Friday, February 27, 2009


A Fruitful Darkness
Work in Paint, Thead, Wool & Silk

I'm off to my oil painting lesson with Richard this morning. We are working on both a landscape and a figurative piece. This break into a different medium has truly helped me become more creative in my own work. Ellen from Ridge West Gallery came by yesterday and purchased one of my pieces as a gift for a friend's birthday. Always a good sign when the gallery owner buys your work. So the show is full steam ahead and as usual I'm trying to get as much done as possible before I leave for vacation next week. Yes, we are getting away from this winter that promises to go longer than the book War and Peace. I'm dying for some warm weather and all day sun.
Here's wishing you a great weekend.

Thursday, February 26, 2009 progress
Work in Paint & Thread

Today I've decided to boycott the news. I'm sure all those media outlets are shaking in their boots with that announcement. I guess I'm just sick and tired of all the doom and gloom. Yeah, I'm totally aware of the economic downturn were in but having it thrown in your face all day long is enough to drive a girl crazy. So instead of listening to my well loved CBC I'm taking a day off and bringing a few CD's into the studio this morning. Some Van Morrison, old Doobie Brothers (Captain and Me), some Madonna if I feel like dancing and an old standby........Guns N Roses. Where the hell is Axl now?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Warning..... Long Post Ahead with a Gazillion Photos

This past weekend was jam packed with memories that I know I won't forget for quite some time. Through the local Rotary Club our family hosted an international student for the weekend. In total there were 31 students from 21 countries being hosted by a variety of families in Orillia. Our student was from Bulgaria and is studying Political Science at The University of Toronto. In her final year, she defends her thesis in April.

When we picked her up at Georgian College on Friday night I had a hard time pronouncing her name, actually if truth be told I was massacring it..... so she said we could call her Gigi because that's what her mom calls her. Relief set in at that point.

Saturday morning we donned our winter gear and headed out to one of the host family's farm a little bit north of here. They were planning a morning of snowshoeing and skiing as some of the kids on the trip had never seen snow before. Gigi was anxious to try snowshoeing.

After a lunch around the fire and of course some marshmellow roasting, we all headed off to Horseshoe Valley for some snowtubing. Gigi was beside herself with excitment, I, on the other hand being Miss Motion Sickness decided to hang around at that bottom of the hill and take pictures.

From the loudspeakers they were piping in the best classic rock I have heard in ages. John and I looked at each other as the need to dance was definitely there, ok maybe not full on dance but at least a bit of hip movement. Then I saw Sierah coming down the hill with Jonathan from France who she had been spending quite a bit of time with and thought I just couldn't do it to her. The dancing would have to wait!

Dinner was hosted by the Fern Resort that night and each student came prepared with an after dinner presentation. It was a total gift to all of us there to get an opportunity to listen to each of these kids talk about their country, their life and how education opens so many doors.

Like Rahat from Kyrgyzstan how taught our about the hospitality in her country as well as building a yurta. Or Larona who is studying Mineral Engineering. He showed us a slideshow of the people living in his village in Botswana along with examples of their traditional dance and dress. Or there was Fortein from Greece who got as many volunteers as she could up on their feet, arms on each other's shoulders to perform a traditional Greek dance.

The list goes on...................

Sunday was our last day together and the group headed up to Bayview Wildwood Resort for skating, skiing and tobogganing. All those want to be Wayne Gretzy's, including John headed out to the ice, stick in hand for a game

My girls are good athletes. Thank God they take after their father.

This little girl was incredible. She put everyone else to shame.

So after some discussion with Pradeep about whether or not he would try skating and some cheerleading from the sidelines on my part........ Gigi, myself, the girls, Ran and Hao headed out for some toboganning.
Back to the resort for a group photo

And then all too soon the bus arrived to take them all back to the city.

Lots of hugs and exchanging of emails and phone numbers with Pradeep who heads back to India tomorrow for a month.

And Angie and Mohammed who we are going to meet up with in Toronto and eat some Egyptian food. They were just married six months ago. Loved them!

And of course, Gigi who will come up here this summer for a BBQ

I can't truly describe in words how inspiring and enriching this experience has been. No only for John and I but for the girls. The chance to spend a weekend with 31 other students from all parts of the world was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I know they enjoyed every moment of it. I guess for me the best analogy would be the Olympics. You know at the opening ceremonies how all the athletes take that inital walk, proudly holding their country's flag? That always makes me totally emotional and fills me with a strong feeling of unity and the hope of world peace. That's how I felt this weekend. For a moment in time everyone forgot they were from one country and remembered they were part of a bigger picture............the world.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Me & Jian Ghomeshi

The Roundness of Things
Image Size 6"x4"
Matted & Framed 9"x12"

I always find it oh so interesting to discover what other artist's are listening to while working in studio. I once knew an artist who couldn't work unless the television was on but that really wouldn't work for me. John and the girls are generally gone at around 7:30 a.m. so I spend the next hour cleaning up, throwing some laundry in, checking out my other favourite blogs and maybe, just maybe checking in with Facebook. When 8:30 rolls around I'm in my studio listening to The Current on CBC Radio with Anna Maria Tramonti. It's 90 minutes of current (hence the name) events that are taking place in Canada as well as all over the world.

