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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cruddy Brown to Beautiful Blue and New

So last Saturday was a day where people could put out unwanted items at their curb sides and anyone else could take the stuff for free....Our neighbours put their items the night before which included an old ugly shelf....and of course I saw the shelf and started obsessing that I just had to have it! I just couldn't get to sleep, I kept imagining it in this certain blue and than I was convinced that someone would surely nab the shelf before we were even up the next day...so my sweet Jonathan, went outside in the middle of the night and brought it in for me... The next day I ran to get a can of paint in the colour I had envisioned in my head....and with a couple hours painting time, an old ugly brown shelf....

...became a beautiful refreshed blue shelf that fits in so nicely in our living room...I am so pleased and it again goes to prove that someone else's trash can indeed often be someone else's new treasure.

Until next time, Be Well and Happy Creating.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An Opening “Order and Spontaneity”

I am happily heading out the door to help hang a show...my dear friend, a mentor to many, my adopted grandpa, a beloved artist, Arlington Hoffman is having another local exhibition at the AOM Gallery. This show is titled “Order and Spontaneity”, it will feature some old works with some new which I know every one's excited to see. It will be running from May 1st to May 29th.
For any or all of my local readers the opening reception is this Friday, May 1, 7 - 9 pm at 143 Main St West, We hope to see you there...Jonathan and I defiantly will be.

(Image copyright Arlington Hoffman)

Until Tomorrow where I have a nifty new house project to share with you all...Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's Here...It's Here...The Carpet is here.

Following up from the last post...I also came home from Toronto with a hugely fantastic present from my best friend, Judit...one of her carpets!....Check it out... Finally, ha ha...Judit told me months ago that she was giving me this carpet and Jonathan will vouch that I've since then been drooling in anticipation to bring it home...alas it's here and it is simply beautiful and just perfect for our downstairs den. Thank you Thank you Thank you Judit, we love it and I am so so proud to have one of your creations in our home:D Click here to see Judits carpets, etc... Be Well All and Happy Creating.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Back From Toronto

(a view from the road and our rented Jeep)
It was such a treat last week to spend 2 days in Toronto: It was blissful and wonderful to see and spend time with my best friend, to catch up, to laugh , to inspire and support in person, to chat over breakfast and later a delicious homemade Indian inspired meal, to share cups of coffee and tea, to sit and giggle over gifts being exchanged, to bird watch and garden gaze...to make chocolate coconut squares together and than devour them side by side...it was a good good cozy time with my dear dear friend. It was lovely to relax in a warm swirling whirlpool for a spell... It was brilliant to have a change of scenery, to enjoy the hum, buzz and busy-ness of city life...to be back to the city where we lived, grew, struggled and created lifelong memories for 5 years. And let me not be shy about how fun it was to shop...cause of course a girls gotta shop for goodies when she goes to the big city.
This cute as pie folio which will be perfect for when I want to drag my smaller work around in style...and for a whomping 6 whole dollars! well I just couldn't resist.
Jonathan never lets me leave the city without a thorough walk about in Chapters...and of course, I found some titles to add to my even expanding library...
I also couldn't resist this adorable finger puppet book/story for my niece Karly...I hope she likes it!
...and a girls gotta get her precious and delicious art supplies whiles in the big city...oodles of coloured pencil, new gum erasers, illustration boards, Stonehenge paper, well what can I say but that they warm and inspire my creative soul...
and lastly a girls gotta have new tea....a good selection is best..Chocolate Chai, Chocolate Berry, Raspberry Earl Grey, Tropical and Peppermint Greens...Yummmm, they will be warm and sweet and well enjoyed, especially when I get to hunker down and share a cup with my handsome guy...
Yep, it was a much needed mini vacation and spirit refill and now I am back home, refreshed, happy to be back and spoiled indeed! Till next time...have a warm cup of tea and be well.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy 3rd Home-Coming Hazel and Jin

It was 3 years ago today that Jonathan and I brought home our furry hearts Hazel and Jinny (and their sister Noo, whom is no longer with us and greatly missed). I couldn't let today go by without sharing some photos of Haz and Jin (Hazzy being the Black one and Jinster being the grey)...
Aside from being sisters, these two sweetie-pies are thick as thieves and best of friends. Three years ago we were more than happy to be able to a)save them from their hard lives and give them them the warmth and peace they deserved b)save them from someones dinner plate! c)keep them together and d)welcome them into our little rabbity family. We hope they are with us for many more years to come....Happy Home Coming babies...
Until tomorrow, Be Well, Be Creative, Be Joyful, Be Inspired and Be kind to a bunny. XO.

