Tuesday, June 28, 2011

teaching kids

A few weeks ago, a friend of a friend, asked me if I would come in and teach her grade one class some art? Of course, how much fun is that? Well, it was LOTS of fun.

The teacher had just been given some easels that her father had made and she was thinking that her class could go outside and use them.

Being spring, there are trees everywhere full of beautiful green foliage - still so amazing after the winter barren that we get for so long here in Saskatchewan.

So, what I did was take in a bunch of pictures of paintings of trees - to show the kids that trees doing have to be brown and green - hey, they dont even need to look like trees!!

These are two of my favourite pics - especially this second one by Gustav Klimt. LOVE it. Anyway, I was soooo excited to see the stuff that the kids made.

But what blew my mind is this one by this amazing little guy.

I cant tell you how amazing it is to have presented this artwork to these kids and for them to have seen that trees dont have to be straight or brown with green on top. And perhaps that will brew away in their little brains and they will think that you dont need to follow convention in art - hey, you dont really need to follow it in life.

What feels right to you? What makes you feel good? What do you like?

As for me, I LOVE TREES!


If you look back you will see my post about the dark moon tree. The sketch that I drew in the dark. Well, I was hooked on that image of the tree enveloping the earth, protecting it, carrying it = and I wanted to draw it again. This time with lots of lines and details.

This is the work so far - all without leaves. I have always drawn the bare limbs of winter trees - I dont know why. Easier perhaps? Anyway, this one now has leaves on it = in an abstract way that lends itself to the ink pens I'm using.

I might try this tree again - with more detail on the leaves... we will see. But first of all .. this one. I'm really loving this tree.


Monday, June 13, 2011

my little exhibition

This is me at my little exhibition. I was a bit embaressed to bring my honking big slr camera but my dear friend Mandy snapped this with her phone. ahh, where would we be without the cell phone? Anyway, ta daaaa. Here it is, hanging on a wall!!

And now, it is at my place... will have to find a hook strong enough to hold it up!

now, off to watch the hockey!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

another little ditti

This Friday is my first art exhibition. Well, there was that one when I was a kid. The Dandenong Art show - I remember a certificate and going to see my art on the wall in a large gym somewhere. I had done a pastel piece and someone had touched it and then rubbed their dirty finger on the matt frame. Lovely!!!

The pieces for this exhibition are framed though. Phew.

The first one is my long chakra piece. It is massive now that it is under glass.

The second piece I entered into the exhibition was this one:

But after spending all my cashola framing the big bertha up there, there was no way that I was going to be able to frame this one as well. I know Monika, you are soooo right. Find the frames first.

So, I took that advice and nicked a frame from one of my kids photos and painted this little number. I am so enamoured with the sap green colour of spring - the same colour my beloved tree ferns are. It always inspires me to paint the heart chakra. And then there is that, who cant love the heart chakra?

So, this is Anahata, the second piece going into the show.

Dont you love that green?

And for those of you in Saskatoon - Friday and Saturday at the Refinery.

See you there!!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

painting in the dark

The other night, the night of the dark moon, I took up the call to paint in the dark. A friend of mine (my elvish friend who I have painted for before) was calling people to paint in the dark to see what would arrive without the direction of light.

I crawled into bed with my sketch book in hand and my ink pens and some coloured pencils. I chose six colours from the chakras.. but was sure that most of what appeared would be the explorations with that ink.

This is what became...

I had been thinking of drawing a tree all week as we got ready for the night to arrive. But I didnt want to influence what came out - I love to draw trees and have done so for years. I have my way of drawing them - I didnt know if this would help or hinder the process.

Anyway, I sat in bed, turned the light off and closed my eyes. I let go of my intentions and opened up to the dark moon and let what wanted to come, appear on the page.

Funny enough, a tree did arrive.. so I let it become. What was new to my idea was the way the roots went downwards to envelop and cradle the earth.

I turned the light on when I was done, and fell in love with the image. It is haphazard and so much more about the process for me, but it inspired.

This is the sketch that I drew last night with my waking eyes - still seeing the image that inspired the first piece.

And this piece ... well, I adore. It will become more I am sure.

