Monday, December 26, 2016

You Are Infinite Potential!

You are 
the infinite potential
of love, peace and joy.
~Amit Ray

This being my last Creative Quote for 2016, I wanted to end with something important.  

This piece: I used Daniel Smith watercolours, which are made from stones of the earth, which I love-  that direct connection to nature.  I also used stones I just collected at the ocean, today, as they are my infinite potential of becoming more crochet stones, which are my way of spreading love, peace and joy in the world.  Each are a little imperfect, as is this oval, which is part of their beauty.  

I hope they remind us of ourselves- 
beautifully imperfect, and full of potential 
for positive energy,calm and joy in the world.

Sending you and the world a positive and beautiful 2017!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Like a star at dawn...

This is not my quote writing- I cheated,but I am also playing with using text in new ways- using newsprint, magazines, old books, etc .  This is a quote from a yoga card I bought and thought it was pretty cool how well it went with a painting I created.  Then I used yesterday's crochet stone and some little bits of nature (the tiny stones are from a beach in France that was no sand, only those!).  

This is almost the end of my 2016 challenge- it's fleeting, too!  I am so grateful to have completed it and kept the commitment!  Love to you all!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Today is your better day.

The future is no place to place your better days.
~Dave Matthews

A great reminder to revel, relish and appreciate the little things- here and now. 

This piece:  This was a busy and exciting week!  I participated in two craft fairs and sold tons of stones, jewelry, scarves and once-was-a-sweater stuffed animals.  For this reason, I returned to pens- but I am keeping to my commitment of every Monday this year! (What will I do for next year???)  Also, my lovely Daniel Smith watercolours are at school since I am lending their luminosity to my students so that their character portraits will be as magical as their creativity.  

Monday, December 5, 2016

Just like wildflowers

Like wildflowers; 
you must allow yourself to grow in all the places 
people thought you never would.
~E.V. Rogina

This quote (and painting!) has layers and I am still thinking about all it's possible meanings.  Is the word places geographical, or internal?  Might be both, which leaves quotes like these so open for interpretation and reflection!

This painting: I used an Aquaboard, which give such lovely effects with the ink.  I also used a page I had painted with Daniel Smith watercolours, which has a sheen and sparkle to it for the flower piece cutouts.  It was fun to put together and I may continue exploring this collage style.  

Enjoy your week!

Monday, November 28, 2016

"Life is a great big canvas
throw all the paint on it you can."
~Danny Kaye

I think the question here is, what's your paint?  For each of us our creativity and imagination are so personal, so we each paint our canvas so differently.  Lately my paint has literally been paint, but also this week I created stuffed animals out of old cashmere sweaters, dyed silk scarves with indigo and created new jewelry with unique stones from all over the world. I love creating and learning, so my paint is full of variety and I am still adding more to my repertoire.

This painting: I have been trying to enjoy a looser feel for some of my work and these watercolour puddles and squiggles are fun.  It is fun to play with what colours to choose and then the addition of Caran D'ache Neocolor pastels add another layer of interest.

Enjoy throwing paint around this week!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Watching for Lessons from Nature

Let nature be your teacher.
~William Wordsworth

This is so true.  It can be so helpful to come back to nature for guidance, and a lightning rod to lead you back to where you need to be.  Listen, look and be present to soak up the beauty and inspiration.  

This image: I had another piece in mind for today, but I was walking to meet my husband and the leaves and bark were all over in the blustery, beautiful weather.  This heart shaped hole was just perfect, so I went with it.  Love is everywhere, if you look for it.

Then, when I got home and went to take this photo, it began to sprinkle, adding to the natural texture of the photo!   Isn't nature just lovely?  

And nature's reminding us of life lessons every moment, so keep watching!

Enjoy your week! 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Spread Love and Kindness!

Happiness blossoms when ever one
 plants seeds of love and kindness.
~Melanie Koulouris

This week I decided that this is our most important action- to plant seeds of love and kindness EACH day and in EVERY interaction with others.  Even though I have felt this way and say, "Have a great day!" to almost everyone I cross, I think I can do better.  This week brought the challenging question of "how can we make sure to spread kindness and remind others the importance of this way of life?"

Because kindness is a way of life- and all or nothing approach.  I am trying to go all in.

This painting- I had the background for a while and loved the colours and the little silver squares I painted all over.  But then I didn't know what to do with it until this week.

Please make a point to spread more seeds of kindness. 
 We need more love and it starts with you!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Be your own every-day goddess with your own positive self-talk


This is not a quote! What!?! But this is a direction I have been wanting to take and feel out for a while.  I love collecting words from magazines and then using them to create statements that are almost like mantras- to help and remind us of the power of our self-talk- which is vital to be checking for a positive life.  So here is me using the Creative Quote ritual to begin to branch out to other things that move and inspire me.  

