Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Winter Solstice, Happy Holidays, etc...

This will be my last post for a little while. 
Until the holidays are over & family & friends have gone, and the last bits of chocolate & shortbread cookies have been eaten - and i have time & energy for creativity again. :-)  
I wanted to thank you all for the kind comments and for being such positive & creative forces for me. I am grateful for having found you all and look forward to another year of sharing ideas, and making this world a better place thru art. :-)
Merry Christmas everyone... xoxo

Friday, December 16, 2011

intuitive painting

I thought i'd attempt intuitive painting last night.

Just let myself go & put blobs of paint anywhere on the paper
without thinking about whether it makes sense or not,
or without trying to make it look like something.

4 colours - prussian blue, purple, white and turquoise.

Whenever i begin this process, it never takes long for my brain to kick in
& start whispering things like, "what the hell is this supposed to be?" or
"c'mon now, you're not cut out for abstract painting". :-)

I ignore the inner critic & just keep putting blobs here & there,
looking for areas that feel interesting to circle or branch out with.
I don't know if it would be defined as abstract, because in the end,
something always ends up looking like something.

I don't give this much thought as i'm painting though. 
It doesn't need to be categorized. 
It just needs to be painted.

I put colour where i feel like putting colour
...and a few things start taking shape here & there...

some added white & detail, until it feels finished.

It may not be something i'd frame on my wall, but the process is very liberating,
and that's ultimately what it's about, isn't it? There's a certain point in this process
where i no longer hear the critical whispers in my head
and where the music is perfect
and the air is good
and I am totally comfortable
and i am in the zone...

I believe it is that sacred space that allows us all to shine.

It is that space that allowed Tiger Woods to be at the top of his game,
or Michaelangelo to paint his masterpiece,
or Mozart to compose his symphony.

After i'm done, I only then notice my dirty water. :-)

I'm bad with changing the water - I should really have spare water containers by my side
so I wouldn't need to get up & change it when i'm on a roll.


And on another note, I feel like an magnet for assholes these days... :-(

I got stopped by the police yesterday for having expired license plates.
My stickers were due 2 weeks ago... i hadn't noticed. 
Some cops are good people - i'm sure of this - but this guy wasn't one of them.
He happily wrote me a ticket. 
$172.50, two weeks before Christmas.

I hope Santa brings him a bag of coal... :-)

I love happy bunny & have this little poster on my studio wall.
Last night, it made me smile more than usual.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

michael jackson

a quick outline...

...add some browns


and black & blue. 

I heard something on the news last night that inspired this painting.
Michael Jackson supposedly kept motivational tapes under his pillow.
The tapes are reported as giving messages like "you are a good person" and "you are worthy"...

The whole thing just made me sad.

The idea that he still needed someone - a stranger on a tape - to tell him that he was "good"
made me think that he must have felt such emptiness inside.
Michael has been described as the king of pop, a pedophile, an addict,
and a musical genius.

Maybe he was all of these things, but whenever i see him, i just see suffering.
Those eyes were definitely suffering eyes, regardless of how much his body was dancing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

walmart lady

This poor Walmart woman seemed anything but happy to serve me... 
There were actually posters just behind her that read "WE CARE". Good ol' Walmart... :-)

Just goes to show you can surround a person with all the smiley faces you want,
but if her heart is unhappy, or if she's been standing on her feet for 8 straight hours, it won't matter.

Still, this whole scene made me smile.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

fire hair

I'm stuck in red these days. Very unusual for me. I'm usually a blues & greens kinda gal.
Maybe Santa is rubbing off on me? :-)

i did find a way to include the blues... 

not quite done yet, but i wanted to share anyway.

I'm having a lovely time in my neck of the woods, preparing for Christmas. The only thing missing now is snow. I'm one of those people who looks forward to a good snowstorm. It's unusual for us not to have snow at this time of the year, so my fingers are crossed, at least for a bit. :-)

Wishing you all a wonderful Tuesday! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Santa's day off

In the spirit of Christmas, i'm guessing this is what Santa does on his day off. :-)

...a few black lines with the MICRON pen...

...a few extra snowflakes with the white pen, and there you have it.
Santa on skates.

As much as i love painting & posting, sometimes, life gets in the way. 
Christmas preparations, work, appointments, books to read, Christmas specials on tv. :-)
I try to make time for art every day, but i do have days where motivation or inspiration (or time!)
seem faaaaar away from my grasp, and on those days, i don't fret over it. I just do something else.
I know there are more quiet nights on the horizon where i'll have time to myself, good music by my side and paints & paper galore. 

