I’m back…no for real this time!

Hello friends, it’s been a while and a lot has happened since I last posted to this site.  I’ve still been creating, painting and exploring, but I’ve had to take a bit of a break from all the things that I want to do, including this blog.

As some of you may know, I have periodically struggled with depression.  It’s a fact and something that I’m learning to deal with in a better way.  In the past, when I’ve been in that state, I would often overload myself with tasks and jobs, I think trying to fill that empty void caused by the depression.  I would do this to the point of exhaustion and eventually overwhelm myself with so much stuff that I would be paralyzed by it all.  That was where I was about a year ago and it finally manifested physically with a really terrible infection that took me out of the game for several months last summer.  I was off work for two months and struggled with recurring infections until mid-December.  I was pushing myself too hard to get back in the game and had to pull back the reigns a bit.

I’ve recovered from the infection, but even more importantly, I’ve learned (once again, I seem to need a reminder every now and then) that I have to put my needs at the front of the line again.  I have to learn to say no, not only at work, but also too myself when I have a million ideas I want to try all at the same time.  I’m starting to be a little bit more strategic, thinking about all the things I want to accomplish and what steps I need to take  to get there.  I have so many courses that I want to take on Skillshare.com, but I’m learning to group them and figure out what area to focus on, rather than just be all over the place.  I’ve also learned that if I’m tired at the end of a work day, it’s okay to lounge on the couch for the evening.  I don’t have to feel like I’m being unproductive – rest is an important part of productivity.  Some nights I’ll pull out my iPad Pro or sketchbook and get some ideas down, other times I’ll just watch some terrible reality TV and I’m getting over feeling guilty about “mis-using” my time.

I’ve also carved out time again for just creating art – whether it’s sketching, painting, experimenting with new media.  Sunday night is my fun time.  If the end product is something that I may want to use for products, terrific!  If it’s just satisfying, cathartic or a hot mess, that’s okay too.  It’s just the fact that I’ve carved out the time for just me, with no expectations, no pressure and lots of room to express what I’m feeling.  Carve out some time just for you – you won’t regret it!

working on a gouache illustration in my black mixed media journal
Calypsos in progress
Calypso in memory of my Dad on Father’s Day

I have still been creating….I promise

Well my friends, it has been quite a while since I’ve posted anything to my site.  I’ve found that work/life balance little askew of late and while I’ve still been making time for art, I haven’t been doing as well with sharing it.  So, here is a little taste of my art journal over that last couple of months.  I finished my third volume and have moved on to the fourth – with a new binding style that I’m finding much easier to work in, as the pages stay flat when opened.

Here are my last pages in the third volume…

art journal page odd out owl complete© art journal page snowy owl dream complete© art journal page owl circus complete© art journal page best intentions complete© art journal page neurons firing complete© art journal page scavenger hunt complete© art journal page falling complete©







































Followed by the first few pages of the fourth volume – there have been a few Sundays missed due to birding and work commitments, but I hope to get back in the routine again.

precious complete©art journal page 4 complete©kiss me again complete©hatching new schemes complete©change in the air complete©merganser morning complete©vintage complete©spring tree complete©spirit bird complete©believe complete©make something happen complete©




New painting – the Barn Owl series

After the Great Blue Heron painting, I decided to continue on with some art nouveau inspired pieces.  I’ve really enjoyed all the Barn Owls that I’ve been painting and decided to continue along this path and make a matching set of panels.

I’ve started adding colour to the blue panel, the second panel will be in yellows and golds.    I was having reservations about the blue colour and was thinking of replacing it with purple, but at standing back and taking a break, the blue is going to work well.  Here is the progress so far.

barn owl gold panel penwork© barn owl blue panel penwork© barn owl panel progress© barn owl blue panel progress©

Art Journal Page – The “to-do list”

I completed this journal page on Sunday, November 10.  It had been a busy weekend and there was a daunting list of things to complete before heading out on a little trip this week.  The list was making my head spin and I needed to work through the anxiety and see the forest for the trees…completing the list meant I could do something of the more important things on my life to-do list – spend time with family friends and have a little time to myself.

I started by prepping the pages with gesso and tape the seams.  Then I pulled out a supply I hadn’t used in a long while – dry wall tape.  It provides great texture and is easy to use.  I added some stickers (still trying to use them up) and then sealed all of them in with some matte medium.

I started to add some colours, first using Tim Holtz paint daubers, but found I wasn’t achieving the depth of colour I wanted, so I switched to some Golden Fluid acrylics which worked much better.  By the time I was done with the paint, I was worried I’d created a “hot mess” but pushed through and took a step back.  I actually found I liked where things were headed and was pretty happy with the product.  I added some birds and journaling and I was done.

art journal page to do list start© art journal page to do list stickers© art journal page to do list hot mess© art journal page to do list complete©

The Owl Project….latest sketches

I’ve been working on a series of owl paintings for the last few weeks.  I started with a Barn Owl, which turned out to be so popular, that I decided to roll out an entire series.  Here are the lasted sketches – heading into the studio this afternoon to bring some of them to life. I’m especially excited about the screech owls and burrowing owls.  There is still some work to to on the proportions of the short-eared owl owl, but the basic structure is there.

Enjoy and I’ll be posted the finished products in a few days.


Barred owl sketch in graphite
Barred owl sketch in graphite
Burrowing owls, sketched in graphite
Burrowing owls, sketched in graphite
Eastern Screech Owl sketch, grey phased bird
Eastern Screech Owl sketch, grey phased bird
Screech owls in hole - each of the colour phases will be depicted
Screech owls in hole – each of the colour phases will be depicted
Short-eared owl - face looks a little wonky still...
Short-eared owl – face looks a little wonky still…