Friday, December 19, 2008

Must learn Spanish!

Life is good in Mazatlan.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Next post - January 2009

I'm off for a few weeks of inspiration in sunny climes. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cohen-inspired again

I'm feeling inspired by Leonard Cohen, and not for the first time, as you will recall from a previous post.

Last night I was at the Canvas Lounge on Powell Street for a showing of prints by Leonard Cohen - this is the third showing of his works, previously in Manchester and Toronto. The trendy nightclub was closed to the public and open only to invited guests (I was the accidental recipient of an e-mail invitation and though we were not actually on the guest list, Garth and I managed to talk our way in.

Cohen's charming son Adam spoke at the event, in a deep voice tightly resembling his father's. He was rather witty and managed to convey the deep respect he has for his father and not only made the crowd laugh, but also to cheer!

Oh to have such an opening for my own work!!! There was well over a hundred attendees, all fashionably dressed, apparantly upwardly mobile (or had already achieved a spot at the top), and noticeable amidst the dark clothing was the sparkle of "bling". Bar tenders on all three levels were serving martinis and wine at a swift pace and about a dozen volunteers culled from the art department of a local college stood at regular intervals between large framed limited edition prints of Cohen's line drawings. These volunteers were there to point the way to the bars and washrooms and to explain a little about the works and the process for purchase (envelopes attached to the wall beside each print held cards with the print name and number, so that more than one person could purchase the same image but with a different print number; i.e. 20/150 and 24/150). The prints were priced between the mid-$2,000 and high $9,000 range - a little steep for my wallet, but clearly not a deterrent for other attendees. The works were enlivened with sometimes witty and sometimes poignant text, bright colours, and Cohen's logo-like double flipped heart (forming a star of David) and what appeared to be his personal chop in brilliant red. As Garth commented, the drawings were somewhat Picasso-esque in their simplicity.

If you'd like to have a look at Cohen's works yourself, by Saturday they will be available for viewing and purchase from Linda Lando's gallery in Kerrisdale.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Winged Mother of Two

I'm very nearly finished the piece and am pleased with it - it's been a while since I've painted a winged mother. The painting is on a wooden cradle panel and as you can see, the edges are a part of the painting.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Inspiration out of chaos

Isn't it funny how when we're at our busiest we somehow manage to make ourselves even busier? At least this is true for me. I'm one of those people who works well under pressure (well, am I working well or working like a crazy person on 10 cups of coffee, I must ask myself). With my studio show quickly approaching and in the midst of rearranging furniture, framing prints and small paintings and hanging them and larger works all over the house, and finishing, pricing, and tagging jewellery pieces, I suddenly became inspired to start a new painting. As you can see, it's in it's beginning stages, however, I'm sure it'll be finished in time for my show next week.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Getting ready for my Open Studio show

I've been busy for the past couple of weeks making new jewellery works and shall continue for another two weeks in preparation for my Open Studio in mid-November. - I love arranging bits from my vast collection of beads and silver to make unique one of a kind jewellery pieces - it's an alternative way to play with colour and texture.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Here's a peek at what I've been working on in the studio - eagle feathers (sounds like an expletive, doesn't it!), using a very fine liner brush while in a meditative state.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Back from the deep South

Earlier this week, kayaking on the Chattahoochee River, checking out the beaver dams, basking turtles and herons.

After 2 weeks away from the studio, I'm enthused to get back in there and let the creative juices flow and grow. I find no matter how focused on a goal I may be, some time away (physically and mentally) is the surest way to reengage energy and mindfulness to allow for a better outcome.

Watch out studio, here I come!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

New website

I've been working on a website and, although it's still a work in progress, it's ready for you to view:

I'd appreciate your feedback.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A change of scene

I'm having a lovely visit with my brother and his family in sunny Atlanta, Georgia (well actually, today it's raining, so I'll have to give up my usual afternoon poolside read until tomorrow or the next day).

I'm planning to visit some of the wonderful art galleries here - they always inspire me to get busy in the studio. There's nothing more motivating than seeing the work of accomplished and innovative artists.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not quite an eagle

My dear husband wanted to share progress on a bird of his own - chicken BBQ'd on an open can of beer. Delicious!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Eagle Has Landed

Now that I’m running my fingers along the contours of the actual 3-d sculpture, fresh ideas have surfaced from the depths of my wee but creative brain and I’ve decided to all but abandon the preliminary 2-d sketches.

