wings out S T R E T C H E D

Sometimes it pays to procrastinate!  I have been mulling over various painting ideas for an upcoming art show for months now.  Luckily, I had not started painting any of them over the holidays (as planned) because a photo popped up earlier this week on the internet that grabbed my attention.  Just as we were getting an unexpected snowfall on Gabriola, I was being inspired by this captivating image of a snowy owl in flight that was photographed by Transport Canada’s traffic camera along a highway in Montreal. Isn’t she incredible!?

snow owl swoops in for a selfie

Having spent too much time trying to decide on too many ideas, the snow outside the window and this snowy owl made the decision for me.  Another bonus to having delayed my start on this piece is that apparently the chocolate advent calendars from the recycle bins make excellent palettes!  Best of all is the fact that this image speaks to my creative heart like none of the other ideas had done.  So with these outstretched wings taking shape on the 6 x 36 inch canvas I was given for next weekend’s art show, I am almost ready to join nearly 50 other artists to get Stretched!

owl begins to take shapeadding more colour

almost

I just need to paint the eyes and finish the background.  I hope you will come see how she turns out!  Did I mention that my daughters are both putting the finishing touches on two of these extra long canvasses too?  They will not let me give you a peek just yet, so you really will have to come to the show on Gabriola next weekend (at the Women’s Institute Hall).  You will find us and our art at the opening Friday night from 7 – 9 pm (with wine & cheese).  Or pop in Saturday or Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm.  Come see how each artist has stretched themselves!  In the meantime, check out the Facebook page for more sneak previews!

P.S.  Here is what this happy artist looked like when she got snow this week!  Now do you see why the snowy owl called to me so much!? snow day = happy girl

holiday shopping – go local

So I made some cards for ME and then some of YOU asked for some too!  After a few special orders, I still have a bunch left to sell at the holiday craft fairs I am participating in over the next two weekends.  Come on by and grab a few and send some West Coast wishes to those you love!  Printed on 100 % recycled paper (as all my cards are), these truly are good for the Earth….and the Sea!  Please send me a note if you want a bulk order (and special bulk rate) on cards, or if you cannot make the holiday sales coming up.

send some peace and mark your page with a whale tail

I also decided to show you the entire painting (DIVE DEEP) in the form of a bookmark. Wouldn’t they make a nice pairing with the gift of a book (used book are the best kind to get, share your favourites around).   To top off the ultimate West Coast gift, you could add my DIVE DEEP calendar (also printed on 100% recycled paper).

dive deep 2016 calendar

You will find my PEACEFUL ocean creations Dec 12,13, 19 and 20th at the Pier Gallery Artists Collective (Panacea has the best stocking stuffers, hint hint Santa) and this Sunday at the DRIFT Home Show from 1 – 5 pm (come see where the magic happens at Black Bird Studios and meet a bunch of fabulous artists) .  Check out the links to see who is involved in each of these fabulous shows.

While you are out and about, check out the other craft sales happening on Gabriola over the next two weekends. The Agi Christmas Craft Fair is at the Community Hall this Saturday from 10 am – 3 pm.    Also this Saturday, Dianna Bonder will have her studio open for an Xmas Blast Open House from 10 am – 4 pm (the perfect place to get those books I was talking about). Another talented group of artists will be selling their wares at Christmas at the Roundhouse over the next two weekends from 11 am – 4 pm.  La Belle Vie Studio will be full of my friend Josee Velsen’s creations, so stop by while you are making your rounds (her homemade teas would be the perfect pairing with the books you are gifting and make sure you get some of your own to sip while you write Christmas cards). 

There is simply no reason to go to Nanaimo when you can get all your holiday shopping done right here on our amazing island.  Shop local and have fun!

