Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I AM ...

G O N E ! ! !

I'LL BE BACK ON APRIL 12 WITH TONS OF NEW STUFF TO SHOW YOU AND TELL YOU ABOUT!

THANK YOU SO MUCH, ALL OF YOU, DEAR BLOG PALS, FOR READING MY ALMOST-DAILY STORY TALES...

AND FOR YOUR INCREDIBLE INTEREST IN MY ART !!!

A BIENTOT!

XOXOXOXO

Monday, March 24, 2008

WE ARE ALMOST READY ...

ALMOST is the key word! The more I look at my list of things to pack and my list of things to do before departure, it seems the longer the lists get...But we are almost there, only 2 days left before we take a deep breath and leave our house for two entire weeks!!! I am finished working in my studio for good, I finished an assignement I had to do, some commercial work, for the cover of big travel agency catalog in Montreal. I inked my drawing on film, scanned the film to my computer and added colors with Photoshop. I had to do this one pretty fast, they needed the image yesterday, if you know what I mean. It turned out great, the client is very happy and I find it is a nice way to finish working in my studio before going South on vacations!

I also modified my little blonde girl with bunny painting, it was too pink and rosy, too babyish for my taste. It is now a blonde angel, I added some black contour and collaged the word AMOUR on it. Much better!!! It is now listed on eBay...Come take a look!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

MY HEART IS BEATING A LITTLE FASTER ...

No turning back now, we are leaving for Mexico Thursday and butterflies are going round and round in my stomach... Sure, we go to Maine to the beach each summer, we occasionaly drive to New York City or to the Maritime Provinces, a visit here and there to France but... Mexico is where our heart flutters when it wants to feel free!

So, I have been practicing my Spanish, trying to get the rust out of my accent, and it is coming back to me fast. I learned it at school in high school, Spanish is a natural language to learn when you are French. Same as learning English, it was all around us when we were kids and when the whole family drove to Florida or New Jersey, my parents made a point for us to speak English only. That is how it goes...No shyness about speaking a new language, you must dive right into it!

Funny enough, I feel so inspired to paint lately, I had to stop yesterday and really get prepared but it was tough. There I was sketching yesterday night before going to bed... It will be nice to go back to my studio after two weeks of tropical inspiration...

I think the menagerie is feeling something is awkward and abnormal... They have been especially lovey-dovey (wrong spelling, I know) and have been following us everywhere we go. I can not sit without having a cat jump on my lap, well, quite easy actually when you have 5 cats...

Oh,oh! I must stop this writing and go play Mario Smash with Ulysse on his Wii. He got this game as an Easter present from my parents today and it is so much fun!!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

BONJOUR PRINTEMPS !!

Another foot of snow or so fell today, once again, covering what had melted by a beautiful white blanket that we do not appreciate as much now as in the beginning of the season...So, I stayed inside and painted a new SPRING FRIDA WITH SUN that is available on eBay and Etsy. I wanted it to look like her hair was growing, leaves were sprouting on her strands of hair, flowers were opening and birds were chirping, with my favorites, a few ever-present skulls. Her heart-shaped earings are real metal hearts that I glued on the canvas. I think Frida lovers will adore this one, it is quite unusual...

So, no hiking, no shoveling, no walking around to smell the flowers, uh! I mean the snow. I AM READY FOR SPRING !!!

But I must confess, it is so beautiful outside, it reminds me of a Doctor Zhivago scene, with snow stuck on the surface of everything, from trees to old spiderwebs...

This might be my last painting before our departure for Mexico, I think I need to relax a bit and try to get everything ready, which is usually NOT my way of doing... I do not want to rush before leaving, I just want to slide into my beach bum suit slowly but surely...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

SPRING? I'M WAITING FOR YOU...