A New Necklace on Etsy

Just popping in quickly to let yous know that a new necklace with my coloured pencil illustration "Every thing's Going to Be Okay" has been added to the shop this week. It doesn't show up in the photos unfortunately but the glass turquoise beads go so nicely with the turquoise that's in the shadows of the illustration. I am hoping to be able to soon get a teeny weeny custom stamp to stamp my name or even logo on the back of each necklace...anyone have any ideals as to where I can get a nice stamp made without spending oodles??? To Buy It Please Click Here Until next time...thanks for popping in...Happy Creating.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to my 7 year old Munchkin...

Dearest Karly, my sweetie-pie niece and fellow tea party thrower extraordinaire...HAPPY BIRTHDAY...Happy Birthday to you....Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday Dear Karly...Happy Birthday to you....are you 1...are you 2...are you 3....are you 4....are you 5.....are you 6....oh my goodness no your SEVEN....

HAPPY HAPPY JOYFUL BRIGHT BIRTHDAY my munchkin...XOXO Your Auntie Mandy & Uncy Jon XOXO.


I just love being surrounded by my favourite colours. I think making your home as lovely and cozy and inviting as possible is so so important to any artist who works at home full time and right now this little flowered teacup of mine is just tickling me pink and inspired, especially seeing it surrounded by these cool little stars I handmade and painted years and years ago. They are suppose to be xmas ornaments but this year I found their colours too delicious to pack away so they ended up in my studio, around my favourite teacup...and of course who wouldn't be cheered at the thought of making something with those buttons...the colours oh the colours, ha ha...

...alas, now I deem it to be time to go have a real cup of something warm and sweet and perhaps catch up on some snail mail...which I sadly don't get much of, but that I still can't resist sending!

Until the next post...Be Well, Be Inspired and Be Creative.

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Painting 'Rainbow Swish II"

I hope everyone had a great weekend...ours was lovely, relaxing but busy. I got a few drawings transferred to their boards and a new little painting completed...here it is...the 2nd incarnation of 'Rainbow Swish" but this time as a 8" x 8" square painting and with a different colour scheme. I am trying to 'wrap' up some unfinished imagery that I started long ago but never finished off, espeacially ones that were transferred onto their substrates but never coloured in, such as this one, as studio spring cleaning of sorts I think.

The original is being held at the moment but I'll let yous know when and where it will be for sale at a later date. For now though you can buy a lovely titled and signed pigment print which is printed on gorgues canson paper, the canson paper gives it a great texture and it's hard to tell the original apart from the print.

Click here to buy the Print

Be Well everyone and I won't be posting tomorrow but I'll try to pop in Wednesday. Take Care.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pink Jinny Necklace in the Shop

Just popping in quickly to let you all know that I've just listed this lovely Pink Jinny necklace in my Etsy Shop, handmade by moi with care and love.
Please do keep in mind that since my necklaces are handmade they are also one of a kind usually, as I don't too often seek out the exact same beads and repeat the exact same pattern...so if your looking for something with whimsy, good energies and something that's fun and well made, this might be for you.
We're off into another spectacular weekend, last week included a wonderful and sunny and blissfully full and relaxing 4 days off with my honey, a fun day of shopping in Sudbury and a viewing of the excellent and amazing Imax film 'Sea Monsters 3D', oh it was soooo thrilling. I hope this weekend brings good things again. Be Well and see you next week.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Necklaces with Bodhi, The Elephant

