Have you ever?

There are so many things that I would like to capture on canvas-so many things I would like to try.

Have you ever wanted to paint a full wall? Take a blank slate and just cover it in colour? A huge canvas and just set yourself free and smoosh, and splatter? What about taking the canvas and becoming the implement that paints, use your hands, your feet, your whole body to immerse yourself in the process so that you and the canvas become one.

Have you ever wanted to paint the smell of spring rain? The sound of the loons on the lake as it stills and reflects during the magic hour? The smell of the wood smoke from the sauna-the anticipation of relaxation before the plunge into the chill water that refreshed and rejuvenated the soul? The hush in the forest in winter when giant snowflakes drifting delicately to the ground is the only sound you will hear? The sound of a child’s laughter-the full belly kind that is pure unabashed joy? The feeling you get when you play with little baby toes and fingers? That kiss at the moment where things click and you melt? The warmth of a hug where all you need is the strength of the arms around you? The taste of tears? That deep satisfying moment where you are sitting with someone and not saying a word, and everything is good in the world?

Oh the things left to try.

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Upcoming: Intuitive Expressions Artistic Workshop

That’s right, everyone gets to come together and play with intuitive expression.

I’m offering this workshop Saturday, July 12 from 10:30-3:30. Lunch will be included. Spaces will be limited so any interested parties should contact me soon to reserve a spot. As we will be spending the day outside, an alternative rain date will be provided.

The whole day will be spent in a lovely outdoor setting in Branchton, Ontario, ideal for inspiring the creative spirit. The purpose of the workshop is to break creative boundaries, to learn how to listen to your intuitive spirit, to learn how to be playful with your artistic adventures again, and most of all to have fun. There are no rights or wrongs-it will be what it will be, and the idea is to let go and flow on the journey of self expression.

It will be up to you to choose your materials to play with. Large or small canvases? One canvas or multiple? Paper? Collage? Acrylic, oils, side walk chalk?

I would suggest that you choose something that will allow you to really blow the boundaries out of the water-try some free form body tracing and painting-use large brushes, rollers, knives. Squish, splatter, layer, texturize and blend to your heart’s content. And if you get stuck, break the creative head block by jumping in the pool and floating for a bit 🙂

More details will be forthcoming including fee, registration form and materials suggestions.

Namaste and come and play!

Annie

Intuitive expressions workshop

 

Studio Downsizing Sale!

Right now, I am in the midst of reorganizing my studio. I am in the midst or putting together some inspiring outdoor venue painting workshops for this summer where everyone can be inspired and play without boundaries. Since I’ve decided to bring in some huge canvases to play with new ideas and techniques, that means making some room. For a limited time, any piece not currently associated with a gallery will be offered at a “downsizing” price. Shipping and handling fees are extra. Scroll through your favourites, and send me an email when you’ve chosen the ones you would like. First come-first served. No holds please. Have fun! Annie

And sometimes you just have to say “and finished”

Three new pieces which I have been working on for a bit. Each one provided its own challenges, especially trying to decide when exactly to stop and walk away. “Sunset Birches” is oil on canvas, palette knives and was completed in stages, by far the largest of this style that I have attempted to date. “Dancing Hummingbirds” is oil on canvas using knives and brushes. It’s up to you to find the hummingbirds my boys named the painting after. The final one is “From The Roots Springs New Life”. It’s a version of “Family Tree” that I did for my boys, with the boys “springing from the roots” of the main tree.

Sunset Birches Oil on Canvas Palette Knives 36 by 40

Sunset Birches
Oil on Canvas
Palette Knives
36 by 40

 

 

Dance of the Hummingbirds Oil On Canvas Knives and Brushes 36 by 40

Dance of the Hummingbirds
Oil On Canvas
Knives and Brushes
36 by 40

 

 

 

From the Roots Springs New Life Oil on Canvas Palette Knives and Other 36 by 40

From the Roots Springs New Life
Oil on Canvas
Palette Knives and Other
36 by 40

Therapeutic Creativity (Creative Process)

It’s funny the number of conversations I’ve had with people recently about stress, health, finding a balance in life and all the ways we try to offset the potential negative effects, the coping mechanisms we put in place to try and make our lives rich and livable.