I’ll remain true to the original concept discussed with my eagle’s sponsor (thank you A&A Contract Customs Brokers!) - themes of nurturing and community. The finished piece will be an expression of the importance of social responsibility and cohesive community in relation to our multicultural youth.

I’m keenly aware of the unique set of challenges I face working with an unpainted sculpture designed and created by someone else; with a purpose to raise money for charity; will often be viewed from long distances and seen for only a few seconds from passing cars. It must engage the imagination of the viewer immediately. It should encourage the viewer to draw closer for a second and third look.

Perhaps I should eat Wheaties for breakfast before I begin painting ...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Eagle Has Landed

I bought a silicone half-mask yesterday, complete with particle canisters, and began working on the eagle with a soft sanding sponge. I gave it an earnest twice-all-over sanding and will repeat today to get a truly smooth surface. I've been researching images of bald eagles, feathers, beaks, talons, wing structure, etc., and am revved up for interpreting these features on the sculpture in my usual style as soon as the prep work is completed.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Eagle Has Landed

Here are images of parts of the eagle; the last image shows the texture I have to sand off to create a smooth surface to paint on. I'm going to buy myself a good ventilator mask before I begin sanding; sanding isn't my favourite part of the process, but it's a necessary precursor to the creative part - PAINTING!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Eagle Has Landed

Now that my hand is a bit more flexible, it's time to consider the 7 1/2' Eagle statue standing on extended wing outside my studio door (these images were taken over a month ago). The first step is to sand the coat of gesso the manufacturer sprayed on - get it down to a smooth paintbrush friendly finish, followed by a serious attack of imagination, creativity, and paint. I plan to begin the first week of September; in the meantime I ponder...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Three Weeks Later

Yesterday my hand was finally feeling pretty good, even nimble, so what kind of fool was I? I could apply enough pressure to use scissors and garden clippers for the first time in a month, so I tentatively clipped a branch or two off of a shrub or two ... not bad, thought I, I'll just prune a few more ... and a few more ... which lead to an enthusiastic six hour long prun-a-thon. By the end of the day the shrubs looked great! As for my hand ... I'm icing it as we speak.

I'll be hauling paintings and some of the new jewellery pieces I've recently created over to North Delta's Art in the Park event late this afternoon. The number of paintings I bring will correlate directly to how much the swelling in my hand recedes. Wish me better wisdom in the future!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

One Week Later

It's a week later and physiotherapy is helping - I can nearly make a fist and can now touch all my fingers to my thumb. According to the physiotherapist, although nothing's broken, I've damaged a bone in my hand and a deforming lump is forming just where a pen or paintbrush touches my hand when I use them. His advice is don't use either until laser treatment calms down the area. To alleviate boredom, I have tried a few activities - gentle gardening - no good, I can't bear any weight or do anything productive with this gimpy hand; washing dishes - good, the warm water feels great and my children are very happy about this and are only too happy to contribute glasses and plates to the cause; beading - very good if I don't do anything that requires twisting wire. Usually I don't bead until the fall when the rains start because sunshine makes me want to garden... but let's not talk about my poor garden right now (a gardener needs two strong hands to do a good job).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Is it just me, or do you feel this way too: whhen you can't do thingsn becausenof a circumstances beyond your control, you suddenly feel that you really really want to do all sorts of things youve been putting off for weeks or even months?

yesterday I tripped over uneven pavementn and went down like a ton of bricks. It really did seem to happen in slow motion, just lie in the movies... my knees hit the pavement, followed by my outstretched right hand, then my lips and chin. Justbeforemy mouth hit thepavement, I thought, oh no, i'm going to smashn my teeth... I lay on the ground clutching at my mouth, completelystunned. i was thankful to note my teeth were intact and the blood onmy handswasfrom my lips. my daughter and two passersby came to my aid - one of whom had a mini first aid kit and wasn able to give my a bandage for my bloody knee and an antiserptic wipe for my mouth. an x-ray told me my hand isn't brroken, so I suppose the swelling was probably caused by my finfers hyperextending when theyhelped to break my fall. i'm very sore today, wondering if the exray was read correctly, as my hand has swollen totwice it's size and I'm inable to hold anything. i look like i've been mugged and beaten, so i', hiding inside, unable todo the many tasks i need to do to prepare for this weekend's show... plus, i'm imagining all sorts of inlikely thingsi feel compelled to do that require the useof my useless right hand (i'm right handed and am typing right now with my left hand a d my right thumbnail - sorru for the typos)

