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...)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

sketchbook project + AEDM - day 24

Not much to say today except that i want to wish all my fellow American artists a Happy Thanksgiving, filled with food, family & friends.
Oh, and hopefully not too many dirty dishes. :-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

mr & mrs frog (yes, mr. frog has braces...)

i confess. This wasn't painted today, but it was at least finished today.
I started this painting last year and it's been sitting (unfinished) on my bookshelf since then.
It took AEDM to get me to finish it - although it may just go right back on the bookshelf. :-)

Funny how different our interests can become in the course of a year. These little critters were created a few years ago, with the intention of eventually making them greeting cards. They did become cards, and were sold locally, along with paintings. Very exciting for me at the time. But then, too much of a good thing is never good. I got tired of them. Quickly. The time i spent painting them was becoming less and less enjoyable for me.

So i stopped.

I think it's important to recognize that most everything has an expiration date. Including little green frogs. When we (as artists) get to the point where we no longer enjoy painting one thing or another, we owe it to ourselves (and the world!) to paint something else. To find whatever else makes our soul sing.

Getting to a point where we need a change doesn't mean that everything prior is worthless. I believe that everything prior is necessary - to become who we are today. It's important to know how to let go when certain things no longer inspire us. So we can be open to new inspiration & feel passionate again! :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

sketchbook project + AEDM - day 22

another sneak peek at my sketchbook (for the 2012 Sketchbook challenge). 
The pink part is a skirt.
Honest, it is. :-)

a few little blobs of paint...

a few added words...(and the pink skirt) :-)

...and there you have it. Art.

I thought this challenge would be so intimidating - just knowing the sketchbook was gonna end up in an art library in New York (i thought) would be enough to paralyze me. But instead, i'm having so much fun with it. It's not about perfection, or competition with the other sketchbooks out there. If it was, it would no longer be art for me, nor would it be fun. i really believe that art needs to come from the heart. Otherwise, it's done for the wrong reasons.

This project (for me) is more about putting my own fingerprint - giving others a little glimpse of how i see the world. It's about trying to be original without putting the pressure on myself to create a masterpiece. Pressure and art don't mix in my world. It needs to be fun for me, and free, and safe and brave and expressive and creative and fearless.

...and it can't be fake. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

bubbles... AEDM - day 21

ok, i  guess i must be doing the Art Every Day Month except for Weekends and the Occasional Day Here & There challenge. :-) If anything, this little exercise has connected me with some very talented creatives! So already, it's worth it.

This little drawing (in watercolor, colored pencil & white acrylic paint) was actually a f*ck up. :-)
I meant to do this cute little painting on a white background - nothing but the little girl blowing bubbles in clean, white space. I'm not even sure how i ended up adding color to the background, but i did. And before i knew it, there was way more color than what i wanted, and the cute little painting quickly became less & less of what i had envisioned in my head. Once you go overboard with something, you may as well go way overboard. So i decided to add more bubbles & artsy fartsy flowers. And there you have it.

Even if the end result isn't what we wanted or envisioned - sometimes, it's as important to learn to compromise, or be flexible - just go with the flow. Rather than rip up the page & throw it out, why not go with it & see where it takes you? The end result may not be what you wanted, but it may not be that bad either. And so what if it is bad? Maybe you're not the best judge, or maybe bad to you is good to someone else. Keep it anyway, as a little reminder that things don't always go as planned, and in the end, it's ok anyway.

Friday, November 18, 2011

sharpie doodle - Art Every Day Month - day 18

Whenever i listen to podcasts, (unless i'm taking notes!), I usually doodle with Sharpies on glossy photo paper. This is far from perfect, but it's very meditative for me to be repeating the same patterns.

...add a bit of colour...

...and presto - a quasi-mandala. :-)

I'm not sure if this would qualify as an official "mandala" but i had fun doing it and it took me about 30 minutes - the same amount of time as the podcast i was listening to.

And for the record, no, i am not an overachiever, making use of every waking minute of the day.
There are times where i just sit & do nothing, and i'm ok with that. :-)

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


It's playtime with Bach!
... a few music sheets...

blobs of paint - in this case, only blue blobs  :-)

a thin layer of the blue paint over the music sheets...

...a quick pencil sketch of the handsome man

...added blue acrylic paint

... stamping ink 

... a few words, and  voilĂ  - art.

It's rarely lack of time that prevents us from creating things - it's usually more about the simple act of sitting and DOING it. And it's often about letting go of the fear of being judged, or of judging ourselves. 

I don't always feel inspired or creative, but  more often than not, by the time i just sit in my chair, put on some music, light a candle, and see myself surrounded with art stuff, i'm inspired to do something. It may not be a masterpiece, but that's not the point, right? The point is to keep the creative juices flowing.

