a tempest of teacups

So tonight there is a local fundraiser gala event for the Gabriola Arts Council and in honour of this group’s 20th year, the theme is all about CHINA!

China Affair 2017

Of course, when the call to artists went out inviting us to create something along this theme, I had to join in!  I love painting tea cups and using fancy china to drink my tea.  Any old day can be a tea party if you take a moment to pull out the good stuff.

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I started playing with ideas and really settled on this idea of using the good stuff any time, like taking it to the beach for picnics (something I love to do with my girls)! Using photos from a recent picnic with my youngest at Drumbeg, I started playing with some new photo transfer techniques and I love how well this technique works on a wood surface!  You should really try it with your favourite photos!  Here is the one that worked out the best, I love the feeling that comes through.  ”Making Memories” is a mixed media photography piece on a 10×10 cradled panel and it will be for sale at tonight’s fundraiser event!

making memories

A couple weekends ago, the amazing woman who runs ArtziStuff (the gallery in downtown Nanaimo that carries my art and cards) hosted an art party with her mom (thank you Tanya and Diane Streeter)!  I was so lucky to be invited to this gathering of incredible creative women and had so much fun sharing food and stories and art supplies and techniques! I worked (played) alongside Janice Hofman who makes amazing stencils – you can find Janice’s stuff on etsy and at Iron Oxide (an amazing art supply shop in downtown Nanaimo).  She showed me some fun new stencil techniques and we had a giggle over the fact that we packed the exact same paint colours to bring for the afternoon of creating! Her stencils helped me jazz up this other painting I did for tonight’s art auction….

tea party pink tea cup 8x8 2017

I loved working on this sweet piece while surrounded by all my new art pals.  I painted tea cups all afternoon while drinking tea (first black, then mint) and later prosecco in a fancy pink and gold tea cup.  The delicious biscotti made by one of the artists at the party was just so perfectly paired with my mood (as were the stories she shared of her time in Italy). Thank you Mirella Trozzo, I must come find you again at Biscotti Di Notte in Qualicum!

tea and tea cup arttea art party so many tea cups cr

I had so much fun brewing up a collection of tea cup paintings at this little art party (and since then in my home studio).  There truly has been a Tempest of Teacups in my life the last couple of weeks….with my art and with all the tea we have been drinking as my family has taken turns with the flu.  Now we are all still fighting the lingering effects of the cold that came with this nasty bug and drinking more tea!  I am hoping to join everyone at the Tempest in a Teacup event tonight, but I will have to see how I feel… luckily I still have all afternoon to drink healing cups of tea.

Cheers to all of you who also enjoy a good cup of tea (or prosecco)!

cheers at tanya and diane art party

Tea parties really are perfect any time — at the beach with your kids, while creating with friends or home alone to help you heal from a cold!

IMG_9729btcrart party photo credits go to Mirella Trozzon and Janice Hofman – thanks for capturing the magic!

 

for the whales

It feels to good to paint again….to find an old canvas and bring it new life with layers of playful paint added over a period of weeks, with no plan in mind.  To then feel driven to paint something special and to use that colourful, multi-layered canvas to make something like THIS….

for the whales 10x10

I am so glad I made time to paint something FOR THE WHALES, for the amazing team of educators and researchers that are doing so much for the baleen whales in our waters! I hope this playful whale tail will help my friends at MERS (Marine Education and Research Society) keep doing their important work.  I hope it will also make you think about the whales and how you can learn more about them.  Do you want to help to?  Check out all the on-line silent auction items and perhaps make a bid (bidding closes 2 pm on June 26th).  There are raffle tickets for sale too and a fun event being planned for June 26th. Why not make a trip…

mers event

Of course, you can also visit the MERS website anytime and contribute by Adopting A Whale or making a donation.  Just by learning more about the whales and the work MERS is doing to protect whales, you will become part of the team.  The more we know, the more we care, the more we will help.

All this on the heels of an incredible string of World Oceans Day events and school programs I participated in.  I think this painting was infused with ocean magic after all those amazing events that were topped off by a school camping trip with my daughter to a whale filled bay on the West Coast! Which reminds me, I should go check the calendar to see when we can go back to visit the grey whales in Pachena Bay again this summer!

grey whale heart blow

 

mothers…..GRAND and GREAT

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Today is a day for mothers, I am missing my own mom of course, but I am also thinking of the mothers that came before….of my GRAND-mothers, one of whom is still alive….she is also a GREAT grand-mother.  Here is a painting (in progress) of both these women, mothers that came before me, without them I would not be here today.  Did they know, on this day that they donned their party hats, at the wedding of my parents, that all these years later I would be be here, another mother, with two more daughters (possible future mothers)?  I’d like to think that on the day of this photo they glimpsed how their love would grow from that moment. I’d like to hold my great-grand-mother’s hand today and tell her how much her love means to me still.  She is still here and yet I cannot reach her (she lives in Saskatoon, her mind is increasingly confused) but I hope that she can feel my love.  I hope all the mothers that came before me can feel my love.  I miss you Mom and I miss all the moms I never knew and I am grateful to them all.  I also honour the mothers who have come since (step-mother, mother-in-law) and all the mothers yet to come (oh I hope my girls might feel their hearts swell with the love of their own children one day).

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

waxing with the moon

Sometimes it is hard to look on the bright side of things, sometimes I get a bit down and start thinking about all the challenges I face and forgetting how truly great my life is!  Especially when my family is going through uncertainty and change, especially when that is layered on a lack of sleep.  And a moon reaching for full tends to affect my sleep in a big way!  So this week there have been some hard moments….

…but yesterday I found (made) some time to go for a walk in the sun with a friend. We strolled along the sea and waded in to the refreshing water.  Toes on white shells, water sparkling with tiny fish, and so many birds soaring overhead.  I felt lighter as we chatted and shared our woes (as well as our blessings).  Lighter and with it came a brightening.  Yesterday I also found (made) time to do some painting.  This image of an eagle and a full moon is coming to light on the canvas, waxing like the nearly full moon that has been disturbing my sleep this week.  After yesterday I feel that I too am waxing like the moon…brightening…

Here’s hoping that I can keep finding this shift in perspective when I need it.  Maybe the full moon can become a beacon to remind me to lighten up (rather than something that usually just gets blamed for sleep issues).  It really is all about perspective….

moon and eagle in progresseagle moon in progress

important note to self

after a very busy week, with extra days in the office, and a growing pile of post it notes on my work desk, I have the day off…..time for tea and art with my girl…..this very important note to self appears…..this one needs prompt attention!  might have to take it to the office with me on Monday….or is it better kept here….both places could benefit….maybe I will go make some more “fun notes to self” right now!

hope you are moving forward, moving on, letting go and opening up to the possibility of every moment….I am going to keep on trying!  and in the trying, at the very least, I will avoid getting stuck!

xo

not stuck