Saturday, October 22, 2016

when things don't work out

hello Munchkins!
ok, so let's start at the start. :)
I feel like I'm all over the place lately.
Sometimes, I have nothing to share,
and other times,
i have too much. 
This is one of those times,
so make yourself comfortable
and if you leave here before the end of this post,
i'll totally understand and even forgive you. :)
Many of you know that dad stayed with us for a while
after he fell and broke 5 ribs a little over a month ago.
This is his dog, Fluffy.
Dad would put a blanket on her
when he'd go to bed at night,
in case she was cold. :)
After about a week with us,
and dad using the walker around the house,
I took him to a little park nearby, 
to practice walking with the walker outside.
He didn't do so well. hehhehee...
This is my dad (in red) and his brother Hervé.
Dad is 81 & Hervé is about 75.
My uncle Hervé is ill - in the early stages of Alzheimer's
and he was also diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
I love that considering everything,
they are both still making the most of life.
And I love this photo of them.
It's easy to smile when life is good
but it's those who can still smile when life is hard
that I admire most.
Yes, I've made some art!
This is a quick pastel sketch of the photo below.
A few weeks ago, we went to St. Martin's,
a beautiful spot about 2 hours from here,
filled with hiking trails & picnic stops
and breathtaking scenery.
I'll be sharing some photos later,
but for now - here's a little sample of the beauty.

I spent the whole day there with friends
and once again,
I was reminded that beauty is often found
right here at home.
A quick sketch of the news on TV,
(something I purposely don't watch regularly.)
This morning, it was raining when I woke up.
Is there anything better than a rainy Saturday?
Well, maybe a rainy Sunday.
The idea of staying inside in comfy clothing
(for me, it's yoga pants, a Tshirt and flip flops)
and doing whatever my little heart desires.
In this case - painting.
So I started the day with coffee,
and then the collage above.
Then I put paint tape around a page
and started playing with acrylic on paper...
Took the tape off a while later,
hated what i saw.
No matter how i looked at it,
i just saw the face of an alien.
So I thought I'd change it up.
Added white - now I saw a goat.
Or at least an animal.
Added a few little elements here & there
and it still wasn't working for me.
I was having a hard time this morning
finding my 'zone'...
Some days are like that.
You gotta move on.
You gotta get past that.
Sometimes things flow
and sometimes they don't.
So I had leftover blue paint
from the sheep/mountain goat painting
(and you know i can't leave leftover paint)
so i quickly painted this background
in my journal page.
Just 2 blues and white.
This one felt a little better,
but still - not quite.
Then i flipped it over
and saw this Phantom of the Opera angry face,
and it freaked me out,
so i thought I'd move on to something else.
(Groove, groove, where art thou
on a rainy Saturday morning?)
So I switched mediums.
Got my pen, my little "draw your life" sketchbook
and sketched a few of my favorite pens.
Easy peasy.
No scary faces here. LOL.
I have a ton of other favorite pens
but decided to just draw a few.
I stayed in the blue room for at least 3 hours.
It was strange - I felt the need to paint,
but almost everything I attempted felt wrong.
I KNOW! There IS no wrong in painting!
But i just felt like something was off.
 Even when I attempted this with acrylic paints
and a piece of leftover cardboard hanging around...
It began as an abstract
but ended up looking like this.
I liked it a LITTLE more than the other stuff
but not much more.
I do like this part though.
The part that makes it look like a rooster.
Anyway - painting is a strange thing.
Sometimes, you can paint something
that feels exactly like YOU. Like your vision of something.
And other times, you paint something
and when you look at it, you might think:
"Wow. Where the hell did THAT come from?"
Or at least that's how it is for me.
I still felt like I had more painting to do,
so i grabbed my little 'draw your life' book
and flipped to the first empty page.
Draw the first thing you see.
I had my coffee cup nearby,
so i painted the cup (still leftover blue) :)
and then i had a brain fart
and actually misspelled the word COFFEE! LOL!!
I spelled it COFFEY!
So as soon as i realized it,
I laughed and just thought,
"oh what the fuck, here we go"...
and then I had to paint the eye on the cup
because that would just make everything ok.
You know how when you imagine things a certain way,
and they just don't work out that way?
Yeah, that's what it was like this morning.
But still - it was a lovely morning!
When I came out of my blue room 3+ hours later,
I didn't feel like I had wasted one second.
Even if i didn't like what i had done -
i liked that i had done it.
On that note, I want to share a few photos here
of the Mount Allison University campus in Sackville, NB.
Isn't it beautiful?
My son and I went to an Open House there last week.
Alex graduated high school a few years ago
and is still considering his 'career' options.
This is the Fine Art building.
Such a beautiful campus,
it makes me consider going to university. :)

