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Reflections: What Drives Me To Paint?

This week I’m answering a question I was asked recently: What drives me to paint? The short and simple answer is that it makes me happy. Though a satisfying answer, I think, I found myself delving into the why of it all in discussion, realizing I had more to say on the topic. In this blog post, I reflect on what it is about the practice of painting that keeps me returning to the easel. A recent post on social media by On Being—a podcast which I wrote about here—asked the following question, “What activity gives you the sense of […]

A Visit to a French Garden

Last weekend in the small city of Coutances (Normandy, France), the yearly street fair – “braderie”- was in full swing. Stalls and tables were set up along the main city streets displaying clothing, books, antiques, art, and food. After weaving through crowds and enjoying the ambiance, we took a turn off the main square and found quiet in the Jardin des Plantes. In this blog post, I write about my visit to the gardens and the inspiration I found in the colourful and diverse plants and trees. I reflect on how a change of scenery can kick start future projects […]

Loving Light in Painting and Literature

The first time I can remember being struck by an artwork it was an illustration of a Monet painting. Whether it was the haystacks, the waterlilies, or another of his famous works, I am not sure. What I am sure of is that it was the light that caught my attention. This was almost twenty years ago, before I would see Monets in real life. As a teenager, looking at the groundbreaking Impressionistic artwork, I felt a joyful shock: a combination of something new (excitement) and something already known (recognition). In this post, I reflect on how light in painting […]

Landscape Discoveries: A Visit to the Island of Newfoundland

For a few years now, my husband and I have wanted to visit the beautiful Canadian province of Newfoundland & Labrador. He was surprised to learn that, born and raised in New Brunswick, I had not yet visited this Atlantic province. Distances are great in Canada, but this summer we prioritized a visit. With only one week, we focused on one area of the province: Gros Morne National Park. In what follows, I write about the trip highlights and how the landscape has sparked inspiration for my painting. During our six days in the park, we took advantage of the […]

Inspiration: Ode to Magnolias

After about 9 months in Michigan, my husband and I are getting ready to pack up and return to Europe. This upcoming transition means a shift for my painting practice. I have finished my latest commissioned projects (which I must wait to share since many are gifts!) and am now packing up. I am categorizing – deciding which materials to take and which to donate here. A necessary pause in production means a refocusing on inspiration and spring in Ann Arbor offers an abundance of this! In this post, I write about my inspiration, a recent visit to a favourite […]

The Tools We Use: Brushes

When considering what to write about this week, I instantly thought of the tools I use daily: my brushes. As the idea arose, I paused. Surely, I had already written about the essential tools that I use in my art practice? I looked through my catalogue of now nearly forty posts and found I had written about materials and mentioned brushes in passing yet had not delved into brushes as a topic. In this post, I write about the brushes I use for acrylic painting. I explain how I select my brushes, the brands I like, and how I care […]

When To Move On: Series and Seasons

Since February of this year, I have been working on my Snowy Trees series. Thus far, I have made six paintings, each 30 x 40 cm / 12 x 16 inches, acrylic on canvas. The paintings are lined up along a wall so I can see the collection as whole. I’m pleased with the compositions, cohesion, variety of light and the colour palettes. But a question has arisen: is it time to move on? This is a question that comes up when working on an individual painting or when working on a series. The answer to both is primarily a […]

Building A Series: Snowy Trees

At the beginning of February 2022, I wrote about beginning a new series of paintings entitled, Snowy Trees. These paintings were inspired by the trees I saw outside of my window in Ann Arbor and the snow nestled among their branches after a few Midwestern snowstorms. In the weeks since that post, I have continued to build this series and am currently working on the fifth painting. In this post, I share how I have continued to explore Snowy Trees and share my latest work! The inspiration behind Snowy Trees I & II was simple: I was struck by the […]

Literary Memories as Inspiration: The Lupine Lady

My two favourite things are reading and painting. Both literature and the visual arts hold the possibility of opening up new worlds and changing how we view or experience the world around us. Recently, the paintings I was working on reignited long forgotten memories of one of my favourite children’s books: Miss Rumphius, written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney (1982). In revisiting the feelings I experienced as a child reading the story and looking at the illustrations, I see parallels between the power of this book’s themes and what I appreciate most about the practice of making art, that is, […]

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