Some friends and colleagues find their zone in running or exercising, for others it’s yoga or Pilates. In speaking with my sis, meditation came up. She’s gotten to the point where she can zone out and meditate in public places, even on a plane. And I thought “How cool is that! I should try that!” Now for anyone who knows me (and can stop laughing at me long enough to keep reading), there are still waters in me somewhere, however they tend to conflict with my Tigger like bouncing. Combine that with two very energetic, rambunctious, boys under age 8, a full time teaching career, which I love, my dogs, my art, my….fitting in time to just sit and train my mind to slow down and relax, well, hmm. Sure, you can lecture me all you want on the whole “You have to make the time” and so on, but there’s the reality that rears its time consuming, “Would you like a shower or meditate today?” ugly head.

For me, it came to a point where two different doctors told me that I had two different masses growing, which in essence would kill me in one of two ways, neither of which was going to be pretty, or treatable. And breathe. And breathe again. And panic. And cry. And oh shit (add more expletives-very creative ones). And breathe. How does one go through testing, still be a parent, try to keep a household running and a career going, all the while there is a gigantic very ugly elephant (not the cute pink candy box kind) hovering over you in the corner? Then, came the conversations about meditation. Then, came the epiphany.

While I may seem to be organized chaos in motion, bouncing all over the place, there are very deep, very still waters inside me. In my own way, I do mediate. I do zone out and lose focus on everything else, allowing a sense of calm connectivity and peace wash over me, letting the “noise” from without go.  For me, my therapy, my healing, my rescue comes when I paint.

Art is therapy. The creative process is therapeutic. It calms, it heals, it allows you to channel emotions, frustrations, fears, anger, all those things that we can’t look at face on. It’s interesting because since I have started painting, I have tried to explain to people that a good painting session is when I get into the “zone”, where I don’t think, I just do, I just am and it all flows. People have asked multiple times, “What were you thinking when you painted this? What was your plan? Your process?” The explanation that I wasn’t thinking anything, that it just came, seemed somehow insufficient and I have had a hard time trying to put to words the channelling process that just spontaneously occurs on occasion. When the spirit moves me, for lack of a better phrasing, the directions this takes me are sometimes never where I intended to go but somehow my spirit or soul knows what I need more than I do in that moment and we just go there.

Using art as therapy isn’t a new thing, but I do belive that it is something that should be promoted more. Instinctively, I have encouraged and nudged some of my students in this direction. When they’ve been angry or troubled, I’ve actually given them the canvas and paint and said go put it all on there. Use your brushed, your fingers, scratch, slash, blend, smooth and most of all PLAY. The results have been phenomenal as you can actually see someone else’s soul on the canvas-their moment in time where it all came to being, right there, in front of you. It is breathtaking.

Does it have to be paint? Nope. I know people who lose themselves in clay, in the movement of the wheel-in wood, the grains, the stains, the textures-in dough, the kneading, shaping, rising. It’s all the rhythm, the movement, the passion, the emotion and the soul. The moment where you can let go of everything and allow the immediate to immerse you and take over. The end result isn’t as important as the process. Whether you like it or hate it when you are done, it is what it is.

So go forth, let you inner child out and the calm peaceful vibes in. It’s therapeutic and good for the soul, yes, but more importantly it can be just plain fun.

Some examples of “Hmm…and where di this come from?”. Enjoy.

 

Fire DancerOil on canvas SOLD

Fire Dancer Oil on canvas SOLD

 

"Indomitable" 36 by 48 Oil on gallery canvas

“Indomitable”
36 by 48
Oil on gallery canvas

 

Torn-SOLD Chicago

Torn-SOLD Chicago

 

 

 

 

On the road to big, bold, beautiful colours

The Eternal Goddess Within 36 by 48 Oil on gallery canvas

Indomitable
36 by 48
Oil on gallery canvas

 

Apparently this is the path that I am meant to work for the next bit. Large, bold, colourful creations with fluidity and powerful movement. Enjoy.

A change of direction

Introspective  A change of direction-a bit of the past with a twist or two. Sometimes introspection and reflection brings out the most interesting things. A blend of palette knives and brush. I was going to take it another step further and create an effect like my Family Tree, but there’s something about the movement and colours that’s giving me pause…so, for now I might just enjoy it as it is.