This is the title of my latest painting available on eBay and Etsy. I sketched this image a couple of days ago and did not know which way to go with it colorwise. So, I did not think or hesitate, just went with my current feelings. And it worked! Somehow, the palette gives this little fairy canvas a victorian feel to it. Maybe it is all in the pose and the dress of course. As usual, it was great fun working on it! The way I go about painting is I shade my background, trace my sketch on it, then paint the face right away. This way, the subject already has its character, I feel the presence of this little person right at the start of the process. A bit like if the little fairy watches over me while I am painting her portrait. I hope she finds a great home!

It is raining tonite and the snow has been shrinking so rapidly, another couple of wet days and it will all be gone...It will then be the toughest time of the year for me: Staying inside to work in my studio rather than working outside in the garden. I LOVE gardening and have been at it for almost 20 years! I mostly grown everything from seeds, strange vegetables, unusual berries and fruits and tons of annual and perenial flowers of all sizes and colors. I am so crazy about gardening that when I was pregnant with Ulysse, I got to work on a book for kids with 106 full-page illustrations. Biggest assignment I ever got! So, there I was working all-day long in my studio, with my 2-year old boy running around, tight delivery deadlines and absolutely no spare time to go outside and play in the dirt. Then, one day I had the brightest idea! I took big hallogen spotlights in the garden and rototilled the soil from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m... I will always remember that summer, working in the darkness of the night with rays of bright light attracting tons of June bugs, night butterflies and nightcrawlers...

Call me crazy but a girl's gotta do what she's gotta do!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

LOVE GIFT, COW OVER THE MOON AND THE POLAR BEAR...

This morning, François offered me my belated Valentine gift... He had been working on this piece for a while but the outside shop got too cold, welding became impossible for a few weeks and the sculpture had to be put away unfinished till the weather got better...Today was the day! I love it ! Don't you?

As I was walking to the chicken coop to feed them early this morning, I passed by my garden cement polar bear. This garden ornament has been with us for almost 25 years now, seated on a big flat at the entrance of the garden, now shaded by a wild apple tree that happened to grow there. My grand-father bought this polar bear in the 1940s and had it in his garden in the back of his house in Montreal.

Both my grand-parents were amazing flowers and vegetables gardeners and visiting them was always so much a pleasure. I remember sleeping in a big canopy swing under the huge weeping willow while the robins were singing, choosing Shasta daisies, colorful tulips or antsy peonies to make bouquets to take back home, walking between the rows of tender young lettuce and just perfect carrots and pulling as many as I wanted to eat without even cleaning them. I remember the smell of the enormous lilac trees in spring and finding a real baby duck in the birdbath one afternoon, which my grand-papa had gotten for me for Easter. I remember grand-maman Gabrielle collecting insects of all kinds, showing the eggs in the nest sparrows had built in the big blue spruce, of which I was so found of removing the little brown skin that came off newly emerging branch tips, like little hat on tiny heads or little cocoons.

And I remember walking by the polar bear every time I was in the yard, riding it like a poney when I was real small, sitting on it later to admire the view of all the nature happening there...

When my grand-papa Paul passed away many years later, this is the first thing I wanted to keep in souvenir of him. The polar bear. Ulysse loves it too and I am sure one day, he will take it with him to his house, put it at the entrance of his garden and every time he will walk past it, he will remember the stories I told him about my grandparents and he will remember all the good things about the garden of his childhood too...

The sky this morning was so blue, right at the moment the sun had really come out, chilly and windless...but, out of habit, I looked at the weathervane to see what it was pointing too and I smiled... My weathervane is the greatest weathervane in the world, you will not find one more whimsical than ours!

Monday, March 17, 2008

I LEFT MY HEART IN MEXICO...

We are getting so excited about our coming trip to the Yucatan, my heart misses a step once in a while when I look at pictures taken while we were there already so long ago... Last time I was there, we stayed 3 months altogether in Mexico and I brought my colors and a large roll of canvas. I can not wait to swim in the turquoise waters of paradise! It will be so much fun to have Ulysse with us. He will have so much to experience! We are not staying in a ritzy hotel, non madame! we are getting a rudimentary cabana under the palm trees right on the beach and we will be meeting friends whom we met 20 years ago while traveling. They are all snorkeling and fishing maniacs, they have a zodiac boat to troll around and they are waiting for us. Ohhh! two weeks away from home seems like a long time... Hope our zoo will not get in deep depression while we are away...

