May 2014 Be Beautiful

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something. So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

~Neil Gaiman


As I sit here I can't help but be completely enamoured with the potential of the year ahead of me. It's magical, it's fresh, it's exciting. And it's scary as all get up. I know it's going to hurt, this magical year of 2014: little pains, big pains, growing pains, loss and frustration; it's all going to be there. But so is growth, happiness, adventure, joy and a whole lot of art.

Where ever this year takes you, whatever it is it brings your way, I wish for you that you can see the joy and magic in it. Because I highly believe you see what you go looking for.

Happy 2014.




Mission Accomplished


No one has a problem with the first mile of a journey.Even an infant could do fine for a while. But it isn’t the start that matters. It’s the finish line.

~Julien Smith,The Flinch



I’m done.  My first every sketchbook is full and I can now place it on my book shelf and head off to purchase a new one.


One thingI learned was that I didn’t always like it.  Sitting down to make myself to the work was almost always necessary, but almost as often I was glad I did.


Another lesson: show up and you never know what shows up. I started with the same idea and had it turn into 4 different things, not a single one of them the item I was thinking, but each something I enjoyed.


And lastly, ugly works.  I have some king nasty sketches in this book, and that’s more than okay.  Between those ugly ones are sketches I love and plan on using. Plus, I learned something with the ugly sketches,and they did add to the page count which allowed me to complete this goal.  Everything in life all adds up to the final sum, ugly or pretty.

I will leave my phone alarms on to remind myself to sketch daily, it’s still something I’m going to push myself to do.



Studio Day


Creating means living.

~Dejan Stojanovic, The Shape


There has been absolutely no painting going on the last bit.  I need to fix that.  Thankfully there has been tons of creating in other forms.

Special order owls on the go is one.


The other would be ceramics.


Does a paper for art history count?  Not sure if I want it to or not.



Yesterday it Snowed

deck snow

You can’t get a coup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.

~ C.S. Lewis


For the record we need to make one thing very clear: I am not made to live anywhere close to snow unless you send me a pretty postcard. Yet here I am looking out the window at way too much of that white stuff, and yesterday I even ventured out in it.  Today I dropped off my oldest at school a wee bit late, doing the pull up and shove her into a show drift routine so I didn’t have to get out and be colder than I already am.


Immediately upon coming home I made some deliciously hot crème brûlée rooibos tea.  My day will consist of art history reading and prepping for the torturous lecture tonight, editing an image being “rented out” for a small business just starting up, and putting together a proposal for a mural I was asked to submit.  Somehow I must drop off another kid and both up at staggered times, all without losing body heat.  And class tonight, in a room someone still believes needs to have the AC turned on, will be tough indeed.  I think I’ll need to ensure hot tea in an insulated mug in oder to make it through.

Welcome to the start of the week. Cold or not, here I come!



Reevaluating my Sketchbook

pig tails

Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.

~Grandma Moses


Sketching.  It’s happening.  It was good, then I got busy and it got shoved to the back burner, that’s what happens when you’re not completely there.  But I want to be, and I know part of it is just about getting into a routine and just doing it, so I did two things.

I counted how many pages I had left in my sketchbook and figured how many sketches I needed to do in a day in order to meet my goal of filling a sketchbook by the end of October.  Then I set a couple alarms on my phone so I have that reminder, twice in a day, that sketching needs to be a part of my day.  And guess what?  It’s working!  I’m sketching more frequently and filling these pages, it’s brilliant.two girls

The other day I found myself with a few minutes to fill between class letting out and meeting up with a friend.  I pulled out my tools and got to sketching and came up with this brilliant little fella. I’m in love.  Now I need to get him onto canvas.


Plus a while ago on my FB Page I asked people what their favourite animals are.  I got some great animals named and now I’d love to branch out and see some of them come out in the pages of my sketchbooks.  It would give me a great idea of a few more critters to paint.

So, it looks like I’m on track for filling this book.  And that makes me happy. Time to start looking for a new book I suppose.




flower pillows

I know there is strength in the differences between us.  I know there is comfort where we overlap.

~Ani Difranco


Lots of different stuff going on here.  Sketching…which I will post about Friday so stay tuned, but lots of different things as well.  Variation is the spice of life for me recently.

fabric collage

Dug out some fabric and whispered sweet nothings to my sewing machine that has been neglected for WAY too long.  Recently I made a couple pillows for two of my nieces for their birthdays and a fabric collage for a friend as well.

ceramic vessel

And of course time spent in the ceramic studio where one of my paintings came to life in the form of a vessel.  Can’t wait to see how it comes out once it’s fired.



