Patrice’s drawing challenge: Frida

It’s no secret that round here we’re in love with Frida.

From our handmade pencil cases, to the portraits we bought in Mexico, Frida is all around us at home, and who can blame us. We greatly admire her indomitable spirit and her artistic honesty.

With Kerstie and Ziggy visiting, (not to mention that we’re away for the weekend again), I had very little time for this drawing challenge, and so had to think of an almost immediate piece of art, and here it is:

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A printed photograph of a young Frida mounted on a card stock, hand painted and tinted, with a crown of flowers, each flowers cut out of smooth card stock, painted in acrylics, and collaged around Frida.

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At the moment this little piece of art is shining between garden flowers above my bedside table, but, last night, Chloe said that she might have to steal it. ๐Ÿ˜€

Do you feel a kinship with Frida? I do. Incidentally, she died on my birth date July 13th. Hmmm

Come pop over to Patrice’s this weekend for more Frida kinship.

Drawing challenge: The Trickster

So here’s a little oracle to inspire you. It’s a little magical, but it’s just outside our mundane world of practicalities. You know you can almost see it, almost touch it as you go about your life, but you always sense its presence, and, when you come to any creative endeavour, it’s always there waiting for you.

All you have to do to release the power is dial the right combination.

And as luck would have it, I’m here to give it to you:

Are you ready? Good!

13

first trick

10

second trick

18.5 exactly

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back to 13

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Feel free to use it any time you feel the need. ๐Ÿ˜€

Come visit our other magical tricksters: Patrice, Nadine, Sabine, Tania, Renilde, Katrin, Ariane, Melodye, Marian, Eric, Tammie and Stefanie.

Behind the scenes of this trickster drawing challenge:

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Art: The old front of something like a safe or safety deposit drawer, picked up at an antique market, which has a thick glass window and a support for the window, which seemed just the perfect area to slip in a long piece of watercolour paper with four panels, haphazardly collaged, painted in acrylics and gilded with gold leaf. Then mucked about with in Photoshop to type out the messages.

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A seed of Mischief … a handmade sketchbook

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Yesterday I said to Chloe that I wanted to get a new sketchbook to take with me to visit Nick and Joyce Bantock this weekend.

I told C that it has to be a Goldilocks sketchbook…you know…not too hot, not too cold, just right. But I couldn’t find anything Goldilockish enough. Mole sketchbooks are beautiful, but common. Other sketch books had bad covers, or too thick paper, or not smooth enough paper…basically either too hot or too cold and not just right.

Now it’s no secret that I have a huge crush on Nick and Joyce and admire their work, and, as I was running thru Nick’s books in my mind, I had a thought, “Wait a minute, what do you bring when visiting the Artful Dodger, the Trickster, when walking into the Forgetting Room?”

A handmade sketchbook. ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, how hard can it be?

So, in the art store, I bought a couple 5.5″ x 8″ black cover essential sketchbooks, (which just happen to have lovely smooth Goldilocks paper), and at Booklovers, my favourite used book store, I found the perfect Goldilocks old book.

I took the black covers off the essential sketchbooks and started taking the pages out of the old book.

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I separated the two sketchbooks into six bundles of 8-10 pages. (Apparently the bundles are called signatures! Now you’re in the know…lol)

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At first I thought I would keep two or three original pages at the beginning and end of the book, you know, to pay homage to the book and author, but the subject was so tragic, that soon all the pages, except for the endpapers came out.

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Then I used a makeshift bookbinding stitch and heavy cotton thread to bind the six bundles signatures together.

At this point I looked for a way to attach the paper back inside the covers. The only advice I found included using an awl to pierce the spine and sewing the paper back in. That was a nonstarter with me. I really didn’t fancy piercing that beautiful spine, so I decided to just glue it in. Now the advice was to use a bookbinding glue…which I don’t have…so I improvised with a cement type of glue. I also included a length of black ribbon as a book marker.

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Anyway, what’s the worst thing that can happen? The paper will start to come out and I’ll go and invest in a good bookbinding glue…lol.

