Archive for October, 2009

Tiny Dancers

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Here’s the painting I made for the Body Language show at Martin Batchelor Gallery for Suddenly Dance Theatre. It’s called Tiny Dancers, and is 16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas. I had a great time making this painting. There’s an interview with me here about the piece. There are three days left for the show; an eclectic mix of beautiful dance-themed paintings, photographs and sculptures by talented artists like Phyllis Serota, Joe Coffey and Frances Semple.

Tiny Dancers



Body Language, a Benefit

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

This weekend, I’ll be participating in a group show at Martin Batchelor Gallery to benefit Suddenly Dance Theatre’s ROMP! Festival of Independent Dance. I’m working on my piece, a wee painting of fledgling dancers, to comment on my love of dance as a child. 
Image credit: Miles Lowry
This marvellous image is by the multi-talented Miles Lowry. My painting isn’t finished yet…

If my sister and I were taken to a place that had a large wooden floor, it was all I could do not to practice my pirouettes and jettes across it, making a spectacle of myself. I had a pair of black pointe shoes that I played with, but I fell in love with modern dance before I got that far in ballet. Bare feet and big sweeping motions and Al Green … all these components pushed ballet right out of the way. But I love to watch it. 

The show, Body Language, opens on Saturday October 24, 7 – 10 pm at Martin Bachelor Gallery, 712 Cormorant Street, Victoria BC. It runs until November 4.

A Room of One’s Own

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the importance of a Room of One’s Own. I’m fascinated by people’s work spaces, and when I come across a photo of someone in their artist’s studio or craft workshop, I’m mesmerized. 

A space to work, outside of one’s home, is a lovely thing. To separate work from play has been a long-time goal, and one that is a challenge for the self-employed. It’s easy to become distracted by laundry and home life when working in a room in one’s house. After much deliberating, I decided that I’d like to give an outside space a try. Not a few days later, a downtown studio space was made available to me. Needless to say, I snatched it up. It was not so inspiring though.

Studio Before:


Now, I like a clean bright space to work in. Bratty? A little. So, with the help of two gallons of mistint paint and some elbow grease, (thanks, C) it now looks like this:



Nothing like some white paint to cheer things up! The stage area is used for storage underneath, which is great for my large collection of ready-to-go canvases, and the shop-vac to make sure the delicate drying surfaces remain dust-free. Of course, since this was taken, I’ve covered the floor of the stage with canvases with underpainting waiting to dry, but it was almost perfect for a few days.



I Like This

Thursday, October 15th, 2009


Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

Supreme Gorgeousness

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

I was messing about on a new favourite blog, The Red Thread, when I saw her post about Shane Waltener‘s beautiful crocheted webs. My husband and I painted our front steps the other day (pink, no less!) and the front part took especially long, as one of us had to hold the end of a very elaborate spiderweb while the other painted around it. We managed to preserve it fairly well, I hope  Charlotte approved when she returned.






A side note: She’s approved. The web appears to have been repaired (much like the steps) and she’s happily out in the middle again. 
More gorgeous images of the crocheted ones, here.

A Little Princess

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

I’ve been meaning to see the film A Little Princess since I read this post on the Unicorn Diaries. It’s been difficult to find. It was directed in 1995 by Alfonso Cuaron, who did Y Tu Mama Tambien, Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Children of Men. I finally found it in Shoppers Drug Mart of all places, and though I’m not one to buy movies, I had to. It’s a lovely story, but it’s the imagery that had me at hello.










All images from The Unicorn Diaries.

Inspiration from Michelle Ward

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Michelle Ward of When I Grow Up Coach fame, is fab. This is on her Motivation Monday post today, and it made me smile. I had to read it twice for its meaning to sink in, but hey…it’s Thanksgiving up here and I’m a little sleepy.



Sometimes I procrastinate sending out submission packages to galleries and magazines because I feel like it’s just not quite good enough yet. I’ve been doing that for years. A bit silly, really. Especially as, with artists, when we begin something new the older stuff instantly changes for us. It’s either this beacon against which we compare the new work, or it suddenly looks inferior. There are a million reasons to not move forward, but it’s so important to ignore all of them! Thanks, Michelle, for the reminder.

Three Cups of Tea

Monday, October 12th, 2009

I’ve just become part of a new book club. I’ve never been in a book club before, but our first meeting was a hoot: plum danish, prosciutto & dates, wine…oh, and books. The suggested first book was Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time by Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin. It reads like a novel of Greg Mortensen’s adventures with climbing, but mostly about his passion to make schools for children in remote Pakistan.




I’m not actually reading it, but listening to the unabridged audio book while I paint. I love to do this, and I highly recommend it to other painters. My analytical (read: critical) mind escapes to the Himalayas to leave my creative mind to completely deviate from my planned paintings, and make something unexpected. Isn’t that what every painter wants?

The book is inspiring and humbling. Alone in my studio, it makes me think about the “purpose” of paintings, and how they can help others. Donating a few pieces a year to fund-raising auctions feels good, but building a school for poor kids? Not quite the same thing. I’m sure there’s a way for artists to do some good out there in our own painterly fashion…Ideas?

Inspiring New Friends

Friday, October 9th, 2009

I’ve just returned from wine & nibblies with two very inspiring new friends, visual artist Caite Dheere and photographer Caroline West.

Caite works in encaustics and her paintings are simultaneously rich and dreamy. For those not in-the-know, encaustic is made with beeswax and pigments. The wax is heated and mixed with pigment, and applied in layers usually to wood. I’ve never worked with it, but it smells divine. Caite’s new website outlines the technique.










And Caroline is a photographer from Sydney, Australia. She moved here to Victoria about a year ago and works all over the place. She shoots everything beautifully, from teacups to mountains. I’m really hoping to hire her to photograph me in my *new* studio for my website, but we’ll see…Her own website is here.



Photo by Caroline West



Photo by Caroline West


Photo by Caroline West

Photo by Caroline West


So, I’m full of bean dip, wine and inspiration. Pretty great for a Tuesday night.