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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Friends In Exhibition & And More Prints For The Shop

Hi Everyone, these two prints will be added to The Shop today. This one is called "I Saw The Three Sister" and the print is from one of my original coloured pencils. This print is called "Peggy's Cove" and is from one of my original watercolour's. Enjoy!
I can't go further this week without mentioning three friends who are exhibiting at our local gallery very soon. Claire Calarco, a beloved local talent will be having her show in the smaller gallery at the WKP Kennedy Gallery and coinciding is a show with Dave Carlin and Nancy Davies called "Parejas/Couples", for this one Nancy and Dave team up with two Cuban artists, Nancy Brossard and Norberto Marrero and I trust that both shows will be fabulous shows. Claire Calarco is not only an artist but also an actress, she participates in many local films and she co-owns with her husband, a production company called "Pair of Ducks Productions", she's a very busy lady. I am so proud and happy of her...her exhibitions are usually well received and I can't wait to see what she has been up too, to go visit her new studio sometime this fall. Claire, doesn't have a website as far as I can see, I am going to have to convince her to get one soon so the whole world can enjoy her talent. Here is the announcement for Claire's exhibition... Nancy Davies is another local artist. I've seen a lot of Nancy's clay works and I just love what she does and I am anxious to see what her part in this exhibition includes...paintings, clay work...I just don't know but I am sure it will be good. Nancy doesn't have a website as far as I can see. Dave Carlin...well honestly no words can fully describe dear Dave Carlin...he is needless to say a local treasure. Someone everyone is in awe of. Someone everybody wants to be around and make proud and just an amazing and talented human being. Dave was my high school art teacher and honestly one of the big reasons I choose OCAD as my post-secondary institution...if Dave Carlin went to OCA, I wanted to also...and at the time I applied, they were only accepting 300 students out of thousands of applicants and Dave was one of the very first persons I told that I got in and he was so proud of me. It was through Dave that I realized I wanted to be an artist and it was through his nurturing that made me believe it was possible to be an artist. It was also through Dave that I came to love lino-cuts and printmaking. I bet he doesn't even know he did all of these things for me. So Dave if your ever reading this....know how very treasured, loved and admired you are dear dear man...and an early Happy Birthday to you talented and inspirational sir. (Dave has a blog here...though it doesn't look like it's updated much check it out.) Here is the announcement for Dave and Nancy's exhibition... I just can't help but gush and rave about the people I admire, love and look towards for inspiration..for any of my local readers, don't forget to come out for these two openings...they will amaze and delight I am quite sure. October 4th - November 1st, 2008 at the WKP Kennedy Gallery, North Bay. Opening: Saturday October 4th from 1:00-4:00 (and I am sure that drinks and food will most likely follow at Greico's after the gallery bit is finished up). It's kind of nice to be back to more frequent posts...so I'll see you tomorrow. Happy Creating.

