February. Change, Growth and Evolution

February was all about free workshops and following the creative leads that come across my path. I made a decision back in the fall to take as many free workshops as I can this year and so far February has not disappointed! For such a short month it was busy!

All three of the free workshops I signed up for are now finished. It was interesting; two of them did not resonate with me at all and the third was just ok until the last day. The best was saved for last on that final workshop: A new way to look at colour theory as it applies to the piece being worked on: Colour Harmony. Sounds dry, I know, but it wasn’t, it was another big piece of my art journey. This workshop was the free week leading up to the Art2Life’s signature program CVP. At this time it is out of my reach financially but I am leaving the door open for next year (and saving some money while I am at it) since his way of teaching resonates with me. Not right now no longer means never. If you remember I took his 21 day Spark program in September of last year and it changed my art, it changed me and I am still unpacking many of the lessons.

Another goal I set for myself for 2023 was to consistently make more art so I can consistently sell more art. Now I know one plus one doesn’t mean a straight line to sales but making art regularly, being in the creative zone more often, being fired up about my art can only mean good things! January was off to a good start, I made/started /refreshed a total of 19 pieces and completed 10. I am happy with the outcome and I don’t expect every month to reflect the same numbers. In February I completed another 6 pieces that I started in January.

I started this abstract piece in January that I have continued to work on all month: I have no idea where it’s going! It’s colourful and full of shapes with some collage and stencils but how to tell when it’s done?! I keep adding more elements to it as they pop into my head. It occurred to me yesterday that maybe this would have been better suited for my art journal. I am sure it will come together eventually, in the meantime I do enjoy looking at all of the different areas within the piece. In reality, I will add another layer over top. but not today.

At the end of January I decided to apply for our local fine art show that takes place in May. I was reluctant to apply this year, predicting that I wouldn’t make the cut. I did have a few reasons: a) I never get juried in but rather I am usually the alternate selected artist, filling cancellation spots and b) my art is changing and evolving. What work to show the jury that reflects that shift? When I recognized that it was simply my fear talking I applied, because if I don’t apply I am guaranteed not to be juried in or even be on the alternates list.

Blue Jay Mixed Media

I am happy to report that I was juried in! 😁😁 I literally jumped for joy when I read the email! I am so thrilled that my work made the cut! Of course I immediately started to plan what to bring! It’s not until May so I have lots of time. Celebrate those moments as they come!

An exploration of tissue paper, paint and gloss medium 😁

I have been invited to join a local arts group that meets regularly to paint and chat. To say I was excited would be an understatement! Several of the artists within that group I have come to know quite well thru participation in my local art show so I am looking forward to joining them. So far the weather and my schedule haven’t cooperated but hopefully in March that will settle down.

I am also exploring my art journal a bit more this month too. I belong to a few online art groups and they each work in art journals differently but they have once key message in common: one central place to put the bits and bobs that spark my creativity and a place to explore my ideas outside my written studio log. I find that I can easily fill my written journal and only occasionally translate that to the visual that is painting and collage. I am slowly pulling meaningful pages from my other journals, I have 3-4, into one place. Nothing is lost however as the leftover pages can all become collage material! Every piece of paper is now being scrutinized for possible collage material.

What will March being? Longer days and hopefully less snow and cold. More art for sure. I am still embracing my early morning studio time as an integral part of my day. My dog Mable continues to be in good health (she’s 10+ years now) and I am thankful that my job allows me to leave it behind and return home to my creativity without distraction. Until next time, paint on!

Season of Change

What a difference it can be in my creative journey from one month to the next! August felt very much like molasses in January, a slow moving energy that felt very sticky and uncomfortable. I deleted the first blog draft because I found it too whiny and very much ” somebody tell me what to do!!!” I didn’t have the words for what I thought of my art practice was becoming then but I have it now: my art, specifically my landscapes, was growing stale, very much a ho-hum kind of art that didn’t impress me but I couldn’t figure out how to change it.

