Tuesday, April 28, 2020

40 Days and 40 Nights....

Wow it has been a while since I posted. A lot has happened hasn't it:) I've not been painting for the last little while, too distracted but it is on my "to do" list. Everyone is reacting in different ways to this Corona virus crisis. We are living in a historic time.
Today we are 40 days into Spring!!
40 days and 40 nights! In religion, 40 seems to be shorthand for “a long time.” Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness being tempted by the devil; the great flood lasted 40 days and 40 nights; the Jewish people wandered the desert for 40 years.
40 is the only number whose letters are in alphabetical order
-40 Centigrade and -40 Fahrenheit are the same temperature
When the bubonic plague gripped Europe during the Middle Ages, ships would be isolated in harbor for 40 days before passengers could go ashore. The Italian word for 40 is quaranta—hence quarantine.
So this is an auspicious number..... 40! what have you learned about yourself and others during these last 40 days? We have been challenged in ways new to us. Hope you are well.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

December 31 End of a decade

Wow, hard to believe we are at the threshold of 2020. It seems only yesterday we were worried about Y2K. Will this be another version of the Roaring Twenties of the 1900's. I wonder....
Ive been super relaxed about posting here with any regularity but one of my goals is to change that for next year because I do enjoy when I finally sit down to write, it is just getting my bum in the chair to do it! Speaking of which.... I have a new standing desk to set up and try. Sitting is the new smoking , I have heard.
Isn't this lovely? A slice of Nova Scotia summer. Another thing I plan to do with more regularity. Get out and see the beautiful place I am lucky enough to live in. I tend to get bogged down with work, and being self employed, it never ends, I have to make the time to stop and get out there!

But before that happens, I have a lot of painting to attend to. I am excited for February this year! I am organizing an art exhibit called WILD, as a fundraiser for Nova Scotia Nature Trust's "Save the Wild Blue" campaign. They are trying to purchase a LARGE lot of land (575 acres) in the heart of the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area. This is a gorgeous wild space they are trying to protect from development. I used to swim in Susie and Quarry Lake as a teenager and hike there now. I vowed to do something to help protect it. There are ten artists participating and everyone is donating a portion of each sale to the NSNT for this campaign. All the art will be nature and landscape themed, no humanity visible:) There will also be an information table set up. Opening reception is Saturday afternoon, Feb 8 from 12-4pm. The show will run until Feb 28 at the Chase Gallery in the Nova Scotia Archives Building. 6016 University Ave. I hope you can make it! I will post again closer to the date.

Have a Happy New Year and chat to you in 2020!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

July BOGO and other thinjgs.....

Hello! Welcome to July! Finally the weather has shifted and we are into warm and warmer territory. I bought an air conditioner this year! There is no getting away from it....the days are hotter. I am only going to use it on sultry nights that prevent sleep. I am a middle of the road gal when it comes to temps, not too hot and not too cold!

In other news..I've got a tiny feature in Uppercase Magazine!
One of the best ART magazines around! You can find it at most good  magazine shops. Here in Halifax, at the Atlantic News & Magazine Stand, they popped in a Local Feature banner! Anytime anyone nearby is mentioned in a publication they do this! Cool huh.
I've also been very busy working on the images for my 2020 CAT Calendar! I think this is it's 10th year. Wow .Hard to imagine.  You will be able to order it online at lulu Publishing when completed and they ship everywhere. I will let you know when it is available. This is December's image! PS it is also available for purchase so drop me a line if interested.in owning this, as is Fish Shack! Both 11 x 14" with chunky thick sides!
Farrago, a new shop in Lunenburg (159 Lincoln Street)  is now carrying some of my work. Prints, cards& postcards! Pop in if you ever visit the town. They have lots of other cool stuff too!
Tweet tweet! Little birdhouses have made an appearance!  What fun they are to to create, even if a bit fiddly.. I'm thinking of putting them in my Etsy shop but if you want one drop me a line.
YES! Buy one get one free! until July 25 in my Etsy shop, AliceinParis   Every print you purchase, enables you to get another one FREE! Purchase the print/prints you want and then at the checkout....you write me a note telling me which FREE print or prints you would like. So you purchase a print and then get another one free, but you tell me  in "notes to seller" at the checkout. Hooray!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Review of Joy & Possibility by Elissa Barnard

