Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't blink you'll miss it.

~ The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot. ~   --Michael Althsuler

Today I'm wondering where this year has gone, and how it went so fast!

It makes me wish I was a kid again, when the days were longer and there were only two dates in the year that seemed to take forever to come:  my birthday, and Christmas. Now as an adult, they're the two dates I seem to be the least prepared for. One because in no uncertain terms it means I'm a year older, and the other because it means the holiday season is encroaching, and soon undoubtedly I'll be armed with shopping lists and hitting hot, crowded stores that are filled with tired, cranky clerks and moreover; tired cranky children.

As of my last post I had just started my new job, which turned out to be a high-note of this year. I work with truly amazing people and I've been successful in implementing some helpful tools to streamline the processes in the department, which in turn made us more organized team and makes me enjoy my work even more.

I created some paintings that I'm really proud of this year, including this one of Cody and Kramer (I miss you buddy):

And this one of Stockdale United Church:

Both were highly detailed endeavours, creatively challenging and took what seemed like en eternity to complete, but both ultimately successful in the end.

I'm looking forward to starting a new commissioned painting this week, a portrait of a Cocker Spaniel. I haven't had a paint brush in hand in almost a month, so it's time to get back at it. Next year I hope to take part in a couple of art fairs in an effort to promote myself and sell some of my paintings. The last art show was a bit of a disappointment because I didn't sell anything.  Not because my paintings were not well received, but because of the show itself, although it was well attended, it was clearly not attended by those with the intention of doing anything other than browsing and visiting with each other on a rainy October weekend.

Finally, I'd like to introduce you to the newest addition to our family– Murphy the Bouvier des Flandres. He is growing up fast and has become quite a character. I hope he brings us as much joy as those who came before; Bozley and Kramer.

Murphy at 6 months old

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Things change.

“You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.”
- Charles F. Kettering

First, let me apologize for the gap in posting to my blog. I spent a lot of time leading up to the Christmas season wishing that things were the way they used to be, thinking about better days and I couldn’t find any inspiration to write.

The weeks leading up to the holidays of 2009 were tough, when knowing that for the first time, my Mom would not be part of the festivities. I felt her loss in every aspect of the Christmas season this year; from the decorating, to the shopping, to the decisions involved in what/where and when to celebrate.

Christmas sure was different – but not different bad, just different. Thankfully I got to spend some quality time with my Dad, including a very nice Christmas Day steak dinner with just the two us. I still got to cook the Christmas Dinner with all the fixin’s, but did it on Boxing Day when more of us could be together. So my memories of Christmas 2009 are fond ones.

Creatively, I ended the year on a high note: I was successful in finishing a challenging painting I’d been working on too, which brought me some much-earned satisfaction. As part of a call to artists for “An Evening in Paris” theme painting, I tried my hand at painting buildings and figures, with some success. The painting was a hit, and I had a buyer before it was even hung for display. (Thanks, Marlene.) I’ve decided to create some limited edition prints of it, which I hope to have available in time for summer art shows/sales.

I just finished my first painting of 2010, my Bozley portrait for My Biggest Fan (MBF), which I’ve been promising for some time. It took a while to complete due to some unplanned life events (which I’ll explain in a minute) but the effort was worth it, I am truly happy with the final painting, and it will be hung with love in our home.

Sometimes when you love something, you have to love it enough to know when it’s time to let it go. That’s precisely what I had to do on February 8th, when our family chose to say goodbye to our Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Kramer. He had been my trusty sidekick for almost 13 years. He had been in failing health for almost a year, and I just couldn’t watch my little friend suffer any more. We decided to make his transition over the rainbow bridge happen sooner than later, so that he could enjoy being a dog again. It’s a good thing there’s an unlimited supply of cookies in doggie Heaven, because he loved those things. In his final days when he wouldn’t eat anything else, he still ate his cookies.

Kramer will be memorialized in many future paintings, and forever in our memories.

My worry shifted to my Dad last week, as he suffered a mild heart attack and he spent the week in the hospital. After many prayers and a quick “tune up” I’m happy to report he’s feeling better and he’s on the mend.

So for now I’m staying focused on the good things in my life: my family, my new job, my friends, and my creativity. With a mix of all of them, I’m assured of a better tomorrow.