Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Very Merry Christmas

Wishing you all the best of this holiday season 
A very Merry Christmas and a Joyous 2014

Jingle Bells 2014

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Holidays are a wonderful time of year. For many people it is also a time of great sadness.

Remembering all the people who have lost someone either recently or in the past.

Remembering all the people in my life who are now with me in spirit and never forgotten.

Remembering that life is wonderful and we should forget about the small aggravations of day to day living ... just enjoy each moment that we have.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013



I have to get "the penguins" painted for this year's card

Cards for the past 5 years  .... what will they be doing this year?
One Horse Open Sleigh -2012

Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sumi-e Artists of Canada

Our annual show is this weekend. Always a great collection of Oriental art. There is a great tea room and lots of paintings. Stop by and have a look.

I will be demonstrating Sumi-e from 1 pm to 2 pm on Sunaday

6 Garamond Court, Don Mills (Toronto)  noon to 5 pm both days 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lest we Forget

The eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour, a time to reflect, a time to remember. 

On this day I remember all of those brave men an women who served at home and abroad to preserve our way of life. We must never let their sacrifices be in vain. Lest we Forget are not just words that we say once a year but should be with us every day. 

My past blogs about Remembrance Day are here and some family stories are here.
and for a detailed story post about my mother in WWII.

Remembering all of our Veterans today and all who are still in harms way. May our future be filled with peace.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Another year

This was our 9th year on the Whitchurch Stouffville Studio Tour and our best year ever. Record crowds, lots of new and familiar faces. Great feedback.

The cats and I are exhausted! They are taking a morning nap after hiding all weekend..... their house is getting back in order and I hope to have it all done by the end of the day.... no naps for me, just coffee!

A few of my birds have flown the coup to new homes. The flock of 17 that I painted this summer were a big hit.

The Robust
 Here are a couple of them
On a branch
The Flirt

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Stouffville Studio Tour

Day one of the Tour is over.

Record crowds in spite of the rain. Thanks to everyone who stopped by. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Getting all ready for the Studio Tour.

Right now I am in organizing mode.

I don't like this side of things, deciding what is going to be presented how..... frames, mats etc.

I know a lot of artists just let a framer do this part and I can certainly understand why however I guess I am a bit of a control freak and want to do it myself, sigh!

Here is a new little painting that I did yesterday and it is all framed up .... just need a name!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Art for Communication

I did a workshop yesterday morning for a new group of people living with Aphasia.

Communication is not only the spoken word and for anyone who has Aphasia drawing can be another way to communicate.

I have created a program that seems to work really well with the group of people that I work with but it is always great to try it out with new people .... to see how they react.

More about the program here.

Everyone did really well and seemed to have a good time.

Here are their final paintings

And this was the best part for me .... someone handed me this drawing with the evaluation of the morning. Fantastic!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fund Raising

Unfortunately we all have been touched by cancer. One person, Terry Fox,  33 years ago tried to make a difference and here we are all these years later still running, walking or riding in his memory to make cancer a thing of the past.

If you are so inclined donating on line is really simple. I just made a small donation.
For your consideration  Terry Fox Foundation

Flowers for Marie

And if you are interested in cards of this painting 100% of the money from the sale of these cards will be donated by me to the Canadian Cancer Society. Raised just under $500.00.

Details here

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Make sure

We have just finished revamping our website.

Please take a moment to have a look.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Finishing Sumi-e Paintings

Painting Sumi-e work requires patience. I can't count the number of times I have gotten to the last stroke in a painting only to ruin it. This is a very unforgiving media, if you make an error you must start over. 

The next step after the painting has dried is to make the painting more stable by adding another layer of paper behind the work. This also improves the colour of the ink. You can dry mount it, which I have never attempted or you can wet mount it.   

There are places that will do it for you but  I prefer to do it myself. After many years I have got a system that works for me. Bear in mind that both of these papers are a little bit heavier than tissue paper. The "rice paper" that I use is strong if you know how to handle it when it is wet but it can easily tear especially when wet!

