Wednesday, July 19, 2017

In the summertime...

I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.
- Frida Kahlo
It's been over a month since I've posted anything
and I've painted very little in this time too.
I almost wrote "I've had little time to paint"
but that's not true.
I have all the time in the world.
Or at least more time than many people have.

Other things (or people) just take priority sometimes.
This is my brother Ricky, my dad, and my nephew, Cody.
They were here on vacation from the US for a week,
so they were my reason for not painting for a while.
And it was Canada Day, so yeah.
This (above) is City Hall, in Moncton, NB.
Even the brick walls get balloons. :)
Yes indeed. :)
A statue of Northrup Frye sits in front of the library.
Drinks on Main Street Moncton!
The woman standing on the far left is my sister-in-law, Nicole,
my nephew (in the white shirt), my brother (with the hat)
and the cute one with the beard is my son Alex. :)
A beautiful day at the beach, so yeah,
still no painting.
My son Alex and nephew Cody,
enjoying a cold one on l'Aboiteau beach,
about 20 minutes from my home.
Another beach (Parlee beach) with the sun slowly setting...
I thought it would rain (and thunder!) for a while
but it never did.
This is a not-so-perfect beach near my home,
but one I prefer because it's much quieter.
When the company was all gone,
I came here with pen & paper, as I often do,
and wrote, read for a while, and watched the seagulls.
Our little backyard garden.
I took this over a week ago, so it's grown a lot since then.
The carrots aren't growing - for whatever reason.
We're never too serious about the garden.
We get what we get, and usually, it's more than enough.
We've had so little rain lately...
the grass everywhere is yellow and dry.
We could use a few good days of downpour.
The best part of having a garden
in the backyard. :)
And speaking of gardens,
a quick little illustration of Thomas,
a serious gardener who lives where my dad lives.
He's always so happy to see
his tomatoes growing. :)
A Harry Potter painting, acrylic on paper.
I think I'll scan this one and put it in my ETSY shop soon.
A quick pen sketch from an image i found on Pinterest.
There are lots of things (and people) I'll never understand.
Slavery, in all its forms, is one of them.
I can't remember if I posted these or not...
quick little Sharpie sketches on post-it notes & added acrylic.
When my time is limited, or
when I'm not in the mood.
A few little notes from the one of the sections
of the e-course I'm working on.
(I may have posted these already too!?)
It feels like I've neglected so many things
over the past few months,
but I'm slowly getting my groove back.
Once in a while, I need to sit myself down
and remind myself why I wanted to do this e-course
in the first place.

To inspire you to follow your own heart
towards a more meaningful life
by using art and writing and nature
as your guide. 
Art and writing and nature have helped me through
some of the darkest days.
And I know they can help others (like you!) too.
Happy Wednesday to all!
Thanks for being here.

Friday, June 9, 2017

to make a long story short. Or long. :)

You need to spend time
crawling alone through shadows
to truly appreciate what it is
to stand in the sun.
- shaun hick
hello friends!
I was thinking the other day
about why I paint what I paint.

I've been painting or sketching
about things that don't sit well with me
for years now.

Basically, I've been painting
about life.

You all know by now,
that I don't just paint pretty pictures.
If you love painting pretty pictures,
good for you! 
Carry on.

I like painting pretty pictures too
but I also like painting sad, angry ones,
if that's how I'm feeling at the time.
I am inspired by anything & everything,
but more often than not,
I am inspired by what is happening
in the world,
and how I feel about it.
This painting/collage was done in about an hour
and it happened a day or two after
the recent bombings 
in London.

I kept thinking of the song
we used to sing as children:

London bridge is falling down,
falling down,
falling down...
And after a day or so,
I picked up the paint brush.
When something happens
in one corner of the world
we are all affected, one way or another.
Some of us (the sensitive ones) are perhaps
more affected than others.
So we do what we have to do
to help us deal with the craziness
and to make sense of our lives again.
Some people turn to God or religion or faith.
Some people turn to drinking or drugs.
Some people shut down from the world.
And others (like me) turn to things like
and art
and music
and reading
and meditation
and poetry.
We turn to something
that allows us to express our worries,
fears and questions.

I've been painting about things
that I don't understand

for a long time now,
and somehow,

it has helped me better accept things.
It doesn't mean I understand them,
but the accepting seems to come easier.
I painted this one (above) 
right after mom found out she had
ovarian cancer.
I painted this one
right after the devastating earthquake
in Haiti, in 2010.
I painted this from a photo I saw
on the newspaper,
because it tugged at my heartstrings.
A WW2 veteran at the tombstone of a friend
who died in battle.
This was done years ago,
the day after one of my son's friends
was killed in a car accident.
The car caught fire
and they couldn't get him out.
I couldn't imagine the pain
in his mother's heart.

