Saturday, December 29, 2012

why the holidays always make me go 'hhhhmmmm'

when i have a terrible need of - shall i say the word - religion, then i go out and paint the stars. 
- Vincent Van Gogh

i love the Van Gogh quote...

hello friends!

Christmas has come and gone for another year.

It was certainly different without mom,
but we made the best of it.

We had our traditional feast of Acadian poutines
and meat pies and seafood casserole and of course,
family and friends.

Oh, and there was wine... ;-)

i'm finally slowly making my way
back to the paints and crayons and colours.
I've missed it.

(coloured crayons on paper)

I did this one quickly last night,
just wanting to get back to doing at least something.

They're hanging on for dear life till the holidays are over. ;-)

i love the quote...

how many of us really dare to be ourselves, i wonder?
how many of us go through life wearing a mask,
pretending to be one thing or another?

how many of us are afraid to show our true colours,
for fear of not being accepted, or loved?

Children are usually wonderful at showing their true colours,
until the adults get in the way
and teach them what to think
rather than how to think.

I hope i am teaching my son how to think for himself...
how to decide whether or not he likes something,
based on how it makes him feel.

A paper clip painting... acrylic on paper.
Proof that you don't need an amazing subject
to paint something. :-)

And a few days ago, 
I saw this movie with a friend.

Loved it. Would see it again.

I hope you all had the kind of holiday you love -
whether that means non stop partying for you,
or a peaceful time at home with a good book or a few friends.

There's something about getting back into an artful routine
that feels wonderfully comforting to me...

Thanks for sharing this space with me.
I'll be back soon. Hope you join me again.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

IF - snow

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

(squeezing this one in for Illustration Friday!)

(digital illustration)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

a mishmash of art, words and snow

Loneliness is the poverty of self;
solitude is the richness of self.
May Sarton

(micron pen and acrylic on paper)

There's a huge difference between being lonely
and being solitary.

I am a solitary person.
I am rarely lonely.

I rather enjoy being alone,
with my books,
and writings
and paintings,
and thoughts.

this doesn't mean i don't enjoy the company of others -
i just more often prefer to be by myself.

I believe (like May Sarton),
that this is often where we find our own richness.

My best writing
or painting
is done when i am alone.

when i am not comparing myself to anyone.

when i am listening to myself
rather than being drowned out
by someone else's voice,
or perspective,
or talent
or genius.

(micron pen on paper)

With the world at our fingertips today,
it is so important as artists
to let ourselves be inspired by others
without letting ourselves be diminished
by everyone else's greatness.

Comparison paralyzes creativity.

So if you are here to make the world a better place,
in your own way,
it cannot be done if you compare yourself to others.

They are they,
and you are you. :-)

we're getting a snowstorm today.
It will be a white christmas after all. :-)


And this, a lovely handmade card i got from Lorinda last week...
reminding me that there are better days ahead,
and that love can be expressed in more ways than one.

She actually thanked me for having inspired her.
That just made my heart swell. xox

and speaking of love,
how great is this?!
Check out the bookworm bookmark. :-)

Colouring books i got from Doodlers Anonymous -
drawings done by artists from all over the world.

Love on paper.

i bought them to give as Christmas gifts,
but i think i may need to order a few extras for myself.

You even get a chance to have your doodles in the next book!

how fun are these faces?
oh yeah, i'll need to get extras for myself.

I'm kinda thinking it's a good thing i wrapped them already -
otherwise, i'd be colouring right now. :-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

a perfect time to come together...

hello friends...
it's beginning to look (and feel) like winter.

more small tag art...

The breeze at dawn is usually wise - if we listen.

Sometimes, it tells me to remember to breathe,
sometimes, it tells me the world has gone mad,
but most times, it tells me to be grateful
for another day
and to be ok with not knowing or understanding

Amidst the fear and anger
and pain and hatred...
there are so many gentle hearts out there.
So many good people.

That's what I try to remember.

I had a great little painting session last night...

At first it was just paint blobs,
but then it transformed into a face. 

a green face, but still - a face. 

and yes, it's beginning to look like Christmas too...

it'll be different this year, without mom here,
but we'll make the best of it.

The blue ball is for her. :-)

There are many people with heavy hearts this year,
especially in Connecticut.

I wish i could take away their pain.

Another page spread in my journal...

acrylic on paper...

i go into a meditative state
when i'm doing these dots and circles.

I hold myself back,
for fear that the whole painting
will end up being nothing but a shit load of dots. :-)

So here we are, a week before Christmas.

For those of you who celebrate it,
do so with peace in your hearts
and hopefully, a glass of wine in your hand.

LOVE to all of you...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

put a little love in your heart...

Yup. It's a big black square.

I used a piece of cardboard from a pizza box
and covered it with black acrylic paint.

