Slowing Down

Wishing ~ 7″ x 9″ oil on canvas panel
75% of the proceeds of this painting go to the Hunger Project Charity. Help me help an African family build a sustainable life…and you get a painting!

Today I awoke to the sound of my computer powering up…I guess when you put your computer to sleep it lasts exactly 12 hours, and then the monitor wakes itself up again?! I didn’t know that…I thought there was a ghost in my room:P, Lol! But that means I slept 12 hours! Crazy! (I only had four hours of sleep the night before, in my own defense:)

At any rate, what did I do? Rush over to check my emails, start surfing, before you know it I’ve got like, 12 tabs open and I’m switching back and forth, not even finishing one post before my attention is snagged by another, my brain full of images, factoids, quotes. All before my morning coffee! What!? 
And I realized, not for the first time, that I hate, and I love the internet. For it has created this fast paced society, where we’re not satisfied with only one thing at a time, but we have to be speeding through, gleaning bits and pieces, and never fully absorbing anything. Looking for instant gratification, but never satisfaction, because something better or more interesting might be around the corner. It’s become a necessary part of my business, but also a huge distraction and mode of procrastination.
So today instead of going for my morning run, I decided to walk. 
And what I saw, and smelled, and thought about, was truly amazing.
Did you know the forest in summer in Quesnel smells like cinammon?
I saw hundreds of deer tracks, and behind them, little mini deer tracks, telling me the story of a mama and baby following the same route as I…I wonder where they went. Are they hiding, watching me pass by? My thoughts wandered, about things important and unimportant, about things sad and happy, I acknowledged them all, and followed them around, asking what they meant to me, but allowing myself to just observe them.
I ate wild strawberries (didn’t know they were still out), found a huge saskatoon bush (delicious and juicy), and peeking around the corner of a new path I saw a clearing and I found it filled with wild raspberries. So I had my breakfast, growing wild, a tasty gift from Mother Earth. 
I made a decision to try to do this every day. Acknowledge and absorb the beauty around me, get away from the computer. Be in the  moment.  Appreciate the abundance around me, because I have so much more than these people that I want to help.

Paintings for Charity

7″ x 9″ oil on canvas covered panel

BID NOW

  Paintings for Charity

Ever since I was a young girl, I have been enthralled by images of Africa.  Even through photos, I felt their spirit shining through. I promised myself that one day I would go there and help those beautiful people with the shining faces. There seems to be power in poverty. Something in them so strong that has been tempered by suffering. Maybe this is naive, but I imagine that they must persevere by living for the spiritual gifts instead of the material ones, since their physical lack is so great.
At any rate, my dream hasn’t happened yet. I got tied up in work, got married, had a family, and now the opportunity seems so distant. But now with the advent of MissionFish, I am easily able to donate right through my auctions. I will be doing a series of portraits from the photographs of amazing photographer, Steve Evans. His portraits capture the heart and soul of these beautiful people and cut to my heart as soon as I saw them.  I knew that I had to paint these shining faces, and he has graciously given me permission to use his photos for this worthy cause. 75% of the money I raise will go straight to the Hunger Project, the other 25% is just to pay for art supplies.  I hope you’ll help me help these people by bidding on my paintings! Thanks in advance:)
Cheers!

The Red Shawl — BC2Africa Project

The Red Shawl – 9″ x 12″ oil on canvas $425.00

I painted this one a few weeks ago, but I didn’t post it until now because I can’t get a good picture. It still looks quite glarey…(is that a word;)?)
I was experimenting with painting really thick, like, slamming the paint on with a palette knife thick. It was a lot of fun, and the painting came together really quickly. I left some passages a little unfinished and clumsy looking (not at all like me) and tried to loosen up. I’m pretty happy with the result. It has a spontaneity to it that many of my paintings lack that I’ve been trying to achieve. Now to get edges, values, and accuracy…sigh…the learning never ends! Lol!
I can’t take credit for the reference photo for this one. It comes from babasteve, or Steve Evans, a wonderful photographer of people, whom I found on Flickr. He graciously gave me permission to use his photos. 
30 percent of the proceeds of this painting will go to BC2Africa. BC2Africa was formed by a group based in Bella Coola, with support from across Canada, working closely with the people who run the C.R.I.B. (Children Rescued in Burundi) and Nyakabiga facilities in Bujumbura, Burundi. The Bella Coola 2 Africa Hope Society was formed in early 2006. Their website is here.

New frames and paintings

Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while. I’ve been working on a “top secret” commission, lol! So painting lots, posting little.
These are two paintings I finished quite a while ago, but I was never quite happy with them. They are both on 12″ x 16″ panel and have been leaning backwards against my studio wall for quite some time. The African girl is fairly recent, but the Hula Girl is one I completed in Maui the winter before last. I couldn’t ever put my finger on what was missing, but now I’ve figured it out! It was a frame! Opus had these great plein aire frames on sale so I bought a few, and they’re just wonderful. Simple, but classy.
I couldn’t get the greatest pics of either of them,  there’s glare in some of the thicker areas, even though I shot them on an overcast day. The darks in the Hula girl are darker than they look, and the reflected light on the side of the African girl’s face isn’t that contrasty. I’m not sure how to correct this problem, as it happens a lot when I use thicker paint. I’ve heard about something called a polarizing gel, but can’t seem to find where in Canada I can buy one.