Thursday, October 31, 2013

it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men (Frederick Douglass)

hello everyone!
I did these 2 little paintings on canvas paper the other night,
and i didn't like either one of them,
so i made them part of a composition instead.
Sometimes, adding a little something helps.

At least it helps me. ;-)
i love the fibre in this paper
and of course, the quote.
Yes, we are indeed all gifted for something...

What are YOU gifted for?
 then a quick little acrylic painting in my journal...
isn't it funny how a simple visual
can bring back so many memories?
I'm willing to bet that many of you
remember at least something about your childhood
when you see a Crayola...
 good advice from Rembrandt...
I want to share this with all of you.

A few years ago, i collaborated with elementary students 
to do this calendar as a fundraiser.
We had so much fun doing this...
(September - 1st day of school)
Each month had a theme and each student from every class
(from kindergarten to 8th grade)
drew something from that theme.
I was hired by the school to have weekly art sessions
where i guided the students with their drawings.
(February - winter)
I then painted a background reflecting that theme (on a large poster board)
and we glued each drawing on the board. 

(November - Remembrance day)
The poster was then scanned, reduced,
and formatted to fit this calendar.

("I like living in my community because there is no war,
we live close to the ocean, and many of my friends live nearby".)

During the art sessions, i chatted with the students
about what they love about living here
and as the project evolved,
we decided to add these little quotes to the calendar.
Children are filled with wisdom
when we take time to listen.
At first, i heard many students say "i can't draw" or "i'm not good at art"...
so it became a quest for me to change how they felt about art
and about themselves as artists
during the weekly sessions.
As you can see by the beautiful works of art -
they became more confident in themselves.
The students were all so proud of themselves in the end,
and my heart was bursting with joy.
I like to think that i may have had a hand
in creating a few extra little artists out there.
The world needs more artists. :-)

Happy Halloween everyone!

In the spirit of Halloween - A Mummer's Dance, by Loreena McKennitt.

Monday, October 28, 2013

scatter brains...

why hello there, beautiful...

First of all, thank you all for your kind comments.
After my last post, 
i began to wish i was less scattered,
less varied,
less all over the place...

When i graduated from high school,
I had the hardest time deciding what i wanted to do with my life.
It was simple - I wanted to do it all.
And i did end up doing a lot of things
that eventually brought me back to my heart -
and to art.
But even once i realized i belonged in the arts,
i wanted to do it all then too.
I wanted to be painter,
and a poet,
and a sculptor,
and a writer,
and an illustrator,
and a graphic designer...

I am some of these things,
but sometimes i wish i was less scattered
and able to focus more on ONE thing.
Surely, i would have published that book by now.
My day begins with the best intentions
and often ends with "holy crap, WHERE did the day go?!"
I suspect i'm not alone in feeling this way. 
But then i read this meaningful quote by Emerson,

and everything's alright again
So for the past few days,
besides working on the book,
i've been doing illustrations here & there
like this one...

and listening to music like this...
(such love in Pavarotti's eyes)

and watching videos like this...on Matisse.
(i may have shared this already. Can't remember)
such beauty in simplicity...

love & lollipops,

Friday, October 25, 2013

dancing, doodles, and the boogie man... ;-)

And those who were seen dancing
were thought to be insane 
by those who could not hear the music.
- Friedrich Nietzsche
a bit of drawing from last night...
dry pastel on paper.
pastels are messy, but fun.
i love adding white to the tinted paper...
 Then a bit of journaling in cooler colors...
Found the image in a magazine,
painted & wrote the rest.
then a bit of doodling
with micron pens and Sharpies.
(this girls' all over the place!)
Mark Twain was a wise man,
with sage advice.
I also believe our brains need trampling on now & then.
Some of the ways i trample on mine:
- reading books for more than just entertainment
- writing whatever comes to mind without thinking too much about it
- crossword puzzles or sudoku
- doodling or painting with no particular goal in mind
- meditating
- avoiding TV, facebook, twitter - basically, bubble gum for the brain.
- going out in nature & pondering a leaf. (yes, a leaf)
- watching TED talks
- learning what i can and sharing with others
And here's a little creature...
in the name of Halloween
and Illustrated Friday. ;-)

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

fall colors and edith piaf

hello peeps.
Sunday night already... 
where did the weekend go?

 a few pics from my morning walk at the beach
Sometimes i think i live in the most beautiful part of the world
and other times, i'd do anything to leave, just for a bit.
I suspect most everyone feels like this now & then,
when things just feel heavy.
Whenever i start to feel the weight of the world
on my shoulders, i come to the ocean.
This is Parlee Beach.
It's about a 10 minute drive from where i live
and at this time of the year,
there's hardly ever anybody there.
 the sand finds its way to the grass...
...a calm and cloudy morning

so nice & quiet here
the tide coming up 
 tiny waves... ;-)
 another tiny wave...

i love this one... 
it looked like it was gonna rain.
I was walking in the opposite direction
when i turned around to look at the view
and saw this blue piece of sky...
seaweed, sand, ocean, tire tracks...
(one of these things is not like the other) ;-)
This is a provincial park,
so they drive around the beach to keep it clean
and to keep the sand level
at the beginning and the end of the summer.

A little watercolor i did this morning,
as the rest of the house slept
and i enjoyed a good cup of coffee.
 this is the view i see from the window in my blue room.
i love these calm mornings
when the bay looks like a mirror
and each cottage/house is reflected in the water.
it was very windy this weekend,
so the fall colors are slowly disappearing.
still pretty though...
i love the fall.
Still my favorite season.
Something about the cool, crisp air
and changing colors
makes me feel more creative.
Wishing you all a good week ahead!

and for all Edith Piaf fans out there...
la vie en rose :-)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Breaking Bad

I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it.
And I was really… I was alive.
– Walter White (Breaking Bad)

 portrait time...
I don't know if any of you watched Breaking Bad
but i did, and i was basically stuck to the couch
like a tongue on frozen steel for an hour. ;-)
 I don't like TV much, but my son got me hooked on this series
(yeah, it's his fault)
No regrets though... i loved it.
This winter, when the snow starts to fall,
we may just watch the whole series again on Netflix.
ok, so as you can see with this portrait,
it doesn't always look like the person in the beginning.
When i started with the red marker lines,
it looked very little like Walter White.
There is constant adjusting to be made...
to the nose, to the thickness of the mustache,
to the shadows...
it's all about SEEING more than anything...
i am no more talented than anyone else.
I probably just paint more often, that's all.
(and i don't always paint with good brushes - obviously!)
One just has to look at the rapports between
one space and another.
when i'm doing eyes
i'm not only looking at the shape of the eye,
but i'm looking at the distance between the eye and the temple,
between the eye and the nose
between the eye and the ear...
it's all about balance
and making sure it's sitting on the face
at the right place.
 adding a bit more red, orange and black.
 adding the glasses... 
 and there you  have it - Walter White.
One of my favorite quotes from the show:

Walter was in a hospital waiting room with another man who had just been diagnosed with cancer. (Walter was a chemist who had been diagnosed at 50). The other man was worried to death...

And Walt says:

"I have spent my whole life scared, frightened of things that could happen, might happen, might not happen, 50-years I spent like that. Finding myself awake at three in the morning. But you know what? Ever since my diagnosis, I sleep just fine. What I came to realize is that fear, that’s the worst of it. That’s the real enemy. So, get up, get out in the real world and you kick that bastard as hard you can right in the teeth." – Walter White 

And one of my favorite songs from the show (this series had great music!)

Weekend is almost here.... xox