Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leonard Cohen

There is a crack in everything,
that's how the light gets in.

- Leonard Cohen

I love Leonard Cohen.

An incredible Canadian musician,

I used my music sheet book for the painting,
even though there were more words on the page than music notes.

Maybe it was deliberate.

I love the words in his face...

He just recorded a new album called OLD IDEAS.

I'm in love
with a 77 year old man
and his songs.


Monday, February 27, 2012

big dreams

Hey folks - it's Monday! 

I bought a few wonderful books lately
in the hopes of keeping myself inspired.

When i read the first few pages of this wonderful book,
I knew it was exactly what i was looking for.

So inspiring.

A few posts ago, I made a comment about dreaming BIG.

Over the weekend, I was at the Costco.
For those who aren't familiar with the Costco,
it's basically a place where you can buy things in bulk,
like a jar of peanut butter the size of a Buick,
or paper towels in packages of a million.

ok, that may be a bit of an exaggeration.

But as i stood in line at the cash register
and looked at all the other baskets full of stuff -
and the zombie-like faces staring into space,
I wondered about the dreams of those around me.

It made me think about how there is as much value
in a small dream
as a big one.

Maybe the woman next to me
wanted to become a published author,
or the man behind me
wanted a herb garden in his back yard.

Some people need a herb garden to give their life meaning,
others need the Taj Mahal.

Whatever your dream is...
however big or small
the important thing is to keep moving towards it.

To make little changes towards a more
fulfilling life for yourself.

To take baby steps.

The saddest thing would be
to take no step at all.

To decide that your dream isn't worth it.

It absolutely is worth it.
Trust me on this one. :-)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Coeur de Pirate Le Long du Large

My new favorite song.

Cheesy pics, but fabulous voice. :-)
Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

intuitive painting and Carissa Paige

Good morning lovely people!

Don't run away yet -
give me the chance to explain this mess.

I love Friday nights.

I often feel more creative on Friday nights
although i'm  not sure why.

Maybe just the letting go of the week,
good music on the CBC,
knowing i'm sleeping in the next morning...

whatever it is, I ride the wave.

So when I got the sudden urge to paint intuitively,
I sat myself down and began.

Started with a horizontal canvas (3ft x 2ft).
I love small canvases, but somehow for me,
intuitive painting is more fun on a larger scale.

Then i flipped it around
and saw the outline of a face.
(do you think we see what we want to see?)

i love faces, so there you go.

So i carried on vertically
and filled in a few spaces,
with one colour or another.

In the end, I kinda like it,
even if the face looks like an alien.
(or as my son said, "looks like Avatar")

The important thing is, it was so much fun to do.
So liberating.
And no, there was no wine involved. ;-)

This process of doing a painting in layers is often surprising.
I'm nowhere near mastering this like Flora Bowley,
but i really don't think it matters much what the end result is.

That's the beauty of it.

To start a painting without any idea where it's gonna go,
to have a blast in the middle,
and more often than not,
to be pleasantly surprised in the end.

On another note,
yesterday was like Christmas here when i got this in the mail.

I bought this print (OWN YOUR STORY) by Carissa Paige on Etsy
(thank you Danielle Daniel for giving me her name!)
and Carissa's package arrived yesterday,
filled with such love.

Besides the beautiful print, I get this as well.
A few hand written notes, and more samples of her wonderful work.

This may not be standard for her to send to everyone
so don't go harassing her if you purchase something
and don't get the same package. ;-)

I just wanted to say how nice it is
to be surprised now and then
and how wonderful to see
that there are still people out there
who spread goodness to the world.


Friday, February 24, 2012

heart painting, pheasant and toast!

hello fellow bloggers!
Woooo hooooo! it's Friday AND it's time for a paint party!! :-)

I love working with these small sizes.
This canvas is 6" x 6".

A little acrylic paint over the sketch...

a few chosen words...

and within the hour, a new little painting,
available in my ETSY shop soon.

Making this little painting this morning
got me off on the right foot. 

Then i come to the kitchen,
and this is what i see outside my door...
a pheasant, strolling around in the back yard.

A common sight these days,
yet still such a treat.

He eventually made his way to the tree
to eat the seeds on the ground.