i'm thinking thatn if my hand was working (IMHWW) i'd be baking a raspberry dessert with fresh berriesfrom my garden (as if! each morning forthelast 10 days i've been picking berries and depositing them directly into my mouth!); IMHWW i'd try the chicken alfredo recipe i read about yesterdayh before my fall (as if! i've been so busy prepping for the show thatmy charming and ever supportive husband has been preparing dinners every night!); IMHWW i'd finish painting the front of the house (it's waaaaaaay too hot to paint outside today, and i'm tiredof having to tryto paint into the deep recesses in the stucco - who the bloodyhell's idea was it to start painting the front of the house?! OK, i admit it was my idea and i had laughed devilishly when i'd slapped several brushstrokes from the sample jar on the deqad centre of the front of the house, figuring this was a surefire way to convince my hubby that this was the year to paint the house); IMHWW i'd clean outthe garage (hahahaha! highly unlikely as it's filledwith heavy hubby toys I couldn'tpossibly move anyway - an old boat, a dilapidated car, broken down motorcycle he plans to restore and take on a legendary roadtrip, old televixioms and ancient computers and their defunct components).

Ta-ta ... I'm off to soak my hand in epson salts before i re-ice it and think of other things i could be doing IMHWW.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


After all that power painting for last Sunday's show, today I fizzled out as far as working with paint in the studio goes. Instead I began working with some of the glass, pearls and semiprecious stone beads I purchased earlier this year on various of my travels - a fun change of pace. I sat down at my work table and before I knew it the day was over and I had a dozen new pieces - earrings, necklaces, bracelets. Just in time for a wee country fair I'm participating in on the 20th of this month in Halfmoon Bay.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Never a dull moment

Ahhhh... the winery show is over and I was pleased to have 10 new works to exhibit there, along with a few older works and some of my beaded glass jewellery creations. The day started out a bit dreary with iffy weather and an hour and a half road closure due to a rather serious car accident at the end of the street (before a single art appreciator could find his/her way to the delightful grounds of the winery). However, the sun eventually shone, the temperature warmed a bit, and people began trickling through the acre or so of artworks. It's very interesting to see the wide variety of works at group shows - there's always something that will appeal to one's taste, no matter how mundane or avant garde. No matter how much or how little I sell, I find I invariably walk away with some intensely helpful information, generally shared by a generous and well established artist or artisan, and that's the truly beneficial part of participating in these events - talking the talk and walking the walk with like-minded folks.

This afternoon, just as I finished putting away all the accoutrements necessary for Sunday's outdoor display, TA-DA! The Eagle landed.

It just fits under the deck, outside my studio door, with only an inch or so to spare above it's upper wing.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A blast!

I'm enjoying a pre-exhibition energy blast: painting from early in the morning until the wee hours of the following morning every day.

Monday, June 30, 2008

More Slippery Slopes

Close to being finished:

I'm on a roll now (thanks for the inadvertent kick in the pants, Andrea). Ideas for these slipping houses are coming fast and furious and I'm thinking faster than I'm able to paint - a thrilling if frustrating experience for me (usually I'm speaking faster than I'm able to think and this leads to all sorts of unimaginably embarrassing conversations and to many odd looks sent my way). I'm boldly going where I've never gone before ... cerulean blue skies and wavy waterways ... I'm breaking out of the restraints of my ridiculous and arbitrary self-imposed painting rules and am enjoying every moment of feeling absolutely wicked about it! Why didn't I do this years earlier?! Perhaps it has something to do with 2008 being my 50th year on the planet and I'm feeling ever so free to be imperfect (just to give you an inkling as to how long, long ago 50 years was - Sputnik fell to earth 50 years ago).

I'm enjoying life and my work more than ever and I'm take risks I'd never imagined half a lifetime ago (I'm not talking about painting now .... nor about sex, so don't worry).


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Slippery Slopes

I've been working vigorously in the studio preparing for next weekend's show at a local winery. I've taken a ruthless tack and have painted over several unfinished works on canvas to create new pieces. A long-experienced artist once told me to paint over unsold works that have been laying about for a couple of years collecting dust, however I could never quite manage it, until now. I'm finding it uplifting to give old canvases new life and activate stagnant chi. So here goes ... The beginnings of this new piece cover what was once a field of sunflowers from my Villages of the South of France series.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rumour of an Eagle

I don't know quite why I have been putting off getting back into the studio this week - the sunshine perhaps? The weeds overrunning my garden? The dust-bunnies overrunning my house? The yearly bout of self-doubt about my talent as an artist (or a poet, given the "... bout of self-doubt about ..."). Actually, it's too late, or too early for that particular avoidance-inducer as a local commercial gallery just sold one of my paintings. Anyway, today, just as I was running out of reasons to putter about instead of returning to the blank canvases in my studio, I received a telephone message ... "when can the Eagle be delivered?"

