Wednesday, March 25, 2009

FRIDA, LA SEÑORITA PRIMAVERA ...

My head is full of flowers ...

I am Mademoiselle Spring!

I woke up with a tiny germ of an idea on my mind yesterday and I just had to paint this image.

Mi cabeza es llena de flores ...

I worked all day on this canvas and had such a wonderful time adding details to the flowers and painting Frida's green hair.

I guess it shows you just how much I am ready for real spring weather and gardening ! I have sown all kinds of new intriguing and colorful flowers in flats inside and the excitement of being able to admire them in full bloom later this summer is almost unbearable!

Oh, I love gardening !

And I can not wait to to meet with my dear old friends again this year, Misses Hollyhock, Digitalis, Dahlia and Zinnia!

Señorita Frida Primavera painting is available in my Etsy shop if you want to buy it right now or up for bids on eBay.

The last snow on the balcony melted away today but earlier in the morning Mr. Winter had left me a love note ...

A snow heart !

Can you see its outline? Of course, my men did not see it and thought I had a very fertile imagination.

Well, I guess, you can call me a romantic fool !!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS ...

An old Chinese clay pencil-sharpener
shaped like a tiny mermaid

An assortment of lake glass
collected on the beach of Lake Champlain
last summer

A plastic smiling Buddha
found at a garage sale
that's been with me forever now

A collection of little plastic japanese monsters
I got in a vending machine at the food store

A pair of blue-suede shoes
I got Ulysse when he was
3 years old

Another Chinese pencil sharpener
of an adorable boy seated on a red koi

A strange and marvelous
Mexican wood carving of a woman-butterfly
I brought back from the Yucatan

A new bird nest on a branch
that I have added to
my collection

I was given the Kreative Blogger Award by wonderful Ooty in Israel a few weeks ago and never found time to follow up on it.

Today, I decided to take a few minutes and play with it, somewhat bending the rules. I am supposed to name 7 things I love ...

These are 7 things that found a place in my studio lately that I simply love and that inspire me.

Oh! I even added a 8th one, just for fun!

I have been working on several paintings at the same time but did not manage to finish one today. My son came back home with a fever this afternoon, so I will be having company in the studio tomorrow. I am a terrible mother but you know what? I just love when he misses school and stays home with me like in the good pre-school days...

In those days, every morning after breakfast, he would climb on the kitchen counter and sit, with his head poised on his hands, and ask: "What are we going to do today, maman?"

I just love a day off with my little boy of 12-years at home ...

You have been asking about the new Frida painting ... It is coming, I promise! I am putting the finishing touches on it and should be able to show it to you tomorrow ...

It is late now and it is snowing ...

So much for spring!

Could it have just passed and we simply missed it?

Friday, March 20, 2009

SPRINGING FOR SPRING ! ! !

Spring is here ! Spring is here !

I have been runing around the house wearing my new flowery short dress, my gardening straw hat and my rubber boots, trowel and seed-packets in hand.

Doing my little springy Spring dance.

Spring is here ! Spring is here !

Let's all rejoice !

Ah! the smell of snow melting on the reviving grass !

Oh! the feeling of walking on soft muddy ground rather than on a rigid frozen crust !

Ah! the sound of the water in the stream playing a spring song with the big gang of birds having a party in the feeders !

Oh! Just the thought of knowing we are going in the right direction, which means here, walking towards summer rather than winter !

I have all kinds of dream about flowers and I can not wait to start sowing seeds and transplanting new seedlings.

These flowers are for you ...

This little painting is available on eBay and in my Etsy shop right now!

And good news for you all shoppers! I have decided to extend my

Buy 2 Prints Get The 3rd One Free offer in my Etsy shop 'till June 21st !

So, come over and check it out! I have over 45 different prints available!

I am going back celebrating this wonderful day!

I hope you all have a colorful, soft, pretty and wonderful Spring!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

LITTLE FLOWER, BIG JOY ...

It seems like ages since I have shown you a new painting.

I did finish quite a few in the past weeks but all of them were commissioned. I am now back to a normal flow of canvases that need to be finished at a certain date and it sure is a little less stressful. And working in my studio this time of the year is pure pleasure with the sun rays hitting my work table just at the right angle.

Talking about sun, I can not wait to work in the garden!

