New Year Sale!

Once again, with the new year, comes new things. However, in order to make room for new things, new styles, new fun, i need to downsize some of the pieces currently taking up residence in my limited studio space.

All works not currently associated with a gallery are on sale up to 40% off. If there is a piece that you have been eyeing up, send me a message with the title, and I will send you details regarding prices. Please note that prices do not include shipping. Pieces can be shipped on the stretcher bars, or I have successfully shipped different pieces around the world by taking them off the stretcher frame, rolling and sending. That would mean, however, that you would have to get them re-stretched, or framed accordingly. Please also check for import fees depending on your country.

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A moose is a moose…unless it is a piece of art…

I have this tendency to do “interesting” er,  ahem, things and perhaps things that regular folks don’t tend to do, like use doors and regular old rocks for mosaics, or driftwood for wall art. I truly believe that allowing the creative process to break free in unique ways is part of not only my spirit and soul as an artist, but also part of my duty as an educator. One of my students proved to enjoy making overly large paper mache items. When it came time for our winter themed creations, with visions of all things Canadiana and Christmas bouncing around in my brain, out of my mouth popped, “so___, how would you like to make a moose?” A MOOSE?!? sigh..silly me for within 15 minutes he had taken a rather large garbage bag, stuffed it, and had it shaped for the rather enormous, almost life-sized head of well, a MOOSE! What to do, what to do…and I mean really, what do you do with an almost life-sized head of a moose when working within the confines of a classroom space and a number of other students, other projects etc. When in doubt, get someone who knows how to build things. A colleague of mine fashioned a small pony sized wooden saw horse to use a substrate and the real work began, scaling down the head somewhat, adding paper, sculpting with more paper and tape, adding antlers and ears, then layer after layer of gooey wet paper to seal the thing together. A coat of gesso and it appears ready to go. Even if not the most anatomically correct, it is rather LARGE and rather cute, my little albino classroom companion. The next steps involved figuring out what to do with him. Should I/we paint him in a realistic manner? Should he be turned into an interpretation? If you have ever been lucky enough to see the moose in Toronto, those fabulous artistic creations, then you would know the dilemma. In the end, we decided to go with a First Nations art influence and celebrate our Canadian First Peoples. From Ontario, we are interpreting the Woodland School style and from the west most definitely some Haida. When it is complete, is should be a figure standing for both our environment and people…we shall see what unfolds as we progress. Note to self, never, ever make suggestions when the mind is occupied with things or the heavens know it we will be building giant elephants and rain forests.

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.

The Brush Off 2014 !

 

 

 

It’s back! On January 25, at KW’s THE MUSEUM, join 20 artists, about 4 or 5 hundred guests for an exhilarating evening of live art. You vote for your favourites after every round, and each piece of art is up for auction immediately after each round. It’s a fun evening with amazing art and electrifying energy. Get your tickets soon as this event has sold out every year!

Brush Off 2014 Poster