This little sketch was done a year or so
after mom died.

Little snippets of a life.

I've also painted (and still paint)
fun, happy things too - 
when the mood is right.

This little bird on acid. ;)
his cousin the cow. 
You know when people say:

" make a long story short"

and by the time they say that,
it's already a damn LONG story?!?

Well, this kinda feels like that.
My own long story.

I'm sure some of you out there are wondering
about the point of this long blog post.

The moral of the story is:

Do whatever YOU need to do
to make sense of your world.

If it makes you happy to paint flowers,
then paint flowers!
If it makes you happy to PLANT flowers,
then plant flowers!
Life is short.
Do what you love as often as you can,
'cause before you know it,
you'll be old & gray.
And bitter if you didn't do
what makes your heart happy
once in a while.

When I first started painting (in my mid teens),
I practiced A LOT with wall calendars.
I'd find a photo of a beautiful landscape,
and practice my technique to make the painting
look as close to the photo as possible.

I got good eventually and everyone would OOOOO and AAAAAH
and it worked for a while,
but then it just wasn't cutting it for me.

I wasn't proud of what I had done,
because I had basically just copied and
because with practice,
ANYONE can make a painting
that looks like a photograph.
(yes, you can).  :)

But not "anyone" can see the world
through my eyes.
Only I can do that.

Just like only YOU can see the world YOUR way
and only you can show the world what you see!

Art to me was about expressing
what I felt inside.
It was about the pleasure of painting or sketching.
It was about giving a specific
moment in my life meaning.
It was about keeping a visual record
of something that happened
or someone I loved.
It was about helping me remember
certain moments in my life.
And of course, it was a 
reflection on what was happening
in the world and
in my life at the time.

I'm not sure this makes sense to anyone,
but there you have it.

My long, short story. 

Happy weekend everyone!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

cleaning and illness and art and the beach

I’m sitting here in my blue room
with classical music playing on low
and an open window
so I can hear the pitter patter
of rain on the pavement.
The lilacs outside are in bloom
and now and then,
I catch a whiff of sweetness.

I had every intention
of starting my day today
with yoga, and then painting.
I got up earlier than usual for some reason,
and decided I needed coffee
more than yoga,
so I made some coffee,
fed Fluffy (see below) 
and read for an hour.
In an actual book.
Yay for me. ;)
Then I put the dirty dishes
in the sink to soak,
put a wash load in the washer,
took some clothes out of the dryer to fold,
opened the oven to put away some pans
and realized how dirty it was,
so I took out the EASY OFF oven cleaner
and sprayed the oven.
What the hell,
I may as well clean all the burners too
while I’m at it…
Before I know it,
I’m in full cleaning mode.
I’ve got the rubber gloves on & everything.
And then I remember how little time
I’ve had to myself lately,
and how long it’s been since I’ve had fun,
and how sickening it is
to hear about what’s happening around the world
and how much time I’ve spent
with dad lately in the hospital
for appointments or visits to emergency
and how it feels like illness (or talking about illness)
has been part of my life now for too long.

Things have been a little rough for dad lately...

I feel sorry for him.
He’s 82, has Parkinson’s,
asthma, lung problems,
and now, allergies,
so I’m guessing hospital visits
and doctor’s appointments
are gonna happen more often than not.
And what can be more exhausting
and worrying
than not being able to breathe properly?
We’re all continuously adjusting
to new “normals”, aren’t we?

So as soon as the oven was clean,
I left the dishes in the sink (they’re still there),
left the clothes to be folded (they’re still there),
and took Fluffy for a nice walk.
Nothing soothes my soul more
than a walk in nature & fresh air.
After we got back,
I came here, to my blue room.
Lit a candle, opened the window,
and put on some soft music.

First I journaled a bit
(because that always grounds me
when I feel like I’ve got the
attention span of a pea.)

Then I painted (on paper) a bit.
And now, I’m here - blogging.
Not sure what I’ll do after this,
but it won’t be cleaning. :)

Mom always used to say:
“the dust will still be there tomorrow”.

Thanks mom, for reminding me that
there are always more important things to do
than cleaning.


I took these photos (below) last weekend,
when I went for a walk on the beach.

I may need to go again tonight.

Aren't these patterns beautiful?
Sand that looks like tiny hills & craters.

thanks for being here.
Happy weekend everyone.