Conflict, 24 x 36" acrylic on canvas

Conflict, 24 x 36″ acrylic on canvas

Conflict is a piece about the serenity of the natural world in opposition to war and conflict. In this abstracted landscape I’ve attempted to represent violence intruding into an otherwise peaceful landscape.

Bird’s Eye View

Pen & ink, 10 x 14

Pen & ink, 10 x 14

This is my first mandala of 2014. It’s called Bird’s Eye View. It was snowing steadily all day today. Even though it was a fairly warm day in comparison to recent days, I couldn’t bring myself to walk to the art store for more canvas. Instead, I spent the afternoon drawing at the dining table.

Recently, I’ve been watching a documentary series called Through the Wormhole. One episode  I saw last week looked at near death experiences. In that episode, there was a snippet of footage of a butterfly flying through a forest. Since then the idea of flying with an animals eyes has stuck with me. One of the ideas discussed involved the notion that at the moment of death, our minds might latch on to the consciousness of other being in a quantum like transfer of awareness. That’s the best way I can restate it – non technical as I am.

This mandala explores that idea – of reaching out beyond human form and seeing life through another’s eyes.

Hope you enjoy the mandala, and as always thanks for being interested in my work.

Seagrape Grove

I started doing an Art class a three weeks ago with Alan Daniel, a local artist here in Kitchener. He’s a great teacher and an amazing artist. I’ve learned so much in just a couple of weeks. It’s nice working in a studio environment again.

The first week I went, I started looking at different types of abstract composition and different techniques of composition. I decided to try out a somewhat abstracted landscape, from a photo taken by a friend. The second and third week I worked on colour and form, building the piece with a mind for broadening my colour palette to incorporate more subtle hues than I’m accustomed to. I’m happy with the result. I’ve done other  abstracted landscapes but they have mostly been from memory or my imagination. This was at times quite challenging but having the photo helped keep me focused.

acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16"

acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16″

This piece is called Sea Grape Grove. There are so many tropical beaches that are fringed by this kind of landscape. In particular this piece reminds me of Back Bay in Tobago, where I have always loved the room like spaces created under the sea grape trees.

Clouds and Oceans

This painting is just over a week old. It’s so different in colour and tone than my previous work I wasn’t sure it was done. I’d leave the studio and think – ‘Nah, it’s not done – it needs more to it’, and then I’d come back in, look at it and change my mind. I actually really enjoy it. Hope you do too.

24 x 36 acrylic on canvas

Undulating Memory

24 x 24 acrylic on canvas

24 x 24 acrylic on canvas

I finished this piece last night. My previous post ‘Lost’ was inspired by this canvas. Since writing that post the canvas has been at least 2 other beginnings of very different paintings. The same major undulations however remained throughout. In this piece I used a range of colours I haven’t tried before. It took a while to figure out how they made me feel and how they’d fit in. I haven’t painted much with browns before so that was one thing I wanted to do when I started out. In the beginning the lilac tones were a happy accident and when I realized they worked with the browns it changed the whole piece.

It took a little while to realize where the piece was going. I was walking to work yesterday morning and looking at birds flying far off against the colour of the sky when it hit me that this piece was an abstract landscape.

While doing this piece my boyfriend said that I should try having a few canvases stretched and ready to go in the studio so that when I get frustrated and lost on one canvas I can just move on to another without majorly changing what I’ve started. I suppose that would take the pressure off the one canvas so I’ll see if that works.


The last couple canvases I’ve worked on have been hard. In past, even if I started something without any idea of where it was going, there’d be some overarching vibe – like I had some inner focus that drew things out of me in some coherent way. It doesn’t feel that way anymore.

I knew this year, starting after a break of sorts that I was some place new. It’s been harder. I feel like in life I know how I feel about things, but then when I sit in front of the canvas, it’s all more visceral. Like I might have some vague inkling that things aren’t right from day to day, but then I sit to paint and the pain floods me and I can’t ignore it.

Today I had to come face to face with how lost I feel in the topography of my life. I was painting something and trying to feel out where I was going as the unanswerable refrain kept coming back to me  – ‘Where am I? And what am I doing?’

My inability to answer these questions didn’t evoke sadness in me. Instead those questions illicited frustrated, exasperated, raw and undeniable anger.

I pulled out my Phaidon collection of Latin American Art to try to tie myself to something. It’s a great collection of work that makes me feel closer to home. In it is a range of expression more familiar to me than a lot of European Art. There’s an anchor there and within all of the great works of Art that I love, that I feel I lack.

It’s as if my life is cut away from its moorings. Sometimes I try to paint but I feel like there’s nothing inside me worth putting on that canvas. Like all I’m doing is applying daubs of paint to canvas instead of making art.

I suppose this is all part of the process.