Monday, September 29, 2008

New Prints and Feeling Abit Emotional

Today I am happy to introduce two new prints which will be added to The Shop this afternoon. "Cosmic Flyer", which is a print from an original coloured pencil, done in 2000. And "Act of Believing" which is a coloured pencil I did specifically for my greeting card line.
As I've been reading many blog posts the past couple of weeks, and I am witnessing a communal and temporary shift in many artists creative drive. It seems that many of our delightful and excited plans which we conjured up at the beginning of September have on some level fizzled out. Why has this happened? I don't know, but I do find it really interesting that it's happening to so many creatives from all walks of life, all over the world. It seems that everyone is pulling inwards to reflect on themselves and their journeys. Some people are feeling tired, some disconnected, some have the need to tune into the themselves more and to tune everyone else out, some admit to entering their own little 'bubble' for an undetermined amount of time. Some of us will bounce back into the flow of things more quickly and other will need more time...the process of figuring out 'what's next' and collecting our confidences is a different process for every single artist. So I am glad to know I am not alone in my up and down moods this past month. I have to admit to feeling very emotional and somewhat drained as I look towards and re-assess future plans and goals. I find myself often in a reflective mood, more so than usual... I am reflecting on past happenings to try to understand 'more' and to grow from both the things I can understand but also those that I can't make sense of. In truth, it's just been a very difficult past year in many ways, some things to personal to mention here and some which have been presented to my readers since the inception of this blog; like the passing of our sweet Noo and her difficult but brave battle with cancer; The sickness and passing of my dear heart and buddy, my skinny pig Thodan; there have been some major family 'rifts'; beloved grandparents leaving this world and their absences altering things more than expected; creative struggles; physical struggles; friends battling for their lives and some of them losing; these are just a few to mention, so yeah it's been a rough past year. Yesterday seemed to hit a peak. As I was working away on my computer, fixing up some more prints to add to the Etsy shop, there was a knock at the door. There sitting and waiting for me was a big box and I didn't know at first who it was from...then my heart raced as I realized it was from my Aunt Sandy in Germany. She had packaged up some of my grandfather's things for me. All things that my grandpa had made with his own two hands...treasures...things that are beyond price...things that fill my eyes with tears because I am just so proud of the artistic talent my grandpa had and I am just so sad that his hands won't make anything anymore. I will in time show you some of the treasures but right now, for some reason I can't explain, I have this need just to hold them all close and secret...like a special little conversation or secret just between the two of us. So today, as I admittedly feel emotional just like so many other out there right now, I really would love to show you something very special to me, something equally as wonderful to me as my grandpa's treasures and art which just arrived. And because this blogs main focus is to offer not only my authentic voice and journey but also my visual inspirations, I'd really love to show you this...this beautiful pot holder that was my grandma's.... The photo doesn't show the beautiful and perfect hand stitching, or the shiny little beads sewn in, nor the delicate lace...but it is one of my most favorite and cherished things in our home now...because it hung in my grandma's kitchen, as it now proudly does in ours and it is the only thing I have from my Grandma. My uncle (who's lovely partner, Ute, made it) sent it to my parents and my parents decided to gift it to me knowing how much it would mean to me. Mom and Dad Thank You. Another treasure and new artistic inspirations of mine which I haven't shown anyone yet is an amazing set of prints that my dad brought back from Germany for me. I felt speechless when he gifted me with these...I think the set has a total of 14 beautifully sketched vistas and spots, all around my grandparents village and town. Jonathan & I will make up frames as soon as possible so we can hang them in the upstairs hallway. This particular drawing, which the artist expertly and most beautifully rendered is of my grandparents house...where I visited when I was 14 years old and where my German heritage and family and history all became deeply and forever ingrained in a part of who I am. I know it must seem funny to most of you...that a set of drawings could be all that to one person, but they are...it's my obsessive and passionate personality that allows me to feel this deeply over a set of sketches and I love that. When one says things can't bring happiness...well I have to strongly disagree....these 'things' that have come to me in the last week or so mean so so much...and they do indeed bring me happiness and memories and well everything good...they make our home that much cozier, they are reminders that life is short, that perhaps the key is in leading a simple life, that we need to find our own comforts and joys and hold dear to them, and that our loved ones are precious. To shift gears now...In other news & in short...I am happy to learn that The Little Shop, which carries a selection of my art cards and prints now has a blog. So that's about all for today, thanks for listening to me...I hope you enjoy the new prints and I hope this entry helps to remind you to turn right around after reading this and call someone you love but haven't talked to in awhile...or to just embrace yourself more kindly and gently...as for me...I am going to sit down and write some letters (which means I get to have abit of fun buying stickers!)...give the bunnies a few more snuggles and my honey a few more kisses than normal. Have an excellent weekend and Take Care.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

An Old Picture Newly Revealed, Drama Revisited & More Motley Muttons

Here is a coloured pencil I did a couple years ago but never actually showed anyone...I don't know why, it was just a quick little study from one of my photographs that I did for fun and then I guess I tucked it away without realizing I never showed anyone..except perhaps my friend and fellow artist Judit. Anyhow...as I've been preparing more prints to add to the shop this coming week, I came across this one and thought I'd share it with the world, here on my blog.
A print of this image will be available through my Etsy shop. Well, it's been feeling like a drama filled month here at the Saile-Peterson household. And because today is Thursday, I am naturally thinking back on what was going on last Thursday. Here's what happened last Thursday, I woke up, not feeling too great (I think we are both coming down with another flu) but I was looking forward to the day and was setting about getting things done when all the sudden Ella Luna and Roo completely freaked out and went ricocheting all over the house, stomping and screaming (yes rabbits do scream and it's an awful sound)...something on the deck must have spooked them and well after having rabbits for almost 14 years now, I've never seen two more scared bunnies. First I had to excavate them from underneath the bed, which was no easy task. Then I had to ensure that they didn't hurt themselves, and that all teeth were intact ,I was worried about Roo because he's such a big boy. Then I had to try to calm them down because rabbits can indeed have heart attacks if they get too scared. It took over 2 hours to get them to stop stomping and crying. Luckily, Jonathan was able to take a couple hours out of work to come and help me, he did agree that it took the two of us. At one point, for about an hour, the four of us were all snuggled up on the bed together, Ella was pressed against me and Roo was pressed against Jon and we had a nice soft pillow and hot water bottle underneath them and that did the trick, before we knew it they were sleeping. They stayed there in our little protective circle of warmth and loving arms for over an hour. Frightened bunnies aside, that part was just lovely lovely lovely. Having a bunny snuggle up to you and press their precious little bodies up against you because they are scared but feel safe with you is one of the best feelings in the world...having them fall asleep against you because they know they are safe is even better. Ahhhh, My little family...it's not the typical one by any means but for me, it's paramount and all mine and just wonderful.
So with that story of Ella and Roo just told let me share with you two other amazing presents that my sweet Jonathan surprised me with last week (yes again in the mail).
Two more "Motley Muttons", which I just adore so much. The top one Jonathan picked out because it looks alot like our Roo, and the 2nd one he said he had to get because it's a lop like our Ella (though she's black) and he said one goes with the other, ha ha. When I am not wearing them, I have to hanging from our bedroom lights and they just make me smile. I also love these two photos I took of them, they were the perfect little subjects. Luckily this Thursday, today, has been uneventful so far which I am glad for because honestly I am feeling abit tired and just want to call it an early night if possible as I think we're in for another busy weekend. Well actually the next few weekends will be busy as we have alot to get done outside and alot to pack up and clean before the snow flies, which around here could be anytime soon since our nights are already in the single digits! Hope your well, that your enjoying my blog thus far and that you come back to visit me again soon and until next post...Be Well, Take Extra Good Care of Yourself and Your Loved Ones and I am also wishing you Happy Flowing Creativity.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"At First Light" at The Blue Canoe Gallery

