to give the blind drawing a go... or with the wrong hand drawing... have also kind of fear to do it.
    Great books ... I should look if this Marie Kondo book is translated in german ... I would be very interested in this kind of stuff.

  2. Hi Pauline. Reading your posts is like visiting an old friend who gets you. Yes, keeping things that bring you joy is a good guide to follow when clearing up. Thank you for your pearls of wisdom -"getting over fear of anything creates confidence." Enjoy your summer:) xx

  3. I completely agree with Jain, visiting your blog is like visiting a good friend. Thank you for sharing so much of your world with us. thank you for writing about building confidence up. I have that fear of painting wrong, not good enough etc. But you are right there is no wrong in art! big hugs to you!

  4. You made me smile so much when I read this post! I already heard about this book but my thoughts were similar to your's ... "why should I buy another book whereas I want to get rid of stuff?" Although I put this book into my amazon shopping basket but didn't click the "buy-button" up to now - as I have a personal relationship to all of my stuff and now after reading your post I think I have to get rid of my stuff my way. Many thanks for sharing :)