Patrice’s wonderful drawing challenge: Upside down

June 7, 2014

As you all know, my life has been a bit upside down this week. So you can imagine that I was incredibly grateful for the distraction of art. When I asked Nadine for info about any upcoming drawing challenges, she sent me to Patrice, who so very kindly invited me.

Here’s my contribution to the challenge: Cedar waxwings and rowan berries on Beethoven. πŸ™‚

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Another kind of upside down happened yesterday in the studio. My studio is in the loft of my 1920 Craftsman cottage. Although it runs the whole length of the house, it has a pitched roof line with a limited amount of wall space for furniture.

My art table gets very crowded with supplies and half the time I spend more time looking for something, or tripping over piles of books and papers than actually painting. So I decided to build some simple pine shelves to organise some of my supplies. (The upside down part was screwing the brackets to the underneath of the pine boards)

I’m thrilled with the results!

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Now I’m so super organised that I painted a second little upside down image. Chickadees on Mozart.

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I can’t thank you enough, you sweet friends, for taking the time to wish us well yesterday. Robert’s and my hearts are broken but you have all lifted us up in ways you can’t imagine. We’ve taken great comfort in your words and send you so much love in return.

We’re going to be OK.


Hello from Sunday night
Theo died

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  • Reply Christie June 7, 2014 at 9:33 am

    All your little birdies are so sweet! Wish I had some shelves like that! Great job!!

    • Reply Veronica June 8, 2014 at 5:52 am

      Thank you so much Christie. Those shelves are super easy and pretty cheap. πŸ™‚

  • Reply June 7, 2014 at 11:16 am

    L ? V E , L ? V E , L ? V E ! I will be emailing you! Just racing around the NL with Godfried .

    • Reply Veronica June 8, 2014 at 5:51 am

      Good! πŸ˜€ Make sure yous top and catch your breath first. πŸ˜€

  • Reply manon June 7, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Hi Veronica.
    So I see I am not the only one with the DIY bug πŸ™‚ It is so lovely to see were fellow artists create so thank you for sharing your place with me. I am new to the drawing Challenge too and I am not sure how it all works. I am hoping to get some drawings done for next week’s Challenge. Your water colours look fab on the music paper!
    I really enjoyed reading a bit further down this post too but was sorry to hear about your cat Theo!

  • Reply Patrice A. June 8, 2014 at 1:28 am

    dear Veronica,

    i had read about your loss, which turned your life upside down, as it would turn mine

    and now you surprise me with your beautiful birds-art!!!!
    as you know (well, i think you do) i LOVE birds
    love to paint, draw or linocut them and
    i like to watch them in the garden while they hang upside down(!)
    searching for the best berry ;^)))

    thanks for joining and enjoy your organized workspace ;^))

    Patrice A.

    • Reply Veronica June 8, 2014 at 5:47 am

      Hi Patrice, I’m so happy you liked my birds. So many people appreciate the little creatures and every “birding” person I meet turns out to be super lovely. I must go back and find some of your bird linocuts. I was making some prints last summer and loving every minute of it, but haven’t managed to get back to that this year and miss it. πŸ˜€

  • Reply Tammie June 8, 2014 at 5:52 am

    congratulations on your new feeling, looking and organized studio! That must be wonderful. I need that too.
    your paintings are so lovely! It is so fun watching birds hang upside down as they eat. Little acrobats. Sending light at a time of sadness.

    • Reply Veronica June 8, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      Thank you so much Tammie. I’m far from organised but am working on it! πŸ˜€

  • Reply Joke Konings June 8, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Oh Veronica, I just read about your loss. I can understand that it turns things upside down.
    And than you suprised me with two beautiful colourpaintings of birds. The way they’re singing, the music, I hear them also a lot in our garden. It’s always a nice beginning of a new day. And…. I love, really love, to look at someonce workingplace. It’s so interesting. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply Veronica June 8, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Hi Joke, thank you so much. I also love to look at other artist’s studios…and sketchbooks. I really love to look at sketchbooks. πŸ˜€

  • Reply woolf June 8, 2014 at 9:47 am

    i think i am also vey attracted to the title of your art work. it sounds pretty romantic! all of your upside down paintings are just really alive… and the studio looks so inviting. it’s good when it gets all sorted, is it not? n?

