Friday, October 30, 2015

The WILD TRUTH about Into the Wild

hi folks...
It's Friday night here, 
and the wind is howling outside.
Halloween tomorrow.
The little witches & goblins are gonna be out
trickin' & treatin'.
I may watch a movie later on
but first, I have a few things to share.
It seems like I'm doing nothing
but trying to catch up these days.
Well, that, and watching movies. ;)
There are so many emails I want to send,
thank you cards (or just cards to say 'hello'),
blogs & books to read,
paintings to make,
friends to visit,
things to write...
And here's the thing:
I am currently not working outside the home!
I should have all the time in the world
to get everything done!
But do I?
I never seem to have enough hours in the day
to do everything I wanna do.
Maybe my list is too long?
Or I'm too easily distracted?
oh ok, fuck it,
I already know the answer.
I procrastinate. :)
I'll write those emails,
as soon as I go for a walk outside.
I'll send those cards,
right after I do a little painting.
I get everything done eventually,
it's just that sometimes,
'eventually' takes a long time to get here. ;)
And of course, 
there's always that other "fun stuff"
like housework
and groceries
and changing lightbulbs
and making meals.
The other day, a friend of mine told me
that I made her feel lazy
because I got so much done in the course of a day.
You're fucking kidding, right?
No, she wasn't kidding.
So maybe I really am productive
and I just FEEL like a procrastinator? ;)
Maybe i have razor sharp focus
but it just FEELS like a total mess in my own head? 
As my son would say:
(translation: WHATEVER - because the word "whatever"
just takes far too much energy for teenagers to say) ;)
I'm doing my best
and as long as I don't kill anyone
in the course of a day - it's all good.
I go for walks whenever I can
because nature is my sanctuary.
I spend as many quiet moments in a day
as I can, because silence is golden for me.
I'm not one of these people
who needs to turn on the radio or tv
as soon as I get up in the morning.
I listen to music when I'm painting
but too much noise just makes me
wanna run the other way.
And speaking of noise & nature,
I wanted to say a few things
about the movie Into the Wild.
For those who don't know the movie,
it's the true story of Christopher McCandless
who decides, after graduating from university
with top honours, to give away all his money to charity,
and set out for Alaska, to live off the land.
Oh, and did I mention
that his parents were wealthy assholes?
Yeah, his father was a scientist for NASA
who was used to manipulating people
with his money,
and his mother was basically a puppet on a string.
They were devoted to their church,
while at the same time,
abusive to their children (physically and mentally).
It's a movie about
freedom and adventure
and a young man who decides to
escape the clutches of his controlling parents
and live life on his terms.
That's where the heaviness comes in.
It's also profoundly sad.
I wish I could say he lived happily ever after,
I'm sure you all know the outcome.
If you don't, Google it.
I came out of that theatre
feeling like I had been hit by a truck.
I had a heavy heart for weeks.
But still - one of my favorite movies.
The music, the scenery, the meaning...
Then in 2014, Christopher's sister, Carine McCandless
wrote a book called THE WILD TRUTH.
It explained everything.
I am happy she wrote this,
for herself, her siblings, and for Chris.
After reading her book,
I understood his reasons for leaving
and for breaking the family ties completely.
Appearances can be deceiving.
What you see in public
is not always the truth
which is why we should never judge others
who do things that may seem irrational to us.
We never really know
what someone is living behind closed doors.
And on that note,
I'll leave you with this adorable little face...
Fluffy (dad's dog)
making a tongue at us.
Happy Halloween everyone!
Remember: chocolate is good for you!