I finished this Frida painting today and as usual, when painting something mexican, I went for the bold colors and played with the angel/devil theme once again. Can you tell I love skulls and skeletons? Anyways, it is now available on eBay and Etsy!

We had a lovely weekend, spent on reorganizing some corners of our house, making lists for the trip, looking at seed and gardening catalogs, walking and hiking outside in the darn-snow-that-will-never-melt-it-seems... At the end of last summer, I dug and built a small natural pond near my studio, which I can see while I am working. I can not wait for the ice to melt and see nature wake up in it. I got so many plants from natural bogs, ponds and streams around, after 2 weeks it looked like it had been there forever... I LOOOOOVE the songs of the peepers in the spring nights!

Friday, March 14, 2008

SNOW, SNOW AND MORE SNOW...

As I was driving back from St-Albans in Vermont yesterday afternoon, I was surprised by this magnificient view of Jay Peak enlighted by end of the day sun. There is something about winter lanscape that leaves breathless... and so thankful for having the chance of living in a corner of the world where the air is still quite pure, there is plenty of space for each individual being, nature around has not been too tainted yet and peace is daily word that comes to your mind every day ... Thankful for being able to stop by the road on a nice sunny day and just be totally floored by simple moments of pure pleasure...

Upon coming back home across the border, I saw plenty of wild turkeys and deers, feasting of corn left in the fiels around. We love wild turkeys! Ulysse and Francois see them every morning when they drive down the mountain to the village to go to school. Sometimes, there are 50 of them in the field. They are big birds, with perfect black and brown feathers and it is so nice to see they are now back in force in this part of the country. But again, in this neighborhood, there is a great variety of animals of all sorts. I have seen brown bears a few times while taking my daily hike, a moose ran ahead of my car one morning as I was driving to my parents place, saw a mother bobcat and her kittens crossing the path on the mountain, and all kinds of birds, amphibians, little mammals and tons of insects which Frelighsburg and its townships is well-know for due to its micro-climate. I was impressed to read that the major reference ever written on Quebec insects was written by Frère Marie-Victorin (a priest) at the moment he was living here in the village in the 1930's. It is said there is no greater variety of wild life than in this section of Southern Qc.

Ulysse is having a MAJOR CASE OF CABIN FEVER !!! He is dreaming of fishing in the streams, building fires, working on his forest fortress, looking for unusual rocks wild garlic and berries and skateboarding, riding his little 70cc motorbike and doing stunts on his old kiddy bicycle... Well, yesterday, he decided enough was enough! He went to work in the shop with Francois and came out with his new contraption: the SKICYCLE !!! And it works and I think it is a brilliant idea !!! Don't they say that creativity is at its best when you are bored? Definitely!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A LITTLE FAIRY TOLD ME...

***sold***
A SECRET ...

Today was a dreary day, bleak, grey, snowy. windy and cold. And since I decided that Spring has already arrived here (see previous post), I had to paint a happy, bold, colorful, warm and whimsical nature-oriented, fairy-related, spring-scented painting. I am very happy with the result, the colors and the mood remind me of fairy tale books I used to read when I was a little girl. And I love toadstools! I wish I could grow giant ones in my garden and seat on them to take the time to smell the flowers...

This Toadstool Fairy painting is available on eBay and Etsy!

