Thursday, August 30, 2007


I've been going for a lot of walks lately and feeling good energy and vitality as a result. Tonight I brought my camera with me and wanted to share some of the beauties that nature gives us so freely. This spider was just waiting to have his picture taken - he sat so still; maybe he was sleeping.
I love the look of echinacea flowers in the fall - the way they droop.

This looks like it would be a good tree to climb, but it was in someone's yard, so I didn't think it would be a good idea.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I have been going through a lot of very difficult things in my life lately. But with loss comes rebirth and newness. With honesty comes peace. I have not been able to create any art lately - the inspiration just will not come. I know it will eventually again, but right now, my feelings are coming out in poetry.

it’s been a dreary cloudy day
for so long
the rain has soaked through my clothes
but i hardly notice
my skin has become numb
and the sweat mingles with the rain
i run through the smog
barely able to breathe
my lungs gasping for air
wondering if i will survive
my heart was full at one time
as the days and years went by
i freely gave of myself
first an arm
then a leg
i gave my soul
my mind…
have i become an empty shell
with nothing left to give
or can i be refilled somehow?
as i run
i wonder
am i still a whole being
have the parts reconnected…
i can only think that i have to escape
nowhere to go but up
as i reached the bottom long ago
my eyes were closed
a mask positioned upon my face
that i placed upon myself
so i would not see
suddenly desperate
i have torn it off
and opened my eyes
what i see causes the tears
to sting my face
the saltiness
enters my mouth
and i accept it
i must take flight
the wings i never knew i had
have lifted me from the ground
and carried me away
gently, tenderly
caressing my soul
i feel the limbs begin to grow
but i will not walk
i will fly

Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm going to be out of commission for about a week, and then I'll start posting again. I haven't had time to do much art except for a bunch of ATC's for the next trade happening next Sunday and I haven't been very inspired lately to create. Maybe I need to listen to music and meditate. I've been going for long walks; going further than I've gone in a long time, and walking fast. It really makes me feel good to feel my heart beat faster and feel the fresh evening air flowing through my lungs. I love to see the summer flowers in all their bright colors and the tall trees dancing in the wind. I should have done this a long time ago, but anytime is a good time to start.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Having gone back to work this week, I haven't had time to do any art, but I did go to the Vancouver Art Gallery to view the Monet to Dali exhibition, which included Manet, Monet, C├ęzanne, Modigliani, van Gogh, Rodin, Picasso, Dali and other European artists. It was definitely a treat for the eyes. There were also quite a few sculptures, including a bronze Thinker. Also showing was the House of Oracles, from one of China's most contemporary artists, Huang Yong Ping. Many of his pieces were huge, including a 100-foot long wooden python skeleton.

On to other things. Here is a poem I wrote that may feel true to many of you.

Creatures running round
in my head
trying to escape
they don't recognize
each other
or the walls that keep them in
my head feels
the pressure
wanting to burst
every morning
on auto pilot
i fulfil my daily duties
by rote
knowing my head is full
of unknown territory
i'm only scratching the surface
the truth slips past me
i reach out to grasp it
and it's gone
i lie still
breathing deeply
turn inward
the creatures rest
i know them.

Monday, August 6, 2007

My Sister's Art

My sister, Karen, is an artist too, but her art is very different from mine. She uses oils and watercolours together in her paintings. I thought it would be nice to post them so everyone can see her art as well. She signs her pieces "Karen Louise."

Aquatic Life

Potted Plant


Fabric Collage Progress

Today I created this collage using the second face I painted on fabric. Here is how it looks so far. Now I just have to create a border for each of them and then I think they will be finished.

Today is also the last day of my three week holiday. I didn't travel anywhere, only in my mind. It has been very relaxing and I wish it could go on and on. I crammed as much as I could into each day, not wanting any day to end. I spent time with family and friends and also spent time alone trying to extend the borders of my art.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Another Fabric Face

I worked on another face today that I painted on fabric. This is how far I got. I'm going to make it into a fabric collage as well, but this time I didn't paint it with gesso first. I'm hoping that will keep it from bunching up like the last one did when I sew it together.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Fabric Face Collage

I've been working on a fabric collage. I started by painting a piece of muslin with gesso, then I drew the face on it. I colored it with watercolor pencils and then used a wet paintbrush on it. I was happy with the face, but when I sewed all the pieces together today, I had a little problem with the gessoed fabric bunching up. Next time, I might just do it directly on the muslin. But it's my first time painting on fabric, so I'm not too fussed about it.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Today's Faces

I did three new faces today. I've always done them on paper and want to try them on fabric for a change, maybe muslin. I'll try that later this week. As I am doing them on a drawing pad and I start with the eyes, somehow, some of them end up being too big for the paper, and I can't finish the hair, which I love doing too.

