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Looking Back and Going Forward

Looking Back and Going Forward

I always find looking back over the past year helps me with my plans for the future. It is good to take a look at what we DID accomplish and not dwell on the things we didn't get to. 

We can then decide if the things that didn't get done are worthy of putting back on the list for the coming year.

Why didn't we get to them? 

Was it resources - financial or otherwise? Lack of time or expertise? Procrastination or discipline? Perhaps fear. 

Whatever the reason,  if we want to carry that goal forward and accomplish it the following year it is good to take a look at why it didn't get done. 

In 2017 I chose to focus on my teaching as my number one priority. FOCUS was my word of the year WOTY for short. 

I like to call it my guiding word and do a piece of art around it. 

I am still deciding on my Guiding Word for 2018. Several have come to mind but I am still pondering to choose the one that will guide me best. 

Reflecting on the past year helps me with that.  

Here are some things that I did accomplish: 

I coached and mentored a private student. 

I hosted 2 adult ART Birthday parties. 

I had a Mother and Daughter private workshop

I taught two workshops in Penticton

I taught two workshops at Gabriola Isle of the Arts Festival

I was a keynote speaker at Gabriola's Isle of the Arts Festival Professional Development Day

I kicked off my "ARTBITE" workshops - 3 hour classes for students to get a taste

I developed my first online course and will launch it in 2018

I had a solo Exhibition for the month of October at the MAC

I facilitated a show for  my Make Your Mark mentorship students at the PCCC

I had work in several juried shows including the Sooke Fine Art Show, and  the FCA Signature Member Show

I mentored 5 students in my Make Your Mark year-long program.

I did two commissions - one to commemorate Canada's 150 with a Saskatchewan theme for Pineview Terrace in Prince Albert, SK. , the other for a private collector in Courtenay

Along with my partner, we built a shed to move all the garden equipment out of my storage space. Yeah!

Set up a designated space for my encaustic studio. 

Had a washroom and water put in my studio. Another Yeah!!

Taught a workshop to special needs children

Taught a children's summer camp

Had 103 adult students come to my studio for workshops

Went in two markets (really cut back on that!!)

Sold 33 paintings in spite of my attendance at markets

Purchased the Ipad Pro and started to learn how to make digital art. ( I also use it for my music scores and to rehearse and perform with - double duty! )

Finished 100 paintings give or take! 

Had one open studio combined with my Affordable Art Sale

Took several workshops

Continued teaching harp

Played a few harp gigs

Worked with a few clients to beautify their interiors

Went to two jazz festivals - one in Saskatoon and the other in Ladysmith

Attended many concerts

What I didn't do that I had hoped to:

 Didn't learn much new harp music

Bought a keyboard to learn jazz piano but hardly made a start

Didn't spend as much time as I would have liked on learning digital art

Didn't paint as much as I would like to

The garden didn't get planted

The TAb trailer never left the yard - many implications due to a new vehicle not being equipped

Canoe never saw water - blame it on the unequipped vehicle

The deck didn't get rebuilt - not for lack of trying to hire someone!

The clutter continued to get stuffed in closets and drawers! 

Our landscape plans for the backyard fell by the wayside

Moving Forward

I am hoping to do a better job getting out into nature in 2018 and taking more time to relax. 

I am planning on being more proactive with my schedule and really focus on the important to me things. 

I am going to work on simplifying things - clearing clutter, both in my mind, house and studio. 

I am going to develop my Japanese themed garden beside my studio

I am going to hire more help to free up my time for the bigger picture! 

I am going to designate some "play days " for myself. 

My guiding word is becoming clearer - I should have it sorted out by the end of the year!

If you want help with yours give me a shout. 

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Studio Reno

The stars have aligned and my studio renovation is underway.  Although I am losing some working space I am gaining some great convenience! With the addition of water and a washroom, I may never leave my studio! 

All of this has been happening as I have been painting up a storm for my upcoming show. 

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Paint from Your Heart

 I recently held my "Paint from Your Heart" intuitive painting workshop in my studio.  I had 7 ladies in total. Only three had ever painted before.  I was blown away by the results. We started by making doodles in black. Then added a layer of warm tones using a variety of mark making tools. Then a layer of cool colours was added. The result is creative chaos.  From this, as a group project, we looked for imagery in the mark making. Everyone sees something different but it is up to the individual artist to make the final decision to take the work to completion.   The painting is developed by using transparent and opaque layers. 6 out of 7 of these paintings were created without the use of any photo reference other than the imagination.    Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.     If you are interested in taking the workshop it is running again on may 11th.  To register click here.     
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When Dreams Change



Dreams Change

It was always a dream of mine to become a full time practicing artist.