First you lay the painting upside down on a clean board.

After lightly spraying the painting with water you paste the back of the painting with an acid free rice  paste.

Placing a slightly larger piece of rice paper on the painting you gently rub the rice paper to the painting using a piece of parchment paper to protect the work from tearing. 

 Carefully lifting the work up it is now turned right side up and place on a clean support [some people use their doors, I don't]. The edges are taped down with packing tape [the worst part of this proceedure for me because I am always losing the end of the tape!]
You then have to babysit the work until it drys; sometimes the tape will break away and that can cause a ripple. 

My birds are now drying. Once they are very dry I will add my seal and sign them, all ready to be framed.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Back to blogging

It has been awhile since I posted a blog. No excuse why it has been over 2 months.
Anyhow I am back. I have been trying to paint a series of Sumi-e. Into my birds again with some success. I will post some of  them soon but in the meantime here is a painting that has a new home as of 2 weeks ago. 

Forever and Always  (C)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Time marches on

I have never understood how people can say they are bored or have nothing to do. Here it is the middle of May already and we are approaching the long weekend. Seems like not to long ago it was snowing .... oh wait Mother Nature had a bad day on Sunday and sent us all kinds of weather including snow, never mind.
Anyhow time for me just whizzes by. It has been an interesting few weeks. 

The show with the Lemonville Group of Artists was the first weekend.... big success and we had an opening evening that was packed. We had record crowds all weekend long so thanks to everyone who came out to see our work. 

Then on May 9th I was part of a team of three Stouffville Studio Tour Artists who created a collaborative painting in 30 minutes. I was nervous, not about painting in front of people but painting one work with 2 other artists. I think our painting turned out very well and I have a lot of fun!
In between painting we videoed our work ... Have a look..... Another time we might have a dedicated person taking the video.

The challenge was to create a painting representing York Region landscapes. We chose to depict a kettle lake in the bottom of the page with houses surrounding the lake and farmland behind. Collaged into the houses was an area map from the 19th century with all of the names of the farms from that era. 

Whitchurch-Stouffville Studio Tour  (C)

Thanks to the York Region Arts Council for inviting us to participate in this event and to the other artists, especially our team for a great evening.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Show Ready

So here it is just a few days until the Lemonville Annual Show and I am all ready.... go figure, no last minute paintings, framing or PANIC. I discovered a few years ago when I had way to much to do the week before the show [a wedding comes to mind] that if I get everything organized I can actually enjoy the event. Taken me all these years to figure this out, now no last minute paintings for me!

Here are a couple of paintings that will be in the show and the invitation... hope to see you over the weekend. 

Love (C)

Orange Splash (C)

Orange Crush II (C)

The Stance (C)

Saturday, April 20, 2013


My parents 62 years ago today

Happy Anniversary ..... still going strong

Friday, April 19, 2013

Lemonville Group of Artists Show

I am busy getting ready for the Lemonville Group of Artists Annual Show in two weeks. It is our 20th and we are very excited about two things we have added to show. 

For the first time we are having an opening reception on Friday evening from 7 pm to 9 pm. 

The other is our "post card" art. We have created and are donating 4 1/2 by 6 inch original works with 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these small treasures to be given to youth art programs in Stouffville.
Here are a few of the pieces that I have submitted. 

If you wish to see more  visit the Lemonville website

And here is an invitation to our show 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Donation to a Great Cause

Happy April. Seems like Mother Nature is not ready yet but I am. I am very tired of the cold. I love the spring, as a matter of fact it is my favourite time of year. The smells, the warmth and especially the colours. Beautiful fresh greens and all the wonderful colours of the spring flowers... can hardly wait.

I am very busy getting ready for the Lemonville Group of Artists annual show.... details on my website - upcoming events and I have a few other places my work will be on display ... more about that later. 

I have donated this painting to the Jennifer Ashleigh Foundation's  Annual Charity Gala April 26th 2013. It is a cause I believe in and have supported for many years. They help ill children and their families with expenses.  

