Left: Mint Mercury, oil on canvas, 10″x12″. Right: Grey Gardens, oil on canvas, 12″x12″.
For a couple of months John and I have been living in a construction zone. I’m not really sure who was aware of my studio situation (and it was a situation, believe me). It was a bright but cramped spot, relegated to the back hall alongside the washer and dryer, and a little too close to the kitty litter box for my liking. The few people that got to see it, were either left speechless, disappointed, or even just plain angry. On the plus side, it was by the back door and in the summer, I could paint while under the curious stares of rabbits and birds which made it more tolerable. But enough was enough. So this spring, John and I decided to expand the tiny cottage into something that would better suit our needs.
This now means that I have a normal human-sized studio and a proper office located in the original part of the house (see photos). The addition will be the living and dining space with a covered veranda thrown into the mix. That’s smug me in the construction zone, acting as if I’m responsible for building the structure. In actuality, we hired Build, a Stratford based company that specializes in heritage homes. I’ll get more into their awesomeness when we do the official before/after in a couple of months once it’s completed and somewhat decorated.
So far the process has been fairly painless, which I understand is rare given the fact that we are actually living in the construction zone. But the one aspect that I hadn’t anticipated was how distracted I would be by the reno, creatively speaking that is. Partly it was because my studio moved, and the light moved and for about two weeks I didn’t like painting in the new studio. It felt off, like I was wearing my shirt on backwards. Or maybe it was the lack of kitty litter box. Fortunately, I was able to work out the lighting situation, and now the space is right. However, my headspace is still unsettled. I’m used to being alone all day, and anyone who spends a lot of time alone can go a little mad. This is good though for my creative process. But now, I’m preoccupied with decisions on windows, flooring, fireplace tile, light fixtures, and furniture which surprisingly takes up a lot of time in a day, especially if you don’t know how to time manage and can’t tear yourself away from inspiring images on pinterest.
Due to my preoccupations, I haven’t been updating my blog with the latest info, not that there is much, but there are a few things that I’ve posted on facebook that I’ve neglected to post here, so if you aren’t a facebooker, then here’s the catch up:
Note: There are clickable links below but they appear in regular black text and I have no clue how to fix this.
Miss Moon: Wise Words From A Dog Governess is slated for release in January from Tundra Books (Penguin Random House Canada). The book is very similar to the French version, comprised of the Miss Moon lesson paintings, but we have altered some of the lessons to be more appropriate for children. If you are a Miss Moon fan, it can be pre-ordered on Amazon, or if you want to support a local independent, Fanfare Books in Stratford, Ontario is taking pre-orders and they ship everywhere.
Lucy Crisp And The Vanishing House. Running behind on Chapter Four. Really running behind. I would say that it has suffered the most from my reno distractions. It’s also a longer chapter and heavy on the visuals, and some of the paintings are larger and more time consuming. There will likely be at least fifteen images and to give you an idea on progress, I’ve only completed two and a half. I knew when I started it that it would likely be a three year project, and I’m going to try my best to stick to that goal. All I need is another hard Canadian winter, stuck indoors, barely clinging to sanity, and I will get caught up.
Society6: You can now purchase phone cases with some of my images. As well, I am offering a small selection of canvas prints in my Society6 shop. Yay!
Quicksand, oil on canvas, 18″x24″. For sale on etsy.
When I think about my childhood fears, I would have to say that quicksand was at the top of the list. Along with volcanoes spewing molten lava, radioactive vegetables, whirlpools, and giant spiders living in caves. Of course, I’ve since realized that these fears were entirely born out of watching too many Gilligan’s Island episodes (cue canned laughter).
I have six plates up for sale in my etsy shop. I’m calling them ‘Picnic Plates’ as they are made from melamine, and somehow picnic sounds a lot nicer than plastic. I made them through ‘Shutterfly’ and they are food safe and dishwasher safe and they look pretty spiffy. I’ve also signed the back of each one just to make them extra special. This is all I have, and there likely won’t be more as they are too costly to make on a regular basis.
I have three small original oils available in the shop!
The Villainess. Oil on canvas, 12″x14″. Sold.
Let’s talk lady villains. I’ve always had a fascination towards villainesses (I’m not even sure if that’s a word, but who cares). Particularly if they dress like Joan Crawford, own wild animals, and wear a monocle. That’s another fascination of mine, women with monocles. My favourite Slim Aarons photograph is Monocled Miss. She’s so glamorous and mysterious, lounging in bed with her newspaper and her honeydew melon breakfast. Also captured in that one image is the memory of my favourite board game ‘Clue’– Colonel Mustard perhaps? Anyway, I’m off to enjoy a martini and plot someone’s demise.