I am quite confident that my illustration 'Bodhi, the Elephant' makes for a nice necklace, so I proceeded to make a few more with this picture and I am again happy with how they turned out. What do you all think? Here is one with lovely pink seashell beads...(again all glass, wood or shell beads...I can't stand using plastic ones).
(this one is sold)
But this one following is available here at my Etsy Shop.
I think it's quite nice as well. Grab your necklaces from my shop as soon as you can because I think that in August, those that haven't sold will be pulled from the shop roster and just sold by me from my studio, or through local shops, so you might not be able to get them!
I do plan a shop update soon with some lovely new prints, I think I've finally found a paper I am happy to print on, I'll give you all a heads up here as to when those will be added to the shop. Speaking of elephants, I found it serendipitous that today's planned post was to show you all the new Bodhi necklaces and than I came across this youtube video of two very unlikely and devoted friends, it is so sweet it makes me teary eyed, check it out.
Oh and one more thing...my best friend will be at Koma Designs tonight showing her carpets and new silk pillows, click here for the info and if your in the Toronto, ON area and are interested. Until another day, be well, be happy and good creating.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Illustration "Egglantine"

Alittle bit late but better late than never...my newest illustration "Egglantine"... I know I'll surprise a few by creating a Easter image with no rabbits in sight, ha ha... I had so much fun creating this drawing and colouring it in...I hope you love it too, despite the fact that it's abit late for Easter! The scroll will say "Happy Easter"and the scan needs to be redone, I am having such a hard time piecing my works together lately...but I was really anxious to show you all because this sweet little wee image of mine brightens my day and I hope it does so to yours as well. Happy Belated Easter all. (Prints may not be available till next Easter season, I've yet to decide).

Friday, April 10, 2009

"The Forest Lover" & Musings

I just finished reading 'The Forest Lover" by Susan Vreeland and though I can't dub it as a favourite book by far, I am still defiantly glad I read it. I had to constantly remind myself that this was a fictional work about Canadian artist Emily Carr and not a documentary by any means. And in wanting to know more about Emily Carr and wanting certain parts to be real when I knew they weren't, caused it to loose abit of it's magic for me, alas tis' the game with this sort of literature... But, I did oh so love these two paragraphs from the book, they just really struck me...

"to go to my grave without knowing whether it was lack of talent or lack of perseverance that failed me, without feeling that I'd probed deeply, without sucking out the joy of hearty work, that would be self-inflicted pain I could never forgive myself for."

Don't all artist stop to ponder their productivity and their course and their true desire to succeed?...and to succeed at what and at what cost? Isn't every artist hardest on themselves?...I know I am my harshest critic of my own work and life. It was interesting to think of a woman, who was such a huge artistic movement all on her lonesome, was inflicted with self-doubt and self-inquiries as well. Though in her defense she didn't really start to 'succeed' in the art world until her 50's. To continue with ones artwork despite big 'successes' must be admired I think and am currently experiencing, ha ha.

I also loved this paragraph...

"...she wondered if Lawren (of the group of seven) ever yearned for compliments. Maybe it was the nature of artists to crave praise. Something had to feed the inner person for the lifetime of labor of bringing a person's work to maturity. The trick was to keep praise from hurting that work, and the keep seeking."

All artists need praise, which is one reason I always make time to 'comment' on blog posts etc, that inspire me and that I find beautiful. I found it interested that as tough as Emily Carr was, she too seeked it and needed it, it's too easy to forget that everyone needs praise, and not just once in awhile but often. Just last week, hearing myself described in a write up as "a well respected local artist..." was indeed head inflating and delicious. Think of those poor souls stuck in 9-5ish 'normal' jobs...perhaps they need even more praise?...because atleast we, 'the artists', 'the creatives', get to let our inner thoughts and inner lives spring forth for not only our own selves and satisfaction, but for the thrill of having others glimpse into our worlds...what about the souls who don't have this facet, can you imagine?...Well I think they deserve coo dos for standing upright and going forth with all things 'bottled up' and for surviving the normal, 9-5ish sludge.

Those are my randoms thoughts on this blissful Friday afternoon anyhow, ha ha...which I think has some old black and white movies are calling to me. Have a wonderful weekend all and take time to hug your honey, to praise your loved ones, to offer up honest & kind compliments, take time to curl up with a good book...to ponder...to smile...to drink a cup of something warm and sweet...take extra time to let your furries know you love em...tend to your hearts and souls and bodies and minds...Until Monday, Be Well.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New Illustration "Black Cherry"