    • Reply Veronica June 8, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Oh for sure Nadine! You know what I usually do? I usually pick a bunch of flowers and then feel badly for the flowers being in a messy space and clean up for them…lol. πŸ˜€

  • Reply roberto June 8, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Hi Veronica. I read your whole post, not really knowing what it was that cause you so much pain yesterday. and finally reached the end and I read about the death of your cat. And I understand your pain. Every animal that I had, and died, meant to me great pain. and always I said, I have not, more animals “… and I always had another.
    well, I mean your new pine shelves, look great, but that old with all the books stacked rack has its charm.
    Your painting is very good as always, I congratulate you. and I hope you continue making beautiful jewelry!
    PS:thanks for your comment!!

    • Reply Veronica June 8, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      Thank you so much Roberto. Isn’t that the way it always is with pets? I’m off to the studio now to play with some silver again. πŸ™‚ Hope to catch up again next week.

  • Reply Joanne Sarah Andersen June 8, 2014 at 11:37 am

    A great response to the challenge Veronica! Such beautiful birds πŸ™‚
    Its good to keep yourselves busy when you have gone through something so dreadful!
    My thoughts have been with you all.

    • Reply Veronica June 8, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Thank you so much Joanne. I’m lucky to have you be my friend. πŸ˜€

  • Reply Norma June 8, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Veronica, so lovely to meet you here! Love your art. The idea of it, the feeling for it and colours and style. Oh just everything! I know exactly what you mean when you talk about spending so much time looking for art supplies and I just go and buy more too often to admit, and talk about books. I have (had) 6 Billy’s from IKEA (the double wide size) filled to overflowing and they form a whole wall side by side and the floor in front of them was piled high and I tripped over books all of the time and misplaced them just when I knew a particular crow image was in a particular book and I never did find the book until months later. Now I’ve started sending them back to Value Village. And putting ‘like’ things with ‘like’ … pencil crayons in buckets of the same colors, or type (watercolor ones, etc.) so I am pleased for you to have those shelves. Now making art will be more fun for you. Well I love your work. Norma *smiles*
    p.s. sorry about the loss of your beloved kitty.

    • Reply Veronica June 9, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      Hi Norma,
      I know exactly what you mean. Actually, Robert and I built those Billy bookcases into an under window, wrap around two walls custom bookshelves for the Vancouver house. (I think if you search library you will find a couple photo posts) They are just the handiest things in the world! And thank you so much for the lovely words about my art and my kitty. πŸ™‚

  • Reply tanΓ―a June 9, 2014 at 4:48 am

    Oh, I can’t find words how much I love these birds on sheets of music, as if these were their hymnbook! Totally lovely! I feel so sorry for the loss of your beloved cat, I absolutely know how this can turn a world upside down. But when I read your post about Theo, I felt at once that you shared a wonderful time together and that’s all that counts.
    I think, DIY action in the house is one of the best activities for distraction, drawing too, and the results are great rewards!

    • Reply Veronica June 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Aw, thank you so much Tania. You’re so right. Distraction is the best. πŸ™‚

  • Reply daryledelstein June 9, 2014 at 5:24 am

    getting organized is so fulfilling .. i need to do a bit of it and use tough love to get rid of things that collect dust .. one of these days

    • Reply Veronica June 9, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Tough love is the toughest! I can’t do it very easily at all.

  • Reply bkdonegan June 9, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Oh I’m so sorry for your loss..I only read it at the end and was really enjoying your studio make over as well as those gorgeous birds! I have always admired how they are able to move about with such grace weather up or down πŸ™‚ probably a good life lesson there- agility

    • Reply Veronica June 9, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      Hi Kristen, thank you so much. I wonder how the birds can hang on upside down because their little toes don’t ever seem to bend to grip the branches. πŸ™‚

  • Reply sus June 11, 2014 at 5:28 am

    Hello. Veronica and nice to meet you. Your blog is lovely, as are your birds on music – what a great juxtaposition! Please accept my prayers of comfort on the loss of your beloved pet. Best wishes, sus

    • Reply Veronica June 11, 2014 at 6:36 am

      Thank you so much Sus. I miss the old boy something rotten.

  • Reply Barbara bee June 11, 2014 at 5:58 am

    Hello Veronica, I simply love all of what you’ve done for and with the theme, shelfs and organizing your supplies is so great and a big help I guess (I have to do it again, I often get stucked again) and your birdsdrawings on all these german composers are very beautiful.
    Sorry to her that your love Theo had to leave for another spere, the give so much love that it is heartbreaking when they leave. I’m with you.
    barbara bee

    • Reply Veronica June 11, 2014 at 6:30 am

      Hi Barbara, thank you so much. I’m in love with saving the old bits of paper and giving discarded things some value. Hope to see you next week. πŸ™‚

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