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.
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).
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.
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.
I considered calling this piece ‘Second Childhood’ but I figured that might be a little obvious, so I settled on ‘Hopscotch’ which is an even more obvious choice but I like how the word sounds. Hopscotch! Then, I wondered why the game is called ‘Hopscotch’. I get the hop part but not the scotch part. Maybe before it turned into a child’s game it was a drunkard’s game? I don’t think that’s coffee in her cup.
The Infallible Tippy Gordon. 18″x24″, oil on canvas. Sold.
The part that really gets me is that she’s managed to do it all in high heels. It’s almost inconceivable. When I was in California last September, I lost my mind for a few minutes in Saks and bought a lovely pair of stilettos. I reasoned that they will never go out of style since they are the equivalent of the little black dress but I hadn’t really considered how well I would be able to walk in them. Why would I? All the ladies around us were gliding by with little to no effort to stay upright. I have since discovered that I can only use them for short flat distances (no cobblestones, grass or uneven patios) and only when supported by John- which means using the ladies room can get awkward. Most troubling is that I have yet to work out a way to replace the pained and unflattering grimace that takes over my face during these short distances with something more aesthetically pleasing.
The Kidnapping Of Edward Pink. Part Three. Oil on canvas, 8″x10″. For sale on etsy.
I know the day is coming when I will have to explain why and how Edward Pink has been kidnapped. Does this mysterious brunette have unnatural superhuman strength? Is she blackmailing him? How is she able to keep him under her thumb so easily? And now there’s a Spaniel involved. The prequel to this story is coming soon.
They own a candy cane factory, possibly a candy cane empire.
They have a raccoon stalker problem.
The same raccoon has just taken several candy cane blows to the head.
They are inadvertent litterbugs.
They have a long standing rivalry with the Spearmint Family. I imagine that when their paths cross on lightly snow-dusted streets there’s some pretty bad tinsel talk followed by some mitten slapping and some pretty ruthless turtleneck pulling.
John feels that only I can take a sweet Christmas loving family and turn them into the Corleones.
I really have a thing for surnames that start with the letter M. Miss Moon, Mademoiselle Mink, Miss Mews and now Miss Masters. It’s getting weird.
Miss Masters actually has a small part in Lucy Crisp And The Vanishing House. She pops up later in the story and her role is pretty much what you see here- a portrait painting with a twist- naturally. Speaking of which, I hope to have the second chapter ready for early December.