Friday, February 27, 2009

COLOUR Interview: Tascha Parkinson

This is the second of a wee series of artist interviews based on the colours of the rainbow! It has been a fun project. What impact did each colour have on the artist's life. What is the strongest memory or association with it.

My second interview is with the delightful Tascha Parkinson of Toronto, Canada. The daughter of a painter, she carries on family tradition and creates the most wonderful, cheerful creations under the careful direction of her two Siamese cats, Opie and Lily. You can read her blog here and buy some of her art on eBay and and Etsy. Tascha has also dipped into the Youtube world and has some great art videos available to watch:) and of course there is  Facebook!

Little Red and the Wolf Cubs

Catching Snowflakes

Siamese Cat and Sushi

Here are Tascha's colours......"Thanks for letting me look back"

Back in art school I hung out with some people who loved bicycles. They rode them all over and would participate in what is called "critical mass". Every last Thursday of the month cyclists get together at Bloor and Spadina and ride their bikes through Toronto ringing their bells. I wanted a bike, so I went to the Goodwill, and there, was a vintage cruiser bike! I was so excited! It was from the 50's or 60's and it was a brown color. I went to Canadian Tire and bought a can of red enamel and painted the bike out on my balcony. I loved that bike! Unfortunately, it got stolen 5 years later.

All the kitties I had growing up were orange colour. Then when I had my first apartment, I got Bailey. Another orange kitty. Everyone always remembers that about my childhood. That I always had orange cats.

I grew up with my mom driving a yellow corvette stingray. BRIGHT YELLOW! You could always spot it in a parking lot!

Being part Irish green played a big part in my life. Four leaf clovers and such. Luck of the Irish. I always wore something green on St. Patrick's day.

This is a hard one. I guess I would say blue jeans. As a teenager I would try bleaching my jeans to have a tie-dyed appearance. I loved the wild pattern that would emerge from the areas that the bleach was stronger.

Back in Art College I felt like this was my time to experiment with my hair. I dyed my hair purple. It was bright purple. I loved it! It was so hard to keep up though, and now I could never have the energy to maintain it.

When I was about 18 I was in love with the movie "Pretty in Pink", I loved the way Molly Ringwald looked in that movie! I watched it about 100 times. It was a big part of my teenage life.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Anne-Julie Aubry

I'm doing a wee series of artist interviews based on the colours of the rainbow! It has been a fun project. What impact did each colour have on the artist's life. What is the strongest memory or association with it.

Spiral of Dream

My first interview is with Anne-Julie Aubry a young artist who lives in the south of France. Her exquisite work is luscious and mysterious. You can see more art at her etsy shop TheNebulous Kingdom and read her blog here. Ann-Julie's sometimes dark but always whimsical work is also available on skins for Ipods, Iphones, Laptops (Mac and Pc), Netbooks and now Nintendo DS Lite at

Mon Petite Monde

Springtime Blossom

Here are her colours:)

"Oh thank you for inviting me in such a great experience, it's definitely a really great little game about our memories. I love it! "

Red - I think of poppies, always poppies because I love to draw or paint them. I've always been in love with these flowers, like an obsession since my youngest age.

Orange - Orange is the color of Etsy. I cannot think of anything else, Etsy came in mind instantly. I'm very addicted to this website, it's also my community and running a shop here is my full time job.

Yellow - One of the first car of my parents was yellow. It was a fun one, from a German brand to avoid any details, in a funny and gorgeous lemon-yellow color. I loved this car, I have very good memories of it.

Green - Is the color I'm very connected to in my work. I always add a touch of green in every of my illustration, even a little.. tiny one! This is the color of the Earth and that means for me the color of Hope.

Blue - When I think of blue I think of my grandma's bedroom. She loves the color blue, and her bedroom has always been dedicated to this color. The walls, the fitted carpet, the curtains, everything. She has wonderful tastes, and a great ability to marry different shades of blue. It's a gorgeous bedroom, and could be featured in a decorating book me thinks!