This is a copy of the review Elissa Barnard wrote about our art exhibit. You can find the original article here at NSREVIEWS

Elissa Barnard spent 35 years as an arts and entertainment reporter for the Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia’s daily newspaper, in Halifax until August, 2017.
She has a BA in English with honours from Dalhousie University and studied creative writing at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ont., with W.O. Mitchell and at the Banff School of Fine Arts.
Initially a news reporter, she became part of the Herald’s entertainment department in 1984. During the 1980s and 1990s the arts and coverage of the arts in Nova Scotia flourished until the Herald had large arts and features departments.
While reporting on everything related from film to fashion, Barnard focussed on visual art and theatre. She reviewed theatre, both mainstream and independent, in Halifax and outside the city.
She received a silver Atlantic Journalism Award in 2015 for her article on artist Mary Pratt for the Herald Magazine. She has written about art for Launcelot Press, BILLIE Magazine and Canadian Art.  elissa.barnard@gmail.com

Imagination rules in Joy and Possibility at the Chase Gallery to June 28

Down by the Fish Shack (Blue Rocks), 170 x 200 cm. 2018, oil on linen, by Timothy Andrew McGuire, in Joy and Possibility, at the Chase Gallery, Nova Scotia Archives, to June 28.

New York artist Timothy Andrew McGuire came to Nova Scotia “for that scene right there,” he says, pointing to his large, masterful, oil painting of Blue Rocks.
“I saw a music video Joel Plaskett filmed on the South Shore and I said, “‘That’s the stuff I want to paint.’”
McGuire’s first large show in Nova Scotia, Joy and Possibility, is due to acrylic painter Shelagh Duffett, whose booth at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is close to that of McGuire’s partner, Melanie Fontaine, of Meversible.
“I’d had the gallery booked,” says Duffett, “and I didn’t have nearly as many paintings as I’d wanted. My mother has been sick – a lot of caregiving. Tim’s work is amazing and he’s new here. I thought Tim is a painter who deserves to be seen.”
At first glance the two artists appear to have little in common.
He is a professionally-trained, oil painter who paints outdoors and has a rich but subdued colour palette in landscapes and interiors.
She is a self-taught acrylic painter who paints out of her imagination for playful, brightly-coloured, storybook images of cats and fish, flowers and houses, sea and sky.
fllowerindulgenceFlower Indulgence, acrylic painting, Shelagh Duffett
Yet the two share a passion for art so great that they both left other careers to pursue it, and they respect each other’s work and work ethic. Both of them paint everyday.
“With the title of the show,” says Duffett, “I’m the joy and he’s the possibility.”
“We’re both a bit of both,” says McGuire.

