Friday, March 30, 2012

Paint Party Friday and life's curve balls

This morning, as i went out for a little drive
(and picked up a coffee at the same time!)
i was thinking about what my life was like a few years ago
and how different it is today.

Based on all the cheerful, sparkly, yellow paintings
you've seen here on my blog,
some may think i live in la-la land.

That my life is always beautiful and peaceful
and pretty.

Well... it's not.

I face the same issues many of you face
on a daily basis
I just make a conscious choice
to focus on the good things.

I think this is the key to a happy life.

It may sound like denial to some
but it keeps me sane
so it's all good to me. :-)

In the past few years,

I've lost a job,

my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer,

my father had a serious heart attack,

good friends of ours lived through the painful experience
of seeing their son paralyzed in a car accident

and a dear friend of mine left this planet
way too soon,
leaving 2 beautiful young boys
who miss her deeply.

It's not what happens that matters,
it's how we look at it.

Each of these experiences
forced me to face
the important questions
and as cliché as it sounds
made me a stronger person.

My issues are minor
compared to the issues of so many others

and yet

i allow myself the space to grieve when it is time.

 I do this mostly through art and writing
as many of you must do as well.

So there is truth for me in the words:

Art saves

And there is still so much goodness
in the world...

my son's smile,

a good book,

conversation with a friend,

a walk on the beach,

morning coffee,
...and the chance to win a new car!

Try to notice the good things
in your day today.

...and don't lose sight of them,
regardless of the chaos around you.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

spring is in the air...

A quick little pencil sketch on canvas paper...

two little love birds (in acrylic paints & micron pens)...

and a curly breeze,
welcoming spring like open arms.
(Soon to be found in my Etsy shop)

This morning, I took another beautiful walk and since it was low tide,
i made my way towards the seashore.

There's something about the sound
of chirping birds
that just makes my day.

As i walked on the frozen sand
and admired the calm waters,
I stopped for a bit,
to listen to the birds and
watch a few soaring seagulls.

(yes, seagulls soar too, along with the eagles...)

Just then, i heard a sound somewhere behind me
and when i turned around
there stood 3 deer,
watching me.

I've seen many wild animals during my morning walks.
Deer, coyote, pheasants, racoons, eagles, and last winter, a moose.

When i saw the moose in the dead of January,
he was crossing the frozen ice to the other side.
He was quite a distance from me
but still, I turned around
and headed for home. :-)

I love wildlife but the size of a moose
scares me.

I didn't have my camera with me this morning,
but i did have it a while ago
during another morning walk
and took these deer tracks...

a common sight now on the sand.

I somehow think i would just go numb
if i lived in a big, concrete city.

I know there are lots of perks about the city,
but i doubt i'd find them
because i'd be too busy 
looking for trees and the ocean.

Go figure.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rex Ray: Art and Design

I saw this video last week on Julie's lovely site (Spaark - Artistically Afflicted)
and i just had to share for those of you who aren't familiar with Rex Ray.

Rex Ray. Artist. Collage lover. Designer extraordinaire. :-)
I love this guy.

This is for all of you out there
who ever feel like you're wasting time
when you're collaging or playing with paints.

Rex reminds us all
that playing is good.

That being creative is the essence of life itself.

That developing our own style
or body of work,
isn't always obvious or even necessary
and that the true pleasure
is the process itself.

He also reminded me that
there's room for everyone
and that we all see the world differently
and we should all embrace each others' views
and learn from one another
rather than compete and compare.

What works for one artist
may not work for another.

When i worked as a designer
for a large corporation
i often felt like a fish out of water.

i am not only working from home
- i am at home.

So let yourself be inspired by Rex
and take out those magazines
and spread them out everywhere
and use those scissors you love
to cut whatever your little heart desires
and play baby - play!

Monday, March 26, 2012

sand and sea

Nature does not hurry,
yet everything is accomplished.
Lao Tzu

hi fellow creative hearts!

A little sand painting i did this morning,
in anticipation of beach weather. 

Is there any better feeling
than having your toes in the sand?

