Almost at the End

My breath is the constant sound in the room. I can hear it in a low, deliberate rhythm entering my ears as I concentrate on the colours and shapes in front of me. My fingers are rough and charcoaled and my mind is at ease behind the curtain of my vision as I draw. Breath, colours, and death on the television. You’d guess I was high on some kind of a sexy, transporting drug…but I’m not. Just me and my drawing and cider and one kick ass show that I refuse to watch to the end.

I don’t know if it’s that I’m working on my last piece for the exhibit..or the heat of the day…or knowing that this show I’ve come to rely on is approaching a finish; but I feel melancholy as I work.

It’s a big adventure I’ve taken on this time. An adventure I really know nothing about and am trying to hold tight to my hope and belief in a sparkling success. The three constants in this process is the unknown result, the joy in the drawing, and the progression in my skill…it’s worth giving it a shot for sure.

I’m almost ready for the end. For the end of my superstitious drinking…I can’t keep that going for forever and expect no repercussions to my health, figure, quality of life; for the end of this season of Six Feet Under…I can’t keep watching the last three episodes over and over hoping to hold on a little longer; and for the end of my drawing and the opening of my art exhibit…it has to come soon…it will be fantastic and magical and will be gone in a blink but that’s how these adventures work.

I feel invincible when I jump into these adventures without preparing a safety net. I feel invincible as these adventures grow and form and…come to life.

Three weeks.

Hope you will be there with me during that blink of an eye….


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Give a Shit Even When

“Who Cares?” showed up today disguised as “You Fucking Suck” like a real asshole who flashed me a “told you so” kind of smirk. His seducing argument was overwhelming and it dragged me across the floor like a swifter mop, or was that my ego doing the dragging? And what happened to my height? That one inch of bone we lose as we age multiplied and fluttered off my shoulders within a one hour period like dust in the wind. Shit. Didn’t realize how far I had to fall until I was given a push.

I was beyond proud of my daughter yesterday for her lack of perfection. For her stillness and persistence and her smile, but looking at myself this afternoon I had none of that. The powerhouse superwoman jumping from success to success had lost her damn footing.

I don’t like the colour of these lenses. They stink and taste like shit.  It was stupid to put them on in the first place. But I did. Because I’m human. But tomorrow they will be out with the trash. Along with “Who Cares?”, “You Fucking Suck”, and anyone else who thinks they can break me down.

DARE TO. I am trying…

Dare To - Postcard-page-001

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nature vs Nurture and All That Shit

Are we all just a result of our upbringing?

I didn’t have a terrible childhood. Parents divorced when I was young. There was fighting, and deceit as I’m sure many divorces harvest. I remember a nasty rug in the kitchen of a house with holes in the walls and being afraid to fall asleep  allowing the nightmares to take over, but honestly, I don’t remember being really unhappy at any point. Kids take what they get and make it into something to laugh about.

But there are others…people who I love…who experienced worse. And there are many out there. Who, as a child, experienced real fear, and loss, and despair as a child. Do those people become the result of their unhappy childhoods? If we put people into two piles of ‘happy childhood’ and ‘shitty childhood’ do the people in the latter group grow up reliving the same type of adulthood? I hope not but I could see how it could happen. How do we prevent the cycle from continuing? We all do and become what we know. It just makes sense. But not every prime minister or president was the son (unfortunately for the moment it has only been men up to this point) of another one.

We all make choices.

Now as far as I’m concerned I grew up with a lot of privilege so I’m not really one to talk but…if I was looking at it as an unbiased bystander I would say that it’s all about free will. The free will to make a different choice. To not allow it to just be but to make it what you want. What you really want.

No judgement. I’ve made many mistakes and still am making them…but…we can make better choices for ourselves. Better choices for what we really want in life…what we want out of life…what we want to do, be, have and how we want to be remembered.

Free will. A fucking beautiful thing.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Do You DARE to?

I’ve discovered that training for a run and preparing for an art show are very similar.

Training gets the most intense and really the easiest weeks before the event. I end up running almost every day and the 8 or 9 km per day are a piece of cake that I force myself to complete in order to get the training in I need for my body to be ready.

The drawing isn’t getting easier…physically. But mentally, I just step into it. I know it needs to be done and I step in and pick up my pastels and begin. There’s no time for performance anxiety just like when I’m in crunch time for a race.

The difference is the day of the event mostly.

The day of the run I am anxious, I have to eat really well (and have carbed up for a couple days prior)…and then I have to work really hard that day. I have to stay focused, I experience much pain, and sometimes if I’m lucky a moment of euphoric higher power presence. That is my favourite part about the whole process. That and crossing the finish line. Nothing better than running across that line, when the medal is put around my neck, and my feet and legs can give up and I can eat. A lot.