Dad has been back home for almost two weeks now and he is improving incredibly fast. He has regained almost 100% of the use of his left hand and he is now walking with a cane, which is much better than when he was lying in bed helpless 3 weeks ago. We are all very confident he will be back to his old pre-illness self in a couple of months. And we are so thankful for his prompt recovery. My dad is a man everybody loves! He is a friendly, good-looking, positive, joyfull and happy person. He has always been there when I needed him, he has always been the best dad and friend a daughter could wish for. His guardian angel did a great job, keeping a constant eye on him and feeding him hope and courage at the toughest moments...Thank you, Guardian Angel...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

SWEET BUNNY DOLL...

Quebec City is accumulating snow for its 400th birthday, actually it will be in advance for the next celebration has they are now working on almost 500 cm of snow expected at the end of the week !!! This will be a record of all time and will even beat the snow storms we used to have when we were kids... The last storm was pretty bad last weekend, with the winds and humidity. There were major power failures across the province and on Saturday night the mixture of snow and wind was so severe that many car drivers on the highway stayed trapped in their immobilized vehicule, waiting for help to come... The images of this storm were quite amazing, one of them being this guy using his snowblower to clean a path in the middle of the highway so police could reach stranded drivers, another was a big snowplower stucked in an enormous snow bank and another of farmers driving their tractors 3 vehicle wide in the middle of the highway. Unbelievable!

SO...

I decided to celebrate the arrival of Spring today instead of March 21st! Enough with winter and snow and cold and frost !!!

Here is my first Spring painting in soft candy colors!

Sweet Bunny Doll is available on eBay and Etsy...

The three of us are leaving for our Yucatan vacations in two weeks! The count down is on and were are getting so EXCITED !!! We rented a cabanas right on a the beach, where we used to go 15 years ago and all were are bringing is fishing and snorkeling gear, bathing suits, digital cameras with plenty of memory cards for all the pictures we will be taking and a box of glue, string, wire, scissors, etc so we can craft some masterpieces on the spot to bring back. Oh, I just can't wait !!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

A LITTLE TEAR FOR SUZANNE...

I sat down with my cup of coffee this morning, like each Sunday morning, to read the local weekly newspaper. The phone rang, I left the table to get it and when I came back, the sun was shining a ray on this little add... It moved me deeply, the picture of little Suzanne, so beautiful and taken so long ago and the text and all the love that came with it...

It says:

55th anniversary of the death of Suzanne Franklyn survenue le 10 mars 1953. Bonjour Suzanne! Today it is your birthday, time flies so fast...May God keep you safe by his side. Thank you for your protection, my angel... from Robert

Happy birthday Suzanne!

Friday, March 7, 2008

FRIDA MERMAID - VERSION # 2...

***sold***

I wanted to finish and post another painting on eBay today but I could not finish the one I started this morning so I went back to this Frida Mermaid I had started a while ago, and finished it in a different way... There, another thing done, I had meant to do this for a while... This one does not have the black outline, it is somewhat softer and the face is different.

It is now for sale on eBay !!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

DAISIES AND LADYBUGS ANGEL

***sold***
I was inspired this morning by two spring hints appearing in my studio: daisies and ladybugs...

Of course, whenever the sun warms up the windows, nooks and crannies, ladybugs come out. The more warmth, the bigger their number is. I do not mind them, although they are not the ladybugs of our childhood. These are more orange with tons of black polkadots and they multiply like hell! They were imported from Asia to neutralize the aphid population in the gardens but they liked America so much that they stayed. They do not have any predator, they stink like crazy but ladybugs... will always be ladybugs, and you do not hurt ladybugs...

The second hint was a little plant that had been growning in one of the potted plants I brought back inside last fall, showed its first flowers this morning and they turned out to be the smallest, daintiest white daisies I have ever seen...

So, this is the story that goes with this painting...

It is now for sale on eBay, so check it out!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

CAT GUARDIAN ANGEL PAINTING ...

Just wanted to show you a painting I finished this morning. It is for sale on eBay and I might add it to Etsy as well. I had great fun working with these pastels colored cats!

YEAR OF THE RAT ART EVENT CONTEST WINNER !!!

