Thursday, 29 December 2011

Solstice tidings!

As the last days of 2011 wind down, I decided one more wave over my shoulder at the waning year was warranted. What adventures I’ve had since I last wrote! I completed two commissions for a lovely lady, Barbara, who then treated me to a ride on the carousel at the Burnaby Village Museum.

How inspiring it was to see the beautiful and painstakingly restored carousel up close… (note to self: take another adult or borrow a kid if you are going to ride the carousel, glances of  nervous parents indication that a goofily grinning carousel-riding 38 year old is not a common occurrence.) This is THE carousel that was the jewel of the PNE that we all rode as kids. How funny life is, I would never have imagined I’d one day be painting portraits with the very same wooden horses that were such a magical memory from my childhood. It was such a treat to experience the music from the Wurlitzer organ and all the old incandescent lights casting a golden glow on the gilt and red surfaces, as the horses bounded around and around. Who says you can never go home again, ha!

I then took a tour of a restored trolley car that was used up until the 1960’s between New Westminster and Vancouver. I was so impressed with the horsehair- stuffed seats, covered with woven and lacquered rattan. The windows were encased in cherry wood and the floors in a lighter wood, Maple? There was not a plastic, polymer, or acrylic plug, thread, or fibre to be found anywhere on this work of art. It boggles the mind to see such craftsmanship, ingenuity, and detail lavished on objects that we take for granted as merely utilitarian. As I prepared to disembark, the very knowledgeable and good-natured guide looked away politely as I rang the trolley bell for the 10th time… or maybe he was looking for my nurse.

It is a rare and wonderful thing to visit the Burnaby Village Museum, especially when I discovered that it was created and constructed solely by volunteer efforts and fundraising. Even now, many of the guides and support staff are volunteers themselves. How can one not marvel at such a creation, knowing that it was for the pleasure and education of others’ that this beautiful historical site was created?

A few days later we took the first of my freshly printed, ink still wet, handbound copies of A Faery Trail to Fairy Godmother’s Unlimited, in La Conner to get the blessing from the fairy godmother herself. Here is the cover to prove to all you doubters, myself included in that statement, that it is indeed FINALLY completed!

I plan to throw a little shindig in March 2012 to celebrate the completion/ release of this veeeerrrrryyyy long awaited project. I think Spring is the perfect time for new beginnings and what a perfect excuse to have some fun, too.

So, for now, I send you wishes for a Solstice full of joy, gratitude, and good health. May the coming year find you rested, rejuvenated, and inspired.


Friday, 18 November 2011

The chilly wind's a blowin'...

Hello again,

Watching the first snowflakes of the year fall against the frosty window panes, there is no denying that we’re coming to the end of another year. With the Autumn leaves clinging valiantly to their branches, I am reminded of the fact that all in life is impermanence and change, yet at the same time cyclical. We West Coasters are always so surprised by the appearance of snow, but really?... Mother Nature always sends advance notice of her intentions, whether it's the first golden leaves of Autumn or that scent on the wind that sends us digging in the back of the closet for warmer sweaters.

The twisty turny paths of life’s journey holds many lessons and if we are wise enough to reflect upon our passage, we are blessed with self-discovery and an awareness of destination. As with the changing of seasons, no experience is truly new or unique, especially if we refer to those revelations we’ve discovered along the way to guide and illuminate the path ahead.

From this perspective came my newest painting, Alder Path. This fine and fearless soul continues on his own adventure, equipped with a well-worn roadmap, his trusted encyclopedia and a handkerchief full of wisdom garnered from his own lessons learned. I’ve also included my newest Solstice images, Polar Solstice, Mistletoe Mouse, and Mistletoe Sparrow.

I am packing up my trunks and cases full to bursting and will be heading out to the following markets, which are my last for 2011!

Bloom Artist and Designer Market
Sunday November, 20th
11am - 5pm
Ft. Langley Community Hall

Women’s Winter Faire
Saturday and Sunday November 26th/27th
11 am - 6 pm
Heritage Hall
3102 Main Street, Vancouver

With wishes for an abundance of inspiration, creativity, and joy.