Indigo/purple - The amazing tones of the sky at nightfall here in the south, at the sea. I'm living here since almost 5 years now, and this is something I definitely love. I feel lucky each time I can take a few minutes and stare at a beautiful nightfall... Most of the time I can see pink and orange tones as well, a pure chef d'oeuvre.

Violet/pink - Is the gorgeous color of my grandma's beautiful hydrangeas in her garden. As far as I remember, those (giant now) flowers have always been in her garden, and she really really cares about them.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Sylvester, available on eBay
I used to do a lot of these cat" portraits". They are fun to do. Every cat is different. I have a customer in Switzerland who owns a lot of them and I often think how cool it would be to see how they have been displayed. Maybe on the wall up along a staircase.? Maybe in a grouping over the fireplace? Maybe they were all gifts and have gone to new homes.

I might have posted this before in fact I think I have but here it is again, one of my paintings framed and up in someone's home. Strangely enough, her cat Molly could be Monty's twin.
Here is another picture framed and up in Kansas City. I love seeing where my work ends up:)

So it is day 62 my Wii fit. Imagine that! Christmas was 62 days ago. I do a body check each morning. Basically it is a weigh in and so much more accurate than my scale. It also graphs things so I can see my weight flowing across the screen in living colour:) Keeps me on the straight and narrow. I am still enjoying it and do manage to do some exercising on it most days.

Oh and I made the most INCREDIBLE soup on the weekend. You know that I am a soup girl.
Fennel and blue cheese soup. So easy!!!! Here we go, Saute 1 big onion and some garlic in oil till golden. Toss in 1 chopped potato and 1 whole fennel bulb chopped and aprox. 4 cups broth . Cook till soft, puree, add 4 oz blue cheese and stir. It was delicious. Really:)

Don't forget. Today is pancake day:) Shrove Tuesday.

Monday, February 23, 2009

musical interlude

After a while it all looks the same:) You should see some of my painting t-shirts.I am a messy painter. This little water jar has been with me for years. I love the shape of it.
Watched the Oscars last night. I thought the set was beautiful and elegant. Nice to see some of the old Hollywood glamour and style back. Hugh Jackman a did a good job and I loved his opening number. I have to say that I am a musical fan from way back, Busby Berkely films enthralled me as a little girl, Fred, Gene, Bing, Julie, Danny, Doris, Ethel and the rest of them were wonderful as far as I am concerned:) Interesting that musicals were big during the depression, I can see them making a comeback during these trying times.

Ethel Merman 1936. Look at the stage. Just like last night's Oscars.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I've spent a fair bit of time in Greece but it has been a long time since I was there last. I don't write journals as a rule. I do have a bazillion of notebooks on the go with bits and pieces, thoughts, lists, etc BUT when I am traveling I do keep a journal. Last night I was browsing through some of them and got such a wave of nostagia. Some of the things I don't remember. I am not a great sleeper and I am convinced that has something to do with it. *My theory is that sound sleepers have better memories* is one of the excerpts.(I was traveling with a girl named Trish I had met on the ferry to Greece. She was from Vancouver.) Gythion, in the southern Peloponnesos. We were staying in an old house in a ground level room with windows open to a lovely courtyard full of potted geraniums and grape vine trellises.

Bed , exhausted after a long day exploring and on the beach. Today's temperature was around 100. About 3am, I heard a tap on the far window shutter. I immediately woke up and strained to hear more. Wondering who or what was out there.... Then I saw a hand slowly reach through the sheer curtains. Our shutters and windows are always open because it is too hot otherwise. Anyway, I froze with fear. Suddenly, I saw the thin shape of a cat slink through the window. What a relief, I thought it was a person! About five minutes later, what sounded like an old woman moaning and then a strident cat's reply, back and forth nonstop until a crescendo was reached and then dead silence. I was pretty unnerved. All this seemed to be happening within a foot of my head!
I sat up for a while and then finally laid down. All of a sudden a cat jumped over my head through the window!! I leaped up and scared it away. Woke Trish in the process. I can't believe she slept through all that racket. We shut the windows but it was too hot so then had to open them again. I got up and went outside. Tomcats fighting, must be a female in heat somewhere. I decided to sleep in the big bed with Trish, away from open windows and further stray cats climbing over me! Took AGES to get to sleep, donkeys braying, old man next door coughing, shuffling down the hall to the bathroom. Finally I fell asleep zzzzzzzzzzz