Duffett’s work is remarkable for her bold and bright colour choices. It has a graphic quality with a life force of its own and a fanciful, owl-and-the-pussycat feel.
A black cat looks up to a magical sky of haloed stars. Two houses, one red, one white, are in a landscape with a slash of orange field and abstracted, impressionist dabs of purple for lupins.
Wish Black Cat by Shelagh Duffett
“I’ve tried to do pastel painting. I can’t do it! I just love colour,” says Duffett.
“Most people say, ‘Your work makes me so happy.’ It’s very grafitifying that I’m bringing a bit of joy into the world.”
Duffett, who is a Getty photographer, worked as a film and TV editor and camerawoman. Her art career began when she sold her Huckleberry Hound lunchbox on eBay in 2000 for $175 U.S.
“I had gotten a set of paints, that I’d asked for, for my birthday and I painted a funky, folk art fish and I thought, ‘I’ll put this on eBay,’ and it sold.”
She did another painting, put it online and someone in San Francisco bought it.
“My daughter had just been born and I thought, ‘This is a way I could stay at home.’ I started painting at my dining table every single day and selling on eBay. I owe my career to the internet.’
Her paintings are all over the world – “in every single state in the U.S., in every province in Canada, in every country in Europe, in Africa, in the South Pacific. There’s a guy in Switzerland who must have 15 cats.”
She developed a large, social media following and “people to this day show up at the Seaport market looking for me,” she says. “I was on the bucket list of a retired police chief in Australia. She came on a cruise ship and to the market.”
Her children’s book CATalphabet!, with verse by herself and Jonathan Mills, has been very popular.
Over the years, “my work has evolved and become more sophisticated,” says Duffett, whose daughter is now 29.
“I like magical things and the thought there are other possibilities we are not aware of.”
McGuire was a kindergarten teacher who in 2008 quit his L.A. teaching job to go study art at the Florence Academy of Art “just like that,” he says. “I’ve never regretted making the change.”
After he graduated from the academy, he taught drawing there once a week and held classes for kids in his studio, staying in Florence  for 10 years.
He has had exhibits in Russia, Los Angeles and New York and lived in Italy, New York and Nova Scotia. Today his permanent address is Blue Rocks Road.
McGuire’s style is completely opposite to Duffett’s. His soft brushwork is impressionistic and beautifully visible; his use of light is delicate though dramatically atmospheric; he paints as he looks directly at his subject but it’s filtered through his mind and imagination.
_Kitchen Table_ by Tim McGuire, Oil on Linen, 80x100 cm, 2018 copy 
Kitchen Table, oil on linen, Tim McGuire
“The valuable thing I learned at the Florence Academy was how to observe – the importance of observation and of working from life,” he says. “It gave me the confidence to know I can observe a thing and make a painting out of it.”
He is inspired by “interesting and challenging” shapes, colours and light – the evening glow in a Vermont farmhouse amid blue winter snow, the terracotta hues in a Tuscany interior, the sharp bow of a mid-sized sailing boat in a Lunenburg boat shed with a blue floor.
_Vermont Homestead_Vermont Homestead at Night,  oil on linen, Tim McGuire
“The whole reason I came to Nova Scotia was to paint these old fish shacks and wooden boats and lobster boats.”
Duffett steps in to tell the story. “His car was full to the brim with canvases. He got at the motel at 2 o’clock in the morning and it was locked so he crawled in under his canvases and spent his first night in Nova Scotia sleeping under his canvases.”
McGuire is inspired by Impressionist and post-Impressionists, “Van Gogh obviously,” he says, “and I like the French painter Pierre Bonnard and British painter Harold Gilman. He’s one of my favourites.”
He went to see Gilman’s work in Halifax Harbour 1918: Harold Gilman and Arthur Lismer at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.  Gilman’s masterpiece, Halifax Harbour, 1918,  features an unusual sky of oblongs of paint that McGuire photographed. (Gilman died shortly after completing this amazing painting.)
Though he’s working from reality as a plein air painter, he thinks is art is as much a part of his imagination and memory as Duffett’s.
“I don’t think the photograph is the pinnacle of visual truth. Even though I’m painting from life and trying to represent life nothing in my work is informed by photography.
“I’m always interpreting what I look at. I’m trying to use the experience to express something I can’t express otherwise.
“This exhibition shows what we have in common,” says McGuire. “In the end it is the imagination that makes the painting even if you are working from life.”
McGuire will be at the gallery on Saturdays, 12 to 5 p.m. He gives an artist talk Wednesday, June 19,  6 p.m. He and Duffett have a closing reception on Thursday, June 27, 5 to 8 p.m.
The Chase Gallery, Nova Scotia Archives, 6016 University Ave., is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8:30 to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, 8:30 to 9 p.m., and Saturday, 9 to 5 p.m. The show runs to June 28.
greenbirches2019Green Birches, by Shelagh Duffett
Firefly Meadow, by Shelagh Duffett
REVIEW by Elissa Barnard elissa.barnard@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Joy & Possibility

I would like to invite you to an art exhibit featuring my work and that of Timothy Andrew McGuire. It will be hanging in the beautiful Chase Gallery in Halifax (in the Nova Scotia Archives) for the entire month of June.

 Our opening reception will be Thursday, June 6th from 5pm-8pm. There will be music, refreshments and lively art!!  Mark your calendars, update your phones and save the date!

Tim is from New York and has exhibited in Russia, L.A. and Florence, Italy. He paints "plein air" and this is the first time people in Halifax will get a chance to see his work. He lives in Lunenburg part of the year and divides his time between N.Y. and Florence when not here. I am so excited to see what he brings to this show.

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:30am to 4:30pm; Wednesday: 8:30am to 9:00pm; Saturday: 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Advice to Keep it Simple

Good advice from folk at The Happy Pear

if you miss someone - call
if you want to meet up - invite
if you want to be understood - explain
if you have a question - ask
if you don't like something - speak up
if you like something - share it
if you want something - ask for it
if you love someone - tell them
if you need some quiet - make it happen

Keeps life simple and moving forward.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Almost March.....