I created this painting as an homage to all the young girls out there.  I love the idea of creating posters that girls can put up in their room to remind us of the types of qualities we want to foster and grow into to each be our own humble, caring and beautiful "every-day goddesses".  We will see where this leads to.  This one has a lot of pink, but only in her setting.  She is more dynamic than the typical princess girl persona, since she has nature in her hair and she is looking inward instead of worried so much about what the world thinks.

What do you think?  
Are you an everyday goddess working on your own mantra?  
I am.

Where ever you are and what every your mantra is, enjoy your week!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Ordinary Beauty

There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things.
~Pam Beesly

I keep enjoying the play of how this quote challenge keeps me on my toes- painting and then when there isn't a painting that will work in progress, I enjoy throwing in the other creative options.  I seem to need to crochet these stones.  The finding of the round ones is so satisfying and then there's the feeling of accomplishment at the end of an evening when I'm able to start and finish one.  Simple pleasures.  

The background for this piece is also me finding the beauty in the ordinary.  I wanted to explore and test the new colours I purchased and they came together so nicely in this whimsical flower page.  I made it on a beautiful morning just after sunrise.

Wishing you the ability to notice the beauty in ordinary things this week!

Ordinary Beauty

There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things.
~Pam Beesly

I keep enjoying the play of how this quote challenge keeps me on my toes- painting and then when there isn't a painting that will work in progress, I enjoy throwing in the other creative options.  I seem to need to crochet these stones.  The finding of the round ones is so satisfying and then there's the feeling of accomplishment at the end of an evening when I'm able to start and finish one.  Simple pleasures.  

The background for this piece is also me finding the beauty in the ordinary.  I wanted to explore and test the new colours I purchased and they came together so nicely in this whimsical flower page.  I made it on a beautiful morning just after sunrise.

Wishing you the ability to notice the beauty in ordinary things this week!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Don't forget to love yourself!

Don't forget to love yourself.
~Soren Kierkegaard

It sounds so simple, but is it really easy?  It is a nice reminder and one to take a deeper look into.  Do my actions, words and intentions match this- do I really walk the talk and love myself in a healthy, reflective and forgiving way?  Maybe there's more to this skill than meets the eye, so this just might require more vigilance.

This painting:  I am having fun with these art journaling techniques I have learned from various courses.  These poncho girls are simple to create and it's interesting to see what their personalities are.  At first, these two seemed like friends, then maybe sisters, then I realized, just maybe it was the same girl, happily hugging herself.  We all need to keep this visual of giving ourselves a big hug.  From time to time it can come in handy when life throws a curve-ball.

Go forth and love yourself today and all this week, so that just maybe you'll internalize new levels of understanding for the one we can be the most hard on.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Serenity and Tranquility for you

May you find serenity and tranquility in a world you may not always understand.
~Sandra Sturtze

Sometimes the world is overwhelming and full of things we cannot always understand.  But this quote reminds us that we can choose our own state of mind and mood, instead of being taken in and overcome by outside sources. But sometimes it is not as easy as all this, eh?  Something to strive for.

This painting:  I have been working on faces and trying to show a bit more depth in my work.  This one came out a bit moody- is she "happy" is she "sad"? Is life as easy as classifying it in these two terms? I though it worked well with this quote.  We aren't always "happy" and things aren't always "perfect", but you can still be in charge of creating and stabilizing your own tranquility.

Enjoy your week!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Lighthearted, I take to the open road

Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road, 
healthy, free, the world before me.
~Walt Whitman

I love the optimism of this. Things can be simple and full of possibility, 
if we decide upon our daily outlook.

This painting: I am still learning new fonts and today I tried a new one that came out nicely.  I have also been enjoying the mountain shape so much and playing with simple swaths of colour. Then, this month's Silkworm journal displayed many of these simple scenes and it gets me more and more excited to start my silk painting studio.  That will be my next big order- dyes, resist, silk and to build my own wood stretcher frame.

The world is before me!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Beautiful you

The world is full of beautiful things just like you.
~ Trudy Vesotsky

Isn't it?  I have been keeping a gratitude journal and write a stream of what I am grateful for each day.  The beauty of life is important to note and take time to appreciate.  I think this quote is also reminding us to not brush away what make you beautiful, but to remember to notice all the little things that make you special, too!  This is important and we sometimes have been trained to think honoring yourself is "selfish" but it isn't when it is done with authenticity and grace.

This painting: I had fun with spray inks and thought I overdid it but then this simple white idea came to me.  I used a geode coaster that we have to trace the not-so-perfect center space and doodled around with fun botanical motifs.  This quote just seemed a simple offering. 

I hope you remember your beauty this week and take time to appreciate yourself, 
as well as all the other beauty you see around you each day.  

Monday, September 26, 2016

Drink in the night!

