Tag Archives: encouragement

“It’s Been a While”

“If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue”.
– Paul Gauguin

I posted this image to my Facebook page last week. It’s my first attempt at painting, of the non-digital type, in thirty five or so years. The last time I picked up a paintbrush to create art was back in high school and honestly, I was not very good at acrylics, favouring sketching and watercolours. Primarily because I could not get the colours right. I over processed and turned everything gray or brown. Of course, it was art class too, so it had to meet certain parameters. Creativity my my art class was not encouraged. Wow, that sounds odd, doesn’t it? And that, was the end of that. I much prefered to express myself through photography, which I was more comfortable with.

I recent posts, I have taken images that I composed with the camera that did not result in the image as I envisioned it. Some of those, I processed through digital art programs and was very pleased with the outcomes.

Last week, I went to an Impressionist exhibit in Toronto, called “Mystical Landscapes”, presented by the Art Gallery of Ontario. I’m drawn by the impressionist form and style myself a bit of a photo-impressionist, focussing on the feel of a place, rather than precision. I’ll often visit the same place over and over in different times and light, much like Monet did. I see different colours, like the Gauguin quote. I’ve seen lots of blue trees, in early evening light. You’ll notice, many of my trees in this painting are blue.

I’ve had this quote in my head for a few months now and it challenged me:

If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you can’t paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
— Vincent Van Gogh

So, I finally felt inspired to pick up a brush to see what happens, silence that voice. If it was a total disaster, I could just toss it and go back to photography, if it was half-good, I might pursue it.

Well, the result shocked me, as I stepped away and looked back at the painting on the easel I got quite emotional. I’d found something within myself that I did not know existed. This was something created out of nothing, just an image I had made, transformed into something new. I shared it with some friends who responded back positively, most asking me why I had not painted before this and encouraging me to continue with this, which I will do. My biggest surprise was that this 11 x 14 acrylic painting was done in about 2 hours, so I think I will continue, maybe take a lesson or two, since I’m relearning brush strokes for my youth.

Life sure is an interesting journey 🙂

If we were having a coffee…

Burleigh Falls Spring Rush

“Sometimes the waters of our spirits are churned and murky, and it is difficult to tap the reservoirs of our innate wisdom and knowledge. But the waters will settle as we do. Quietly and gently encourage yourself to go inside. Clarity will come.” ― Sue Patton Thoele

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you this week had some major ups and some major downs. On the up side, one of my photos, which I cross-pollinate on Twitter and Facebook has had +16K views! That really messed up my WordPress stats, but was it emotionally refreshing and extremely validating. The post, and effective use of tags, allowed me to reach out to a larger audience who provided me with positive feedback about my work and writings. Now I settle into the normalcy of a gradually growing following of engaged and encouraging readers.

Yesterday, had the opportunity to travel north and visit, after a 4 month absence, the artist co-op I belong to, appropriately named A Place for the Arts, where I am able to show my work in a gallery-like environment, connect face to face with other creatives, and discuss photography and life, in an art filled and coffee scented creative space. While on the way there, I stopped at Burleigh Falls and made several photos of the raging spring melt waters, both in morning light and at sunset, when I returned home, which I will post on my blog over the next few weeks. The photos inspired me to do some digital painting work (above). So, artistically and creatively, I’ve been riding a high wave that carries me forward, slightly out of control, but it’s exhilarating.

Conversely, I’ve had to deal with some unpleasant and recurring life issues that I don’t really want to get into now, but which have been emotionally and spiritually draining. I’m happy to be able to connect here with other creatives, to see me through those times, through shared experiences, words and images.

While I would not consider my current situation as ‘murky’, knowing that the waters eventually settle bring me peace and hope. How’s your week been?

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/10 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website (some images available for purchase)