A larger detailed sketch with every leaf and all the shading. I cant wait. I can see it now before my eyes.. just waiting. You know, for all of that uninterupted time that a mother of three gets!!


have a beautiful if not cold, day.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

I know, I know....

I was just out an an art exhibition with my friend Mandy - we were there to see our friend Monika's work. Stunning and sooo inspiring.

Anyway, the comment was made.. 'you blog?' !! ha ha, point taken.

I dont write enough. Well, I dont write on here enough.

In my own defense, I've been busy. I'm writing my application for school - trying to get back for fall and needing to rework most of my research proposal by the middle of June. Two weeks... eh gad. I best get a move on.

But, in the mean time, here is the lastest piece.

It is a take on my traditional chakra series and it is for my good friend Joyce. I put the dragon in there because she is Chinese and to me, this is a very iconic Chinese symbol.

The piece seem to paint itself and I absolutely fell in love with the black ink with the colour in the back ground.

After it was done, I saw that the dragon was guarding Joyce's chakras. Very cool.

There you go you two. An update...

Now, if only I can keep it going!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

taxes done... its time to paint!

It is a very good feeling to be done the taxes. I'm not what you would call a numbers girl... I can get them done, but I dont really enjoy it (does anyone?). And it is a bit tough doing them when the kids are home from school on holidays for the week... but, they are done!

So, today, I got to paint.

It was my reward for crossing another thing off my to do list since coming home from Australia.

My friend Karen had asked me to paint a tiny wee little painting of Ajna - the third eye chakra.

Here it is thrown into a frame just to see how it would look.

She also asked me to paint a smaller chakra lineage painting - I love the way it turned out as well - lots of play with the movement within the whirling centres, linking the lines to each other, more so than what I usually do with the larger pieces.

I also finally got my contract and artist information emailed off to the Saskatoon Women's Art Alliance, SHEBAM festival. It is coming up in June. I can not wait to see my painting hanging on a wall with all of the other amazing work. Of course, first I have to frame it. So, putting it out there to the universe... Framing Needed Pronto!

Now, that I have this painting thing up and running again, I think I would like to keep it up!!

Ahh, spring. Amazing the difference it makes to me - I think in one week, I have written as many blogs as I wrote over the entire winter.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I was just reading a friend's blog http://www.mysweetprairie.blogspot.com/ and she was writing about the grain elevators of the prairies. Beautiful, iconic giants that are becoming extinct as the world moves on. Spinning ever faster with sometimes barely a glance back at where we came from. Thank goodness for artistic souls like Monika!

It made me think of the typical Australian view - our amazing coastline. Each beach seems to be different - and it can be different on any given day. If it is windy, then the bay will be whipped into a frenzy but if it is still, this same bay is as smooth as glass and people can water ski on it.

And the white sandy beaches...

These are views from down the surf coast - Torquay and Bells Beach - made famous by Patrick Swayze in Point Break!!

I love the contrast with the colours in the grass that you find on the cliffs. Tough, stubborn foliage that has to withstand the lashings of the wind and salt spray.

I was lucky enough to be down that way on a beautiful warm day. And of course, how could I not share some more Aussie pics!!

For me this is a beautiful Australian landscape - but how ironic - now that Isee the grass and sky, it reminds me of a Prairie view. I wonder what my Prairie friends will think of it?

Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm back

I'm back - figuratively and physically. After three weeks in my beautiful Australia, I'm back to Spring in Canada.

And what a trip - everything fell into place beautifully. I got to see mostly everyone and I spent a magical morning with my beautiful trees up in the Dandenongs.

I have so many photos from that one morning, I can hardly choose which ones to share. The whole time we were there, I kept telling my good friend Nicki that there was no way that my photos could do what I was seeing justice. The feeling of these ancient trees and their friends, the ferns. The tree ferns up in the Dandenongs can be over 20 metres tall and I've heard it said that each 1 metre = 100 years of growth.

I learnt a new word that morning - Ombay. It is a traditional Aboriginal word for the smell of the earth after the rain. It is the spice and dampness and richness of the earth. For me, it evokes a visceral response - something so old and deep that I have no doubt it comes from a place older than my time on this earth. Ancient memories that connect me to that land. MMMMM I love it there.

One morning of walking and breathing filled me with the most amazing peace.