Antiparos, sunset

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pink Quilt

Pink Quilt, available on eBay

Sunny day today, hooray for vitamin D :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

more yellow:)

Daffodils and Polkadots, available on eBay 5x7

As you may or may not know, I get a box of organic veggies deleivered once a week and I am loving it! I like supporting local businesses and eating well:) In this week's box was a gorgeous bunch of red swiss chard. So pretty I could have plopped it into a vase and been happy. I made the most delicious recipe with it and am jotting it here so I have it.

Red chard sliced horizontally in strips sans stalks. (rinsed)
Saute 1 big chopped onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves in coconut oil till softened and pale gold, add swiss chard, 1/4 cup golden raisins, steam and saute till softened, add splash of basalmic vinegar. It was DELICIOUS!

I had taped Lost from the night before and my daughter and I sat down to watch it. She got me hooked a while ago, I don't really watch a lot of tv. The more confusing it gets, the better we like it. I love all the characters and the locale and the mysteriousness of it all:)

Tonight is a birthday party for an 80 year old!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

yellow reminder

Another summery shot to cheer myself up:) This is the porch of a house in a wonderful town called Mahone Bay. It is an ocean side community, so a lot of lovely woodwork can be found as a result of the bountiful shipbuilding talent. This place is known for it's three churches. I live about an hour away. Take a look, it is gorgeous.

We are expecting a big blow today. More snow and freezing rain. Schools in the southern half of the province are already closed. The sky has darkened since I started to write, so I imagine it will start here within the hour. My daughter is headed out the door to school soon, she'll be coming home in the midst of it. Hope the buses are running.

I am really tired today. Guess who was up until late, late, late, early, finishing a paper? Guess who was up supporting, because stuff like that stresses me out and I cannot relax!? *Takes another sip of tea* Ah, the lessons of life....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Dreaming of summer.......................

This was taken near Antigonish.
This time of year I start longing for green and warmth.
If I could, I would schedule a trip South every winter. A brief respite from the weariness of winter. We all need a blast of comfort in the middle of this season, a reminder that somewhere the sun is always shining.
My dad was a physician and he always said the patients of his who went South every year were always much healthier on average than those who could not. Sigh.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Love this picture. It represents many things to me. Hope and perseverance are two of them. This pretty little poppy was growing on the shores of Lake Louise in Alberta. A glacier fed and very cold beautiful turquoise lake.

Monday, February 16, 2009


This strange little mannequin was in the window of a local shop called Peep Show. Something vaguely creepy about her and her friend. I was trying to figure out why I felt slightly uncomfortable. I think we are so reliant on faces to give us clues about situations and intent, that even a mannequin's hidden expression throws us off. Throws me off anyway:)

I had to relist this painting again. I fixed the image to make it brighter and then discovered that all the pictures in the auction had all disappeared:( Because there was a bid on it (yay) I could not go in and put them back. The only thing left to do was end it early and relist again! I contacted the bidder to let them know. Another lesson learned.

Today is more painting, and a bit of exercise and maybe the start of some Spring Cleaning.

If you have not done so.... please take a look HERE and HERE and think about donating even a tiny amount. Thousands of animals have been displaced and injured and there is a dire need for help. They had already been under tremendous strain before the fires because of the searingly high temperatures and the ongoing drought. Many are suffering from burns, lack of food and water and habitat.

Thanks to SumpnSassy! She sent me an email this morning telling me about the little feature she did. Fun to see my prints in unexpected places:)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Alice and the Pyschedelic Dream

Original available on eBay Print here

Just finished this and I am wiped. I tend to start a painting and work at it until done. By the end of it I'm a zombie:) I sometimes start and do a just bit, but rarely. I am thinking I should try it more often.