The theme this year is Tropical Paradise and this is my contribution. 

Tropical Residents

Sunday, March 10, 2013

More of my obsession

I have been very busy with my new obsession Zentangles. I have finished 24 in a month. Mine are 9x12 so larger than the official size, as a matter of fact I have followed very few of the official rules; I am following my own path. 

As a bonus I am really finding my painting voice again. This seems to have stimulated my creativity and I have been inspired to paint.
Here are a few of my favourites.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Aphasia Clients and Zentangles

I have written before about my over 20 years of volunteer work at the York Durham Aphasia Centre. Details are herehere and here

Every year I choose a new famous person for the clients to work on upside down. This year I decided that the Queen Mother would be our "lady of the year". She was an amazing woman always with a smile and a very kind face. This is my version of her for clients to draw upside down. It is from a picture of her when she was in her late 90's and I loved all the wrinkles  and her beautiful round face.

The clients are great sports.... think I am a little crazed but they try what I suggest with amazing results. I also introduced them to my newest obsession [one lady with limited speech when I said I was going to tell them about my new obsession blurted out "oh no" .... so funny]. Zentangles at the Aphasia Centre in Newmarket was a big hit. They even took 3 sheets of "homework" with them to work on over the next month. 

I am by no means an expert on Zentangles but look upon them as organized doodles. At the Aphasia Centre I have the clients use doodling as a way to tap into the right brain and stimulate the brain. When I was researching  my new obsession I ran across articles about how Zentangling stimulates both the right and left brain.... perfect for people with brain injuries. MRI's show us that if part of the brain is damaged the rest of the brain reorganizes and starts compensating for the damaged area with varying results. Anything that stimulates the brain can create these new pathways over time so why not Zentangles and the bonus is you have fun.

The clients last week were tired after the "Zens" but very enthusiastic. I am anxious to see their homework results.

Contact me if you want any information about these programs.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

More Zentangles

Here are some more Zentangles. Working on another one.

I introduced them to the clients at the Aphasia Centre yesterday. More about that later. 


Friday, February 8, 2013

More Zentangles

Clearly there needs to be an intervention.....four 9x12 Zentangles in 7 days. Problem is as soon as I finish one I am thinking about what I can try next. 

I really believe in the power of doodles and how it stimulates the mind. EVERYONE can doodle. Remember Picasso "every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up" Doodling connects with our inner child. 

Zentangles to me are organized doodling. I am not sure if I find them relaxing but they are fun to do. To me that is the most important thing .... having fun!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Well the death flu took a bigger toll on me than I thought but I am feeling myself again and it's February. Days are noticeably longer  ...  5.40 and it was still light out yesterday.  I haven't really painted much this last little while but have rather been playing with paints. I can feel excitement and creativity bubbling up .... the one idea leading to another so for right now I am just going with the flow. 

My latest new obsession is Zentangles [Google it for thousands of images]. I have always loved to doodle and have been preaching to the Aphasia clients how important doodling is to your brain. I was introduced to Zentangles on Thursday and cannot stop creating them I am working on my third one but here are the first two that I created. They are on 9x12 paper and are a great way to spend time. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy New Year

Yes I am a week late but I have a good reason again this year [last year car accident]

I have the flu, I guess like so many other people. I love how the Ontario Board of Health is setting up clinics for flu shots but guess what, I got mine in November so clearly maybe this years version of the shot is missing the flu that is going around. Anyhow I am getting frustrated not doing much of anything but I don't want it to come back so I am resting.

I did get my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project so I am looking forward to creating when the stupid flu is gone. I have an unnatural fondness for blank books and have quite a collection. I am trying very hard to use them. More about that here. I have started several books on the theory that once I start using them I will stop looking at them and being afraid to mess them up. So far it is working but it is baby steps.

Anyhow here is my new sketchbook. It is a fun project with artists from around the world and your book goes on Tour. The Sketchbook Project