I hope it is enough to tide me over until my next trip home. Something tells me it might be a while!!

This last picture is from a felled tree - the energy and power that came from the centre was amazing and so palpable. It reminded of my chakras spinning - I think there is a painting in this one.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Yoga and art exhibitions

Alright, I think I have fallen off the face of the earth. Where have I been? - well, winter!!Need I say more? Seriously, my previous life in Australia is like another world away - rain and sunshine and the ability to still dry your clothes outside does not in anyway relate or compare to this. The minus 44 windchill, the pain in your fingers as you try to do up the frozen metal seatbelt buckles, the pain in your face as the arctic like wind drives into your face and the burn in your cheeks that night as you realise you have windburn from the cold. I crave the fresh air and the sunshine - thank God for Mandy's loungeroom and the afternoon sun.

But, I have been pottering.

Today my favourite yoga teacher (Vincent Lu) opens his own studio in town - Vidya yoga. Vidya means knowledge. I am so enamoured with the choice of name - to go and learn, to evolve and become.. well, to become your true self. I do LOVE yoga.


Anyway, it inspired me to paint again. And so, I did. I havent painted a chakra piece since before Christmas - so it was nice to revisit that connection to my art.

I painted two pieces - the first is the name of the studio - Vidya.

I chose the orange/red and yellow palate because the studio signage is that colour. And that lead to Muladhara being the chakra behind the script. It made sense to me in so many ways - Muladhara is the base chakra. It represents foundation and support. I sent energy into my work with the intention that strong and peaceful foundations fill the studio.

The next piece evolved from there.

This piece is the yin to the Vidya piece.

The warm colours and sanskrit wording became balanced by cooler colours and an english translation. And to balance the base chakra, I painted the crown chakra - Sahasrara. It symbolises higher consciousness... an evolution of energy from the strong foundations of the previous piece. The Sahasrara chakra usually as one thousand petals - so I simply paint the entire chakra as one single petal. Infinity represented in simplicity.

And then, as a special message from the universe, the very day that I delivered the finished paintings to the studio, I get home to a voicemail message that my art work has been accepted into an upcoming art exhibition. WHOOO HOOO!!

It is an exhibition put on by the Saskatoon Women's Art Alliance. It is being held in June - I can not wait.

Of course, a minor point is the framing of these pieces. But, since the universe is giving me a little feedback on my artistic meanderings, I'll take that as a positive sign that all will be taken care of. There is always a way!!

This is a small piece of the painting that will be shown...

a close up of my heart chakra - brimming and overflowing as I embrace my artistic self.

What a fantastic couple of days. Now, to get myself ready for yoga!!


Friday, February 4, 2011

winter's slow pace

Seems to me what I want to say in this blog is exactly what I said in the last one. So dark, so cold, so dreary. !! Funny how winter does that to me. While I do like watching it snow, and sledding is fun, I have to admit, that I do prefer three months of winter. The winters here are sooooooo long! Oh, and cold, but that goes without saying!

For my friends in Australia - to show you what I sometimes wake up to here in Saskatchewan!!

That's minus thirty. With the windchill it was about minus thirty. brrr

But there are some beautiful things to see when its winter.

This is the view out of our back windows - sunset over the neighbourhood with all of the icycles that are hanging off the back drains.

And this is the ice that formed on the car on one of the nicer days. It actually freaked me out a bit as I wondered about getting myself electrocuted next time I tried to plug the car in!

And some frost patterns from the back window - things we dont see in Australia and I love to look out the windows at them. You can never quite capture the beauty of them with the camera.

Now, even with all of this winter beauty, you might have noticed a certain lack of colour in the landscape. Needless to say, I had to add some of my own in....

my new hair! I thought I would go as red as I could get it. Just in pieces - I thought it would hide the grey (ha ha - I think it just accentuated it!) I love it - I dont even mind the red that is now on all of my collars, my towels and my pillow cases!! Thats the price you pay! he he.

And finally, a sneak peak at my picture of Autumn. Part of me wants to just suprise everyone at the end when I'm done. I am really happy with how it is coming along - and absolutely amazed at how much this picture and Autumn herself, look like my sister. I think it is the freckles and the delicate skin.

Now, off to colour some more. !!