Dance beneath the stars as you drink in the night.
~Christy Ann Martine

It was the language that caught my eye for this quote.  I love the idea that you could drink it in so fully that you might become drunk on the night!  I have been realizing how much movement is important to keeping us fresh- dance, music, hiking, embodiment practices, etc.  And the stars are always out, no matter if we can see them or not, so anytime is a great time to dance and drink in your movement.

This painting:  Silhouettes seem such a simplified message, without getting too caught up in the details.  We can do that sometimes in life.  I also love ancient rock and cave paintings and etchings, and for this painting, I wanted to capture the movement and simplicity that those can convey.

I hope you find some movement and simplicity under the stars this week!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Listen to the wind

So I listened to the wind for the answer.
~Martin Sexton

I love the simplicity of this quote.  
This might just be the answer to many problems, large and small.  
Maybe time and nature are all we need to solve our troubles. 
(If we let go and  allow them to be solved.)

This painting:
I've been practicing faces and watercolor- which, as a medium, can seem so elusive and unforgiving.  It is coming along, but an still striving for a more "effortless" feel.  Maybe I need to go listen to the wind and let it come together when it comes. I am enjoying the journey!

Enjoy your week!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Little Magic Things

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper. 

I love collecting random finds- mostly from nature, but I do have a collection of mangled metal things, having lived in "the city" all my life.  I love looking for the unexpected, the beautiful in little things that have been dropped or have fallen to the ground.  Nature leaves us such lovely gifts.  I hope we can continue to find ways to be more present and alert to notice and enjoy these unique finds.

This painting:  I am constantly drawn to both chaotic, lively slashes of colour, texture and imagery, and to paintings that minimally share such simple beauty.  Here is one where I was trying the later.  I have been enjoying my Senelier watercolours and will soon be dabbling in Daniel Smith watercolours, too.   So little time, so many beautiful supplies to test out!

Enjoy the little magic things this week!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Life flows on...

Life flows on within you and without you.
~George Harrison

This quote always intrigues me and leaves me thinking of the layers it has to offer.  I am lucky to have a Mum who loved the Beatles, so that, growing up, I was able to find their "amazingness" and lay for hours listening and contemplating life.  I love them all, but George may have been my favourite.  He wrote some deep songs.  What does this quote mean to you?  Oh the possibilities...

This painting:
As with life, I had a different vision before I began, but this turned into something else entirely.  Both the piece still in my head, and the actual result are beautiful, so this keeps me painting.  I used an Aquaboard for this, and the possibility of the unknown is always the draw.  I added so much liquid- water and ink, that these abstract swirling trees flowed and this quote came to mind.  And so I decided to leave it as is and not try to embellish the flow.    (This is glittering and amazing in person, so I am realizing that I may need to take that Jane Davenport course where I learn to scan my images sooner than later...)  If you are ever nearby and want to see it in person, then that can be arranged... ;)

The other painting to go with the other quote may come to be on another day.

Enjoy the flow.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Simply Happiness

Happiness is an inside job.
~William Arthure Ward

I saw this quote and thought it was a nice, simple reminder.  There are a lot of ideas out there to go looking for happiness, or seek happiness or find happiness, but it is an art form to be able to make your own.  Finding happiness inside, each and everyday, that is the journey.

This painting: I am still having fun with watching watercolours mix  I have also been enjoying the simplicity of a little paint on a white background.  For this quote, I was thinking that if a blue flower can be happy, because of her internal happiness, then who can't?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Looking to the rhythm of nature

Wilting and transitoriness are part of the rhythm of nature.
~Happinez Magazine

For me this is a soothing reminder that there is an ebb and a flow to life.  Not everything can be all shiny stars and diamonds, sometimes the boring or dirty bits remind us of how sweet things can be.

This image:
One of these exact purple flowers made a cameo in one of my last Creative Quotes.  Now the bouquet is dead, but still holds a stark beauty to it.  I read this quote in one of my FAVOURITE magazines- Happinez.  It is full of inspirational articles and all types of colour and beauty from all over the world.  Through life's ebb and flow, it is lovely to have those things that keep you wondering, striving and appreciating the beauty of life- even if it is just a dead bit of baby's breath.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Outside our comfort zone...

Step out of your comfort zone, for that is where the magic lives.
~Sofiah Thom

This week is inspired by two women who have been so amazing for me lately.  I have been taking a course called Temple Body Awakening, given by Sofiah Thom, and this quote was part of one of her latest Facebook post.  This year I have been taking many courses to keep me growing, and it is so true that when you try new things and get away from the usual, great things can happen.

This piece:
I am taking this fun and helpful course called Vitamin Sea, given by Jane Davenport.  This mermaid was inspired by one of the lessons.  This piece is much more luminous in person, as I have a thing for metallics, but that doesn't show through so well here...  but, just like this mermaid who is enjoying time on the land, I am trying new things and finding I love them!