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Then I clipped my book together, stood it on its spine and weighted it down with some iron weights, and left it on my silversmithing bench in the garage overnight.

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This morning I ran to the garage to see how it worked. Oh my gosh! IT WORKED!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Look at the spine of my beautiful new sketchbook. Isn’t the title just perfect?

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Look at the beautiful pages inside.

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The stitched together bundles signatures seems to be holding firm inside the covers.

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But I still wanted to pay homage to the original book, so I composed myself a little love letter from the old pages.

This was a bit harder to do that I thought because the book is about a tragic heroine, the French Revolution, guillotines, death, hopelessness, but after searching thru almost all of the 200+ pages, I got somewhere.

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So here we go.

From the inside cover:

“What kind of nonsense is this?
“Oh, it’s a long story.”

Seed of Mischief
the book
painted by
me
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13
“So I made an original Lovely! book
with paper a dream and love
“It has occurred to me that it would be a good thing
“That doesn’t do any harm,”
true,
“Why?”
“I have a good eye for beauty, art a gift

So Why not? Why wouldn’t it work?
Why didn’t I think of that earlier?”

“I know.” “I don’t think so either,”

“Is there anything else to it.

“Take my word for it, Creation is the jewel of living

And
“Because you have the bravest eyes
“good child, good child,”
“How about you?
Come on, I’ll write it for you.”

How does that sound to you?
“Now let me read it,”

what is living about?”

“Perhaps I can find that out. Do you want me to try?”

Now the story I heard is on the pages of the book.”

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Announcing a new Drawing Challenge: the Trickster

Announcing a new Drawing Challenge: the Trickster

the Trickster

I’ve been a long-time fan, (and friend) of Nick and Joyce Bantock, (and also a repeat offender in Nick’s courses.)

In honour of Nick’s work, and to celebrate a weekend visit over to the island to catch up with Nick and Joyce I’m calling a DC with the theme: the Trickster.

The Trickster’s Hat, A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity is incidentally the title of Nick’s new book.

Let’s all have a mischievous apprenticeship in creativity this week. As usual, I’ll post the DC post and links on Friday (May 15th), and we’ll all go visit each other over the weekend.

Please say yes and brush up on all your tricks. ๐Ÿ˜€

Will you draw, paint, sketch, write a poem, make some jewellery, stitch a pillowcase? All manor of creative endeavour welcome.

Doing everything right

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Today was one of those do everything right days.
Do you have those days? Do you know what I mean?
It’s one of those days you imagine having in your mind, you know, those kinds of days you know that you should strive to have every day in order to be healthy, productive, in love, successful, (fill in the blanks)… etc.

Today I made time to be with R on our daily phone calls. Really be with him, listen ย to him, joke, sympathise, be there; really tried to take care of my love and build our relationship.

Today I treated my art seriously. I went to work in the morning. I went to work and I worked! Started a large map. Decided on the map, decided on kestrels, composed them, drew them, started to paint.

Today I took a lunch break, away from the computer, away form the studio, away from work. Took a lunch break and played with Morgan, did a little gardening, walked around my garden read a little, and then went back to work.

(Morgan gave me the death stare when I picked her up.)

morgan

Today I stopped work and went to my yoga class.

yoga

I got there a early, took 20 minutes of meditation and then got into the class. I connected with my body, flowed thru every pose in the most graceful way I could, thought about every muscle, breathed into every tightness, released, let go.

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Today I finished a nourishing soup from a bone broth base and served it for supper. After my winter (with that nonsense we will not talk about), I was instructed to make bone broths to rebuild collagen and muscle tissue. For me, this generally involves boiling the left over roast Sunday diner organic chicken carcass with some organic beef bones for 24-36 hours in a slow cooker, then I strain out the bones and use the broth for soups. To this I added tons of organic vegetables: kale, carrots, cabbage, sweet potatoes, onions, celery…basically what ever I have on hand, plus a good cup of mixed beans and lentils and herbs from the garden.

