Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Today's Pic Of The Pops!

Well some days it just falls into place like cream cheese on cake......

Went into town yesterday and started searching for 'parts' old rusty 'parts'. Screws and bolts and hinges and just about anything that looked, well, robotic. Also hit up the squad around town and scored big at the bike shop when my good friend Francois gave me all SORTS of cool shit! And a final stop at the hardware place to load up on nuts and bolts and plumbing bits....but not too much 'cause that stuff is darn expensive!
AND then today I played with it all.
And this is the sweet result!
And best of all, she 'wiggles' ...... man, sometimes even I amaze myself.......of course now everyone will want one, I can just feel it!

I'll have to figure out how to make own 'life-size twin'.......
* UPDATE* We have a name for the little robot: M.U.S.E. - The Multi Use Specialized Exploration Robot or Muse-bot for short!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Is It Real Or Is It Memorex.....?

Ok, that title is a wee bit pretentious on my part but I thought I'd give you a look at where my, strange (?).....mind goes. I wanted an edgy kind of vehicle for the new guy to ride...(this is really not going to make sense until you see the finished production so just bear with me) so, anyyikes, I was rolling around cars and walking houses (now that is cool as an idea but for something else perhaps) and went cruising my collection of ephemera to see what I might have. Now, I may have mentioned one of my personal art Icons is Georgia O'Keeffe and she was into skulls. I really love skulls too and so far I have a deer, crow and cat skull in my collection. Well long story short, I looked at the cat skull and got that creative charge that happens when the I-don't-know-how-to-explain-it jump and went for it. But I didn't want to use the real skull and thought I'd try to duplicate it.

There is the result. Obviously the real one is on the left. But I'm pretty chuffed by the way my 'fake' came out.

And that leads me to pic number 3. It's a bird-nest-in-a-tree hat. And let me say I have a real respect for birds after weaving that nest. Now, I have 2 hands and - hopefully - the big brain, but that bloody nest was one of the most difficult things I've done and it really looks lame......the leaves are appliqued over an old ball cap.

Now here's the story that goes with the making of this.

Some years ago, a friend of mine turned 50 and his wife threw him a large party, in the way of marking these monumental numbers (snort snort) - but I digress. Because he was an ex-logger the 'theme' was such....old logger costumes. So everyone comes in the plaid jackets and blue jeans and big boots. Some hardhats and ear protectors too.

But not this happy camper.

I came as a tree.

Now baring the whole 'tree hugger' thing, this, in retrospect, was a bit over the top in such an entourage. And it wasn't just the hat because I made a whole outfit as a tree. My pants were old brown corduroys that I ripped the bottoms of to resemble roots and a brown shirt plus long vest that was appliqued as well with leaves and branches and owls and moths and caterpillars. Certainly a work of art. Certainly more intense than anything else in the room.

And no one sat by me or talked to me that night.

Every once in a while I think I'm just beyond the usual page most of are on.............

Monday, March 29, 2010

Changing Horses in the Middle of the Stream

Ah.....big sigh inserted here. Well, this morning as I was (lovingly) (snort*) looking at the critter, I came to the realization that he was just too darn big for the project I want to create.
So we have had to change our "horse", so to speak, 1/2 way to completion. I'm sort of bummed as that was over a week of intense work to get to this point but there ya go....such is Life. So I've got a much smaller critter drying over the heater now.
And this has made me think that one of the blessings about being creative is that you can change your mind. So I made some beef, barley and roasted veggie soup and some organic whole mixed grain flatbread to go with that and went cruising for a pic to post with this little post.
One of the pics I found was used in an article entitled " Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain" by S. Begley which was a book about the scientific evidence that there are measurable changes made in your brain when you meditate or train yourself to do a new skill....kind of fascinating, if I may digress for a bit. This is not that surprising to folks who have lost the use of a limb and had to retrain themselves to use another. Even how stroke victims have to retrain their brain to 'reconnect' as it were. And your brain does, it makes new connections in it's neurons and ...well, stuff...pardon my lack of scientific terminology.
How cool is that?! I'm in the process of teaching myself about moving 'toys' because I want to make this new project as I mentioned. I'm learning about 'cams' and 'gears' and how you put this all together to get things to turn, go back and forth and up and down just with cranking a handle. It's fantastic! Last night I couldn't sleep because I couldn't get my head around how this all worked so I actually logged into the good old Internet and went to a kid's site and just followed along. All I'm saying is 'PEAR SHAPED CAMS'!! Who'da'thunk!? This is a girl who NEVER got the 'science' part of learning...boy! Has that changed! And you got to love the fact that at almost 60 (help) I'm STILL learning and GETTING stuff I never did when I was in my teens.
By Golly, I feel reborn!
...and hungry! Time to eat soup!
The pic is a poster called 'Change' by Russ Willms...I've had this in my collection for a long time and a fav.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I'm In LU-U-U-RV!