Unfortunately, due to my computer breakdowns and my papa's illness, I had to postpone my YEAR OF THE RAT ART EVENT CONTEST a couple of times. Yesterday was the last day to enter the contest and there were only a few participants. Mea culpa! I am sure there would have been more if the event would have taken place on the first day of the year, as it was supposed to. But...the art pieces I got are FANTASTIC! Thanks to those who were game enough to spend some time creating something special for the occasion, and I am talking about Susan, Tascha, Mario, Michelle and Jenn. You are great, thanks a bunch for sending in your artsy ratsy masterpiece!

Participant # 1 ... SUSAN from http://...awalkinthepark.blogspot.com/

Participant # 2 ... TASCHA from http://timewithtascha.blogspot.com/

Participant # 3 ... MARIO BEAUDOIN (a great friend of mine who is also a great artist. He doesn't have a blog yet... Please note this is a paper sculpture !!!)

Participant # 4 ... MICHELLE from http://ginghamworld.blogspot.com/

Participant # 5 ... JENN from http://noodleandlou.blogspot.com/

AND THE WINNER IS ...

JENN !!! Congratulations, you deserve it ! You will be receiving your SURPRISE BAG in the mail next week! Your little white rat is sooooo cute !

Thanks again to all the participants for submitting their piece!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

SCHOLAR RELEASE...

This is what we call 'School Break' in French... And, let me tell you, I have a whole bunch of animals taking a break this week !!! I guess it must be spring fever or seasonal depression, but the 3 dogs are turning into sissies, sleeping all day long in our beds, on their back, with their 4 legs up in the air. The son is completely on the neutral button, sleeps like a log and walks like a zombie from room to room.

Yep, no doubt...We are having a bad case of "I hope Spring is coming soon" virus... The 5 cats are begging for dog food and are snobbing their usual diet. The rooster started singing at 2 a.m. this morning and went at it non-stop till 9 o'clock!!! Even the turtle Michelangelo is going nuts, loosing his time trying to mate a rock shaped like a pinup at the bottom of his tank.

Come on, Printemps, time to show up!!!

Well, time is almost up and I have received a few Year of the Rat Art works. I will put them on my blog tomorrow so you can view each masterpiece. Thank you, dear participants! I will be drawing the name of the winner tomorrow morning !!! Bonne chance !

MY LITTLE PIECE OF RODENT ART ...

PEACE AND HAPPINESS...

These are my only wishes for the year 2008!

Last time Francois and I were in Paris, we saw a couple of young punks kissing in the middle of the very well kept and groomed Les Jardins de St-Clouds. The scene was so strange, yet so tender and beautiful... They were holding each other tightly and amorously while their white pet rat was going up and down their body. They looked so much in love, the entire scene was memorable to both of us...

Year of the Rat Art Event deadline is tomorrow night, March 4 2008 !!!

Do not forget to send in your pic or a link to your pic if you want to be the winner of my AMAZING SURPRISE !!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

AÏE CARAMBA !!!

I AM BA-AAAAAACK !

Just wanted to show you my new Spring Frida painting that I just listed on eBay. It is BIG and it is BOLD and it is so far one of my best pieces. I have put many hours of work on this one and had great fun doing it!

sold! Thank you Nicole!

Remember, tomorrow is YEAR OF THE RAT ART EVENT !!!

So if your piece is ready, please either send me a link to a picture of it or send me through mypinkturtle@gmail.com a reasonable size picture (72 dpi resolution max - not bigger than 4 inches wide) I DO NOT have high speed internet, so please keep it small. I will be posting each entries on my blog with a link to your blog

Since I have been so quiet lately maybe a few of you will not remember the date, so I will give you guys 2 days to to get prepared and email me your art. In other words, last call for entries will be March 4 2008 at 23h59

Remember.... a nice surprise will be awarded to the winner whose name will be drawned randomly on Wednesday, March 5 in the morning

Last week was such a busy week, it left me no time to write on my blog. And I have missed it a lot! I will be back tomorrow with more news...