I haven’t had an art show before. I know that I will be anxious…probably much more than a run…I probably won’t be eating much (and there will definitely be no carbing before hand…maybe just more wine as the day comes closer)…and hopefully I will be able to keep my cookies down. Depending on how the event goes I will probably have to stay focused as I talk about my pieces, I may experience pain if it is not well recieved, and maybe if I’m lucky I may have a moment of euphoric higher power presence. That would probably seal the deal for me…I will begin planning my next event right away. And then there’s the end of the event….In runs I look forward to the end to cross that line…I’m assuming with the art show it will be the opposite. I will have that feeling of desperately wanting to hold on to that moment for forever (see my last blog for my full description of that moment)

This event has gone from a simple art showing of images of people who I am very fond of to…a media event. A show that I hope makes a difference. A display of humanity and the beautiful and ugly truth about it. It’s an active display of daring stories written by all walks of life. And I love them all. I am proud and honoured to have one of my subjects travelling all the way from Chicago to speak at the event. She’s coming to speak her passionate truth about the importance of really seeing, hearing and sharing each other’s stories. Of being truly present and truthful with one another and only by doing that will we be strong enough as a whole. And as a whole we can help to empower the oppressed.

If none of that convinces you to attend; there will be wine. And we will all be there too.

Come spend an afternoon with us. Share an experience with us. I dare you.

Dare To - Postcard-page-001


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The “After Joy Let Down”

If I was an animator…I would create a short film about what a joyful moment feels like. A longed for moment that would burst into a myriad of others all floating in colourful, iridescent bubbles. They would bounce against each other lifting you into the air; like a child tugging her parents toward a cotton candy stand, the heat of the melting sugar pinking your skin with floral prints. Feathers and watermelon would pop through your skin and the scent of baked bread would hold you tight. All of your senses would be embraced and would hum songs your mama used to sing …and there you would exist for as long as you chose to.

FullSizeRender (7)

Sounds lovely doesn’t it?

I wonder if we could ever handle that much joy. Could we survive within that state without bursting apart ourselves?

Why does it seem that only scary, painful moments have the privilege of holding our attention longer than we would like? Why do negative experiences get to cover you with such everlasting, suffocating blankets that are too heavy to lift away? When something horrible occurs and you enter that torturous stage of slow motion…your mind creates that doesn’t it? Where does that ability go when you are in a moment of fulfillment?

FullSizeRender (6)

Perhaps we choose to wallow within the pain in order to avoid the “after joy let down”. It has to come at some point. To sit in absolute joy for too long would probably only harvest a complaint. “I’m bored of being happy”, or “I thought I was happy but now I realize that infact…blah…blah..blah”

I’ve been thinking of this lately as I work towards my next big adventure. The afterglow of achievement is so fleeting it seems…and then my addictive personality looks for the next high. That cycle can’t last for forever.

So I’m involving more people, making my drop in the pond bigger hoping that the ripple effect will cover more ground. Effecting others is the goal in life right? Perhaps there will be more satisfaction to be found there.

But sometimes, when the timing is right…and the creativity is burning…you can experience one of those moments without any warning….with the simplest connection and the sweetest words….FullSizeRender (5)



Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I Will Let You peek at Mine…

An art show isn’t a show without a collection. What ties them together? What does it say as a body? What is the point?

im drawing portraits of people who mean something. They are true and honest and bold and they mean something to their country. They mean something to me. But their portraits on the wall mean nothing without their stories. Their honest, emotional, brave stories.

I found out yesterday that my show has been bumped up by a month. I’ve lost 30 days without any awareness. 38 days till I hang my 10 pieces with stories on the wall. Almost 42 years I’ve lived till my first art show.

I’m new to this. I don’t know how it should be. I just know how I want mine to be.

One more peek….


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Secrets of my Artistic Process

I start with a face that inspires me.

People inspire me for different reasons…for their beliefs, their strength, their compassion and kindness, or maybe their talent or just simply their physical beauty. The project I’m working on now I’ve chosen a group of Americans who have moved me with their honesty, their bravery and their spirit.

When I draw a face that inspires me…I feel connected to them. I feel a connection to those traits that I’m attracted to in them and that drives me….hoping that by somehow capturing them I will draw those traits into myself.

The initial lines on the paper are crap. I measure out the eyes, nostrils and mouth with my fingers and do a rough laying out of the land. Many times I have considered tossing that first sketch. I do it with a black brush tip marker that cannot be erased or removed…those first lines are disheartening…A ‘what’s the point’ moment always occurs. But I have learned to ignore it. To understand it, accept it, and push through….


It’s amateurish. But anyway, as I mentioned…I push through.

And then over a couple hours of blending colours one at a time, scribbling in shapes and colours I see, being patient and believing that it will come together…it just kind of does…


She’s starting to look like her and my confidence grows as does my inspiration and excitement to finish it.

Of course, it helps that I’m drawing someone who knows about it. I have some accountability. I also have a show coming up…so there’s that pressure as well. I enjoy revealing my pieces to my subjects… ‘MY’. Like somehow it is comforting to take a bit of ownership of these people who have not only brought me inspiration but have also graciously agreed to allow me to recreate their beauty. (Guess that helps to build my confidence)

But there it is. That’s what I’ve been working on since last September…slowly and very cautiously. Actually it’s terrified me for months. Originally I planned after doing a whole bunch of practice sketches, that I would try to complete at least two a month. It’s the end of May now and I only have six completed…mostly. The fear is subsiding due to the pressure and stress of the upcoming show. Nothing like a deadline to get you working.

I would really love to post the next stages of this beautiful lady’s portrait but…well…you’ll have to come to the show.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment