Monday, December 15, 2014

quick art, Christmas and memories...

Hello everyone!
It's good to be back. 
Are you all ready for Christmas?
Are you getting excited,
or stressed out?
I've had a few rough past weeks, 
but I'm finally on the mend.
I was sick for 2 weeks+ with the flu
and the rest of the time,
I was just lazy.
Make no excuses. ;-)
I did these 2 little pieces (above)
as soon as I started to feel better.
Acrylic on paper.
I rarely get sick, 
so 2 weeks away from art was a long time for me.
I couldn't wait to get back to my little blue room -
to painting and writing.
I got a bunch of old National Geographic Magazines
from a yard sale a few years ago.
Beautiful photography & interesting subjects.
Like this totem pole.
(watercolour in my little Moleskin)
Painting a few small stones from the local beach...
A little exercise in letting loose
but it always ends up looking
like someone else's work.
Like a copy of something I've already seen.
There are lots of people out there
doing fabulously loose art...
Still, whenever I get the urge,
I let myself be more messy.
I used these 3 colours (below)
Watercolor on paper.
 Yes, it's Christmas soon...
i love my peace ornaments.
Some people hate Christmas.
You may be one of them?
It's a lonely time of the year for many,
and of course, for those who have lost loved ones -
it's never the same Christmas ever again.
This will be our 3rd Christmas without mom.
She loved Christmas
and although the holidays are sadder without her,
I still love the decorations
and the Christmas music
and the soft white snowflakes
on a calm, cold winter night.
But I also understand those who don't.
I try to focus on those who are still with me
rather than the ones who are gone.
Plus, mom gave us so many good Christmas memories...
it had nothing to do with gifts
and everything to do with food, family
and being there for others.
She was full of energy at this time of year
and she always helped those who were less fortunate
by bringing them food
and doing what she could to keep them company,
even if only for an hour.
I remember an older woman who lived nearby
when I was younger.
She was an alcoholic.
This woman had been a bank executive,
was married and had two children
and lived in a beautiful home.
She began drinking seriously,
for whatever reason,
and by the age of 50
she had lost everything.
Her husband, her job, her home,
and her children.
Mom always had a soft spot for her.
She always said:
you never know what life will bring.
At Christmas time,
mom would make meat pies,
or poutines... (Acadian specialties!)
and she would bring her some food
with a Christmas card.

She did this for many others as well,
just so they wouldn't feel so alone
during the holidays.
Always said if you had nothing to give,
you could at least give of your time.
Mom was a philanthropist
throughout her whole life,
only rather than give money (because she had none to give),
she gave of herself
which is far more precious, I believe.

(Billie Holiday, water-colour on paper)
I wish ALL of you
wonderful healthy holidays
and hope you all find the time
to have that quiet morning tea,
or to read a good book,
or to make a mess with the paints.
Do something good for yourself.
Start there
before extending your love
to others.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

the new moon, the sun, and messy painting

So here's the thing...
I want to know more about the moon
and its effect on the heart.
The new moon comes in this Saturday
and I for one am relieved.
I've felt out of sorts for weeks now.
Many people around the world wait for the new moon
to begin new projects
to write that poem
to start that diet
to take that leap of faith.
Let's do it - this Saturday.
You and me.
It's a date!
This gorgeous photo was taken by Renée Belliveau,
a lovely young writer/photographer/artist
attending university near here.
Whenever i see photos like this,
I am blown away by the beauty.
Her father was a photographer.
She obviously inherited his eyes,
as well as his heart.
And I've had a few good days of painting lately...
I've been trying to loosen up for a while now.
(I used a paper towel here to remove the excess paint)
There's always that tendency for me
to have crisp lines, to clean it up, 
and I am trying hard to let go of this...
it just doesn't feel right anymore.
A bit less controlled than it normally is.
Still not great, but better.
I am noticing what I am drawn to in art,
and it's hardly ever the controlled paintings.
It's the paintings with splattered colours all over.
The paintings that feel messy and smooth at the same time.
The drawings with loose lines flying all over the place.
There are times in life for technique & control,
and then there are times for letting go.
i think i'm at the letting go stage of my life.
 Then I tried the same with a pencil drawing...
Sometimes, i like a nice, tight pencil drawing,
but these days, I feel like scribbling more than anything.
So I scribbled. ;-)
I did this in about 10 minutes first thing this morning.
It's supposed to be a facecloth on the table. ;-)
I forced myself to draw fast,
telling myself I had no more than 10 minutes.
I think I'll start doing this more often.
It's a good exercise to get the hand muscles going
and you know what?
It's not half bad.
For those of you out there who want to improve your drawing,
try this.
Quick drawings.
Messy drawings.
Doesn't matter what it looks like,
only that you get more comfortable with the pencil
and with the IMPERFECTION of the drawing.
It's not always about
how pretty it is, in the end.
It's about how you felt
when you drew it.

Maybe it's the kid in me, but
scribbling feels damn good.

Monday, November 17, 2014

an anniversary i'd rather forget

Two years ago today,
mom died.
It's always a sad day.
Plus, it's snowing today.
On her last days,
when she knew the end was near,
she wished to at least see the snow
one last time.
She loved the first falling snow,
loved the white snow in the trees,
and she loved Christmas.
She never did get to see the snow again.
So whenever I see the first snowfall now,
it makes me sad.
My brother got this tattoo made...
in honour of mom.
She loved music,
and this song in particular by ABBA,
I have a dream.
She had asked her 12 siblings 
to sing it at her funeral...
They did
and our hearts broke
into a million pieces.
And just yesterday,
I was sorting out some of my old cards
and found this one mom had given me
a few years ago.
I am choosing to honour her memory
by continuing to dream beautiful dreams,
even if it's sometimes hard,
even if i sometimes stand alone,
even if they may never come true...