Yes I am! This guy has been worth the countless hours so far to get to this point....I love the whole jointed posable body and I love where 'he's' deciding to go. Also am really chuffed that he can sit up by himself!

Jeekers...I sound like a proud mama!

That is a 'steampunk' style hat on his head along with some old goggles from a teddy bear that I reworked.

Wait 'till you see the telescope!!

NOW! Clothing!

THEN exciting steampunky kind of vehicle!



..oh, yeah, gotta figure out how to make it move......

(Could I have added more exclamation points?)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Name Game

Yes. Indeed. So, since I've changed the 'critter's', (golly, it's tough working with inanimate objects....) I've got to change his name as well to something more "Steampunky".

Here's the list so far:

1. Prof. Obediah Atticus French (OAF..ha ha ha)

2. Luther Obediah Lamb (LOL get it?)

3. Buckminster Illium Revals Drury (tweet, tweet)

4. Inquisitor Abraham S. Smallhorn (...and the initials are....I ASS)
(I'm such a kidder!)

Must say I'm inclined to the last one just because.

So! I'd like some help deciding. According to that little 'stat' thing over there , it says there are some folks actually coming here but I admit to a certain suspicion that it could just be me addictively checking in as I like the look of my blog...vanity thy name is Marla...sigh*

Anywhythehecknot, if you - the great unknown - would help me decide by a vote, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise it's closed eyes and a stabbing finger.


ps... I know the pic isn't 'painterly' but I couldn't resist. It's photoshopped, by the by...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Down The Rabbit Hole

How do I explain being swept up in creating to anyone not , well, possessed by the feeling that you've fallen down the rabbit hole and nothing, I mean, nothing is going to take you away; ok, maybe having to go for groceries or the mail or (bleah*) paying bills but I really resent those moments.

And right now we are deep down in that hole with this new sculpture/art doll whataheckdoIcallit thing.

Illustration of how much I'm into this is, I missed a personal invite to a in house private music concert with Ian Tamblyn tonight......sigh. And I expect I'll be unable to explain with any satisfactory excusable way.


So much cool fantastically exciting ideas are flying into my brain! I spent the day researching 'Steampunk' and being consumed with ideas on what and where I want to go/do with my little guy. I've completely changed what I was going to do - except I still want to make it move - but I ended up picking up all sort of little clock gears and some rusty tin sheets and making a fantastic little top hat and little goggles and getting up every couple of hours to cruise the Internet for some more ideas. Oh, and I tidied up my 'area' which is always how a BIG creative spurt works for me.

Yepper, a very very good day!

So, I'm completely satisfied right now but I do feel a tad guilty......I only hope allowances will be made by those who know me.

And if not; ah well, dems de breaks...... painting could be found to capture the feeling of this post. Alice-in-Wonderland stuff was NOT what I was getting at.....however I'll keep looking as you never know what will pop up when you go 'trolling'!