Now I am off to have a bite to eat and read:) My reward!


Happy Valentine's Day Everybody :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Home sweet home

Isn't this the most extraordinary image? A tidal wave hit Newfoundland's south coast in 1929. Many, many coastal properties were destroyed. This submerged house is being towed by a schooner. The scale is amazing, you can see just how huge some of those Grand Bank schooners were. This picture comes from the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador. I just love it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


...................and the winner of my OWOH giveaway is...............
Anji Gallanos!!!
She's an artist and mom living in Juneau Alaska! I used a random number generator to pick the winner, there were 428 entries and Anji was 352. The event has been quite a success. There were 900+ participants. That's a lot of art:)

Schools closed here again, but not Dalhousie. Very icy out there. The big salt truck slid slowly down our hill to the corner and then backed up not chancing the rest of the way down!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

silver and soup

These are some of my cooking things. Measuring cups, spoons, whisks, bits and pieces that happen to be silver coloured. I store them in one of those hanging collapsible three basket thingies used for fruits and veggies. My wooden spoons are all in a jug on the counter. I love wooden spoons. Mini collections of kitchen objects.

The soup yesterday turned out great:) I love having homemade soup on hand for quick lunches.Here is what I do when not following a specific recipe. Soup is so easy to make and there are so many variations but the basics for me are these.
1. Saute onion, celery and garlic.
2. Add some spices ( I often use a dollop of curry paste)
3. Add broth (I usually have organic boxes of Veg or Chicken broth on hand) You could also use a can of tomatoes if you want too depending on if you are in the mood for a tomatoey soup.
4. Pop in chopped veggies. (Variations of squash, sweet potato, carrots, green beans, zuchini, spinach etc)
5. Add some beans or pasta if desired (sometimes I add a can of lite coconut milk)
6. Cook till all is tender.
If no beans or pasta is used, I usually puree it with my hand blender to make a bisque.
Tah dah! Soup. A thousand and one variations...........

Yesterday as I was making my squash soup I found a baby bok choy that needed using so I popped it in. Anything goes. Here's what it looked like just before simmering:)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Valentine Violets, 6 x8 Closes on Valentine's Day:)

Somehow this year I've neglected to get on the Valentine's bandwagon. This is it! Next year I am going to get a head start and do up some fun Valentiney paintings.

Yesterday I was trying to figure out if we are halfway through winter yet. It is starting to feel like forever. The good news is yes!!! the halfway point was February 3rd! We are one week past the halfway mark:)) Hooray!

I'm making some soup this morning. I've got a big butternut squash that needs to be dealt with:)
Guess what's for lunch?

Monday, February 9, 2009


Birch Cottage available on eBay
I used iridescent paint for the highlights on the ocean but the scan made them all disappear :( They look dark instead of pale blue. Another lesson learned. Creating is all about making mistakes and having them turn into happy accidents or learning experiences.
Have a great week:)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Peggy's Cove

Here we are! This is my daughter braving the ICY cold wind. We headed out of the city yesterday because it was a mild day but forgot about the WIND.

We decided to head into the Sou'Wester Restaurant for something to warm ourselves up before braving the elements. I love the warm butterscotch colour of these chairs in the sun.

A nice bowl of fish chowder hit the spot nicely. Can you see what I see? Yes, it was chock a block with lobster. I am not a big fan but in a chowder it is nice:) The fish is fresh from the wharf.

Outside it was beautiful but bitter. The wind is merciless but even so, there were a few hearty souls about. A couple of photographers with tripods, just to the left of the lighthouse in front of the rock.

This is the wee village. You can see the top cap of the lighthouse just above the houses in the centre of this picture. To the right, hidden behind the house is the main cove.

On the way home we pulled over so I could take a shot.

Looks like a barren wasteland.