And after a good cup of coffee,
part of my morning breakfast.
Rye toast.

Isn't it pretty?

Have yourselves a wonderful Friday, Munchkins!

Check out some of the great posts here on Paint Party Friday.

Happy CED and PPF!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Last night, i spent much of the evening
helping my teenage son with his homework.

Some nights don't include art
and that's ok.

The nights that are spent helping my son
are never wasted to me.

I never feel like i should be doing something else.

I read this last night and it made me smile,
from a I bought a book a few weeks ago called Dear Professor Einstein,
(Einstein's letters to and from children)

There are some impressive letters in this little book,
from children with incredibly inquisitive minds.

Einstein must have been impressed as well,
since he replied to many.

And on a sadder note - ;-)

I thought I'd have a nice hot bath at the end of the evening
and begin my UNCLE TOM'S CABIN book.

Can you guess what happened?

Yup, it fell in the water.

The perils of reading in the bath.

So even when your evenings don't go as planned,
or you sometimes feel like your wheels are stuck in the mud,
or that maybe your dreams aren't worth it,
they are!!

What's the point in dreaming small?


dream big...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

europe and standing tall

I started this painting yesterday.

It's for the sister of a friend who travelled across Europe
on her bicycle.

The grey-ish blue-ish purple path you see on the left
will eventually look like a bike path,
and she'll be on it with her bike. :-)

And the middle part will eventually look like water.

It's nowhere near done
but i'll post more pics when i have it finished.

... and this was last nights' fun.
mixed media collage.

I'm just noticing how crappy the hair looks right now  :-(
I may add a bit to it before the end of the day.

I saw a poster the other day that made me smile.

Carpe the hell out of this diem.

Don't you love it?
So yeah, that's what i wish for all of you today. 

To seize the hell outa this day,
wherever you may be on this big blue ball in the sky.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go;
they merely determine where you start.
- Nido Qubein

Almost a year ago, in June 2011,
I participated in a fabulous e-course called
Do what you love, with Beth Nicholls.

It changed things for me and opened more doors
than i ever thought possible.

So when I got the opportunity to share my story
on the Do What You Love website,
I embraced it.

Some say opportunity doesn't knock twice,
but I believe opportunity knocks all the time -
we just don't always answer the door.

So last night, I was in the mood for a mixed media collage.

I began cutting little words that all seemed perfect somehow,
and within a few minutes, 
I had about 20 words waiting to be glued to the page.

Yet after i finished my curly watercolour tree,
only two of the words really stuck out
and begged to be chosen.

So I chose them.


This morning,
I get an email from the lovely Beth,
telling me that my story is being shared on her website today.

You can find the shared story (and others) here.

Some days just feel like they're filled with grace.

I'll just grab a coffee, put on some good music
and paint.

Monday, February 20, 2012

flags, bob dylan and melancholic music...

A man is a success if he gets up in the morning
and gets to bed at night, and in between
he does what he wants to do. 
- Bob Dylan

Nothing too creative from me this morning,
so I'll share the creativity of others.

Like this train track painting by Bob Dylan that i love.

And this precious little thing
I bought years ago,
from a woman I used to work with.

She worked in accounting,
but she had the heart of an artist.

I love the heart crown and the freckles... 

I've been leaving myself little notes here and there
of things I wanna do for my studio space
to make it a little more inspiring.

I'm the fucking queen of note taking.

I swear there are notes in every room of the house.
Post it notes, paper notes, napkin notes...

If there was money to be made
from taking notes,
i'd be on the cover
of FORBES magazine right now.

This is what i'm listening to this morning...
Beautiful, melancholic music.

Wishing you all a great week,
filled with your own favorite music,
and lots of yumminess.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

find your wings

My morning painting, mixed media on cardboard.

And here's my rant for the day.

Things i'll never understand:

People who feel the need (when driving) to hog two lanes instead of one

Peacekeeping with weapons

Most infomercials

Why athletes & coaches make so much damn money

Why daycare workers make so little

Why we look to celebrities for enlightenment
(when most of them are clearly in the dark)

Why pedophile priests are often transferred to other parishes

The Bachelor (the show)

The Snuggie - the blanket with holes in it.
Yes, i know i've complained about it before,
but this one just begs to be repeated

Why little girl pageants (and little girl pageant shows on TV) are legal

Why farmers get so little from governments

Why someone hasn't yet invented a pill to help us become less dependant on pills


On that note,
I wish you all a wonderful day! 