Sketchbook to Painting


Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.

~Henry Ward Beecher


This whole sketchbook thing is new to me, and one I struggle with but am work on but this week I had a great moment that reinforced the whole “need to keep a stechbook” thing. I sold two paintings at the local library and they asked for two replacement paintings.  Uh….yah….you mean ones I don’t have.

Which means I had to paint some new ones.  From scratch.


Countless artists say they look to their sketchbooks when they need inspiration or direction for a project so I decided to open those covers and see if anyone wanted to be painted.  Two girls came out to play.

two girls

Love these experiences and how they come together if you allow them to.

Today’s Studio Day

ceramic vase

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time

~Thomas Merto


I’m working on a bit of a schedule for this darling blog.  Mostly so I can keep up with finding things to write and not leave large gaps between hitting that blue button over there on the right that reads,”publish.”  Monday’s are going to be my random rambling day, Wednesday I’ll show what I’m up to in my work space.  The great thing about that is I have two main work spaces, my studio at home and the ceramics studio at class until I am done this term.  So I get to share both of those.  And lastly, Friday.  This will be my sketchbook day.  I have given myself the goal of learning to love my sketchbook and use it, allow it to help me grow as an artist. I also started a sketchbook and said I’d have it filled by the end of October.  One way I can ensure I fill this book is by sharing my progress.

ceramic tools

Today is Wednesday, so you get a peek at what’s going on in my studio space which happens to be my ceramics class this go.  When our teacher declared that ceramics was a social medium I was out, but each time I go in to work, I pop in my headphones, do my thing, and get totally lost.  There is a part of me that really loves working with clay and I’m looking for unsocial ways of incorporating it into my practice.

ceramic vase


What have you been working on?



What is it?

clay cube

Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.

~James Cash Penney


I have had a few people ask about a picture I posted on facebook not too long ago.  “What is it?” they ask.  I’m not all all certain the disdain and choking sounds are all in my head.  What is it?  Truth is I’m not sure. But I can tell you it was no pretty task.





I walk in to class that dreadful Saturday having had a great morning.  My teacher and I had spoken weeks earlier and he knew I’d be late and I knew I’d be thrown into a group project mid step.  I get there during lunch when all my classmates are out and I check out the first project I come across and I’m liking it to that point. Across the room there is another project under blue plastic wrap and I peer through and try not to scream out in horror.  Immediately I know I am meant for group 1.

Group 1 turns out to be three type A gals.  They have a plan.  They also have a set way to ensure that the bits all three are working on will fit together.  They are anal and it’s a smooth project from start to finish.

Group 2 turns out to be three type…I don’t think they have a letter in the alphabet for this type.  They have no plan, all three are totally doing their own thing and slapping it all together.  They don’t talk.  Ever.  Not even chatter.  There is little to no progress and it’s bumpy to say that least.

You can guess which group I got thrown in with.

So as I’m working with my group 2 members I notice a couple things.  One girl pretends to not know a word of English and does nothing but wipe the table.  One girl does nothing but text on her phone.  And the last girl loves to make uneven “legs” and have me fix them so we can put our structure together.  There is not a care in the world.  I try to figure out what the assignment is and I get a blank stare from three girls in response, so I turn to our fearless leader (cause let’s face it, the man has GOT to be fearless) and I get the quick, “using 8 pugs of clay make a structure as tall as you can.”  Easy enough.  Or it should have been.

As we sat around after completing our darling groups projects we were told, “in part I assigned this project….because ceramics is avery social medium.”  Yah he said other things, but I blanked them all out upon hearing those last words and my initial thought was, “well, I guess I’m not majoring in ceramics than.”

Give me a cabin deep in the woods and let me do my thing and I’m a happy girl.




Sketchbooks and journals are the street lamps that illuminate the artist’s journey.

~Neil Waldman


I decided a couple days ago to start keeping a sketchbook.  This is not my first attempt at this, but it will be the one that sticks. I figured I’d show you a few of the things that have come out since I first cracked open the cover.

two-handed drawing

I am still waiting for my street lamp to turn on, but so far it’s been enjoyable.

5 min sketch

I think one of the keys for me is trying new things right now so it doesn’t get boring, and seeing what draws me in.

pen sketch

So far I have done two-handed drawings, short timed drawings, and drawings in ink rather than relying on the safety and erasability of pencils.continuous line

It is after all, about enjoying the journey is it not?