Sunday, November 2, 2008


Illustration Friday - for the October 31st theme "Vacant". Are your current living quarters feeling a little cramped? See something better, but just aren't sure they are vacant? I just had to do the hermit crab...what a perfect example of something always looking for vacancies!


This is an african sky which I painted for my sister, Jennifer. I originally had planned women dancing in the foreground, but decided against it. It was such a study in clouds for me that I became obsessed with the sky and thought the dancers would just take away from it. The title "Relief" is because I see the presence of clouds as an indicator of rains to come, and of course "relief" for the arid landscape.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I actually painted this a few years ago now and gave it to my dad and his wife for Christmas. It acquired a small puncture in transit, but it isn't really noticeable. It's now very nicely displayed in their house (and no, not on the back of the laundry room door). I was there this past August and I was walking along the beach outside their house early in the morning and was drawn to something very colourful out of the corner of my eye. It was this painting, catching the early morning sun in their living room. It was great!

Horsing around down under

The second of my "Octopus' Garden" series. I'm trying to experiment with textures in the background, but I haven't quite got it yet.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jellies Tickling Bellies

Inspired by a friends illustrations for children's books, I recently attempted a more whimsical painting. My son, Morgan, has only very recently moved into his own bedroom, so what better way to make it inviting than to colour the walls with appealing pictures. My husband plays a tickling jelly fish game with him and hence the idea. I envision this as the first painting in a series of marine creatures and children interacting, perhaps ultimately in the "Octopus' Garden". This is why I had the idea that the kids would be using the jellies as parachutes ...the jelly just couldn't resist that tummy for a tickle opportunity though!

Learning to Fly

I had been painting for a number of months and completed several different pieces all with brightly coloured flowers as my subject. I heard about a course that a friend, Celeste Varley, was offering on Pender Island, entitled "Learning to Fly". So, having no training in art whatsoever, I thought this might be fun. I entered into the course thinking I might pick up some advice on techniques, but I came away with so much more. Celeste empowered each of us in the class to tap into creativity within. We did a number of exercises that often challenged me, but ultimately broke me out of patterns I was developing. This piece, now titled "Learning to Fly", is the result of a splash of ochre during an exercise in the second class I took with Celeste. "What do you see?" Celeste asked me of my ochre blob on the canvas. I tried to deny it, but all I could see was the skeleton of a bird. Compared to my bright, colourful flowers, this subject was quite frankly a bit morbid and I just wasn't willing to see it. However, with Celeste's encouragement, the canvas and I worked together to create this piece. It has now become one of my favourites as I no longer see the morbidity, but the beauty. It was a turning point for me in my work.

If you would like to find out more about Celeste Varley's courses, please visit her at Who knows what you might discover?

Lily - Rediscovering art

As a child I was always drawing, colouring, sketching, name it. Even as a teenager I still found time to be creative. However, somewhere in my '20s I lost sight of it and it wasn't until I turned 30 that I rediscovered art in my life. I was in the garden one day and was inspired by the lilies so I picked up a canvas, I picked up some acrylics and I went for it. I didn't sketch anything first, I had never used acrylics but I thought " how hard can it be?". So this is the first painting I did after a very long break from using painting as a creative outlet.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

In Focus

I recently completed this lioness. It was a fairly pivotal piece as it was different from anything I had painted to date. I hadn't attempted to capture an animal on canvas before, scared of my subject not having life. The title has two meanings: 1) the subject most certainly has the target "in focus" and 2) it was painted at a time in my life where I felt things were coming into focus for me personally.