Sunday, August 14, 2016

squeezing the last bits of summer...

Hello lovelies!
Well, this is my first bit of art in weeks,
and although it says FREEDOM,
it looks more like anger to me. ;)

There will be more art
in the coming days/weeks
(I'm hoping art that's worthy of sharing!)
but for now,
I'd love to share a bit of my summer with you!
This beach is about 20 minutes from my home,
called L'ABOITEAU.
This man (in the sky!) was sitting on a motorized chair,
and he flew himself back & forth across the beach
for long stretches of time.
Just a little buzzing sound in the sky...
like a giant mosquito.
Swimmers on the left of the wharf,
fishermen on the right.
(the fisherWOMEN are drinking wine on that tour boat). ;)
summertime at the wharf = fun for everyone
 ...and french fries, cheese & gravy,
aka "Quebec poutine".
One of the boardwalks going to the beach...

My brother Rick, pointing at what he thinks might be JAWS... ;)
And this lovely place is called The DUNES,
on Prince Edward Island.
I have fond memories of PEI.
We used to go camping on PEI every summer,
for at least a week,
when the crossings were done by boat.
Now, we have this:
The Confederation Bridge
linking New Brunswick to PEI,
so it takes much less time to cross.
But it's also much less fun.
So the Dunes is an oasis of flowers & plants
and exotic wooden sculptures from Bali
and other places in the world
and paintings and jewelry and a garden
an art gallery and delicious food.
My son Alex and I took a ride there yesterday.
It takes less than 2 hours to get there,
so a nice way to spend the afternoon.
I love this place.
 a lovely spiral staircase...
 and incredible wood carvings.
There are several levels to the gallery
and a few lookout points,
so more beautiful staircases.
 part of the beautiful garden
 ...some of the stone sculptures,
all very serene, wouldn't you say?
These beautiful blues & pinks
just made me "oooo" and "aaaaah".
 some of the handmade wooden benches & chairs...
 The gallery/cafĂ©/pottery studio/lookout point
This cozy spot was just begging for me
to sit here.
So i hung out here for a while
right after I took this picture. :)
 all you need is love
 a lamp made with small seashells...

 happy dancing Buddhas
These beautiful spirals are made with magazine pages,
all folded & rolled & glued together!
Someone has far more patience than I do. :)
What beautiful things we can make
with time and gentle hands...
gorgeous wooden sculptures,
all for sale at different price points.
And I took this one as we were leaving,
but now that I see it here,
it looks like he's pooping a block of cement! LOL!
It's really just another stone sculpture behind him.
I guess I should have taken the photo from a different angle.
Funny how I never saw it when i took the photo,
and now, it's ALL I see. :)

So the days are already getting shorter here,
and I'm finally done my office job,
and the company's all gone,
and although I loved seeing everyone,
I am always so relieved 
when fall is just around the corner.
It's my favorite season
and one that is always filled
with renewed energy.
I cannot WAIT to catch up with on-line friends
and start making art more consistently again
and spending more time in my little blue room
and doing yoga and reading
and BREATHING again.

Because life should never just be
about working & paying the bills.

My new motto.
You can borrow it if you want.
You're welcome. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016


i can't believe it's been over a month since i've posted.
And the strange thing is -
I feel like I don't have much to say.
But I at least wanted to post something
to let you all know i'm still alive. :)
I just finished working last Thursday,
and it still hasn't sunk in.
The past weeks (months?)
have been a whirlwind.
My older brother Paul visited here
over the past few weeks -
he just went back home to Western Canada 
a few days ago -
and my younger brother Rick (& family)
arrive today for a little vacation,
so we've been busy doing "summer stuff"!
I suspect once everyone's gone
and the house is quiet again -
my heart will flutter at the thought
of NOT having to wake up
at 6am to go to work
and at having so much more time
to play with my paints
in my beloved blue room.
Very little art these days...
There are music festivals all around us
and there are beaches
and tourists
and take-outs
and kayaking
and strawberry picking
and swimming in the ocean,
so i usually spend less time in my blue room
come summertime.
 ...but i must say,
i am almost looking forward
to a few rainy days.
We've had a heat wave here
over the past week or so
and unless you're in air conditioning
or in the water,
it's very uncomfortable & sticky.
We went to the outdoor market last Sunday
and there was a man sitting next to me
talking about how comfortable the temperature was.
We were dying of heat.
He was from Brazil.
His mother was wearing a sweater.
If it was legal to be naked,
i would have been naked,
that's how hot it was.
All about perspective, isn't it?
I did a few quick 'contour' drawings.
I love doing these.
I find a photo on-line (mugshots are always so intense)
and I place my pen on the paper where I want to start
and try NOT to look at my paper
while I'm drawing.
I just look at the photo while I'm drawing.
It's a guessing game 
and you never know what it's gonna look like in the end.
It's always a surprise.
I live for cheap thrills these days.
I took this photo (below) while we were driving.
Yes, i was a passenger.
The sun was just setting on the tree tops
and with the huge field of green grass...
A quick little sketch when i only had a few minutes...
Another quick little sketch on a post it note,
of my dad's dog, Fluffy.
And this...
an old photo of my brother Paul and I,
at my grandmother's house.
I was about 6 I think,
and he was 10.
He does NOT seem too impressed with the fish. :)
We looked at old photos while he was here
and this one cracked me up.
Well, that's it for now folks.
Thanks for being here
during this "slow summer season"...
and hopefully for understanding
that if I'm not posting as often as I used to,
it's because i'm soaking in the summer season
and taking it all in while I can. 
I'll be back with more consistent posts
soon enough.
In the meantime, ENJOY whatever you're doing,
wherever you are in the world
and don't let
another person's misery or hatred
become your own.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