I made that dream a reality in 2009. At first, I loved it and spent many hours creating. I was going in the right direction to achieve my dream and having some success doing it. That felt right for awhile but I started getting more and more disenchanted with my dream!  

I started to have dis-ease in my heart. 

I was feeling empty. Don't get me wrong - creating is a very important part of who I am. But somehow this dream wasn't totally fulfilling like I thought it would be. 

There was something missing. Being a full-time artist felt selfish and indulgent. The only connection I had was to my art and creativity. I did not have any real human connection. I wasn't serving anyone! 

I am a very introverted person and at the same time, I need deep meaningful conversations. 

I felt empty. I had always been in a career where I served people and this was the missing component. Creativity alone was not filling my heart. 

I needed more!  

I started teaching workshops and helping others learn to paint and access their inner child. This has been very fulfilling for me and I am passionate about it. 

My mentorship program brings me great joy as I work with the participants on a deeper level to help them grow. 

There are still days that I feel like I am riding the wrong horse on the carousel.

These days I am checking in with myself often, going deeper in my thoughts to really get in touch. 

Everything comes back to purpose and values. 

Living a rich meaningful life is my ultimate goal. 

What are the next steps on my journey? 

Time will tell. 

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The Aftermath of a Workshop

TThe Aftermath of a Workshop

Leftover Paint!

I can't see it go to waste so I grab a canvas and start playing. This is how I start my work but with a bit more thought about my palette. 

My focus now is to just use up the leftovers. Every colour imaginable!  Here is what started to emerge. I started to see flowers so I added some white lines. Scroll down to see the finished painting. 

Some negative painting-

to further define the shapes and calm down the painting. Some additional paint to unify the shapes and voila! "Spring Flowers"  have arrived!

I think it is time! I don;t often paint flowers or with pink but I am ready! Change is good too! 

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Is Clutter Holding You back?

Is Clutter Holding You Back? 

My word this year is FOCUS. As I have been trying hard to stay focused I have become increasingly more aware of how clutter affects me. 

Visual clutter seems to lead to mind clutter! Even if the clutter is not apparent on the outside - it is there when I open the drawer.  

When I grew up spring and fall cleaning was a ritual. Clearing through closets, washing walls and windows, putting everything in order. 

Doing this changes the energy. Somehow I have not adopted this practice, I blame it on my day to day busyness. I always do the filing cabinet at year end- cleaning out the previous year's files and putting them into storage. It seems general purging gets left behind. 

In the last couple of weeks, I have had several conversations around energy. I started rereading my books on Feng Shui, I met a Fung Shui practitioner, an energy healer and was introduced to energy work through my harp teacher. 

The universe has an amazing way of showing us what we need to hear if we are ready to listen! 

Decluttering helps to remove blockages that stop the flow of energy and creativity. 

Creating art is all about flow- you can see that there is a direct correlation between your creativity, your productivity and your energy. If things are a mess it is easy to procrastinate and makes it harder to get started. 

 Do you have clutter in your studio? 

It can be overwhelming  - chunk it down into small size bites. Here is a list to get you started. 

       1. Clean one drawer or bin at a time.

       2. Donate seldom used items to less fortunate.

       3. Throw away dried up paint and pens

        4. Recycle damaged matts and papers

 I have to go tackle


drawer now.

     Will you be joining me?


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Paint From Your Heart

Paint from your Heart

What does paint from your heart mean? 

For me it means painting my truth. Painting what stirs us, what we are passionate about. We need to have a connection with what we paint to give the painting energy. We need to be true to our own artistic voice. 

So how do we do this? 

Ask yourself - what takes your breath away -to see, to touch, to hear, to smell? What story do you want to tell? What causes a deep stir within you? What do you love? What is important to you? 

I paint intuitively - never knowing where my painting will end up. 

I start by being playful on my canvas - messing around with colour and texture, Using different tools including fingers and scrapers to apply paint. Anything that will make a mark is fair game. 

I create visual texture with many different items most of which are from the recycle bin - bubble wrap, Styrofoam deli trays, corrugated cardboard, mesh citrus bags and the list goes on! 

I use many mediums - acrylic paint, pastes and gels, crayons, pastels, graphite sticks - anything is fair game. 

I draw, scribble, write, make marks, finger paint, create drips and dribbles by spraying water

After all the fun I step back and meditate on the painting - I listen to what it is telling me, how it makes me feel. 