I am delighted to think that this latest cause for an excuse will be fairly legitimate - I couldn't possibly attack those canvases when I must clear room in the studio for the 7' eagle sculpture ... it could take hours and hours, or even days and days ...

Friday, June 13, 2008

OK, so it does take more than just two days ...

... especially when the sun shines and my garden beckons. It's nearly finished - just needs a little work on the background and some finishing touches to the figure, leaves, baby.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A little detour ...

Instead of beginning the new series I mentioned in yesterday's blog, today I felt inspired to begin this petite work for a show in early July and tomorrow I'll add more layers and the finishing details. It's enjoyable to work so small (10" x 8") and complete a work in just a couple of days; I'm anticipating each work for the new series to take several weeks to complete.

Monday, June 09, 2008


It's rather difficult this time of year to appreciate the rain bouncing with exuberant enthusiasm off the patio outside my studio window. It's no delicate pitter-pat, but rather a determined slap!-slap!-slap! I'm hearing through double-paned glass; in fact I do believe I can actually feel the vibration in the floor from this unrelenting pounding. I could bemoan the fact that my gardening efforts will continue to be delayed and that the perennial flower borders will continue to fill with buttercups that need uprooting, and with dandelions that will soon send their tiny umbrella-like seeds flying and floating a la Mary Poppins across the entire back lawn to repopulate the lovely green expanse with uninvited miniature sunbursts. However, instead I shall deem this as the perfect opportunity to cast away any further excuses and get working in my studio on the new series that has been percolating in the back of my wee brain.

Wish me focus and a little more rain!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Leaves, flowers, and butterflies

Finished the project just as the final bell rang. Whewwwwwww - lots of leaves, flowers, butterflies, and hard work on the part of these lively 7 and 8 year-olds.

Tree of Life

Klimt's Tree of Life is the inspirational image for the artwork the kids are creating - it bears the same title as Klimt's famous Stoclet Frieze, c.1909. I've simplified the background for the children to work with and they've done an excellent job on it (see previous post). Today we'll continue to stitch the individual panels together with yarn (one of yesterday's activities), add the second layer (a tree created from wire, tissue paper, and glossy paper triangular 'leaves'), additional details such as butterflies and flowers, and finally, the hanging device. I'm excited to see the finished work and to share that image with you.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Getting creative outside the studio

Although I'm not back in the studio yet, creativity abounds. I'm working with a grade 2/3 class to create a mixed media work based on Gustav Klimt's Tree of Life. The school's year-end art show opens in just a few days, so I was delighted to see these enthusiastic young artists work diligently throughout the day yesterday to complete the first layer of the piece. Here's the progress made yesterday.

I forgot my camera today, but will make up for it tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Georgia on my mind

There's something special about the South. I'm not sure if it's the grandeur of these old homes, the vast greenery and manicured lawns and gardens, or the sense of history that hangs in the air like the scent of magnolias.

What I'm especially enjoying here are the splendid works by local artists and artisans - inspirational to the nth degree!

Friday, May 23, 2008

No not yet

My creativity has suddenly been interrupted by an impromptu visit to Atlanta, GA. I see a pattern emerging here ... soon be in the studio ... no not yet ... soon be working away in the studio ... no not yet ... I'm really going to get going in that darned studio ... no not yet ...

Back in a week and I really am planning to get busy in that studio!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Time to face the paint

OK, my travelling days are over for awhile, so now it's time to hit the studio and face the paint and canvas. Seems a bit daunting after a couple months break. My head is filled with images and ideas and now I have to focus on only a couple - how to choose?! Wish me luck and wisdom!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Last photos from the journey

We arrived in New York just before dawn - lovely views to bring our fabulous adventure to an end.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


OK, I admit it, I'm having a difficult time getting back to the reality of being off the ship. No more chocolates on my pillow at night, no more cleverly assembled towel animals surprising me in me cabin after dinner, and ... sigh ... no more round the clock desserts. Now there's only cat hair on my pillow, towels lying in unrecognizable heaps on the floor, and as for desserts ... what desserts? Did you say something? ... Did I hear you say "spoilt brat"? OK, that I also admit to. Thanks UD&AF for the trip of a lifetime!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


What can one say about a place where even peeling paint looks enchanting? I haven't the words - perhaps these pictures say it all.