But come 10:00 a.m. that slot is especially reserved for Q and my guy Jian Ghomeshi. I love Jian Ghomeshi in a secret crush kind of way. He's kind of like that cool guy in high school that you really wanted to be friends with but rather than say "hi" you just kind of hid in corners and stalked him in the hallways. Wow, that reveals a lot about my high school years doesn't it? Anyway, his show Q is edgy, smart and hillarious with just a touch of sarcasm that keeps it all totally interesting. He interviews everyone from musicians to actors, writers, comedians and just about anyone who has anything to do with the arts. I think you can catch it online too. Almost ten so I gotta run......................

Friday, February 13, 2009

New Work

The Ties That Bind
Work in Paint, Thread, Silk & Wool
Image Size 5"x3"
Double Matted 8"x10"

Please contact me if your interested in purchasing

Things are well in my little corner of the world. Had a great meeting with Ellen yesterday from Ridge West Gallery and it looks like the show is a go for April. She is also doing a miniatures show next February and would like me to be a part of that also. Long time in the future but good to know ahead of time so I'll have work ready.

I've been playing around lately in the studio with a new technique that I'm not quite ready to reveal yet and which I'll explain in yet another post. I had a few of these pieces half completed when Ellen walked into my studio and she loved them which in turn made me very happy. Sometimes when I'm trying something new I'm never quite sure whether it's working or not. I mean I like it which I realize is the most important part of the puzzle but it's good to get someone else's feedback. So full steam ahead as I've got a lot to do between now and then.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Thaw

The past two days it seems as if we here in Southern Ontario have come up against a warm front..........can't say I'm not happy about that. But before I decide to drag out some of my spring clothes, I hear were going to dip below 0C tomorrow. Oh well, it is still February after all although this has been one damn long winter with snow that started to fall back in November.

I haven't been on the computer as much as usual these days. Perhaps one of the reasons is because my Facebook is acting up which prevents me from seeing what all of my friends are up to or the other more productive reason has been because I've been in the studio a fair bit. I just completed three new small pieces which I love. Really happy with the colourways and design. I walked them up to the framers this a.m. and they will be ready sometime tomorrow. I'll post them then.

I also have a meeting with Ellen who owns Ridge West Gallery tomorrow to discuss the upcoming show. I spoke with her briefly on Monday morning and it looks like it may happen sometime in April. Perhaps with two other artist as well as myself which does make me feel a bit more at ease. The pressure of carrying it alone may just do me in. So lots happening on the horizon...... my oil painting lessons are coming along wonderfully and I do believe the creativity I've been experiencing lately is a direct result of that one hour a week.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Where's My Discipline When I Need It?

The Path


The sun is out this a.m. and it looks like we are in for some milder temperatures over the next few days which is just fine with me. Although I must admit I have enjoyed skiing with Kelly and Joan on Sundays. Rather a nice ritual we have going!

We have a couple different routes we take just to mix it up. Unfortunately last Sunday I suggested the lake route and poor Kelly had to really do some serious trailblazing since the path hadn't been packed down yet. Sorry Kelly!

On the studio front I've still not been as consistent as I would like to be. What happened to my New Year's resolutions? Fallen by the wayside I'm afraid. It's that damn Facebook which I check out every morning to see what everyone else is doing when I should be concentrating on what I'm doing. Where's my discipline? And while we are on the topic of discipline............if there was ever anyone I could take lessons from it would be Lisa Call. I've been following her blog since long before I started mine. Here's a woman who holds down a full time job, religiously updates her blog on a regular basis, has children, is a single Mom, is in the middle of house renovations and sells and markets her work to perfection. Just reading what she's up to and watching her home come together exhausts me. But I'm sure if I asked her where her discipline comes from she'd probably tell me to just "get in there and do the work" which would then mean the ball is back in my court. Check her her blog and take a look at her beautiful textile paintings.

And hey Lisa, slow down a bit cause your making me look bad.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Year of New Experiences

Cold Wind Blowing
Work in Wool, Silk & Thread

Today I took a step toward accomplishing one of the many goals I had set for myself at the beginning of the year. I took an oil painting lesson from Richard who has been a long time friend of John's. I have always admired not only his compositional skills but he has an amazing sense of colour. His work is pretty well divided between both landscapes and figurative work. So, for the next month or so were going to meet in his studio once a week and I'm going to pick his brain and of course do the practical work. This probably doesn't in any way mean I'm going to delve into the world of oil painting but I do hope to open up any creative doors that may let me in. I want this to be a year of experimental learning which again doesn't mean I'm giving up the work I do now. I have a show coming up this year and the Images Studio Tour in October and besides I love what I do. There's absolutely no question about that....but.....and isn't there always a personal feeling is that anything I'm open to receiving can only make my work better at this moment and in the future. Here's to open doors..........