Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Step Fifteen: Stones...

Dear Fi,

I’m scribbling these words in my notebook at my daughter’s dance class. I have about 45 minutes of waiting, so I need to use this time to write this post otherwise I will have no chance to do this today. Just to be clear - no, I haven’t finished my paper yet. Ha, ha. I know - pathetic - but I’m not going there today. It will be done pretty soon.

In the meantime lets talk about my project ;)


I thought about painting them a long time ago. So, yesterday I went for a walk in the neighbourhood and I picked up a few. Later at night when I couldn’t write anymore, I washed them and started to paint. I didn’t think about any design. I just painted and tried to listen and see what the stones wanted me to do. Weird? Maybe... but this was the process I used. I painted almost all of them.

So today I had to finish painting the few I had left. Then I needed to paint over all of them - at least three layers of each colour, so they would be more visible. Then I took the pictures.

I don’t know about you my Dear but I think they look happy now ha, ha.

I have no idea how to put this thought together in a way that makes sense, because I’m intellectually drained. However, I will try, because it is something I was contemplating lately. I’ve painted stones before. I remember one small show I had for a group of people here in Calgary. I brought my paintings, some of them 48” x 48” big, and other artwork I was proud of only to discover that most people gathered around a small table where I had put a poster with two stones. The stones’ purpose was to keep the poster from falling off the table but they got the most attention. So, I was even more disappointed when everybody started to compliment me on the turtle stone. Not that I didn’t like it, but the other one was actually my favourite, not to mention that the turtle stone stole all the attention from the other things I brought.

Last week I talked with my lovely brother through Skype - so I could see his face when he checked our blog. It was the “Play” post he saw first and then I could see his disappointment. He said it looked like Amelie or Bruno painted this (and that was the point ha, ha!). And then he asked me if I still painted my mandalas. I told him that I cannot paint the same things I painted more then 15 years ago, that I have changed...

I would like to think that I grew and that my artwork evolved through all of these years with me. I feel like it did. I feel more free and more confident. I could never paint something “against” myself, and I still cannot. I need to believe in what I’m doing and I need to trust the process to be able to honestly express myself. I always thought that my art in some way mirrors my life. Picasso said that “painting is just another way of keeping a diary” and I think that he was totally right.

So, today my Dear Fi I look at these stones and I feel happiness. I look at these stones and I see the power of simplicity and the confidence of choice. I look at them and I smile :)




  1. Hee hee! I had to laugh that your stones diverted all the attention from your paintings at your show! Although, I haven't seen the paintings you were exhibiting, I can see why people were so taken with the stones. I love the obelisk one! (they're both great, but the obelisk is my favourite!)

    There's something very attractive about the tiny details and bright colours against the backdrop of the natural stone. I really love how the ones you painted for this week's step, show lots of the stone's natural colour and form. They are a wonderful canvas. And yes, they look very happy! :-) I'd love to place them in a group, as above, on a beach, or on a forest trail... as a small outdoor art exhibit! :-) They would also make great land art photos!

    It's interesting how you feel your art has moved on. When I first saw your mandalas, I loved them so much, I wanted to use one of them as inspiration for some beads. This was last year, when I bought those books on jewellery making! I was going to surprise you with them... but the bead technique turned out to be extremely complicated and I was unable to create the effect I wanted, so gave up! :-) The image in my head looked nothing like the very lame beads I was able to create! ha! :-)

    I can see a progression in your work too and I totally understand when you say you can't bring yourself to paint the way you did years ago. I also don't think it would be right to, as technique and personal style seems a very progressive thing. I feel like it would be strange if your work didn't develop and change somehow.

    You were brave to show your brother! :-) I suppose he could maybe have viewed it from the 'results' based angle, whereas, I've always felt that this blog space was somewhere to try, to play, to like, to dislike, but ultimately, to progress and to conquer the procrastination which comes through fear of doing and not liking - which I have done myself for so long, always viewing things from a results angle.

    So much to chat about, as always! :-) Hope the paper is nearing completion. Also, hope you've already booked a hot stone massage for yourself to celebrate finishing! I can just see you smuggling the hot stones into your pockets as you leave the appointment, to paint later! ;-)

    Btw, your story of picking up stones around the neighbourhood reminded of the film, 'Amelie'! Very sweet!


  2. These stones remind me of Navajo cave paintings. Very cool!

    When will your life slow down? A little this summer maybe?