The Northern Christmas Llama Was Elusive But Generous In Nature, oil on canvas, 8″x10″. SOLD.
To be honest, I don’t really know if this is really a llama, never mind a proper ‘Northern Christmas Llama’. I was studying quite a few pictures of llamas before I started painting this and I was left very disorientated and confused. Physically, they don’t make any sense, and each llama is very different from the next. I doubt two are the same. And what is the difference between a llama and an alpaca? All I know is that I want one now, just so I can study it further and possibly cuddle it. But, do they bite is my only worry.
And speaking of biters, I really thought this week we were going to lose Daisy (our 20 year old cat). First off, I want to mention that I did not name her. Not that I have a problem with the name Daisy, but it never suited her. She appeared on John’s doorstep sixteen years ago, a stray, and quite pregnant. John and his ex took her in, and someone named her Daisy. But, she’s really more of a Joan, or a Betty, or a Jean, or maybe even an Eliza. She’s more of a dame than a flower. We took her to the vet with a bladder infection and she basically came back with a terrible cold. I didn’t know that cats could get colds- at least the kind with snorting congestion. It was terrible to watch, not to mention listen to. She stopped eating, stopped sleeping and sat in an uncomfortable crouch position and looked like she wanted to end it. Then the vet shot her up with steroids and she’s moved on to her 55th cat life. In fact, she’s happily eating leftover brisket as I type this.
So in a very long winded way, this is also an explanation as to why there isn’t another Miss Moon Christmas painting yet. I’ve been so busy being a nursemaid which included force feeding stinky fishy cat food through a syringe, only to have it expelled back onto me, as well as bouts of cat mind reading, trying to suss out whether or not she wanted to continue on in this world or not. Fortunately for us, we have her for a little longer.
The Peppermint Family Christmas Balloon Ride, oil on canvas, 12″x16″. For sale on etsy.
This is what happens when you let the Peppermint family run amok. There is so much that is wrong with this picture (and possibly wrong with the Peppermint family) but they always seem to get away with it, likely because it’s considered to be only a little harmless festive fun. But is it really? Once again, we find them littering. And this time, they are littering big time. No longer are they tossing candy canes out of car windows, but they are dropping candy canes and other heavy objects from quite a height. Imagine that you live in this pretty miscellaneous European town and you are just sitting in the park enjoying a hot beverage when you get clunked in the head by a gingerbread man. That would put me off Christmas, and possibly parks, for quite a while. I think the Peppermint family needs to rethink their gift giving strategy and take it down a notch.
Also, does Mr. Peppermint have two wives? No, that redhead is just his sister, Miss Moon (no, she’s not really Miss Moon).
It’s that time of year again! We have put the shop on vacation to prepare for our annual Black Friday Sale! Enter the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout to receive 20% off your order. Please remember that the code has to be entered in the coupon code box (not the message to seller box) in order to receive the discount.
This year the sale runs from Friday Nov 27 at 9:00am and will end on Sunday at 11:00pm.
I thought I would share a few photos of what consumed our lives for the entire summer. Seriously, I have no clue how I produced a single painting, as my mind was completely focused on windows, floors, and soft furnishings. Our house was originally built around 1868 and is technically a Victorian style bungalow, and although it’s full of charm and character, it was very small. So small that when we transferred our mortgage to our new bank they had to follow some sort of special procedure to ensure that we weren’t mortgaging a shed. No kidding.
Our main source of inspiration came from a Hooked On Houses profile on THIS HOUSE. Sigh. That ceiling. It’s really all about the ceiling. Here in chilly southern Ontario, you don’t see a lot of ceilings like that, possibly because they tend not to be winterized? Clinging to that vital piece of inspiration we contacted Build, who happily rose to the challenge of creating a space that both fit into the style of our existing cottage, but also gave a great big nod to our inspiration cottage. We are so happy with the result.
So aside from the ceiling, here are a few design sources if you are interested. Oh and one more thing, our ‘before’ wasn’t really that bad. They had already pulled off the white siding, giving it that ‘fresh shack’ look.
A Miss Moon Christmas. Lesson Four: Festive Reindeer Antlers Are Meant For Wearing, Not For Chewing. Oil on canvas, 12″x16″.
To celebrate the first snowfall of the year here in Southern Ontario, I thought I would release the next Miss Moon Christmas painting. This lesson is an important one for all those chewers out there. I’m talking to you Mr. Finnegan Elliott Woodward, whom we thought had passed through the chewing phase years ago only to recently discover evidence to the contrary: freshly nibbled corners of a Christmas card.
