Friday, June 29, 2012

This began with the idea of painting a white picket fence. To create the fence, I dipped a popsicle stick in white paint and set it carefully on the canvas and pulled downward.  First we had to eat a few Fudgesicles :o)

The background came next.  I wanted the painting to be balanced, so originally I had two small trees beside the house on the left side as well.  I wasn't happy with it, thinking I needed something closer to the fence.  Cherry trees were in bloom at the time . . . so there you go.

I thought of painting children playing on the grass.  A cartwheel?  A picnic?  Flying a kite? I wasn't sure. The idea of a girl and her dog came to me.  I wondered if it would "work" with a girl leaning on the fence, looking like she's waiting.  

The blue house was a red school house for a day - but the red was too strong - so it went back to a blue house.  Our first house in Melville, Saskatchewan, was blue with white trim.  I really loved that house!

The puppy was inspired by my son's teacher and her new puppy, Ruby.  It seemed fitting that this painting would become a year-end gift for Liam's teacher.  

It just seemed right :o)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Together we can do a little good

I believe we can do a little good.  When one in our community is down, we can rally around show we care.

I've donated The Knight's Gift to the $5000 fundraiser for Subha Gill.  Subha has a rare form of bone cancer.  Her younger brother is in my son's class.  Chemo isn't working.  Stupid cancer.

Knight's Gift 2

I used acrylics on a 10 x 10 wrapped canvas.  The black frame is digital - the painting appears as below:

Knight's Gift 2

Text around the outer frame reads:
Even after all these years the sun never says to the earth,
"You owe me."
Look what happens to a love like that.
It lights up the whole sky.

HOW TO ENTER A BID:   You can place bids via e-mail at - I will post the bids in the comment section here, as well as on facebook.

For further details of the fundraiser go to:!/events/270651553012125/  For more details about Subha Gill:

Together we're better.

Carol N.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Very Fond of Tea

This was a commissioned piece for a baby shower gift.  I had a lot of fun with it - especially painting the little fox.  The text in the house and on the tree trunk is taken from a book about Emily Dickinson, and the text above the group is a quote from Alice in Wonderland.

I love working on commissions because it is fun to collaborate.  Two heads are better than one, especially when one of those noggins is attached to a paintbrush . . .

I realize this isn't the most flattering photo of me - but it was kind of fun - and those are my favourite hedgehog pajamas.

Happy painting everyone!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Finding time

When people see my paintings, they ask, "how do you find the time?"

My answer, "I don't do dishes."

Or, "I leave the dusting."

Or, "My respite worker, Elmo, takes over for a bit." (I'm a bad mom, aren't I?).

The truth is, I often have to snatch small moments. Five minutes for a tree trunk here. Three minutes to browse the books there. One minute to add some highlights.

You get the picture.

It's like the time I was trying to write a novel, and I took my notebook everywhere with me and jotted down little bits whenever I could. (Did you see the lady at the gym that day scribbling in her book, but not exercising much? That was me.) There's almost always a sense of "I've got a small window of opportunity and I must make the most of it."

That's how I do it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

If Birds Read Poetry - and Someday Dream

Collage has opened a whole new world to me with my paintings.  I have been dipping into my memory of poems and text I read twenty years ago as an English Literature Major at Trent University. 

I have a little someday dream. . . to have The Little Gull Studio in a floating house at Fisherman's Wharf.  I would sell paintings, cards, t-shirts, mugs, and host little painting workshops.  It would be cozy and lovely and a way of life to make you happy.  The best part?  Aidan would work with me.  And, perhaps if he wanted to, he could live on the Floating House.

Ah, to dream a little dream.

If Birds Read Poetry

If Birds Read Poetry 2

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Little Owl, ReDux

So, I did what I said I was going to do - I cut the owl out, and collaged him on a wooden panel.  Funny how deconstructing ones own work takes a huge leap of faith.  I decided to add the daisies as things didn't quite seem full enough in that space.  I'm wishing the bleeding hearts were against the blue sky instead of the brown...but that's something I can do differently next time. You see, as a beginner - I really am optimistic.  I just hope I don't look back in years to come with embarrassment.  For now, for where I stand now, I'm proud and excited about the possibilities. 

I've dedicated this little painting to my son Aidan: my little man who goes at his own pace.  I'm fiercely proud of him too.  My boys are my best work to date.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Of Paints and Brushes and Owls and Stuff

When I started painting, it was for myself.  I wanted to try to capture the images that floated through my mind; and I wanted to play with acrylics, and learn how to use that medium.  When I looked at works of art by illustrators like Rose Cowles,  something in my heart would long to do that too.

So, I bought my first paint set with my Christmas money.  I've probably already mentioned that in an earlier post, but it really was a pivotal moment for me.  I'd been aching to get my hands on the paint, the canvas, the brushes, the ideas, for over a year.  When the time came to jump in, I was ready. 

The Little Gull Project

Then came another pivotal moment: when I realized that I could make my paintings into cards and sell them to help raise awareness and funds for our local Down syndrome society.  I approached the Board, and asked if I could. The Board was on board (awful pun intended), and so The Little Gull Project began. 

To say I am very proud of The Little Gull is an understatement. 

I'm very proud.  But, I'm also quite aware that my paintings are at the experimental stage.  There are a lot of wonderful artists out there, like Diane Duda, and I'm happy to learn from their creations.  Dianne uses text in many of her paintings, and that inspired me to try it too.  Take this little guy, for example:

Owl go at my own pace

This painting is an experimental project on paper. What do I like about this painting?  I'm pretty happy with the text collaged onto the owl's belly.  I think I could have done better with the bleeding hearts.  I should have used canvas instead of paper, as the paper buckled from the thickness of the paint.  I'm not happy with the background because of that buckling.  I'm thinking a different colour for the sky might be a better plan.  I'm tempted to cut the owl and tree out, and collage it onto a canvas, or wooden block (something I have yet to try).

If you have any advice on how to make this owl better - please leave a message.  I'm happy to learn! I'm in need of a mentor, or two, or ten....

The Little Gull has a lot of room to grow, and I'm okay with that.