toes in the sand

Greetings friends!
Can you believe it's almost JULY?!?
For several weeks now, I've been wanting to post something here,
to at least let you know that I'm still alive!
But alas...
it's SUMMER here
so I'm taking every chance I get
to spend some time outside. 
ok, so I have some art to share,
photos and musings of the past few weeks,
and i basically just wanted you all to know
how very excited I am to be done working soon.
I finish on July 21, so less than a month to go.
Yes, that works for me.
We got a lot of rain for a few weeks
but then when the sun came out,
it was absolutely gorgeous.
Our summer season is quite short here
(3 months if we're lucky)
so i take advantage of every day i can.
 ...sunset at the local Parlee Beach.
...and is there anything prettier
than designs by nature?
Sand ripples caused by the tides.
a very quick sketch I did the other night
as a warm up with acrylics on paper.
Quick sketches are always fun to do
because in 5 minutes,
you don't expect a masterpiece
so there's no pressure.
So what that the eyes are crooked?
It took 5 minutes.
So what that the nose is only on one side?
it's a 5 minute sketch!
No pressure. 
Gotta love it.
I am finding myself more tired
after a day at work,
even when I am sitting all day.
I'm tired mentally
from all the bullshit -
plus I feel like a robot for 8 hours.
Oh, and i miss making art.
I'm finding little bits of time
here and there (mostly on weekends)
to do something creative
and i've even joined another
Sketchbook Skool class! :)
For $99 (US), you get 6 different artists
for 6 fabulous weeks
and you learn all sorts of fun things.
And the best part?
You go at your own pace!
And you don't need expensive art materials
to follow along.
I'm doing the class called EXPRESSING
and I love it (even if i'm behind in "homework").
I'll catch up eventually.
There's always so much to learn
in a class like that,
as much from the participants
as from the teachers.
Those who want to share, do,
so we get to be inspired by ALL sorts of 
wonderful amateur and professional artists.
Plus - you make wonderful connections
that often become lifelong friendships.
So this (above) is an acrylic on paper,
in honour of my dear friend, Tara Leaver -
who inspired me once again
to use painting tape around my paper,
so that I can get that crisp line
and that beautiful white border around my painting.
It's kind of a surprise when you remove the tape,
because you're not sure where the painting ends
and the white border begins.
I know - cheap thrills for me. :)
That's what happens when you get older.
Takes VERY little to get me excited now.
So weekends usually consist of
walking on the beach,
kayaking (my son has the red kayak, his friend has the green one)
sitting out on the porch with iced tea...
or water
or wine. :)
Anything that doesn't require
too much thinking
heavy lifting,
or being inside for any length of time.

I actually feel like i'm decompressing...
just knowing i'll be done work
in a few weeks
already has me breathing lighter.
That, and this beautiful weather helps.
I have so many creative ideas
i want to get off the ground
when i get done with this contract.
I wanna do more illustrations for children's books.
I wanna do my own book.
I wanna help others do their books.
I wanna paint on canvas. Big canvas.
I wanna work on developing an e-course
that will inspire others to
live their own creative lives
and shout it out over the rooftops,
for the whole world to hear and see.
There are still too many
artists in hiding out there.
It was my birthday a few weeks ago (June 24)
and my good friend Lucille (who knows me well)
got me these 2 gems.
A big fat journal with blank pages
that i cannot wait to fill,
and a profound book of poetry
called Milk and Honey.
I also got to share a lovely meal
with friends last weekend,
at a place called Captain Dan's
here in Shediac,
sitting out on the patio
on a beautiful sunny evening.
You don't need a million bucks 
to do things that matter,
or that you enjoy.
Making memories is usually
pretty cheap.
(photo credit: Alvin Richard)
And speaking of Shediac...
(Sherrie, aka HAPPY TILER, this one's for you!)
we actually have a "Scrabble" festival happening
this summer here!!
oh the excitement!
i can't contain myself.
Shediac is known as the lobster capitol of the world
(yeah, it's a thing) and this summer,
Shediac will host the
The thrill of it all.
How DO we do it?!? :)
Here's how i feel about the weekend approaching.
Friday (July 1st) is Canada Day, so
to all fellow Canucks out there!
Here's to health,
maple sirup,
canoes & kayaks,
clean rivers,
good beer,
bonfires on the beach,
star gazing in a black velvet sky,
and love.