September has always felt the New Years to me, I’m sure because of the school year but it always feels full of hope and new beginnings. This September was no different. I started my online mentoring program on the 4th through Mastrius, based in Alberta; I am the mentee, one of 9 women (totally coincidentally) that gather 2x a month to learn not only from our mentor but also each other! I’m looking forward to growing in this supportive community. We started off my doing greyscale work, of which I am not a huge fan but did complete the 2 pieces that I’d chosen. I applied to be a part of their online art show later this fall and was accepted! I am busy creating a few small pieces that I will share in my next blog.

September saw me enroll in a free, week long Creative Breadcrumbs workshop put in by Nick Wilton at Art 2 life. That ran from the 12th to the 16th and was a week of play and discovery. I was guided to this free course by an podcast I recently discovered, Art Juice, out of the UK and in one episode I heard them ask “why wouldn’t you take something that’s free?” It was a total coincidence that their podcast and this workshop were roughly at the same time! Stranger still when you consider that the episode I was listening to was from 2020!! I took it as a sign, to just do it. I knew his style of painting isn’t mine, he’s abstract and I am not but there’s still lots to learn about me and my art practice. At the end of the week long challenge I felt the creative tap starting to turn back on. One morning the ideas just started to bubble up to the surface and I quickly wrote them down in my art journal. I enrolled in the follow up 21 day creative challenge, Spark. Through a leap of faith and a well timed art sale, I enrolled in the Art 2 Life 21 day creative challenge. I believe the universe was definitely looking after me! This leap of faith is the most money I’ve spent on my furthering my art practice. I didn’t expect the course to change my style but the weekly homework and assignments certainly pushed me trough a shift away from that feeling of becoming stale.

Just before the first workshop started I finished a 3 year old painting that was languishing on my bedroom wall. Some paintings I give up on pretty easily, others like this sunflower I just couldn’t bring myself to gesso over. I knew it had good bones and it just needed time to reveal itself to me. I am so pleased with how it turned out and will be sad to see it go when it sells.

When it was done, I hung it on the wall beside my recent landscape that I consider “stale”. It’s an amazing comparison, front and centre in my studio as a reminder; a reminder how fast my creativity can turn around. Do I know what to do with the landscape to make it pop, no, but maybe I’ll figure it out along the way. I’m saving that aha for my next blog..so stay tuned…

See you next time!

This Month in the Studio~June/July

June got away from me so instead of rushing and sweating out a hurried blog I decided to do a combined update of the goings on in my studio. It’s nearing the end of July now and my holidays are rapidly approaching.

I finally took myself to the National gallery in Ottawa in June during a week off from work. I needed to commune with Lawren Harris and visit Emily Carr’s collection. When I feel creatively low and need inspiration I go and sit with Lawren Harris’ North Shore and just let it refill my sense of awe. I struck up a conversation with a woman who sat on the bench beside me, who came to visit The Group of Seven exhibit as well. It was a lovely few minutes talking about Lawren Harris, travel and art schools, the conversation eventually came around to my own art and she happily asked me for a card! My inner artist was beaming ! Every trip to the gallery always ands with a stop at their excellent gift shop where I bought a book of the Collected Works of Emily Carr. In one of the weekly Monopalette workshops I participate in we discussed and used Emily Carr as inspiration. It rekindled a desire to take a deeper look into her art and her life as an artist living in BC, on Canada’s west coast. When I came home I found a book of her personal journals online so I treated myself and bought it. The book is Called Hundreds and Thousands and what I find really cool is that I can follow her journal with the Collected Works book since they are both chronological. I find it awesome and comforting to read her doubts and fears, not only about her art but about each piece that she creates, her life as an artist, as a woman and the challenges of her time. I feel a kinship with her because she feels the same about seeing Lawren Harris’ works that I experienced as well~”Something has spoken to the very soul of me, wonderful, mighty, not of this world”~