I look for shapes, messages, and imagery in the chaos. 

Once it becomes clear what the painting is about I start to develop it using the technique of negative painting. 

I respond to the canvas by listening. 

This is how I get my inner truth paintings. They are always a surprise! 

Some take a long time to develop others fall out of my brush. 

If you do work from a photo make sure you are passionate about it and that you give yourself some creative license. I see too many artists getting hung up on trying to make their painting look like the photo. Is this really your truth or did you just copy a photo? 

I encourage you to dig deeper, to listen to your inner voice and paint what is your passion.

"When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music. To love life through labor is to be intimate with life’s innermost secret. All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.”

Kahlil Gibran

        Be Passionate            


      what you paint!

If you are curious about painting intuitively and would like to have some guidance to get started you may be interested in my workshop "Paint from Your HeART".

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Do you Paint in Your Pajamas?

                                                               and other questions you have asked


    Where do you get your inspiration?

    For the most part I paint intuitively so am really inspired by my day to day life. I mostly paint figurtive work and abstract landscapes. I am inspired my nature, music, poetry and quotes. 

    How do you get it all done?

  First of all that is a myth - I don't get it all done! It is a well known fact that high achievers have lots of unfinished projects. Count me in on that! There are several reasons I get a lot done. I work a lot! My art is my business and my livelihood. I set goals and intentions. I schedule and create lists. I use software that keeps me on track. I still like to use a large paper daytimer. I plan my year, my month, my week and my day. I try hard to stay on target. I am mindful of time wasters. I have learned to say no to events and people that don't serve me. 

  When do you create?

 I have no set time so it varies from day to day depending on what else is on my schedule (I have 2 other businesses so I am often booked with appointments during the day.) I am not so good at creating at night anymore! If I have deadlines I am working on I go in my studio in the early morning around 5.00 and work until 7.00 or 8.00 before I start my real day. I find this easier to do in the summer when it is light out. I often grab a couple of hours in the late afternoon. 

Do you paint everyday? 

I try to although sometimes it is only for 10 minutes. 

How do you get into your flow state? 

I use a centering exercise or my chakra chimes to quickly get into a deep relaxed space where I am most creative. 

How do you stay so organized?

It is a facade! I work hard at it though. I categorize my tasks and bundle them together and spend chunks of time doing them. I use a pomodora timer to stay focused. I plan my menu and make meals ahead. I try hard not to multitask. I categorize all my art supplies and label them. 

What do you do to relax?

I try to go for a walk everyday - not only to relax but to create energy. Most days I either have a sauna or bath to unwind before bed. I journal and play the harp. 

When you are not working what do you do?

Well there is not to much time left over but I do like to schedule in music events several times a month. In the summer I enjoy getting out in the canoe and going camping. I like poking around in antique stores and home decor stores. 

How do you stay motivated? 

I have never had a problem with motivation probably because I have always loved my job. I have been self employed since 1983. I have worked from home since 1991. 

 Do you paint in your pajamas?

No! I am always dressed before I start my day. 

How old where you when you had your first business? 

I was thirteen. I sold Regal greeting cards door to door. I lived in the country so this was a lot of miles on a bike. 

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Is Fear Holding you back


Sometimes fear masquerades as procrastination.

Are you scared to try new things - fearful that you won't be good at or you will fail? Are you scared to take a step to express your creativity because you can't even draw a straight line or you have always been told you weren't creative or that your brother or sister got all the talent in your family. Are you paralyzed by the thought of trying? Conjuring up worst case scenarios? Are you scared to enter a juried competition for fear of rejection? Are you afraid to take risks with your art work in fear of failing?

What if instead we focused on the positive aspect.

What if it was just an experiment. .......we cannot fail if we are experimenting. What if I actually did succeed - how would I feel? What if I did win? What if I did get accepted into the juried show. What about remembering other times in our life we have had success and imagine it could happen again with this new experience. And so what if we fail! Realistically what is the worst possible thing that could happen? How would you bounce back? Are your fears even real or validated or have they just grown into something larger than life? What if you wrote about in you journal or shared your thoughts with your best friend? Get your fears out of your head! Maybe a change in mindset is all that is needed. What if you just took a baby step - dip your toes in! Start moving forward one small step at a time. You will build momentum and your self confidence will grow.

So what are you waiting for?

If you have always wanted to do art  why not sign up for a workshop. If you are stuck in your art or don't know how to finish an evaluation/critique might be helpful. If you want to move forward in a big way with your art I have a year long  mentorship program.