Thursday, December 07, 2006

A picture going to Germany...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Slumber Party with girlfriends AND Martinis...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas Busy Busy Busy! 9 drawing gigs in the past 10 days...lots of great faces and Santa Claus what more can you ask for?

Check this out for some creative fun... (make sure to click on the mouse while you play)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Caricature Wreath

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Happy 3rd Birthday Logan!
Thanks for inviting me to draw at your party last night...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A commissioned caricature...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

October 14th — A very busy "Birthday" drawing Saturday! I drew at Sydney's 4th in the afternoon and Giovanni's 70th in the evening...
Here's Sydney's "Prince and Princess" party guests...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A fantastic weekend! I drew Friday night at the Iron Horse for the CASE convention (a convention for people who put on conventions —imagine that!) Great crowd, great music....

Then off VERY EARLY Saturday morning to Vancouver, for one of my closest friend's wedding. This is a picture of the sun rising just as our plane is taking off...

Vanessa and Marcus' wedding was definitely one of the best weddings I've ever been to! Thanks guys—I had a blast! We wish you all the best in your new "Canadian" life together!

Here's wedding guest Colorado Johnny posing with his caricature...

Friday, September 29, 2006

Vanessa and Marcus' wedding tomorrow in Vancouver—I can't wait!!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Its great to see the reactions...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I had a fantastic time drawing caricatures yesterday at MacEwan's Welcome Back Beer Gardens (southside campus) Have a good year you guys—don't party too much:)

Just finished!!—Retirement gift picture
(Good luck in your next career Phil!)

Monday, September 18, 2006

You know I've been thinking lately...about time. Time travel in particular. A huge concept I know, and definitely one that requires a lot of consideration. Our book club met tonight at my house and discussed The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Unfortunately I didn't have time to actually finish reading the book but it has left a real question in my mind. Is time travel possible? I'm not sure. In the particular way that it was illustrated in this book— I think not, but perhaps by some other definition. I know that I can feel transplanted in time simply by seeing someone or something I haven't seen in years or just by a certain smell or sound. Is it just jogging my memory or am I really time traveling back to "that" moment in some other place?

When we refuse to accept and live in the present moment, is that time travel? If so, I've been a time traveler my entire life. I've always loved living in "tomorrow", "later", and "some day". They hold so much more creative and fearless potential than "today", "here" and "now". As much as I've been an advocate for the "live in the moment" movement, I'm actually quite a "one day when I get there" kind of person. I love to live in the future! Sometimes its not even my future. I feel so much at home there! I can make everything bright colours and beautiful. I can be in control and fully present there!

However, I'm married to a natural "live in the moment" person whom I deeply love and admire. His innate ability to see his world as it is right now and to accept it that way (whether he actually likes it or not) is truly inspiring, sometimes annoying, often frustrating but always extremely refreshing. I would love to live in the time that he lives. I remember a day before we were married, when he was so much in the present moment that he only thought of taking bus fare for the ride to work, not for the ride home. How could anyone be more "present moment" than that?

Lately I feel as though my life is passing too fast without my conscious acceptance and awareness of "now". I'm so tired of thinking ahead or remembering back all the time, instead of just being right here, right now. I don't want any more time to pass without feeling that I was present in this time of my life. Its hard work, but I'm slowly experiencing the transformation of "there" into "here" and "some day" into "now". I even get these occasional and remarkable glimpses of living totally in the present moment. Its really new for me. I love it, but I'm who's going to remember to bring the bus fare for the ride home?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Another fun and busy drawing weekend!

Saturday morning and afternoon I took part in the National Esso United Way Day Campaign as one of many caricature artists across the country, set up at Esso stations, drawing customers, volunteers and employees. Here in Edmonton it was FREEZING cold and rainy but at least it didn't snow like it did in Calgary!

In the evening it was off to the Shaw Conference Centre with Lara for our inaugural Butt Doodling Gig! The event was for Canadian Tire and what an event! I've done a lot of drawing at this particular venue but I must say that the transformation of Hall D into a Las Vegas Casino was absolutely stunning! Chandeliers, poker tables, huge fake recreations of world landmarks, palm trees...Truly AMAZING!