I am still participating in the weekly Monopalette workshops and we wrapped up the spring colours, shell pink, aqua blue and Naples yellow at the end of June. I will admit that most of my creative time is now working in my art journals, doing the assignments and playing around with those colours. One artistic hurdle that happened in June was two of the workshops were on portraits, not my favourite so I procrastinated a bit but eventually completed them. I think I finally found a way to create faces that makes sense to me! Since I started painting, it is my most struggled-filled creative process, so having this new technique that makes sense to my brain is such a relief and it dials down my anxiety around faces. It feels like a huge roadblock has been removed and although I still need to practice its a great feeling to not be totally paralyzed around the subject.

The new colour palette for summer, is pyrrole red, teal and cadmium orange. The first workshop was an “aha, I love this colour” revelation and it was on Canada day!

Compared to 2020 and 2021 I am painting on canvas very little this year. I often wonder if I was so prolific during the height of the pandemic that I exhausted my creative self. I have started and stopped about a dozen pieces and have only completed about the same in 2022, for or me it’s usual. I am however creating more pages in my art journals, discovering a love of collage and still trying to learn watercolors. In my art journals I finally have a place to create the memories from my all travels to Scotland. Not really canvas worthy, I never knew what to do with my desire to create art from those images and memories. Creating those pieces fills me with joy at remembering my adventures and makes me miss Scotland a little bit less.

I keep reminding myself that this art journey of mine is an ongoing evolution and to be patient and kind with my inner artist. I had a sale in June that reminded me of patience, a large painting completed in 2019 found it way to its forever home out of the blue one Saturday afternoon. I call it my “bing-bang-boom” sale; they had been looking at it for some time and that weekend it was time! yayy! Other than the sales from the art show in May, it is my only online sale of this year.

Cedar Moon #5

Maybe there’s a point my inner artist is still trying to learn..don’t judge, just create. I didn’t start making art to sell, it was always an unexpected bonus. When I make art to with the intention of increasing my sales, it lingers and acts like a vacuum to my creative doubt. The sale in June was a piece of a favourite series, Cedar Moon, and when I sat down to paint another, it came out quite easily. In one of my workshops the line “you love what you love” really stood out for me that I turned into “paint what you love” for my creative practice. Lately that has turned out to be red canoes, my Scotland memories and Cedar Moon pieces. I’ll just keep painting and sharing!

Cedar Moon #8 12″x36″ Acrylic on Canvas $450

See you next month! 🎨on!!

On the Chopping Block

I read somewhere that a famous artist once said that it’s better to paint over any older unsold paintings than it is to discount them and sell them at below the artists market value. I have 8 such paintings, truthfully I have about 15 of these pieces, older and unsold, sitting in a box, standing in the closet in my studio or hanging on my walls. I live in 600sq.ft. Space is limited here, wall space is ever shrinking as a continue to create and evolve.

In the past I have sold a couple of older pieces either at an art fair or through Facebook at a reduced price so I know it’s a possibility but as I have previously mentioned in previous posts and blogs, my style changed in 2020. These pieces were created pre 2020 and it’s fairly obvious if you are a regular follower.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t love them; I learned from each of them on my artistic evolution but I need to let them go now. So I guess this is “Last Call” on these pieces. Don’t be sad, it’s just part of my process. At least I have learned to wait for a few months and in some cases years to paint over them because I used to only wait days or weeks before getting the gesso out! A friend recently asked me how I could do that, paint over pieces, compared it to erasing them from my artistic journey. Since I have the digital images on file I am technically only repurposing the canvas; it’s a practical decision.

I am not in a rush to paint over these, it will be a project for the dreary days of the fall and winter, and it also requires me to be in the right headspace. For now, I will be taking the ones off the wall and standing them in my studio closet, which strangely enough, is the hardest part for me.

