Monday, November 29, 2010


My head is in the clouds much of the time these days and sometimes the cloud cover is so thick I see nothing but white...Oh no wait, that's a blank canvas. I'm actually in my studio. I look around at the dozens of unfinished projects, the lists of ideas, the lists of lists of ideas...Okay, I recognize this feeling...I AM OVERWHELMED!
The thing about taking time off is that it becomes increasingly hard to get motivated and to get back to the art of creativity. I hoped that a recent trip to Spain and Italy would really get the juices flowing and I would come back and miraculously(By the way, my goodness there was a lot of religion in both those countries) I would get back to my studio where creativity would flow out of my veins...Not so. As a matter of fact, my creative juices are like a container of frozen concentrate and I'm sad to say adding water does not seem to help! Art was everywhere during my get away, from the ancient to the contemporary, I came face to face with masterpiece after masterpiece. From the architecture to the holy sites to mother nature herself, every piece and  every view left me speechless and in awe. I tried to absorb the energy projected by such a concentration of creative energy but as of yet I'm not really feeling it. I'm still in awe, frozen in a type of reverie and I'm not sure that I want to fully thaw.

Chair and Clouds by Tapies
(I love metal sculptures!)
I will never understand how a tree can thrive rooted to a rock!

One of Gaudi's many architectural masterpieces. The light hanging in the foreground was one of numerous styles lining the streets of Barcelona.

Amazing to see contemporary architecture blending in with this gothic city but it did!

Part of the massive Sagrada Familia church designed by Gaudi, this sculpture, one of hundreds adorning this massive structure, really seems to reflect cubist tendencies, unlike the section below which reminded me of an elaborate sand castle...Truly amazing!

I'm not quite sure how I picked the above photographs to share out of the 1500+ digital photos I took...I just couldn't stop myself. A lot of my pictures were more like fractals and random bits of architecture and  colours or textures on buildings and lots of doors.  Presently I am editing a lot of the photographs, classifying them for future access. I'm sure they'll pop-up in my blog from time to time.

Well, December is right around the bend and this is traditionally a month with a lot of entertaining so I don't imagine I will be in the studio all that much. However, things will change in January as my husband has accepted a short term contract for a couple of months and I vow to go to the studio daily...I'm really hoping routine will help me focus and I will complete ongoing projects and create some new pieces that have been trying to get out of my head.

In the meantime, I will return to the blog community even if only to catch up with my favourites and perhaps even find a few more inspirational bloggers to follow.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fools' Gold

Earlier this year, I decided to take time off from my studio, yet every now and then I find myself at Curio Studio working away on some creative venture, mostly crafty things. This is what I was up to earlier this week when suddenly my mind took a turn. By the time I awoke from my creative haze there was Fool's Gold oozing out of my canvas.
Fools' Gold
Acrylic/Mixed Media
I must confess I am not the ideal person to point the finger at environmental miscreants because I am far from being a hardcore environmentalist. Don't get me wrong, I really care deeply about the environment and have adjusted my lifestyle and many behaviours to preserve and benefit the planet. I strongly believe that it is better to do something to reduce the burden on mother earth rather than to do nothing. That being said, I also accept that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. (This is me trying to justify the many luxuries which surround me.) Still, while I might not feel I have the right to lend my voice to the tragedy that is occurring in the gulf waters, there is a latin phrase that often comes to my mind: Spiritus ubi vult spirat (Inspiration does not depend on will, it is a gift)...and so here I am.
Fool's Gold came about when I went to the studio to do a completely different piece and suddenly I found myself going in a direction I had truly been avoiding...Social commentary through art.
It is becoming evident to me that social commentary is often the direction my work takes. And the reason this befuddles me is that I'm not convinced that I can make a real difference. However, recently it has come to my attention that some of the greatest humanitarians attribute their success on the fact that they focus on the ' individual ' instead of the multitudes and that is how they made, and make, a difference. By that same token, if I choose to add my little statement to the thousands of voices outraged at the injustices and the callous disregard for the environment,  the message becomes so much louder and clearer.
Now all we need is for the Powers-that-be to open their ears and listen!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I'm not sure if it's just me but I could take endless pictures of the setting sun because every day it is so different. Below are a few of the pictures I've taken while sitting on my front steps. All I can think of when I see this spectacular show is 'Oh my God!'.