Hi Everyone. I just wanted to write a quick post today to show you a couple things. My coloured pencil painting "At First Light' from 2006 is in a group show called "Colours of Harvest & Fall" at the Blue Canoe Gallery in South River. It's so nice for me to see it nicely framed up...Thanks Jonathan for another beautiful frame.
Also, here is a photo of the progression on the carousel horse painting...as you can see it's going slowly but sure and steady wins the race in this case we believe! This photo was taken before our hours put in today so next time you'll see much more work done on the saddle area.
And that's about all for today. Be well and Happy Being.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Country Roads Studio Tour

Well, this past weekend I must gleefully admit was a perfect one. It included delicious home made pizza with a movie on Friday night. Saturday included; a reminder that my love, Jonathan is indeed a remarkable man; a yummy lunch eaten outside, whiles listening to a good audio book and watching the bunnies having fun skidding & rolling all over the yard; and later in the same day and evening a nice visit and delicious dinner with my parents and a snuggle with a movie and snacks with my sweetie pie niece. Sunday however was an even better day, it was the Country Roads Studio Tour. Jonathan and I really needed a day away from the house and just a change of scenery and we indeed got that and traveled down roads we've never been down. We've been on this tour before so this time around we decided to check out places we've never been too before. It was a day full of sunshine and sun dappled trees, meeting lovely people and inspiring artists, seeing excellent studios and works of arts., The brilliant fall tree colour were a nice reminder of why we love this area so much. The lakes were glistening perfectly and deers bounding to and fro, reminding us of future goals still in mind. I was struck again and again how lucky we are to live where to do, not having to worry of war, lack of water, earthquakes or hurricanes. The day also reminded me that this was what life was...just seizing the day and enjoying each moment we can. I felt inspired to proceed living a simple and abundant life. And I think I gasped or said "Oh, Look" about a hundred times and with Jonathan beside my side everything was 10 times more delightful. As we passed all sorts of homes, I realized; everyone is just trying to carve out their own space, follow their own tune, listen to their own hearts and destinies, some more successfully then others but still I felt content in the old phrase 'to each their own.'..what I think is perfect may indeed be far from it for someone else but we are all still most likely looking for the same basic things from life. It was a day to realize all the differences in people, and to embrace the cozy life we've created for ourselves and our bunnies thus far. A day also to remember that it's always good to let go of expectations of things and people as much as we can, oh my goodness life is so much better when one can do this. So yes, ha ha as you can see it was a very full day in many ways; visually, inspirationally (is that a word!), thoughtfully, spiritually... The first place we visited was stain glass artist John Stephens. We were so delighted to pull in the drive of his beautiful property and he immediately welcomed us and brought us right into his simple and cozy studio, set apart from the house and facing the lake. John was such a pleasure to chat with and we really enjoyed our visit and seeing his work. I loved the fac that he encouraged us to visit the other studios, clearly showing the Northern's wonderful and supportive artist circle and he expertly showed us each of his wonderful pieces. We had never seen stain glass used in exact manner and it's effects were very pleasing.
John beautifully mixes stain glass birds and creatures onto old reclaimed window panes, rocks, wood etc and he mixes them furthur with moss and sticks and twigs, they are just a delight for any nature lover. I adored this one (above) which he had on a rustic easel, it made the beautiful blue lake behind look even lovelier. Jonathan and I fell in love with a rabbit stained glass piece he had and we may just have to go back at some point in the future to get it...if it's still there! You can contact John Stephens at 1-705-776-9553 at his studio called "At Wit's End". Thanks John, we really enjoyed meeting you. Our next visit was to not an new studio but a place we have visited a couple times before but that I didn't want to miss visiting again on our way by...the studio of Pat Stamp, Potter & Sculptor, Ash Creek Pottery.
Pat has this excellent and enchanting studio separate from her house and at the end of a very long country drive. It's always fun, you have to crane your neck and look wayyy down the drive to make sure somebody isn't already proceeding down it, or one of you has to slowly back up and then agree on who goes first, ha ha....I love it and more so because there are never any problems it seems in entering or exciting this artist's wonderful world. Inside the shop, you can see where Pat creates her beautiful pottery and whimsical sculptures. Pat was lovely to talk to, I came away inspired and I just loved the extra little touches like the big bowl of apples freely offered to customers and visitors if they were peckish.
If one strolls along the side of Pat's studio/shop, they are in for a delight. It's like a secret little pathway and as you explore your greeted again and again by her whimsical sculptures...like this guy...
Or this frog, which looked so perfect in the sun dappled shadows... Or this humorous guy sitting harmoniously amongst the flowers.
And as you leave Pat's studio, a friendly and quiet dog will say good-bye and this beautiful vista offers you further happy travels...
