Daydreamers, oil on canvas, 11″x14″. Sold.

I posted this in my shop yesterday then linked it to instagram and facebook and completely forgot to put it on my blog. It’s allergy medication brain- I hope.

An update on the calendars:  The first run sold out but there will be a second batch coming soon- likely in a week!

The Etiquette of Blackmail


The Etiquette of Blackmail, oil on canvas, 18″x18″.  For sale on etsy.

Lets talk blackmail. The first time I ever heard the term, I immediately imagined a sinister black envelope. Probably with red handwriting and maybe a red and black stamp. It scared me. And I think I had good reason to be scared as it seemed to be an epidemic, at least that’s what Hollywood wanted me to believe. I was certain that one day when I was much older, and very rich, and possibly blonde, I would be lounging by the pool, and my cabana boy would present me with a morning Mimosa and the mail, and in that pile of mail, would be the dreaded black envelope. I would be done for.

Yet in real life, it seems blackmail doesn’t happen very often, and when it does, it’s likely not very dramatic. But in the rare event that it were to happen, I believe that there should be an etiquette to it, just as these two ladies are teaching us here.  Blackmail served with tea (something strong and smoky like Lapsang) and lots of little cakes and sandwiches with the crusts cut off would really help to make the experience a much more pleasant one.


A New Room


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.

The fireplace tile is Touareg from Tabarka Studio. Teal sofa is from Southern Furniture Company– I think it’s the Grace sofa.  Console, dining room table and chairs, Cornerstone Furniture in Cambridge, Ontario. Jute rug Ikea.  Wall colour is Cloud White from Benjamin Moore. Oh and my dad made the fireplace mantel and bookcases!


Lisette vs The Skunk

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.


Great Ladybug

Great Ladybug, oil on canvas, 11″x14″.  For sale on etsy.

I could be wrong but she might be the same lady featured in my ‘Houseguest’ painting.  The one with the lion on her couch.   She’s in a different living room, so possibly we have time traveled back to her first apartment, but I think it’s the same lady.   Different day, different guest, same problem.


Gypsy And The Tassel

Gypsy And The Tassel, 18″x24″, oil on canvas.  Sold.

Poor Gypsy, I think she will forever be tormented by the lantern tassel.  The other day it occurred to me that animals might be optimists.   Every morning Finnegan waits by John’s side and watches him eat his breakfast.   Every morning he anticipates John’s toast flying out of his hand and directly into his mouth.  This of course never happens, but Finnegan still sits patiently waiting for the day that this event will take place.   Maybe it’s because he’s not very smart,  but I think it’s because he’s optimistic.



September, oil on canvas, 14″x18″.  Sold.

I was really trying to capture the feeling of September with this one.   I call it the ‘sad light’ when the summer light starts to die and the autumn light takes over.   September is also a strange month and feels a little unsettled.  Of course, this year it might be because I have my trial this week.   Remember those horrible Chinese knock offs of my work?  Well, unfortunately it has lead to legal measures.   I’ve kept it under wraps for the most part but I’m hoping that when it’s all said and done I will be able to share my experience more publicly in hopes of helping other artists who might find themselves in a similar situation.


For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow

For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow, oil on canvas. 10″x12″.  Sold.

He looks a little surprised- you think?   I think it’s definitely a surprise party and he’s well chuffed.   I hope everyone is making the most out of summer.  Of late, I’ve been working on the book like a mad woman and growing things in the garden like red roses and pink peonies.   I’m slowly overcoming my fear of creepy crawlies- baby steps.   Tomorrow is the ‘super moon’ and I’m looking forward to cracking open a bottle of ‘Noble One’ with John and enjoying the sight before we run inside and watch the last episode of Mad Men- weep.   Aside from that I’ve been enjoying restaurant patios, gorging on fresh strawberries while watching films from the 70’s and early 80’s like ‘Klute’ and ‘Shoot The Moon‘, and trying to get my super white legs some sun as I don’t want to glow brighter than the super moon tomorrow night.


The Devil’s Food Cake

The Devil’s Food Cake, oil on canvas, 10″x12″.  Sold.

So what makes a ‘Devil’s Food Cake’ so devilish anyway?  I love how certain foods, particularly desserts and British delicacies, get such descriptive and imaginative names.   Someone should write and illustrate a book just about weird food names…..Toad In The Hole, Eton Mess,  Angel Food Cake vs Devil’s Food Cake, Bubble and Squeak,  Fairy Cakes, Cullen Skink, and of course my personal favourite: Spotted Dick.

Have you ever been too embarrassed to order something because of the name?  I likely have and I know John has.   Years ago I got him hooked on ‘Snickerdoodle’ coffee that was served at a local coffee shop in town.   I personally don’t find the name that bad, but for some reason John felt a little emasculated requesting that coffee (even though he LOVED it) and so whenever it appeared as the ‘Daily Feature’ coffee, he made sure to pop in for a cup.  Although, he would ask for ‘The Daily Feature Coffee’ in his manliest and deepest voice, rather than requesting it by its proper name.  If you can’t say it, perhaps you shouldn’t drink it.



Rebecca, 11″x14″, oil on canvas. For sale on etsy.

I don’t like to pick favourites, but if I was forced to choose my top three books of all time, Rebecca would definitely be one of them.  A while back Hila from le project d’amour asked me if I had ever considered painting Rebecca.  I actually have wrestled with the idea but every time I chickened out.  How do you paint such a mythical woman?  When I gave it a little more thought, I realized that what I really wanted to paint was her ghost.  So in a way, this painting suggests her presence without her actually being present.  Initially I wasn’t going to paint Mrs. Danvers, but somehow she quietly crept into the edge of the painting and then it started to make a little more sense to me.  I think that Rebecca is likely already dead and this is how Mrs. Danvers carries on without her. She follows the morning routine of bringing her coffee, fresh flowers and opening the curtains.  Only for a second she is reminded of her death when she catches sight of the sea. Following her brief moment of clarity,  she returns to her daily routine of terrorizing the new Mrs. de Winter.