UPDATE! Found one! Le Grand Tour La Mer by Mike Worrall.....great!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Moving Right Along

Okey Dokey...we are moving right along with the 'critter' as you can see. I've added hair - found a great 'how to' article on making mohair wigs and that's what I did. I really love the me everything I need to know. And I added freckles to "Fortesque Arthbutt Rawfishington-Trout"......(just take the first letters and you can see where his name came from) And finished the other arm and strung it all up. I'm trying two different body ideas - this depends on where I go with the final look.
It can and does seem to change daily.....
Meanwhile I seem to be experiencing problems with saving and uploading pics the last few days...don't know what that's all about...I often think these things develop their own minds....oooo, scary stuff! seems I'm right into these creations now. So I guess I'll be 'playing with dolls' a while yet!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Thought I'd give you a sneak peek at the next sculpted critter I'm making. The photos show the parts - head, upper body, arms and hands - laid out. I have strung together an arm to show you how it will look assembled. This 'doll' is based on the 'ball-joint' technique which is pretty wild to do, let me tell ya'! LOTS of sanding and fiddly bits to work with but I'm pretty pleased at how it's turning out so far. ESPECIALLY those hands! That was some bit of creative inspiration there! I have plans to get the whole body jointed if possible. The basic medium is 'paperclay' and I got to say that if you ever can get some of this stuff, you'll be right wowed by what it can do. AND it dries paper light because that's what it is, ah duh....takes paint or crayon or ink beautifully. I'm really enjoying working with it. The string is elastic...quite a large gauge as it needs to be super strong when you pull the pieces together. It does need to be sanded to get a smooth appearance but it is not so hard as time consuming.

I've got a major project in mind with this as I'd like to make it 'kinetic' - that's a moving piece....look up 'Chomic and Meder' for some great illustrations on how cool that is!
Fun, fun, fun!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Strange Days, Indeed....

Aw boy, it's truly been a strange day. Ever had one of those? Not strange as in odd folks around you - that's usually tourist season over here..ha ha..., but a day filled with just the most bizarre conversations and happenings that make you question if perhaps there's been a shift in the earth polarization field that you missed while sitting in your living room, kind of day.

It was my day for that today.

(Maybe it was the fruit fast I was on)

In any case , my little jaunt into town went from the Post Office and 2 oddly shaped packages to being hailed by the person in the Gallery next door.....and here's where things went rapidly into 'Twilight Zone' dimensions. I can't recall what exactly led our conversation from the banal usual 'how ya doin' stuff to a sudden zip into 2012. Now, you have to be in the far reaches of Outer Mongolia (and I may be wrong here) to not have heard about all the buzz around know, 'end-of-the-world-major-shift-Mayan-calendar-prediction' thing. It seems to be taking over a good few people's imaginations lately. And, unfortunately, some are getting right twisty about it. I happen to know a local that has sold up and in the process of moving lock stock and barrel to a remote 50 acre parcel of land in Alberta to live off the grid and become hunkered down for the end...yikes.

Anywahoozie, my gallery conversation was right along these lines with me trying desperately to (politely) get out of the topic at hand while being regaled by books to read and conferences to go to (big prophets speaking) and being told about Nostradamus and earth shifting and prophecies and and and, well, feeling akin to Alice down the rabbit hole.

Is it only me that thinks we are really going to become a self fulfilling prophecy by believing all of this? It is a scientific fact the Earth is due for a change of some kind - it's part of what goes on in the Earth's long history - and god knows we are causing some major blowup with global warming and wars and etc etc - but and but again, part of me want to shake the collective bunch of us and yell "CALM DOWN!"

Maybe I have my head in the sand but I sure don't want to go as dolally as so many seem to be going.

I'll start to panic when Jams does.......and that's a hard thing to call.......

Painting : Jack and the Magic Bean Fax-Pas by Brenda Knight

Monday, March 22, 2010

No, It's The Truth Because I Heard It From The Guy Who Knows The Girl Who Knows The Guy Who Know the Girl Who goes Out with The Janitor!"