Monday, October 26, 2015

a little bit of art and lots of everything else

hello friends...
I hope you've all been well
and adjusting to whatever season it is
in your corner of the world. 
It's fall here, so the colours are beautiful,
although it's been windy lately
and the leaves are quickly
falling from the trees. 
I did this pastel years ago... of my son, Alexandre,
sitting in a big pile of leaves in our yard.
He was much smaller then, compared to now. :)
He'll be 20 in February.
I've been feeling stuck in a rut lately,
so I've been looking through some of my old art.
I'm doing a few little things
here and there...
I was sketching this the other night
when my son came in and said
it reminded him of one of the men
in the movie CAPTAIN PHILLIPS,
about the 2009 hijacking of a US ship
by Somali pirates.
I wasn't thinking of that while I was doing it.
Just in the mood to sketch something quirky
and not too serious.
Went to the bookstore the other day
and found these 2 gems.
I guess I may have been feeling a little blue. :)
The Joan Didion book was $2...
and the other one, $6.99.
Yes, thank you.
I've always wanted to learn more
about the history of the color Indigo.
Now I'll know (hopefully)
after reading this. 
I absolutely love the cover
of the Indigo book.
And I recently got this on Amazon.
A visual feast of a book,
filled with wonderful treasures like this
 ...and this.
So much truth here.
Why do so many of us
still think that creativity
is only reserved for children?
We are ALL creative
in our own personal
individual ways.
And this one (below)...
my favorite in the book.
So many of us live our lives
focused on attaining these things
when in the end,
they matter very little (if at all).
What matters in the end
is LOVE.
Knowing that you gave love
and received it
as much as you could,
the best way you knew how,
with the time you were given.
Our colouring book project is almost done!
The cover is being finalized
and I'm told that the inside pages
are beautiful.
As soon as I have the link
where you can purchase
I'll share it with all of you here.
In the meantime,
hang tight!
I've been watching some good documentaries lately.
Here are a few of the trailers,
for anyone who likes watching them. :)
I watched this one last night
called HAPPY.
(all of these were on Netflix).
A wonderful documentary
about the misconceptions we have
about money
and how it actually takes very little
to be happy in life.
A good art documentary I recently watched,
A reminder that there are still
too many places in this world
where 'freedom' is nothing but a word.
I admire anyone who is courageous enough
to stand up and say 'this is wrong'.
Especially those who stand alone.
I watched this one lately - and loved it.
Lots of wisdom hiding behind
the dreadlocks & skull rings & smoke. ;) 
Plus, the guy is like 130 years old...
how can you NOT be impressed?
KEITH RICHARDS - Under the influence
Another art documentary
I found on Netflix.
This couple just made me smile.
Heartwarming, adorable,
profoundly sad and happy all rolled into one.

This  music documentary that brought back
many fond memories for me.
Funny how hearing a certain song
brings me right back to where I was at the time,
doing whatever I was doing.
(usually up to no good - which basically means,
having fun). ;)

A movie about loss,
and courage,
and conquering fears
and facing your demons
and redemption
and finding your way through the darkness.
Along the same lines as one of my favorite movies,
Into the Wild,
only with a lighter ending. :)
And last but not least -
a documentary about the author,
Like millions of others,
when I was in high school,
I read Catcher in the Rye
and my friends and I talked about it
for months after.
So yeah, there's lots of mystery
around J.D.Salinger
and what happened to him
after Catcher in the Rye...
Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 16, 2015

a dry spell and then *poof* - big magic.

Hello friends!
It seems like every time I sit to blog lately,
I have so much to say
and I fear forgetting half of it along the way. 
First of all, let me say
it's been a heavy week.
The little painting above
is the first painting I've done in weeks
and I'm not sure you can call it a painting.
Maybe a few lines on a page
would be more appropriate. :)
Dad had surgery last week
and there were a few minor issues after the surgery,
so consequent visits to the hospital.
He is now recuperating at home
and doing better every day,
but until he was back on his feet,
I felt a little unsettled myself.
A quick pen sketch of a sick man at the hospital...
So this past Monday, 
as my son and I rushed out the door
I misjudged the steps in the garage,
fell, and sprained my foot!
I spent a few days on crutches,
a day wobbling around,
and I'm now down to a limp. :)
During these down times
of making little (or no) art,
I tend to write more.
And of course, I read a lot.
I'm usually the one trailing behind
when it comes to reading the hot books
or seeing the hot movies.
I saw the Titanic movie about
a year after it was a hit.
I just recently watched Avatar.
But a few weeks ago,
I went to the bookstore and picked this up.
I was almost happy to be off my feet
for a few days,
just so I could curl up with this one.

I love so much of what she writes in here,
I basically wanted to underline the whole thing.
For anyone who is living a creative life,
this book is such a gift.
I love what she says here
about passion...

So many of us are bombarded
with messages of following our bliss...
of finding our passion
of doing what we love.
I'm all for doing what you love,
but sometimes, it just doesn't pay the bills
and you gotta do something shitty for a while
and on the sidedo what you love!
On the side, write the novel.
On the side, play the guitar.
On the side, take acting classes.
It's those side things you do
that make life grand.
If you're lucky enough
to be able to make a living at what you love,
good for you!
But if you've yet to make a decent living at it,
Chances are good it makes you happy, right?
So already, it's worth it.
Whether or not my art (or writing)
provides a steady income for me
(and no, it doesn't)...
I'm still gonna do it because I love it.
I would still do it
if I knew I would never get a penny.
She talks about the differences
between passion and curiosity
and how we should ask ourselves this question:
What is interesting to me?

