Tag Archives: landscape

sanguine moon


Painting the whole canvas dark seemed daunting. I was starting over, over something that just did not work. Because of what had gone before, black inky blue was really my only choice if I wanted to salvage anything. so I painted myself an empty space…


then took a deep breath and began to fill it…It’s a space of firsts: first black canvas, first go at a night sky, and first with some new techniques as well.p1270082

I think the hardest part is knowing when to stop, when to say “it is enough” and trust that the spaces in between will speak as well as the marks.p1270159

I’m still learning that lesson – in paint and in life.p1270156


sanguine: adjective

optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation

of someone or someone’s character – positive and hoping for good things


be encouraged. there are good things to be seen even in dark places.








september morn


when you have so many words needing to be said, and far too much emotion to express

that nothing could possibly come out…because if it did it might not stop and there would be nothing left on the inside of you to hold up the outside of you…

well, that’s where I’ve been. and what I’m trying to find a path through.

P1270061So here is September – a new month and season and time for a different setup in paint. It’s a mix of what I was doing and what I might need to reach for. I’m not sure yet if it will work …but at least it has begun.P1270052 (1)P1270054P1270060P1270059WP_20160902_19_14_31_Pro

I’m moving paint again and it might be moving me…however slowly…through.  giving voice to words unsaid, release for things too felt.

“courage, dear heart” – CS Lewis

for me and for you, too.


when things are not what they seem


Some challenges are straightforward: six loads of laundry is six loads of laundry.

Some challenges are not what we expect: the ten year art career plan is really the 22 year life-family-art-failure-faith-journey jumbled together non-plan.

and some challenges change the way we see things: getting my kids to the bus on time turns my view of our humble driveway into a moment of wonder.

Another morning starts; I get the kids up, dressed, chored, fed, packed, maybe even brushed and then rushed down the drive to meet the bus. No, it’s not a long way. Yes, they could walk, but they’d be wet and frozen from the start and sick days are out around here. (Don’t worry, I do make them walk back up – unless it’s howling a gale.)

I turned the car around to head home and found myself staring into the middle of an old movie. It was startling. I got back up to the house, grabbed my camera and stayed out as long as I could stand the cold (ok, yes I was in my pj’s) to observe and record what I was seeing.

These are not black and white photos, and they aren’t tinted. The colours of  the land were muted for miles by the frozen air and filtered light of a clouded morning sky. It was so very still and beautiful and other-worldly. I took dozens of photos, trying to capture the atmosphere of a place so familiar, yet completely transformed.

P1260219an unexpected ocean – soaked and frozen gorse and moor-grass…

P1260195a vast and newly formed lake – only a few feet deep and as wide as this small field…

P1260205a quiet road leading to an unseen destination –

the unexpected place of inspiration and freedom for my heart. the path home.

Life is full of challenges, you know this. I know this. But things are not always as they seem. What feels monotonous can bring about patience and rhythm. What is hard can prove to be a rock on which to stand. What can seem like a dead end may just be a door to something totally unexpected. and amazing.

be encouraged.

painting the silence


My studio is quiet. I move around in socked feet, careful to keep sound to a minimum. This is not my chosen way of working, rather a necessity for the sake of our eldest child whose chronic illness makes sleep elusive and whose bedroom is next to me.P1260107-001There is no technology or music or song or words out loud. But after spending many a frustrated hour in this unfamiliar space, I now find myself more fully engaged in the process of my art. This is an unexpected silver lining.
P1260118It has taken time, but I have found a rhythm in this silence, a way of working that focusses me in on thoughts of colour and structure, the scrape and line of paint and surface…P1260120Though I am in some senses limited, I am also stilled. and distilled. I allow the paint to do the talking, to sing the song…P1260154and I hear it more keenly in this season of socked feet and whispered movement.

Perhaps you, too, are in limiting circumstances. It may well change how you approach your work, but it does not have to stop your work from forming. And if we choose to make the necessary adjustments, we will move forward. Progress will be made.

be encouraged.


pen, paper, paint and pause


At the beginning of this new year, I took up a challenge to be purposeful in my creativity every day in January. It has been a fun and sometimes frustrating exercise that has refreshed my creative rhythms and helped me through a difficult month. Here are my last sketchbook entries as I consider where to go from here…


31 days later and I find myself refocused, looking forward to exploring the new ideas that have come from this concentrated time of pause. Maybe you could take the challenge and find something to carry forward in your journey as well!

be encouraged.


in the night studio


Sometimes  a day just gets away, but the colours keep tugging at my heart and the studio keeps calling my name. So I grab the chance when it comes: art after dark it is…


I am working up to a painting and the (day) view outside that big black window is helping me through my paces. I decided to take a wee watercolour I sketched days before from there and move it along…


The lighting looks all wrong, but the chair feels “just right” so I go with it – and surprise! I’m enjoying the limited view…


and progress is made in the midst of it all…


There is rarely – if ever – the perfect time and space to exercise your gifts and talents. If we wait around for that anomaly, nothing creative may ever get done!


So I have decided to go for it, even in the few minutes, in between the lists, early morning or late evening because my creativity – and your creativity – has value and worth.

be encouraged.

a moment to breathe


Christmas eve crazy – I was in the middle of all the good stuff; the kids and the music, the cooking and the cleaning, lights and movies, Noel, oh well, and fa-la-la…

but I could feel the days and weeks of balancing sickness and celebration catching up with me…my own colours were fading as I poured out in different directions what was necessary and needed. Then I caught a glimpse of the sky from my kitchen window. And just like that, I grabbed my camera and flip-flopped out into a gale to follow the light and colour I saw swirling behind our tree line.P1250692 I kept chasing that ever-changing scene, crossing our flooded stream and holding on to the ground so that I could reach some breath-taking beauty, so that I could breathe in the wild wonder of it for just a few precious minutes…P1250701 I didn’t care about the cold or the mud or the possibility of burning cookies, I needed to be there in that place…P1250715-001to wonder as I wander once again…P1250702

A new year comes in a few short hours…most of us have no idea what it will bring. But just in case it’s crazy and busy and full of things we’ve not planned for, let us not forget to look out our window, to run to beauty – however fleeting – to get our toes in the dirt and feel this life as we live it.

be encouraged

and blessed

in 2016.