Friday, August 1, 2014

it's August - over & out!

hi everyone!
It's summer here in eastern Canada,
and a beautiful one at that.
The beaches are full of tanned bodies.
I've been in a slump lately
and since i believe we can all use a little down time now & then,
i'm taking a break from making art.
Today is the first day of August,
and I'm thinking I'll take all of August
to just float for a while instead of paddle.
To allow myself time away from the studio - guilt free.
without that little voice that says:
you should be blogging
you should draw something
you should write
you should paint...

Whenever the "shoulds" start creeping in,
I put on the brakes.
Whenever I start to feel like writing or making art is a chore -
it's time for a change or at least a break.
Pressured art = bad art.
At least for me it does.
I understand my creative cycle by now,
so it's easier to accept it.
Earlier in my career as a designer,
and then later as an artist,
whenever I'd hit a creative slump,
I remember feeling 
that maybe the well had gone dry.
Maybe I had no more ideas.
Maybe i'd never write anything
that made sense anymore.
Maybe I was done as an artist.
 I'm wiser than that now.
Art cannot be forced.
I love this quote by Paul C├ęzanne:
A work of art which did not begin in emotion
is not art.
Sometimes, we just need breathing space
& to give ourselves permission to say
"I'll do it when my heart feels like it".
Sometimes, we just need a change of focus.
A change of scenery.
So I've decided to do this: Susannah Conway's AUGUST BREAK.
A different perspective.
A new way of seeing the world...
I love how relaxed this whole thing is.
I suck at commitment,
so this is just perfect for me.
Snap a picture every day - or once a week - 
whatever your little heart desires.
Share it on Instagram - or not - whatever you want.
Post it on a blog - or not - it's up to you.
This is my kind of monthly challenge. ;-)
Absolutely commitment free.
It's a wonder i've ever accomplished anything in my life.
(I have!)
I'm starting to think
that perhaps we accomplish more
when we apply less pressure...
So there you have it.
I may end up posting again in 3 days,
or I may not.
If i disappear for a while,
please know that I haven't deserted you
and i'll be back when my muse calls again.
When I have something
that is worth sharing,
i'll share.
In the meantime, i'll be giving my heart and head
the space they need
to make stuff worth making.

Wishing you ALL a wonderful August...
Thanks for being here.
xx

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

small details...

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
- Mary Oliver
We've had a wonderfully hot summer so far
(some would say too hot)
and I must admit,
I feel a little less inspired
during these lazy, hazy summer days.
I'll get back into full swing soon enough.
 This is collage & acrylic on paper.
And then, Woody Allen.
I'm still trying to paint with less detail.
I thought it would help if i used a SMALL piece of paper.
He looks so anxious all the time, doesn't he?
Like he's gonna be hit by a bus any minute.
Now that i see it here, i'm thinking:
holy crap, the eyes are WAY too big
and way too far apart!
But I did it quickly, and it was so small,
i left them as is.
I tried to use limited colours too,
something else i thought may help me
keep details to a minimum.
I think the size of the brush matters too.
At least for me.
If my brush is too small, i'll paint every wrinkle. ;-)
A quick sketch of my camera...
drawing is different for me.
Here, I want detail.
 ...and another quick sketch of mom's radio.
I may have posted this one before - don't remember.
I'm sorting out some of my old paintings/drawings -
still trying to put together this book
and decide what's in & what's out.
It's fucking hard.
Some days are smooth as silk,
and other days, I struggle with why i'm doing it,
what I should include,
what I should leave out,
where I go from here.
I suppose it's all part of the process.
Depending on the day,
I feel like one of these three.
And yet, even when it sometimes feels
like it'll never get done,
I know how much magic can happen
in carving out little increments of time,
so I continue.
A lot can be written
in 15 or 30 minutes.

I think it's so important just to continue.
Just to keep writing.
Even on those days where nothing seems to make sense.
Especially on those days.

The man who moves mountains
begins with small stones, right?

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!
Thanks for being here.
xx

Monday, July 7, 2014

being vulnerable is a good thing

The painter who has no doubts will achieve little.
- Leonardo da Vinci
A few samples of my paintings
hanging at a little gallery in Shediac, NB.
I'm tempted to say
it's not really a gallery, it's a historical house
but then I remind myself that regardless of what it is,
they asked me to put a few paintings, and I did.
There is truth to the da Vinci quote above.
As I was hanging these last week,
the voice in my head got busy
with trying to distract me.
Why are you even hanging these?
This isn't real art.
Who's gonna see this?
No one's gonna like these.
They only asked you cause they had no one else.
blah blah blah...
I've been painting long enough now
and practicing courage long enough
to just carry on with what I'm doing
regardless of the doubts that linger.
Whenever we put ourselves out there,
whether it be with paintings in a show,
sharing our art through a blog,
writing a book or a song,
telling someone how we really feel -
we are making ourselves vulnerable
and although being vulnerable may not always be comfortable,
it's necessary for anyone who is seeking the truth.
Whether these paintings are good or not,
whether they are real art or not,
it matters very little what others think,
because they are MY truths.
That alone is enough.

So my paintings are here for a month or so,
in this quaint little historical house called Pascal Poirier house,
on Main Street in Shediac, NB. (see below for a bit of a blurb on PP)
(apologies for the bad photo!)
Pascal Poirier (February 15, 1852 – September 25, 1933) was a Canadian author, lawyer, and the all-time longest-serving Senator. Born in Shediac, New Brunswick, he wrote books on Acadian history and language.The Pascal Poirier House (c. 1820–30) was designated a Provincial Historic Site under the Historic Sites Protection Act. The home he was born in has been preserved as a museum and as an important and rare example of early-19th-century Acadian residential construction.
The 112 storey gabled house, which features a hand-hewn structure, is believed to be the oldest building in Shediac.
And here's why i've been neglecting my blog
for the past weeks...
We had a heat wave here last week
that brought everyone and their dog to the ocean.

We get about 3 months of summer per year, if we're lucky,
so we take advantage of being outside every chance we get.
(my son, pondering his horizons!) 

how beautiful is this?
a wave of sand...
Love the clouds and the colours in the sky...
Just finished this book - filled with
bizarre photos & a tale that had me flipping pages
like a mad woman.
Oh. Right.
I always do that.
(giggle)
Art inspired by the book.
Or maybe by something else going on in my life,
who knows...
acrylic on paper.
I love his face.
Trying to be less detailed with my painting
and just get the shadow vs light.
And then this abstract.
When i finished it,
I kept seeing a rabbit in the middle sitting near a cross (on the left)
so i thought i'd flip it over
the way i often do with abstract paintings after they're done...
But then i saw a skull near a cross (on the right)
with someone kneeling (in red, on the left)
and it scared me, so i flipped it back to the rabbit side.

I'm such a chicken.
(giggle...)

Wishing you all a wonderful week
filled with things you love to do,
people you love to see,
food you love to eat
and music you love to listen to...
Thanks for being here!
xx