Blog

New Colours!!!

New Golden colours 2018

Oh my goodness!!!  Golden has released 7 new colours and one amazing colour that has been reinstated!  8 new to me colours to choose from and add to my collection!  Of course, they are not yet available in Canada at any of my local stores.  So…online ordering to the rescue.

Thank you Donna Downey Studios for notifying me of these fantastic new treasures, and for shipping them to me!

Now seriously, lets talk about these colours…Cobalt teal…OMG people, it is more vibrant than the regular teal!  Seriously delicious!  I am going to use it in EVERYTHING.  This is the reinstated colour.   Apparently it existed before I began painting.  It is officially my new favourite colour.  🙂

Titan Mars Pale…finally a skin tone!  Sure, it still needs a little mixing, but it’s so close, and saves a tonne of time and frustration because I suck at mixing skin tones.  This is an excellent start, and I think it’s about time.

And Titan Violet Pale…so soft…I am in love.

I can hardly wait to get painting whimsical portraits again with these!  And I am wishing I had ordered the yellow pale and orange pale, to work on another in progress painting.  Maybe I can figure something out on my own that is close.  😉

Have you seen the new Golden colours?  Have you gotten your hands on any?  Which is your favourite?  Where did you find them?  And what are you looking forward to painting with them?

Cheers!

Reclaiming My Space

Purging

I have been absent from creating for a while now.  At first I used running as my excuse…all of my “free time” goes towards marathon training, and I don’t stay up late enough to create because I’ve been up early to run or exercise.  But I realized that this was inaccurate.  Because I stopped exercising in the mornings, and I  haven’t been motivated enough to run in the dark, so I’m wasting the time I wake up early before work.  Then I used guilt as an excuse.  I “should” be cleaning up the house and purging in the basement.  Which is totally true, but that never stopped me before from finding at least an hour a week to get my art on.  And then I realized…I haven’t been creating because my creative space is not usable.  I no longer had a space.

We had some water in our basement mid February, before a trip, and many items got moved into the middle of the room rather than staying at the perimeter.  It was messy before, I will admit, but it had reached a new level that not even I could live with.  The image on the bottom shows the state of what was once my art space.  Piles upon piles of paper, canvas, boards, and journals cluttered the room, along with other items that had no home, or needed to be sorted out.  It had become a dumping ground.  It made me sad to be in this space, and it made my head spin every time I tried to tidy it up…where does a person start in this place?

I had called a company to help me purge and organize, and just for the basement they quoted $3000…6 people for 2 days going through my stuff.  And I had to be willing to say goodbye to things.  Which I am…to a point.  NOT my art supplies.  And they didn’t like that idea about as much as I didn’t like their price.  So it’s up to me.  I got serious and started a week or two ago.  The image on the top is pretty close to how it looks today.  I have done a little more, but it doesn’t look much different.

The best thing I did was get a shelf to stack my canvases and boards, both completed, in progress, and blank.  Seriously…best money spent.  Even though I had to give in and ask my husband to help because it kept falling apart on me.  lol.  Yep, I’m that kind of girl.

I also found that this time, I was able to say goodbye to most of my post secondary school notes.  Yes, I graduated from College 14 years ago, and University 17 years ago, and I STILL had textbooks and hand written notes.  I couldn’t bare the thought of all that money and work getting thrown away.  And you never know…maybe I will want to look something up!  Well…I have come to learn that if I want to look something up, I am going to Google…NOT my notes or old outdated textbooks.  They are no use to anyone.  And as Marie Kondo states in her book “The Life-changing magic of tidying up”, it has served it’s purpose.  So out go two milk crates worth of paper in binders and two shelves worth of text books.  Perfect!  Yes…I did keep some notes that I spent A LOT of time on, and admire still.  More sentimentally.  But 1 binder isn’t so bad, is it?

It is interesting to me what I am drawn to keeping.  What is it about these items?  Sometimes it is sentimental value.  Looking at them or touching them bring memories back, that I never think about without prompting.  I’m not ready to let these memories go.  Sometimes it’s because it was a gift from someone…I had a book I was given from a previous employer that I didn’t even enjoy working for.  That is now gone to a new home.  Sometimes, as with the text books, it is the money spent on the items…or the thought that they could be used again.  But if they’ve served their purpose, the money spent has already been redeemed in it’s use.  And sometimes, as with the notes, it’s the time and care I put into creating it.  …or someone else put into creating, like how I can’t part with the kids art pictures because they were so proud of their effort when they gave it to me.

I am learning how to make space, and make peace with letting things go.  I am learning to get over the guilt of not using something or spending money…of being wasteful.  I am learning to find comfort in knowing that the things I am no longer in love with can bring someone else joy.  And I am reclaiming my space!  It’s a work in progress.