To get right down to honesty...April has not been a good month for me and my notorious headaches and migraines, especially the last couple of days, so please excuse this short post and the fact that this images is not perhaps pieced together properly 100%, photo shop and my scanner seemed to be picking a fight with me today! Needless to say I am feeling abit frustrated because there is so much I want to do and I just can't fully accomplish anything right now it seems...not when I am constantly running for my ice and heat packs every hour on the hour, sigh...but it's just a bad week and I feel the need to complain abit! bear with me. This new image is called "Black Cherry" and it's story is a very personal one, however I like to leave it up to the viewers to bring their own stories to it...if you want to share what you see in it please do. I am always interested in hearing what people think and how closely it aligns to my own ideals. Also a quick note about the Seal Hunt...if you haven't already noticed, I put on the blogs sidebar, right at the top, the petition forms where you can all sign to support the Harb Bill.so ..please do take a couple minutes to sign if you already haven't...Jonathan and I have been in debate/discussion with a few politicians and I will share those correspondences soon, and I've also begun to collect signatures from local people since doing so by this blog just doesn't quite feel like enough. You can get your own printable signature petition forms right here if you interested. Tomorrow's post is already done, just in case this headache does not go away...so please do join me here again tomorrow, where I discuss a recent artistic read. I'll miss my weekly visit with my sweet mom and sweet pup today, but our beloved red beast of 13 years is in the shop and what can I say, I am not much of a bus gal if I can help it! (5 years of Toronto buses and subways will do that to you, ha ha), but that's means a full day in the studio (if the head pain is reasonable!) and that's never ever something that I complain about. My brain is buzzing with ideas and my heart is excited about new projects and drawings I've been working on...mmmm maybe that's why my brain is sore! it can't handle all the creativity...ha ha just kidding, I know that's not it...I am pretty sure it's the barometric pressure doing it's fancy jig and bouncing up and down constantly! Enough about headaches...Wishing you all well, with pain free bodies and happy creativity.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The 'Good Lovelies' Were Just Lovely

So, this past Friday we had a wonderful evening at a house concert at the beloved Piebird in Nipissing Village (about 40-50 minutes drive from home) with the brilliant and talented and lovely Canadian trio 'The Good Lovelies". I bought the tickets for my honey as a little surprise and it was indeed a fantastic night out.... ...the small and cozy audience of about 30 people decided it would be nicer to 'romanticize' the room abit as the girls played, so Sue, Kerri and Caroline played their lovely music by the golden glow of one single table lamp and a crackling fire...
....and because it was dark, I couldn't get a decent shot!...but here's the witty and dusky voiced Kerri (Left) and the beautiful Caroline with a voice like an angel (right), unfortunately I didn't get the quiet and sweet Sue in the shot, but all 3 girls were delightful, hilarious and enchanting...
I just had to purchase one of their c.d's....
...and of course because the ladies are oh so lovely, each and every one of them so sweetly signed the inside for us...
It was a great evening and I highly suggest that everyone check out this very talented and sassy Canadian group, you can listen to some of their mp3's here or check out their blog here...Jon and I will be first in line for tickets when they pop on by our neck of the woods again...thanks ladies...thanks to my honey for the romantic and unforgettable date (outhouse included, ha ha) and of course I must extend an extra thanks to Sherry and Yan, the excellent and warm hosts of The Piebird.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I am doing it again! - The Paddle Project 2009

I guess my self-acclimation of giving myself a break from donating work till 2010 falls short when I somewhat quickly said 'Yes' when asked if I would be a contributing artist for the WKP Kennedy Gallery's 2009 Paddle Project! So yes, I will be an artist for the unique exhibition this June 2009 called "The Paddle Project"... How could I not! Since Dennis Geden and I were the creators and conjurer's of the very first and hugely successful Paddle Project, during my time as Gallery Coordinator at the WKP Kennedy Gallery. It just felt odd to not be part of something that I helped nurture and create and I just honestly didn't like the ideal of this 2nd incarnation coming and going without my involvement in some way! plus, I was pleased to be asked to be an artist...last time my paddle was one of the first ones picked and that's always abit of a high for any artist involved in an auction style exhibition.

Here is a little montage of the last paddle project, (which I believe was in either 2001 or 2002)...being coordinator had it's advantages of course and I was able to involve my talented brother (pictured below with moi) and my own creative honey (not pictured here, but whose paddle I ended up purchasing, and which now hangs in our living room). My paddle was done in coloured pencil with securely attached flower beads working their way through the mermaids hair and up the whole paddle shaft (I wish I had taken better documentation of my creation however, these were the best photos I could find!) Creating the paddle was fun and exciting, though time-consuming and I am happy to be part of it again.