The snow is melting fast around the house and already I have spied the lilac buds getting ready for their big May show. Soon there will be so much to do at a time, lots of fixing, cleaning up, organizing, all in a very short time. Blame it on global warming, for the past years it seems like winter lasts forever than suddenly spring arrives, stays for a very short visit than moves away as quickly as it came to give its place to summer with its high temperature and its humidity.

And since winter lasts almost 5 months, you can just imagine what a rush we get when it finally leaves!

Flowers, flowers, I love flowers!

I grow just about any kind you can imagine, annuals, perennials, biannuals, mostly all from seeds. I got my green thumb from my grandmother Gabrielle who was a real garden fairy. I inherited from her the curiosity of growing the unusual plant in the most unusual garden. Like her, I am a plant thief! One day, I will get arrested by the police for having stolen too many plant cuttings !!! I do it so often that I always keep a few ziplocks and wet paper towels in my shoulder purse, just in case I come face to face with an unknown specie. I do stop my car on the highway to collect seeds of wild flowers and I am a sucker for any plant swap at the local fair.

This Spring Fairy and Flower painting is currently available on eBay or if you want to get her right now instead of bidding , you can snatch it in my Etsy store.

Gotta go back to work now, my paintbrushes are drying ! I just can't wait to show you my new Frida painting ! It is almost finished, just have to had a few more details and it will be done !

Thursday, March 12, 2009

FOUR POLKA-DOT CUPS AND A BATCH OF SHITAKES ...

Simple pleasures happen like a surprise... Tiny marvels that make your day special... Sparks of je-ne-sais-quoi (French for what nots) that wake up your mind and soul...

The colours our four polka-dot cups seated on each other ...

Shitake mushroom clumps growing like strange creatures from outer space on my kitchen table ...

A line of chicken taking their first walk in the spring's melting snow ...

The sound of the stream running under the ice in the forest ...

I never have to look for these daily miracles, they happen by themselves ... Each day brings its load of simple pleasures that I appreciate so much ...

Each day of life is an adventure ...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

THE ULTIMATE TRIBUTE TO MY ART ...

I AM FLABERGASTED !

FLABERGASTED ! (don't you love how this word sounds?)

I just got an email from Cindy from La Quinta in California. She bought Frida prints in my Etsy Shop in February and wanted to tell me how much she liked them and liked my art. Particularly the one featuring Frida holding a flaming heart.

She liked it so much that ...

SHE HAD IT TATTOOED ON HER SKIN !

WOW !

I AM SPEECHLESS !

It makes my day when someone tells me how much they appreciate my paintings.

My heart flies when a person comes back for more of my art.

But to have someone have an image of mine, and one of my favorites, etched permanently on her body, is something else.

I HAVE NO WORDS FOR IT ...

I do not have a tattoo. When I was a younger punkish marginal-looking woman and tattoos were not so much in fashion, I wanted one badly. But I did not want a main-stream style one and never found the right artist to do it for me. Then, I got into a different mind-trip and my desire for it changed too. I was once approached by someone who owned a tattoo studio. He wanted me to join his team and learn the trade. But I declined his offer.

I totally understand the appeal a lot of younger people have for tattoos. And not so-young people too.

The tattoo is very well done up to the tiniest details and I am happy that the image is so-true to the original. Cindy replaced the name Diego for the name of her grand-mother in the banner.

THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE !

My Frida will be showcased on a daily basis on someone's body!

WOW !

THIS IS QUITE A BUSINESS-CARD !

I am honored, Cindy!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

THE MAPLE TREES ARE CELEBRATING ...

THE ARRIVAL OF SPRING !!!

We woke up this morning to a day milder than any we've had for a long time.

A soft breeze churning the air, the sound of water dropping from the roof where the snow was melting, a scent of s0mething new and something old, last year's nature decay under the ice on the ground and way under, the tiny green world getting ready to explode ...

The giant crows perched on the highest bare trees and the robins calling each other with their never-ending song ...

Yes, definitely, today was the day : the sap in the maple trees has started to run ! Yes! It is maple syrup making season!

Ulysse ran right after breakfast and got the tools needed to tap a few trees around our house. Each year, since he was 2 or 3 years old, he's been helping his dad with the procedures. I remember spotting him on a certain sunny winter day, when he was a young boy, hugging a tree with his arms and drinking the sap directly from the spout.