This 2nd stop along our Country Roads Tour was wonderful as always. Again, Pat is a perfect example of our lovely and helpful artist's community. Thanks Pat and I'll see you at the carousel horses soon I am sure (Pat Stamp is one of the artists working on the same Carousel Project) You can see Pat Stamp's Pottery at Art On Main. You can call or email, 1-705-752-3663, ashcreek@on.aibn.com. Or visit this link to see more of her work www.ashcreekpottery.com . All of Pat's work are microwave, oven, dishwasher safe etc and of course most importantly lead-free. I highly suggest a visit...the studio and Pat's work will enchant you and make you want to see more of what our area has to offer. The 3rd place we stopped in at was one of my favorites because the artist there was just a true delight to meet. Jana Brogan is a jeweler and sculpture who will soon be offering classes in her Nipissing Village Studio/Shop "Studio in the Grove". I promised Jana that as soon as she has a website, I'll post that also. As soon as we pulled into the driveway, I felt like I was entering a special and enchanted place. It wasn't just the Jana or her musician husband greeting us with a most welcoming smile and hello, it wasn't just the lovely smell of wood burning in a nearby chiminea, it was a mixture of things and with some really good energies adding in also, it just felt like a relaxed and joyful place.
I couldn't resist taking this shot of one of Jana's Celtic cross sculptures and her adorable studio nestled in behind. Jana was telling us of the studio/shop's future plans and I could totally foresee it all happening. So this winter when I think of Jana Brogan and her work and studio, I'll picture her with a brand new studio roof and working away in warmth and creativity (and with these really cool metal spice racks to house all her delicious beads). You can visit Jana Brogan's studio at 4280 hwy 654 W, in Nipissing Village, Ontario. Or email her at by.brogan@sympatico.ca. I have no doubts that Jana will welcome you into her world as beautifully as she did us. From this location we shortly stopped in on a local cooking studio "Chapman's Landing Cooking Studio", where I was sure my good friend Becca and local photographer Liz Lott would be at some point over the weekend. Here they were offering SLOW meals (Simple, Local, Organic and Wild) which we found tempting but at this point we weren't hungry and were somehow more anxious for more studio's than for food...but we're sure to go back.
As the day started to feel like it was soon coming to a close, we popped in on Board's Honey Farm (established in 1974). I knew that at this place we would get some goodies and indeed we did. Soaps, Honey sticks, Lip Balm, Jams and of course pure, unpasturized honey...Meadowblend and Creamed Raspberry flavors. They have over 150 bee colonies and visitors were welcomed to tour the bee farm itself, not just the store. The farm also provides lectures, tours and activities all dedicated to the industrious and most important honey bee and the harvesting of the hives.
I'll look forward to coming back to this place next year and stocking up on some more honey treats. The last place we stopped was defiantly worth the extra bit of driving. Rockcliffe Pottery and Craft Shop was amazing. Here amidst a breath taking location on lake Nosbonsing, Potter Tony Oorschot and her husband John share a unique studio where they have been making pottery for over 26 years. I didn't take shots inside the studio/shop...I didn't know if that was appropriate or not, but here's a couple shots of the outside of the studio and it gives a good taste of what the rest of the place felt like...perfection, in my opinion.
As we walked up to the studio/shop's front porch I was enchanted by the steel works beautifully places here and there throughout the garden. As we entered the beautiful log studio we were welcomed in so gently. The pottery was lovely (please visit the website to see examples) and Jonathan and I really wanted to buy a piece here but we just couldn't agree on one, ha ha...and in most cases I like it when we both simultaneously point at something and go 'That One' then we know that's a good one to bring home. Maybe next time, as I have no doubts that we'll be visiting again. Tony and John have created the most amazing pottery studio I have ever seen, it was huge and fantastic. Tony welcomed us in and showed the kiln and her most recent pottery pieces which were wall vessles featuring human faces peeking out of natural folds, I loved them. Then we went upstairs where my heart gave a start, the place was full of goodies but it was the space that I fell in love with. As happy as I am with my current studio...this space would be most artist's dream and the location that all this perfection was in, well was just enough to make one feel so blissfully happy, sighful, hopeful and most importantly inspired. All of Tony's work are made by traditional wheel thrown methods with some hand building thrown in also. They are all 100% unique and one of a kind, durable, lead-free, dishwasher, microwave and oven safe...I highly suggest a visit for any who are around the area or driving by, they are located at 599 Commanda Lake Road in Nipissing. Phone number is 1-705-729-2802 or email at tonoorster@gmail.com or again visit the website at www.rockcliffecottage.com So with this last studio our self-guided tour had ended. When the shadows were deep and at their longest, with contented and hopeful hearts we headed back home to our cozy abode. The bunnies had just woken from a day of napping and were eager to go outside, so we brought them out and as they happily romped around the yard, we finished off a project in the garage, whiles our home made spagetti sauce simmered away inside. The evening closed with a delicious meal eaten by a roaring fire. Truly a most blissful day full of constant reminders of how blessed we really are and how each and every one of us are responsible for forging our own paths and dreams. So with all that shared...whew, that was a long post, ha ha. I will be back on Wednesday with more to share no doubt. Be well, I hope your inspired and I wish you all Happy and Blissful Creating. May you all be comfy, cozy and content in your own little speacil studios/spaces.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Treasury Spot & The Hand Printed Towel I Love

