Monthly Archives: January 2011

“Mama said there would be days like this”


Me through January's eyes


The image above is a snap I took a few days ago of a very familiar vista here in Ottawa. The sky that night over Mooney’s Bay was beautifully grim. Until this morning, that sky had wrapped around me like a heavy blanket. The moon is waning and a few very well placed words have set me straight.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” -Albert Einstein

While watching the “news”, Jon Stewart had as his guest American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (a.k.a. the absolute living emperor of the coolest nerds. All that intelligence is super hot!). Mr. deGrasse Tyson quoted Einstein while explaining his passion for challenging the boundaries of knowledge through creativity. While it is comforting when men of extraordinary intelligence acknowledge the rightful place of creativity I wish I saw it more in the habits of the people who run this place. For now, I will settle to fold it more significantly into my quotidian life.

I need to come back inside a while. Do a little creating without strings. The kind that grabs my wrist and drags me running. Blissfully.

And I don’t even like running!


Off and running...






Thirty parts. Fifteen days.

thirty parts

I am cold today. And a little blue. But, that is how it is meant to be this time of year. So I won’t fight today. The moon is pulling on me. It will pass as it always does.

In the meantime, I am meditating on the images I have been blessed with thus far. I am inspired. I worry about doing justice to the enthusiasm of my collaborators, and to the vision in my head. Much more than that, I am hugely thankful for the impact this little journey is having on my life.

Thank you collaborators.

…and keep’em coming. The more the better!


Winter day

Nothing better than a little collaboARTing with my best gal pal Eva. That is, if letting a four (almost five) year old boss you around for an hour is considered “collaboration”. Yeesh! Where does she get that from?!

Winter Day!

Heart. Smile. Happy.


Dear Ottawa Winter Night,

I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye.  You are a big bitch after all, what with all your snow and icy cold. My friends and I tried spewing carbon into the atmosphere to warm you up, but you are tenacious. So I am left to make the most of our time together. I know you won’t be here long.

I took some snaps of you on the walk home last night. You made me smile a little. I hope you can feel the affection that I am nurturing. It is start.

Let’s take it slow and see where things go.


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Until now…

I have been reflecting lately on the abundant organic satisfaction I am deriving from my collage. If it feels so natural, so filled with positive energy, how could I have ignored it for so long?

Perhaps I am indulging more than I first thought. I follow @TokyoFashion, and a recent tweet helped to crack the code.

The images to me taste like candy, in the same way that the photos in Italian Vogue satisfy like a fine French wine. (Apologies to the French and Italians, who are surely both offended with this statement)

If collage is understood as, “An artistic composition of materials and objects pasted over a surface, often with unifying lines and color” (My love for you is strong, then my deep appreciation of high fashion has certainly filled some of the gap. Highly stylized fashion could perhaps be considered a form of collage, no?

In a recent discussion with Rita Aouad, style and image guru and dearest gal pal, I mused on the genius habit of fashionista extraordinaire, Anna Dello Russo, current editor at large and creative consultant for Vogue Japan. At large indeed! Ms. Dello Russo’s enthusiasm for high fashion compels her to expertly cut and paste her face into the latest and greatest runway and editorial images on her blog. Collage atop collage and dressed to kill. I love it! It never would have occurred to me  all these years to sully, say, an Alexander McQueen photo with my mug. (You are missed Alexander)

Instead, in years gone by, in stolen moments, in drab office cubes, I would use the rudimentary tools available to quickly paste together nonsense stemming from some inane conversation to get laughs out of my friends. If I recall correctly, the one below was a reference to a discussion on possible franchise opportunities.

Land of Opportunities

Add to this the Eastern concept of creativity which focuses on, “a state of personal fulfillment, a connection to a primordial realm, or the expression of an inner essence of ultimate reality” and it makes perfect sense that I am here today. Unlike the Western view which demands innovation, production, I have been creating for years. So maybe to mark the impermanence of it all, to emphasize the journey, I should set “rainbow sunshine magic” alight and blow the ashes to the wind?



Two hands, two feet, a cock and an eyeball





What more could a girl need?

More. A lot more.

Tell your friends, or better yet, snap photos of one of their parts and send it to us at Please. The vision is forming and we are going to need lots of images.

The anonymity is proving challenging so I have decided to have a sexy man manage the inbox for us so I can keep my distance from the identities. Thank you sexy man

Keep’em coming…

My thanks.



It has been thirty days since I started down the path that lead us, for better or for worse, to “Rainbow Sunshine Magic” (the title of CollaboARTive piece number one).

I have always felt a special connection to the number thirty. A little research proves that I am not alone in this affection. It is after all the atomic number of zinc. Also, the age Jesus and his crew hit their stride, as well as, the height of Noah’s Ark in cubits. Most intriguingly though, I discovered today, that by adding up some of the subsets of its divisors (e.g. 5, 10 and 15=30) makes thirty a semi-perfect number! Mathematically speaking, I have no idea what this means of course. I was required to repeat grade eleven math three times before I got it right. Right enough anyhow. Damn you fractions!

So, with its promise of semi-perfection, and the satisfaction of my time well spent these past thirty days, I feel compelled to commit myself, us, to another thirty days.

my hand

This time around, after the deeply personal experience of reaching out to those nearest and dearest, I am suggesting a slightly different approach.

An anonymous collaboration.

Below is the address and password to a Gmail account I have created for us.

Password: thirtydays

To date, it has but one lonely message from me that links us all (ANY and EVERYONE!) to a Dropbox folder.

In the folder, there is one sad and lonely image. My hope is that for the next thirty days, collaborators will fill, anonymously, abundantly, the email inbox and Dropbox folder.

I am asking collaborators to send images of a body part. An anonymous photo of one body part.

In the meantime, I will indulge in a little meditation on the theme of touch that has haunted me for at least six months now. More on that to come.

Ok, here we go again.

Touch me.


A few more (better) shots…

Thank you Breena.

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It is over? Over over? No, that can’t be right. Every time I look at it I see more to be done. Plus, I had vowed yesterday to walk away for a few days, to come back to it with fresh eyes. I failed. So here it is as one terrible picture. When the tinkering is done, I will have my sister take some worthy shots. Then after that, perhaps a party at my place to have my collaborators sign? To see it, to touch it, to hear it (yes, the sound file doesn’t photograph well), to see if you feel any part of yourself in the piece.

I am also going to take the time this week to put in writing some of my thoughts about the project, the process, what the vision spells out for me personally. And plan my next project…


Melinda Mae

“Have you heard of tiny Melinda Mae,
Who ate a monstrous whale?
She thought she could,
She said she would,
So she started in right at the tail.
And everyone said,”You’re much too small,”
But that didn’t bother Melinda at all,
She took little bites and she chewed very slow,
Just like a little girl should…
…and eighty-nine years later she ate that whale
Because she said she would!!”

– Shel Silverstein

It is late. I have worked many hours. Is it finished finished? Ha! Kinda sorta.