The art i make is not all good - but it's made. It's put out there. That's the point. To bring to reality something that was only a thought or a feeling a few moments before.

I hope you all find the courage, and the time, and the inspiration (and whatever else it takes) to make you sit and do something. Because if YOU don't do it, who will?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Yup. It's a fact. I don't always wake up loaded with inspiration & wanting to spread rainbows & sparkles all over the world. Sometimes i wake up like my son did this morning - wishing i could just lay there & have coffee in bed & eat bonbons all day. :-)

But those moments never last too long. Before i even put my feet to the ground, i think about the amazing things this day may bring. I think about facing the day with appreciation and intention. We rarely think about what we intend for the day. Most of us just stumble out of bed & go on auto-pilot, letting the day happen rather than intending or creating what we want.

Well, not today Zurg. :-) Today, i focus on how i want to feel rather than the tasks i want to accomplish. It doesn't take much sometimes to change the feel of a day. A walk in the park, coffee with a friend, an hour with a good book. It's just a matter of deciding what we want, isn't it?

What do YOU want today? :-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

peaceful heart

I bought this music book at Frenchy's - a second hand shop near my home. I wish i could tell you i bought it to play music, but I'm actually using it for painting. Proof once again that art doesn't need to be expensive. There's something about painting on paper that's very liberating to me. Less expensive than canvas, and if you screw it up, so be it. It's $1.00. :-) And these music sheets are nice & thick.

... this little woman looks like she could sing though... 

...and wouldn't you know it - it's a christian burial music book.
Leave it to me to pick out the gems...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day

Whether you agree with war or not, too many sacrifices were made
by too many men & women for us to forget.

This watercolor was done in honour of so many brave souls...
Thank you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I'm so friggin' excited about this, i'm not even waiting till tomorrow to post.
A few weeks ago, i bought this mini poster on ETSY (this 8x10 was $20),
by artist extraordinaire Mae Chevrette. I think it's important to support one another as artists, and
I love how she combines photography, typography and painting to make these fabulous posters.

It came in the mail today, and it's going on my wall tomorrow. :-)
Another great quote by Steve Jobs.
Don't you love it?!?

Sharpie doodle time...

I drew this while listening to a podcast. 

What i love most about the Sharpies (on photo paper) is that the ink dries so fast & colors don't run into one another. I suppose you'd get the same with quality paper, but you wouldn't get the squeaks.

...and we all know the squeaks are a necessary part of the process. :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

the sketchbook project

Last nights' entry in the sketchbook. By the way JanJan, when you pay the $25, they send you this little sketchbook in the mail. It has something like 20 pages...

I won't be posting all of my sketchbook entries, since i have a friend in New York who will hopefully be able to leaf through the actual sketchbook once it makes it there, and I want her to be surprised.

...and of course, my favorite pencil crayons. The sketch was done with these 3 colors only.
The paper isn't the greatest quality, and if you notice the girls' forehead & hair, you can actually see the circles from the painting I had done on the other side of the page! yikes. So much for do's & don'ts...

I kinda suck at following rules, so there you go... :-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

earth angel...

I want to say a few things about these "little women" paintings...

For those of you who are tired of seeing them, I understand. I realize that for some of you, i may seem stuck in this twilight zone filled with women with wings. I don't get it myself sometimes.

As mentioned in an earlier post, they are inspired by illness (cancer). My mother's diagnosis & the loss of a good friend in the last year. But i think the inspiration comes from elsewhere as well...

Those who know me well, know that i am not a religious person. When talking with a friend the other day, I mentioned that i don't really believe in angels - but that they must believe in me. :-) Strange as it may sound, a few months ago, I had a dream one night about Emily Carr. Why Emily Carr, you ask? Don't know.

In the dream, Emily was walking, high on a cliff of deep red earth... and i was walking below, near the water. We walked side by side (her above, me below) and she looked down on me reassuringly, smiling & gesturing for me to carry on, to keep moving in the same direction. When i woke the next morning, i made a mental note to stop eating popcorn so late at night - and to read up on Emily Carr. :-)
(For those who aren't familiar with Emily, she was one of Canada's great artists and lived a rather solitary life - but HER life nonetheless.)

After the dream, and subsequent dreams of my friend Liz, these little women came to life. Not quite sure what they mean, but i do know they want to be painted. So i paint. 

Without wanting to sound like those crackpots who think that "god speaks to them directly", I am simply painting what i feel inspired to paint at this time in my life. Two years down the road, i may be painting scenes from the holocaust... who knows.

But what i've discovered in the past year or so, is this: don't WAIT for the perfect circumstance, or the perfect moment to do what you love to do, or to love where you are, or who you are. Trust that you are exactly where you need to be right now, at this time in your life and try to make at least a bit of time every day to do something that fulfills you.

Do that for yourself, ok?