Saturday, March 31, 2012

Shop Girl, movie

Shop Girl:
As Ray Porter watches Mirabelle walk away he feels a loss. "How is it possible, he thinks, to miss a woman whom he kept at a distance so that when she was gone he would not miss her." Only then does he realize that wanting part of her and not all of her had hurt them both and how he cannot justify his actions except that... well... it was life. 

Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston marathon
I have to say I love journalistic photography from the '60's and '70's. *(story below)
 *(I just got this picture from a facebook friend about the first woman to run the Boston Marathon and what she had to face, discrimination. She had trained and followed all the protocol to enter the race, and I'm sure at the time realized what she was doing was trail-blazing, but how great it would be? maybe not. Then, the unthinkable happened... she was attacked by race organizer Jock Semple who was shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” However, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners provided a protective shield during the entire marathon.)

What do you see when you look at the picture? a woman running a marathon? No small feat for anyone at any time but this particular time it was 1967 in the centre of a powerful movement to open up social perceptions. But, what I see are the men in the picture. Oh I see her too, she's shrouded in the light of a higher calling and determination. But it's the men that stand out for me because I too run a race and I'm ever convinced that it's those that champion us and support us that make the impossible possible.  This is where the story, in my mind, gets exciting; do any of us ever know what our true calling or gift is? Do we know, ever, absolutely that when we wake up that day and do the thing we've trained for that we will leave an indelible mark on history? some butterfly is flapping away in Bora Bora right now and the air is moving just enough to set off a series of events that you are a part of. Are you training for something? or, Are you training alongside someone who needs what you can offer in support?

There is a quiet rumbling ever under us that is spearheaded through the arts. Queen Victoria proclaimed "I would venture to warn against too great intimacy with artists as it is very seductive and a little dangerous". Maybe that old monarch was right..... stay away............. you're still here. Ok well, since you asked. If you choose to be around us ask how you can be a champion, a shield from the attackers, the users, the egomaniacs. Ask what we need to keep making our work.

Friday, March 30, 2012

my week in pics

Ok so here's me in my usual post, bed! I have pink hair
In Downtown Kelowna you can find some new permanent art on Leon Avenue. It was a combined effort between The Kelowna Gospel Mission,  Communities in Bloom Committee, City of Kelowna and the artists..... of which I am one of seven.
what I accomplished this week is painting this huge mixed media piece which is demonstrating Mixed media on Opus Fine art printing. It is a very unique possibility now as their printing is NOT WATER SOLUBLE so you can paint to your hearts creative content! I'm so grateful to Opus for the opportunity. You can visit her at Opus Kelowna
 OOps! I had a fight with the concrete post in my parkade..... as you can see I lost! "God, what is the purpose of this" is my daily mantra. In keeping with the FACT that I always get an answer. The answer was ,'I'm a grown-up who made a mistake. I have no-one to answer to but myself. I have no need to beat myself like a child. Just deal with it like an adult' Yahoo..... what an amazing moment to have no guilt about this experience!!!
on the way to Opus Art Supply to deliver this big 'Girl'

My big painting with Opus Art Supply Diva Christina of Thanks to other art diva, Trina Ganson for taking the picture.

I Love my Mum

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I Love Rumi,
Amazing that something from so long ago resonates so well. There really is no time, it's all an illusion.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

Don't go back to sleep
There is a community of the spirit.
Join it, and feel the delight
of walking in the noisy street
and being the noise.
Drink all your passion, 
and be a disgrace.
Close both eyes 
to see with the other eye.
 Moving Water
When  you do things from your soul, you feel a river
moving in you, a joy.

When actions come from another section, the feeling
disappears.  Don't let others lead you.  They may be blind or, worse, vultures.
Reach for the rope of God.  And what is that?  Putting aside self-will.
Because of willfulness people sit in jail, the trapped bird's wings are tied,
fish sizzle in the skillet. The anger of police is willfulness.  You've seen a magistrate
inflict visible punishment.  Now see the invisible.  If you could leave your selfishness, you
would see how you've been torturing your soul.  We are born and live inside black water in a well.

How could we know what an open field of sunlight is? Don't
insist on going where you think you want to go.  Ask the way to the spring.  
Your living pieces will form a harmony.  There is a moving palace that floats in the air
with balconies and clear water flowing through, infinity everywhere, yet contained

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

It's been a long cold winter. I woke up today to drizzling wet snow and rain. The clouds weren't even clouds. I had put some cosmic time limit on this winter of my heart but the cosmos, the Universe has other plans. It says to me,, "oh, girl, it's only just begun". This lesson is wide and deep and only you can wade your way through it alone. You won't see me, I'll be there though, just as I've promised. Keep walking and you'll know when it's over." And I throw myself face down on the ground with my pink and black hair flailing...... begging. bargaining. pleading.

I hear messages like, "Love sometimes, is not enough"
And I scream inside.... but Love is all I know how to do....... letting go is a whole other story........ I don't know how to do that.

"the grieving can go on for years" is another one...... and I say, "I can't do this for years, it's TOO F-ING PAINFUL"

"you'll get through it" they say. and I say......."I don't want to f-ing get through it, I want my life the way I imagine it" and I hear my inner two year old shamefully making an absolute fool of herself.