Sheesh...I've been in the midst of a real vicious circle of gossip lately and it has me wondering just how gullible folks actually are when it comes to the old rumour mill. And it really is just like my rather tongue-in-cheek title suggests. I am astounded how willing we are to believe anything we are told....huh.
After a myriad of phone calls a few weeks ago from a rather well known 3rd party...good visual word that for what gossiping is...about a well known gallery up here allegedly closing, I got sick and tired of it all; I mean, people were saying the 'repo-man' was at the door and all the Artwork was going to be spirited away and locked up in some dark cavern somewhere; for crying out loud in the sink! I asked if anyone had actually talked to the person in question. The reply was somewhat like the title, sadly. So I did write to the person in charge and politely enquire about what was going on because this gallery has been very very good for me and I'd really hate to see it close it's doors.
And they took the time to phone me and talk to me about the real situation and thank me for asking them directly.
Which is: the Gallery is remaining open and looking for a buyer but is endeavoring to honor it's commitments to their artists.
Now, I'm no saint (I may have pointed that out before, I believe, but according to my brother's wife's sister who knows the guy who lives next door it's all a rumour...) OK, we are being very snide. I've certainly been part and parcel of this vicious circle - repeating at random whatever I've heard- and I'm doubly sure I have been on the receiving end of it too....point is: rumours are NOT THE TRUTH!
So if you hear something that comes from 'X' who heard it from 'D' who heard it from 'C' who goes out with 'P' catch my drift....then please go to 'A' and get the real deal.
THEN you can jump into the rumour mill and set everyone straight and that actually is pretty powerful in itself...telling the truth.
Painting: "Gossip II" by Norik Dilanchyan...isn't this a fine painting? Look up more of this Artist's work.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Front View Wee Woeful

Side view Wee Woeful

Here she is; what I've been working away on since ..whenever it was.

Inspired by Edward Gorey and a fantastic Art Doll artist Gael Lackey. She is made from paperclay over cloth , a wire armature and the hair is from an old Halloween wig. Her clothing is all from recycled material with buttons from my really extensive cool button collection.
Now I'm making a weird little doll of her own to hold.....
AND because all Edward Gorey-type things need a dark little poem to accompany them:
Wee Woeful Winnie
Her ending wasn't that pretty
She ate potted ham
From a rusty old can
And ended up feeling quite 'shitty'!
...amuseante non?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hop In...*koff koff*

Ok, this is just a personal peeve of the moment.....Living in the small place I do, many folks hitch for rides and I usually stop - certainly for women but I pick up guys too. Admittedly I'll give the fellows a cursory check over before making the decision. However! After the last few times of having a guy sitting beside me with a strong odor I'm reconsidering this practice.
Yikes...what a reeking pong they exude! Booze, cigarettes and an aversion to bathing seems to be the eau de cologne of choice .......BAH!
And it sticks to the upholstery, for crying out if you see me just passing you by from now on, go take a bath and I might pull over.
Painting by Evah Fan

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What Creating Looks Like....

Thought you might get a kick out of seeing my 'space' as I create....this was taken yesterday but it seems much more ....disciplined than I thought sitting in the middle of it all. It's my little front room, just off to the right of the kitchen area. And this isn't the "STUDIO", which is chock-a-block with painting stuff.

I'm quite serious when I say my whole living quarters are my studio.

You can see my "Edward Gorey Doll' I was all inspired to make.

She's even more dressed tonight!

I promise to post when done....the shoes are being a bugger for some reason but I am happy with her wacky hair. la la la

What's In The Tickle Trunk Today....

Sort of a hodge-podge of things as usual my friends.......
Found the above pic last night - It's by Artist Nora Sturges who took on illustrating a book called 'Invisible Cities' by Italo Calivino; premise being a fictional account of a 'Marco Polo-ish' character who travels the world to all these fantastical cities, towns etc. Apparently the places are described in a very dream-like fashion so Nora's illustrating was actually difficult in the way of having to envision the places from very loosely described sentences.
Well I like what went on.
Brings to mind a few things:
I need to read that book.
I don't know 'bout you, but when I read, my mind is creating what I think of as a film of the story...I can get completely immersed in a book like this. Hours will speed by while I'm in my "Avatar" world.
Also, what I really like about this particular painting is it rekindled a memory of when I lived in a Tree house.
Yes sirree...way back in the time machine, Mr. Wizard.
In 1971, I was just out of school and right into the 'hippy' life style and went up to a little town called Wells, right on the outskirts of Barkerville, B.C. It's now become a thriving Arts community with a world class art event 'Artswells' every summer. However at that time, it was pretty darn small and there was only a gravel road into it from the main highway. And then it got 'invaded' by a group of kids 18 to 22 who were all into Peace, Love and generally just goofing about. The core group of us, around 15 I think, lived in a converted barn. We had the downstairs that had the kitchen and lots of overstuffed reject furniture lined up by the wood stove in the big open space that constituted the living room. Upstairs (well, actually a ladder you climbed) was the loft where we all bedded down in our sleeping bags..yep, all together. And above that, was the 'tower'- a magical sort of 'gazebo' perched on the roof with 360* of windows and padded bench all 'round. Ah, many great times up there. I learned to make bread in that wood kitchen stove (the first loaf could have been used as a missile) and developed my lifetime dislike for brown rice as we ate so much of it. Because it was cheap.
Oh and how to chop wood and trim wicks for kerosene lanterns and make moccasins....
Anyway, the fact that all these young bodies were all together all the day made for some frayed nerves - never mind the sex thing - after a bit. So my boyfriend and I decided we were going to get our own place and because he was just as creative as I was, we hit upon the idea of building a tree house. What a fantastic domicile it was. We found a great stand of trees and built, all from scrounged materials may I add, a 3 room tree house. It was so wonderful that it soon became the place to hang -thereby effectively cancelling out the 'own space' concept. If I recall, Stewart and I let everyone party in it while we escaped to the barn for some one-on-one time, so to speak.
Good good times. I remember this all fondly, although there were some bad moments too. But mostly it was a kind of holiday camp for young folk who mainly got along and had a lot of fun together.
For one glorious summer.
When Fall came, most everyone left to go on to University or Art School or whatever life was leading them to. I stayed that winter - me and 3 guys...that was great. It was just like being with my brothers, all very platonic. (Remove the mind from where it wants to go) I experienced my first BIG SNOW that year.....memories of jumping off the roof into snow drifts it was so deep. And that ethereal silence that comes when snow falls, with the haunting crunk crunk of a raven in the distance - it will never leave me.
Then one day near the start towards Spring in walked the man who would become the father of my sons....but that's another tale.
ps...I still have my old leather-patch-on-the-bum jeans from then....39 years later....eep!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

OK OK< Hold Your Horses!

Wow I really have to watch out what I start creating......Today, after a day of messing around with working on 2 cool new doll figures, I went into town and ran into a friend at the Library that has been after me to teach a class on doll making at her very special B & B - sort of a Workshop thing. I have been putting this off for just about a year now and admittedly feeling guilty about it ( mea culpa mea culpa) Well as I was talking to her I got an inspiration on just what I'd do - a class built around creating 'spirit' dolls, which are sort of like a personal totem and not as structured as a figure would be. And, of course, I told her this and she was excited by and the upshot of that was I'm booked for a workshop @ the first week in November. Then I ran into someone else that hadn't seen my big show in town yet so off to the show we went where I got to meet Ken Kirkby, and got into extended conversations with some folks in the Gallery and was all charged up about painting some more in the Rita Series.......and then I went home and was all charged up by how my dolls were turning out and started scribbling down some ideas in my sketchbook that then led me to thinking about creating an actual kinetic fabric sculpture (that's a moving sculpture) so I went trolling the Internet for 'how to's' and got lost in the fabulous stuff out there and am REALLY charged up about what I'm going to create! THEN I remembered I've sent in my admission to enter the Sooke Fine Arts Show and have committed to 3 pieces for that!
Yikes, I'm exhausted by all the ideas going off in my brain!

The Painting is by James Jean...isn't that the BEST thing you ever've seen?!? I really want that as a tattoo.....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I'm so-o-o tired...but! I just gotta make this.....

Moley Hokes.....tired from my 5 days of Artists-in-Action all over the place. It's not the people or doing the gig, it's the set up and take down that gets to me. Schlepping my buckets and big Tupperware containers and easels and the paintings and works back and forth from van to table and putting it on the table and easels and etc etc etc, then doing it all in reverse at night.
Wah-de-Wah, huh.
I actually love the interaction with the people and that I get to be with other creative souls - that's always my favourite part as our 'juices' get charged up from being around them.
Now I'm creatively 'juiced' it seems.....and the Sooke Fine Arts Show is approaching and I want to go into it again and what has the creative juices hooked me with?
More dolls.......
Honestly I don't know if I should laugh or scream wildly while repeatedly whacking myself over the head with a bag of 'doll parts'.
BUT! Such inspiration!
We'll keep you updated......