So if ever i disappear from blog land for a few days at a time, please know that i'll be back, and i'll be eagerly visiting your blogs as well... so keep posting too, ok? :-)


Thursday, December 8, 2011

girl in box

Another few pages for the Sketchbook challenge.
A girl in a box, acrylic on paper.
Not much of a process to show today, since i haven't finished it yet.
I'll have to do something about those curly pages before i send it off.

By the way, i loved reading your comments yesterday about when or how you all became artists. 
It's funny how one thing leads us to another in life, isn't it?

Neither of my parents were artists - my father was a carpenter & my mother a caregiver (this doesn't mean they weren't creative!) - but I remember always having crayons & paper in the house. I also remember my mother saving the egg cartons, which usually turned into colourful little bells, or flowers. Or dad bringing home scrap pieces of wood for me to draw on or carve. When i was 12 or 13, we had a snow sculpture contest at school and my friend and i won first place for our snow sculpture of Snoopy the dog - the Charles Schultz creation - not Snoop Dog :-). All of these little things lead me to continue being creative, one way or another.

In high school, (in Alberta), I was fortunate enough to have a great art teacher who encouraged me to push myself (thanks, Mr. Muzzo). He even told me I was a really good artist - that's all it took. At the end of the school year, we were moving back east, 3000 miles away and as a gift, Mr. Muzzo gave me a brand new set of oil pastels to encourage me to keep drawing. Teachers sometimes don't realize how much of an affect they have on kids and how ONE kind gesture can perhaps change the course of a life. I used those pastels till they were nothing but little bits of colour in the box. 

It's not really important how or when we became artists. I believe we're all naturally creative beings at birth, but that's another story. :-) It's only important to honour the creativity once we recognize it in ourselves, whether it be with cooking or singing or dancing or drawing.

Otherwise, we're not whole, or true to ourselves, are we?

happy Thursday everyone. Thank you again so much for sharing your comments with me.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

reach for the moon

my pencil sketch wasn't worth much - after i spread the paint on the canvas,
it totally covered my pencil lines... :-)

a bit of colour & texture (sponge & paper towel!)

a bit more colour & detail

... me & the swirly swirls... :-)

a few little words & voilĂ .

This was done last night on a small canvas (i think it's 8" x 8"). 

I think back sometimes at how i became an artist and inevitably, it takes me back to childhood.
When my friends were playing with Barbies & dolls, i was painting their faces with magic markers. :-) I'd spend hours with colouring books & crayons & paper & scissors. Whenever it would thunder, mom would take out her ingredients & make us home made play dough with food colouring & all.
To this day, i love thunder.

When i was 10 or 11, a family friend came back from Japan & brought me a few magazines & books - all written in Japanese. I thought the lettering was the most beautiful thing i had ever seen. So I grabbed some paper & copied about 10 pages of text - only because i loved the look of all those little lines & squares & symbols. 

Were you always creative, or was it something you developed with time?
What kind of things did you love doing as a child? 

Carpe Diem folks...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Golden Lotus shoe (watercolor on paper)

I love history and when i read, i tend to gravitate towards stories of sorrow or hardship. For a while, i tried to stay away from such weighted stories, but when i look back now, i realize that reading these stories gave me a great sense of appreciation for how good my life is - for how far we've come.

There are stories of suffering in every culture. When I first read about foot binding in China, one of the first things that came to mind was how easy it is for human beings to follow - often without question - and how deeply rooted belief systems can be. I wondered about the chinese mothers, binding their daughters' feet... did they feel sad or guilty about the pain they were causing or were they proud to be grooming their daughters to become chosen ones, Golden Lotuses?

The last line of my writing isn't visible, but it reads: I don't consider myself a feminist, but whenever i read stuff like this - i could easily become one.  :-)

Monday, December 5, 2011

elie wiesel

A quick Sharpie sketch of a man i admire, Elie Wiesel.
Elie Wiesel lost is entire family during the holocaust and witnessed the beating death of his father.
His mouth smiles but his eyes to me, are suffering eyes.
His favourite 2 words in the english vocabulary are: AND YET...
Maybe because he finds hope in these words, or the possibility of change.

I haven't had much time for art these past few days, but i'll be back.
Wishing you all a wonderful week. 

Friday, December 2, 2011




it's not officially winter here yet, but we know it's on its way...

Soon, the leaves will be gone, and a cold white blanket will cover the earth,
& the little birds will find a place to huddle & cuddle away from the howling of the wind.

I know that for many of you, winter means having to put on a sweater, but here in Eastern Canada, winter means heavy coats & boots, thick scarves & mittens, and frozen noses.

