Crazy Dog Takes Lessons From An Even Crazier Family – An Artists Life With Six Kids


One day my husband brought home a big dog, without my permission. I saw him driving up the road towards our house, arm hanging out the window, cigar in his mouth and a big black dog in the passenger seat. Secretly I sometimes think he looks more like a redneck but that’s beside the point (and please don’t tell him I said that). I watch him pull into the driveway, with this dog and his cigar and felt one of those rare moments of hate that are inevitable in any relationship. There he was, completely white dust covered from one of his renovating jobs, cigar ashes flying as he strained to cart this dog out of the van. He looked at me; big smile covering his face then shrugged his shoulders and brought the dog in the house. I took a moment, a moment to unclench my fists and breath, just breath. Now don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, although I do admit to a slight fear of the larger ones. Again, I repeat, I do love dogs, however, we have six kids between us, two at that time that were little enough to be home during the day, with me and now, this big dog.

Image

The dog was a female black lab mix with a little crazy stirred in. First thing the dog did to initiate herself into our family was to chew on the legs of my antique dining set. A dining set that has been around for approximately 130 years but is falling apart under the “care” of my rough family. It managed a 130-year life until it fatefully became part of our furniture collection. So the dog, whom we named Dolly, chewed my chairs and one leg of the table; happily I might add, like they were dipped in bacon grease. This all happened fast, she dove straight for the table and started chewing before anyone could stop her. Could have been comical if not for my total distress at watching my table getting ruined. As the kids and my husband chased her around trying to stop the destruction she would move to another chair, go in for a quick bite and slip away before any hands could reach her.

She was a friendly dog, very hyperactive though which did amount to a lot of interesting scenarios. Luckily a few of our kids were old enough to take her on lots of walks. For the older girls it was more of a tug of war then a walk but still, they got the job done.

For our youngest son though, who was only three at the time, this dog, Dolly, was both a friend and an enemy. They quickly developed a very complicated love, hate relationship; you see we were not used to a big dog in the house. So when we laid out lunch for our little guy, on the coffee table with his little plastic chair pulled up, well little did we know this was the perfect height for a dog thief. Every time our son looked away, Dolly, who would act seemingly uninterested while the food was being served, would then scoot over and devour the meal in mere seconds. Around the third time this happened, our son got up, walked over to the dog that was lying on the floor pretending not to notice him and then leaned forward to lift up her ear and whisper, “Dolly, I hate you”.

Image

He had seemed to forgive her though, when later he brought the dog over to show us his art experiment. He had gotten into my art paints and brushes and had decorated the dog in multiple colors. What I found most amusing was the patience of this dog, our Dolly, to have sat through a painting session that was long enough for our son to change colors and cover multiple areas of her body. But he sure was proud and Dolly seemed happy enough, probably hoping in return he would just share his lunch with her.

 

I long ago decided my only defence in this family is to just paint!

Image

Insomnia, An Itchy Foot And Lots Of Creative Thinking


Last night I couldn’t sleep. I lay there staring at the ceiling, trying to quiet my mind and relax my muscles. I even tried counting sheep. That didn’t help. I started making a mental inventory of everything I had to do the next day. Do you ever do this? Then come the next day you can’t remember what you were thinking of. I always tell myself I should keep a pen and paper beside my bed for these nights.

As I lay there, trying desperately to ignore the itchy bug bite on the bottom of my foot, my mind starts constructing a blog post, and then envisioning a new abstract painting. They were both brilliant, in my mind anyway, in the dead of night with no distractions aside from my itchy foot. But come morning I couldn’t remember a single detail of what I thought was too good to forget.

So I stare at my blank word press sheet, straining to recall what I had thought I wanted to say today and all I can come up with is, last night I couldn’t sleep, so I stared at the ceiling and tried to ignore the bug bite on the bottom of my foot.Image

My Story, My Life Path, An Artist And Proud Of It


We all have a story, what brings us to choose our path। Was it a conscious decision or something more subtle? I went through some rough times and with the heartaches I found myself itching to break free and define myself. I’ve had a retail business, it felt like me, like my life path in the years I was there. When it didn’t feel like me anymore, when it drained me instead of sustaining me I moved on. Now I’m here, I’m doing what years ago would have been the impossible. I’m doing what I dreamed of when I got my first compliment in an art class in high school. What drove me while I sat through art history and still life study in college and dreamed; could I one day call myself an artist? It happened slowly, painting and hiding the results. Painting and showing my kids, then my spouse until one day I had the confidence to hang a few where friends and family would see. OH MY, what a step! I used a site called deviant art to post work and get some feedback. It was so hard at first to put myself out there but it helped shape my talent and my self confidence. I was shy to approach actually listing my art for sale. I will never forget the experience of seeing my first item sell, to a total stranger, in a different country. What bliss!! Now I am out there, I’ve defined myself, I’m an artist and I’m proud of it. My Art For Sale  

PAINTING OUTDOORS; SPRING FEVER AND ART DISASTER WITH MY THREE YEAR OLD DAUGHTER.