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Take My Advice; I'm Not Using It Anyway.

(Wowzers- two, two, two posts in one day!)

Right, remember the post some few days ago about having arthritis and now having to take it slower; ie: more time to create a piece as opposed to my usual marathon epic sessions; well, doing the 'Artist In Action' gig over the last 2 days had me sitting there from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., working on my art dolls - there is a lot of sewing by hand and intricate maneuvering of fingers and hands and arms as I make them - so, here we are with achingly sore hand and shoulder from that little session. However, I did make a cool character that sold by the way......that's him at the top: " O. NIFTO " .....points to anyone who can figure out how I got the name.....

Just do what I say, not do what I do......apparently. I wonder how many times I will have to repeat this nonsense until I get it.

Marla'locks' and The One Cat

Once upon a time (last night), there was a little artist (short, I'm short) who found a bed that was just right........

OK, I'm just goofin' around as our own Canadian genius comic Cathy Jones would say. Lately though, my nights have taken on the stuff of fairy tale story. Here's what happens. As I ready for sleep in my comfy queen sized bed (remember this > queen sized) Jams curls up at the side of the bed sort of beside me on the edge of the bed. I read for a while or look at a painting until I feel sleep approaching and then snap off the light. Sometime later, when I'm deeply asleep, Jams makes her move. She climbs on top of me - I sleep sort of curled up on my side - and snuggles in half draped over my stomach and side....still on top, mind, and purring (I guess this is her idea of a bed 'just right'). Now, a cat has a normal temperature of 103 degrees, so when I slowly come awake, it's to the impression I have a heavy vibrating lump of lava slowly crushing me. When I finally figure out it's Jams, I lie there at first, getting more and more uncomfortable but unwilling to disturb her (and that statement really shows just how insane this whole thing is). I slowly roll myself out from under her, thereby ending up in about a 6 inch space of mattress by the wall with about 6 inches of blanket left with the wind whistling up my BB butt.
And I get more and more pissed off at what is going on until either I finally get it that I actually am the human in charge here and move back into my space in the middle of the bed or Jams wakes up and goes off for her nightly 3 a.m. snack.
A ten pound, sixteen inch tyrant........

Painting is 'Cat' by Andy Warhol

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You Know Who You Are

Just finished a two day 'Artists in Action' stint up in one of the big resorts here on the Coast. This event was started in 1999, after I did the first ever 'Whale Festival' poster and sat in the hallway between the Wick restaurant and the Natn'l Park Interpretive Center. It turned out to be so popular that I ended up organizing an event around being an artist and demonstrating your work for the last 10 years. Brought lots of local artists on board and got the local resorts to participate by loaning a space/room for the artists to display and "action" in. Obviously if you were a chain saw carver that didn't work, but we had quite a roster of creative folk.
Anyway, this year I stepped back from organizing because of my Dad's precarious health and not knowing what was going to happen, so a good friend and fellow creative soul took on the organizing. I did hear from her about the woes and workload though (preaching to the converted) and it was interesting to see it all from a 'sidelines' viewpoint.
Now I've organized a fair number of art events in my career and dealt with lots of egos but I have to say the one major thing that I find most reprehensible in artists as a whole, is the irresponsible attitude displayed when at an event. And the most major of all is a lack of commitment to being on time and staying the advertised hours of the show. I'm sorry to report that in my experience, artists up here just kinda breeze in whenever or maybe show up, unless the weather is sunny and the surf is high, or maybe it's too much after a night of partying and, well, if sitting there and being bored is getting in your face, then they are gonna leave early too.
I'd like to add it's not just locals being slackers, as there have been some pretty well known artists cancel out at the last minute. Thanks for that.
So putting aside the fact that the time and effort of organizing (volunteer by the way!) and having major resorts donate space to the artists for free so they have a venue to sell and get seen; this lack of irrresponsible unprofessional behavior adds into the whole mythology that Artists are lousy, lazy, slackers.
You know who you are and you deserve the title.
The rest of us artists who can and do act with professionalism are pretty fed up with you. Our time is just as valuable to us.
Wake up to the fact that how you conduct yourself will come back to haunt you.
OK that's it from 'Mom'.
Painting is: 'Selbstportrat Mit Lampionfrucchten' by Egon Schiele......which I loosly translate to mean - "Self Portrait with Chinese Lantern Branch"...just think the expression is so perfect as an illustration to this piece.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What I Do In My 'Spare' Time....