Birds Eye View finished

I've finally finished my bird project that I posted awhile ago, unfinished. I left it on the foamboard and created a shadow box around it. I used watered down glue and tissue paper on the "frame" and painted it with Nickel Azo Gold and Chromium Green. Looks really organic and I'm happy with it. On to the next!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Here is a poem I wrote. Sometimes the only way I can say how or what I'm feeling is with poetry.

Crushed beyond repair
the weight of the world
fallen on the broken bodies
the mysteries of the universe
just beyond reach
the future
is not within grasp
the past haunts
and begs to be forgotten
the present slips by
the moment, the second
one is aware of now
it is gone
never to return
crushed like dried rose petals
never to bloom again
but the fragrance
lingers on
through time.


I was feeling sad last night. So what to do, have a good cry or paint? I took one of my face drawings that looks very sad and transferred it to a painted canvas. I painted her and added a singing bird to cheer her up. Today's another day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Here is a painting/collage I did that was a lot of fun. We all live somewhere, most of us in houses, and to some, whatever they live in is a mansion to them. Our homes should be our palaces, our places of solace, where we can run to when we need comfort or protection, but not everyone has that. These houses are just for fun, with all kinds of imaginable things happening inside them.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Rain in July

If you think that those of us that live in Canada are in the cold, here's a couple of pictures of what's happening here in Vancouver weather wise. Mind you, usually in July, we do have hot weather and just last week, it was so hot I was complaining. But now, we're living in a rain forest. It rained so hard, it sounded like huge hailstones on the roof, but it was just water. Send me the sun again! The pictures are from my back porch, and it looks like snow on the skylight, but it's rain!


I decided to try something other than people and go for the birds. I was thinking about how free birds are and how bound most people are. We get caught up in money, possessions, relationships, truth and fiction, and playing games. We get stressed and it affects our health and everything else in our lives. Birds don't have much, but at the same time, they have everything. They always have a song in their hearts. They sing in the rain and in the sunshine. They create their nests and sit on their eggs, show their babies to fly and then let them go, which is more than a lot of us do. Birds can teach us a lot; we just have to stop what we're doing for a few minutes and watch the birds. I painted a background of blue, green and white, then wrote a story about birds and people over the entire foundation. Most of it I covered up with gesso. Our stories get covered up all the time.
I painted the birds and houses on muslin, and tried to make them 3D by stuffing them a bit with batting. I don't know if I like what I did with it, but I tried to show bird's lives and peoples lives together. Birds don't get parking tickets for sitting in trees, and they don't need prescriptions from doctors, or have to write cheques to buy their nests.

I haven't fastened the birds to the substrate yet - I may sew them onto fabric instead. Let me know what you think.

Here is a close up of one of the birds

Painted faces

Here are two more faces I painted today. The blond one looks to me like she's very unhappy. I am going to try to make a collage with some of these faces.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Some of you have asked me to post a photo of the purse I made for Haute Handbags 2. So here it is. The glasses case on the front of the purse was made with a Smarties box. I covered it with a couple of layers of cardboard to make it stronger, covered it with the same paper as the purse, and then coated it with Crackle Medium. At first, i just wanted the insert on the front, then I saw a pair of broken reading glasses, and knew they were meant to be in there; of course they fit perfectly. You can also see inside the purse.

As I am on holidays for three weeks and not going anywhere in particular, I hope to get a lot of artwork done and share it here. On Sunday, I went to my first ATC trade and brought the ATCs that I posted earlier. I met some great artists and kindred spirits and went home with wonderful miniature works of art. But of course, I couldn't go home before I went to RubyDog's and get my fill of a bag full of Leanne's goodies. The great thing is that Leanne can tell you the year that each item was made in. As she processed a sheet of German scraps, she told me the story of how they were made in the late 1800's, and how the early scrap books got started. But you'll have to go there to hear the whole story. Her link is on my Favourite Places list.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

More Faces

The face as I drew it

Here I added a Fresco filter in PhotoShop

The second face as I drew it

Here I added color to it in PhotoShop

Here I went a little further in PhotoShop and added an Ice Cube filter

I drew two more faces tonight. I'm back to doing what I really love. And, once again, I played with them in PhotoShop, which makes it even more fun. Maybe after I've done a bunch of faces, I can incorporate them into a collage.

Friday, July 13, 2007

New Faces

PhotoShop altered above

PhotoShop altered above

Tonight I decided to draw a couple of faces without painting them. When I was a young girl, that's what I did. I have an old scrapbook with my drawings and it's so funny to look at. When I was a teenager, I had friends sit for me, and I would draw their portrait in about half an hour and I made them very realistic. I don't know if I could still do that. Now I mainly draw faces from my imagination, and sometimes as I draw them, I feel that they have a personality and I get to know them. I had to play with them in PhotoShop too, so I've added them as well.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Jhodi Bennett

I want to share with you artwork by an incredible artist from Australia, Jhodi Bennett. We have been emailing and sharing artwork back and forth for nearly two years now, and none of her pieces are on the Internet, which is a real shame. Her art is bold and unique; she has a style all of her own. Jhodi teaches workshops, sells her work in Australia and has been published many times in Stamping and Papercraft.