I plan to pick up my blank paddle from the Gallery sometime this week and I'll share with you my 2nd paddle creation once I've completed it, already my brain is whirling with ideals, yet I think a 2nd mermaid of some form is calling the strongest at the moment. My mind is just buzzing with new illustrations and ideas that want to come out...time seems so short...early mornings are a must...but oh I am soooo not a morning person! These early mornings are something I ultimately love but which I have a real struggle with in making routine! Until tomorrow where I share a special evening with you all....thanks for taking the time to join me here today....now I am off to tend to my sore little head.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Another 10 things you may not know about me...

(My silly attempt at copying the grouchy man in St. John)
1. I used to be able to play alto sax and clarinet quite well...and I took 4 years of piano lessons when I was a kid but unfortunately have lost most of it...though I itch to get a piano and pick it up again soon.

2. My favourite play is "The Lion King" and my favourite dance/musical has to be 'River dance", both of which we saw in Toronto. My favourite concert ever would have to be Peter Gabriel, than Great Big Sea and than Jesse Cook whom we saw just last year.

3. I almost quit college in my 3rd year to go to veterinarian school instead!
4. I have an older brother, whose birthday is on xmas day...he's 5 years older than me and a carpenter's apprentice by day and a kick-ass tattoo artist by weekend and night.
5. I am alongside my Jonathan, a supporting member of PETA & IFAW, have been for awhile.
6. We are also supporting members of The Toronto Humane Society (who have a 'no-kill' rule).
7. I love Bollywood movies, my favourite so far are 'Bride & Prejudice' and 'Monsoon Wedding'.
8. My favourite jazz song ever is 'In a Sentimental Mood' by Coltrane.
9. In college my professors always told me that coloured pencil wasn't viable for serious work!...but I ignored them.
10. I love that right now, life is meant for me to be at home, be with the bunnies and my honey and my work.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pink Kink in my Think

Which Pink...Which Pink...Which Pink...I think I've got a 'Pink Kink in my Think'...

...trying to pink out the perfect pink to paint some studio furniture, hmmm which pink, which pink, which pink...Oh such a troubled day!!!

All these pinks for some reason are reminding me of one of my favourite animated shorts ever, check it out, it'll have you swinging and smiling. From one wet and rainy spot to wherever you are in the world, have a great weekend, be well and Happy Creating.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The First New 2009 Art Cards

Hi Everyone, I was having such a great week, really productive etc and than WHAM, a migraine knocked me outta the game for a full 24 hours...well the day wasn't a total lose I guess! I wrestled with the thrashing as long as I could to atleast get dinner into the crock pot, catch up on laundry, snuggle the bunnies and make a small batch of cards for a local store before heading back to the darkened bedroom and my trusty ice and heat packs! I did also manage to quickly take a photo of the cards...The first batch of new cards for 2009. I am so excited, I haven't made cards in awhile and I oh so love to. Seeing my imagery on my own cards just makes me want to draw and create even more. What do you think of them?

And with the expertise and help of my lovely honey & graphic/computer support, ha ha, the cards even got a graphic refresh on the backs making them much sleeker and just more '2009-ish' so I am extra happy with them (Thanks Babe). I promise to give a heads up of where and when they will be available to purchase as soon as I get that figured out...I am considering trying other venues since Etsy isn't working so well for me (I can't believe I've been on there for over a year now!) and well my new website will be ready soon, so they will defiantly be available for order there atleast! Now, back to the tending of my little pounding head...Be Well everyone and see you tommororw.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Mini Facelift

My talented dad made this cool little shelf for me ages ago (well in 1987 to be exact!). We had seen the same design painted with folk art flowers in a beautiful little store in the middle of the Black Forest, in Germany. When we got back home, he set about to make my mom and I some duplicates and I know we both loved em oh so much.

...now I am usually good with not painting the stuff my dad makes me, but in this case I didn't think he'd mind, or atleast I hope he doesn't!...shhhhh...but I couldn't help myself....I just had to breathe abit of freshness into it with these delicious colours....

Now for some reason, it's one of the first things my eyes go to in my colour-filled studio...but still, shhhhh don't tell....

From one naughty artist to the rest, be well, be joyful and be inspired (even it's by painting over old treasures!). Mandy.