Thought this might entertain...and be a relief from my flapping brain lips...*snort*

I make these little cards and use them as my business cards. I originally made these as ATC's (Artist Trading Cards - look them up as the story behind them is quite interesting) These are collage, all unique and one of a kind.

Here's the thing: If anyone would like one, just email me at with the relevant details and I'll send you one! There's a surprise on the back of each one too!


ps...remember you can click on the image to bring up a large view.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

You say poh-tayto, I say poh-taato....

Ah, great screaming chihuahuas, what possesses me to troll for art critic blogs at 2 a.m.?
I guess I get what I deserve. I've just spent the better part of the last 2 hours lost in the world of different opinions by 'those who know' ( and that really needs to be heard in your head as a sniffy British upper class kind of tone way)
The usual and eternal debate on what makes good Art - and if it's , gasp, popular...well, so much the worse it seems.
Honestly, this kind of thing makes my eyeballs wildly spin in opposite directions in my head.
The whole debate is ludicrous because this is a matter of personal preference and most of the 'regular' folk, meaning you and me and the neighbors and probably the guys 100 miles away, just like what they like. Period. Although if it matches the couch that seems to help.
Ok that was me being 'sniffy' I admit.
Art is really a communication between what is viewed (the audience) and the (hopefully skilled ) creator. To have another person tell you if it's good or not is going to be influenced by this personal reaction. It's kind of like me telling you purple shoes are fantastic because I like them. Some folks will agree and some folks won't. Does this make purple shoes the pinnacle of 'shoeness' or just trashy fadism because of how I feel?
What I'm trying to get across is how the world of taste in Art is so nebulous. What is popular today may very well be consigned to a dusty footnote someday or what no one casts an eye towards could conceivably later on be worth a fortune (God knows THE ARTIST won't see that -sigh-) Critics are just people who have an opinion and it's just an opinion, not the word of God.
You can like what you like.
All eyes may look for free.

The painting is "Lament" by Edward Burne-Jones

Friday, March 5, 2010


I follow other blogs, like most of us nowadays, and one that I really like is written by a young woman married to an up and coming musician and mother to two fine kids; who is also promoting the Canadian 'Indie' music scene. She writes about the highs and lows this life can bring trying to establish her good man's career plus giving other struggling musicians a way to get known. (check it out: Underground Arts Railroad - link below) The other day she blogged about what it was like to be a partner of a musician and be the 'unseen' one who does so much but basically is ignored as the 'famous' one gets all the limelight.
Well that got me thinking about being a partner in a creative life. Now, as I've bogged before, I've been in a few 'partnerships', some with creative souls, some without, and my personal experience - and also from observations garnered from many years at shows etc - is that there always is an "ALPHA-Artist".
In other words; there is generally one creative partner who comes first in the artworld and the 'other' partner takes a back seat to them. In a relationship where only one person is creative, this poses little or no problems ( except being ignored while your partner is mobbed by adoring fans) but in the dual talent partnership - not quite so much the happy families.
And, most unfortunately, it's generally the woman who takes that back seat.
Witness the Pratts - Christopher and Mary - for many years, Chris Pratt was the golden boy of the artworld and don't get me wrong as he paints exquisitely, but Mary Pratt was the unseen force behind him. Yet she herself was a phenomenal painter and not until those two were divorced did anyone ever see her work.
In the history of art there are many illustrations of this. Mainly due to the fact women weren't accepted as being worthy artists in their own right for many many eons of time - and there are documented stories of many of the old masters 'wives' or 'woman acquaintances' painting large parts or entire paintings that had the fellow's signature attached......but that is another post for another day.
Let me just say that from what I've been through and observed so far, the dual creative partnership -in a visual artworld anyway- doesn't work in an even footing scenario. Perhaps someone out there knows otherwise, but I've yet to see or hear it being so. And most decidedly, I've yet to witness a woman artist taking precedence over her male artist partner.
Not trying to be all 'feminist' (ok, a bit) here but what makes us as women artists so willing to climb into that back seat?
Just wondering.......
The pic is: "Filio" by Jasper Oostland...he paints some of the better animal paintings I've seen

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My FIRST Major big show

This weekend up here in Ukee (what us locals affectionately call our town) I'm in my first major name show. I expect some of you won't recognize the names listed along with mine, but in the Canadian Art World, they do mean something.