Enjoy your week, Jennifer

Monday, August 8, 2016

The balance of colour play

Extremes are easy.  Strive for balance.
~Colin Wright

Still seeking balance.  I was actually looking for a quote with the word "mixture", "bleeding into" or "mixing", but I didn't quite find what I wanted to share about the play of these watercolours mixing on the paper.  So then I found another quote about balance, and there that word has returned again...  Just as I am about to begin a new school year.  I guess it is reminding me that there is always a chance to strive anew.  (You can see how easy extremes are, just by watching the political scene right now...)

This image-
When I was playing with circles in a watercolour course I took on Creativebug, I also had made this little crochet stone and loved the look of it on the painting.  This week I added one of the flowers from the blooms that Jason bought me. 

 I like that moment when you brush the edge of one circle to touch another.  The push and pull of the colours is often surprising- to see which flows in which direction, and which ends up dominating- and how it all dries in the end.  This reminds me of the precarious balance I am still seeking in my life- too much time for one thing and the whole circle is just red again, but a bit more balance and there you have may hues in one place...

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Learning from each peak

Each fresh peak ascended teaches something.
~Sir Martin Convay

There is something about mountain lines for me this year.  You may have noticed it in many of my pieces...  Maybe it is the horizon- adding a bit of interest, but also it may be the implied challenge that we all seek.  The fading layers of earth can be so intriguing, and soothing at the same time.  

This year I have cultivated a more reflective life practice, and so looking back on the peak and identifying what you did learn is something I am working on.  

This painting:  
As I mentioned before I am having so much fun with watercolour.  For instance I purposely put salt in the yellow sky to suggest clouds and in the grass for texture.  But the splash type shape in the top mountain dried like that all on it's own.  Oh the surprises that creating brings.

Watching for the sweetness and joy.

There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity,
 a silence that is a foundation of action and joy.
~Thomas Morton

I have been working on seeing the purity in all around me.  Even in the city, even in people.  Each morning I start the day by listing things I am grateful for.  This has been a beautiful practice, instead of the first thing I reach for being something connected to the internet...  

Having such a simple image here might help us notice the sweetness!

This painting:
I have been playing with watercolour and what it can do- the way two colours that meet can mix, and the way that sometimes it dries in a unique pattern or colour that you didn't anticipate.  I began this flower as a lotus, but really it reminds me more of a dragon fruit like shape.  Either way, the colours are working for me!

PS We are back to being human- here in this pristine piece is a lovely spelling error.  Well, I am learning a lot from this Creative Quote challenge- and not just about art!

Listen to the voice of the sea...

The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.
Kate Chopin

Doesn't it?  For me, it does.  I created this on a two week trip in Baja, Mexico, where we spent most of our waking moments on the ocean or sea.  Just relaxing, rejuvenating and lovely.

Often, it doesn't matter what the voice of the sea is saying, life is just better when you consistently include the ocean.  Maybe you aren't near the ocean, but feel the same about the forest or mountains.  John Muir did!

Wishing you a lovely week.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Stayng loose in the present moment

Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself.
- Paramahansa Yogananda 

This week we are off to Baja and I plan to enjoy the beauty all around us and live quietly in the moment.  It can be hard to let the future take care of itself.  I am working on this- stressing or overthinking won't do much, but enjoying each moment I have just might.

This painting- I created this from a dvd class given by Dina Wakley.  Her art journaling has the kind of looseness that I want to have more of as I practice and let go.  Maybe staying present and enjoying the magic of life all around me will help with loosening up and not trying to make everything "just so" in each painting...  I am a work in progress- a glorious one.

(Since my update, I cannot seem to get my image into this post.  I will solve this when we get back from Baja...  So here is the link to the image on Facebook...   )

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Scene From A Train

Trains are wonderful... To travel by train is to see nature and human beings, 
towns and churches and rivers, in fact, to see life.
-Agatha Christie

I love Agatha Christie, and this quote matches how I felt this week.  I noticed how you can often see into people's back yards on a train trip, getting a glimpse into how people live in a country.  Plus, as you watch the scenery go by, there is a slower speed that feels mellow.  I enjoyed the scenery and feeling decadent ordering a coffee and sandwhich at my seat.  You can almost imagine you are on a train long ago, thick amongst one of Agatha's plots.

This painting:  This week we have gotten to see a bit of the Canadian countryside and it is lovely.  Our train from Montreal to Quebec City had to stop on the tracks to let two different trains go by, so I took that chance to capture my view from the window.  Lovely to get it finished before the subtle jossling started up again.

Wishing you a week of beautiful scenery.

Monday, June 27, 2016

New pages of life's book...