Well, um, ahem, ok... i can think of one,
but other than that one,
toes in the sand is pretty damn awesome.

This print is in my Etsy shop as of this morning,
one with the quote (above) and one without.

I was getting a little discouraged with Etsy,
having sold so little since i've been posting there.
But then i remind myself that some things take time
and perseverance is key.

So i'm not giving up quite yet.

When i think back at my first blog post on November 15 2010,
i can't help but think of how wonderful the journey has been,
thanks to all of you and your willingness to share.

The purpose of blogging (initially) for me
was to get more comfortable with sharing my art.

It's been said that an artist who exhibits her (or his) work for the first time
feels naked.

You could say this is how i felt when i first began blogging.

But i knew that it would eventually get easier
and that in times of doubt,
I would find a new kind of inspiration
to keep me going on this creative path.

And maybe, just maybe,
i'd be able to inspire others as well.

I found far more than inspiration
and i am forever grateful to ALL of you
for being on this journey with me.

A wonderful message on the beach near my home...

...and another one that always makes me smile.

...and this is the beach near my home.
The one that often inspires me, one way or another.

Nature is a wonderful inspiration, isn't it?

...and can't you just feel your toes in the sand here?

Wishing you a week filled with sparkles & lollipops.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

TAG! you're it...

I got a few surprises today - invitations to play TAG!
I just got back from running a few errands but hey, i'm never too tired to play! GAME ON!! :-)

The Rules must post the rules
...answer 11 questions the tagger posted for you
...create 11 questions to ask the people you tag
...tag 11 people
...let them know you've tagged them

Lori's questions to me...(tagger #1)
1. Coffee or Tea? Coffee in the morning, tea at night.
2. What's your favorite color? prussian blue
3. What's your least favorite color? magenta
4. Do you use your favorite color more in your art? Absolutely.
5. Are you a cat or a dog person? I'm an any kind of animal person. 
6. If you could have lunch with one person (alive or dead) who would it be? 
7. Carnivore, Vegetarian, or Vegan? Quasi vegetarian.
8. What's your favorite piece of clothing that you wear often? Comfy sweater vest
9. What's your favorite way to spend a rainy afternoon? Reading.
10. Snow or Sand? Both. I live in Canada, remember? ;-)
11. If you had 12 hours in between flights in NYC, what would you do? i'd visit something. Most likely a museum or gallery.

Lorinda's questions to me…(tagger #2)
1. What's your favourite medium for creating? acrylics, watercolor, collage. Depends on the mood.
2. What is your favourite accessory? earrings.
3. Books or movies? Or? Books!
4. Is creating your day job or your night job? Day job, night job, middle of the night job... :-)
5. Glass half empty or half full? oh definitely half full with added sparkles & coloring!  
6. What's your favourite time of day? early morning
7. What's your favourite form of exercise and/or physical expression? Walking & yoga.
8. What kind of music inspires you? jazz & blues, fado, classical, new age...i'm pretty open.
9. What's your favourite month of the year? September
10. What's your favorite quote? And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. (Anais Nin)
11. If you could spend a free month anywhere in the world, where would it be and what would you do? Bali, and i would take in as much as i can in a month without exploding. :-)

My questions to all YOU lovelies...

1. Favorite ice cream flavor?
2. Favorite book (or movie)?
3. One thing that you love? (thing, not person) :-)
4. What makes you smile?
5. Where was your best vacation?
6. What color is your car (if you have one) or your bike?
7. If money was no object, what is the ONE thing you would do?
8. Where do you feel most at home or 'connected' to the world?
9. high heels or flip flops?
10. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
11.What are you most proud of?

And here are the 11 talented people i am tagging:

Tracey Fletcher King  (sorry Tracey, i know you were picked more than once. That's what happens when you're popular.) heheheee..

Handmade Portraits: Sophie Blackall

I love this girl's work.

Happy Sunday, folks!

Friday, March 23, 2012

flower fairy, wings and waves

Everyone should carefully observe
which way his heart draws him,
and then choose that way
with all his strength.