So, I'm feeling; not nervous per say, but certainly 'strange'. This could mean some great things happening for me but I've done a few laps in the 'art' pool so I'm cognizant of how it can also go completely flat in the blink of an eye - to mix metaphors.
I'm, of course, hoping for a breakthrough career wise -who wouldn't- but whatever happens I'll still be in the studio come Monday.
That's about all I can say.
"Hang on to your seats boys and girls because we're rocketing off for another fun filled Saturday."

SWEET - Bathing Beauty Series # 4

Send this to 500 people in the next 2 seconds and you'll be given absolutely everything!

Ah, emotional blackmail via cyberspace.

I received, yet again, one of those messages that implore/demand that you send it on to how ever many contacts stipulated and your wishes will be granted but only if you do so in the next day or is it minute...whatever. This makes me crazy. First of all, messages like this usually contain a virus or hidden cookie program that then targets the receiver for an onslaught of Spam.
Second, and the thing that makes me crazy, is this is such a cheap and sleazy thing to do. Does anyone really believe they will be granted everything their little heart desires by emailing a cheesy missive?
Apparently so, otherwise we wouldn't still be getting them.
The last one I got was in rhapsodic praise to 'the good old days'.....1950's to be exact. It blathered on about how it was all "Moms were home when you got home from school" and "Nobody locked their doors" and "Cars were fantastic and gas was super cheap" and "You respected your parents and teachers because they spanked you" and then "double-dared" me to send it on to 10 friends and reap the benefits. There was lots more in this vein but these points stuck in my head. Yadda-Yadda-Yadda. Sigh.
Apart from wanting to scream loudly at this point; allow me to address some of these "good old days" high points, if I may, and since I was born in 1953, I think I can speak to them.
All old days of any generation are "the good old days" because we all think that when we were kids that that was the best time EVER. It's because we are kids that that is so. (And it doesn't hold true for everyone may I add) Our Grandparents thought so, our kids will too and I expect our great-grandkids as well.
"Moms were home"...well, of course they were because women were denied having careers and being a housewife was just about it! And do we want to go back to those dark ages, sisters? I know for sure my mother - who was home - was miserable in her proscribed life and I'm pretty sure she wasn't the only one.
Cars were cool, I'll admit, but the damage to our ecological makeup on this planet from them is catastrophic and gas is playing a big part in that. We are still held hostage to the big car companies and the bizzillion dollar industry-ies that engenders to this day - otherwise we'd have electric cars or other forms of planet friendly alternatives.
How can anyone in their right mind think this was a good thing?
I was strapped with a leather belt until I was 16 years old. Do you think I 'respected' my father because of this? Hell no -I was terrified of the bastard who was 6'2" to my 5'......and I hate him for the shame he made me feel.
OK, deep breath, and let's move on shall we.....
If people are stuck believing that the life they have/are living right now is so awful and they just want to go back to when they were young , well, that's it right there isn't it? We'd all like to be forever young because growing up means life gets complicated and lots of it is messy and sad and difficult but, it is LIFE! and every day you wake up is a brand new chance to laugh, and love and CREATE!
So get to it!
(And send this on to 50 of your friends and you'll get a good feeling...or not)
The painting is: "Happy" by Israel artist R. Pancez

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Because I wanted to - Because I can - Because I'm a Gemini.
I was thinking a couple of things about the old title......1: it was too long. 2: it was too esoteric.
So...."Off Canvas" just popped into the brain. Because I'm 'off canvas' when I write or post a finished painting here and, well, I guess mainly because a lot of things I write about are 'off canvas' so to speak. Sort of plays on the words 'off camera' too; like what you're saying is perhaps not to be quoted....or taken very seriously. And we all know the best stuff happens off camera.....
Let me know if you like it or not, as the case may be.