I am so happy to be included in another Treasury page...just when I was having one of those days where it felt like no one out there was noticing my work, I got a sweet message from Niki letting me know she put my "Bodhi The Elephant" print in her treasury. Thanks so very much Niki, you made my day.
Click here to see the Treasury page, there's some cool stuff in the collection...and of course don't hesitate to buy the print of Bodhi, pretty please! Niki's Etsy shop is here and she also has a blog here. I love being a part of the Etsy community.
So I have another goodie to show you today...a beautiful hand printed towel that Jonathan surprised me with in the mail a couple weeks ago.
But I couldn't stand to get it all messed up in the kitchen ,even though it's 100% cotton and washable. So I put it here, in our dining room. It goes perfectly with the new Poodle Breath bowl.
And it's just high enough so the nibbly little rabbit teeth can't get to it. In a house with bunnies and so for the past, oh I'd say 15 years! This is a primary thought...'Can the monsters reach it' and if it's not metal, then it will most likely be destroyed! ha ha. Rounded wood and metal are key in this cozy home of ours. Anyhow, the towel was made by Lisa L. Price over at Art Goodies. Lisa, I love it thanks. And Jonathan, I adore it, thanks baby...it was a delicious surprise to arrive by mail. I must have forgotten to mention that my honey broke his nose! If it comes between a handsome little nose and a big old heavy 2 x 4 falling 2 feet from up above, sadly the nose is going to lose. We thought it was just badly bruised but shortly after we realized it was indeed broken...my poor guy. That was some drama just before Roo got really sick...it's been kind of a tough month. I really wanted to pass along this post to you all...from Swirly Girl and the lovely musings of Christian Mason Miller, I was espeacially touched and inspired by her post called "Alive"...click here to read it, for those 'searchers' out there, I think it'll really hit home. It's been a crazy few days, with rabbit drama and alot of headaches and a flu catching on, so I haven't actually been in my studio much this week so far. The horse did get about 4 hours of painting but that's about it, I've really just been busy taking care of myself, trying to feel better, being with the bunnies, dealing with Jon's very sore ear ache and well just being...being tired, being happy, being worried, being sick, being strong and being excited to perhaps spend a good productful day in the studio tomorrow and over the weekend! Be well and until next time...Happy Creating. XXOO Mandy p.s. For all of the local readers, don't forget about the always enjoyable Fall Studio"Country Roads Tour" happening this coming weekend, the 20th and 21st. It's always so nice to drive around the country roads, popping in on one artist's studio then the next, usually accumulating treats along the way. This time I am on the outlook for some local honey and edible luxuries , Jonathan and I plan to tour as many of the studios as we can.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Dreary Day & A Cute Face