 Almost March..... thank goodness! I've been deep in the depths of "elder care"and then once the storm settled.....I got sick!  Really sick. Sick enough that it scared me. I think I was so worried, stressed and tired with all of it and at the same time trying to run a business that relies solely on my creativity and ability to pull rabbits out of hats.... I just crashed. My immune system was depleted and I had nothing left  BUT Spring is on it's way and I am building up my reserves again and the word for the year is "Self" care. I don't want that to ever happen again. It is important to stay strong and vital and grounded. So lots of personal interventions going on in my little world. Meditation is one of them....letting things go.Slowing down. Being present...and all the other stuff :) good eats, rest, exercise etc... we know what to do....it is just a matter of doing it!  Getting out of our own way.
 Today it is snowing and cold. Perfect day to get a blog post done and all the administrative housekeeping that goes with self employment. I have a list as long as Hadrian's Wall of things that need doing and investigating and pursuing  (always...). I'm also about to start reading "The 1 Page Marketing Plan" by Allan Dib. Part of my goal to read a lot of books about business marketing, creativity, spirituality and philosophy this year. It is so easy to spend time reading bits and pieces on the internet and never really getting to sink one's teeth into real concepts and philosophies. I used to read "books" all the time and have fallen out of it.Time to reclaim MY time and not give so much to the interweb. Although it's hard when one's business relies heavily on social media and online connection.
I have started painting again...here are a couple. Dreaming Fox (sold)
Odette ( sold)

Sunday, December 9, 2018

It is December Already!

First off...this is happening on December 16th. In the historic Women's Council House on the corner of Young Ave and Inglis Street. I've taught a few painting classes there and it is a lovely spot with loads of parking. There will be hot cider and cookies and live music! My friend Bill Jardine will be singing and playing guitar for us. Most things will be on SALE too! I do hope you can join me.
We are in the midst of a really cold snap at the moment. Unusual for Nova Scotia this time of year. I'm not out walking as much as I normally do. I am a wimp when it comes to extreme temperatures, hot or cold. My internal thermometer likes middle of the road.... This is part of the rails to trails walk in Bayers. Lake. The water is frozen here but it loos like glass.
Ive done bayerslaketrailwinter
I have been doing a bit of painting.... only just started consistently. My mum has been ill and things are now stabilizing and I can get back to work! This is 24 x 24 on beechwood with deep 1.5" sides painted pale turquoise. On my monitor it looks a bit bright and garish but the real colours are lovely! Every monitor is different so be aware that it will look slightly different for everyone.
dawnbirches24x24).jpgThis painting is called "The Red Wellies" I love it.  16 x 20 x 1.5" and the painting wraps around the sides.redwellies
I hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Summer Bogo Sale!

BOGO Sale!! My twice annual buy one get one free sale is on for a week! Stock up on Christmas gifts and that special print you have always wanted! 

Lots of new prints in my shop. 

INSTRUCTIONS: Purchase the prints you want and in “notes to seller” write down the print you would like for FREE! 

Please spread the word:) Bargain hunters will be thrilled. Thanks so much for your support as always! XO


Friday, May 18, 2018

Artist Coleslaw!

Yum! This is incredibly delicious, beautiful to look at and healthy too! I have to share this recipe with you and apologize for the lack of measurements. I just kind of winged it. Into a big bowl you toss a finely chopped half of a red cabbage and two medium carrots.Throw in a handful of pistachios and slivered almonds. Finely chop some green onion or chives.
Toss in some halved or quartered seedless grapes. About half a cup. They are a secret ingredient adding a wee burst of sweetness amidst the crunch. You could also substitute some sweetened dried cranberries or perhaps some mango! Remember, as with all salads, you add more of what you like and less of what you don't! Experiment and see what happens:)
Mix it all together. See how gorgeous that looks!!
The dressing is a blob (two large tablespoons?)of vegan mayo or regular, A tablespoon each of maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. Stir it up and taste to see how you like it. Add and adjust to your taste buds. Salt and pepper.
 The consistency you want is a pourable one..... Just enough to coat the veggies. Toss and let sit for a bit to marinate.
And.......voila! A perfect salad for any gathering. Better the next day!