Friday, July 31, 2009

Latest & newest creations: a peak in my studio....

I took a class this spring from a wonderful teacher & artist by the name of Melanie Mathews, where I was excited to learn more techniques taking me further in the realm of mixed mediums.

"A dynamic and contemporary approach to acrylic painting in which mediums, gels, image transfer, and glazing are used to enrich your painting style. This is a contemporary take on the versatility of the acrylic medium, emphasizing personal imagery and a process of discovery" - quoted from Melanie Mathews

This particular painting is a custom creation for close friends of mine. I am also offering custom paintings like this on etsy. Using the above techniques, I create an original painting collage for that utilizes one of several photos submitted to me.

I started with two photos of the couple, one was of them camping and the other was from their wedding day. I then created a photocopy and transfered that onto the canvas (see photo). I then took two photos of their kittens and practiced drawing the kittens until I had results I was happy with. I layered the original art on top of the transfered photographs, painted with acrylic colours & metalics, then layered in gels and other mediums. The final coat is transparent butterflies.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"No job is too small to do beautifully"

(quoted from Brian Froud's "The Faeries Oracle")

" He sings as he works.... He would be the first to tell you that superb craftsmanship, however magical, is hard work - joyful and energizing hard work, but always challenging... work is done as well as possible, even where it will never be seen by anyone else....persevere through difficulties, learning still more of our craft as we work...."

"labor of love.... be willing to tackle difficult challenges... surpass previous achievements... patience... willingness... again and again until it i seven better then the best one can do... Yes, in balance to all of this, the "Master Maker" reminds us that we also need to learn our own limits... balance..." - Quoted from "The Faeries Oracle"

Right now I am trying to redevelop my rusty drawing skills, get them un-rusted then shine and polish until my skills are growing, honing, finer and finer, more and more precise... Alas it is a bit of a task that requires quite alot of patience. I am grateful that I have grown patient with age. I used to practice pencil drawing in realism regularly from the time I was 10 until I was about 17; I got very good for a while but I found I would get increasingly stressed out and frustrated with the challenge of trying to get it perfect. So I took a break from pencil drawing and have been exercising other aspects of my artistic skills (as you can see from my portfolio).

Now I am trying to come back full circle and bring all my skills together, expressed in what is for me, new experimentation in multi-media. I am having alot of fun.

Last night and today I have been practicing drawing my cat as well as my friend's kittens. I am alone in my studio at the moment and didn't have anyone to get feedback from to help point out to me what I struggle to see.... I can see it's a bit warped but I have a hard time breaking it down in my mind how to correct my drawings sometimes. So I put the image into the computer and layered the drawing with the reference photo; and wow that sure helps me to see how to correct things. I then print that out and by eye, I try drawing and erasing in the corrections.

Here is where I am currently at (I am not showing all the stages right now).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I went out of the city this past weekend....

I went out to the cabin in the forest with some close friends. It's easier to share in images then words these types of experiences.

In words, well we left the Montreal late and met our friends at the pond in the forest, in the "quebec outback". They spent one night with us, we were silly, had a great supper, got tipsy, played with kittens, went swimming, hiked in the forest. Then one set of friends went back to the city while we awaited our next guests to join us. There is a second video to come.

I create these video journals for my friends, family and all other curious people. I love taking photos and find it fun to make "ghetto" video recordings on my digital camera.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


So I have been working on my personal growth for a long time; I guess we all are. But for me, I technically have an under-active thyroid, IBS, asthma, some joint issues (tendinitis etc) and some other challenges. When I moved out of home at the age of 19, I was extremely overweight, depressed and at a loss as to how to create the life I wanted; I was also questioning what exactly I wanted.

Truly these are not unusual circumstances. However, the turning point started for me when I realized at a certain point that my inner world is my outer world; I cannot make change in my life if I cannot make change from within. For me this journey has taken on many forms and there are many stories I could share with you in this regards, all of which cast a "slightly different slant of light". It is my hope that my stories and experiences might be helpful to you or at least interesting.

What I want to focus on right now is the gratitude I have for how my health has changed. Of course I have had to work very hard for this; but right now I am seeing some growth that really seemed like such a dream. I am 4 sizes smaller then I was 10 years ago. I have been trying for years to teach myself discipline and motivation. My goal is to exercise every two days, and stretch every day.

I have also been receiving traditional Chinese medicine and practicing (on again off again) a style of martial arts called "Bagua Zhang" at the Montreal Gong-Fu Research Centre for 2 years. I have been exploring other alternatives for 7 years.

It's so amazing to feel so good and feel so healthy, I have never been this healthy and happy as an adult before. Even 3 months ago my health wasn't as good as it is right now; every day I just get healthier and stronger. I know most people when they turn 30 (I just did last december) that they panic about suddenly being "old", but me, I am excited with how young I am! I am looking forward to all my birthdays to come as I feel that I am like a fine wine, I will just get better with age. So far this has been exceptionally true.