Closer to home, the sun is almost down.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


This is the sort of day we are having. Finally, a mild and sunny winter's day. Beautiful. I am going out for a lovely walk today. This is one of two large Birch trees in my backyard. In the autumn it's leaves are flaming gold.

I went to a small birthday party last night and had a lot of fun. Ate a respectable amount of nibblies and had a glass of wine. This morning the scale is 1.5 pounds heavier than yesterday. How does one gain that much from a bit extra? I know I did not eat an extra 4500 calories. Interesting...... anyway today will be a day of restraint and a bit more exercise. At least that is what I am saying this morning. Let's hope cheesecake does not fall into my path.

I do have a painting to finish up and some tidying to do but other than that, it is a wide open day!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Morning sun.


Aren't these pretty? Gypsy Bohemian Fairy Princess Turn of the Century Fanciful Sparkly Bling:). I bought these from a friend of mine Jen who lives in Portland, Oregon. She has a lovely shop on Etsy, L'Essence du Monde. I met her by lucky accident, she purchased a painting of mine through istock to use in her shop logo, someone mentioned to me they had seen a painting of mine , I popped over and voila!
These lovely earrings are crystal and depending on how the light shines through, they turn irridescent colours:) That's Monty investigating in the corner.

I've been tagged with an award from April Jarocka, a wonderful painter and illustrator who lives on the west coast of Ireland. Thanks so much. I have to put down seven things I love and then tag seven. I will not tag but ask that if you are interested, please join in:)
I love...
1. green
2. meeting new people
3. freshly washed sheets
4. traveling and being outside
5. reading and watching good movies, not at the same time lol
6. delicious meals with friends
7. my family

Gray day today, snow forecast again, I have errands downtown. Best get a move on:)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Lupin Cottage available on eBay

Well, the stuff came down for 12 hours. Towards the end it was just ice pellets and I could hear them pinging off the windows. What a mess. I got this painting done and later I snuggled down with a cup of tea and my current book, The Tea Rose. It is a wonderful big comfy novel about the adventures of Fiona Finnegan in 1880s London and New York. One of those books you can get lost in, the author is a great storyteller. We are reading it for our book club.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winter bites

I know, I know.... but I couldn't resist posting this. It is so pretty:) Looks like summer. My friend who was over to play Wii last week brought one for each of us. Another belated Birthday bite. yum.

We are expecting a storm today. Another in a long string of frosty winter pearls. This weather has been a necklace of icy events strung tightly one after another. No school everywhere but I am thinking Dalhousie is open. Poor H, she was at the costume studio until 3am last night working on an assignment and has a Psychology test today. I was hoping for her sake the University might be closed. Oh well, the life of a student:)

I am painting. Got a few sketches done and will hit the brushes soon.
Big pot of chili for later:)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday bits and bobs

Early this morning outside my front window. We had snow again last night but a lovely soft graceful amount.

Neat story. Remember how I was a bit annoyed with myself. I had decided to pull up my boot straps and get on with getting healthier etc. I had a friend over and we were having fun on the Wii, she suggested getting a small rebounder/mini trampoline to use for the running segment of the Wii fit. I thought that was a great idea. I do have one but need a new one because mine has sprung a few springs and was left outside on the deck under all the snow. Well, I was delivering a load of stuff to Value Village which is a charity depot and up pulls a big van behind me. Out comes the driver carrying a beautiful new rebounder! Wow I said, "I was going to buy one of those." He said "It's yours! My wife has only used it a couple of times." "Would you like a George Forman grill too?" "Yes!!!!"How cool was that, I might not keep the grill but I really want to try it out:) , we shall see. The Universe handing me what I need as a gift:)

Also, thanks to Marsha Jorgensen of Tumble Fish Studio for featuring me! What a nice surprise. She is a talented collage artist in California.

Another link I would love to share is the concert I attended last month with Shannon Quinn. It is available HERE, Concerts on Demand at CBC Radio. Click on "play all tracks" to hear the whole thing with her banter between songs. I think she did all right for an eighteen year old! She is so talented. You can play and listen to it as you browse other sites on your computer.