I’m likely one of the few artists that decides to paint large-scale paintings when illustrating a book. This portrait of a young Millicent Brown which appears in chapter four of Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House is 24″x36″. Not exactly small. It really held up chapter four (only five more paintings to go) and was fairly frustrating- ie, painting a cat is really hard. They tend to look demented if done poorly, so I’m not sure if this cat looks demented in a bad way, or demented in a good evil and aloof kind of way. I was going more for evil and aloof. Anyway, here is your teaser for chapter four. I hope you like it.
The day after Halloween is always a sad one for John. There is such a long build up for him, with his carefully curated ‘Shocktoberfest’ (a scary movie every night for the month of October), and then Halloween comes and it rains and only two children arrive on our doorstep. Crestfallen, John and I watched Night Of The Living Dead and pathetically went to bed at 10pm. The following day I went over to my parents’ house and my dad mentioned that he was going to the town bandshell to drop his jack-o-lantern off. It was a comment that almost slipped past me, but didn’t.
‘Why are you taking your weird unibrow pumpkin to the bandshell?’ I inquired.
‘It’s for the pumpkin parade. For the wild boars.’ My dad replied.
‘Huh? What? Are you having a stroke?’
At this point my mother clears up the confusion and explains that for the past several years, Stratford stages a pumpkin parade of hundreds, possibly thousands of lit jack-o-lanterns. The following day they are all donated to the wild boars as apparently wild boars love pumpkins. It’s weird, isn’t it? It’s not just me-right? But, I decided that it was all for a good cause, so I ran over and donated our pumpkin (there is no excuse for how shoddy my pumpkin is….I studied sculpture at university, and that was the best I could come up with -apparently yes.) I then surprised John with a quick drink at our favourite bar then headed to the pumpkin parade where I watched my 40-something husband turn into a five year old again. It was a fitting end to another Shocktoberfest.
ps- top right is Miss Moon’s favourite jack-o-lantern.
Pasadena Housewife, oil on canvas, 20″x24″. For sale on etsy.
I’m going to start by saying that I’ve never been to Pasadena so this is entirely fantasy. Also, I can’t really explain why I think a woman from Pasadena would smoke those pink Sobranie cigarettes and wear a green kimono robe. It’s just one of those crazy things that I’ll have to work out on my own time.
And if you haven’t had your fill of witches yet, may I recommend watching American Horror Story: Coven if you haven’t already. It’s such a delight to find a show that embraces more seasoned actresses such as Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, and Francis Conroy. These women are powerhouses and know how to push the boundaries between horror and camp. I mean just watch Angela Bassett and Jessica Lange as they exchange pleasantries here. Toss in a guest appearance by Stevie Nicks and it really doesn’t get much more magical than that.
Lisette vs The Skunk. Oil on canvas, 12″x16″. For sale on etsy.
I’m pretty certain that Finnegan is being stalked by a skunk. It could be a Pepe Le Peu situation or perhaps it’s just enjoying tormenting him every night at 3am by spraying up a storm in our backyard. Finnegan is technically a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that we are fairly certain was a stuffed toy that came to life one day (possibly a child wished it so). He has little to no natural hunting instincts (the other day a cricket chirping in our neighbour’s garden terrified him) and what he has learned about hunting he has learned from our ancient housecat who most days can’t be bothered moving. But this skunk has tapped into the 1% of Finnegan’s inner hunter and Finnegan wants to destroy him. I want to destroy him too thanks to Finnegan’s 3am race around the house and howling fits. So I sympathize with Lisette here and commend her for her creative use of expensive French perfume.
The new cover for Lucy Crisp! In chapter four things get a little darker for poor Lucy so I’ve shifted into a slightly moodier blue/green colour palette. I don’t know exactly when chapter four will be ready but I have passed the half way point with the artwork. Hopefully in time for Halloween!
Here are snippets from three really random paintings on canvas panel that I have for sale in my shop. It was a hectic week and my mind was all over the place and then ‘poof!’ they appeared out of my head. I think initially there was more of a story between them, but then it got weird and nonsensical. Like me. Oh and speaking of stories, I’m still working on visuals for chapter four of Lucy Crisp and I should have the new cover ready in a couple of weeks.
Acting like an idiot in public is something that I really enjoy. Especially when it involves painted wooden food cut-outs. There’s something quite thrilling about nonchalantly walking up to a child sized wooden hot dog and crouching down awkwardly to put my face in the hole and snapping a photo. Looking back on this, I realize that a selfie would have been even more deliciously absurd. Sometimes people don’t notice, but sometimes they do. Usually it’s an older woman trying to enjoy her pralines & cream in peace and quiet. The last thing she wants to see is me reliving my seven year old self.
On a more serious note, I do have another painting coming up called ‘Whiskey Sour High Kick’ but it’s kicking my bottom with all the fiddly parts so it likely won’t surface until early next week….if ever….