The journey and the evolution continues,


Show Prep

Two weeks from now I’ll be taking part in my first show since October 2019! Crazy! Before Covid I had already decided to take 2020 off from shows and focus on building my skills. I was pleasantly surprised that I had a pretty successful 2020 and early 2021. The set up part has been so long that I am feeling a little rusty! I am trying to spend a little time each day getting everything organized all while continuing to paint and work full time. Good thing I like lists!

I’m looking forward to the show that’s happening here in CP on September 11th and 12th. It is looking a bit different this year because of Covid rules but it will be good to see my art friends again and of course my art followers. My style has changed since October 2019 and I think people who know my art will see the difference.

I sat down the other night to plan out what my booth will look like and I quickly came to realize that I’m taking too many pieces for the size of my booth..great. Now I have to pick and choose which pieces go up when, and all I can think of is what if the perfect buyer is at the show and their perfect painting is in the back storage area? That’s how my brain works!

I have been spending some time deciding what goes up and when and I did a little creative planning earlier today (yes, it’s on my living room floor) and under Mable’s watchful eye I now have a basic layout for the big wall; I feel better now. Often though, when it comes time to setting up, I do end up changing my mind anyways! Later today I will work on the 2 side wall layouts as well. We will only have 2 hours to do our full booth set up (I think it normally takes me 3 hours) and I feel much calmer now that I can visualize what the big wall will look like. My labels are printed, business cards are on order and I’ve assembled almost everything that I need for my booth. I still have 2 weeks, thankfully!

In the meantime, and because I need to paint everyday, I’m developing two new series: one called Warrior Women/ Forest Guardians and a second series originally entitled Stand, an idea that came to me 18 months ago and has been nagging at me ever since. If you follow me on Instagram you will be able to follow my creative process on both series.

Happy Sunday everyone!!



What Happens To my Art Community When I Lose Access to Facebook?

This has been a difficult 36 hours. I woke up yesterday to find my account on Facebook was hacked; passwords, email address and phone number all changed! Just like that! I tried every tip found on the Facebook help page and nothing worked. I am not overly computer savvy, I am not overly Facebook savvy but why oh why is it so hard to recover your hacked account?

According to my friends, my personal page is just gone, removed from friends lists and contacts, no trace of any online presence from the last 12 years. The only thing left is my now inaccessible Art by Anne Forsythe page. I can deal with my lost memories and photo’s; I’ll be able to reconnect in some fashion with my friends and family but what upsets me the most of I can’t get into my art page. Unless I can resolve the hack, it will just go on, no new uploads, no new art. Very upsetting. I cant reach my followers to tell them what’s happened, again, very upsetting.

I’ve spent the last few hours trying to reach someone, a real live person at Facebook and to no great success. Due to covid restrictions, no person is manning the phones? Really Facebook? come on..No real person anywhere to help one of their users sort out this mess!!

In an effort to communicate with FB, I opened a new account, found a few different links in which to leave messages and following a note on a community help board, my new account was then disabled. I kid you not!

I am not a well known or a well established artist, but most of my sales came from regular postings on FB, so what will it look like now? I have no idea. I have Instagram, I still have access to that, after I quickly moving to secure that account at 530am yesterday.

I am at a loss. Is there another online forum similar to FB? Has this happened to anyone? Should I just build another profile and start again on FB? ugh..this is not how I wanted to spend my long weekend!! If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. Normally this would be shared to my personal FB page and I’d move it over to my Art page..so can I please ask you to like, follow and share my blog? Leave me a comment if you have experienced this an how did you resolve it? I’d appreciate hearing from you. Until I decide what to do you can reach me here or on my Instagram. I will be disabling the FB link found on my website if it hasn’t been already.

2 of my most recent Bloom pieces to keep me company while I navigate this FB mess. In the meantime, I’ll keep painting and posting here, Fb’s loss is my blogs gain!

🎨 on!!!


The Process

My previous blog post was a great video about the process of a castle, this wont be anywhere near as fancy or put together but showing the process of my then super secret commission I painted this winter. It was a gift for my nephew from his parents, recapturing a special memory of a father & son canoe trip. This is another glimpse into my creative process.