I know they say it takes three weeks to create new habits, but I don't think that is true since many times I have hit three weeks and then proceeded to "fall off the band wagon". Habits! Routine! Who would ever think I could become a routine person, but here it is! I will give you a progress report in a few months; now it's a matter of sustaining these habits over an entire year.

I am super ecstatic as well about this Thai Yoga Massage practitioner I just had my first session with yesturday by the name of Asya, I highly recommend her. I have tried 4 different practitioners in the past year and with one exception (Stephanie Golden also rocks!), this is the second practitioner that I am truly satisfied and impressed with. I met Asya only a week and a half ago; she is highly skilled at what she is doing with such a lovely presence, and is quick to share a smile. Asya works alot with the elderly with helping them create mobility and improving their day to day health through regular Thai Yoga Massage.

What I like about Thai Yoga Massage is that it is combining pressure point therapy with massage and yoga stretches; except that you don't do anything, the patient just needs to relax and focus on deep breathing. The practitioner stretches you very gentle but further then you could do on your own; I felt so incredible. I highly recommend this form of therapy to anyone; I feel everyone can benefit, but particularly those who are either recovering from something that has laid you up for a long time, or perhaps like me you just want an extra boost to your regular efforts, perhaps you have digestive issues, back problems, there are so many things this form of therapy will assist you with.

Ok that's my health rant for today!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Now I can tell everyone about the birds and the bumbleBEES....

We have a bumblebee nest in the corner of the house underneath the roof, in a hole that I don't remember noticing before, right above the door to our porch. I don't mind, since I have gone "hog wild" over my porch gardening (my goal is to become a porch-farmer).

I am sad that there is a shortage of bees in the world so I am super excited that we are blessed to have bees living above us. They are so cute.

But in the last few days, the bees have been behaving in a most peculiar way. I saw a huge bumblebee fall down out of the nest and land on the porch and wobble and wiggle around with another little bee riding her. I was so confused. I wasn't sure if she wanted this other bee on her back since she seemed quite agitated, and then I thought, "the bee is biting her back???"

Then I saw it again today when I got up. I was so confused, I went and looked up on google, "bumblebee riding bumblebee" but couldn't find anything. I go back outside, sitting there, relaxing, listening to the birds, watching my cats and drinking my coffee. Sure enough the largest bumblebee falls out of the nest again, with another bee on her back. This time the bees settled down on top of the mop but this time she didn't seem so agitated and suddenly the little bee on her back started doing that most unmistakable gesture unique to males of all species. I was stunned, so I googled it and sure enough, I did in fact witness bees mating!! I guess there is a first time for everything...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Creations

So I have been hard at work in my studio, as usual.... These are my latest creations as well as photos from recent face painting contracts... enjoy!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Happy Canada Day..... errr, and moving day?

While today is Canada Day, the Jazz Festival is happening, "Kool & the Gang" are here; and I am writing on my blog at home missing it, out of choice, I was going to go with friends but then realized I felt anti-social and wasn't in the mood to deal with the crazy crowds of 200,000 plus people....

So trust Quebec to have a moving holiday known as "Moving Day"; a phenomona I had never encountered until I arrived in Montreal.

Montreal had this delightful idea to make all rentals on a lease system of one year that begins on July 1st of every year.... Thankfully there are a few landlords who have started breaking this tradition but still the majority participate in "moving day".


"The tradition began as a humanitarian measure of the French colonial government of New France, who forbade seigneurs, the semi-feudal landlords of the seigneuries, from evicting their tenant farmers before the winter snows had melted.[citation needed] In law, this date was set as May 1. Later, this evolved into a requirement that urban leases begin on May 1 and end on April 30. May 1 thus became "Moving Day", the day during which renters who wished to vacate their current premises physically changed domiciles."

"In 1973, during the Quiet Revolution, the government decided that it would be better to move Moving Day to the summer, so that students would not have to move during the school year. The law changed Moving Day to July 1 as of 1974, but no longer set a fixed term for leases. However, tradition has held sway, and the vast majority of leases are still a year long and begin around July 1. In 2004, approximately 120,000 households moved on or around July 1, corresponding to 4% of the population."


"Moving Day is a boon and a headache for commercial moving companies, and people often must reserve their services at least three months in advance."

"In Montreal, where as of 2002 only 36% of residents own their home, difficulty of moving is further complicated because, by convention, most Montreal landlords do not provide their tenants with a refrigerator or stove, meaning that tenants are forced to bring theirs with them."

"Also, exterior staircases leading up to second, third, or even fourth-storey apartments are common in many neighbourhoods, in part because historically this reduced the size of buildings and therefore decreased the owner's property taxes. These staircases are often narrow, curved, and metal – not ideal for nonprofessionals carrying major appliances."