This first picture was taken just last evening.

The sunrise is beautiful as well, however it is a
rare moment indeed that you will find me awake for the show...That being said it did happen a couple of times and below are samples of what the morning sky looks like on occassion at 5 am.
I've said it before and I say it again...Nature truly is the greatest artist of all!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Journey to Clarity

Recently I found my search to discover my own voice has left me anything but speechless. As a matter of fact, I sometimes have the distinct impression that I suffer from "painterly diarhea" and the end result is not too impressive.
In an attempt to find my personal style I bought yet another book, Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed Media Artist by Ann Baldwin, and I must say it is pretty good. I decided to try the exercises one at a time. Hopefully by the end of the book, I will have some sense of who I am when it comes to painting. I had originally ordered the book for one purpose only and that was to get a brief introduction to encaustic painting. Since then I have come to believe that the last thing I need is another way to express myself...Of course, that's not to say that I won't!
And Time Passed
Acrylic & Mixed Media

During this same period I also painted the following pieces which I believe offer a view into how confused I really am about what I want to achieve. These paintings remind me that when I was doing my Bachelor of Visual Arts, my professors use to tell me that sometimes I was brilliant and other times anything but brilliant! I think I can agree with them now. See below for proof:
Drawing Wild Cats
Acrylic Scraffiti

Descent of the Raven
8"x10"  Acrylic

Shadow Play I
12 x 12  Acrylic

Do the Math

Confused? Join my club!
What is the point of my rant? I have decided to take time off from producing this year in an attempt to declutter my brain and hopefully come out at the other end with a clearer understanding of who I want to be as an artist and what exactly it is I want to say as well as which medium would allow me to best express myself. In fact, I am considering myself on a sabbatical, a time in which to deepen my understanding. This will involve a lot of research, a lot of experimentation and a lot of quiet reflection.

I hope to post on my blog at least once a month in an attempt to track my progress. I know my research will probably bring me to many of my favourite blogs and will introduce me to new voices as well. My blog will be the perfect place to take note of the experiences and the knowledge I gather on my forays. Join me on my journey to clarity...Just remember, it may take my lifetime!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Threads II - Forest for the Trees

Renovate, paint, blog, photograph, renovate, print, carve, got the gist of it. This total "busy-ness" makes it very hard to focus. Yet focus is becoming more and more important to me. I believe I need it if I'm ever going to really be good at expressing myself through my art, at reaching some pinacle of success. Okay, perhaps I'm overdramatizing a tad...Success is subjective and I guess I have achieved it in many regards.

What I really need is to quiet my mind and I feel a good way to achieve this is, you guessed it, Focus! With this in mind, I am continuing my search for the common threads in my work and lo and behold, there is the tree, a source of inspiration and awe! 

Although I have countless art pieces featuring trees I'll share these four, some old, some new, some unfinished and all in a different medium.
La pénombre (The Shadows)
Monotype-Ink on Somerset paper (32" X 55")
Moonlight Through the Apple Tree
Digital Photograph
Shadow Play
Acrylic on unmounted canvas
8" x  48"
Raw clay carving, not yet air dried. Bisquing and glazing to follow. (4" x 10" X 2")

Of course, don't get me wrong I do treat a lot of other subject matter, but when I look around in my home, in my studio, in my yard, trees are very present. And no wonder, where would we be without them!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Divining World-Part II

The cards I created below may well hold the key to your Destiny. Have a peek...

The Destiny Package

Inside you find 11 Destiny Numbers

Instructions are handprinted on the envelope itself.

(For the sake of clarity in this photograph I played around with colour and contrast.)

On each card is a Destiny Number and 6 attributes.

