Wednesday, June 30, 2010

If You Try Sometimes, You Find, You Get What You Need

Ok, Now that song will be on the perpetual replay tape in the brain.....

Yes, indeedy.....while on my jaunt down island, I spent a pleasurable couple of hours putzing around Sidney with my darling friend and spied an IslandBluePrint store that carried some Art Supplies. If you 'shop with Marla', you soon learn that any store that remotely hints of art or is a gallery type setting is the magnet pour moi and you will be dragged in and forced to endure the immersion into this art life.
Such was the case with Sue and me on Saturday when I saw the aforesaid IslandBlue and beelined straight into it. Now I think I mentioned in a previous post how I've been waiting/searching to find the way to reproduce my intricate backgrounds in my paintings in an 'archival' way, in other words: a product that allows computer printing and is also non detrimental to a work of art. (not to mention that drawing these intricate backgrounds out by hand is getting harder to do with my cronked up digits)
This is where I was at when I stepped into this store. I was immediately asked by the salesperson if I needed help and responded with the above requirements. my great delight I lucked into a FANTASTIC clerk who knew exactly what I was trying to accomplish and recommended some products that seemed appropriate.
There are two points to this small tale; 1) I was treated to a great 'shopping' experience by having someone who was knowledgeable and personable and greatly enthusiastic for what I had in mind and 2) got turned on to 'homemade paper'. Who'd a known that homemade paper would fit the bill so perfectly? It is not filled with all the 'stuff' that ordinary paper is - lingens and bleach - that cause damage to artwork due to it's inherent nature of being made with natural plant fibers. AND it prints beautifully!
You see the result above in my new painting "Lush" that I've been waiting to get started for 2 weeks now. I'm super happy with how it worked out.
Can't wait to get it done!
Oh yeah, and if you're ever in Sidney, B.C., make sure to go into the IslandBlue store there and ask for Shirley - she's the bomb!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jog

Back from delivering my 3 pieces to the Sooke Show down Victoria way and I'm thinking: Ah, road trip. The thing that turns me into a class 'A' type personality. I make lists, I obsessively pack and repack, I take too much stuff, I load the van the minute I get up (wa-a-ay too early, may I add, after a lousy sleep 'cause I keep waking up to check the clock....), I MapQuest endlessly and then I'm ready 1/2 hr before I need to be and have to walk around or sit pretending the book I'm reading is riveting as I check the clock every 5 minutes............sigh.
And something else weird happens (as opposed to the usual weirdness surrounding me, I guess) because my body image morphs on me. Honestly, I may not be 100% happy-snappy with the old carcass right now, but I try to at least dress nicer than 'sweat-pants-and-voluminous-shirt' style but what seems/appears to be okey-dokey in my house mirror as I leave then transforms on arrival, via the time/space compendium I'm sure, into a frumpy lumpy barf-bag fashion statement.
I think I'm an experiment.

I'm glad to be back in my personal space reality show.

ADDENDUM: Jams left me 5, count 'em, FIVE, throw-up spots as a welcome back-don't-ever-think-of-going-away-again present. I spent the first 1/2 hr after walking in the door, on my hands and knees scrubbing carpet while she walked around with a decided smirk on her face.
Ah, we're home.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Strength to Change the Things I Can, the Grace to Accept the Things I Cannot, and a Few Martinis as a Backup Plan.

(apologies to AA for blatantly messing about)
Ok....what's it been....a week? So far we are on a roll...ha!
Anyjustfoolin'aroundway, the neck has finally settled down after all the nuisance of sleeping propped upright, dropping Tylenols like Smarties and making an appointment for a massage - today! (took that long to get in) and wouldn't you know, woke up after the best sleep and no pain.'s like the body decided to buck up after being threatened by the massage thing. Now, that does sound strange, I know, but I don't like massages......yep, that's odd. For some reason I flinch and freeze when someone I don't 'know' touches me...ok that is decidedly something for 'the couch' and I have no idea why. But that's the truth.
So moving right along.....
Watched an awesome DVD "Irina Palm" last night - and, yes, from the Library! (did I mention the Library and it's DVD selection, perchance...?) Well, this was one of those odd little fil-ums that drop into your lap - I wasn't sure about it at first but someone else recommended it as being worthwhile. It stars Marianne Faithful and for those of you who don't recognize the name, she was one of the MAJOR players back in the 60's - a STUNNER who ran with all the big band boys, ie: Stones, Cream, Doors etc. I believe she was Mick Jagger's main squeeze for a while.
And there she was...old and overweight. It was bloody AWESOME! The movie itself was really good but I was SO - I don't know - reassured that even those who were famous and gorgeous have become ordinary. I guess it's the fact that all of us were gorgeous when we were young...oh yes we were - we just never realize how much until we see photos many years later - and then TIME just kinda levels the playing field for us all.
I find that comforting. So instead of bemoaning what was, or not being fabulous, or whatever we aren't, we need to just get on with living.....wrinkles,weak eyes,wobbly thighs and all.
And don't forget the Martinis!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some (Re) Assembly Requested

