Monday, March 23, 2015


I bought some new paint. Sooo fun!! There is a plethora of new media: interference, iridescence, and duochromes, in watercolours these days. I am in the process of discovering how to use these additions to my repertoire. As I splash and thrash I have come upon another realization: my experimental watercolours are looking a lot like my mixed media projects. Could it be an emerging style? Ooooh. Who knows where this might lead? The experimentation is another distraction of course. The mixed media is brooding on the easel over there, having a tantrum, because it is not a happy camper. There is something not quite right. Have not decided what it is yet so slopping around in watercolour is providing the required space to muse. And I do like a lot of what is happening on the paper. Paper is so much fun. It has a mind of its own. Life is so good.   

Monday, March 16, 2015


One of the ways I choose to unblock is diversion. Yes, my new series is challenging me and it needs time to incubate. There is a multitude of tasks awaiting my attention so I do not lack in variety of choice. My gallery is not quite ready for display purposes as yet and I decided to put my mind to the building of a cover for the fuses just inside the front door. There are a few drawbacks to being an amateur carpenter. One is the job in the end is never perfect. Part of my self-improvement program is to let go of my desire to be perfect so this project fits in perfectly on so many levels! Aw, perfection. I measured carefully. I cut the forty-five degree angle with my handheld circular saw. First mistake. As I have limited supplies I figured out a way to use the imperfect cut. Screwing the various pieces into the wall turned out to be a simple task as the fuse box is surrounded by two-by-four supports. A little readjustment and everything lined up well… if one does not count the fact that the cover is not quite square. And then there is the little problem in the depth of the wood is not quite sufficient for the cover to lie flat against its support pieces. Sigh… Actually few will notice once the paint is applied. The whole purpose of the cover will be satisfied: an uninterrupted view of the displayed pictures. Life is good. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Triggers, Spirals and Transformation

I suspect it is part of the human condition. This past week has provided distinct learning curves within the negative patterning of my being. Over the years I have become an observer of certain recurring triggers. We all experience them. Some of us can name them and others have no idea why they spiral into depression. A particularly powerful, deep-rooted hook set off the usual reactions within me. The regular routine for me is a period of pain, followed by anger and self-recrimination leading to severe depression and damaged relationships. This is not something I wish to repeat. In the past I have tried various forms of resistance: positive thinking, distraction, journaling and bubble baths. Recently I have discovered “Welcoming Prayer”. I must admit this is not something I do perfectly. What I have noticed however is a distinct difference in results. Instead of resisting I welcomed the pain, the feelings, the past memories. I welcomed them until I felt as if I really did welcome them: quiet, calm, soft words of repeated welcome. In the ensuing state of sadness I released the long held anchors of self-hate: I let go of my desire for perfection, I let go of my desire to be accepted, I let go of my desire for control, etc. The space created within me allows for hugs, nurturing and healthy grieving. Yes, I am grieving a loss. I am allowing the pain and in the allowing it passes. Instead of months or weeks the process takes a few hours. The second and third triggers were not dealt with so effectively but I did manage to take the birthday cake to the party as is. Its abstracted nature did not detract from its excellent taste! Life is still good.

The link for more information on the Redwater Art Society workshop “Developing Landscapes in Acrylic” is: Alannah Ronnie or Carol Mervyn Keon

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hidden in Plain Sight

I love mystery. When I create a garden the path leads around corners where surprises lay hidden. I am delighting in the direction my painting is leading me.  I have a small idea where we might be going and then, on the other hand, I may know nothing! Today I just followed and found faces among the splotches and blobs. There is excitement in the air as I discern the conversation. The theme has been born. At one point I just stopped as I felt a certain tension and frustration within me, an occurrence which surfaces when I have been out of the studio for too long. Three weeks is too long. I stepped back and told myself to just listen. Gaze, listen and relax. The act of contemplation, letting go of results and submerging in the pleasure of texture, colour and rhythm, often opens doors formerly closed. This moment of being, just being, is so necessary for our wellbeing in all walks of life. I am fortunate to pursue a livelihood conducive to wellness. Life is good.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lesson Plans and Learning Curves

Life gets in the way sometimes. I am so far behind I can see my tail! Studio withdrawal is setting in and there is no end in sight… One of these days I will pick up a brush just to relieve the tension. Part of what I do as an artist to pay the bills is teach. At the moment I am involved with two schools, one as a consultant and the other teaching senior high students something about art. It is a work in progress as I learn where the holes are in their education. Both groups are fun. It has been about thirty years since I stepped into classroom responsibilities. Learning how to use Smart Boards is fascinating. Developing modules and evaluation systems has taken up a lot of time. I am rusty…. I also have a two-day workshop in Redwater on March 26th and 27th on painting a landscape in acrylics. That should be fun too. I will post a link next week in case you are interested in attending. Life is full, life is good.