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.
St. Augustine

We are off on adventures right now so I am getting more creative with the Creative Quote.  So far I have made and given away 3 stones, but then realized I didn't have any of my creations to add to today's image (only this one I just began).  A good problem, I suppose, as I love leaving gifts with people who have added to our travel experience.

I first saw this quote a few years ago in a shack on an empty beach in Baja Mexico.  The shack was full of weather proof bins of books so that anyone who came could take or leave a book for the next traveler.  Beautiful!

Wishing you new perspectives, experiences and a traveler's spirit, where ever you are.

Monday, June 20, 2016

What is perfect?

The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection. 
~George Orwell

This can be so tricky, and is something I am working on.  We see "it" in our head, and then when "it" doesn't look like we planed, hoped, wished, then "it" isn't as beautiful. Perfection...  What is that, anyway?  I know in theory that nothing's perfect, but this quote reminds me that being human means just that- we are human and make mistakes.  So I strive for less perfectionism, more trying and enjoying life.

Here I am trying and enjoying life.  I am learning to draw figures and faces that are not flat.  This is one of my first figure drawings that incorporates layers of colour to show movement and depth.  She has a super long arm, her noes is unique and her hips just kept getting bigger, but I am trying!

So, as I learn this new skill, I plan to strive for a more realistic look, which in truth, is not perfection.

Enjoy your week!

Monday, June 13, 2016

What is in your highest good?

Trust that you know what is in your highest good.
~Sandra Kunz

I have been on a reflective journey through a workshop with Raecine Ardis and using Sandra Kunz' Messenger Cards.  These are insightful and invoke so much introspection and journaling.  This is just one simple, but impactful quote that inspires me this week.  

This reminds me to make choices that feed and help me be my highest self... to think before I purchase, or feel the rush of  rash, shortsighted decisions.  Does it match with what is in my highest goals?  
Hmm.  Lots to ponder and keep me learning and striving to embody my best self.

Wishing you a week of reflection, learning and joy.

If you are interested in her work, here is the link to her website...

Monday, June 6, 2016

Silent strength

Silence is a source of great strength.
~Lao Tzu

This is the beginning of some animal totem paintings.  
The white buffalo was calling me this week.

I am working on listening and being present more often, to quiet the inner chatter.  
Silence and introspection are my friends.  
Enough said.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Find joy and learning in your mistakes

The person who doesn't make mistakes is unlikely to make anything.
Paul Arden

This quote was mentioned in an art journalling class and I wrote it as hand-lettering practice.  When I made the mistake in the word mistake I thought it was so apropos.  Then, when I was looking up who to attribute it to, I realized that it had been misquoted, and there came a second mistake to fix on my page.  So, this piece has been a lesson in being okay with mistakes.

This is something I find I am still working on.  In art journaling, your journal is supposed to be a place for collecting pieces that remind you of life, for play, exploration and consistency.  So far, for me, it has been a little of that, but mostly something I don't pick up, because the idea of working on it- of "making it beautiful" is daunting- paralyzing, actually!  So interesting, since I have felt so free to continue to mess around on new, larger pieces of paper and the work that has come from these sometimes astounds me.  Maybe it is the fact that the journal is bound and a whole statement unto itself.  This might be why many art journalers use loose leaf and then put it together after.  Well- I am still finding my way.

Interesting, since I was reading an article in Happinez magazine in which the Australian musician, Xavier Rudd, states, "Don't be afraid to fall at times.  It is the beautiful think about life: it will teach you."

In this photo I also included another learning point for myself as an artist- the fact that though these beach stones are strong and sturdy, the very fine vintage thread that I crochet around it is not.  Very late last year, when I was transporting the meditation stones I create to and from a holiday market, my friend found that a few had gotten broken in the transport.  A stinging lesson, as these were big pieces- ones I was so happy with and proud of the delicate work!

So there again, I have these three stones saved as a reminder- that life holds so many paradoxes- things can be strong yet delicate and breakable, that mistakes, though seemingly bad, can be a beautiful space for learning.

I hope you can be in the frame of being this week where you can honor, celebrate and learn from your own mistakes, while remembering to keep the grand joy of life surrounding you!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Seeking Simplicity or Sophistication...

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leonardo da Vinci

It seems so many of us are seeking it.  I have been working to simplify my life in many ways.  This week, it was to test out simplicity in painting.  I love colour and texture and beautifully patterned layers, but there is something relaxing about seeing less.  This is a life lesson, which I have spoken about- seeing less in our house, less on our calendars and less money go out of our wallet.  It sounds so simple.  And once you achieve it, that IS an ultimate form of sophistication.

For this painting, I chose a simple Baja view, 
since my summers there have been a glimpse into the simple life...