P.S. If you are in Nanaimo and cannot make it over this way, check out the beautiful creations made by Katherine Moore at her Breeze On In Open House this weekend.  Or head downtown and see my art alongside so many other locals at Artzi Stuff.

making Christmas cards

I love this time of year, the early days of preparing for the holidays when we have lots of ideas and lots of time to make them happen (or so we think).  The kids have already designed and created their linocut Christmas card designs and have been hand printing all week (wait til you see the neon pink!) and I have been getting the itch to make my own cards.  But I have lent the lino cutting stuff to another family and so I am trying my hand at something new.

Peace is something I have been yearning more and more for these days, on the Earth and in my heart.  After a week of bright moonlit skies, this image seems to call to me.   So I added some digital text to a painting that I think is perfect for sending holiday greetings from the west coast. Now I need your help in deciding which design I should get printed. Please tell me which one is your favourite…

peace on earth scriptpeace on earth scratchpeace on earth  lightpeace on earth card large peace

2016 calendars are ready to make a SPLASH….and a giveaway

As we draw towards the end of another amazing year, it is time for me to get my 2016 poster calendars ready for you!  They make great holiday gifts — just roll up, tie with ribbon, and pass along with your love and best wishes for the coming year.  For the price of a couple fancy coffees (10 bucks), you have art you can enjoy every day of the year!

My calendars are big and bold (12 x 18 inches, with larger font this year, a win for those that have eyes getting older like mine) and printed locally on 100% recycled paper (good for you AND the earth).  Get them in my etsy shop or in a couple fun Gabriola holiday shows coming up….at Black Bird Studios on Dec 13th and at the Pier Gallery Holiday Sale here on Gabriola on the two weekends before Christmas (Dec 12/13 and 19/20).  Of course you can contact me directly to place an order.   Just 10 dollars each (I offer bulk discounts so let me know if you want a bunch).

2016 heart calendar - fill each day with love2016, a pear-fect yearLife is Good 2016 Year-At-A-Glance Calendardive deep 2016 calendar

I am so excited about this year’s designs and hope you are too.  In particular the DIVE DEEP whale tail makes my heart SMILE as I remember a magic day this September when I was surrounded by so many humpbacks!   Here is a photo I took of a whale called Yahtzee (can you see the spots on the underside of the tail?) getting ready to dive down for another mouthful of herring! (Please note the photo was taken from a distance and cropped and zoomed for this view).

Yahtzee diving!

A shout out to my friend The Marine Detective for sharing the magic on that special day and for continuing to do so much to protect our local marine species!  A great gift idea would be to pair my whale calendar with a humpback whale sponsorship — give a gift that supports the important research that the Marine Education and Research Society is doing! 

Here’s hoping 2016 is full of happy days for the ocean and for you and yours!

P.S. Which is your favourite 2016 design? Leave your top choice in the comments and I will enter your name into a giveaway.  The winner gets the calendar they love best! I will close this giveaway at the end of the month.

Update – congrats to Natalie who was the lucky winner and will be getting a calendar from me!

beach school

What does the first week of home schooling look like for us?  This year it looked like this……leaping into the first week of  unschool - teaching Lucky some dance movesperfect perchbreaking in the new Nature Journalsince our kite is broken, she made her own!she draws sea stars by the seashoremore sand arta little sea anemone, a little biology lessondo training timehappy toes in the sanddancetelling me storiesbest buds

Most days last week you would have found us at the beach….I took my camera with me to capture some of the magic.  As you can see, the beach is perfect for learning.  This visit included dance, writing, art, kite flying (when your kite is broken, make one with your coat), dog training, story telling, marine biology, snuggles and so much JOY!  On the way home we even planned a new activity for this year’s learning plan and she started working on it right after lunch using photos from this very day (a playful scrapbook, all design and word choices are hers and I love to see how she is getting the vintage typewriter to help her out).

I love homeschooling, especially on magic days such as these.  I love September, especially when the sun shines like it has been.  There is a crispness in the air and a newness in our schedules that makes the coming season seem so full of possibility. Hope you too are enjoying this beauty-full time of year!

P.S. In case you are wondering where we were, this was Whalebone Beach.  Of course she decided it needed a whale….

whale spotted at whalebone beach