The Road (not) Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both…Robert Frost

At times the road taken seems for awhile to be the right one, only to discover it was possibly only a sidetrack. I’ve truly loved my time doing Lushes with Brushes but I realize now it may have been a very pleasant sidetrack from my real goal.

This month my artwork, along with my friend, Cheryl’s is on exhibition at
Cumberland Exhibitonthe Cumberland Art Gallery in Regina. Next month the exhibition moves to Weyburn, then other galleries throughout the province for the next year.

How surreal to see and feel my raw thoughts and emotions displayed for all to see, Phoenixhowever respectfully.  Mostly, the feedback has been gentle and supportive. I know too, that on occasion, I’ve connected on a deeper level.  My heart melts when I catch someone deep in thought as they look at what I made. Because I know how I felt when I made it and somehow I know that while I don’t know or need to know the specifics, they feel that way too. Maybe my story resonates with them, and if it does it’s because they have their own story. When they see mine, they feel theirs.

And while I love the gratification and teacher’s pride of showing people their creative side through Lushes with Brushes, I love more the connection I know is there buried in the open secret of my/our painting. That’s what I want to share.

So, while I won’t close up shop on Lushes with Brushes I will no longer promote it like a 3rd world beach vendor. My focus has come back to pouring heart and soul onto canvas and paper and oil and pastel and …

It’s been nearly 10 years since I earned my fine art degree, but for my whole life I will be an emerging artist. I’ll take other missteps but the further I go on my journey the more I understand that what I love about art is the connection that happens sometimes when someone “reads” my art the way I “wrote” it.

Lushes with Brushes: The Morning After

Success! Titillating times at the very first “Lushes with Brushes” painting party:

Karen was an amazing hostess: Baked Brie with hot pepper raspberry jam, Gouda wrapped in pastry, sushi, ribs; yummy and oh-so-cute mini purse cakes by “Becky’s Cakes”; and several bottles of wine brought by guests. At my house it would have been a bag of chips dumped in a bowl served with a tub of dip. Karen is high class.

Lushes with their handiwork

At the end of the day 10 more women, some of whom said they couldn’t draw a straight line with a ruler, each painted a masterpiece and discovered the zen of painting.      

And did I mention there was wine consumption?

Thank you Sharlene for manning the camera all evening, capturing the work and the fun in progress. And for being a stand in in the group photo.

Ladies, I’m giving serious thought to finding a venue for an exhibition of these paintings. Stay tuned for details.

Book a “Lushes with Brushes” party

Frog Day Afternoon

My darling husband, Pat, and I moved back to my family home in the tiny village of Creelman 2 years ago. In the midst of a chaotic and emotional move I amalgamated 3 art studios.

In the intervening 2 years we’ve gotten the main house re-painted, re-curtained and re-floored, and generally made it ours.

Then there’s the basement. Anything that related to my art practice, or otherwise didn’t have a home, landed downstairs. Boxes were stacked to the ceiling sometimes 2 – 3 rows deep. Ever seen “Hoarders“?

Two weeks ago my wonderful son and family came with a trailer load of building supplies and built me 22 feet of floor to ceiling cupboards in my basement studio.


I’ve since found the floor, 4 office desks, and my etching press (the size of a kitchen table.) Armed with a marker, masking tape and a labeller I loaded the shelves and for now can tell you the exact location of almost anything. It’s been a fabulous treasure hunt!!


I also discovered that we did not actually have a salamander in the basement. We had frogs. Tiny frogs less than an inch long. But frogs. I don’t know how they get in, but it’s an old basement.

A few summers ago when I first started using the basement as a studio I’d also discovered frogs. My mom, who was 82 years old at the time would come downstairs, kleenex in hand, and pick up the frogs. Then she’d step out the back door and release them into the wild. If she could do it, I could do it. And I did.

But that was a few years ago, and it would take a little time to screw up my courage to that point again. So I ignored them temporarily.

Turns out I didn’t need to worry about the frogs because yesterday as I cleaned I came across a very small garter snake. Now, if you think you need to gather courage to pick up a frog, triple that for snake. And a kleenex is just not going to cut it.

It was a particularly fast snake too, because very shortly after sighting him in the SW corner of the basement I would see him in the NE corner. Then 2 minutes later in the SE corner. Wait a minute!

The jig was up when he became 1/2 the size he was 5 minutes after a sighting. That day I suspect I saw 4, but fear a nest considering their size. Oh Lawsey!

Fortunately I married a man who played with snakes as a child. I didn’t need to screw up my courage. Pat would take care of them! Either that, or I could lure in the fox I’d seen in the yard in the morning. But, then how to get rid of the fox? Hmmm, it was becoming a zoo!

I cleaned the rest of the day. Safe in the knowledge that Pat would take care of it.

I’d even forget about the little suckers for awhile as I became absorbed by my sorting. But as I charged from one side of the basement to the other I’d stop in my tracks periodically, startled by a snake slithering out of my way as fast as it’s little legs could carry it.

Near the end of the day I rolled a storage container to a new location only to realize I’d run over a snake’s tail. (Do snakes have tails?) I watched in morbid fascination as it struggled in vain to escape. Darting one direction and then another, only to be pulled up short by it’s imprisoned tail! Sucks to be him.

Finally I heard the front door open. The cavalry! “Paaa….aat. I have good news and bad news. We don’t need to worry about frogs in the basement any more…”