Monday, 23 December 2013

Happy Holidays!

  [ in our neighbourhood, magical ]

[ new supplies, yeehaw ]

[ winter, a piece I created just for this holiday season ]

Peace and love to you & yours.


Thursday, 19 December 2013

2013: A Beautiful Year

 [ One of my latest pieces, perched ]

This year has truly stretched and expanded who I am as a person and an artist. Thank you for walking the journey with me. I am so incredibly grateful for you. I’m ending the year calm, inspired, and leaning into the desire for a quiet spell before I set out to create another beautiful year.

First, let me share some meaningful highlights that have filled me to the brim:
  • The inspired reading retreat with creative ally and close friend Stephanie Sauvé that launched us both deeper into our truths and onto our paths, and that deepened a friendship that celebrates our full selves and pushes us to be our best.

 [ at sugar + spice art retreat. photo credit: Joyelle Brandt ]

[ beautiful, messy art desk - some of my hand carved stamps ]

  • Working with several stellar clients on design projects grounded in self-discovery and visual voice. The work I did with Melanie Rupp of Visionaria and Andrea Papin Counselling was some of my favourite. These women are amazing and I'm so happy with how their brands and websites came to life in spacious clean designs.

  • Doing commissioned artwork. I love this experience.
  • Launching my Etsy shop and selling my art online. Thank you supporters! I have wanted to do this for a long time and it felt great to take the leap.
  • Having a big run of greeting cards printed by moo, featuring all of my latest paintings. And stickers too. It was nerve-wracking but they were so well received – thank you everyone who bought greeting card gift sets. So appreciative of your enthusiasm and support.
  • Seeing my art prints and greeting cards featured in boutiques. This is the beginning of something huge for me – I love turning my art into products. Can’t wait to expand into even more products. 

 [ Display of my art in Peaberry Boutique & Studio, Quebec. Photo credit: Renee Savoie ]

 [ packaging up my greeting card gift sets ]

  • Sketching. I’ve created a practice of sketching whenever I have small moments of time. I find so much joy in it. My sketches pile up so when it comes time to paint, carve or do digital illustrations I have lots of raw material to work with. Plus sketching is a bit like meditation for me.

 [ Harmony. Prints and greeting cards available here ]

  • Doing a 21 day meditation experience with Deepak Chopra.
  • Writing. I wrote a lot this year. Blog posts, free writing, morning pages, night pages, journaling, prompts. This has been a year of self-reflection via writing and I’m learning that I love to write.
  • Healing. Physical, emotional, spiritual.
  • Going within and looking at the limiting beliefs holding me back, and starting to replace them with beautiful truths (this is a journey). Allowing and receiving the support I need to grow through this, including my blooming relationships with a counsellor and a business consultant. 

 [ in heaven in barefoot contessa, simply my favourite shop in Vancouver ]

  • I opened myself up to real connections with creative women that have impacted me beyond words, and I have found an online creative community where I am home. I belong.
  • Most recently I’ve started integrating mixed-media jewelry making into my repertoire (this takes me back to a passion from my childhood and it feels like such a natural thing for me to explore).
  • I’ve been saying YES a lot this past year. Opening the doors to opportunity and welcoming support, abundance, beauty, spaciousness and joy.

 [ disheveled, relaxed and happy, in Port Townsend. Wearing my fave gold glitter shoes! ]

  • And on a final (longer) note, I’m proud of how I’m integrating motherhood and business right now. It is not easy, and I’m often filled with conflict, but I’m navigating it in a healthy way (bumps and dips are inevitable). It’s easy to get stuck on the guilt train and tell the same story even though it’s not serving you anymore (“being a mom doesn’t leave enough space for making art and running my business, there’s never enough time…” etc). We all get caught up in this but I felt like I had the strength this year to put it aside and change my reality to something that works better for me. I am making room for my own needs and desires within our family, and everyone is benefiting. And I’m listening to the whispers that have been getting louder and louder, trying to get my attention and remind me of what kind of parent I want to be, what kind of experience I want to offer my son.  I’ve made some big changes, and will continue to.

 [ new piece, in progress. working big ]

As the year comes to a close and I prepare for the next chapter, I'm thinking about what I’m really after...

A Quiet Mind. A Peaceful Heart. An Ignited Spirit.

This is what it’s really all about. My journey of art-making, growing, parenting, and self-discovery is all connected. Being engaged in a creative process is my most natural way of being in the world, and my way of discovering who I am. From this place I send my art out into the world and hope others will use it as a mirror to see how beautiful, gifted, capable and valuable they are too, and inspire them to reflect and discover who they are.

I hope you’ve a had a beautiful and rewarding year, and that this holiday season brings you joy and closeness with those dearest to you. Happy Holidays dear friends.

Sending peace and love,

This post is part of the Flying Lessons Blog Circle. See what my flying sisters are reflecting on at the end of this wonderful year:

Amy Riddle, Asheville NC
Sandy King, Atlanta
Monica Martin, San Diego
Robin Heim, Southern California
Naz Laila, Australia
Laly Mille, France
Kathie Gadd

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Surface Patterns

A few recent explorations in surface pattern designs, from sketch to digitally illustrated repeats…


Card Sets - Thank you!

Thank you so much to everyone who ordered greeting card gift sets and supported my art this year! I love turning my art into beautiful and useful products, and it's so meaningful to bring back the written word (picture opening your mailbox and finding a heartfelt written note on a beautiful card, the best feeling, no?). I've had such enthusiastic feedback on these cards, my heart swells. 

