Monthly Archives: October 2012

art for the warrior child


Sometimes, extraordinary things happen to ordinary things…in this case, to ordinary paint sketches. Sometimes they get the chance to speak about extraordinary truth.

I’ve posted this work before, but I have had cause to put it here again. In terribly difficult circumstances, I gave one of these prints to a mother in a hospital ward. Her beautiful 6-year-old son is fighting for his life and limbs after being attacked by meningococcal septicaemia. They need hope in a desperate situation and I just wanted to give them a tiny reminder that hope is alive for their child.

What has happened over the past several days has been nothing short of a miracle. Five days on, this child is alive when they thought he would not make it through the night. Changes have happened hour by hour. It has been a roller coaster of extremes, and there are no easy answers. But he has slowly, slowly turned in the right direction.  So I’ve made another version of the ordinary paint sketch. Because I believe it to be so…

One of the most important things is for Caden’s muscles and tissues to return to the pink, healthy colour they are meant to be. So, yesterday was deemed “pink day” for Caden. I’ve never seen so much pink in the hospital or posted onto a facebook community page. Even the nurses on the ward joined in with pink aprons as men walked around with pink lipstick on, pink flowers were put in the waiting room, and a pink dinosaur made its way in, too. Fire departments and walmart staff posted pictures of their pink day. School children and Grandmas put on pink all around the world in support of this child. The change in Caden can be SEEN, as his once black facial features are turning purple and pink again. He needs that in all his limbs to the very tips. So I wanted to express that change by altering the piece one more time:

Tomorrow is a new day – a new hour – for this beautiful, artistic, pirate-loving, warrior child

to hold steady, to move forward, to surprise the doctors, to keep on pink’n.

Whatever is going on in your life right now, my hope is that you are encouraged by this little one. And if you feel like joining in, wear something PINK! for Caden Beggan.

Please click the link below in comments to read Caden’s father’s poignant updates about his son and give your support.


sitting underneath the underpainting


It’s the October week holiday here in Scotland which means lots of kids all over my house. Which means lots of noise and laundry and food dispersion. Which means not a lot of painting. However, in order to keep some of my marbles, I set up the beginnings of a painting in our yet-to-be-finished but has-tons-of-space-and-light extension…

the spot:

the paint:

the apprentice:

I started with a canvas I’d washed blue several weeks ago. Yesterday, I drew in some ideas and left it at that. Today I decided to put down some colours that could peek out later on in the work. Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to stay focused for any length of time with a Jedi on my couch, I didn’t take myself too seriously. Instead it was about enjoying the shifting light and the process and the company.

About the time my paint starts to add up, I like to do a little subtracting. I scrape, I draw. I’ve found this process helps define the spaces, and many times I discover new movement through the composition.

Sooner rather than later, I was called to shoot some bad guys, put wood on the fire and make sandwiches (again). But I was able to get far enough with this piece that I can leave it for awhile to sit and soak up the atmosphere.

And I like that the work shows, that the “undone” is part of this piece right now. It’s not all about a perfect picture. It is about how the parts are progressing. Be encouraged.

these boots were made for…


Maybe up-cycling a pair of boots isn’t a high form of art, but I found the process creative and fun. This little project inspired me more than I had expected. So here’s the story:

I own an old pair of “leatherette” boots that had seen better days.

After taking them into town for new soles, I began working on giving them a new life to match.

I ordered a specialized dye kit off ebay. This company has many striking colours to choose from and it’s not expensive.

Not wanting a solid coloured boot, I chose areas to pick out first so I could go over them several times before drying.

I then swept a thin wash of dye over the entire boot, leaving several voids on purpose. The drying time was about 5 hours, which I used to blacken the heels, edge the soles and drink cinnamon coffee. When dry, I coated the boots with a soft shine waterproofing.

Now these boots speak a little bit about my life…

See, at one point I thought I’d lost my art, my colours. But then I was found again,

and I discovered that my journey was just getting started.

So I’m walking – running – crawling – dancing this season a day at a time. The pace is ever-changing but I know more now of where I’m heading, even when it is just because of what’s been left behind.

Some rain and tears have fallen and will fall again, but there is so much more to walk towards,

and I choose to walk this way well, for myself  and for those that follow after.

It is never too late to start…or even to start again…