It appears that Edward Pink is still kidnapped and these five small sketchy paintings chronicle his latest sufferings. Poor Edward Pink. How will he ever escape her clutches? These are just details and I’ll be listing the originals in the shop on Wednesday!
Wild Kingdom, 11″x14″, oil on canvas. Sold.
I’ve opened a Society6 shop that offers iPhone and iPod cases/skins, as well as canvas prints and note cards. I currently only have a small collection available, but if it works out, I will be adding more to the mix. Please stop by and take a look!
Watchful Ivy, oil on canvas. 6″x8″. For sale on etsy.
Barmaids, oil on canvas, 10″x12″. Sold.
Chapter three is finally finished and has been added to the book! If you are interested in reading about weird dolls, meat pies, fairies, and unfriendly girls with red nail polish, then head on over and take a little look. I also wanted to thank Casey Decker from the Meticulous Type for helping me to edit chapters two and three so far. There still may be some typos though and other oddities largely because I have to retype everything into this archaic program that I’m using to combine the pictures with text, but that just gives it a little added character- right? I should also mention that the flip book might not be compatible with some phones but should work with most tablets. To view the book please click HERE.
The Mermaid Inn, oil on canvas, 12″x16″. For sale on etsy.
The Fiat Jolly is just too cool for skool. I just wrote that didn’t I? Here’s an off topic little side story that doesn’t involve mermaids but does involve bridesmaids which I think bear some relation to each other. A few years back, I attended a wedding and I was in the ladies room talking to some of the bridesmaids as we were touching up our make-up. These bridesmaids were a little younger than me and they were the kind of girls who were very popular in high school, so I was trying my best to fit in with them– you know, act like I was a little younger than I actually was. At some point, I referred to something as ‘old school’ and it was like I had just opened a fresh can of Napalm. I remember the room got quiet and shifty squinty glances were tossed back and forth between them in the mirror. They quickly left the room and ignored me the rest of the evening. When I told John what happened, he felt that I could have fixed it all with a round of high fives as they rushed past me and out the door. Not sure about that.
Prince Charmings, oil on canvas, 18″x24″. For sale on etsy.
Just a splash of colour to start your weekend off! I wish I had cake and party decorations and a weird looking cat waiting for me at the end of this really long week.
Extraordinary Chickens, oil on canvas, 11″x14″. For sale on etsy.
I almost called this painting ‘Lemon Chicken’ but thought better of it when I realized the insinuation that she will be eating lemon chicken for dinner that night. And that’s not a very pleasant thought. But she is drinking lemonade so she is resourceful with her citrus fruit at the very least.
Fairy Cake, 8″x10″, oil on canvas. Sold.
Clearly I have fairies on the brain.
I’m running a little behind on chapter three (two paintings to go) but I hope to have it online within three weeks. In the meantime, here is another cover possibility. I’m digging the fairies with this one. As well as her ‘I’m a little drunk and I give up’ expression. She’s not really drunk….or is she?? I wonder what shenanigans could possibly transpire in the third chapter to bring her to this tormented place. Stay tuned!
A Fainting In The Botanical Gardens. 20″x24″, oil on canvas. SOLD.
Women just don’t faint like they used to. This occurred to me the other day as I watched Nashville (the Robert Altman movie– not the tv show– which I do watch as well when I have a big glass of viognier in my hand and I feel like rocking out). Anyway, in the film there is a scene where the leading lady supposedly faints and spends a week or so recovering in the hospital. I was pretty fascinated by it so I felt it necessary to explore it in a painting. I get the sense that our lady fainter is actually a Canadian who just discovered that spring has finally arrived. The sight of so much colour and beauty overwhelms her and she collapses by a tree, only to be woken when a deer sniffs her ankles.
The Kidnapping Of Edward Pink. Part Six. Oil on canvas, 11″x14″. Sold.
Just look at these two. Hardly blending in with Gstaad ski crowd. I suspect they’re on the move– or at least she is, and he is forced to come along for the ride. But for what reason they are on the lam, well, that can’t be revealed just yet.
I’m so happy to announce that Tundra Books/ Penguin Random House Canada will be publishing the English version of Miss Moon! The release is Spring 2016 and I will provide more details as they come. I realized that I actually have one more painting of Miss Moon (pictured above) that I held back until the French version of the Miss Moon book was published back in November. I wrapped it up and forgot about it until now so if you are interested, I will be listing the original painting in my shop this afternoon. It depicts Miss Moon en route to her first placement as a dog governess alongside her newly adopted French bulldog, Petunia and Mitford, her monkey friend. She looks cool as a cucumber though– she has no idea what lies in wait for her— a family with sixty-seven undisciplined dogs.