Good Morning everyone. Today couldn't be a drearier day...but inside is nice and cozy with the jazz streaming and the bunnies cuddled up together after having a yummy breakfast.
I thought it the perfect time to show you this bronze sculpture that Jon and I picked out together not too long ago, we got it because it reminded us of our Hazel. She's a very round bunny, not because she's fat, it's just her body type, she has velveteen fur and a joyful disposition and she just never fails to make us laugh. Especially in the mornings when she gets her breakfast, she gets so excited over her oatmeal that she snorts and will jam her head into the oatmeal jar before her sister Jin has a chance to get any.
How can it not be warm and snuggly inside the house today with this adorable little munchkin face greeting me into my upstairs studio this morning. The rabbits are wrecking havoc on my allergies however. Tis' shedding season and I swear we have pulled enough hair from the 4 of them for 4 more rabbits!...hmmmm four more bunnies...okay, that sounds good actually, ha ha...But seriously, I am thinking this bad week of headaches is partly due to a very plugged nose so I am giving in and going to the pharmacy today to buy some meds. Anyhow, I have no new work to show you today. I was working on something for the past 3 days and it just was not working out so I abandoned it and will use it in a collage somehow, someday. So I proceeded to clean my studio which was sadly neglected over the last couple of weeks. Now it's looking better. And how can I not enjoy organizing and cleaning when I just got some new office supplies like this beautiful filing folders...Okay, okay, I caved...seeing all the back to school supplies, I just had to get myself some treats for the studio/office and these lovely folders fit the bill perfectly.
Anyhow I am off to paint the carousel horse and I am really looking forward to it today. Have a wonderful day everyone and if it's gloomy where you are...create extra warmth for yourself inside, have an extra tea...spend extra time with your furries...whatever it may be, enjoy the day and Happy Creating, until tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday's Monster Migraine & Carousel Gallery Photos

I planned to post yesterday but I was stuck in bed from morning till night with a monster of a migraine...it was not a good day to say the least. And still today, I have remnants of the pain, so I am moving slowly with no sudden motion and hoping that the pain will be gone totally after I do some yoga (after I am finished with this post).
This past Saturday was the opening of the Carousel Exhibition at the Alex Dufresne Gallery in Calander and it was a big success. It started at 3 and went till 5 and I don't think we could have fit many more people in, it was quite packed. I send a special thanks to my parents and friends who did take out the time to come and show your support, it meant alot to me.
So let me show you a few photos....
This is the horse Arlie and I are working on...
And here are the other 3 horses which Pat Stamp, Edna Scott, Beth Jackson and Pam Adams are working on...though we were suppose to be working on the horses during the opening, as predicted we didn't get much done.
This was one of my favourite pieces in the show, a painting by the talented Beth Jackson. I love this little miniature...the eyes are nicely done. And here is my piece..."The Hidden Gem" done in coloured pencil, the biggest one I've done yet.
It was hung to the right of two of Arlie's pieces and let me just say it's an honour to be on the same wall as this beloved talent. And with that I give you a glimpse into 'The Art of the Carousel" exhibition. Where Arlie and I will be working on the horse over the next month and where I hope too see some of you. The show really is a wonderful cross-section of our city's talents and worth the visit...many of the pieces are very reasonably priced also, for those of you looking for a new treasure for your homes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Little Bit Lost & An Amazing Pillow

Honestly I've had abit of a slow week, I think it stemmed from just being so stressed out and exhausted from the drama and scare with our Roo. In browsing my usual favorite blogs today, I am glad to see that I am not alone in feeling abit lost, there seems to be quite a few other artists/bloggers who are feeling a lose of direction and spunk. But September is the best month for new resolutions and change and though I am feeling abit lost at the moment, I am also feeling exciting. And today I've rediscovered my beloved Toronto jazz station and that just instantly started to settle things for me so I look forward to a better and more productive day tomorrow. It's just easy sometimes to get lost in priorities and dreams, which are more important and at which time...we can't always get what we want, and just have to go with the flow keeping the grand scheme of things in mind when that flow seems to be pointing us in a direction away from our original plans. ahhh...Jazz....for me, the key is jazz..so over the next few days I will lean in on my jazz music and trust that it'll help me find my way once more...I know I will, maybe it's just because I am tired, or the creative flow is tired, or all the self-imposed pressures are feeling tired! I do however, always like to remind myself, that I am strong and bounce back quickly. But on to cheerier things, another of the amazing presents my honey surprised me with last week was this gourgues pillow...and let me tell you...receiving a pillow in the mail is great fun because the package was so big but also really light and I had no ideal what was inside.
It is handmade by Brooke Biette from Portland, using Japanese fabrics and I just love it so much. It is made so beautifully and I love the imagery of the rabbits with water, it's a very uncommon pairing which to me makes the pillow very unique. And yes, to anyone who is wondering...Rabbits can indeed swim. quite beautifully actually, though the majority don't enjoy it. Hmmm...I think there's another children's story to conjure up. I have been sketching alot, but it's my usual habit to keep my sketch's and linear process a secret and I think at this point, I am still most comfortable in continuing to do it this way. But I am exciting about the new images to come. And, I can feel some portraits coming also. I sketched alot whiles Roo was ill and I love how the pictures reflect how I was feeling during those days...one day when he was really sick came a sketch of a powerful bird being sucked into a whirlpool, the viewer makes up the birds fate...an another day when Roo was looking better, I drew this lovely art nouveau style of picture with flowing lines and flowers all around a rabbit. Later that same day when Roo was looking bad again produced a sketch of a very sad girl, art nouveau flowers surround her on heavy, draping curtains. Anyhow, you'll eventually see these burst forth in colour. I've been spending some time on work for a new client and also on some intricate designs for the carousel horse saddle. I will be working at the Calander Gallery on the horse with Arlie over the next month. It's been awhile since I've worked in a group with other artists so I look forward to this venture, even though it's making me feel abit short on time. Okay, till the next post....Happy Creating...and extra thoughts to all those out in the world who were affected by that awful day years back...Today, feel extra extra grateful for your health and your loved ones. Peace.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Beautiful Gift and a Beautiful Passage

