I find sometimes drawing is like running. I’m fine once I’m doing it, but getting set up to go seems painful. To be frank, I’m worried my drawing will suck. Especially a portrait. But recently, I’ve been brave and given myself permission to make a crappy drawing. I can make a whole book of them if I want to, as no one has to see them. We get so tied up in trying to make something great, we forget how great it feels just to make something, anything at all. And you know what? I feel exhilarated after these drawings. Elated, even. So just go for it, using a dull pencil or a tiny little brush, whatever is at hand. A ball point pen. I’m so pleased with my pretty book of dodgy drawings. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Edinburgh Castle from a pub window, your cat sleeping in a slice of sunlight, or the broken eggshells from Sunday breakfast. Enjoy, I say! It will make you a better artist, I promise.
It’s that time again! Please come find me in a new spot this year (between Richardson and Fairfield, on the West side of the street) for painting demo and a chat!
Some of my paintings are now hanging in the beautiful Mille Fiori Spa on Meares Street in Victoria. Mille Fiori (meaning a Thousand Flowers) has a marvellously relaxed feel to it. The lovely owner, Christine Boutillier, contacted me and kindly asked me if I’d like to display some paintings in her space. Christine has a gorgeous blog that betrays her love of the arts and all things beautiful. When I arrived, I was so taken by her waiting area, which featured French tufted settees, a very luxurious book of portraits of her dog, Beatrice, and several über-charming paintings by Vancouver Island artist Leslie Weigund (seriously, check her out). Christine has over fifteen years experience in nail services, facials and now her spa has a massage therapist, too. Ahhhhhhhh
Loyal cats and kittens, I have returned here to let you know what I’m up to. I’ve spent a grand winter and spring squirreled away in my studio, and now I shall come outside and show you what I’ve made. I’ve been working on a whole new series, called Swimmers. To see the most finished ones, please visit my website. First up is the first ever Paint In the Square, a prelude to the Gallery Paint In on Moss Street. Then there’s the Sooke Fine Arts Show, in which I’m excited to be showing two big new pieces.
Paint In the Square ~ Tuesday, July 17 11am-4pm.
Centennial Square, Victoria, BC
Art Gallery Paint In ~ Saturday, July 21 11am-4:30pm.
Please check back for a map of where I’ll be along Moss Street
Sooke Fine Arts Show ~ July 28 - August 6.
SEAPARC Leisure Complex, 2168 Phillips Road, Sooke, BC.
I’ve been listening to a lot of books-on-CD in the studio lately. The most recent was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I loved her novels, and had read this book before, but there was something magical about listening to her soft, slow drawl. It suited the words themselves so well. The book reads like a memoir of a year in her young family’s life, where they try to eat locally for 12 months by growing their own food and buying food grown by their neighbours. Her two daughters, Camille (then 18) and Lily (six), helped by raising chickens and cooking. It was this passage that caused me to pause and listen again:
“Our holiday food splurge was a small crate of tangerines, which we found ridiculously thrilling after an eight month abstinence from citrus. No matter where I was in the house, that vividly resinous orangey scent woke up my nose whenever anyone peeled one in the kitchen. Lily hugged each one to her chest before undressing it gently as a doll. Watching her do that, as she sat cross-legged one morning in pink pajamas, with bliss lighting her cheeks, I thought Lucky is the world to receive this grateful child. Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation and longing.”
I looked at Facebook this morning, which I must say I rarely do, and someone I don’t know had written “I woke up today smiling.” I like that. My late Grandpa’s cousin, Les, passed away last week. He was one of those people who seemed to always be smiling. I didn’t see him very often, but I will miss him. I think the world needs more people like him, the ones who seem to look at the sunny side of things.