Monday, April 30, 2007

New Favourite Things

With all my threads and yarns but back into their appropriate places (this is the before photo) and Sunday stretched out before me, I really wanted to take the day and read, listen to music and dream about art. I did allow myself the luxury of an hour to do that since there was still laundry to hang, a piece in my studio that needed finishing and my yoga class to work on (I teach yoga every Monday morning).

While I sat outside in the sunshine I began forming a list in my head of all the new things I've discovered lately that are now favourites. Over the course of the last few months I finished reading Markus Zusak's "The Book Thief" and "I Am The Messenger". Both are thought provoking and so beautifully written they will make you weep. Some authors have a natural ability through the words they put on paper to touch our souls and to have us look at the world in a different way than we had before. He is that kind of author

Since I've just recently started blogging and had no idea whether I was doing it right there a wrong way??? I started checking out other artist's blogs just to get some sort of idea of what direction I should take. The ceramic artist Cynthia Guajardo was so very helpful in providing me with some tips and for adding me to her online list of blogs. Thanks Cynthia

Through surfing the web I came across my new favourite painter Tracy Helgeson. The first time I saw her work I was blown away. I can only imagine how beautiful it would be to see in person. Her use of colour, layering and composition is exquisite. I also enjoy Tracy's blog very much. She has an approachable and down to earth way of writing about her art and her life that makes you feel as if you are sitting at her kitchen table having a cup of tea. Perhaps I'll start a fund to save some money and buy one of her pieces. Gorgeous

Last but not least, I'm listening to a lot of Buddha Bar II. I'm not sure what genre it falls into....maybe new age/techno....regardless it's fabulous. From what I understand, the music originated from The Buddha Bar which is situated next to the Place de la Concorde in Paris. It is known to be an exceptional and even mythical spot.

So, just few of my new favourite things that make my corner of the world a great place to live. If you have anything you would like to share, I'd love to hear it

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Clean Up

Today is the day for the big studio clean up. I keep walking by, closing my eyes and pretending it is not as messy as I think it is............but it is. All my wools, threads and fabrics that were once sorted are now lying in a tangled mess on my work table and my floor. Simba the cat has begun walking out of there with threads stuck to his tail. Organization has never been my strong suit.
I work out of a very small spare bedroom that really doesn't provide me the room I need but for now it is all I've got and better than the dining room table I once use to work on so I am really not complaining. Ok, maybe just a touch but we all have our moments.
Last year I got a tour of a fellow artist's studio which was built on top of her existing house. I don't believe my entire house is as big as her studio. There were leather couches, big screen televison, stereo system and so much natural light it would make you weep. If it were mine I don't think I would ever leave. But maybe on the other side of the coin it would prevent me from working at all, what with the big screen television, small kitchen, stereo would be tempting to just relax, put my feet up and watch a good old movie until of course the husband and kids found me.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Portugal, Motion Sickness and New Friends

Sometimes it seems life offers you great gifts which are disguised in crappy wrapping paper. Such was my experience on my first night in Portugal. Our entire group (350 people) was scheduled to board buses to visit an old winery for a dinner to celebrate our first night in Sintra ...."yeah, I love wine".
No one told us the drive was up a mountain with no sections of the road that were straight. It was like being on a roller coaster that didn't end for 40 minutes. It was all I could do to not, well, no polite way of putting it......throw up.
After what seemed like three hours (of course it wasn't), we arrived. There were Portugese singers, lots of munchies and my head, feeling like the game show "Wheel of Misfountune". My doctor told me that motion sickness can become more exaggerated as you get older.......thanks, just what I wanted to hear.
When we finally sat down, John chose a table for us near the door just in case I had know... Needless to say, we ended up sitting with a group of people neither of us knew. It just happened that Jamie and Nick were seated at our table also. John started up a conversation with Nick while I continued trying to drink water and stuff bread into my mouth (the tour guide said it would help settle my stomach). After some time I did feel slightly better. At least well enough to join in the conversation and talk to Jamie. I found out we had a lot in common, we are both around the same age, teenage kids (she must have had them at 15, because she looks fabulous), etc. etc. But those things were just similarities....I just liked her right from the know that connection you make with someone else???? That spark that leads you to believe that a good friendship is possible. I felt such kindness in her and that always resonates with me.
At this point the tour guide informs me that another woman also has really bad motion sickness and they are arranging a car back to the hotel for her....would I also like a ride?? I was so happy I didn't have to get on that bus again. I was also lecturing myself on the virtues of Gravol.
So dinner is over, the car is waiting and I am comforted in knowing that I am not the only one who fell ill on this "ride up the Magic Mountain". Waiting by the car was the "amazing Liz". The minute she sees me I get a huge hug, she grabs my hand and tells me how happy she is that she was not the "only one". I connect with her immediately....there is a warmth about her that is inescapable. It feels like we are in some sort of "sisterhood".... bound together by both not having any gravol... but it was much more than that. No doubt about it, I felt a bond with her on the spot. The ride back was, you know what...for either of us. The hotel staff had gravol for us when we kind.
So I guess the moral of my story is this, just because something terrible may happen to you passing through the front door, doesn't mean you won't be leaving through the back door with two unexpected friendships
Thanks Liz and Jamie
Be Well,

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Views from Portugal

We arrived home from Portugal a few days ago but haven't had a chance to post until now. Unfortunately I have come down with the world's worst cold and stayed in bed all day yesterday. Not feeling too sorry for myself though, as I did return home with a smile on my face, an truly inspired heart and feeling quite blessed to have been able to experience the beauty of Portugal.

My husband had won the trip through a sales incentive plan for his job and I felt so very lucky to be along for the ride.

We flew into Lisbon and immediately boarded a bus for Sintra which is where we would be staying. Sintra is approximately 40 mins. outside of Lisbon and is everything you would expect from a quaint European town. It was like magically stepping back in time. Outdoor cafes, narrow cobblestone paths leading up to shops filled with leather goods, ceramics and a variety of textiles (yeah!). I was on cloud nine drifting in and out of all these fascinating shops. I came across a tiny establishment in which the owner had created all of the ceramics in the store. He spoke to me of how much his work meant to him and how his new ideas came from dreams he had everynight, dreams filled with colour and shape. There was such incredible beauty in his face when he spoke of his passion that I was quite moved. I then thought of my friend, the fabulous artist Cynthia Guajardo and knew she too, would be so very inspired by all the work here and how it was so lovingly created.

I felt so priviledged to be able to take in all the various forms of art around me. Being an artist myself, I have the greatest respect for all others who work from the creativity of their souls and produce work that speaks of their life experiences........that speaks of the very essence of who they are.

My next few blogs will focus on some of the sights and sounds of Portugal

Be well,

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Off To Portugal

I am headed off to Portugal tonight.
Will post a new blog when i get back with lots of pictures and inspirations

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Double Doors Studio

I received a call from the curator at Double Doors Studio a few days ago inviting me to be a part of a 3 artist show on June 23rd. I was quite excited as I know a few of the different artists who have shown there and am inspired by their work...
This piece entitled "The Path" will be a part of the show. It was once again inspired by my last visit to Lake Superior. I came up with the name because it seems to me that we are all on "the path". I imagine that can be interpreted anyway you like but to me it has always been about the journey to not so much where I want to be but who I want to be. A caring and compassionate friend, a loving wife and mother, a supportive force within my community and an artist who creates from her spirit. Each and every day is another chance to kick it up a notch. A continual work in progress..............