Maple syrup season is an important tradition at home since it is the official sign of hope after a tough winter, hope that there will be a spring after all.

Southern Quebec is a big producer of maple syrup mostly due to the fact that a big percentage of its forests is made of maple trees, as is our US neighboring state, Vermont. But nature is changing everywhere and so are our seasons ... The past years have been tough for producers, due to either very short springs, too much snow accumulated late in the season and very early warm weather spell. You see, for the sap to flow through a tree properly, you need mild sunny days but freezing nights.

Ah! the pleasure of drinking the sweet water from the pail ! You can't get much nearer to nature than drinking the water that flows through a tree, the same water that will flow through its branches and force the buds to unfold into leaves. The same water that will make the tree stay green and strong through heat and wind and cold again ...

In the old days, people would drink the sap to cleanse their system and as a spring tonic to give you energy.

It will be a few days before we have accumulated enough water to boil it on the stove for hours, until it becomes thick and sweet and so yummy. We usually have enough water to make a good dozen big jars of syrup that we keep preciously in the pantry and take out later during the year to drown homemade pancakes and waffles on Sunday mornings.

Yes, indeed, today was a good day for the maple trees and for us !

Our cats are having a serious case of cabin fever ! They are bored, they do not know what to do when they are not sleeping. They want to go out! And once outside, oh! it is not as comfy as they thought so they want in again !!!

And the chicken ! They came out too for the first time this year, went down their little stairs one after the other through the tiny door we had left open. Even the master, Señor Jello the rooster, opted for a visit in the yard!

Even Bibi found a good spot ...

Spring break is over, vacations too! Time to go back to work in the studio, my paintings are calling me! I should have something new to show you tomorrow!

Youppi!

Spring is here! Spring is here!

Friday, March 6, 2009

I AM BACK ...

Yes, I am still alive !

Thanks for your all your sweet emails showing concern about the fact that I have not posted on my blog for almost 2 weeks.

2 WEEKS !!!

Where has the time gone? This is crazy !

Last week we really got snowed over, one more time. I had to drive to Montreal for a day , the storm started in the afternoon and the weather got too bad for driving back I got stucked there for a few days. Burried streets, slippery roads, gusty winds, you get the drift. So I spent fun time with friends and did tons of little things I never find the time to do when I visit the town for a quickie. You see, I am a big-city girl, born and bred in Montreal, so once in an urban surrounding, it all comes back to me pretty fast and I slip back in my I-love-subway-bus-bike-walks-shops-restos-museums-cafes old self in a jiffy.

Finally came back home to find my computer's modem had died (yes, once again) due to a power surge that happened due to the strong wind. And, to top the sundae with a big cherry, I had forgotten my camera was still plugged to my computer so the camera died too !!! Fun, fun, fun ! It never stops ! So ...

No computer, no camera and spring break going on this week made it the perfect mixture to take a break from the regular life ...

Since Ulysse was at his cousin Charlie's house for a few days, I have been on a C-O-M-P-L-E-T-E break, even better than a vacation down south. I stayed home most of the time, no shopping, no running around, waking up and going to bed at the time I felt like, watching a few movies and reading a few books I had put aside for later, redoing a part of my studio, sowing hot peppers and eggplants and dahlias in trays, sorting old photos and boxes of knick-knacks...

Not much work was done on my paintings although I have a nice little group almost done. But I have filled an entire sketch-book with doodles of all kinds ready to come alive on canvas.

I received a new modem yesterday afternoon and operated on my laptop's belly right away. And it works! Got a new camera too, very easy to use and similar to my old one. And Ulysse is coming back home tonite.

So I guess it is now time to put myself in the right gear, shake out some of the laziness still left and return to real life ...

Hey! I can live with that!

I love my real life! And like any other vacation I have taken, towards the end it was time to get back to reality!

Thanks for all your sweet comments left on my blog! I will try to get up to date reading everyone's blog and answering my mail this weekend.

I will also add quite a few new paintings in my Etsy shop and on eBay next.

I have missed you all!

Life without blogging is not as much fun!

HAVE A HAPPY SPRINGY WEEKEND!

Love and hugs ...

LuLu xxxxx