Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Apparently size does matter.
(at least in conventions.)

This mini-con in Spain is Fantastic!
I am particularly loving the "mini"-ness of it.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the big, annual ISCA conventions in November (in the US) but here in Girona, there is just something special going on. Here, there are two elements that don't exist at the bigger ones
...intimacy and informality,
(which I realize can ONLY exist with a smaller attendance list.)

....and I LOVE the smallness.
Maybe its just me, but I feel more comfortable about approaching
and talking to artists here. I have seen many of these artists at the main convention but with SO many artists there, I know that I have been shy to initiate a conversation with them.
Here... it just happens naturally.

I also have to say, that I have enjoyed the flexible attitude
and the spontaneous quality
about how things are run.

It really is wonderful.
Jan Op De Beek giving his drawing session today.

Also, the way that my son Ry has been accepted in and made to feel like he belongs here, has really touched me. It makes me feel so good to be a part of a group of people like this. Everyone here is encouraging him to draw and/or be drawn, they are welcoming him to come out to cafes and bars with us, and when he talks to people, they are really listening and responding to him.

I am so excited to see what impact this trip will have on his life.

It really is an honor and privilege to be a member of this amazing international group
of caricature artists.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Sometimes in life,
a path appears
and you just know that you must take it,

even though it makes absolutely no sense
in a realistic, logical or financial way."

Ry (at 2) with his Uncle Weston, photo taken by his uncle Danny

I'm leaving for Spain tomorrow and following that kind of path...

It all started over a year ago when Ry, my oldest son, came home from school and announced to me, that he wanted to go to Spain. "Hmmm...Really?" I replied "Spain?" Now, Ry is a REAL "homebody", in fact he rarely likes to leave the house. So for him to decide that there was a place somewhere out "there", that he wanted to see, came as quite a surprise to me.

A few months later, I read an announcement for a caricature mini-convention in Girona, Spain for April 2011, and the wheels in my brain start turning....Wouldn't it be amazing to go to the convention and take Ry with me! He has seen videos and photos of the conventions that I have been to, and has always been fascinated and interested in them. Just so you know, Ryllan has never been an easy child to parent (right from day one) but in the last year, we slowly seem to be figuring out how to really connect to each other. I actually feel closer to him right now, than I ever have. I know kids are supposed to get more difficult as teens, but Ryllan has always done things his own unique way. Spending time with him, right now, at 14, in a place that has a special reason for both of us to be there, seems very important and like a "once in a lifetime" kind of thing.

But how would we ever be able to afford to go to Spain with our financial limitations?

So, months go by and I just keep the idea carefully pinned to the cork board in my head.

I plan my winter/spring teaching classes to end the week before we would have to leave, you know, just in case we go to Spain.

I don't book any gigs during that time, also "just in case we go to Spain".

In January, I make a "new workout" play list on my iphone for running and to make it different from the other "workout" play list, that I already have, I label this one "Workout for Spain".

I agree to do the solo art show in April, because after the opening, I would be free to go to Spain.

But slowly my optimism gets worn down with the whole financial aspects of being an artist and the struggles that go with it daily, even after 27 years of doing this.

Then 6 weeks ago, I was talking to my brother Weston, and suddenly during our long chat, I begin to tell him about all this Spain stuff and how much I had been hoping somehow to go with Ry, but things weren't looking too good. He asks what part of Spain is it in, and I say "We would fly into Barcelona and make our way by train to Girona, an hour north".

There was a pause...

and then Weston tells me that he and Danny had had a trip bought and paid for, to Barcelona, about 5 years ago. It was to be their first, big executive trip together, but unfortunately it got canceled because of Weston's work with ebay. They tried 2 more times to do the trip but work always prevented it from happening.

Danny died last January from Cancer.
They never went to Spain.

Within moments Weston said...
"We're going. You, me and Ry. He and I can hang out while you are drawing."
Then he said, "I will help you out with the plane tickets if you can manage the rest."

And just like that, the decision was made.

So, a couple weeks ago, I withdrew all my measly RRSP's and we leave tomorrow. Ry and I fly to San Fransisco to spend a couple days with Weston in San Jose and then the three of us fly to Barcelona on Saturday night.

I really can't afford to go,
but I also know that I can't afford to miss this kind of opportunity
to go to Spain right now with my teenage son and my only brother,
to a place that has individual significance for each of us to be there.

Life is so short. I need to live it.

Friday, April 08, 2011

"Your dreams, what you hope for and all that,

it's not separate from your life.

It grows right up out of it. “

~Barbara Kingsolver

Thank you to everyone who wished me well for my show and especially to those who took the time to come to my opening.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

‎"Everyone in me is a bird
I am beating all my wings"
— Sylvia Plath

The opening reception for my first solo show is tonight 5-7 pm
at the Naess Gallery (10032-81 Ave)
Please come.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Detox Day 10
Wholeness—a force much stronger than Will Power

I was trying to think of a word that describes what I feel like after 10 days...
exuberance?....no, not really.
awesome?...well yeah, but kind of overused.

Then I came up with it.....
I just feel "whole".
Nothing is missing.
There is no need or craving to eat or drink anything that my body doesn't need physically and I don't think about food at all during the day, except when I am really hungry.

Last night, after I dropped off all my art to the gallery, I felt a HUGE wave of accomplishment. I really did it!
Five weeks ago, I had been panicking because I was way behind in painting, due to the winter flu boarding at our house in January and February. Once everyone was well again, I gave it everything I had.

Tonight, when I stepped out of the gallery, the first thought I had was "I really deserve a glass of wine tonight." And since, in my world, there are always exceptions to the rule, even during a detox, I decided I would.

But the strangest thing happened when the 5 of us sat down to watch a movie and Mark asked if I wanted a glass of wine.
I said "You know what, I don't think so".

Yeah... even I had a double take.

Did I really just say that?

It wasn't will power. (If anything I have VERY little will power, especially in regards to externally applied things like budgets, diets, routines and especially to NOT drinking wine.)

It was something else. I just felt like I was in a place where I could actually decide what I wanted to do, not just give in to a pattern or a habit or a craving without thinking. That is what is fascinating about this kind of detox. When you get your body to an alkaline place, you just feel whole, and your head is clear to make a decision about whether you really do want something or not.

All I could think of was, you know, its only 11 more days and I am almost halfway there.

Perhaps, I did it because the feeling of accomplishment from my show was still sitting in the room with me and as I looked over at it, I thought "I want more of that in my life".