I have been laid up with a cronk neck/back for the last few days due to sleeping on it the wrong way which is irritating beyond belief because it seems lately it's just been waking up to some other part of myself breaking down and I have to say I'm fed up to the teeth with my body at the moment. I have resorted to hot water bottles, extra strength Tylenol and sleeping propped upright on my couch....all the chiro/massage clinics are booked solid too. (and there are 3 to choose from in this small town)
I would like to request an oil and lube change if I could only figure out how......really, I honestly would welcome a cyborg existence today.
And last weekend was the annual Edge-to-Edge Marathon in our little part of the world which has a 46 km run from Tofino to Ucluelet and I usually set up a bit of display at the finish line, so I get to watch these preemo athletes cross the finish line and, honestly.....the way they look and act is not a real good advertisement on running as a great thing to do.
Don't get me wrong - their bodies are really in shape and, gods know I lust for the same but the suffering they wear is not pleasant to witness.
Why is it that our bodies are so freeping hard to maintain? You'd think that evolution - which generally wants survival as a priority - would make it a 'standard issue' feature for us. And what's up with wiring our brains/taste buds to crave that which is bad for you?
We are a 'programmed-to-fail' species it seems.
I heard a program about some specialized study on CBC (ah, what a radio station, as I have said) that found to live a long, long, long and really healthy life, one needs to eat basically a 'starvation' diet based on grains. No anything else.
Wow, that sounds like fun.
What's the point of living really long if you are just plain miserable?
I don't think you get extra points when you die.
I'm waiting for the study that just says 'Enjoy yourself!'
Think that's going to happen?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's My GD Birthday

Yes, yes it is, oh faithful follower.....and although I do somewhat echo this sentiment, it is actually the name of the painting by Pauline Lim I've used here.
Ah, birthdays......I'm usually a huge fan of the day as many years ago I decided to take on the responsibility to make my birthday what I wanted it to be, instead of relying on someone else to do so.
It's been a really good time ever since!
Today, however, I am being slightly freaked by the number....I know, I know, not 'politically correct' in our day and age but at 57 it just seems like a number that is 'fraught' with so much aging stuff.
So to get myself beyond this, I think I shall see what 57 years have given me.
I was in the inaugural flight of a DC 10 (a DC's almost prehistoric) over the Arctic Circle when I was 2 1/2. I've had TV arrive as a BIG box with HUGE tubes and 2 channels to the ultra modern slick 600 channel thing of today. I remember a horse driven cart going up and down our alley ways in Kitsilano, Vancouver (where I grew up). I had the Milkman and the Postman and the Doctor coming to the house. I had a rotary phone when I was young and it was a 'party line'. I remember school being SCHOOL. I remember Drive-ins and big ass heavy cars. I have seen computers go from 001 000 101 prompts to the really user friendly tool of today. I've seen man take his first wobbly steps into space and have a cousin who is now an astronaut. I've been a part of the 60's and been there at the start of the Women's Movement. I had the first MS. Magazine and the first 'Women's Magazine - Playgirl'. I've lived in a three room tree house I built myself on a commune. I have had friends from every walk and corner of life. I rode the train alone from Montreal to Vancouver in 1980. (MAGIC!) I've been married 3 times. I've had countless lovers and am still alive. I've given birth to 2 fine sons. I've lived, loved, laughed and cried and danced my ass off through 57 years of life and, the great creative spirit willing, I shall do so for another 57.
But most importantly, ART has been my constant companion throughout it all.
It's only our bodies that grow old, our souls stay forever young.
So I'm planning to take a chocolate cake down to the great back deck of my favourite hang out spot with the coffee house and local good eats and 5 of my murals and invite all and sundry to participate.
No singing required.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sneak Peeks

And we all love to have the first look at something don't we? Ok then, here's the finished color mural sketch for the big project proposal I mentioned. Worked on it all today....boy is my arm sore. I'm really happy with this and excited to get started!