The Dress


City Stories

Clay on the Catwalk

Nesting Shoe

Holly McFadden

The phone call was from my friend, Ann, who I was happy to hear from; then she told me that Holly McFadden was murdered last week. She was stabbed to death by a male friend. We were good friends for awhile, then drifted apart as we both changed jobs and I hadn't seen her in about seven years. But I just can't believe it. I'm in total shock. Now, she is just a name in a little article in her local newspaper, but she was bigger than life to many people. Everyone thought of her as happy and vivacious. I knew her as being sad and lonely. We met when we were both teaching computer courses for the North Vancouver School District. We were teaching adults in a Job Training program. She was very generous. One summer, she decided to throw a big party for all of our students. She arranged to have a make-up artist, a reflexologist, masseur, and a lot of other "stations" in her backyard, along with a barbecue. She really wanted to be good to people.

I was there when her marriage broke up. And then she started seeing one of her students. It wasn't as if he was young and she was old - they were both adults. But everyone looked down on her because of that. She was very confused at that point in her life and often looked to me for guidance. She also had MS to deal with every day, which wasn't easy. Most people didn't know that. I don't even know if she has family. She moved to Harrison Hotsprings and was teaching nearby. The newspaper says that she was killed by a male friend. I sometimes wonder how and why do friends drift apart. Do we all have people in our lives for a certain reason and only for the time that we or they need it? If everything happens for a reason, I really don't understand why murder happens. Did she die immediately or was it long and torturous? I do hope that she is now at peace. Holly, who was like Alice in Wonderland, rest in peace. After I found out, I wanted to do a quick painting of how I remembered her. I didn't do an exact or even near exact likeness of her, but this, to me, was what she was like inside. I wonder if that tear ever went away.


Last night I decided to do a couple of quick faces. I've always loved drawing and painting faces. I used watercolor pencils, which I've only tried briefly before. This was the first face I did last night. Then I got a phone call...

Monday, July 9, 2007

Collage of my Grandmother

One of my favorite images to use in collage is my grandmother. I love this photo of her and use it often. She lived in Russia until just after she was married. She was 25 here and a school teacher. She went on to have seven children, one of them being my mother. This is a very simple collage, done on the back cover of a notebook. I used the peeling paint technique described in Claudine Hellmuth's book Collage Discovery Workbook. It's a great book for background techniques, image transfers, composition and more.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Global Warming

After seeing some of the Live Earth concerts for Global Warming, I decided to change a collage that I had done. It had never looked complete to me, but I had called it Everything Green. Today, I added clock faces to the architectural image, showing that we don't have all that much time left if we don't do something about it, and spots of gesso for holes in the ozone that are already there.

We all have to do our part, even if we start small. Like stop using plastic grocery bags every time we get groceries. I have tons of them. I'm going to get some cloth bags to reuse so I don't have to throw them in the garbage.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

July 7

It's Saturday today. I'm not feeling great today - low energy. I just feel like sleeping. Haven't done any art the last couple of days, but I'm looking forward to one week from now, when my holidays start. I hope to spend sooo much time in my studio, having lots of fun. Am I spending too much time alone? I sometimes ask myself. Next Sunday is the ATC trade at The Grind, so I'm looking forward to meeting more artists here in Vancouver. Something I've been learning lately is that we are all part of each other, and if we hurt someone else, we hurt ourselves. So, if we are good to others, even people we don't know, we are helping ourselves as well. I just got the new Cloth Paper Scissors and the new Somerset Studio, both of which are incredible issues. The art is getting better and better. I can immerse myself in there for hours.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


It's so hot out today. Everybody seems to love it but me. I wish I could enjoy it, but my favorite seasons are spring and fall. Here is one of my many faces I drew, then I painted it with watercolor.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Later today

I wanted to share with you the painting/collage I did that was published in the May/June issue of Somerset Studio, the Blue issue. I have wanted to be published in that magazine for so long, and finally sent something in. As I love painting faces, I did one of Billie Holiday. My photo is not as good as the one in Somerset Studio, but it will have to do here.


I spent a lot of the long weekend making ATCs. I never had the desire to create these before, but went to an "ATC make-and-take" at RubyDog's Art Shop a few weeks ago, and learned about the ATC trade on the 3rd Sunday of every month at The Grind Coffee Shop, and thought I would give it a go. The theme is wings - how can you tell? I made a dozen of them and had so much fun! I scanned them in groups of two and three, so they're not individual. Here they are.