- Hasidic saying

It's Friday, the sun is shining
and I feel a song comin' on... 

I really wasn't sure about this one,
but a while ago,
i had sketched this in pencil
with the words 
"is there anyone out there?"

I put paint to paper,
but once i got this far,
the words didn't seem to make sense anymore.

So instead of the words,
i put a bird.

The bird is the word.

I usually go with my first instinct,
but this little flower winged fairy
just didn't seem to be someone who would question
whether or not there was anyone out there.

Check out some of the other
wonderfully talented artists out there.
Get inspired.
Get pumped.
Get the paints.

I certainly had myself a party here this morning...

Here's my one rule when I sit myself down to paint:

coffee on left.
water for brushes on right.

I painted this one this morning as well.
The sea.

Inspired by the sea,
the heat wave we had yesterday,
and the promise of summer on its way!!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Do something that makes you smile.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

surprise purple bird

hi peoples!

A few years ago,
i came across something on the net called black out poetry.

It's basically using text in newspapers,
or magazines or books,
and hiding (or blacking out) the words you don't need
for the creation of your own masterpiece poem. :-)

You can see a sample here...

I began this journal page last night
thinking about black out poems...

only my poem ended up being loose words
just scattered across the page

And the text i chose happened to be
from a boring article about finances.


Still - i managed to find a few choice words in there.

The purple bird just kinda happened
when i began to contour a few leaves
and saw the shape of a bird.

Well, ok, i kinda made it into the shape of a bird. 

This is a photo i took this morning, in natural light.
What a difference it makes, huh?

These colors are much closer to reality,
although the leaves are a punchier lime green.

And speaking of green...

let's talk money for a minute.

I read a lot,
although i've never been interested in books like these.
But this morning at the book store,
this one caught my eye
and practically jumped off the shelf and into my hands.

Published in 1937 - before it was even cool to be rich. :-)

I was raised to believe
that money is the root of all evil,
that money can't buy happiness
that those who seek wealth are selfish,
that real wealth is found
in a kind heart
rather than a full bank account.

I suspect i was raised this way
because we had no money.

I believe the greatest thing about having money
is being able to share it.

Being able to use it somehow
to inspire others
to reach their potential...
to realize their own dreams.

And one by one,
make the world a better place.

Maybe I'm naive to think this way -
but i know that in the end, i'd feel better about my life
knowing that I had lived it with an open heart,
rather than hoarding everything to myself.

Hoarding anything is unhealthy.

Especially art.


Monday, March 19, 2012

spring is in the air...

Good morning Munchkins.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.


I'm posting something that i painted a while ago,
since i spent most of my weekend outside
and have very little art to show this morning.

This is the view from our front porch.

That tree you see on the left side
is a lilac tree.
It's nowhere near growing flowers yet,
but soon my friends... soon.

We could feel spring in the air this weekend
and it was exactly what my body and soul needed.
After a few months of very little sunlight,
it does the body good.

I went for a long walk on the beach with my son yesterday
and we both smiled when we saw the ice breaking free.

Such a welcome sight after months of everything being frozen.

In Eastern Canada,
there are three things that scream SPRING IS HERE!!!

1. taking out the summer furniture...
2. chirping birds...
3. Tim Horton's "roll up the rim" contest. :-)

It's another beautiful day here today.

If all goes well,
i'll finish my work a little early today,
and sit out on those Adirondack chairs
with a good book and a glass of wine.

If all doesn't go well,
i'll just pout.

Wishing you all a week filled with fun, laughter, and art.

And no pouting.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

One of the secrets of a happy life
is continuous small treats.
- Iris Murdoch

A few photos of last night's painting,
although i got carried away pretty quickly
and forgot to take "in between" photos. 

They basically go from the starting point...

to the end point. 

At first, all those lines in the yellowy-mustard color
made me think of the gates of hell.
(stop laughing...)

Don't ask me why, since i don't believe in hell.

I do know, however, that If there was a hell,
there would be more than one entrance. :-)

I was tempted to paint over them
cause i really didn't like where it was going
but then reminded myself
to let go.