Although we found that people were a little shy at first to show us their backsides, Elvis quickly stepped in to break the ice and get the Butt line rolling. Thanks to all our courageous victims, especially those who weren't even aware that we were drawing them until we tapped them on the shoulder and gave them the sketch! All in all, a FANTASTIC night!

...And don't worry, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Commissioned Illustration for a retirement gift.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Come out and participate in a National Caricature Event on
Saturday, September 16 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

We will be drawing caricatures for FREE:

1201 1st St SE, Calgary, Alberta
6510 Country Hills Blvd NW, Calgary, Alberta
15606 - 111 Ave, Edmonton, Alberta (THIS IS WHERE I WILL BE!)
3445 Hurontario St., Mississauga, Ontario
1150 Markham Road, Markham, Ontario
1485 Elgin Mills Rd, Richmond Hill, Ontario
6 3580 Strandherd Dr, Ottawa, Ontario
19712 Fraser Hwy, Langley, British Culombia
6270 Louis-Hypolythe Lafontaine, Montreal, Quebec
3340 des Sources/Brunswick, Dollard des Ormaux, Quebec
6022 Young Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Ottawa City Hall /110 Laurier Avenue West Ottawa, Ontario (8 a.m. to 12 p.m.)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

You know I've been thinking lately....about space. Not outer space or the demotion of Pluto to dwarf planet, but "personal" space. You know, that space that exists in-between our bodies and the invisible (but very real) line we draw around ourselves, defining our boundaries. As I take note of where my line is, I suddenly realize that it changes constantly—in different environments, with different people, in different situations, and especially how it is affected by different senses. I realize that its location has a lot to do with my comfort level and that when that line gets crossed I experience a real feeling of discomfort.

The strangest part about this line is that not only do we rarely know exactly where ours is (until its crossed); other people have absolutely no idea where someone else's boundary might be. There's no buzzer sound like when you go over that line in bowling. Everyone usually just assumes the other person's line is in a relatively similar place to his or hers. I think most people are wrong...most of the time.

Lately, loud noise has been crossing into my personal space far more than I like; late night partying neighbor noise, loud talking basement renter noise, next door barking dog noise, occasional traffic noise, and it makes me (surprisingly) angry. OK, so I've never liked loud noise. But it’s never made me so angry before. I have already learned to accept noise on many levels and in many situations in my life and so I am caught a little off guard by my sudden intense discomfort.

Since I have three kids, I have already been forced to accept a LOT of "child" noise. When my oldest son was 4 years old, he would talk non-stop from the moment he woke up till the moment he went to sleep. It was exhausting. One day when we were baking cookies, out of frustration I said "Can't you please just be quiet for 5 minutes?" Without hesitation, he turned to me, looked me straight in the eye and said "No Mom I can't, because I'm just not a quiet kind of boy!" So, reluctantly, I have learned to adjust my personal child noise acceptance level...most of the time.

The festivals and events I draw at are almost always very loud, much louder than my comfort level. I have learned through the years to deal with it by using a meditation technique. By continually focusing on my drawing, I create a space or buuble around me where the noise can't penetrate. It works pretty well...most of the time.

But now, here I am faced with noise that I can't seem to come to terms with. I have never felt so personally battered by its constant intrusion. Maybe spending three nights on top of a mountain in a camping cabin with no electricity (and very little noise) a week ago, has made me more keenly aware of the amount of excess, outside loud noise that exists in my life here. Am I just getting old and inflexible or is this just a stage I'm going through—temporarily threatened by the possibility of losing even more sleep ( when I get so little as it is)? Is there a way I can accept these noise intrusions or do I need to aggressively defend my space? I don't know...