Knowing that everything I eat is healthy and working to make me strong and to prevent any future nonsense is so important to me. Even though some days it’s just too easy to pop that frozen pizza into the oven and be done with dinner, taking that extra effort, and actually making a pizza from scratch, better yet, making that pizza with a cauliflower crust, is such a good way for me to say, “I love you body, and I’ll take good care of you.”

Thank goodness I brought my children up with really good nutritious foods, so C loves the kale rich bone broth soups.

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Today is a shining example of what I strive for every day.

Will tomorrow look like today? I doubt it. A 12:45pm dentist appointment x town will seriously cut into my day and will make me feel like a poor baby, so I can pretty well guarantee I’ll be more stressed with Robbie, want to stop at Sbux for a green tea lemonade, and try to skip out of yoga class…although I’ll probably go.

But for today I feel I should celebrate. Pat myself on my back and say well done.

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I met C when she came home from a day out rollerblading with Bryson and having tea with her friend Kat, and the first thing she said was, “nice Pippi Longstocking braids mom!” And I say, “What? Braids are over at 13? I don’t think so!”

So go out there and strive to live your best life, day after day. Try to do your best and forgive yourself when you don’t. I will, and you can join me. We can rock it together.

And for all those about to rock, I salute you. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Drawing Challenge: Stars

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As a follow up to “a little night music” may I present “owl light”. You might remember I started this in 2014 and then I put it in “the pile”. This is the “never get to” pile, sometimes also known as the “must do” pile, and occasionally the “burn it all” pile of begun canvases. Well, this week it was the “project completion” and “check it off one painting at a time” pile. I’m so glad I called this drawing challenge, it gave me a little push. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Art: Oh gosh, where to start. There’s a collaged 1915 Chopin music page named Nocturne on a wood support, then acrylics, then inks, then chalk, then gold dust, then oils. All glued, rubbed, stencilled, painted and generally mucked about with. That was fun. ๐Ÿ˜€

Come visit with all our stars by owl light: Patrice, Carole, Barbara, Ariane, Tammie, Viola, Melodye, Joke, Lucia, Eric, ย Stefanie,ย ย Robertoย and Renilde.

 

Drawing Challenge: Grass

Because little things are practice for big things, I decided to roll around in the grass at the house next door, (which is about to be torn down), and count the clouds! To me, little things and baby steps are key. They are a form of reassurance.

grass

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Art: watercolours, inks, watercolour pencils on (shock) Arches white paper! ๐Ÿ˜€

Come visit this lovely spring grassy group: Becca, Tammie, Renee, Marian, Ariane, Carole, Renilde, Viola, Nadine, ย Eric,ย Emily,ย Patrice, Renee, and Melodye.

Hello from Monday night…since it’s a holiday

easter

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shopping
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home

kitchen

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prints

So I just had to wrap my head around this bank holiday weekend.

Easter Monday is no longer a statutory holiday in Canada because it’s been traded for “Family Day” a floating late February holiday. Go figure. Consequently, Monday wasn’t a bank holiday. Do you know how I found out? My bank called me on Sunday advising that I go into my branch Monday and change my pin because I used my bank card at some dodgy place where they are suspected of having some sort of spyware to track my pin. Sheesh! Good think I never have very much money in that account…lol.

But, apart form trying to puzzle out the dodgy place of business, I’ve had a wonderful Easter weekend and completely ignored Monday not being a holiday. Took Clove mooching around in shops for an afternoon, did some gardening, had Jon and Chantal over for Easter supper, and generally slept in, breakfasted in bed, had lovely, long morning talks with Robert, (also late into the night talks where Chloe joined in and we sang old Harry Belefonte songs together), lazy few days holiday weekend. Super nice.

Nevermind that I couldn’t get the lawn mower to work, and nevermind that I have a garden show to prepare for, and nevermind that I should have been doing a million other things. It’s been a wonderful, relaxing long weekend. (Except for the one Costco run which couldn’t be put offย any longer!)