The stories in my head have to be mine though, so I say, "everything is unfolding perfectly". And then I believe it somewhere down under the rubble of this wound. This blasted open f-ing wound in my chest. This weeping, oozing, bloody thing that keeps re-opening.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I've often deluded myself into believing that I embrace change, welcome it even. In 2011 that belief was challenged about as far as one human could manage (pending death of course). My marriage of 22 years crumbled and my husband had to move to Alberta in order to find employment. The property we have our house on is for sale so there is the ever present possibility that me and the kids will be uprooted to God-knows-where. Possibly hardest of all, my baby girl is about to turn 18 and graduate high-school as well as get her driver's license. It's all happening now and there are days that the pain is palpable like a throbbing cold yet burning spot squarely to the left of center of my chest. I'm having one those confusing/emotional days where I question every decision I've ever made. It's exhausting this business of change, yet the only thing we can truly count on.

life happens

us on one of our first dates. in a photo booth

Tonight my daughter brought her phone to me and read out a twitter conversation her dad was having with a woman. I found myself dissolving into a spell of crushing pain and confusion and then viewed the tweets myself. It was just a week or so ago when he told me he didn't want to speak to me anymore. before that I was feeling so happy, that we would talk regularly about how the kids are doing, to raise them together and to be a re-defined family but then I was abruptly cut-off, without explanation. It must be about the time this new person entered our lives.

I'm examining my feelings tonight and trying hard to really see them for what they are. Sadness and disappointment that we didn't last forever, letting go of the dream that he might show up on a white horse one day.  I knew the day would come that he'd find someone else. I just didn't want it to and so I let myself believe that we would work on our proverbial 'stuff' and find each other again and things would be new and different. Tonight, I'm back to this business of grieving. Back to the beginning- denial....  I must be on stage 2 of the grief ladder because it feels more like intense pain.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross wrote about the 5 stages of grief, I found this list of 7:



I need to know that I will get to reconstruction, acceptance and hope because being down in the pain pit makes it hard to see a way out.

Monday, March 12, 2012

doing what I love

I decided to repost this today, on Friday night I spoke out at Bottega about living with bi-polar II. I'm going to speak openly about it so I can support other to know they're not alone.

Carrie Harper

The year of my pregnancy I focused on fabric design, paper making and colour theory. I came to love working 2 dimensionally. When my daughter was born I sunk into a severe post partum depression and there began my 16 year battle with undiagnosed bi-polar disorder, a terribly misunderstood condition.There’s a hummingbird lighting on the wild flowers and grapevines outside my window. More and more I see the beauty of the world instead of the darkness. I think as artists we need some dark to contrast the light, but it’s the light that shines out of us and attracts people to our work. I have been painting, sculpting, cutting, gluing and experimenting since I can remember then in 1992 I was fortunate enough to attend The Alberta College of Art and Design. When I entered art school I thought I wanted to design functional 3-D objects such as housewares and furniture. I imagined a path of study to include traditional art school and then industrial design. The course of life can change direction like a hummingbird, quick and unexpected. As poet David Whyte writes, “anything you can plan is too small for you to live”.
I started out as all art school attendees do in a foundation year and my soul came alive in a way I never dreamed possible. I studied everything from pottery to metal smithing to photography. I was home in the art world and knew then that I was an artist through and through, it had chosen me. Part way through second year I found myself expecting my husband and my first child and ended up majoring in textiles and surface design due to safety issues. All along my career path I have discovered ways of creating no matter the direction life throws me. I always pour myself 100% into anything I’m working on (something that has served me well now that I am a mixed media artist).  As much as I tried to make art I couldn’t do it. It was like I needed to have my batteries re-charged but couldn’t find the power cable to plug in. I barely coped with looking after my new little angel baby. When my daughter was 8 months old it was discovered that I had a pregnancy induced thyroid problem and I was put on medication to treat it. Between that and anti-depressants I came out of the “jaws of the black dogs” and began to feel creative again and picked up paint brushes. All I could manage for a long time was watercolours. I am so grateful to that medium because it was simple, portable and I learned so much about the kind of artist I was. Up and down I went over the years, sometimes painting and sometimes just barely surviving. I had several suicide attempts in the very dark times, not something I’m proud of but I share it as an important part of my story. One of my missions, now, is to give Bi-Polar a face and to embrace everything about myself to be the best artist and mother I can be. I was terrified to have another child but when my daughter was 4 I had a beautiful baby boy. Joy of joys I did not fall into another depression!
In 2008 (after watching The Secret) I found the most perfect studio and partner to share it with, well within my price range. At the time I was still experimenting with many art forms but having a proper work space felt like taping my wings back on and spreading them to fly. I see the path behind me lead right into the arms of a love affair with Mixed Media. I am so grateful to artists Suzi Blu, Kelly Rae Roberts, Teesha Moore and many others for paving the way and making Mixed Media a legitimate art form. Through working as a Mixed Media and journal artist I have visualized and expressed the person I want to be. It has given me a clear map for my journey. My life is so interwoven with my art now and I’m happy and fulfilled. I have created a line of journals, computer/cell phone skins and I’m also working on resin pendants, canvas bags amongst other things, all with my art on them.
“Dream big” I say to myself! At first that meant; make a painting and go to a networking evening, then slowly it grew into; talk to galleries, set up a studio and write a blog. Dreaming big has served me well. Recently my doctor told me she believed that my bi-polar is in remission. I live now as imagine an athlete in training might eating simple clean food, sleeping well, surrounding myself with supportive people and doing what I love. My Life journey needs to be simple, clear and innovative if I want to stay well.

Friday, March 9, 2012

flavor paper and REX RAY

Flavor Paper : Tasty Handscreened and Digital Wallcoverings
One of the companies I've stumbled upon in my licensing travels. How cool is this wallpaper designed by real artists like my new favorite Rex Ray (only. just. David Bowie's graphic designer)! How amazing is that?!!!! Aside from his totally stellar work in graphic design- his collage paintings are TO DIE FOR. You must check him out if you love color and pattern as much as I do.