Monday, May 16, 2016

Laugh in the sunshine

A good laugh is sunshine in a house.
~William Makepeace Thackeray

This is one side of a little bookmark I made recently that I thought I would use today. Life has been busy, but beautiful.  When I began this challenge I wanted to ensure I was creating consistently, while spreading my love of quotes.  I am proud to say I am doing both!  This week I created at least 5 new stones, 4 paintings and 5 small drawn pieces like this.  Not bad for a working girl.

Wishing you a good laugh this week!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Just Float- And You May Just Figure It All Out

Don't swim.  Float

I love the simplicity of this quote.  How many times has life reminded us that trying too hard doesn't always bring for the most organic, genuine outcome.  (This goes with my continuous playing with letting go and seeing what emerges in the paint!)

Sometimes floating- going with the flow or taking a moment to let things set, is just what's needed.  The hard part can be to float, instead of steer...

About this painting:
I have been enjoying creating backgrounds using different techniques, and often have them waiting for the right top layer.  Very soon into this face, she had moons in her eyes.  I was enjoying the brush strokes of her windblown hair.  The flowers just seemed like they needed to be all over.  I wasn't quite finished, but I began looking for a quote, using various key words, such as wind, breeze, blowing, flowers and moon.  I found so many great quotes (for instance last week's!) but not quite the one that seemed to match this painting.  Then I tried the word floating (as in on the breeze), and then I realized!  She isn't standing in the wind, she is floating on the water and looking up at the moon!  Such a nice surprise, which now makes total sense!

Float on!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Sailing From Save Harbor- Child's Play

Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.
~Mark Twain

I just love the feeling I get from this quote.  It is so encouraging and upbeat!  All the while, Mark Twain is reminding us that there's less of life to be had when we remain in the safe harbor indefinitely...  So get out there and feel the breeze in your hair and discover new lands!

A little about this week's process:
This piece mirrors the quote so well, even thought I didn't plan this.  My recent quest is to test out childlike brush strokes so that I can play and abandon so much planning and perfectionism, as I get to know paint and all it can do.  This is one of two pieces that began with a warm colour-burst in round, swirling shapes.  Soon I realized it wanted to be a sunset on the water, so I researched some simple traditional sail shapes and added all the silver in the billowing frame shapes.  I actually happened upon this quote while looking for the perfect quote for another piece (may be next week's...) and then I knew that this painting had come together!

Wishing you a chance to let go and see what unfolds and emerges for you this week!

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Dreams Gifted To You

Believe in your dreams.  They were given to you for a reason.
~Katrina Mayer

I have been on a personal journey of soaking up as much new ideas as possible in the last few years.  It is invigorating and overwhelming!  Each book, article, blog post, course, video has helped me refine what I am beginning to understand is my dream, my next step and my why (and that I and the world deserves this).  And each new learning moment also leads to another and intertwines and circles back to previous concepts.  It is so stimulating!

I love the idea that your dreams are given to you.  I feel that since some say that your dreams come from your subconscious and are what you are trying to work out while asleep, then we can read this quote to mean that you gave yourself your dreams for a reason.  So then does this come back to the idea of believing in yourself?

No matter where they came from, I feel like remembering that our dreams, both those we have while sleeping, and our life dreams, are a gift.  If these are gifts, then we need to care for them, feed and water them and use them as carefully as we would something special a loved one shared with us, or an ability that has been handed down in your family line from generation to generation...  

Even if you are still trying to figure out what your dreams mean for you, 
I hope you can enjoy and appreciate the journey!  

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Silence Of Love

In the silence of love you will find the spark of life.

I found this quote a couple of years ago and it really resonated with me, although I still feel like I don't totally understand all of it's layers...  I love the idea of being so totally absorbed in loving (life, the present moment, yourself, your significant other, your family, your pet...) that the silence allows you to feel the spark of life.

This weekend I had a day to myself and the silence was full of creativity as well as  the appreciation of sitting in and listening to the sounds of nature.  I don't know if we can fully appreciate all of this if we don't first have a deep love for ourselves.  And it helps so much to know that you are loved by others, so that when we are sitting in our own silence, that love is the beautiful aura surrounding your day.

Wishing you love this week.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The ordinary can be full of opportunity...

 Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. 
 ~Orison Swett Marden

Today I am feeling a bit under the weather, so this is actually perfect.  In between sleeping I have been reading or watching inspirational art technique videos or trying to eat.  I am practicing the art of making this little sick day great!

All joking aside, this quote goes with many of the same theme that I have read lately.  Sometimes we want everything to be amazing and we are so busy looking for that, seeking it or "working on" it, that we can let ordinary great moments pass us by without much notice.  

One of my favourite song lines is from John Lennon,
 "Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."
John included this in a song for his young son, Sean, along with other simple life reminders.  It is a reminder that life keeps going, regardless of how we choose to use our time up with...  And so noticing the little things can be important if we don't want to miss life!

Life, and all of it's types of moments,  can be pretty amazing, even in bed, with a funny tummy.