Mind you; still waiting to hear.

Boy this is the time I'd like to be a fly on the wall for sure. My mind is doing way too much 'what if/ maybe if ' ......and most of us have played those games, haven't we.

So, another lesson in patience.

Sometimes it would be nice to have a crystal ball.......

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Patience - a 'Zen' Excercise in Monotone

I am usually pretty problem waiting in line or for the salesperson to finish fiddling to attend to me or even the Dr's office black hole experience we all share, BUT,boy oh boy, do I have a time with patience and getting ART SUPPLIES.
Right now I'm waiting for some special supplies to create my new background for the new 'Boudoir' series; the ones based on my collection of old 'naughty' french postcards. (...after 125 years, they are pretty tame, let me say.) And the painting in it's 'raw' state - as you see above - is hanging in my 'view-spot' over the bed, so I'm constantly reminded about the vision I'm excited to begin.....eesh.
The problem being is the way I want to do this background. My usual way to date has been to painstakingly copy out the image onto the canvas after printing out my 6 to 10 copies (depends on the image) and tracing it out over graphite paper. I get a lot of 'crampy' hands....ah, you must suffer for beauty....snort**
Anyhowconvolutedcanyougetway, I discovered some old photocopies of my earlier still life set-ups, from when I was first exploring acrylic, and I used to play around with these images in Photoshop - man I was a HUGE fan of all the special effects you could get! I'd set up wine bottles and my stained glass window pieces and flowers from the garden with the sun shining through and snap a digital and then have a gay old time playing around with the 'watercolor, line, and color separation' effects in Photoshop.
Point being, in this long round about way, is I found one of these great images and want to transfer it to the canvas BUT - and this is where we get all 'how-the-fleep-can-I-do-that' - I want to retain the color that is on the copy image. Obviously that won't transfer if I do the usual copy method I've used up to now. So we need to find a way to reproduce the image as it is with it's colors and 'affix' it to the canvas to paint over ( um, onto? ) and therein lies the problem because you have to find something archival (won't break down, discolor or destroy the canvas over time) and thin enough not to make a huge ridge in the painting.
These are an artist's trials......
Thank goodness for the Internet is what I say as I lucked into a site - - that seems to have what I'm looking for and better yet is carried up here in Canada at the Art Store I frequent.
Now it's the waiting game.......
Oh and my printer blew up and I'm waiting for a new one of those expense toys and I'm STILL on pins and needles about the us help us.....

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Working It

Yesterday was the local Food and Wine Festival event "Grazing in the Gardens", which has got to be one of the best little festivals anywhere. (look it up: Tofino Food and Wine Festival and plan to come out!) As I've posted here, I designed the poster for this year's event and the image was also picked up for "Wine Trails" magazine; a most cool thing! and I've been told by many folks they've seen the image all over the place including TV! Man the publicity you pray for! So of course I was there - well, I have been to most of them I think. Anyhaveafinetimeway, it was fantastic weather, the kind that makes us locals all quite smug to admit we live here. And where my own hand painted tent was situated, I got a great view of all the folks gaily walking about and was front and center for all the live music. Good times, good times! I even was interviewed 'live on location' by Terry David Mulligan for 'The Tasting Room' ! (Except part way through the wind knocked over the wine glasses and advertising paraphernalia onto the table and all over my lap. Life likes to keep me real in case I get big ideas, I think) And I sure got excellent positive feedback for all the new series paintings I'm now doing. Met fantastic folks from all over and made some bonus contacts.
Today I'm exhausted from it all. It's the load the van, set-up and take down, unload the van, that wipes you out!
Today I'm musing on the whole 'event' participation things I've been involved in over these 16 years...maybe more if you count in the early early years but the mind has lost track of those....sigh*
Whenever I get myself set up and am waiting for it all to begin I always go through the 'trepidation' phase. You know, the ' Cheezly, what if no one comes or worse they all sneer or ignore me' goofiness your lowly self esteem wings at you. I think this is pretty standard for any creative soul who puts themselves in front of the public eye. I've often said that I think creative folk are the bravest souls there are because we put our own personal and graphic self right out there and take the smack downs along with the oft times faint praise and keep on going. At least most of us do. I'm sure there are those who just can't take the endless maneuvering through the mental minefield this life brings. No wonder we hover on the edge of breakdowns!
Ah yes, but what is Life without Adventure?
The pic is of my little thumbnail sketches I did while sitting in the sun by my tent. Thumbnails are little rough sketches Artists do to capture a moment or idea for a larger finished work. Often they are just a line or scribble, hard to understand, but can be really evocative. Think of Da Vinci and his work. If you are a new artist, get a sketchbook and just start with little things and let go of "It Has To Be Perfect". It's a great pleasure to just 'doodle'!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Oh Look.....It's Weather Outside