And, I’ve come to the decision that I think I would like to put some prints of some of the bird up on Etsy. I keep thinking about it and finally thought that a few archival quality prints for $20 might be nicer than one original for $150. Maybe. I hope that maybe everyone might like that. I’m completely at sea here and would love to know what you all think. ๐Ÿ˜€ Please?

Also, Clove changed the theme on her website, (yet again), but loves this one to bits. I love it too. I think she’s really coming along with her photography and am ever so very proud of her. She’s really getting the views these days! So nice for her. Right now she’s in the dining room drawing a design for the Sasquatch Music Festival. Next up is a design for the Shambhala Music Festival. Last year, she was asked to design a T shirt for Shambhala, and she did, asking for only a T shirt as payment. Her design sold over $2000! She’s so talented and the design was so good everyone wanted one. This year I advised a bit more for the design. You go girl!

Sharing (really late) with Judith and the mosaic bunch.

Drawing challenge: The Key

I took a little time to think about this one.
I discussed it with Robbie, who’s imagination is wilder and more wonderful than anyone I know, and he suggested a colour wheel. Then we somehow got to a bunch of colourful budgies around a bird feeder, like a colour wheel! Isn’t it amazing when you have someone who understands you to talk to? ๐Ÿ˜€

And the end result…finally, way late into the night last night…is this:

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May I explain?

To me, this fully represents the key to my art.
– An old map of Hawaii, not particularly valuable at all, unwanted, recycled to the thrift shop.
– The colour wheel and colour theory, each bird borrowing a bit of colour from the one beside it.
– Conservation, saving an old document, an old piece of paper.
– Awareness, choosing to paint an endangered plant, the Hawaiian Acacia Koaia.
– Birds! I know I paint almost anything and everything, (well, I’m pretty naff at portraits, so try not to paint those…lol), but I just love the birds.
– A community. A community of artists, all of you who I’m so grateful to know and love, a community of friends and acquaintances, either here, or in my personal life. Everyone who I have the privilege to interact with. You all support me, criticise me, help me grow and learn. Thank you, I treasure you all.
– And finally, it’s a large map which requires talent, materials and the space and time to create something.

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Come fly away with this flock and join us if you can.
Becca, Roberto, Carole, Tammie, Tania, Sus, Eric, Sharmon, Patrice, Marian,ย Joke, Ariane, Nadine,ย Katrinย and Stefanie.

We love anything artistic, (writing, painting, sketching, sculpture, collage, photos…decorated cookies…anything at all you can think of.) ๐Ÿ˜€

Announcing a new drawing challenge: The Key

Hi everybody,

I’d like to call a new drawing challenge: THE KEY

I was looking thru some old work the other day, and came across a book I wrote and illustrated which I called “The Uncomplicated Life of Joan Wood”

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This is a collaged book of drawings, ephemera, poetry and music (which one imagines would play in the background of each segment of Joan’s life.)

Joan Wood

But the key to this book are 9 letters, which I found in a box of letters at a flea market. There is one letter written by a nine yr old Joan from holidays at the sea to her aunt and uncle. The rest of the letters are written to Joan, by a headmaster of a school, by Joan’s friends, by suitors, and by a fiance. Slowly, using these letters as the key, I reconstructed Joan’s remarkable and somewhat heartbreaking life, and, as the letters stopped, I made up the rest.

It’s a slow book…that is…you have to read it slowly and methodically. Pull each letter from the envelope, read the content, read the poetry, look at the images, imagine the songs playing in the background, take it page by page. It’s the key to a good, lazy Sunday morning in bed.

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Tell us. Do you have a key? Is there something key to your art? Did you…like me…spend an hour searching for your keys (cabin) only to find them right in the place you decided to keep years ago so you wouldn’t search for them every time (yeah, what are we like?)

Say yes, and unlock a lovely bit of art, writing, photography…anything for us. ๐Ÿ˜€

As usual, my post will come up on Friday, I’ll link everyone in, and we’ll go have a visit over the weekend. ๐Ÿ˜€