I am a sucker for doors.
LOVE them.
Those that open and even those that close. :)

 I love that there's so much green everywhere.
And this beautiful tree
got a hug from me!
Thanks for being here.
I hope life's been good to you.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Darwin and Parkinson's disease

But in every walk with nature,
one receives far more than he seeks.
- John Muir
So this is what I've been busy with lately.
Or who I've been bus with. :)
Since dad's diagnosis with Parkinson's
only a few months ago,
he's had a few falls.
A few weeks ago, he had a bad fall
on his bathroom floor
and broke 5 ribs, cut his arm and 
bruised his face like a prize fighter. 
So he has to use a walker for a while,
at least until his ribs heal.
(I wish he would come to terms with using it
all the time for balance, but i know he won't.)
It's hard to pull back and not tell him what to do.
I read somewhere that the cause for
much of the unhappiness we feel
is because we don't accept reality as it is.
We want to change things
or control things.
I wish my dad would use a walker all the time,
so that he wouldn't fall again,
but I know he won't.
And I can't force him.
He wouldn't listen to me anyway.
Dad's always been fiercely independent (like moi)
so I know he'll end up doing what he wants to do
and I have to accept that whatever happens - happens.
There are times in life that are joyful
and other times that are not so joyful.
This is a somewhat "not so joyful" time.
So when dad went back home
and I knew he was on the mend
and I could breathe again,
I went into my blue room
and "binge painted" for like 6 hours. :)
The painting above is the 1st one I did
called "banana & grape". :)
A little sketch I did while I waited for my car to be fixed...
And a few days ago,
when I had more time on my hands
and I knew dad was ok,
I did another "sheet music" portrait.
Charles Darwin.
King of Evolution. :)
I love old black & white photos
(even if i decided to add color here)
I began wanting to use only sepia tones,
but I ended up adding some dark blue
and then some white.
 It's acrylic on paper...
 I love his serious look.

My aunt gave me a bunch of canvases
she had started painting on,
but no longer wanted. (Merci Angèle!!)
This (top) was a painting she had begun...
I just wanted to do something fun
while keeping some of her background...
 I played with the whites, and dots
and then filled in a few blocks of color...
I'm trying to let go of the whole "I like it"
or "I don't like it" judgement of my own paintings - 
but I like this.
On another note,
I bought artwork from Yocopio a few weeks ago.
I've been following him on Instagram for a while now
and i love his stuff.
Makes me smile whenever I see them.
I get original artwork.
He gets my support ($)
The illustrations make me smile.
It's win-win for everyone. :)
And the Frieda you see there on the left,
and the beautiful print/painting on the right...
That's from my lovely friend, Stéphanie Guimond
a card with a hand written note in it.
Is there anything more precious than receiving snail mail?
In today's "automated everything" world,
i love anything handwritten.
Gifts that came in the mail
when I needed them most.
Currently reading this...
(Felix Scheinberger was one of the teachers on the
Sketchbook Skool course I took this past summer) 
I LOVE HIM and his artwork.
Amazing what you can learn in 6 short weeks.
And reading this...
I've always loved the words of Julia Cameron.

I am writing this post rather quickly,
so i fear I may have shared some of this artwork before,
or said some of these things before...
but hey. Not a big deal if I did.
Just pretend you're hearing it for the first time. :)
Thank you all for being here.