And yet, i look forward to it almost as much as i did when i was a kid, when we'd spend days outside, on our "super slider snow skates" - red, hard plastic little ski-like contraptions that would attach to our boots and make us look like drunk idiots on the snow. Like wearing Crazy Carpets on our feet. 

...so much fun.  :-)

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Life isn't always logical... 
(a quick morning sketch - Sharpie marker on photo paper)

I always love Starbucks' Christmas coffee cups... great, simple, clean design.

...and for those of you who dare, try the Pumpkin Spice Latte.
I think it's something like a million calories, but who's counting?
mmmmmmm.... :-) 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

collage - AEDM day 30 !


began with a little collage & blue paint...


a little more collage & added paint, and there you have it.

I thought i might have something extraordinary to share on this last day (sigh...) of AEDM, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. :-) I plan on continuing to follow most of you anyway, so it's all good and hopefully, some of you will visit now & then as well...

When i first began to blog, it was to become more comfortable with showing & sharing my art. I've never been a "hey!! Look what i can do!!" kinda gal. So it wasn't always comfortable for me to share my work. Blogging not only got me more comfortable, but it also gave me some wonderful connections with other like-minded creative souls out there. I'm so grateful for this.

The feedback we get by blogging is invaluable & I'm slowly realizing that we all need the occasional pat on the back. Regardless of how old (or young) you are, it's still good to get that gold star on the top of your page, isn't it? There's something to be said about creating something that makes others smile, or touches them somehow. Or even something that makes us smile.

Whenever i start questioning "why" i make art, i quickly find the answer. Because it makes me happy. Period. It's no more complicated than that. I'm not one of these tortured artists' whose soul is unsettled & stormy. Well, ok, my soul may be stormy at times, but ART is what helps me pull through. Always. Art & music.

I wish you all inspired, creative journeys.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Einstein - AEDM day 29

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

- Albert Einstein

a quick outline in orange marker


initially, i try to look at "blocks" of values... where are the darks vs the lights?
(purple & baby blue as colours)

added a bit more detail and yes, black. (Monet would not be impressed)... 

a bit of writing... and voilĂ .

i sometimes think of people like Einstein, or Gandhi, or Emily Carr, and i wonder what made their hearts sing, and did they follow their dreams or did they ever wish their lives were different?

Did Einstein find peace when he played the violin?
I like to think so...

Monday, November 28, 2011

cello woman

i'm cheating - i painted this a while ago (and already posted on my blog!) but since i had nothing to post today, say hello to cello woman. It's acrylic on paper. 
An off night last night (sick), so rather than paint, i cuddled on the couch with a thick comforter, mint tea and a good book. Hopefully, tonight will be more creative.
i love the sound of the cello. Always wanted to learn to play. Do any of you play the cello? If anyone said yes, I'm envious already... :-) Happy AEDM everyone. Can you believe it's almost over? it's been such a pleasure to find you all... xox

Sunday, November 27, 2011

tu m'aimes-tu?

I debated whether i should post this or not, only because i'm not happy with it. 

Things just didn't seem to gel for me last night. Colours, composition, subject matter.
Maybe the planets weren't aligned. :-)

But I painted anyway, as i listened to french CBC (Canadian radio) - they play great jazz & blues
on Saturday nights, so it's always a treat to be in my little room, painting - even when
things don't feel smooth.

Near the end of the painting, they played a song called "Est-ce que tu m'aimeras encore?" (will you still love me?) and it just seemed fitting at the time. When i looked at it this morning, however, I wasn't so sure anymore. But either way, it's what i felt last night, so i'm leaving it as is.

We don't always love the end result, do we? Regardless of the end result though, if i can be in my little studio, painting while I listen to great jazz & blues, it's a pretty damn good day. :-)

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments... xoxo

Have a great Sunday everyone! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

steve jobs (AEDM day 25)

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs

Some nights, when i don't feel the most creative, i work on technique.
Found a photo i liked of Steve Jobs...

I use my trusty MICRON pens for a general outline. I'm not a big fan of erasers, except if i'm doing a pencil drawing, and even then - i try to limit my use. At first it's difficult but you'll find that as you practice more & gain confidence with drawing (if it's your thing!), it becomes more comfortable.
Besides, i really like seeing pencil (or pen) lines under the paint. I'm not a big fan of perfection either.

...add a little watercolour (one tone, in this case, blue)

...a little more detail & contrast

...and there you have it. Steve Jobs. 

When i was younger, i used to think that working from a photo was cheating. Key word: younger. :-)
As I mature (giggle...), i'm taking Steve's advice & learning to follow the beat of my own drum.

are you?
(i certainly hope you are...)