Smile. It's almost the weekend.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This was in my inbox today!!


Well, not the pissing in my pants part. 
I added that.


If i get this excited about a Sketchbook project,
imagine what i could do 
when i publish an actual book?!?
Omigod... all hell's gonna break loose.

Cover up the tomatoes, Martha.


So for those of you who are actually in NYC (Lori, this means YOU!),
my sketchbook number is 155.15-2

Let me know if it's still in one piece,
and know that it was done with love.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

the stars...

I've been thinking lately about
the pressure some people put on themselves
to be "in the know".

The pressure to be the best,
and to blog, and Facebook, and Twitter and Google
and whatever else is out there.

To know everything about everyone
and to reach as many people as they can
and keep everyone up to date
on their own happenings
practically every hour of the day.

For some, every few minutes of the day. :-)

I think some of us have lost the ability
to just be with ourselves,
gadget free.

Maybe it's a generation thing.

Maybe i'm just getting old. 


There are interesting
and intriguing lives out there,
but many of us are so busy
living someone else's definition of success,
or trying to imitate the lives of others,
we've forgotten how to live our own.

We've forgotten our own definitions 
of success
or happiness
or how much is enough.

It's easy to feel left behind
or not part of the loop sometimes.

I think it's important to remind ourselves now & then
that in this age of technology
and the need to know everything about everyone
every waking hour of the day -

it really doesn't matter in the end.

it's ok not to know sometimes...

and just be with the stars in the sky
instead of the cell phones.

So cut yourself some slack,
and give yourself permission
to live like the Flintstones. 


Monday, February 13, 2012

risk life & sad girl

On some nights, i feel a real lack of inspiration.

Last night was one of those nights,
but still, i felt like painting,
so i decided to doodle.

Doodling is like bubble gum for the brain.

Sometimes, we just need to recharge
and not over think or over analyze things.

Doodling is great for this,
although  I think i need to let loose more.

My doodles seem a little too organized
and logical.

Then this morning,
I felt a little more inspired,
although perhaps not blissfully happy. 

Do you ever feel sometimes
like you're putting on a happy face,
when in reality, on this particular day,
you're not really that happy?

That's what i was thinking about this morning,
and about how some days
are just more difficult  than others
for some people.

After i finished the painting
I still felt like something was missing
until i added the words.

As soon as the words were part of it,
i knew it was done.

Nothing for the Louvre,
but I kinda like her.


Friday, February 10, 2012

little houses, pépére, and stuff

I've had a few people send me emails lately,
telling me they've had problems leaving comments on my blog.
I've checked my settings & everything looks ok
but who knows...

For those of you who are able to leave comments,
i read them with a smile on my face & tuck them 
safely in my heart. :-)

So here are my little houses...

watercolour & white pen on paper.

I've felt a little stuck in the mud lately.

Maybe i need a trip to Bali, or Australia, or France? 

I find myself reading my little quotes
more often than usual these days...
needing the extra boost.

This is one of my favorites...

A quote by Steve Jobs and a print by an artist i love
from the Boston area, Mae Chevrette.

Check her out here.

I think it's important to feel inspired in our work spaces.

I try to surround myself with a few things 
that inspire me - this being one of them.

My grandfather made this years ago,
carved in one piece of wood,
and he was so proud of the fact
that he didn't cut or glue anything together.

Like many others of his generation
he had very little education.

He couldn't read or write,
but he worked hard his entire life
and provided for his family - 13 children.

I have memories of my grandmother
sitting at the kitchen table with him
trying to teach him to read.

He spent any spare time he had in his basement,
carving wood. 

He had carved an entire little village down there,
with horse drawn carriages and houses and churches
and fences and roads...

When he died years ago,
I inherited this.

More precious to me than gold
because it reminds me of who he was, at heart.
An artist.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Do at least one thing that you love.
Celebrate the fact that you are an artist.

The world needs more of us.