As I mentioned yesterday I have some new presents to share with you. One of the wonderful and beautiful gifts that Jonathan had sent to me was this amazing and lovely ceramic bowl from one of my favorite Etsy artists, Poodle Breath. It's joined the ranks of one of my most favorite things...I know I know, the list is long, ha ha! I have one of her beautiful porcelain rabbits necklaces and I just adore it.
I came across this beautiful excerpt the other day in my blog surfing and it just hit me square in the heart, I just love knowing that there are indeed other 'searchers' out there... "I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know - unless it be to share our laughter. We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love. For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves." ~James Kavanaugh
The feeling of living amongst 'wolves' is a sentiment I do often feel...the feeling of never quite belonging or fitting in follows me closely. But I have found that beautiful soul to love me for the so little I have to give, the soul who lets me be me...who loves me more for being unique and sensitive, the one who allows me to search...he keeps the world and wolves at bay and for everything that he is...such a bountiful array of goodness and wonderfulness...I am forever forever grateful and humbled and I am just so lucky and in love. Thank You my Heart. And with all of that shared, ha ha...I must touch on a question which a friend asked me as to whether my blog was too personal. Now I must confirm that I do always think twice and read 4 or 5 times what I post (this posting has changed 3 or 4 times already!). It's difficult to know what to write and what to omit sometimes, being that I want my authentic self to shine through to you all. But when I really think about it, I can come to the easy conclusion that 'no, it's not to personal'...in this cold and evil world of ours, to be open and personal helps me reach out to others who are the same. And it helps one searcher remember that the world also has it's warmth and wonderfulness too, I see that daily in all the lovely, warm and open blogs I read. I must thank all of my fellow bloggers for your openness, inspiration and glimpses into your enchanting worlds. That is why I love the blogging world so much, it gives me a direct connection to people with similar interests, paths, goals and dreams and having that connection is a powerful and uplifting thing. The blogs that I love most, are indeed the very personal ones, the ones where the artist is truthful about their journey through life and as artists they are all indeed sensitives and searchers and I love that. I know that the art directors and clients will not come to my blog, they will go to my website, they don't have time nor interest in my personal or artistic journey...this blog is for fellow searchers, and the art lover who wants to know the story behind the picture...so I refuse to fully censor my true journey, and experiences here...I want to join the ranks of all those wonderful, authentic and charming blogs out there that actually inspire and contribute to others lives by offering a hand, and insight and the knowledge that we really aren't alone in our search. And for fear that I am making no sense at all, ha ha...I'll stop here. I'll wish you a wonderful day, an easy creative journey (does that exist?) and the hopes that you will indeed question yourself and things throughout this day...Grow..keep growing, that's the whole point, in my little opinion anyhow. Be Well, and see you all here tomorrow. Thanks for 'tuning' in. As for myself, I am off to a carousel meeting...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Winners of the Print "Sundance"

I completely forgot to draw a name for the Sundance print. Of course, the name I drew was my own Jonathan, ha ha. So he will indeed get the print, perhaps he'll bring it to his office since the original is hanging in our dining room, ha ha. But in fear that people would think that unfair and well because he does live in the house full of my work, I pulled a 2nd name. And the other winner of the Sundance print is Lori Beth. Lori Beth has a blog called Kelsey's World. Lori, please email me your address and I'll get the print on it's way to you. Be well and thanks.