Do you find it hard to purge?  Or energizing and refreshing?  Any tips or tricks to organizing your creative space?  Stay tuned…the creating has begun!  I will be more active in this space once again!

Empowered

As 2017 comes to an end, I have realized that I have both done so much more than I had ever imagined, and yet not accomplished what I had expected. Focus shifted for me, from painting to running, and that’s ok! Great even! Because they both serve a special purpose in self care for me. I am hoping that 2018 will help me find the balance for both in my life.

I have a fun project that I’m working on for a friend, I am excited to share, but nervous as well because it is a little different than my usual work, and it is for someone else. The pressure of meeting another person’s expectations is really tricky for me, as I am a people pleaser and perfectionist at heart. And I have spent a few years now trying to overcome those qualities and become more confident.

So, being away from this project to focus on marathon training has left me unsure, and afraid to continue because “what if I mess it up?”. So I started the piece shown above, to allow myself freedom in play with colour and lines, before diving back into my commissioned pieces. And I’m kind of in love with it so far. It’s a new colour palette for me, and it’s so fun.

I have been listening as my son plays academy soccer, and I have learned that sometimes to get the ball forward, you must first pass it back or wide, find and make space, open up and good things will happen. These pieces of advice can apply to life as well. And I feel this painting is an example of it. It doesn’t seem like it’s a move towards getting my other projects completed, because it’s a new, unrelated piece. I do believe, however, it is a pass back or wide. Maintaining possession is a big part of soccer, and creating motivation is a big part of life. By diving into something new with no pressure and no strings attached, I am making space for the motivation and confidence needed for the other project, and by opening up, I can more easily see more opportunities for my next move.

Always making progress, even if the move doesn’t appear to move forward, because by making space, you make the opportunity to strike. Sometimes play is a necessity.

I love the challenge of this piece! This is just the early stage…just the colour blocking. I am so excited to see where this piece leads me.

“Fearless AF”

38270428751_8f38fb1aca_o

This is my team of new best friends, thanks to 261 Fearless, and their invitation to run with them at the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon.  What a truly amazing experience this has been.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to run with 261 Fearless for my first full marathon.

And I now recognize how fortunate I am to have the running community that I have at home, through the Stoney Creek Running Room.  261 Fearless is a social running community that unites women globally.  No judgement, no competition, and welcoming of ALL abilities, shapes and sizes, religions and skin colours, it’s an all inclusive club for women who share a love for running and a desire to keep fit while having fun and creating lasting friendships.  Whether you are a walker or a marathoner, 261 Fearless is for you.  They have a new Friendship Program, that is inclusive of everyone world wide through the wonders of technology, to help support women who crave a community but don’t have one in their physical location that they feel comfortable in participating.  (If you join, let me know…as I am a member!)

These women I ran with and socialized with throughout the weekend are all phenomenal people.  This is what I will hold onto the most, is this new family.  And my newly discovered strength in the face of pain and adversity that comes with running a marathon.  I am honoured to have been able to share this experience with one of my teammates, who also finished her first ever full marathon!  We helped each other through the second half…complaining when we needed to vent, and encouraging each other to keep going, putting one foot in front of the other, and reminding each other how awesome we both are, especially in those tough moments.  And I cannot forget the team members that waited to greet me in the hotel lobby as I came back, dazed and confused, and accompanied me to the after party (once I had showered).  This small act of kindness was HUGE to me as well, as I wanted to celebrate, and eat, but I was also so exhausted I didn’t want to wonder around alone.

What shocked me the most is the magnitude of people, both spectating and running, in the New York City marathon.  The crowds were phenomenal, a little overwhelming at times, but so excited and encouraging.  And how amazing is that, considering it rained all day, that people were out on the course the whole way for so many hours, cheering, both for loved ones and complete strangers.  I have never heard my name called out and encouraged so much in my life.  It felt amazing.  The crowd really did get me through…I felt like I floated through the first half of that marathon, until I realized…I had to do it all over again, and I was already starting to feel tired.  Half way was actually one of the hardest moments for me, mentally and emotionally, because that’s when the self doubt started.  But it didn’t last for long, as I found my teammate, Elizabeth, and I changed up my plan and we finished together, strong.

The temperature was perfect, the misty rain was constant and welcomed, and the crowd was inviting.  It was truly an amazing, once in a lifetime experience for me.  I hope to someday run again with 261 Fearless.  But for now, I will savour the memories of New York, and my new friends.

More to come on my NYC Marathon experience.  😉

“Just do it”

I hear a lot of people say “I will do such in such when…I lose 10 lbs…I take this course…I perfect that skill…I have more time…my kids are older…I am healthier…I fit into this size…I quit that bad habit…” In fact, I used to be (and sometimes still am) one of those people. But here’s the thing I am learning…the “right” time seems like it never comes. Or the opportunity isn’t there when the timing is “perfect”.