Sample cards

Outer Envelope

This Destiny Set was a first for me and will serve as a template for future sets. A couple of changes I intend to make are to go a little lighter on the backgrounds and to use a transfer method for the written information. The latter will cut down on the amount of time needed to produce a complete package, yet each will remain unique because of different backgrounds.
(For more on this project, check out the post
dated December 12, 2009)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


As a multidiscipline visual artist, I find there is a certain cohesion lacking in my environment. I am literally all over the place. Still it remains clear to me that I cannot specialize in just one area of expression. Having accepted that, finding my unique voice seems all the more difficult.

In an attempt to bring order (that ever elusive state) into my creative endeavours, I have been trying to compartmentalize my projects, while still looking for common threads between the different forms of expression. The ultimate end to this exercise would allow an observer to recognize the works in my studio as mine alone. At present, the collection of my works gives the impression that I have a multiple split personality.

Some years ago I started writing journal which I titled Know Thyself. In it I wrote (and write) my personal beliefs about life in general, from the mundane to the exhilirating, from the surface to the deepest recess of my mind. It is far from complete. My best hope is that I will "know myself" in this lifetime.

I am applying this same process to my art, that is, I am going to examine the pieces I have created and will create to see what the common threads are, from colours to subjects to the choice of medium...Surely my voice is in there somewhere.

One place to start is with the subjects that seem to attract me most and today the focus is music and shadows, the colours are reds and blacks and the shapes are square.
Passion in Musical Shadows
Each is 4"x4" acrylic on canvas
I've had strange experiences with most aspects of life, music being one of those aspects.
I remember a Christmas long ago when a piano was delivered to my childhood home.
I will never know why, and I will never forget, only the children in the house were to play it even though none of us would ever play well.
That piano now takes up a corner of my livingroom like a sliver of my memories.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Out with the old...

Let me begin by saying that it is really difficult to post when you haven't done it for awhile. I just felt like I needed to clear out a few things and create a more orderly work place. And that's what I have been doing...Out with the clutter; Out with the old! And hopefully the "In with the new" will soon follow.

Before I discard or store away the old, I want to keep a record of certain aspects of my work. In keeping with this concept, every now and again I shall post some of my old work prior to removing it from my studio.

In 2007, I had a solo exposition at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton, New Brunswick. It was called Cognition and dealt with the subjects of awareness and duality. Two of the pieces in that show are shown here. They have been hanging at Curio Studio since that time.
New Forest & Old Forest
2 separate acrylic paintings on stretched canvas 24" x 52" (each piece)

In Old Forest our eyes cannot see the forest for the trees, while in New Forest our eyes cannot see the trees for the lumber. As a reflection of my own hypocrisy in condeming the pulp industry both are framed in wood, a stark reminder that when you point a finger at something, three fingers point back at you.

Seven Deadly Sins

Overpass scene painted on seven canvases each measuring 12" x 48".

Written in Latin, one can read the 7 deadly sins as designated by christian religion:



The use of the overpass seemed the perfect segway to each panel and demonstrated how we go about our daily routines without really noticing what is happening around us.

This piece also had a counter piece which dealt with virtue. In researching the virtues as they corresponded to the vices I found none truly spoke to me. That being said, one thing did seem to be an antidote for all the vices one could think of and that is RESPECT.

Also consisting of 7 panels (12" x 24"), each panel held one letter painted in a graffiti style, a commentary that it is often graffiti that is used to point out the "disrespectful" behaviour of others. I am happy to say that RESPECT is hanging on a wall in an elementary school in the southern part of New Brunswick.

Of course, there were many more pieces, some which I've already posted here and others that I would just rather forget. My thinking has changed a lot since 2007 and I would not approach the topics in the same way. I now believe that focusing on the negative only gives it more strength. I sure hope that is not what I've done!

The most important thing is that a new day has dawned and I am hoping that a daily routine of coming to the studio will help me achieve my goal of giving voice to my creative self.

So far so good!
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