Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Piper received this skirt as a present at her "Princess"
birthday party yesterday
and it actually
plays the song "the Hokey Pokey"
"...you put your whole body in
...you take your whole body out
...you put your whole body in and you shake it all about
...you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around
...THAT'S what its all about!"

...come to think of it,
I agree, that IS what its all about"
When something moves you,
you need to pay attention.

Sit down there.
Be there with what moves you,
no matter what it is or
how it moves you;
in anger, in passion, in sadness, or in thought.

Grab your shovel and pail
and dig right there in that sand.
There are answers there to the questions you seek.
Make a sandcastle, make a tunnel, find the clay underneath...
that is where you will find yourself.

...everyone should live with a little sand in their shoes.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A couple weeks ago I began attending my regular critique group at Sutton Art again. I have been going on and off for about 13 years to Eileen Raucher Sutton's group, and I am still constantly amazed at how much I learn about painting (and life) from looking at and discussing art.

A fellow artist, Iris, brought a painting that she was working on and as soon as she put it up you could sense that everyone felt there was something wrong in it. Before anyone said anything she pulled out some brown painted paper and stuck it to the canvas in a place that she figured would "fix" the problem...and it did. We discussed why the change made the painting work and we were all quick to agree that she should just do that right on the painting.

But then Eileen told Iris to take the brown paper off the painting and let us look at what the problem really was. You see, there was an area under the paper that had yellow and purple touching each other and was causing a very exciting energy in the painting. The problem was this area was not the actual focus of the painting so it was distracting. However, it was also the most interesting part of the painting. We talked for about 10 minutes about how she could create another intense colour dynamic somewhere else and perhaps balance out the painting that way. We spent another 5 minutes playing with some other bits of paper and visualizing what it might look like that way.

Then, Eileen told Iris to put the original brown paper back on the painting, once again covering the yellow/purple dynamic. This time when she did it, we all were amazed at how the vibrant energy of the painting was instantly gone. Yes, her initial "solution" would solve the problem, but we could easily see now that it would also take away the most exciting part of the painting.

Now her painting looked fine, but it was very safe and quite uninteresting.

Life is so much like that painting. Exciting and sometimes disruptive elements do occasionally arise in our lives and are distracting, especially if a lot of the elements in our lives are safe, routine and appear to be working on the surface. These distractions aren't part of the "plan" but they are exciting, interesting and quite possibly are telling us something important about what we want from life.

The question comes down to how you solve your painting. I wonder if Iris will choose to challenge herself and try to find a way to balance that exciting colour dynamic with something as equally exciting or just paint the brown over the yellow/purple?

What would you do?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

another new journal...because...well...I can't just have only one...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pipes, Piperonie, Pippi, Pip the hip, The Pipester...
I love how you vibrate and squeal with excitement at least 10 times a day.

I love how one of your favourite games is
to "pretend" that I am your "Mom" and that you are my "daughter".

I love how you giggle in your sleep.

I love how you call your grandma and grandpa everyday to make sure they know when Little Bear and Franklin are on because you are sure they watch it even when you aren't with them.

I love how you taped a song for me every night to listen to when I got home from drawing at the Fringe, just in case I missed hearing your voice.

I love the "invisible" friends that visit everyday —Buja and Girl to name a few.

I love how much you like to cuddle and how you assure me that you will ALWAYS want to cuddle with me that much

I love you
Piper Kensington!
Happy 5th birthday!

~love, mom

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Some recent commission work and party gigs...



Thursday, September 17, 2009

A conversation tonight over a glass of wine...

Jan: "You know, I think I am one of the most intuitive people I know."
Me: "Really? What makes you think that?"
Jan: "I don't know, its just a feeling..."

..and then we laughed and laughed and laughed....
and then drank another glass of wine.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thank you to everyone who came to my Open House yesterday!
What a great time!
I especially want to thank Karen Horne for your wonderful hosting duties and for the great conversation during the clean up.
Also thanks Mom and Dad
and of course Mark, Ryllan, Kieran and Piper
for all your excitement and support
in making this dream of mine come true.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Very Busy weekend coming up...

Friday evening I will be drawing at
the Taste of Old Strathcona —7 -9:30 pm

Saturday I will be drawing at
Callingwood’s annual Cornfest —noon -5 pm
This is in support of the Fire Fighter's Burn Unit which is a great cause!

And then on Sunday I will be having the
Grand Opening
Open House at my new studio
The Quirky Art Cafe

1-4 pm.
If you have a chance, please come by say Hi
and see my new studio.
I am really proud of how it has all come together and can't wait to share it with you.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

wring
v. wrung (rng), wring·ing, wringsv.tr.
1. To extract by twisting or compressing. Often used with out.

Every morning she would get up and wring out all of the thoughts that had been absorbed overnight...

Monday, September 07, 2009

Sunday, September 06, 2009

My new altered book journal...
This past summer I have done very little "visual" journaling. I have been drawn more to words and thoughts on their own (and the realizations that come with them), than finding the pictures and images within the thoughts.

This fantastic little hardcover book had called out to me at a garage sale in the spring and I knew it would be my next visual journal, when I was ready to create it. I am very discriminating when it comes to what books I use for my own personal use. The weight, the dimensions and the thickness are all very important qualities to me and help make up the decision of what each book will become for me; whether it be a daily journal or a sketchbook, a travel journal or a demo journal.

Friday night I wandered over to my studio after dinner and this little book practically jumped into my arms. With all my kids now
officially in school, it was time... so I sanded and gessoed the cover and then allowed it to tell me what it needed to become.
Here is the back cover...

On the inside front cover, I always like to begin with a thought that is relevant to my life at the moment. Since I am currently reading the book Exuberance, the passion for life by Kay Redfield Jamison, the thoughts within it are very much in my mind at the moment.
Here is an excerpt from the book...

Yet it is the infectious energies of exuberance that proclaim and disperse much of what is marvelous in life. Exuberance carries us to places we would not otherwise go—across the savannah, to the moon, into the imagination—and if we ourselves are not so exuberant we will, caught up in the contagious joy of those who are, be inclined collectively to go yonder. By its pleasures, exuberance lures us from our common places and quieter moods; and —after the victory, the harvest, the discovery of a new idea or an unfamiliar place—its gives ascendant reason to venture forth all over again. Delight is it own reward, adventure its own pleasure.

If you are interested in creating an altered book like this, we will be making one in my altered book classes this fall at my studio.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.
~Leonard Cohen

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Live Each Moment Beautifully

You cannot just sit there and write the story or the novel. You have to do other things as well. You drink tea, cook breakfast, wash your clothes,water the vegetables. The time spent doing these things is extremely important. You have to do them well. You have to put one hundred percent of yourself into the act of cooking, watering the vegetable garden, of dish washing. You just enjoy whatever you are doing and you do it deeply. This is very important for your story, your letter, or anything else you want to produce.

Enlightenment is not separate from washing dishes or growing lettuce. To learn how to live each moment of our daily life in deep mindfulness and concentration is the practice. The conception and unfolding of a piece of art take place exactly in these moments of our daily life.

...by Thich Nhat Hanh, from his book Anger

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!
Mom, your focus and dedication
to what moves you passionately
has been the inspiration and guiding light in my life.
Thank you for all you have done for me.
I love you.