April started off with a bang of an ice storm that knocked out power for many in my area of Easter Ontario. I was fortunate, I didn’t loose power so other than the inconvenience of waiting in a long gas line up, my life carried on.

Prep for my upcoming show is pretty much complete. Yesterday I packed up all of the small pieces as well as all of the stuff for my booth. With so many new paintings this year, getting all of the pieces ready was a big task as most required the full treatment of hanging wires, signatures and business cards. I am excited for the show this year, its the biggest show our local arts association has put on, 76 artists under one roof, not bad for small town Ontario! I will be sure to update you next month on how I made out.

Back in January I had a crazy flurry of creative activity, starting 12 new pieces and tweaking 5 more. I had a pile on my palette table and one on the floor. I have been slowly plugging away at them and I can now report they are all finished! It felt really great to wrap them all up and more importantly I am happy with them! Wouldn’t you know it though, not long after that pile was finished I had another one built up!

The Foods We Eat series is complete!

I transformed and completed the redo of my bird series this month. I love my painted birds but they were on a neutral blue or green background and always felt a little ho-hum. Once I got them back from the shop where they were hanging I immediately collaged all but two to bring them all together as a series. So far on this mixed media journey, this method of collage is my favorite. The palette I use for this series offers so many forest like colours to play with.

April is also the month I have been waiting to arrive! A highly anticipated workshop started on the 17th, it’s Creative Shift with Sally-Anne Ashley, a UK artist. I first heard of Sally-Anne on the Art Juice podcast last fall, she talked about finding the why’s behind the artist process and something really resonated in me. I knew at that moment that this was a workshop I needed to take for my own artistic evolution. This is not a painting workshop rather a deep dive into the why’s of my art practice. I’ve never spent much time thinking about why, other than the superficial “because it turns me on” but it’s now time to ask why, why does it spark my creative juices? When I bought the course back in December it seemed so far away and yet here we are two weeks in!

I won’t lie, some of the exercises cause me some struggle and I have to think that it’s a good struggle, unearthing many more questions as answers. Opening up my curiosity about my life and my art journey, I have been spending a lot of time journaling out my answers. One of the exercises has sparked more moments of my off-again on-again creative writing practice! That practice comes in fits and spurts and since I prefer to write long hand in spiral notebooks for everything, I have a decent collection building up! The picture below shows my creative writing notebooks.

I have paused my painting practice for the duration of the workshop, using this time to play and develop ideas in my art journals instead. I felt this natural pause happening in the weeks approaching the workshop. I was driven to finish the bird series knowing they were for the show and had no new plans for anything on canvas. It’s ok, I write down ideas that come up in my studio log for another time. That being said, if I am moved to start a new piece I will and for those wondering, yes I am still getting up at 4am to journal and play in my studio. Last week I was exploring my love of these green squares that showed up in my abstract pieces earlier this year. I tried other colours but this permanent green light is the favourite so far.

Green squares art journal exploration

My workshop continues for 8 more weeks so I will update you on my progress in my next blog! For now, I am looking forward to seeing where the shift that’s happening takes me!

If you are in the Ottawa area, please stop by the show and say hello! I will be at booth #27

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