Enjoy your week!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Let magic find you

Ultimately, magic finds you if you let it.
~Tony Wheeler

This one is so whimsical!  I had fun painting it.  It began as a crazy ink background on aquaboard with lots of bright colours.  I toned it down with a deep frame, only to realize it then looked like a crazy Easter egg...  not my goal!  Then I had this idea of doing silhouettes (and I love elephants) so it finally emerged.  So the whole process was a bit magical itself...

This quote reminds me to notice the magical things in each day.  Finding a simple but lovely feather dropped by a bird, having a plant bloom for the first time and the scent of my favourite perfume as I get dressed.  An artistically done latte, being able to touch my toes effortlessly (after a lot of hard work to get there) and the fact that after almost ten years, my husband still makes me laugh all the time.  This is the magic that finds you, if you let it.

I will continue to let it!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Believe in Tomorrow

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
~Audrey Hepburn

I have been thinking a lot about optimism and hope lately.  It is interesting for people to say they are not optimistic- we automatically think they must be a pessimist.  But really, you can be an observer of life, a realist, and or someone who doesn't want to spend too much of their lives mooning over the future, wanting to remain in the present moment.  I still have a lot to reflect on this topic, since it is all still a bit muddy to me, but it is very intriguing...

I like this quote because it is full of hope, while also full of taking action right now.  Your now is to plant or tend a garden and the hope is the fact that you want to do this, even though so much could go wrong, or could not work out.  In this case, here is our new raspberry vine, one which has been a long time coming, since my husband loves berries, and I grew up eating them off the vine in my grandmother's yard, and my Mum's.  Will our tiny balcony garden foster such an ambitious hope?  Who knows.  Previously, I often suggested we didn't get this plant since it might not work in a pot and we are usually gone during the summer when it's most likely the berries will be ripe... But, my husband's hope and willingness to risk was contagious and I can't wait to see how it turns out!

This piece:  Photo taken on the very tiny balcony garden on a moody day.  That is apropos, maybe, since even though the day is grey, the future is bright and shiny like a plump raspberry.  I am practicing various forms of hand lettering and here is another simple and fun example.  This week is spring break so I will be gardening, doing yoga and practicing various art forms all week- can't wait!

Wish you a beautiful week, even if it is grey and all the hope is in your heart, rather than blazing across the sky.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Relaxing Into An Eternal Spring

Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes.

~Carl Friedrich Gauss

 I was inspired by the Vernal Equinox and had so much fun looking up quotes that referenced spring. I love how spring can remind us of new beginnings and starting afresh in our own lives.
  Nature can be a great reminder for so many things, eh?

I hope to look to each day, each moment, really, with this attitude:  We have an eternal spring ahead of us, full of possibility and beauty, if we want to see it.  Maybe the hard part is keeping this outlook when life brings on winter.

Here are a few bonus quotes today, since I had a tough time deciding this week...

There are always flowers for those who want to see them.
~Henri Matisse

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. 
~Anne Bradstreet

This week's creative image- I had so much fun staging this and our balcony table was the perfect armature for hanging the flowers through so that I could still put them in a vase after.  Now our apartment is full of spring, since I spread the blossoms around our home.  The stones are just a small amount of the growing collection that I have created.  They are just so fun to make.  If you want to see more of my stones, go to the tab at the top, and click to see a history of stones past and present!  Or go to my Etsy shop (link at the top right) if you want one delivered to your home!  :)

Happy Spring!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Keep Watering The Seeds

If you want happiness to bloom within you, simply water the seeds.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Today's quote has come from many places- the concept of what belongs in my daily practice has been something I have been seeking and refining for myself.  And what does not belong.  I continue to take more creative moments, while working full time.  This means catching myself when I am dawdling on the computer.  Is what I am reading, looking at, clicking to next really fostering the life I seek?  Or is my time getting sucked away and I will be sad to have to go to bed, realizing at the end of the day that I wasted my time on things that are not truly part of my goal lifestyle... Tricky!

I love the wording for this quote- simply!  Many of us would scoff at  that "simply"- is it really that easy just to choose to foster happiness?  It seems not , but I also appreciate that it can be.  It can be that simple- just choose to fan the flames of what you most love, what makes you sing, what gets you moving.  And let the rest politely out the door.

Here's another of his quotes that I felt went hand in hand with this one:

"The seeds that are watered frequently are the seeds that will grow strong."

This painting-  I have been so enamored with the idea of layered textures and subtle patterns that catch your eye in a background.  This week it took some happy accidents of too much paint to realize that there are many ways to get around to an end result.  This is from a series I am working on right now.  I love this colour scheme and really got into the subtle blossom/leaf-type hearts.  That may not be the last of those shapes.  They may be popping up in other paintings, since they take me back years when I used the brush's shape placed on the paper, lifted and then left to dry to create dot art.  Life is full of spirals of things, ideas, inspirations that leave for a bit and return to us.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Continuously Flowering

It does not matter if you are a rose or a lotus or a marigold.  What matters is that you are flowering.