I know that I accepted a new level of noise with my son the moment I realized that he wasn't doing it to frustrate me—he was just living his life as himself in the only way that he knew. But, it also required my energy to explain to him about controlling his own "noise" and teach him about where my boundary line was. He is now nine and is still a very talkative kind of boy. He's very smart and loves to share his knowledge with me. He has finally learned to recognize that certain moments are not ideal moments to educate me on Greek history and to wait quietly... most of the time.

So maybe I just need to understand that the culprits of all these noise intrusions in my life lately are just simply living their life unaware of how their noise carries across my boundary line. Perhaps, I need to let each of them know where my line exists. Maybe I should calmly talk to each of them and explain that at certain times I would really appreciate less noise coming over into my space, and hopefully they will understand and try to fulfill my least most of the time.

I really just wish I could get a bowling line buzzer.

Monday, September 11, 2006

What a fabulous "summer" weekend! Beautiful weather for drawing at the Cornfest (at the Marketplace in Collingwood). Huge lineups and lots of money raised for the Burn Unit! (Last year it was FREEZING COLD and was the reason that I now carry gloves in my drawing case!)

Then on Sunday, I drew at Crystal's 13th Birthday party — a great bunch of cheerful and VERY talkative grade 8 girls (and one little brother). Happy birthday again Crystal! Enjoy being a teenager and have a wonderful year!

Monday, September 04, 2006

The busiest post—Edmonton Fringe week ever! There has been no time to clean the house or buy those grade 4 school supplies, what with drawing gigs every lunch hour at the Shepherd's Care facilities around town (staff pictures to celebrate their 35th Anniversary), and then one evening gig at the Sawmill restaurant for (some special staff members of) WJS Alberta.

Then off to Kelowna, B.C. for a small holiday and to draw at a wedding on Saturday, Sept.2. Great weather, amazing starlit skies from the top of the mountain at Beaver Lake and fun times! Congrats to Corinne and Robert—have a wonderful time on your honeymoon in San Francisco!

Hey BTW, thanks to whoever upgraded our Banff Hostel Room for us—loft, skylight—very nice! (If you are ever at the hostel, check out the waterslides across the road—what a blast!)

Also, if anyone finds my keys somewhere between here and Kelowna...let me know.

Well, the school supplies are bought, now to clean the house...tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My beloved fringe tent...

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Fringe "drawing marathon" is over once again for another year. What an amazing and exhausting 11 days it was! From the word go, I barely had time to turn my head away fom my easel, drawing over 450 people this year. So many things go through my mind as I draw but i have to admit that the thought of a massage when this was all over was definately something that ran through my mind more than once.

Thanks so much to everyone that I drew, especially those of you who stood so patiently in my two hour line ups (in the hot, hot sun!) I especially want to thank all my dedicated repeat customers; 4 years, 6 years and even some of you for over 10 years in a row! I'm sorry I don't always remember all your names or remember exactly how many times I've drawn each of you, but I do love hearing about what you've done with your drawings and the stories from your past year.
Thanks to my Mom for sharing my tent with me once again and face painting up a storm. (Especially the full body painting that my daughter Piper requested daily.)
Thanks to my kids for all playing so wonderfully at the back of my tent throughout the week. You were amazingly patient and remarkably content!
Thanks to Chris, the magician for letting my nine year old son Ryllan hang out with him and learn some magic tricks. And of course thanks to Ryllan for entertaining my line up with his new card tricks.
To my vendor neighbors — thanks to Peter for always inspiring me to rethink the box and for proving by example what really is possible in life. —and much love to Ananda who really had an emotionally challenging Fringe this year.
Thanks to new and old friends for stopping by to say hi and for bringing me a cool drink on those hot nights or a hot drink on the cool ones.

But most of all thanks to my wonderful husband Mark for my morning lattes and for making everything run relatively normal in our lives even though I am drawing 12-14 hours a day.

Now, I'm off to get that massage...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The night before the Edmonton Fringe begins... a little bit of excitement, a little bit of dread, a little bit of stagefright mixed with overwhelm at the knowledge that in the next eleven days I will probably draw over 400 faces. For twenty years now those eleven days always stand still in some way, as if its the tether pole that my life revolves around.