This was a first for me, my first painting with a human in it! For some, figure drawing or portrait painting comes easy, but it is not my favourite thing to do so I generally avoid it. What scares me about portraits is the symmetry of the face and body; faces in general are no my current strength. Nonetheless I did not hesitate, I said yes pretty quickly.

The scenery was spectacular so I had no reservations about capturing the mountains or the water. His easy, releaxed, taking-it-all-in pose is what I knew I had to capture. I was sketching within minutes of getting off the phone. I committed to sending off a few so they could see that I could capture what they were looking for. A few days later I sent them off for approval.

I was happy that I had the canvas in stock and could begin right away. My intention was to grid the photos; gridding is a tool used by artists that places a 3×3 grid over the reference image to help balance scale and perspective. I am a huge fan of gridding, it allows me to accurately recreate the image in proportion as I learn to be more comfortable with perspective drawing/sketching. If you saw my previous blog post, I returned to the grid reference after every stage to keep it proportioned. This one, as it turned out, was very different.

My process generally looks like this: evaluate the image, pick a canvas, prime it, grid it and get to work drawing. With this piece I was combining 2 images of the landscape with his relaxed easy pose. When it was time to grid it, I didn’t.

It was the first time I could actually see the shapes on the canvas! So one Saturday night I sketched the whole thing on the canvas using my watercolour pencils. In one 45 minute session, the guts of the painting went down on the canvas! It was an amazing and unexpected experience.

The sketches can look wonky but I knew it was ok, a base of lines to work from.

I loved the challenge of this piece and I am very proud on how it turned out. It was wrapped with TLC and delivered on time and in time for his birthday.

I hope you enjoyed a little insight into my process and the evolution of this special piece.

🎨 on!!

the Making of a Series

I was at an appointment last week and my osteopath asked me what was new since last he saw me, which turned out to be June 2019. Where to start and without a doubt the discussion led to my art. In the course of the discussion I talked about the success I had with the Orange Sunset series, selling the very first one in May and the last one in November and of all the ones in between. Which got me thinking..holy cow..I sold an entire series and that should be celebrated and a blog idea was born!

This is the inspiration for the series, a picture taken close to home on the Mississippi River on a hazy September evening. Almost immediately I knew I wanted to paint it and I knew it was going to be on a size never previously attempted. I remember the feeling when I bought  the 12″x 36″ canvas, it was like I was stepping into unknown territory and within 10 days this piece was born.



The intense yellow was my favorite part of this piece; its not perfect and not even close to the orange I was trying to achieve but I loved it; I still do. I knew it wasn’t finished, the reflection needed something but at the time, I didn’t have a clue how to improve it. That was in September 2016 and in early 2019, I felt ready to clean it up.

Oh ya! Now I captured it! This piece sold in May, at a local art show after hanging around for almost 3 years. But it got me thinking about developing that particular shade of orange from the original picture.

A Golden Memory now hanging in Montreal Qc

with every piece of this series my goal was to keep one for myself since the original had sold.

Mississippi Sunset #3 now hanging in Alcove Qc

But no matter what I did..piece after piece sold! And in the midst of the fun a request for a commission was received, my first. The only stipulation from the buyer  was that  it had to fit in her suitcase and she was leaving in 2 weeks! My painting was going on a trip to the UK! Then I came down with the flu that knocked me out for 3 days. Luckily I managed to get about half done before I got sick.

Commission piece practice

commissioned piece..my first! Mississippi Sunset #4

The final Mississippi Sunset #5 now hanging in Ottawa

I went big for the last one, a 24’x 48″ canvas and well…hopefully… maybe and with fingers crossed this one would stay with me. A unexpected encounter with an old friend in a parking lot here in CP revealed that she was following me online and waiting for the right piece. This was her piece.