I am a big fan of being a life long learner.  We teachers talk about fostering this in class in hopes that the future generation may become thie type of person who seeks new ideas, knowledge and creative outlets.  

With all my personal creative challenges, I am flowering this year, for sure!  It is exciting, and sometimes exhausting, to be blooming and changing and "in process".  Such is the beauty of life, though! 

I saw this quote this week and it goes with something I have had in my head lately- a slash of paint and a single flower, combined with geometric shapes of a pop of colour. I want to keep playing with this concept- I already have tried this in my art journal, too.  I was looking for simplicity in this week's piece.  Have a beautiful week.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Go buy yourself a little laughter today- you deserve it!

The earth laughs in flowers.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote always makes me smile, as do flowers. If you walk anywhere that there are plants you can see the physical form of chuckles all along your path.  Some are riotous, some are less audacious.  But each can bring you up, if you look.

Have you ever been to a dinner party and just sat back for a moment to listen to all the kinds of laughs everyone has?  Now I think I ought to label them by their flower counterpart...

I had fun with this painting, it is messy, bright, and in places, dark.  It uses colours I use less often, but I still like the effect here.  Once it started to come together, I realized this was the piece for these words, even though I had begun another more planned painting for this quote.  The layering, colours and organicness is just what I was looking for today.

I hope you find a moment to let the laughter of flowers add to your week!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Our inner moonlight

Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness. 
~Allen Ginsberg

This painting was almost finished when I found this quote, and then I realized they were meant for each other.  I began by spraying with fun inks, which is always a bit of uncertain madness.  Then I just felt like a rounded brush stroke and it felt like a moon, but I thought, why a green moon?  But often we don't need to think or ask why.  The rest just felt right as I created, which I suppose was me standing in the moonlight, letting free my own unpolished madness onto the paper.

I think it's apropos that this quote refers to moonlight, rather than sunlight, as sometimes it's less brilliant and you have to listen a little more closely to find your inner moonlight.  I am working on quieting myself and making the space so that my moonlit path is clear.

Here's wishing you a week basking in your own inner moonlight.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Pursue it...

If it's both terrifying and amazing then you should definitely pursue it.

This has been something I am familiar with lately.  But often a dream can be too terrifying, and then paralyzing and then you don't get to the amazing part...

This reminds me of another quote, by Rumi, "Leap and the net will appear".  My husband is always good for me- reminding me that you do need to root in the posts so that there is a foundation for the net to "appear" on.  Otherwise you can be so positive and excited, but broke and unable to move forward.  This year I am planting my posts, getting ready to leap.

And the terrifying and amazing dreams are growing.

Monday, February 8, 2016

What's your nature?

The sea, once it casts it's spell, holds one in it's net of wonder forever.
~Jacques Cousteau

I love this quote.  For me, there is something so reassuring about the ocean.  I imagine it is because I grew up within walking distance, and would ride my bike there almost every day, doing homework or just getting out.  Or, maybe it's because my Mum walked those same bluffs so much when she was pregnant with me...  Either way, I find as many ways to make sure that a stop at the ocean is a part of my day.

Everyone has their spot, an overlook in the foothills of a great mountain range, in a patch of cactus on a hill, a special meadow you continue to return to.  I feel like nature is so important, and which ever portion is your touchstone, we need to remember how much we can receive from those consistent connections.

Who will you share your favourite bit of nature with, this week?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Go Out and Find Ways To Express Yourself!

Talking about art is like dancing about architecture. 
 ~David Bowie

Of course I had to share a nod to such an interesting artist.  Some of my favourite songs are by David Bowie-for instance Under Pressure has a beautiful message.  When I saw this one, it made me think.  It's crazy, right?  What does it even mean?

Well, it reminds me of one of my favourite poems, by Loris Malaguzzi, which I feel represents how I feel about what children deserve and what teachers ought to be remembering.  The poem, No Way, The Hundred Is There, always reminds me to believe in the power of curiosity and wonder that children are born with.  And it reminds me to safeguard their right to have many forms of expression.

I feel like each of us is on a journey to find what is meaningful to us, and to try to share that, in our own way, with the world.  When we have many avenues for expression, it isn't as hard as when we have been told throughout life that we cannot draw, can't dance, can't write, can't do math, can't be...

I am almost 40 and still seeking new forms of expression.  This year I am drawing and painting up a storm and have so much to learn.  So, I'm out here, making mistakes, testing new possibilities and dancing with my paintbrush.  This piece is a testament of where I am now- acrylics, ink and still learning about it all.

So don't just talk about art, get out there and find yours.  

What do you have to say, and how will you express it daily?