Sunday, November 8, 2015

War and being quiet in a loud world

Hello everyone.
November 11th is our Remembrance Day
here in Canada
so i thought I'd start with this.
I'm not big on war,
but there's a soft spot in my heart
for all veterans - past & present.
I especially feel for those
who in the past
were pressured to become soldiers.
Those who were drafted.
Those who didn't have a choice.
Those men with peaceful hearts
who couldn't kill a fly,
and were now expected
to kill another human being.
I can't even imagine...
There's just nothing right about war.
So here we go!
it's been a productive, creative week here.
I feel a surge of energy again,
so i'm riding the wave while it's here. :)
One of my aunts gave me a whole bunch
of painted canvases she no longer wanted.
(merci Angèle!)
Initially, i was gonna paint white over all of them
but then decided to use some of the color
in the background for new paintings instead.
And of course, when i saw this big red one...
I knew what i wanted to do with it.
I wish i could have kept it looking like this...
with more red showing through.
But you know me.
Like most artists,
i don't know when to stop myself. ;)
So I kept painting...
and painting.
The canvas is a large one - about 2 x 2.5 feet,
and once i got to this point with it,
I realized the legs were much too short.
I'm gonna fix the arms as well.
I played with it a bit
and i'm still not done
but here's what I'm gonna do -
extend the body & tombstone
to the bottom of the canvas
so it'll look something like this instead:
(I just cropped the photo for now)
At least i'm hoping it'll look like this. :)
I also want to wipe off some of the paint,
so the red background can peek through a bit more.
Only 3 colours in this one:
Red, Paynes grey and white.
i love the Paynes grey because it has
a blueish tint to it.

This is the watercolour I had done
a few years ago.
The photo had come out in the newspaper
and it struck me so much
that I saved it for a possible future painting.
So here's another cityscape painting,
turned on its side.
I did this one before the veteran one
and i had so much fun doing this.
I felt some guilt about painting over
someone else's painting. :(
I didn't know what I was gonna do
but as soon as i painted these shapes in white,
filling in the empty space just felt like the next step. 
 So then i had this...
I added dark blue around the shapes,
added a few colours, dots & circles
and there you have it!
Once I was done, 
I looked at it for a bit
and noticed a little girl
in this one circle...
Do you see her?
I never noticed her
when i was painting the circles
but there she is.
Blonde hair & a pink dress.
(how could i NOT see her before?)
And speaking of not being seen,
I've just finished this book called QUIET.
It's basically about the differences
between introverts & extroverts,
and although I'm not big
on putting people in categories,
i really enjoyed reading QUIET.
You can look up the definitions,
but basically, an introvert is someone
who is energized by internal things
(like many artists and writers)
while an extrovert is energized
by external things
(like public speakers or CEOs)
This book made so many things clear for me
and helped me understand
why I am the way I am.
For so long, as a child and a teenager,
I thought something was wrong with me.
At school, when everyone was gathering
to play team sports during recess,
I was the one by myself,
bouncing my ball on the brick wall
(and quite happy doing just that).
When there were class plays,
I was the one who wanted to melt in the linoleum floor
while others fought for the lead role.
I disliked anything competitive
(yes, that included team sports).
I hated confrontation of any kind.
As a teenager, I was the one in my room,
drawing or writing in my journal
or listening to music
and being happy to do just that.
At school, I loved the library,
or that cozy little corner
in the schoolyard where I could gather
with one or two friends
and just giggle together about boys. ;)
But that was always frowned upon in school
(and it's still frowned upon in the workplace).
If you were alone,
something must be wrong.
And if you preferred being alone,
something was definitely wrong.
You were not a team player.
You were selfish.
You were too quiet and shy.
You needed to be "brought out of your shell".
Well folks, if you are an introvert,
I'm here to tell you one thing:
Don't change who you are,
or HOW you are.
The world needs more introverts.
It is the introverts who write the great books
and the plays and the symphonies...
Dr. Seuss was an introvert.
So was Einstein.
George Orwell.
Rosa Parks.
Steven Spielberg.
Mahatma Gandhi.
Charles Schultz and Charlie Brown ;)
Eleanor Roosevelt.
J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter... 
I understand now
why time alone is so important
for an introvert.
I understand why I dislike corporations so much.
I understand why I love
one on one conversations
and have no patience for gossip or small talk.
I understand why certain people
make me feel agitated,
and other people make me feel calm.
I understand my solitary hobbies.
I understand my sensitivity.
I don't need to be doing something
every single minute of the day
to feel good about myself
or to feel productive.
I don't need to travel the globe
to feel like I'm living fully
(although i do love to travel). ;)
And i certainly don't need
to make a lot of money
nor to have some fancy title
to feel like I have "made it".
I believe we ALL have something to offer
to make the world a better place.
Some of us just offer
in a more quiet way
and there's absolutely
nothing wrong with that.


  1. Wow this is such a touching post. My family is military. From my grand dad, dad, brothers, my son. Now my SIL is deployed with the US Marines and my grand son and grand daughter are in the US Air Force. I love this painting. He shows so much emotion. The others are lovely as well.

    1. oh You must be so proud of your family. You are surrounded with such courage & devotion. So many sacrifices being made... The photo in the paper was of a local man (some in my family knew him), but it could be anyone. Anyone who strives for a more peaceful world is a hero to me. xx

  2. So much truth in this powerful post! Gorgeous strong art... ! There needs to be quiet to hear the creative whispers!! Thanks for showing your process...this soldier is wonderfully universal and timeless. Love how the red peeks through so beautifully! You are so talented! Your mind is truly amazing.. I have never liked small talk either!!

    Hugs Giggles

    1. Giggles, you always have such nice things to say. I so appreciate your honesty and especially your "way of being" in the world. (I suspect you and I have lots in common. Hating small talk is only one little tidbit). ;) xx

  3. Hi Pauline. I've decided to read this post in two parts as there is so much in it to soak in. Thank you for sharing the process of turning the red (poppies) to the soldier in's fascinating! Your cityscape transformation reminds me of Matisse cut outs...powerful stuff. LOVE being here after a longish gap. hugs. xx

    1. Arti! It's always good to see you here. Yes, I sometimes begin a post and by the time I get to the end, i'm on a totally different topic. I'm all over the place. ;) Thank you for visiting. I'll be 'visiting' you soon too! Take care, my friend. xx

  4. Hello Pauline you got me looking for that little girl and at first I couldn't see her but then bang there she was so evident and clear! What a great lot of art. Your remembrance piece strikes and I love how you shared your creative process, painting over that poppy, what an awesome journey!
    I've loved catching up here yet again and all your Autumn walks you share, how I love this season and in your parts it must be so beautiful, Lulu would relish all the leaves, she loves to pick the pretty warm coloured ones.