An Old Illustration & A Gift In The Mail

Good Tuesday all. Because it's been a crazy few days I haven't had time to do anything creative. I've been puttering around the house, trying to get things organized for fall etc...moving plants inside because it's just getting too damn cold out there at night. And, I've just been spending alot of time with the bunnies. Jonathan and I have both agreed that we've both been too busy and the bunnies need some more face time so right now that is my priority. But in hopes of getting some smaller pieces done this week, for now, let me show you an older illustration of mine. A small 6"x6" coloured pencil on board.
Also, the spoiling continues...any green-eyed monsters stop reading here, ha ha...
Jonathan has taken to sending me a slew of surprises in the mail again and what fun it has been. I think he loves the squeals of delight especially. Everyday for about 5 or 6 days I got a new package in the mail so over the next few days I'll share with you my new treasures from my sweet sweet Jonathan. This was the first to arrive...a tiny, non-descript package with little gems hidden inside (and nicely & sweetly wrapped I must add).
They are from Once Upon An End, she has some lovely little things in her store, She also has a blog here. As a stationary junkie, I just love them...though lately I have curbed my appetite and collection quite abit. I was going to send these little beauties to friends but then I love the fact that Jonathan picked them out just for me, so I think I'll hang them in my studio somewhere...right now they are a delight on the fireplace mantel. Nothing much else is new really, I disbanded my 'Fan's of Bijou's Whimsy' page over on facebook, it was gaining no momentum, I am getting sick of facebook and I just can spend my time better elsewhere, so for all those reason I've canned it. I am looking into my space pages and/or flickr now, so I'll let you know if I do anything with that. Yesterday was wonderful, as exhausted as I felt, I did get a few things around the house done and than at 3:00, the bunnies and I went outside, it was quite windy but a nice warm wind and sunny so I spread out a big blanket on the grass, and wrapped in blankets and a thick sweater and scarf, and with my trusty zen player, I took a snooze. It was so blissful to awaken about 20 minutes later, I slowly opened my eyes, the breeze rustling everything around me, and there not 3 feet away was Ella and Roo all stretched out in the grass too, eating away looking so content. That was just a perfect moment in time. What came next was perfect also....my wonderful honey through the garden gate with Chinese take-out and a smile on his face...what could have been better! Health scares and stressful events are also a quick and easy reminder to us of what is really important in life. I love the fact that Jonathan and I get through these things as a most wonderful team, in support of one another the whole way through. And on this lovely afternoon, with the bunnies near by, take-out and each other, we could honestly feel, atleast for that moment in time, that all was perfect and right in our little world. So with that...I wish you many beautiful moments throughout today. Happy Creating...and Living.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A New Illustration "Stay Now" and Good News about Roo

Good Monday everyone. Well I write you in a completely exhausted manner but I am excited to show you a new picture and I am excited to share the news that Roo has pulled through a scary bout of g.i. stasis. It was an excruciating weekend full of worry and well over 72 hours maneuvered on less than 8 hours of sleep total. Long story short, we are still watching him closely but it looks as though he is out of the woods, thank goodness. I don't know what Jon or I or Roo's partner Ella-Luna would have done if he didn't make it through this. So with that good news shared. Let me share a new illustration "Stay Now"...
It is coloured pencil, with some ink and white acrylic paint, with some red rhinestones distributed sparsely throughout the image and painted wooden 'nubs' which I secured along all the edges of the piece. It is approx. 20" x 8" and I am not quite sure yet if it will be for sale, I'll let you know shortly, but I don't think it will be. There are very few images that I refuse to sell but some just hit home and are to special to part with, I think this may be one of those. This piece is a personal one...well what pieces do I do that aren't personal on some level, I suppose that is redundant to point out! But this one is about my German grandparents. It is called "Stay Now' and illustrates my child-like feelings of not wanting to let them go. My wonderful and lovely grandma passed on a few years ago and as most of you know, my grandfather just a couple months ago. Despite the fact that I hardly saw my grandparents because of the distance, they and Germany are deeply ingrained in me. And even though they are gone I still feel them strongly in me and this image speaks of that...a special place where we can go and spend time together...in some magical place where our hearts and beautiful memories are the key...just a little baby bird hugging her grandpa or grandma and just saying 'stay now...just abit longer, just abit more time...we still have too...stay now...stay now...". So Karl and Katie Saile, my grandparents...this image is dedicated to you. Today I also want to send out a special thank you to my dear friends, Judit, Julie and my mom who kept calling and asking how our Roo was, that means to the world to us...even though we weren't always answering the phone! I also want to send out special thoughts and extra strength to our beloved friends whom have just lost a father and father-in-law, a seemingly 'quiet' man who lived a remarkable life. To the ones he leaves behind, my heart goes out to. See you tomorrow and Happy Creating...I am off to not create at this moment but to bunny gaze and at the present and after the last few days, that feels like about the only thing I want to do at the moment...just be with my furry little family.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another Etsy Showcase and A Sick Rabbit

Hi Everyone, just another quick note today to show you what the Etsy Showcase is featuring today...my lovely hand-made and hand-stitched felt stars. They are getting lots of views which makes me happy.
I must go, our Roo is very sick today and I am completely useless until he gets better...so armed with my mp3 player and an audio book, I am off to go and lay next to his side once more. Wish us good energies during this time...and bear with another day of me not showing you the new picture I've finished, our Roo is priority. See you hopefully either tommorow or next week. Be well and again, wish us and Roo well.