Bright Blessings!

P.S. Please share this post with friends, family, co-workers, baristas, milkmen, etc. who have deep pockets and penchants for inspired creations and starving artists!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Autumn Greetings!

Hello again,

Here we are again on the other side of summer. I hope there have been plenty of long and lazy days at the beach and tall glasses full of ice cubes for each of you.

Creatively, my summer has been inspired by several fantastic artisan markets I’ve taken part in throughout the Lower Mainland and Vancouver. I’ve met so many kindred souls and fascinating people, that it’s reminded me that to follow one’s true bliss, is to be rewarded in ways unimagined.

My passion for 18th and 19th Century scientific illustrations has found it’s way into my newest paintings. I’m not sure if it’s the delicate watercolour washes, intricate line work, or the often idealized renderings of their subjects, but I have found myself returning to these images often for inspiration over the years.

Below you’ll find a birthday cake wielding octopus and a unicycle riding varied thrush. I’d love to give some profound subtext to the symbolism and metaphor behind the octopus, but really I just wanted to paint an octopus… and well, I think octopi can celebrate birthdays if they so desire.

The varied thrush, on the other hand, sprang from my pencil almost fully realized and ready to be painted. Upon much reflection, as I worked on the sketch watching it evolve, I realized the thrush captured my perspective on what it is to be alive.
varied thrush
The egg that the thrush carries, symbolizes all one’s hopes, dreams, wisdom gained, and lessons learned upon one’s journey. Each of us has his or her own metaphorical unicycle that we balance upon. Some appear to travel effortlessly through life while others surely would benefit from a sturdy pair of training wheels. But, what makes for a successful journey, as one far wiser than myself once said, "It's not how many times one falls, but how many times one gets back up again."

So, my deepest wish as we enter Autumn and a season of reflection, is that you stay astride your unicycles and cherish, honour, and polish the varied thrush’s egg entrusted to each of you.

With wishes for an abundance of inspiration, creativity, and joy.

Bright Blessings!


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Visit me at these upcoming markets:

North Shore Green Markets - Saturday, September 10th
North Vancouver (Deep Cove) (

Bloom Market - Sunday, September 18th
Langley (

Portobello West - Sunday, September 25th
Vancouver (

Portobello West - Sunday, October 30th
Vancouver (

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Musing on Time & Symbols

Hello my friends,

I hope like myself, you’re enjoying this amazing sunshine. You’ll find attached, my latest offering, Tortoise and Langur’s Match. In pondering on who would inhabit my next painting, I became rather obsessed with tortoises, or land turtles if you prefer. The tortoise is THE symbol for longevity. I imagine that a creature whose lifespan is between 100 and 175 years, being the symbol for longevity is a no-brainer. But, this discovery got me thinking about what it means to be a symbol for longevity.

These musings were deepened by discovering that there is an incredible array of amulets, talismans, and renderings of the tortoise from a myriad of cultures dating back thousands of years. We humans are always in a state of movement and flux, attempting to improve or advance our race and selves while constantly feeling the constraints of time. Could it be that the reason our ancestors created talismans and amulets of creatures such as the tortoise was not only to imbibe some of their magic, but also to create reminders that we humans have so much to learn about our place in nature by simply observing our fellow inhabitants on this planet?

When sitting down to create my sketch, with these contemplations fresh in my mind, I was challenged by who would be a suitable companion for a tortoise. After much thinking, I realized the counterbalance to a tortoise is surely a monkey. I feel often like the monkey, who is busy, busy, busy, rushing about endlessly. Then moments later I am the tortoise, where everything is calm, methodical, and time is ever abundant. I think the rest of the painting tells it’s story without need of any more words from me. But, my secret wish for you (and myself as well), is that the tortoise wins more often than the langur!

I will be at several venues over the coming months and hope you’ll come by and say hello.

Bloom Market - June 19, Fort Langley (

Ivory Vintage Market - Saturday June 25, 
Surrey (

Robson Square Artisan Market - July 2 & 3, Vancouver (

I wish you all a beautiful and sunny summer with endless days full of laughter, inspiration, and magic.

Bright Blessings!


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