 [ receiving my shipment from moo - 500 cards, a big day for me! ]

[ packaging up my gift sets ] 

 [ all packaged up and ready for delivery ]

All seven card sets:

I'm packaging more up to send to another boutique, exciting. And many of them are available as gift sets on my etsy shop still, as well as some individual cards too. NOTE: Etsy shop will be closed Dec 22 - early Jan, so if you need some grab them now.

Thank you again! Your support and feedback is huge.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

The Art We Are boutique!

I'm happy to share that my art and greeting cards are being featured in The Art We Are, an independent Cafe and Boutique Gallery in Kamloops BC. What a fabulous place! They make fresh, gluten free, vegan, healthy, delish food and baked goodies (oh how my heart soars). And their gallery/ store is an eclectic feast for anyone loving art and beauty.

[ all photos taken by Christina at The Art We Are

Thanks Christina for welcoming me into your space and beautiful atmosphere. It's an amazing feeling to see your art out in the world, especially in places that resonate with your heart and values.

Full of gratitude.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

bask in stillness

I had an eye exam today, and unexpectedly I had blurred vision for several hours afterwards. Ack. I had to abandon all work tasks and wander to a nearby cafe to wait it out. At first it was inconvenient, but after awhile I enjoyed the stillness of being pushed into this internal world. I thought about things that mattered as I sat there sipping my hot drink on this incredibly comfortable sofa - if you're dear to me you can bet I thought of you. And inspired ideas took shape. And so I leave you with this thought today, bask in stillness. How simple.


Thursday, 28 November 2013

On Gratitude

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. “ —Marcel Proust

It’s easy to see what we’re lacking. It’s much more difficult to find the gifts in all of life’s moments and challenges. I’ve recently been focusing on shifting my perspective away from scarcity and towards gratitude and abundance. While there are many things big and small to pause and feel grateful for, here are the two on my mind most often lately:

Receiving. Support. It takes courage to ask for and receive support. I’m fiercely independent and self-reliant. But this year I need it. And I asked. Serendipitously, the right people and opportunities have started surfacing where I need them in my business and personal worlds. Beautiful, talented and caring people are organically forming this circle that is holding me. Building me up. Truly seeing me. And opportunities have arrived that are nudging me to expand. I am stretching myself to embrace receiving, to say yes and welcome what it brings. This simple act leaves me feeling more grateful and open to what the universe has to offer.

Finding hope and strength in the most difficult moments. These are the moments I really just want to curl up in a ball and hibernate from life. These moments knock you down and it would be so easy to just stay there. But instead you get up, brush off and find the opportunity for growth. I feel grateful for this spirit of hope and perseverance that naturally springs from me when needed. I sometimes think it has come from experiencing adversity in life.

I am putting my focus on gratitude, and sending a thank you from my whole heart out into the winds to be scattered far and wide.

This post is part of the Flying Lessons monthly blog circle. Hop to the next blog to read what my creative sister Laly Mille is feeling grateful for.


Sunday, 24 November 2013

Guest Post On Laly Mille's Blog!

I am so excited and honoured to share with you that today I am featured on the blog of  a wonderful mixed media artist & soul sister across the ocean in France – Laly Mille. Laly is doing a series called Once Upon a Time… where she features chosen artists and gives a little window into their process and spirit. In today's post I share the journey of creating a cherished painting of mine called Breathe, and in it my own growth and awakening. Wander on over and see the guest post on Laly's blog

Laly's art is soulful and beautiful, so I know you will fall in love with it while you're there too!

With gratitude. xo

Friday, 22 November 2013

Creative DNA

I'm reading Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit. There are so many nuggets of brilliance in this book, but one in particular stuck with me recently.

We have creative DNA. When we are in tune with our creative DNA we see patterns and qualities span our work across media, specific qualities that make our work uniquely ours. These aren't taught or developed, they are a natural reflection of our way of being in the world, our way of seeing and experiencing life. Our creative DNA.

It's true.

[ late night scribbles ]

Part of the learning process is that we try on everything we see and like, but after awhile our own true voice starts to shine through and we define our own style. This kept me up a little while ago, my mind alive with thoughts and questions. Soon I was up out of bed, sitting at our kitchen table, pouring over my thoughts in the middle of the night. Here is what I found:

Who I am as a person and an artist has always been there. When I was a dance student I was busy making paintings with typography elements and moving bodies to accompany my choreography work. When I was a design student I was busy making my designs a hybrid of digital art filled with falling letters and typographic experiments. To this day I am yearning to integrate my art and design in new ways that feel right to me, and it sometimes feels a little elusive. I love the art I'm making and it feels right, but there's definitely more waiting to be realized (always will be). Here's what I distilled as I burned the midnight oil…

[ exploring my creative dna with late night journaling ]

Here's the core of my Creative DNA:

1. Movement - a feeling of energy and elements swirling and moving
2. Type
3. Organic and feminine lines and shapes/ intricate patterns

4. Rich saturated colour (not necessarily bright, but rich)
5. Tells a story, often a personal one
6. Touches a personal and human note
7. Uses graphic design principles (tension, lock, hierarchy, clusters, contrast, grid, white space, asymmetry)
8. Layers that fluidly blend into each other
9. Beautiful moments of messiness and incompleteness (juxtaposing tidy and raw)

If I'm working on a project or painting, and all of these elements are present, it feels right. That's how I know I'm being true in my process. There's endless room for my style to evolve, and it will, but my creative DNA will continue to be my guidepost. And so, my head is swimming with visions of tumbling type, intricate patterns, raw mixed media and emotive elements. It's all there, and it always has been. My studio awaits me!

Isn't learning about ourselves the most amazing and challenging life-long journey? xo