I believe that when an opportunity presents itself, we have a choice…to pass it up because the time isn’t right, or to be courageous and go for it. Its only by taking a leap of faith that we will reach our goals, even if we are unaware that it is even a goal of ours.

For example, I had been thinking of maybe doing a marathon, sometime, and then I heard about Team 261 Fearless and the NYC marathon. I applied, with really no experience, just the willingness to train hard. I didn’t make the team, originally, but then, I got a call, and an offer to be a part of something big, something empowering and amazing. A once in a lifetime opportunity, to not only run a marathon, but to start it with Kathrine Switzer! And not just any marathon, one of the biggest marathons in the world! A bucket-list event and accomplishment.

Now my brain said “definitely not…you’re not…fast enough, slim enough, strong enough…you can’t do that much fundraising in such a short time…its not possible…its too risky…you will look like a fool…you will fail”. And yet, something inside me lit up, and made me smile and think…”but what if i did it…what if i could do it?” The thought stuck with me, and I knew that if I didnt give it a try that I would always wonder if I could have done it. I knew I would regret not doing it…even though I didn’t believe at first that I could run 42.2km. And then I convinced myself I could do it. I wanted it so badly, I could no longer imagine NOT doing it.

And so…I took a leap, and put faith in my wings. And with the training has come confidence. Now, in all honesty, I’m not completely fearless in the sense of lacking fear…but I am fearless in that I am courageous and empowered…afraid and doing it anyways. Going for what my heart desires, despite the difficult journey.

I believe this is the key to happiness in life. It’s not a lack of stress, but the balance of the right kind of stress. Test your limits, push your boundaries, and always grow. Life is about the journey, not the destination.

Be Fearless…Be Free.

Marathon Ambition

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hello Friends!  I have been very busy this past month!  As many of you who follow me on facebook know, and some of you may not be aware, I am going to run in the New York City Marathon on November 5th, with Team 261 Fearless, lead by the one and only Kathrine Switzer!  I am beyond excited!  With a charity bib, comes fundraising, and good fundraising takes creativity.  I created the painting above to be the cover of a cookbook that I created to sell to raise money for 261 Fearless.  If you are, by chance, interested in a cookbook, please find me on facebook here, and send me a private message.  I will ship!

I must admit, I LOVE the way my desire for bright colours merges with my obsession with a Paynes Grey female body.  I wasn’t sure if it would work, but was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.  This image is also used as a poster for my 5K Fun Run Walk, Saturday October 28, 2017, for which you can register at my Eventbrite page.

Running is just as important to my mental and emotional well being as painting.  They actually have a lot in common, which is surprising!  Both act as a meditative activity for me…I get into the zone and tune everything else out.  Both are relaxing and rewarding.  Both running and painting make me feel confident, empowered, and ready to take on the next challenge.  Both make me get over perfectionism, and help to teach me to go with the flow, because there are so many uncontrollable factors involved.  They teach me patience and acceptance.  They allow me time to be with myself, and treat myself in a kind and compassionate way, granting me the much needed time to recharge, and recenter.

261 Fearless helps women feel the confidence from running through empowerment and fearlessness.  They create global networking environments and safe running groups for women to learn to run, in a safe and injury-free manner.

If you are interested in more information about 261 Fearless, and Kathrine Switzer, click on 261 Fearless.  🙂  If you would like to sponsor me in my journey to New York’s Marathon, please click on sponsor me.  Thank you so much for helping me to reach my goal!!!

One more favour…what do you see in this painting?  What stands out to you?  What does the woman represent?  I’m curious how this image is received and interpreted.  😉  Thank you!!!

Playing with colour

I have a new project in my mind that I am super excited to work on…so I started at 4am! After researching photos, making a basic sketch, and painting the background, I decided I wanted to test my colours before I put them all on the canvas. So I very quickly made a fun colour swatch, with my fingers of course. 😉

This is a new process for me. Usually in my art I work more intuitively, reacting to what is placed on the canvas at each step. I attempted the plan it all out and paint step by step method in the past, and it didn’t work out so well for me. It lead me to a lot of self doubt and negative self talk, because i didnt have a completely clear picture in my head of a finished product. I only had an idea, and some feelings towards colour.

So this rare image of what I want to create is in my head. But again, I dont actually “see” the finished piece…i see parts of it. So to make sure my ideas will fly together, i decided to play with colour. I think its going to look great, and I can hardly wait for the background to dry!

I’m curious…do you have a picture in your mind of the finished product before you start painting? Or do you begin based on an idea or a colour or a desire to play and just see what comes out?