I started drawing at the Edmonton Fringe when I was 22 years old, and although my life now is very different from my life back then, for the next eleven days I will experience a sort of time travel. Familiar faces, familiar sounds, familiar smells...but they will be things I will only remember when I am once again at the Fringe. I will see people that I forgot I knew, draw people that I forgot I've already drawn three times before, hear music that i forgot I liked and have sudden flashbacks to years gone by—from something as simple as a smell or a sound. I have rarely ever SEEN anything at this festival over the past twenty years except the back of my tent (and of course the 400 or so faces I draw every year) so my experience is filtered through all my sences except sight. (Which is an unusual way for me to experience the world since I am primarily a "visual" person.) I smell the kettle popcorn booth two booths away and the insence that Ananda— the tarot card reader next door always burns, I hear the street performers do their acts over and over again and the buskers singing or playing the same songs tirelessly, and I feel the crowd's heat behind me on the hot nights ...those are the things I remember.

In the next eleven days, the past twenty years will come floodiing back to me in layers of memory and I will feel like they are all happening again as i float in and out of the years. I know I will forget what year it is as i sign my pictures and be shocked that the little kids I drew twenty years ago now have kids of their own.

The best part though, is that I still LOVE drawing faces. I love having the chance to connect with people this way even if its only for the 10-15 minutes it takes me to draw them. I guess that is really the tether pole in my life— knowing what i was born to do and being fortunate enough to make a living at it.

Maybe we'll see you at the Fringe!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

You know I've been thinking lately.... about attachment and the willingness (or unwillingness) to let things go. My grandparents have been packing and moving from a condo to an assisted living apartment this past week and needless to say it has been the topic of a few family discussions. In everyone else's mind this appeared to be a perfect opportunity for them to scale down and let go of all the things that they didn’t need anymore, especially now since they won’t need to cook their dinners or do their laundry. However, fighting tooth and nail, they took almost everything with them. This included most of their furniture, 30 vases, 50 mugs, and many small jars of string. I guess you could attribute it to living though the depression or maybe it just makes them feel more important. Maybe they feel like they just might need one of those things someday. Maybe they don’t want to get rid of anything because it cost them something and they want to make sure it gets used. Or perhaps at 92 and 93 years of age they just want to hold on to their lives as firmly as they can. But I don’t know…

As I talked to others in my family I saw that some of us seem to have “it“ and some of us don’t. I’m talking about that packrat gene. I like to pride myself on the fact that I don’t have “it” and of course I take every opportunity to stand on my ledge of superiority and lecture those below about how amazing it feels to continually let go of things that clutter my life. The more I thought about the resistance others seem to have to release things from their lives, the more I questioned all the things that we are really attached to. That’s when I stumbled off my ledge into a storage closet in my mind and found boxes and boxes of mental clutter that I continue to take with me on every move I make through life. I swear I even heard my grandmother’s voice echoing down the hallway “No, I’ll need to take that too”.

OK, so I’m not as superior and as unattached as I proclaim to be, I’m just attached to different things. Where others collect vases, I guess I collect thoughts and ideas. I LOVE to think and analyze and ponder and pontificate. Its my hobby, my passion, my entertainment. I admit that I have a couple hundred journals but to my surprise that’s not where my mental clutter ends. What I’ve come to realize is that I have been hoarding thoughts the way others collect boxes of electrical cords or old broken knicknacks. I have so many thoughts and ideas that really serve no purpose in my life anymore (especially those dealing with outdated issues or past relationships) but I continue to unpack, rethink and discuss them with who ever will listen. Oh how I wish I could put them in a garbage bag and throw them away (or even donate them to value village) but I can’t. Maybe I feel like I just might need them sometime or that I just might fix them one day. Maybe I don’t want to throw them out because they cost me something in time and I want to make sure they get used. Maybe they make me feel more important. Maybe at 42 I’m just holding onto my life as firmly as I can…

Kieran and Grandpa