Chose a few colours, and started with this...

added a few pencil marks...

covered a few things here and there with white...

flipped it around,
circles, bubbles, dots... ;-)

i was using an older brush when i made these little red marks.
i did them really quickly and once they were done,
i noticed some of them looked like little hearts.

That made me smile. :-)

i actually kinda like it. 
i love the look of layers, one on top of the other.

And this, an inspiring little tip, from Viktor Frankl.

His book, Man's Search for Meaning
is still one of my favourites
even if it's sometimes hard to read.

I have such admiration for people like him,
who not only survive such ordeals,
but who are able to love again
rather than hate,
and spend the rest of their lives
inspiring others to do the same.

Have a happy mid-week everyone.
Thanks for being here...

Monday, December 10, 2012

flight of the recently departed...

Death is a strange thing...

Sometimes, i think of mom and feel
like she's still there.

Like she's just gone somewhere for a little while
and she'll be back.

Sometimes, i hear a song on the radio
and my heart finds its way to my throat
and i feel like i'm gonna choke from sadness.

Sometimes, I realize she's gone for good
and i feel grateful that we had
so many wonderful years together. 

Sometimes, i feel ok,
and then i feel guilty for not feeling worse.

Everything is intertwined
with a fragile ribbon
of sadness.

Months ago, when mom was out of the hospital and doing well,
i bought this print from the wonderful Jeannie Paske.

Some things just speak to us, 
for whatever reason. 

I love it more today than when i bought it.

It's called Flight of the recently departed
and for me, it expressed so clearly
what it feels like to lose someone we love.

I remember people at the funeral telling me
that she was now
in a better place,

or that she was now
an angel in heaven

and rather than comfort me
it would annoy me
that people claimed these things
with such confidence
without really knowing.

I know they meant well,
but they just don't know,
and so instead, why not just say:
"we loved your mother and we'll miss her"?

I don't understand why so many of us
feel compelled to know 
what happens after death.

I know she was here for 74 years.
With me. With us.

That's good enough for me.

And so today is a mindless kinda day...

With our first snowstorm in progress outside,
i'll be tackling this mess

and getting things a little organized again.

At least that's the plan. 

Unless someone shows up with a bottle of wine.

Then the whole thing is put on hold.

I'm just saying. ;-)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

how books and doodles make a difference

hello folks.

A few gifts from Amazon... from me, to me. :-)
The best kind.

When i was younger, i was full of questions.

Curious about everything from
why is the sky blue
to how do we know to breathe
to why do so many people wear fur coats in church. ;-)

Mom would answer most of my questions,
but whenever she got tired of the asking,
or no longer knew how to answer,
she would simply say:

"c'est un mystère de la vie"
(it's one of life's mysteries)

So when i saw this book,
you just know i had to buy it, right?

Plus, i love the cover design. :-)

This morning, i did this quick doodle
with Sharpie markers on photo paper
and wrote this...

It feels good to write and draw and doodle.

It helps me make sense of my world,
the same way music does
or watching the sunset
or the moon,
or feeling the wind on my face.

Enjoy the day - whatever that means for you.

If you don't feel like being grateful, don't.
If you feel like venting for an hour, do.

In the end, it really doesn't matter.

As long as you're breathing... :-)

love to all of you...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

memories in scraps of paper...

hello friends...

my blue room is a mess these days...

I cleaned part of the kitchen today
and found several notes and numbers 
from mom's stay at the hospital.

I hesitated to throw them out.

You'd think i'd want to rid myself of these memories
but i don't do well with shoving things under the rug.

So like most artists,
i made a collage with them.

When the time comes to sort out mom's things,
I know i'll find a lot of handwritten notes
and i suspect i'll be doing something with some of them
in my journal or on canvas.

yes, my mother tongue is french...
Yay!! Bring out the balloons!! ;-)

The nurses and doctors in palliative care 
had the kindest
most compassionate hearts...

Mom wanted to be a nurse...
she had the same giving, compassionate, kind heart.

Actually, she cared for so many people in her life,
she kinda was a nurse, even if unofficially.

Maybe the nurses and doctors recognized her
as one of their own
and gave her the royal treatment.

Maybe Karma really does exist
and she was being rewarded somehow
for good behaviour. 

i'm just grateful they took such good care of her.

And this afternoon, I had a wonderful surprise in the mail.

I bought this book a short while ago,
and had actually forgotten about it.

It came in the mail today,
and made me smile.

By Rachel Awes...
at all I did was listen.

Such a beautiful book,
filled with wise insights on life
and wonderfully colourful illustrations

like this one...

and this...

And who doesn't love a personally handwritten note?

Wishing you all a wonderful week
with star filled skies.
(cause stars are awesome!!)