Easter Barf Fest, Broken Water Pipes and Art On Hold


So Easter is now past us, thank god for that! We all ate way too much chocolate, six weeks of no processed foods, dairy or sugar and we went a little crazy in the “let’s have a treat” department. I’ve noticed now that too much sugar makes us all grumpy, too much processed foods or dairy and we have stomach aches, headaches, and an all around crappy feeling. To make matters worse one of our water pipes is broken, and of course it being non stop rain it’s a slow going fix to the water issue. Plus one of my kids had the “chocolate” flu. Projectile vomit is extra gross when you don’t have water handy to clean it up. Trying to collect rain water in buckets to clean it all up wasn’t exactly my idea of a good time! Thank god for concentrated cleaning products.

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See I had all these plans to paint new artwork this weekend, all these great ideas, I was in the mood for color and texture. For now my art is on hold while I wait for the water to come back on and sick kids to get back to school. The above painting Titled “Lost” I thought was the perfect reflection of how I felt this long weekend!

 

Happy Birthday Baby Girl – You Are Freckles and Sunshine – You Are Loved


Happy Birthday baby girl, today you are seven years old. You are the youngest child and so sometimes you get a little lost in the shuffle of this big family. Don’t fret, you will find your voice; the beautiful voice that it is. When you sing in the car, daddy turns the radio down just a little so we can hear you. We picked up on that; the harmony in your little girl voice and it warms us like sunshine. Your big sister’s friends tell me you are so beautiful, they are jealous of your dark wavy hair and your freckles. The freckles you hate but make you so, you. The freckles that show how you match daddy, how you are his little girl. You are our baby and we love you. Seven years ago today you were born and we were told not to touch you, we were told to hold our breath because you may not be here come morning. But by some miracle and the genius of the doctors on your team you stayed with us and each day that you fought for life and we cried at your side, unable to hold your hand we knew you would be super special to us. And you are. And you always will be.

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Painting Tornado’s and Cleaning Paw Prints – The Life Of A Struggling Artist


Yesterday I worked on two paintings, one of a tornado at the request of a client who is also buying my lightning bolt painting. The other a beach scene triptych, which is two separate paintings that when hung together make one picture. So yesterday was a busy day in my painting world. Things got messy, as they often do when I’m in the middle of a commission. But what stresses me out the most on these types of days, when I have more then one piece on the go  is keeping the paintings away from my cats while they dry. There is nothing worse then seeing little blue footprints on the floor before you see they have walked across the painting. My goal this year is to get a closed off room to myself for my art that is free of kids and animals. What bliss it would be to leave a painting to dry and not have to chase a cat or kid out of the house!

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Bullying and the Power of One Man’s Words


Today I stumbled upon this video about bullying by Shane Koyczanhttp://www.upworthy.com/bullies-called-him-pork-chop-he-took-that-pain-with-him-and-then-cooked-it-into?g=3 it’s a beautifully written, spoken poem with animation, the animation is beautiful and touching in it’s own right.

This is an incredibly important video and as a person who was also bullied as a child I found myself crying over it. There is one part where he says “we grew up believing no on would ever fall in love with us, that we’d be lonely forever, that we’d never meet someone to make us feel like the sun was something they built for us in their tool shed. So broken heart strings bled the blues as we tried to empty ourselves so we would feel nothing.” That particular collection of words really hit home to me. I was bullied from grade 6 into high school simply because I had buckteeth. My parents were not able to get braces for me until I was 16. The happiest day of my life, and it is sad to say so, is the day I had my braces put on. I grew up in a military family and spent my childhood moving every 4 years. In grade 6 I started in a new school in a smaller town and that’s when the bullying started. I can remember laying in bed at night and thinking the same thing that Shane Koyczan says in his amazing poem; that no one would ever fall in love with me, I was going to grow up lonely, that this would never go away, this would never get better. It did get better as my teeth were straightened, as I grew up and found beauty in myself. However the pain you endure as a child, being barked at all the way home from the bus stop, being called bucky beaver, ugly, freak, the pain of those words carry into adulthood. They make you fear the day your children start school, fear that they will endure the same pain. Or worse that they will inflict pain on others.

Because of my teeth and the relentless teasing I learned to hide away, to not get too close to people for fear I would get too comfortable and maybe forget to cover my mouth with my hand when I smiled or laughed. I was always so careful to cover my mouth. I was one of the lucky ones though, I had friends, friends that considered themselves good people for allowing me to hang out with them, you know, considering…. Friends that would think it were okay to say, “you are the nicest person in our class but you are the ugliest.” I never want my children to have to plan out how they are going to walk from one class to the next to avoid certain people, to have to walk down a hallway while the name calling hits you like a slap in the face. I never want my children to have to laugh when someone makes a reference to how you remind them of bugs bunny, like laughing at yourself will make the humiliation less intense. I never wanted anyone to know their comments hurt me, somehow that made it worse in my eyes. So I laughed along with them and they in turn thought I was so nice, with no idea how much I actually hated them. Thank you Shane Koyczan, your words WILL make a difference.

Please note this blog post was hard to write, I still feel the sting of humiliation recalling that time in my young life. Share Shane’s video, like his facebook page, follow him on twitter; watch him as he makes a difference.

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5000 kms Travelled, Five Kids and Two Weeks of Summer Vacation


I took a bit of a summer hiatus from my art. Part of that hiatus included a two week vacation to Eastern Canada with my family. 5000 kms of driving and five different provinces we took in a lot of cool sights. This was a vacation on a budget which included camping in a pop up trailer with five noisy and often fighting kids. Marsh mellows, smores and scary stories told around the campfire my kids were scared and sticky messes each night before bed. Now our two youngest sleep with their door open for fear that they will be attacked in the night by three finger Willie (thank you Stephan for your imaginative story). A lot of memories were made in those 5000 kms; and after many mosquito bites, boring car rides, late nights and ocean views my kids are pretty impressed they travelled half of Canada in a two week span.  Maybe next summer we will head west.

Here a few of the sites we encountered, photo credits to Stephan Chagnon.

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Birthday Wishes From A Nine Year Old


Today is my birthday. Today I turned 42. In the past few years, the days leading up to my birthday bring a tiny bit of sadness. I don’t like that I am getting older, especially when I still feel so young. I see a few wrinkles now and dread someday not recognizing myself in the mirror.

This morning my nine year old son woke me up with hugs and birthday wishes. I left the bed he was snuggled into to use the bathroom. When I came back he said to me “you’re beautiful”. It made me laugh. So he says, “you are, you still have that makeup on from last night, your hair is all over the place and big and there’s that little curl hanging down, you look beautiful”. Right there, the best birthday present EVER. Little did he know how much his words meant, today of all days.

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Sticky Fingers and Hairstyling – Summer Bliss


Summer’s here, officially, today is the second day since my kids have been out of school. I’ve been forced to set my art aside and spend some quality time with them. So far we have played dance dance on the xbox, did some lame exercise because it was too hot out then ate freezies. One trip to the dirt bike track in the late afternoon then the grocery store to stock up on frozen yogurt (except ice cream was on sale).

Now it’s day two and I was woken up to sweaty kids clad in only their underwear trying to tickle me. Then a full movie day (because it rained). After too much icecream and chocolate milk, freezie packages stuck to the floor and a few sticky faced kisses now I am getting my hair done by my  youngest daughter. She has a habit of banging the brush on my head then tearing it through bringing tears to my eyes. But hey, she’s stopped talking and folks, in the 48 hours since school let out for summer I don’t think this child has stopped talking once.

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