What I found remarkable with this series are the comments that each drew not only from their respective buyers but from friends, followers and family. Quiet, contemplative, restful, reminiscent of time with beloved family and a deep breath after a hard day. I was humbled and blow away; and a bit proud of myself.

I love that this series was so well received. 2019 was the most successful year in my ongoing evolution as an artist. Let’s see how 2020 will unfold.

I have updated my gallery so if anything catches your eye please contact me.

Paint on!

Hard work

Making art is easy compared to selling art.

Last weekend, for my third year in a row, I took part in our local art show.

It’s hard selling art. The right piece needs to find its way to the right buyer. One of the pieces I sold that first night was almost 3 years old!! I think it was it’s 3rd showing, but it was the buyers first time seeing it.

The buyer said it reminded him of a deep breath after a busy day! How awesome to be able to invoke that in someone! I loved this piece. I took the original picture one hot and humid evening strolling along Riverside park here in CP. When I posted it on Facebook several people told me to paint it. At the time I was only doing smaller canvas’s so in September of 2016, it was my biggest canvas to date. The original was much more of a smoky orange colour so in the spring of this year I decided to paint it’s sequel

I sold its sequel just last month even before it was finished. That piece invoked childhood memories of the buyers father ( my cousin and uncle respectively) fishing at the cottage. Again, how awesome is that? It has now been delivered to its new home

I don’t often paint sequels but I do love these colours and this image! When I’m doing a sequel I get so wrapped up in wanting it to be the same and don’t give it a chance to be what it is is, another interpretation of the world as I see it. I am pleased with this sequel.

But back to the art show. It was successful, I sold 2 on the first night and none after that. Lots of people stopped by, family, friends, strangers, all offering compliments and praise but ultimately no further sales. In previous years, following the show I would slide into a funk of not painting that would last anywhere from a few days and up to 6 weeks. But not this year. In the quiet times of the show an idea was forming and as I sat there all I wanted to do was paint. So on Monday after some decompression ( and picking up my new car) I started 2 new pieces. I’m glad this years show didn’t wipe me out as it has in the past. I enjoyed the show this year, I had lots of time to talk to the artists around me, exchanging ideas and getting some booth set up tips and just getting to know them as people.

Both pieces still under construction but I’m very happy with them! They just kinda come out, the small one first then the bigger one. They are hanging up now, giving me time to decided what, if anything they need. How will they turn out you may ask, for that you’ll have to stay tuned…..because right now, I don’t know either.

Paint on!

Prep Work

The spring show is in 7 days! May 4th and 5th to be exact and I’ve been busy getting stuff done.

When I decided to do the show back in January it was a pretty easy decision even though after last years show I announced To anyone who would listen that I wouldn’t do any more shows. Why? Because the 2018 show kicked my ass! Not only was I a vendor but shared the responsibility of reluctant show coordinator with a fellow vendor and board member. It was too much and I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked. It reflected in the less than expected sales for the weekend and an overall disappointing experience. I took it hard last spring but unlike 2017 there was no post show slump. Instead I dove back into my art right away and even sold one shortly after the show!


So this year, when the call went out, I looked at my inventory and decided to sign up. I had enough new pieces already done to not to have to bring very many older pieces. Actually, all of the pieces except one, were created after last years spring show. It’s been a very painty and creative year despite my disappointing spring sale.

But I’m a quiet optimists, I always think that I’m going to rock the current years show. Same goes for this year and I’m happy to report that I’m just a vendor once again.

I think I’m as ready as I can be with 7 days to go. I’m still creating new pieces and still experimenting with different techniques. I have my new cards, my paintings are ready to go, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the 2019 show had in store for me.

If you are out and about next weekend and want to stop by, I’ll be at the Carleton Place canoe club from 10am-430pm both Saturday May 4th and Sunday May 5th . I think I’m booth number 13, we have free admission and tons of free parking. Stop by and say hello!

I’ll let you know how it goes! Paint on!