Here where I reside, there is a lot of rain. It is, after all, a rainforest; kinda to be expected, huh?
Well, wherever and whenever you go, to be sure the weather is the king/queen of topics. And how much/not enough, etc etc. And ALWAYS rain gets the bad rap. I'm sort of fed up with this. So, I'm here to speak for the wet stuff.
We have the cleanest air and the greenest environment (I speak of the color not the verb) and generally are lucky enough not to suffer from water concerns....ok, as an aside that would be UKEE - Tofino does have shortages as a concern but this seems due to an overwhelming presence of big resorts and the phenomenal amount of laundry etc. they engender. Man made problems as usual.
You don't have to shovel the stuff, you don't have to get really strange protective gear to venture outside (a good hat , coat and gumboots will suffice) and generally you can carry on despite the downpour. I agree it's not always the most pleasant thing but I could argue that a stroll through the forest with the rain plocking and drippling off the leaves all around can be magical. And to lie in bed at night warm and cosy with the rain zipping and flinging about and making that special natural music outside is purely one of those great little moments.
So here's to the 'ugly duckling' sister of sunshine. I like you lots, Rain. Thanks for the healthy environment you provide and the lovely flowers that happen after you visit. I am glad you happen. Besides, after you've lived in Prince Rupert (up north on the mainland coast ) THIS is nothing!
And my friend from Scotland shares my sentiment.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


....ok...lame, but I needed it to rhyme.....
Moving right along........yes indeedy my faithful follower(s) .....ha ha ha..... we are back after whirlwinding our self about with various arty-farty upsie-daisy life stuff.
Now there's some well thought out and erudite writing for you.
It started out this last Sat. with having an old friend who is a very good wildlife photographer pop up for a visit and having what was just going to be a lunch meeting turn into an all afternoon gallery hop where, as Don was showing the Gallery owner his photos, (I was being 'moral' support because Don said I needed to) we ended up pulling together an impromptu Art Show appearance at the Black Rock Resort. Because at the same time he was showing his prints, there was some folks looking on from the large 'PORCHE' show happening at Black Rock Resort that said 'you need to set up at the resort tonight as we are having our banquet' and so, in the space - literally' - of an hour, we gathered my screens, my easels and I put backings on 5 34 X 36 paintings and whipped down to Black Rock and set up in the lobby.

God, that exhausts me even writing about it!

Wasn't planning on that.....anywhatawaytogetittogetherway, it made for a good evening for Don and I got to talk to a lot of my townsfolk and some great visitors who had some very encouraging things to say about the new series.
Then Sunday and Monday was spent in pulling together a proposal with illustrations for a very large mural project at a resort in Tofino. Which I took out to show to the 'big guy' yesterday. And BOY was I nervous! So other than miscommunication -
and let's just digress for a moment here, shall we? I get asked to 'do' lots of art related things. For instance: paintings or special dolls or murals. Now, usually, I try to sit down with the said client and figure out what they are envisioning etc. It tends to be a bit 'hit or miss' at times as when you are visual you can explain what you see but when you're not....not so much explaining goes on. So sometimes I do up my 'rough sketch' presentation and get a luke warm response that I find is because it really wasn't what they wanted. sigh. Communication can be a tricky thing. I usually have to do a few sketches before we end up on the same page...and that's ok, a bit time consuming, but ok. Worst case scenario is I end up with some 'extra' work to add to the portfolio.
So: back to your regularly scheduled sentence - The sketch I did was not really what the fellow had in mind - well, he said "I like your beach scenes" and I took it as he LIKED my BEACH scenes and did a lovely pic of the painting you see above but what was really wanted was a light hearted colorful sea creature theme as lots of kids use the pool room.
Oh, did I mention they want the mural in the pool room? That is a whole other can of worms but I'll save that story until I get a firm answer on the status of the mural.
So any whatalotofyapyapyapway, we are redrawing the mural idea for the fellow today using a lot of my sea creatures as in the mural I painted at Jamie's (go to my web site and check out the mural section - you can click link on my pic here)
I'd better stop now and get cracking!