Finish this sentence...
I never thought that in my lifetime I would be……
It would be logical, understanding and valid if many of you finished this sentence with: ”living though a pandemic”. Indeed, we are all actually living and breathing wearily through it. If we were able for a fleeting moment to put the medical, social, psychological and financial crises aside, we could unmask to see little glimmers of positives and consolations.
I would finish that sentence with…taking in the intoxicating scent of fresh air on my sheets and clothes from the clothesline; running out of flour because of all the baking I’m doing; having my yard looking so good by the end of May; learning about my extraordinary and resilient 93 year old mother who learned to use an iPad so she could see her family; sitting at the supper table for more than an hour conversing with my husband; waving to neighbours on walks whom I haven’t seen in months, even years; chatting on the phone for hours each day catching up with friends and family until my voice cracked; turning OFF Anderson Cooper to get back to my book; oh… and dare I say …longingly looking out the window at the birds and wildlife while anxiously waiting for my Nespresso order to arrive! Ok, these are all my experiences.
We are aching emotionally for normalcy, familiarity and closeness with our loved ones. We’re finding our way through a treeless forest and treading water in unfamiliar oceans. Let us not be defined by this experience but how we choose to respond to and remember it. We would all fill in this sentence differently, but the point is, in all those masks we are wearing there is a silver lining.
Perhaps NIKE was not targeting the endorphin seeking professional athletes when they advertised their line of gym attire with the slogan, Just Do It, but instead an audience of exercising procrastinators. In university, my husband would spend hours hanging around the library guarded by his volumes of text books under the guise of the pursuit of academia. Yeah…right! I knew back then he was the ultimate procrastinator in essay writing. There is nothing quite as daunting as a waiting pair of sneakers, white page, or in the artists’ world, a blank canvas. Why do I procrastinate; is it a fear of failure? Or fear of success? Or both? If the painting is an epic failure, I’ve lost confidence. If the painting is ‘successful’, then my expectations for a follow up painting increase.
Artists often struggle with ‘getting into the mindset’, and have perfected the art of procrastination. Many argue that they are waiting for their muse to appear. This in itself could be procrastination at its finest. Other's go to great lengths in the planning process. There is a fine line between a well-developed thought out plan in approaching a painting and the ultimate art of procrastination. Although every artist has their own painting process, they know that once they start their painting, they are committed and there is no turning back. It's terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.
So whatever your reasons are for procrastinating writing that overdue email (or blog), cleaning up the basement, or starting that art project; believe in yourself and the possibilities, then just do it. ‘Excuses’ are just that! Who knows where your initiative will take you? It could be the beginning of a great adventure. Failure isn’t about not succeeding; it’s not starting it in the first place. After all, you never make the shots you don’t take. And I would never finish a painting that I didn’t start.
Do you believe in love at first sight? Your eyes lock. You see and feel something like never before. You bring it home only to discover to your great disappointment that it doesn’t match your couch. A bad break up ensues.
Mostly what I paint, I consider to be decorative art (as opposed to investment art, but I’m ever hopeful). My thoughts are, if you like one of my pieces, chances are you are attracted, in part, to the colours that you already have in your home. My art colleagues often cringe when they hear the words, ”I love that piece, but it doesn’t match my couch”. I’m of the minority with my artist friends in this matter. I equate it to this: Would you wear an animal print Hermes scarf with a green geometric Channel blouse? Personally, I don’t think you are doing Hermes, Channel or yourself any favours. (but whatever floats your boat - I’m a free spirit and wear whatever I want!) So, what to do if you fall totally in love with a painting?
When you buy a piece of art, decorative or investment, you are buying a piece BY and OF of the artist. And, if it is Love at first sight, that is extraordinary. You have an emotional response that is unparalleled and you know you can’t live without it! At that point, the piece of art becomes a part of you as well. When this happens, and you want to avoid disappointed when you bring it home, be fully prepared to sell the couch.
Great Expectations: How to manage the inevitable deviation from a plan
As poet Robert Burns accurately and eloquently said: Well laid out plans of mice and men often go awry.
T’is the season to K.I.S.S.
So you’re planning a festive gathering.
You’ve selected nine recipes… and that’s just for the appetizers. You’ve hauled up five boxes of holiday decorations… and that’s just for the dining room. You’ve pinned three signature cocktails… and that’s just the Bailys based bevvies. You’re accommodating three guests with food sensitivities, two ‘gluten freers’, and one vegan. As they say in Newfoundland…’Yer up to yer arse in rattlesnakes!
'Have you been seeing 11:11? You’re not alone.
According to Numerologist.com, "this year more than ever before, countless people all over the planet have reported seeing the 11/11 code repeatedly appear in their daily lives”.
Are there times when you would like to be beamed up to a faraway galaxy? We are in the age where we are bombarded with the sensory assault of our devices, and are involuntarily connected to the turbulence of our world. Our hurried lives are filled with busyness, and every minute is accounted for. By the end of each day we are emotionally and physically exhausted. Time and space are at a premium and a rare luxury. Whether it is alone time with your thoughts or a quiet place for your senses to rest in a painting, we seek out places to breathe. We welcome these ‘spaces’, physical and emotional, and are comforted and calmed as with a good cup of tea.
It's Labour Day Weekend. Happy New Year!
Many people ring in the new year on January 1, while some people consider their birthdays as the start of a new beginning. For me, the new year arrives in September.
FULL PREVIEW HERE
The ‘Nesting Grounds’ journey:
The concept for Nesting Grounds was set. Ten birds featured with 2 dedicated paintings: One page with the bird nesting, the other page showcasing their eggs in their nest. The birds have been carefully selected with considerations including bird familiarity, nest uniqueness and clutch size. The research was tedious but enjoyable. No more procrastinations. Time to paint.
FULL PREVIEW HERE
So, I've decided I was going to do another book! It was going to be about familiar birds and their nests and their eggs. To make the book a little more engaging, the clutch in each nest was to increase incrementally from 1-10. Did birds actually lay 10 eggs? It was imperative that in allowing for artistic license, the book was based on fact, and maintained the integrity of the chosen birds and their nesting habits.