Stop controlling.

Stop judging.

Stop planning.

Just go with whatever feels right for your next move,
your next brush stroke,
your next color.

That's not always easy to do,
because although we may not have an image in our heads
of what the final painting will look like,
we usually know what we don't like
and when we SEE what we don't like in our own brush strokes,

we're tempted to erase them,

remove them,

paint them over.

When instead,
we need to allow this transformation
to take place naturally.

So I resisted the temptation
(another difficult task sometimes...)

and kept the yellow gates where they were
and eventually,
they became more organic
and turned into seeds
and pods
and then trees.

...then a word that speak to me, for whatever reason...

and there you have it.


Just like the taste in my mouth
after i ate one of these little babies...

Are there any other chocolate lovers out there?

Don't all scream at the same time.

Wishing you all a wonderful day filled with 
whatever your little heart desires.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Morgan Freeman

Good morning peeps.

it's portrait time again...

a few layers of green, brown, beige, white and black


I love Morgan Freeman as an actor.

I also think he's a pretty cool person - 
at least what i've seen of him.

The media gets caught up on things like
the 72 year old wanting to marry his 26 year old step grand-daughter
but i couldn't give a rat's ass who he marries.

As long as she's of legal age -
and she is, so more power to you, Morgan!

I know many 72 year olds
who would be more than happy 
to marry a 26 year old.

If only they were given the chance. 

But they don't have Morgan's money,
or sex appeal,
so it doesn't work the same way.

One of my favorite movies is THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION.

It was based on a Stephen King novel 
although you'd never tell when you watch the movie.
(Most of Stephen King's books are thrillers)

It's set in the 1940's - the story of 2 men in prison
who form a friendship over years of incarceration
and eventually find redemption.

Morgan plays a character called Red. 
I loved him - so believable.

These portraits are fun for me
because the format is relatively small
( 8.5 x 11, a normal sheet of paper )
and I do them pretty loosely so they don't take very long.

Once in a while,
we all feel the need to return to something familiar.

Something comfortable.

Portraits are kinda becoming my "something comfortable".

Enjoy the day folks.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

hi everyone.

Let me start by saying THANK YOU to all of you
for your heartfelt comments during the past few weeks.

It amazes me that we can make so many connections
so far across the world
and develop such meaningful friendships
through words on a wire.

I've been a little more creative this week
although there's nothing much to share yet but this.

A little hard to read with text flowing everywhere... 

Note to self: learn how to make your writing more legible. :-)

I debated whether i should share or not
because i know how useful life coaches can be
and i would never want to take away
from those who devote their lives to helping others.

I just sometimes question
how dependent we've become on external forces
when we really have all we need
right here, right now.

I guess a good life coach has the ability
to help us see what we have.

To shed light
where there is darkness.

Since i don't have much art to share from this past week,
I'll share something i did many moons ago.

This is my grandmother. Eva Doiron.
My mothers' mother. She died years ago.

It's an illustration drawn on black cardboard
with white and grey pencil crayons,
so rather than draw the shadows as we normally do on white paper,
I'm drawing the light on dark paper.

It's a larger format - something like 2 x 3 feet.

A tribute to Mémére Doiron,
and others like her.

My grandmother had 13 children,
so needless to say she washed a lot of clothes
and prepared a lot of meals.

I believe so many women of past generations
weren't given the credit they deserved.

Most of us would fall apart with such a schedule
within about a week.

At least i would.

She loved to write, although she had little (if any) education,
and while i lived in Western Canada,
and she lived in Eastern Canada,
we corresponded by letter writing.

I framed these few words years ago as a keepsake,
photocopied from one of her letters to me.

It reads:
"Goodbye, from your grandmother
who will never forget you."

Isn't this special?
She had lovely handwriting...

There's something about handwriting to me
that makes this more precious than gold.

Writing is such an art form.

So there you have it.
My 2 cents worth. :-)

Thank you all again for the words of encouragement.
I'll be back.