       Spring is here, the flowers are almost in bloom, the leaves peeking from their respective branches. It feels great to be outdoors, the sun in my face, the wind whipping my hair as I cart my paint supplies out to the picnic table by my flagstone patio. Seems like a great idea, romantic even. My three year old daughter wants to paint with me and the wind is knocking everything off the table. I try to persevere and keep up the facade of painting outside like a true nature loving, artistic soul. I start the painting but the wind is blowing my hair straight across my eyes making visibility difficult. I take a quick run into the house for a hair elastic and come back to find my daughter “painting” on my canvas, the one I had already started. I start over, placing a tiny canvas board in front of her so she can paint also. I spend about half an hour on the painting, trying to re-capture what I had originally started. Then the wind picks up and tips the water container, dirty paint water and all across the whole painting and into my lap. My daughter giggles. I don’t. After mopping that up I’m still determined to make this work. After all, it’s a beautiful day and I want to be outside. I move the water container to a safer spot and start over….again. This time everything falls into place and the afternoon flies by. My daughter jumps from painting on her little canvas to playing with her toys on the vast lawn. I complete my painting; it looks exactly as I wanted it to. I decide to leave it to dry on the picnic table knowing it will dry fast in the sun. My daughter and I started carting the painting supplies back into the house, stopping for a drink and some cookies. When we go back out we are blasted by a fierce wind, it takes our breath away, almost knocking my daughter off her feet. Hand in hand we walk around the side of the house, back to the flagstone patio and there is the painting, face down in the grass about 10 feet from the picnic table. Afraid to pick it up myself I ask my three year old; she happily bounces over and picks it up. “Look Mommy at all the pretty colours.” The mixed, smeared and smudged painting, grass and dirt stuck to it, the face of the figure unrecognizable; leave it to a three year old to find beauty in the wreckage!

Emotions in Art – Painting Sadness – A Visual Diary


Never Tell - Hand Painted Original on Canvas

Never Tell – Hand Painted Original on Canvas

I’ve been asked what inspires me to paint and while I struggle to come up with the obvious answers like my surroundings, the beauty of nature, my love of life what truly drives me to paint are my emotions. Sometimes the more emotional or stressed out I am the better the painting turns out. It seems I’m painting sadness. I have had more than a few people tell me that my artwork is packed with emotion. I guess I wear my heart on my sleeve; at least when it comes to painting. In life I keep my emotions to myself on the most part. I don’t share my inner pain with friends or family or even my spouse. Maybe from an artistic point of view that is a good thing. For my aching soul it’s a terribly lonely feeling. When I paint from an emotional frame of mind the end product is so drenched in sadness I don’t think I could honestly call much of my art therapeutic. Mostly it’s a visual diary to the ups and downs of my life. A life filled with love and betrayal, struggles that reach beyond just the financial burden I often face. When someone buys a piece of my art they are truly buying a piece of my soul, my very own visual diary.
You can find more of my art for sale at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ourhouseabstractart

Coming Up With A Series Of Abstract Figurative Art Paintings


Contemporary Abstract Figurative Art
Contemporary Abstract Figurative Art
Every time I sit in front of a canvas an idea forms in my head. Sometimes it’s in the form of colours or shapes, usually abstract. I turn to my tubes of paint and choose the colours as they appear to me in my mind. When the mood strikes and the painting turns into a figurative piece I find myself these past few months doing the same lonely figure. Sometimes standing on a cliff like structure, always with a dripping moon and no features on her face.
For me they represent the feeling of sometimes losing that unique part of yourself were everything seemed possible and our dreams were within reach. As the years go by that person, that dreamer seems more and more like a stranger. When I find myself painting featureless faces it’s as if I am still seeking to find my voice. I think I might be searching for the dreamer I used to be.