Tuesday, 29 January 2013


Two Baby Boys
pencil, pen and ink wash, acrylic
There's My Big Boy
pencil, pen and ink wash
There's My Big Boy
pencil, pen and ink wash, acrylic
every day a blessing

Monday, 21 January 2013

profile photo and Elmo update

A lovely sunny cold cold day, perfect for a day out.
Today Elmo wants cuddles
Today we'll go for a drive, much needed as I'm often much too housebound by sleet or horrible damp cold and/or wretched wind.  Just a note: today, for the first time since starting my blog 2 1/2 years ago, I've updated my profile picture, a lovely shot taken by Wally that has the feel of a Renaissance painting.  I'm so grateful.
let's have a laugh today


Sunday, 20 January 2013

more babies hatched

A gorgeous balmy day after yesterday's steady snow, but nothing could get me out of the house til
these cloudbursts of pink. I swear that's a little dragon raising his head out of the evening sky.
I'm always a sucker for the gentle pinks and greys cast off to the south and east by the setting sun
Here is another baby that grew out of yesterdays session
and another
and another
and the main sheet of drawings all started from the little sketch in the upper left hand corner
I have plans for these. Please check back.
And happy creative adventures of your own.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

snow, a new page

And it's winter again.  A lovely day of snow, gentle, steady, falling snow.
the view beyond our untrimmed hedges to the sloping field beyond
a drawing I did this morning of a sweet little vintage ceramic figure
evolved into several drawings of tots
that each had a personality of their own
I let them evolve as they came into various characters
amused by their similarities and differences
I've been thinking a lot about the confusion I've been experiencing of late.   After  listening to several lectures on youtube and TED about the pitfalls of too much choice like paralysis and even depression, I've realized that, poor little rich girl that I am, I,too, have a wealth of time and options. I have veered off the path of joy, questioning my uninformed choices.  At first, I thought I needed more education, perhaps classes in media and more profound art instruction. But I know in my heart that that would take the joy out of creating for me. Then I thought what I need to do is narrow in on a personal iconography, or a style that was unique to me as so many artists I admire seem to have. I've struggled with this rock of a question like Atlas, always finding myself at the bottom of the hill again.
It occurred to me today that, while so many kind advisors in my past have told me I'm over-thinking this, it is more that I want an answer so badly that I forget to "walk away" i.e. leave the issue to put something new into the mix, even if it's just house-cleaning.  Grappling with the issue of finding my new place in art has been like I'm wrestling with happiness. I forgot that famous saying that I believe I've used in a previous post:

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you” Nathaniel Hawthorne


Pursuing this butterfly of creative choice has exhausted me.  Today I finally threw up my hands and walked  away from my "work".  When I think how fast the inspiration came back to me, I find an ironic inward smile and realize, like Dorothy come back from Oz, that I've found that inner compass that will guide me home, through the dark jungle of self-judgement and the paralysis of not knowing which way to turn.
I share this with you on the chance that my own experience may help.  It's not like I didn't know this all along, but that I had to come back to the same lesson down another road.  How obvious it is in retrospect that I was not being gentle with myself.  A step back, another focus, and magicly the pieces fall into place... I have some ideas I want to pursue and now I think I know how.

happy trails

Friday, 18 January 2013

create a space

A wash and scumble of watercolour, a few smudges of acrylic, and some pen and india ink sketches are the result of my sister's urging to return to my sketchbook.

Simply drawing held no allure for me.  But using this interesting background seemed to wake me up.
and I enjoyed scribbling with the fine tipped pen that would trip and spatter on the page
in the most serendipitous ways, something I miss in my creative ventures- the element of surprise.
No surprise here, except that I never really felt like I had pulled this piece together.
I may add a little more- what I don't know- except that somehow it doesn't seem finished.
Any ideas?
Thank you, as always, for stopping by and checking in on my progress.  I seem to be looking for a niche with all these media that I try. Some, more successful than others, are not necessarily calling to me.  Process often seems more the point as positive results don't necessarily hold my attention.  On the other hand, I am tired of struggling with this particular embroidery, having pulled two hair colour stitchings out; process in this case is only frustrating. It may mean that the red line drawing on a coloured background is all its meant to be.

 What next? Maybe today an answer.
Open my heart, reserve judgement, create a space
 for love.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

right choices

This week I went back to my sketchbook.  It has not been my habit to go to it for play or working out problems, but two great influences, who have excellent work habits, have advised me to keep a drawing habit if I want to find my way into a style that is uniquely my own.
Back in November I left off handstitching this abstracted piece
 which I see now I like better on the backside.
I stalled out on this little sketch as well.
Two days ago I tried intuitive painting in India ink.  After 3 of them I was exhausted.
 This is the third one.
Yesterday I got out the crow quill nib and did a drawing painted with muddy watercolour washes.
The painting as a whole seemed unsuccessful but I like this detail of a little Border Collie rounding up his sheep.  There is always something to be gleaned from these little experiments.
I've been having a hard time "lightening up" lately, bringing such a heavy load of baggage to my creative time.  I think the sense of loss I felt this week at not entering a local community show AND closing my business account after 35 years  brought home the seriousness of my commitment to myself as an artist for art's sake. How odd to mourn the loss of my public self;  I suppose there is something to do with identity in it. Regardless, of the vast amount of freedom I have created for myself,  I am sure I have made the right choices. Now the trick will be to narrow in on what really matters. 

Breathing into the moment we summon THIS, our life, to us.
Staying present.


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

a year without fear

Hello again after a technically enforced hiatus.  It's hard to complain about technology when I'm lucky to have the wonderful service of blogger, and for free at that.  So thanks for checking in to see if I'm still here.
My pictures are a little dated because of the time passed,
and I'm sharing some purposely blurry ones because-well, I like them that way... 
 Our trip to Halifax on Saturday was windy with blowing snow and treacherous highway conditions 
I've taken to amusing myself, with this past year's long car trips, with taking pictures of the passing scenery. 
 The raw beauty of our northern forests and the erratic cloudscapes of Nova Scotia
 never fail to captivate me.
 I see a majesty in these forests
 and I'm grateful to have even these fleeting experiences with them
 These photos are not taken with my typical technical accuracy-
 I'm looking at them more as poems
 than as depictions,
 rather than travelogues.
 Again my Halifax pictures didn't amount to much, but once again I got some nice vignettes of the details on this old Bank of Nova Scotia building.
 What a wonderful time in history when no detail was spared.
And finally, an update on this month long embroidery on which I've been working.
It's hard to believe that we're already past the first week of January; Time and Change, those naughty twins, have tricked me again.  I find myself happily working on this same piece, determined to finish it and break my old habit of abandoning a project midway. With each new colour I add I wonder if it will be the magic arrow that will set it right. What else can one do? Persist or abandon. I philosophize that, at least, some learning will come of it.
I look forward to a year where I won't be afraid to make mistakes,
in fact, a year without fear, wtih the courage to be happy.