Don't you love that last paragraph?
I love it.
So reading this book during the past few days
got me fired up again
about all sorts of things.
One of those things was painting.
 Acrylic on paper.
When I first painted the black circles,
I was thinking of apples in a tree.
(it's apple harvesting time here)...
But they quickly became faces
without me having much time to think about it.
I took this picture this morning, by the window.
More accurate colours.
I like it. It makes me happy
although there's a kind of sadness to it too...
I also did some sketching
for the colouring book cover design!
This is such a fun project.
I'm as excited as everyone to see it printed. :)
It's such a joy to collaborate
with like minded people.
Not yet done, but getting there... 

Yes, this is still how excited I feel.

I stumbled upon this Canadian artist on-line this week...
What a lesson in patience.
Jaw dropping work.
I thought this smoke was pretty
after I put out the candle.
Maybe it'll become a painting soon?
And i finally - finally
finished this painting of mom.
I'm not totally happy with it
but I have to let it go.
I had given myself Aug 15th as a deadline
and here we are - 2 months later.
Maybe I just liked her hanging out here with me -
her reassuring smile cheering me on - as always.
She may stay here for a while still. :)
Happy weekend everyone!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

colouring books, little birds and big skies

Hello everyone!
I'm finally back!
I hesitate to say 
I have some wonderful news
because maybe it's just wonderful for ME,
but hell, 
i'm sure at least ONE of you
will benefit from this as well.
At least I hope so.
That's the whole point.
Some of you already know this,
but for those who don't,
I'm working on an adult colouring book!!
Along with 5 other fabulous artists,
the book, called COLOR FOR CLARITY,
should be out in the world this November!
You can click here
to find out more
and don't forget to sign up
so you can get updates on where 
and when the book will be available.
We all have different styles,
so it's gonna be a great variety.
Every page has a quote or a question,
to encourage self discovery
and hopefully help you realize
that you have the potential
within yourself
to become who you want.
We tend to forget this, don't we?
We rely too much on outsiders
to teach us about our own worthiness.
I certainly hope that those who buy the book
have as much fun colouring the drawings
as I had in making them.
Such a fun project to work on.
Basically, it all happened very fast,
but sometimes, 
those are the best kinds of projects.
The kind that are unplanned.
No time to worry.
Right after I said YES
I knew it was the right decision.
We all had to develop several drawings
in a short amount of time,
but it's all coming together
and the work is amazing.
I cannot wait to color in it myself.
The wonderful Kristal Norton
is driving the bus on this one.
You can find her here.
Thanks to her genius organizational skills,
we are working together on a common goal,
from different parts of the world,
and she makes it feel easy. 
So besides that,
I've been painting here & there
whenever I get the chance.
When we went to New York last year in September,
I took a quick pic of these beautiful orchids 
we had in our hotel room,
with a card that said WELCOME!
I was really having problems
with the leaves & the pot on this one...
so what do you do when
there's part of the painting
that just doesn't seem to be working?
You remove it!
Some will say *that's cheating*!
But i don't listen to those people,
and you shouldn't either.
Do what you gotta do
to feel good about the painting.
Or at least not to hate it.
I hated it with the leaves & pot.
I don't hate it so much anymore,
although i don't know why i added the words...
looks like something you could buy
at Walmart. Not good. ;)
Far from my greatest work,
but hey - win some, lose some.
The colours are off in the 1st few pics,
but you can see the actual color here.
i'm liking the teal these days. :)  
I drew this the other day
when we lost power for a few hours...
with no lights, no TV, no computer...
What a better time
than to draw something
by the light of the window?

Coloured pencils on paper.
This little bird urn holds my mom's ashes...
She loved birds. :)
A quick painting (acrylic on paper)...

I ordered these prints from Vistaprint the other day.
They had a sale on posters.
Something like $30 for 10 posters (11 x 14 or 28 x 35.5cm)
Next time, I'll order thicker paper
but other than that, quality is good.
It's a water-colour i did of Steve Jobs a while back...
and i love his 'here's to the crazy ones' quote.
These will be for sale in my Etsy shop
within the next week or so.
The ring around the sun, a day before
the torrential downpour we had the other day.
And of course,
you know I can't end a post
without sharing a few pics
of the sand and the sea... :)
 seagulls in a row
 ...and a more daring seagull. 
Maybe he thought I had fries. :)
wide open space... and sky. 
Warmer than usual for this time of the year for us. 
(like 75 F)
And skies like this
always make me feel
like i'm part of something grand
and that the real miracle of life
is the fact that I am here AT ALL.
If it all ends when I die
I'm ok with this
because I get to see
skies like this while I am here.